Trowbridge

The Thomas Trowbridge (1597-1672) Connection

The popular TV show, Who Do You Think You Are, which focuses on the genealogical roots of various celebrities, moved to TLC this past season. I saw the first 3-4 episodes, but then the hurly-burly of the holiday season and whatever else was going on at the time threw the show off my radar, which is too bad, because love it or hate it (because it makes finding one’s roots look much too easy), it can be very interesting. So, a couple of weeks ago, for some reason, the series came to mind and I thought I’d see online what I’d missed out on. I randomly clicked on a Cindy Crawford video clip and discovered that she and I (and no doubt thousands of others out there in the world) are related via a distant 10th/11th great grandfather, Thomas Trowbridge, whose line I have mentioned before, albeit many moons ago.

Tudor Tavern, Fore Street, Taunton

Tudor Tavern (on left), Fore Street, Taunton (here Thomas Trowbridge’s grandfather Thomas–a very successful and charitable wool merchant–leased and operated a store (1576-1606). Image: Wikipedia

Thomas, from Taunton, Somersetshire, England, brought his young family to America sometime around 1633-1636. They started out in Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony, but moved to New Haven for religious reasons. His wife Elizabeth Marshall died sometime before 1641. Thomas, who was a mariner and merchant, was constantly on the go, and for perhaps business reasons or to find another wife, he returned to Taunton, marrying there in 1641 and leaving his sons in the care of his servant Henry Gibbons. Back in England, Thomas got swept up in the political events of the time and until his dying day (February 7, 1672) never returned to America. Gibbons was later charged with mismanaging moneys left by Thomas to provide for the boys, and the authorities placed them with Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Jeffrey. The blog Old Stones Undeciphered has an excellent post about that and other eras of Trowbridge family history.

There are more remarkable links to discover, as the show points out. Thomas’s mother Agnes Prowse (1576-1622) links Thomas and his many descendants to Charlemagne, aka Charles the Great or Charles I (see below). Now, let’s face it, by now probably half or more of the planet’s inhabitants are related to him! That said, I still can’t help but be fascinated.

For more on Cindy Crawford’s link to Thomas Trowbridge and Charlemagne, visit:

Charlemagne (Wikimedia)

Charlemagne (Wikipedia)

Charlemagne to Thomas Trowbridge:
1-Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor b. 747, d. 814
+Hildegarde b. 758, d. 30 Apr 783
2-Pepin King of Italy b. 773, d. 8 Jul 810, Milan, Italy
+Unknown
3-Bernard King of Italy b. 797, d. 17 Apr 818, Milan, Italy
+Cunigunde d. 835
4-Pepin Count of Senlis b. Abt 815, d. After 840
+Unknown
5-Herbert I, Count of Vermandois b. Abt 840, d. Abt 902
+Bertha de Morvois
6-Beatrix de Vermandois d. 931
+Robert I, King of the West Franks b. 856, d. 15 Jun 923, Soissons
7-Hugh Magnus Duke of France b. Abt 895, d. 16 Jun 956, Deurdan
+Hedwiga of Germany b. Abt 915, d. 14 May 956
8-Hugh Capet King of France b. Abt 939, d. 24 Oct 996
+Adelaide of Poitou b. 945, d. 1004
9-Hedwig of France b. Abt 972, d. After 1013
+Regnier IV Count of Hainault
10-Beatrix de Hainault b. 992, d. After 1015
+Ebles I Count of Roucy and Rheims b. Abt 988, d. 11 May 1033
11-Alice de Roucy b. Abt 1014, d. 1062
+Count Hildouin of Montdidier and Roucy
12-Marguerite de Roucy b. Abt 1014, d. 1062
+Hugh de Creil d. 1101
13-Adeliza de Clermont b. Abt 1074, d. After 1130
+Gilbert fitz Richard Lord of Clare & Lord of Cardigan b. 1065, d. 1114
14-Richard fitz Gilbert Lord of Clare d. 1136
+Adeliz le Meschin of Chester b. Abt 1074, d. After 1130
15-Roger de Clare Earl of Clare or Hertford b. 1116, d. 1173
+Maud St. Hillary b. 1132, d. 24 Dec 1193
16-Aveline de Clare b. Abt 1172, d. Bef 4 Jun 1225
+Geoffrey fitz Piers Earl of Essex b. 1164, d. 14 Oct 1213
17-Hawise fitz Geoffrey d. 1243
+Reynold de Mohun Lord of Dunster b. Abt 1206, d. 20 Jan 1257
18-Alice de Mohun b. Abt 1230, d. 1284
+Robert de Beauchamp IV, Lord of Hatch d. Abt 1265
19-Sir Humphrey de Beauchamp b. Bef 1253, d. 1317
+Sybil Oliver d. After 1306
20-Eleanor Beauchamp b. Abt 1275, d. After 1300
+John Bamfield d. After 1300
21-John Bamfield II b. Abt 1300, d. After 1337
+Isabel Cobham
22-John Bamfield III d. 1362
+Joan Gilbert d. After 1345
23-Thomas Bamfield b. Bef 1345, d. After 1392
+Agnes Coplestone d. After 1386
24-Agnes Bamfield b. betw 1377 and 1386, d. After 1435
+John Prowse b. Abt 1377, d. After 1447
25-Richard Prowse b. 1407
+Margaret Norton b. Bef 1440
26-John Prowse Lord of Chagford b. 1436, d. 1526
+Joan Orchard b. Abt 1438, d. 1480
27-Robert Prowse b. Abt 1475
+Christian d. 1516
28-John Prowse b. Bef 1504
+Alice White b. Bef 1520, d. 13 Aug 1583
29-John Prowse II b. 1539, d. 11 Sep 1598
+Elizabeth Colwick b. Bef 1546, d. After 1576
30-Agnes Prowse b. 14 Apr 1576, Tiverton, Devonshire, England, d. 6 Jun 1622, Taunton, Somersetshire, England
+John Trowbridge b. 25 Jul 1570, Taunton, Somersetshire, England, d. 25 Jul 1649, Taunton, Somersetshire, England
31-Thomas Trowbridge b. 8 Feb 1597, Taunton, Somersetshire, England, d. 7 Feb 1672, Taunton, Exeter, England
+Elizabeth Marshall b. 24 Mar 1602, London, England, d. In or bef 1641, New Haven, CT

