John Woodruff

M, #13603, b. 1637, d. 27 April 1691
Father*John Woodruff1 b. 1604, d. 9 May 1670
Mother*Anne Gosmer1
ChartsBentley (maternal side) - Phoebe Meredith Frey
Note*  Arrived with his parents at Lynn MA 1639, settled in 1640 in Southampton, LI, NY as one of the first families; The Southampton contract of 10 March 1640 names amongst the settlers John Woodruff, John Gosmer, Henry Pierson, Abraham Pierson, John Lum and Benjamin Haynes. One of the founding fathers and influential men in Elizabethtown, NJ; an original Elizabethtown associate of 1664; received a 3rd lot right. Inherited from his 'adopted' father, John Gosmer, extensive land holdings in Southampton, LI, NY, which he used to purchase land in Elizabethtown, NJ. Married 2nd Mary Parkhurst, sister of Benjamin Parkhurst. Officers of the Militia sworne in, 14 SEP 1673 by order of the Council ofWar, Elizabethtown, N.J; Capt. Jacob Melyn, Lieut. Isaac Whitehead andEnsign John Woodruff. Ensign on 15 Jul 1675. Constable for Elizabethtown, 11 DEC 1674 High Sheriff of Essex Co., 28 NOV 1684 'He is first mentioned in the Southampton Records on April 30, 1657, when he and his father were among 40 persons to whom powder was issued to repel a threatened attack by Indians. As early as February 20, 1659, he was a land owner in Southampton, and at about that time he married Sarah Ogden, daughter of the prominent 'Mr John Ogden' of that town. In confirmation, is the acknowledging entry of September 7, 1665, (RS LL, p 236) whereby 'Mr John Ogden doth acknowledge that what land or housing or priviledges thereunto belonging, which he bought of his COUSIN John Ogden, he ye said Mr. Ogden did make over all the same unto his sone in law John Woodruff, that it became his.' On May 1st, 1663, John Woodruff Jr. and Samuel Cleark were chosen 'cunstables' to execute according to warrent upon the water as well as at land within our limits. (RS II, p 221)' 'On July 19, 1663, James Herrick transferred to him 1 1/2 acres in Halsey's Neck in exchange for 1 acre 'sometime belonging unto Mr. John Ogden, & lying by ye side of the said James Herrick his home lot, unto which exchange the said John Woodruff consenteth.' By deed of October 18, 1663, 'John Woodruff Junr. has sold to William Ludlam his interest in a parcel of land lying at the head of the mill pond, 36 acres, for which he has received full satisfaction. (signed) John Woodruff Junr.' He also made an exchange of land with Edmond Howell whereby Howell transferred 4 acres in Halsey's neck, 5 acres in the 10 acre lot furlong, next to the plain gate, and 2 acres in saik furlong, next to John Woodruff Sen. in exchange for 8 acres in Cooper's Neck, next to Howell's land. (RS II, p 223, 225.)' 'In 1665, in prepartation for his removal to Elizabeth Town with John Ogden, his father in law, Elder brother John Woodruff disposed of the following holdings, in addition to the Obadiah Rogers and Isaac Halsey transactions; August 29th, to Francis Sayre, 8 acres at Captain's Neck, bounded north by thomas Sayre and south by Joshua Barnes. (RS II p 48); September 2, to William Russell, a 50 acre commonage (RS II p 48); September 6, 1665 to Ann Phillips, the 4 acres he had purchased form Edmond Howell; to Robert Wooley, the acre of land in Captain's Neck (RS II p 236); and on the following day, September 7, 1665, 'John Woodruff Jun. doth acknowledge to have sould and delivered unto Robert Wooley all that housing and land aand privileges of John Ogden of Southampton, and which ye said Mr. Ogden made over unto him the said John Woodruff, ye said bargain being on record in this book. (RS II p 236.)' ' Elder brother John Woodruff removed to and became one of the founders of Elizabeth Town, where is first mentioned 'Rights of land due, according to the concessions of the Lords Proprietors of the Province of East Jersey of 10 February 1664, were each assigned to John Woodruff of Elizabeth town, his wife, and three servants.' * Brief Early History of Elizabeth, NJ From the official website of Elizabeth, NJ On October 28, 1664, the Indians of Staten Island sold to John Bailey, Daniel Denton and Luke Watson, a tract of land lying between the Raritan River and the Passaic River, extending westward from Newark Bay. The tract extended about 34 miles between the two rivers and about17 miles westward from Newark Bay, comprising 500,000 acres. It included what is now the City of Elizabeth. The purchase price was 20 fathoms of trading cloth, two 'made' coats, two guns, two kettles, ten bars of lead, 20 handsful of powder, and 400 fathoms of white wampum. The purchase price was payable in one year after the territory was occupied, indicating that even this small sum was difficult to meet in those early days. Permission to purchase from the Indians was granted by Colonel Richard Nicolls who was Governor of all the territories in North America. Colonel Nicolls was Governor by virtue of