Manuscript Group 191, Thomas Woodruff, Jr. (1720-1805), Carpenter and coffin Maker Daybook, 1776-1780
Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 191, Thomas Woodruff, Jr. (1720-1805), Carpenter and
Daybook, 1776-1780, 0.1 linear feet / 1 volume
Call Number: MG 191
Financial records kept by Thomas Woodruff,
Jr., a carpenter and coffin maker from Elizabethtown, New Jersey.
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.
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.
Abstract of Wills Vol. 10: 1801-1805. New Jersey Archives: First Series Vol. 39.
Woodruff, Ceylon Newton. Woodruff Chronicles: A Geneology (Vol. I & II). The
Arthur H. Clark Company. Glendale, California, 1967.
The source of this collection is unknown.
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 Woodruffs own purchases. Woodruffs 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).
Processed by Jeff McMillan, August 2000 as part of the “Farm to
City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications
and Records Commission.