Categories: Celebrities, Charlemagne aka Charles I, New Haven, Prowse, Taunton, Somerset, Trowbridge, WDYTYA | Leave a comment

Winter 1870: William Woodruff in San Ysidro trying his hand at ‘wool growing’

William Woodruff, in June 1870

William Woodruff, in June 1872, photo from personal family collection

A January 1870 letter written by my 2nd great grandfather Francis Woodruff (1820-1883) to my great grandfather William Earl Woodruff (1848-1928) is a joy to read. It reflects the love and warmth of father for son and gives insight into the goings on in that little part of the Woodruff family 143 years ago.

William, it appears, was trying his hand at wool farming out in San Ysidro, California. He was just 21 years old and still a single guy (he married 2 1/2 yrs later), and appears to have gone cross country from his home in Elizabeth, NJ, to work for Hedden Bruen, possibly the John Hedden Bruen (b. NJ about 1815) who appears in Santa Clara County voting records from that period. The letter mentions a “Charles and Sarah” and I’m quite sure this was a reference to Charles Woodruff (1814-1898), a first cousin of Francis’ (they shared Enos Woodruff as their grandfather). Charles was married to Sarah E. Bruen (1821-1899), so I imagine that Hedden was likely one of Sarah’s brothers.

Redmond Granville's Shepherd Herding Sheep in a Misty Landscape, 1911, Private collection in Irvine, CA (Wikimedia: In Public Domain in USA)

Redmond Granville’s Shepherd Herding Sheep in a Misty Landscape, 1911, Private collection in Irvine, CA (Wikimedia: In Public Domain in USA)

California had been a state for almost 20 years, and the transcontinental railway had been completed a year prior, in 1869, an event that heralded a huge influx of visitors from the east. The letter gives an indication of that at one point in reference to the large number of New Jersey folk wandering about San Francisco. This was a long way from home for William, and to his parents, it probably seemed like he’d gone to the edge of the Earth. But at least they had the ability to communicate via letters. How exciting it used to be to get letters in the mail! I can only imagine how exciting it was for them, especially given that the telephone was not yet an option.

San Francisco Harbor, 1850-1851; with Alcatraz Island in the background. Daguerrotype. |Wikimedia: Source - Library of Congress CALL NUMBER: DAG no. 1330]

San Francisco Harbor, 1850-1851; with Alcatraz Island in the background. Daguerrotype. |Wikimedia: Source – Library of Congress CALL NUMBER: DAG no. 1330]

I love the references to William’s younger siblings, Matthias and Phebe, both also still single, and living at home, and the reference to Mary Jane Trowbridge, William’s mother, who obviously had her reservations about her son’s current enterprises. No reference was made to the oldest child Emma, who was also still likely at home. (Within the next four years, all four of the children would be married: William, 20 Jun 1872; Matthias, 21 Nov 1872; Emma, 16 Sept 1874; and Phebe, 23 Oct 1874. Between them, they produced 16 grandchildren for Francis and Mary Jane who both died in 1883.)

I don’t have any more information about William’s life out West, but I do know he was back home in New Jersey in time for the June 1870 census. What happened between then and his June 1872 marriage, I’ve no idea—perhaps, he went off to dabble in whale fishing like the young man mentioned in the letter? I kind of doubt it—I think that morsel of information would have been passed down through the family!

Below is the letter which I have broken into paragraphs and added punctuation for ease of reading. Comments, corrections, and additional information always welcome. Be sure to click on the Henry Winslow link when you get to it.

Here you go—a slice of life from 1870 (the letter was postmarked 4 February):

Elizabeth Jan. 20th ‘70

Dear Will,

We received your letter yesterday and was glad to hear that you were well. We are getting along here about the same old way. We were not a little surprised to hear of Mr. Bruen’s marriage. I went right down to tell Charles and Sarah. I told them your news from California this time. Sarah guessed right away that Hedden was married and wanted to know all about it: how old his wife was and all the particulars. I told her I was not posted on that score. She had a good laugh over it and I left.

We are having a very mild winter of it. So far we have not got any salt hay yet and at present there is no prospect of it. The weather is warm. No frost in the ground. The roads are very bad today. Matt and I dug that stump of an apple tree that the wind blew down last summer and set another in its place. The Mr. Earles are setting their line fence and they have got a well and cellar dug. Things will look quite different around here in a little while with three new houses between ours and Charles’ well.