appointment by the then Duke of York, who had been granted the territories in North America by King Charles the Second of England. The deed of conveyance from the Indians was delivered on December 1, 1664 to John Baker, John Ogden, John Bailey and Luke Watson (Denton having sold his interest to Baker and Ogden). The four grantees took possession of the tract by building at least four houses before April1665 and thus the settlement and development of Elizabeth began. Neither Governor Nicolls nor the purchasers knew that on June 24, 1664, the Duke of York had conveyed to Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret the tract of land known as New Jersey. Berkeley and Carteret commissioned Philip Carteret, a relative of Sir George, as Governor of New Jersey and he arrived in August 1665 with a group of settlers and servants. Colonel Nicolls and Governor Carteret worked together, despite the confusion as to ownership of the land and developed the new town which they called Elizabethtown, probably so named in honor of Elizabeth, the wife of Sir George Carteret. Houses were constructed by the settlers and also a church where the First Presbyterian Church now stands on Broad Street next to the Courthouse. Governor Carteret made Elizabethtown the capital of the province of New Jersey and the first legislature met here on May 30, 1668. 'There is on record a 'Patent of land to John Woodruff of Elizabeth Town, dated 10 June 1676, for 1. a part of a homelot of 1 1/2 acres bounded south , north, and east by highways and west by John Ogden Jr; 2. a farm of 292 acres along the Dismal Swamp and John Parker; 3. 30 acres of meadow adjoining the Great Island and north of John Parker; 4. 15 acres on the north neck, 5. 5 acres east of the preceeding and northwest of Leonard Headley; 6. 8 acres in the rear of Jonathan and Joseph Ogden, 7. 4 acres of meadow upon said creek, east of Peter Wolverson; 9. 6 acres of upland adjoining John Parkhurst's homelot, east of John Wilson; 10. 4 acres of swampy meadow adjoining parcels No. 7.' (AJN XXI, p 23.)' * 'By deed of September 18, 1685, John Woodruff of Elizabeth Town, to his eldest son John Woodruff, for one-half of his dwelling house in Elizabethtown, with half the barn and orchards; also a piece of meadow near the mouth of Elizabeth Town creek, bought of Isaac Whithead, and a lot of meadow bought of Stephen Osburne of Elizabeth Town.' (AJN XXI, p 164.) By deed of July 5, 1686, Elder brother John Woodruff transferred to his son Jonathan Woodruff 50 acres on the north side of the town and the brook running past his house, excepting 4 acres between the meadow and barnfield. (AJN XXI, p 164.)' 'On August 16, 1686, a patent of land was issued to John Woodruff Sr. of Elizabeth Town for; 1. 43 acres, being an island or hammock in the great meadow; 2. 26 acres bounded south by grantee, north and east round about the brook in the swamp; 3. 32 acres of hammocks bounded south by George Morriesse, east by a creek, and west by grantee, 4. 12 acres bounded notheast by the road from Elizabeth Town to Governour's Point, southeast by Ephraim Baker, northeast by a little gully, west by the commons; 6. 5 acres of meadow bounded south by Hur Thompson, north by Leonard Headley, west by common lands, east by the Newark Bay. (ANJ XXI, p 88.)' 'The Last Will and Testament of Mr John Woodruffe of Elizabeth Town' ' I John Woodruffe Senr. of Elizabeth towne in the county of Essex in the province of East-New Jersey being in the hazard of life by reason of distempers prevailing upon me yet in sound memory and judgement Doe make this my last will and testment as followeth. Imprimis I resign my imortal soul into the hand of my blessed redeemer in hopes of eternal salvation through his grace. And my body to christian buriall in the earth, in faith of a glorious resurection. As for my worldly Estate, I doe hereby Dispose as followeth. I give unto my beloved wife Mary, Fourty pounds & a mare called Bonny, to be to her, her heirs and assigns forever, which is according to agreement between us in law of all demands dower or thirds that otherwise might be challenged, & she ye said Mary my wife is herewith fully satisfied and contented, & doth hereby free my estate from any further clains to any part thereof, as her subscription to this my will doth testifie. Item -I give unto my said beloved eife one book intitled Closet Prayer or the private Key to heaven, & liberty to live in and freely enjoy convenient roome in my hous at the farm as lon as she shall remain my widow. Item -I give unto my son John Woodruff for ye enlargement of his yard, from ye norwest corner of his garden to the s w corner of the barn & so by the great doors to the street upon a straight line, and an acre and half of meadow in the Creek, which was formerly John Dickensons, & half that piece of land lying at ye rear of Jonathan and Joseph Ogdens lotte. Item -I give unto my