Additional Resource

Descendants of Church’s Fourth President Tour Ancestral Hometown

The Woodruff family extends some three centuries back in Farmington, Connecticut. In Mormon history, the name Woodruff is usually attached to Wilford Woodruff, the fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On Saturday, October 15, 2016, over 50 descendants of the Woodruffs gathered from all over the United States to visit historic sites in Farmington and Avon. President Woodruff was born in Farmington in 1807; he became a member of the Church in 1833, an apostle in 1839 and president of the Church in 1889 at the age of 82. He passed away in 1898.


His descendants not only came from Connecticut but also traveled from as far away as Florida, Utah and the West Coast. Mark Woodruff, current president of the Woodruff Family Association, organized the historic reunion. Impressed with the beauty of the region and the “friendliness and high level of hospitality,” he said the group was cordially welcomed in the town.

Earle Stone of nearby West Hartford led a tour of Farmington on Saturday that included pre-Revolutionary buildings designed and executed by noted master builder Judah Woodruff, including Farmington’s landmark First Church of Christ Congregational and Judah’s own home, recently restored by Michael and Janet Lane, who generously opened their home to the family. President Woodruff was Judah’s great-nephew.

The Woodruff descendants also toured the Church’s new Hartford Connecticut Temple, which sits on the corner of Route 4 and Melrose Dr. in Farmington.

Wilford Woodruff is well known for his devotion to temple worship, for dedicating the iconic Salt Lake Temple in 1893 and for founding the genealogical association that grew to become the largest in the world, known now as FamilySearch. There are more than a dozen family history centers in Mormon meetinghouses throughout Connecticut with staff to help anyone interested in investigating their own ancestry.

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