William's loving father Francis Woodruff

William’s loving and very supportive father Francis Woodruff; photo from personal family collection

Will, I was going to answer your letter right away as you see from the date but I did not intend to be so long about it. It is now the 30th January and no frost yet. I was at Mr. Jones’ auction the other day and saw a young Sparks [?]. He said he had a letter from his brother. He spoke of your being in San Francisco with him. He said he learned more about the Jersey folks than he could write in a month. I have had a bad cold and was a most sick for a few but am better now. I was afraid I was going to be lame again but have escaped so far pretty well. Phebe has had a slight attack of scarlet fever but is getting better so that she is up today. Matt has gone to Newark for a load of grain with three horses. You know that suits him to make a show with the team. We have a good one now.

Mary Jane Trowbridge, William's concerned Mom

Mary Jane Trowbridge, William’s loving but skeptical Mom; photo from personal family collection

You write about going out tending sheep and as it is Mr. Bruen’s avice [sic] I have some faith in it. It is quite a new kind of life for you but if there is a chance of doing anything worth while and you have a mind to try it I have no objection. But you must do as you think best. You are your own man now and must choose for yourself. We cannot advise you anything about it because we don’t know any of the circumstances. Your Mother thinks it is a wild scheme but I do not think near as bad as whale fishing that Henry Winslow tells us about. By the way he has been here and made us quite a visit. He is a stout fine looking young man. I think he looks something like his Uncle Hedden. He tells us some great whale stories. We were telling about your talking of going round the world. He said if you once got on the water you would never leave it.

Whale Fishing, Currier & Ives, 1850s

Whale Fishing, Currier & Ives, 1850s

You must write as soon as you can and tell us about the country you are in and about wool growing. It would be very pleasant to have you with us here again but if you have a mind to try your luck I’m just as willing to do anything I can for you there as here. I have great confidence in you and think Mr. Bruen would not advise anything but for your good. Mother says give her love to you and I send my own and all the rest of the family.

From your affectionate Father,

Francis Woodruff

Tell us how far out in the country you are.

Envelope and page 4 of Francis' letter to son William

Envelope and page 4 of Francis’ letter to son William

Categories: Ayers, California, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, San Ysidro, Trowbridge, US Federal 1870, Woodruff | 3 Comments

Gaines’ Mill Saved

The Civil War Trust met its $3.2 million fundraising goal to save 285 acres of the Gaines Mill battlefield. This is great news given that according to their website: Nearly 20 percent of America’s Civil War battlefields have already been destroyed — denied forever to future generations. Of those that remain, only 15 percent are protected as National Parks. There is only one National organization working to save all these battlefields: The Civil War Trust.

Gaines’ Mill is where one of my 2nd great grandmother’s brothers, Uzal Trowbridge, was killed in some of the war’s fiercest fighting, on June 27, 1862. This blog contains as much information as I have about him as well as some of the letters he sent home to his nieces and nephews (my great grandfather William Woodruff and his siblings) during his time of service. (For more on Uzal, you can click on the Trowbridge link in the categories column.) To learn more about Gaines Mill, click here.

The Trust is currently seeking help to save:

  • 69 acres at the Glendale, Malvern Hill, and First Deep Bottom battlefields near Richmond, Virginia.
  • 112 acres of the “forgotten flanks” of the Gettysburg Battlefield.
  • Fleetwood Hill, the key portion of the Brandy Station battlefield. This June 9, 1863 battle in Culpeper County, Virginia, marks the opening of the Gettysburg campaign.
  • Slaughter Farm at Fredericksburg, where 5,000 men fell in one bloody afternoon.
Categories: Civil War, Trowbridge, Woodruff | Leave a comment

Death Certificates — Francis and Mary Jane Woodruff

Francis Woodruff

Francis Woodruff

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, mother of Emma, William, Matthias, and Phebe

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, mother of Emma, William, Matthias, and Phebe

I sent off for the death certificates of my 2nd great grandparents, Francis Woodruff and Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, who have been mentioned in numerous previous posts. I’d always wondered what had happened to them since they died in the same year (1883), just months apart. Both were in their early sixties, which probably was considered a good long life at the time. But by today’s standards, of course, that seems quite young. Too young. But the certificates have now arrived in the mail, so we have an idea of what happened to them.

Mary Jane died on February 27, 1883, of Bright’s disease (today known as acute or chronic nephritis, aka kidney inflammation). Francis, a farmer, died on August 8, 1883, at their Conant Street home in Elizabeth, NJ, of dysentery. Both were attended by Dr. G. W. Bailey. Her place of death and last residence were both listed as Lyons Farms, land that eventually became known as Hillside, NJ. I’m not sure what to make of that as I would have thought she lived on Woodruff Farms whose territory included the house on Conant Street and was adjacent to Lyons Farms.

Here is a map showing the division of Woodruff Farms and Lyons Farms in 1700. Conant Street was well within the Woodruff Farms territory.

Categories: Death Certificates, Elizabeth, Union Co., Lyons, Trowbridge, Woodruff | 2 Comments

Our Ancestors Who Fought for Independence

Washington at the Battle of Trenton. An engraving by Illman Brothers. From a painting by. E.L. Henry, 1870. Image in public domain due to expired copyright.

This 4th of July, we remember our ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War and, if they were married at that time, the wives who supported them in their service. Yes, nieces and nephews, these patriots are all directly related to you! They are your fifth/sixth great grandfathers!