son Benjamin Woodruff the remaining half of my home lotts at Towne with the reminder of the pitte (part?) not already given to my son John Woodruff, & the remaining half of that land at ye rear of Jonathan & Joseph Ogdens lotts, & my lott of meadow in the creek, & one half of the barn at the Towne. Item -I give unto my son Joseph Woodruff my house, barn & other buildings at ye farm, with that part of the clear land that is bounded by Jonathan of the north a white oak bushe marked on two sides the line running from said marked tree south'ly to a corner of a swamp & themce to John Parker's line- and upon the west bounded by the brook & on the east the meadow adjoining to said land, also the 3d meadow bounded by the brook & on the east by the great creek, & on the south by the creek that parts the two hamocks, together with the hassocks within sais bounds, also ten acres of land adjoining jonathan Woodruff on north & to rum to ye easterly putting out of ye swamp, & the brook by the house on the east & my will is that said son Joseph Woodruff shall pay six pounds ten shillings to his brother Benjamin Woodruff, & also six punds ten shillings to his brother Daniel Woodruff, my son. Item -I give unto my son David Woodruff fourty and five acres at my farm, beginning at the sout line of Joseph's ten acres, with the brook eastward and southward & so to run in length to the east line of my farme, also fifteen acres of meadow bounded on the West by the gravel crek & on the south by John Parker's land. item -I give unto my son Daniel Woodruff that tract of land at my farme bounded northly by the highway, on the east by Joseph Woodruff's land & by John parkers's lines on ye south and west, and all that tract of meadow on the south of the crek that parts the two hammocks & by the great creek on the east, my lines of meadow being the south and west bounds thereof. Item -I will the rest of my land and meadow shall be equally divided to my five sons, Jonathan, David, Joseph, & Daniel & Benjamin Woodruff. Item -For my moveables, my younger sons first being made equal with that what John & Jonathan have had of me in moveables & my daughter Elizabeth equal with here sister Sarah and Hannah, the rest of my movealbes shall by equally divided to my nine children. Item -I constitute and appoint my sons John, Jonathan, David, & Joseph Woodruff Executors of this my last will & testament & John Harriman, Jonathan Ogden & John Parker overseers, as witnell my hand and seal this twenty-seventh of April in the year of our Lord, one thousand, six hundren, ninety and one & in the third year of the Reign of our souvn Lord & Lady William and Mary by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France, & Ireland & Queen, defenders of the faith etc. John Woodruff senr; Mary Woodruff May 11, 1691, Isaac Whitehead, witnesses, attests May 11, 1691, William Brown, Witness, attests.' Transcript of original will in Vol 4, unrecorded Wills, p 289 The original will recorded in Book D of Deed, pps 283 -285 'Letters Testimonial. The will of John Woodruff senior late of Elizabeth Town in the county of Essex, deceased, & hereunto annexed the 15th day of May 1691 was proven before Richard Townlie and Henry Lyon Esquires, two the their Majesties of the peace for the said country of Essec.' Grants administration of the goods and chattels & credits of said deceased unto John, Jonathan, David, and Joseph Woodruff the executors therof named. (A brief abstract of the above will appear in ANJ, XXI, p 186) * CNW I p 36 -50 Name: John Woodruff, senior Date: 27 Apr 1691 Location: Elizabeth Town Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Vol. I 1670-1730 N. J. Archives, XXI., p. 186 will of. Wife, Mary. Sons--John, Jonathan, Benjamin, Joseph, David, Daniel. Daughters--Elizabeth, Sarah, Hanna. Real and personal estate. Executors--sons John, Jonathan, David and Joseph, with John Herriman, Jonathan Ogden and John Parker as overseers. Witnesses--Isaac Whitehead, William Browne. Proved May 11, 1691. Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Vol. II 1730-1750. Part II Appendix 1691, April [May?], 16. Letters issued to the executors named. 1691 May 4. Inventory of the personal estate, Ð184.-.-; made by George Ross and Benjamin Griffith. Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Vol. I 1670-1730 Page: 522 Name: John Woodruff, senior Date: 27 Apr 1691 Location: Elizabeth Town Occupation: Constable 12/11/1674 adn high sheriff 11/28/1684; commisionedensign of the Elizabeth Foot Company 1668-1670.1 
Birth*1637 John Woodruff was born in 1637 at Sturry, Kent, England.1 
Marriage*1659 He married Mary Ogden, daughter of John Ogden and Jane Bond, in 1659.1 
Death*27 April 1691 John Woodruff died on 27 April 1691 at Elizabethtown, New Jersey.1 


Mary Ogden b. 1643, d. 7 Jun 1729
Last Edited14 Jan 2004


  1. [S170] Gedcom file by Debora J Krauss Franklin (see her record for more).