Guide to the Thomas Woodruff, Jr. (1720-1805), Carpenter and Coffin Maker Day book 1776-1780 MG 191
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The New Jersey Historical Society
Inventory prepared by Jeff MacMillan, August 2000, as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. February 2006. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
Thomas Woodruff, Jr. (1720-1805) was a carpenter and coffin maker in Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth), New Jersey. Elizabethtown was founded in 1665 by John Woodruff (1637-1691) and Sarah Ogden (ca. 1643-after1675), and became the home of many generations of Woodruffs, many of whom became prominent public figures, soldiers, and merchants in the town. The son of Thomas Woodruff (1689-1754), grandson of the founder John Woodruff (1637-1691), and Hannah Ward (1691-1757), Thomas Woodruff, Jr. (1720-1805) married twice during his lifetime. His first wife, Mary Donnegan (1721-1742) died very young, while his second wife, Mary Tyson (1745-1838), lived to be 93 years old. With Mary Tyson, he had a son named Thomas Tyson Woodruff (1781-1855) who moved to New York City sometime before 1800. Following or accompanying their son, Thomas and Mary Woodruff also moved to New York City in the early part of the 19th century.
The records consist of a daybook documenting Thomas Woodruff, Jr.’s business transactions from October 21, 1776 through November 22, 1777 and October 12, 1779 through October 9, 1780. Each entry lists the client, date, service rendered, and method of payment as well as Woodruff’s own purchases. Woodruff’s services as a carpenter include cutting planks, repairing locks, and making barrels, however the majority of the transactions in the day book involve making coffins. Most of the coffin-making entries list the name of the deceased and/or their relation to the account holder (example: to coffin for daughter of Isaac Woodruff).
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This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 191, Seth Woodruff (1742-1815), Weaver
Account Book, The New Jersey Historical Society.
The source of this collection is unknown.
Abstract of Wills Vol. 13: 1814-1817. New Jersey Archives: First Series Vol. 42.
Woodruff, Ceylon Newton. Woodruff Chronicles: A Geneology (Vol. I & II). The Arthur H. Clark Company : Glendale, California, 1967.