      • James Angus (b. 1751 in Scotland; d. 14 Mar 1806) Served in Albany County (NY) militia under Colonel Philip P. Schuyler (DAR ancestor no A002822); married Mary Magdaline Baker after the War (in 1781)
      • Lt. Garrett Brodhead (b. 1733 Marbletown, NY; d. 1804 Stroudsburg, PA), served in the Northampton County, PA militia under Col. Brinigh, and served on the frontier. Somewhere I remember reading that he was friends with Gen. LaFayette, but I can’t remember where; I’ll try to search that out. Married to Jane Davis whose father Frederick also served in the War. Garret signed oath of allegiance. (DAR ancestor no. AO14785). Garrett was the brother of Brig. General Daniel Brodhead whose exploits are well documented. The brothers and their siblings and parents were among the earliest settlers of Pennsylvania’s Minisink Valley, having moved there in 1737 from Marbletown, NY, to settle 1000 acres of purchased land. Stroudsburg was initially known as Dansbury, after Garrett’s father Daniel. Another brother, Luke, also served in the Revolutionary War, attaining the rank of captain and serving on the staff of General Lafayette. From the book Colonial Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania: “He [Luke]enlisted in the spring of 1776 as third lieutenant. First American Rifle Regiment, Colonel William Thompson commanding. He was appointed second lieutenant, October 24, 1776, in Major Simon Williams’ regiment. He was wounded and taken prisoner at battle of Long Island. Later he was commissioned captain of the Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment under Colonel Magaw in Continental service. He retired in 1778 incapacitated by wounds received in battle.”

Brigadier General Daniel Brodhead (1736-1809)

      • Lt. Col. Samuel Crow, b. 1741, Woodbridge, NJ; d. 1801 Woodbridge, NJ; Service in NJ militia. (DAR Ancestor no: A028247); married to Elizabeth Potter.
      • Frederick Davis b. 1701, Marbletown, NY; d. 1804 Stroudsburg, PA; Per Sylvester’s History of Ulster Co., NY, p. 74, Frederick signed articles of association for Ulster Co. (DAR Ancestor no: A030300); married to Margerie Van Leuven.
      • Andrew Dingman Jr. b. 1752 Northampton Co., PA; d. 1839 Pike Co., PA. Served in the NJ militia as a staff officer with Captains Van Etten, Nelson, Homer, Westbrook; Took oath of allegiance in 1777. (DAR ancestor no. A032282).  Married to Jane Westbrook. Father of Daniel Westbrook Dingman whose daughter Cornelia was married to Garret Brodhead (1793-1872).
      • Andrew Dingman Sr. b. 1711 Kinderhook, Albany Co. NY; d. 1796 Dingman’s Ferry, Northampton Co., PA. Signed oath of allegiance in 1777; suffered depredations (DAR ancestor no. A032281). Married to Cornelia Kermer. Father of the aforementioned Andrew Dingman Jr.
      • Capt. Samuel Drake, b. 1740 New Jersey; d. 1789 Lower Smithfield, Northampton Co., PA. Served in Capt. Jacob Stroud’s company (4th Battalion) of Pennsylvania militia, 1775, and as captain, 1776. (DAR ancestor no. A033472); married to Sarah Handy.
      • Colonel James Easton (1728-96), was with Ethan Allen at Ticonderoga; commanded a Berkshire County regiment in the Canadian expedition, 1775.  B. Hartford, CT; d. Pittsfield, MA. (DAR ancestor no. A035836); married to Eunice Pomeroy.
      • Normand Easton b. 25 Jun 1758, Litchfield, CT; d. 1806, Greenville, NY; Private; served under Capt. Hine, Lt. Wm Preston, 13th Regiment Militia (DAR Ancestor no: A035842); married Merab Perry after the war.
      • Pvt. Hezekiah Hand, b. cir 1730, d. ante 28 April 1800 in Westfield, NJ; private in the Essex Co., NJ militia, serving under Captain Benjamin Laing. (DAR ancestor no. A050961); married to Nancy.
      • Samuel Barron Jaques, b. abt. 1740, d. 1798 Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ; commanded Rahway Company during the Revolutionary War; married to Mary Coddington.
      • Pvt. Isaac Newman (1731-1808), served as a private in the Associated Exempts of Westchester County at the battle of White Plains. b. Stamford, CT., d. Charlton, N. Y. (DAR ancestor no. A082986); married to Abigail Webb.

Campaigns of the American Revolution 1775-1781 (copyright-free image from Ookaboo)

      • Shubael Trowbridge, b. 1739 Morristown, NJ; d. 1782 Hanover, Morris Co., NJ. Served as a private in Capt. James Keene’s Company, Eastern Battalion, Morris County (NJ) Militia (also known as “The Rams Horns Brigades” (DAR ancestor no. A116272); married to Mary Bayles.
      • David Wait, b. 1754 Edinburgh, Scotland; d. 1810 Perth Amboy, NJ. According to the 1893 Biographical and portrait cyclopedia of the Third congressional district of New Jersey, he came to the colonies as a British soldier, took part in an engagement at Manhattan Island, and was taken prisoner by Americans and retained as a POW in Jamestown, VA, until peace was proclaimed. He then went to Sussex, Essex Co., NJ, and finally settled in Perth Amboy, where he began working as a carpenter in the building known as the “Old Castle” on Water Street, the oldest building in the city. An entirely different account was offered by Harlan Mendenhall in his 1903 book, Presbyterianism in Perth Amboy, New Jersey: “He ran away from his native land to escape service in the army, but the troublous times in America aroused his sympathy and he enlisted in the Continental army. He was captured by the British forces and incarcerated in the Barracks. When peace was declared he became a resident in the city and his descendants are now on the rolls of our church.” Married Irene Bell after the war (in 1784).
      • Johannis Westbrook (DAR Ancestor no: A123311); married to Marie.
      • Capt. Martinus Westbrook, b. 1754, Sussex Co., NJ; d. 1813, Sussex Co., NJ. Served as a captain, 3rd Regiment, Sussex Co., NJ, Militia. (DAR ancestor no. A123311); married to Margaret Lowe.
      • Lt. Elias Winans, b. 1742, Elizabethtown, NJ; d. 1789, Elizabethtown, NJ. Service: New Jersey (DAR ancestor no. A128111); married to Esther Perlee.
      • Pvt. Enos Woodruff, b. 1749 Elizabethtown, NJ; d. 1821 Elizabethtown, NJ; served as a private in the Essex Co., NJ, militia. (DAR ancestor no. A128636); married to Charity Ogden.
      • Major Reuben Potter, b. 1717 Woodbridge, NJ; d. 1799 Woodbridge, NJ; served under Col. Nathaniel Heard, lst Regiment, New Jersey Militia; married to Deborah (last name?, d. Oct 1, 1762).

Happy 4th of July!

Categories: Angus, Brodhead, Crow, DAR numbers, Dingman, Drake, Easton, Fourth of July, Gen. Lafayette, Hand, Jaques, Newman, Revolutionary War, Trowbridge, Veteran's Day, Westbrook, Winans, Woodruff | 1 Comment

Appomattox: Our Links to a Major Historic Event

Surrender at the Appomattox, Palm Sunday, Apr 9, 1865 (Image in public domain)

Well, it’s almost a year ago that I was posting Civil War letters written by the Trowbridge brothers, Uzal (Company A, 1st New Jersey Volunteer Regiment) and his older brother Henry. Uzal did not make it; he was killed early on during the Battle of Gaines’ Mill in June of 1862, a brutal event that shook those present that day to the core of their beings. The loss of Uzal must have been a major blow to the Trowbridge family. Brother Henry entered service shortly after Uzal was killed, in August 1862, serving in the 14th NJ Volunteer Infantry. Somehow he made it through to the end, and went on to marry and have children. I’ll never forget that one letter of his in particular, from February 1864, in which he spoke of wanting to get home for what may be his last chance to see his loved ones. He equated going into battle with being part of a flock of birds under fire. Who lived and who died was all so random:

I am sorrow you cannot give me some excuse to get home. for this winter may be my last chance. if I do not get home this winter, I may never get home.  It is all chance. it is the same as if you shoot into a flock of birds and those you hapen to hit must fall and the rest go on untill the next time and leave you behind. they may bury you and they may not just as it happens and how much time they have to do it. but there is no use in talking we may as well laugh as to cry and base it as we have done so far.

Imagine being my great grandfather William Woodruff, to whom the letter was written. He was only 15 at the time. I know when I was that age, a letter like that would have made a huge impression on me. Without a doubt, such frank talk would have lingered in William’s mind for a long time. Thankfully Henry had a happy ending, though who knows what terrifying scenes must have stayed with him until his passing in 1898 at 63.

Well, why am I bringing this up again? Well, I discovered something very interesting recently. I subscribe to Genealogy Bank and was doing some digging in a Jersey City newspaper called The Jersey Journal. My great grandfather William Trewin lived in Jersey City as did his sister Emma. William met his wife Elizabeth Sargent in Jersey City, and that may well be where Emma met her future husband Francis C. (FC) Ludey. Emma and Francis made their home in nearby Bayonne. William and Elizabeth settled in Elizabeth, a bit further away. Genealogy Bank does not have many New Jersey newspapers, unfortunately. I had been hoping I could access the old Elizabeth Daily Journal, but that’s not on there. But, there is a ton of stuff from the The Jersey Journal, so I was trolling for articles on the Trewins, Sargents, and Ludeys. In the process, I stumbled on an obituary notice for FC Ludey (published 19 Jan 1918) and it mentions that he was present at the Appomattox Courthouse for Lee’s surrender to Grant.  And, as Francis served in the 14th NJ Volunteer Regiment with Henry Trowbridge, something I discovered a while ago and mentioned in this blog at that time, that means (of course!) that Henry was present for the surrender, too. And I thought that was pretty amazing. Talk about having a front row seat to history. Uzal could not be there to witness the end; but at least Henry got to do that for him. So this great historic connection has been there all along, and I am only putting two and two together now. Shame on me, but better late than never I suppose. Still, I cannot help hearing the words of my old high school physics teacher who used to say in response to such a statement: “Better never late.” But that is neither here nor there.

The text of Francis’ obituary reads as follows:
Funeral services for Francis C. Ludey, 73 years old were held at his late home, 75 West 42nd Street last night. Rev. M.Y. Bovard, pastor of the First M.E. Church, officiated. There were present delegations from Bayonne Council, Royal Arcanum, Odd Fellows, and a number of C.A.R. men. Mr. Ludey, being a veteran of the Civil War and present when Gen. Lee surrendered to Gen. Grant at Appomattox. James S. Coward, who was closely associated with Mr. Ludey in affairs of the First M.E. Church Sunday School, was among the mourners.

Francis C. Ludey; this may well have been taken for the Memorial Day event of 1917 at which he was a speaker (Personal Collection of Ruth Kirby Dean)

Included here is a photo of F.C. Ludey, courtesy of his 2nd great granddaughter Ruth Dean. I found an article describing Memorial Day celebrations in Bayonne in May 1917, and Francis was a featured speaker at that event. It may well be that this photo was taken on that very day.

For details of service for the 14th NJ Volunteer Regiment, click here.
For a list of NJ Civil War units, click here.
For the monument to the 14th NJ Regiment at Monocacy, click here.

Categories: Appomattox, Bayonne, Civil War, Grant, Gen. Ulysses S., Jersey City, Hudson Co., Lee General Robert E, Ludey, Memorial Day, Obituaries, Sargent, Trewin, Trowbridge, Woodruff | Leave a comment

The Pre-1900s Weekday Wedding – Past Wedding Traditions

Dress, Evening; 1850-1855; silk, cotton; Metropolitan Museum of Art (accession no. 2009.300.921a, b); visit http://www.metmuseum.org

A while back I read an article on pre-twentieth-century weddings and how the bride would not wear white or have a special dress made, but would appear in her very best dress, whatever color of dress that may have been–black, brown, dark green, and so on. Black would have been handy because it could do double duty as mourning attire. Plaids and florals were also very popular at one time. The idea of purchasing a dress that would only be worn once would have seemed very wasteful, apart from probably being prohibitively expensive (a white dress even more so–imagine trying to clean it without today’s technologies).

Wedding Ensemble, 1878, American, silk, Metropolitan Museum of Art (accession no. 2009.300.18a, b); visit http://www.metmuseum.org

It was only when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840 in a white satin gown specially made for the occasion, that brides began clamoring for white gowns, but a trend did not really come about until the late 1800s when such dresses could be better produced, transported, and marketed to the public, and were more affordable for the everyday woman.

Weddings often took place in the evening at the home of the bride, often on weekdays, particularly on Thursday evenings. This allowed the work of the day (weekends included), whether on the farm or elsewhere, to be accomplished and livelihoods thus maintained.

Honeymoon photo, Frank M. Brodhead and Fannie Bishop Woodruff, married June 6, 1908

Honeymoon photo, Frank M. Brodhead and Fannie Bishop Woodruff, married June 6, 1908

A handy day of week calendar allows you to take any date in history and find out what day of the week it was.  I decided to randomly check on some wedding dates I have in my database to see on which days weddings most often fell. As you can see, at least in my little random sample, they fell on all days of the week apart from Friday, with Thursday edging out the other days. And, while June is now the most popular month for weddings, I only found three ceremonies that fell in that month.

Sunday
John Woodruff and Mary Ogden Earl, 2/16/1817
Thomas Trewin and Mary Anne Phillips, 1/27/1839
James W. Angus and Anna Carpenter, 2/27/1870

Monday
John Woodruff and Sarah Cooper, 10/25/1683

Tuesday
George Wills and Mary Pitt Capon, 4/14/1812
Capt. Daniel Brodhead and Hester Wyngart, 9/19/1719
Calvin Easton Brodhead and Laura Leisenring, 12/6/1870
James Easton Brodhead and Harriet Boyd, 5/1/1877
Sampson Wills and Ann Gadsden, 9/22/1789

Wednesday
Francis Woodruff and Mary Jane Trowbridge, 11/12/1845
AJ Brodhead and Ophelia Easton, 12/31/1845
Austin F. Knowles and Mary M. Angus, 9/4/1867

Thursday
Henry Jaques, Sr. and Anna Knight, 10/8/1648
Henry Jaques, Jr. and Hannah Trueman, 4/10/1670
Lt. Garret Brodhead and Jane Davis, 3/15/1759
Garret Brodhead and Cornelia Dingman, 11/25/1813
William Earl Woodruff and Wealthy Ann Angus, 6/20/1872
Robert Packer Brodhead and Frances Loveland, 5/23/1889
Frank Ludey and Metta Ryman, 6/18/1896
Minnie Ludey and Herbert Duryea Crane, 9/24/1897

Saturday
Capt. Richard Brodhead and Magdalena Jansen, 4/19/1692
Timothy Woodruff and Elizabeth Parsons, 9/25/1739
James Winans Angus and Wealthy Ann Jaques, 1/26/1839
Frank Brodhead and Fannie Woodruff, 6/6/1908

For an interesting article on wedding fashions, visit the Monroe County [PA] Historical Society’s site.

I’ll close by including some wedding announcements of various family members. Two have appeared in previous posts, but the other two (of the Ludey siblings) are appearing in this blog for the first time. Wish we had some photos!

Brodhead-Woodruff Wedding Announcement (Probably clipped from the Elizabeth Daily Journal) - from our family's private archives

Brodhead-Woodruff Wedding Announcement (Probably clipped from the Elizabeth Daily Journal) – from our family’s private archives

Brodhead-Loveland Marriage Announcement, 1889

Frank T. Ludey Jr. (1871-1900), age 21  (Courtesy of Ruth Kirby Dean, great granddaughter)

Frank T. Ludey Jr. (1871-1900), age 21 (Courtesy of Ruth Kirby Dean, great granddaughter)

Ludey-Ryman Wedding, The New York Times, 6/19/1896

Mary ("Minnie") Emma Ludey (1873-1938), age 21 (Courtesy of Ruth Kirby Dean, great granddaughter)

Mary (“Minnie”) Emma Ludey (1873-1938), age 21 (Courtesy of Ruth Kirby Dean, great granddaughter)

Herbert Duryea Crane  (Courtesy of Ruth Kirby Dean, great granddaughter)

Herbert Duryea Crane (Courtesy of Ruth Kirby Dean, great granddaughter)

Ludey-Crane Marriage, Jersey City, The Evening Journal, 9/24/1897

Ludey-Crane Marriage, Jersey City, The Evening Journal, 9/24/1897

Categories: Angus, Brodhead, Crane, Dingman, Easton, Jaques, Knowles, Ludey, Phillips, Ryman, Trewin, Trowbridge, Weddings, Woodruff | Leave a comment

Francis Woodruff Family

The last ten days or so have had me turning my attention to the Francis Woodruff family. Seems like every now and then, a variety of circumstances come together and put the spotlight on one particular person or family line. So why Francis Woodruff and his wife Mary Jane Trowbridge? Well, it began when I heard from a Find a Grave volunteer photographer who notified me she had photographed the graves of their son William Earl Woodruff, his wife Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff, and one of William and Wealthy’s six daughters, Bertha Winans Woodruff (who has her own post in this blog). And, at roughly the same time, I heard from a descendant of Emma Woodruff, William’s sister, who discovered this blog and decided to get in touch. She was able to provide many details on Emma’s descendants. (All I had previously known about Emma was that she had married a dentist and lived with him in Brooklyn, NY.) A highlight of doing this blog, by the way, is hearing from distant relations; it is fascinating and enormous fun to meet cousins, no matter how many times removed, and compare information.

Francis Woodruff

Francis Woodruff

Francis Woodruff was a descendant of John Woodruff (b. 1637) who, in 1639, arrived as a toddler in Lynn, Massachusetts, from Kent, England, with his stepfather John Gosmer and mother Anne Gosmer (widow of John Woodruff (1574-1611) as well as Anne’s parents. The family settled the following year in Southampton, Long Island, making them one of the original families there. In 1664, John (the younger), by then married to Sarah Ogden of Stamford, Connecticut, and a group of Englishmen–the Elizabethtown Associates–from Eastern Long Island bought land in New Jersey from the Lenape sachem (the paramount chief), Mattano, and thus began settling the area now known as Elizabeth, NJ, then known as Elizabethtown. (To view a historical timeline for Elizabeth, click here). John and Sarah Woodruff’s son, John (b. 1665), was described in the Woodruff Chronicles (Vol. II, A.H. Clark Co., 1967, p. 27) as the “first white child” born in Elizabethtown. John Woodruffe the elder died in Southampton in 1670 and was buried in the old burial ground there.

View Near Elizabethtown, NJ, oil painting by Régis François Gignoux, 1847; Honolulu Academy of Arts (in public domain, copyright expired)

Of course, over the next 200 years, as the number of descendants grew, the size of land allotted to various descendents varied inversely. Still by the time of the 1870 census, Francis, then 50 years of age, listed his land value as $40,000 (in today’s money, that would be roughly $693,000), and his personal wealth as $12,000 (approx. $208,000 in today’s currency). So all things considered, Francis and family were doing quite nicely. Francis and Mary Jane Woodruff, as you may recall from previous posts [for Woodruff-related posts, click on Woodruff in the surname category on the right side of this page], had four children.

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, mother of Emma, William, Matthias, and Phebe

Mary Jane Trowbridge Woodruff, mother of Emma, William, Matthias, and Phebe

All of this prompted me to do a bit of digging on the Family Search website for Emma and William’s other siblings, Matthias and Phebe, and I found some descendants of theirs as well. Interestingly, Matthias and Phebe married two other siblings, Mary Agnes Ayers and Isaac Ayers, respectively. The latter were the children of Ezra Ayers (b. New Jersey) and his wife Mary (b. England). So, a number of upcoming posts will be about the Francis Woodruff family, the more immediate members of which appear below. The descendants of Emma Woodruff may help me put together a post about Emma and family. Stay tuned!

Francis Woodruff (1820-1883) and Mary Jane Trowbridge (1821-1883)

Emma W. Woodruff b. 1846, d. 19 May 1923, Hillside, Union Co., NJ
| +John W. Dickinson b. 1844, d. 9 Oct 1916, New York)
| |–2-John Woodruff Dickinson b. 1875
| |–2-Mary E. Dickinson b. 1877, New York, NY; d. betw 1910-1920
| | +William Chester Lamb b. 1878, New York, NY, d. 1946, New
| | York City, NY, bur. Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY
| | |–3-Edna S. Lamb b. 1900, New York, USA, d. 1994,
| | | Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ
| | | +Goddard
| | |–3-Florence A. Lamb b. 27 Mar 1903, New York, NY, d. Apr 1984,
| | | Irvington, Essex Co., NJ, USA
| | +John Mansel Britt b. 19 Sep 1896, d. 1970
| | |–4-Living Britt
| | |–4-Living Britt
| | |–4-Grace Adele Britt b. 1928, d. 1975
| |–2-Mabel T. Dickinson b. 1880, Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY, d. 1967
| |–2-Anne L. Dickinson b. 1886


William Earl Woodruff b. 4 Oct 1849, d. 18 Oct 1928
| +Wealthy Ann Angus b. 5 Aug 1850, d. 27 May 1927
| |–2-Jennie Belle Woodruff b. 24 Nov 1873, d. 20 Oct 1955, 17 Wilder St.,
| | Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, bur. Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ
| | +Charles Clarence Coleman b. 25 Nov 1877, d. 28 Dec 1953
| | |–3-Jennie Belle Coleman b. 11 Oct 1914, Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ, d. 12
| | | Jun 1997, Cumming, Forsyth Co., Georgia, bur. Evergreen Cemetery,
| | | Hillside, Union, NJ
| |–2-Flora M. Woodruff b. Apr 1877, New Jersey
| | +Baker d. Bef 1920
| | |–3-Norman Baker b. 1909
| | +John Jacob Ulrich b. 19 May 1884, Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ
| |–2-Cecelia R. Woodruff b. Nov 1878, New Jersey
| |–2-Fannie Bishop Woodruff b. Jun 1882, New Jersey, d. 5 Sep 1965, Abbott
| | Manor Nursing Home, Plainfield, Union Co., NJ, bur. Evergreen Cemetery,
| | Hillside, Union Co., NJ
| | +Frank Martin Brodhead b. 5 Feb 1882, Perth Amboy, Middlesex Co., NJ, d.
| | 8 May 1951, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, bur. Evergreen Cemetery,
| | Hillside, Union Co., NJ
| | |–3-Frank Martin Brodhead Jr.
| | |–3-Woodruff Martin Brodhead b. 1912 d. 2004
| | |–3-Charles Douglas Brodhead b. 1921 d. 1992
| |–2-Wealthy Mildred Woodruff b. May 1884, New Jersey
| | +Dr. G. Carlton Brown b. 1865, New Jersey
| | |–3-Richard A. Brown b. 1920
| |–2-Bertha Winans Woodruff b. 28 Oct 1888, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ, d. 1
| | Mar 1973, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ

Matthias Woodruff b. 1851, d. 6 Apr 1892, Chatham, Morris Co., NJ
| +Mary Agnes Ayers b. 1854
| |–2-Frances Woodruff b. Abt 1875

Phebe M. Woodruff b. 11 Oct 1855, Union Twp, Essex, NJ
+Isaac J. Ayers b. Jan 1848, New Jersey
|–2-Anna W. Ayers b. Aug 1875, Newark, Essex Co., NJ
|–2-Charles S. Ayers b. May 1878, New Jersey
|–2-Amy M. Ayers b. Jul 1888, New Jersey
|–2-Isaac Ayers b. Abt 1880, Newark, Essex Co., NJ

Categories: Angus, Dickinson, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Lamb, Trowbridge, US Federal 1870, Woodruff | 5 Comments

Campaign to save Gaines’ Mill

Yesterday I received an interesting e-newsletter from the Civil War Trust. According to their mission statement, they are the largest non-profit organization (501-C3) in the US that is devoted to the preservation of America’s endangered Civil War battlefields. They also promote “educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to inform the public of the war’s history and the fundamental conflicts that sparked it.”

You may recall the numerous posts I wrote about Uzal Trowbridge who died during the Battle of Gaines’ Mill. Well, interestingly the Trust has an opportunity to preserve 285 acres of the former battlefield that have become available for purchase. They need to raise $1.2 million, and donations are being matched at $2.67 for every $1.00 donated. The Trust states that if they can save this battleground it will be one of their greatest achievements thus far. The additional 285 acres will expand what of the battlefield is currently preserved by 400 percent.

For more information about this extremely worthwhile cause, visit their website. Sounds like you can trust that your donations, if made, will be in good hands. They have a 4-star rating with Charity Navigator.

Categories: Civil War, Gaines's Mill, VA, Trowbridge | Leave a comment

Trowbridges and Tudor Tavern, plus Trowbridge web links

Tudor Tavern, 15 Fore Street, Taunton, Somerset, England

Yesterday I came across this old image of Tudor Tavern at 15 Fore Street in Taunton, Somerset, England. It’s the building to the left of the shop with the “F. Mead” sign. For a contemporary view of the tavern, visit the English Heritage site. The Tudor Tavern’s “bones” date back to the 14th century. The initials TT and IT are carved into a panel attached to the front of the building. Between the sets of initials is the date 1578. Today the building is operated as a Caffe Nero coffee shop according to Wikipedia. Why would this tavern be interesting to our family? Well, for good reason. It was leased and operated for over thirty years, beginning in 1578, by our ancestor Thomas Trowbridge (1542-1619), a prominent wool merchant, and his wife Joan Hutchins. They remodeled it in 1578 and affixed their initials to it (apparently “J” and “I” were used interchangeably at the time).

For more illuminating information on Thomas and his family, visit this useful website: http://silvie.tripod.com/Trow1.html

By the way, I have discovered that the Trowbridge family history is extremely well documented. The below websites contain a sampling of the copious amounts of information available. The fourth site listed is the 1908 book, History of the Trowbridge Family in America, written by Francis Baker Trowbridge and published in New Haven, CT. Its copyright has expired so it is available for free for viewing online or downloading. Happy reading!

Categories: Taunton, Somerset, Trowbridge, Woodruff | 2 Comments

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