Aphek Woodruff was born 11 November 1778 in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States to Eldad Woodruff (1749-1805) and Dinah Woodford (1754-1824) and died 29 May 1861 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States of unspecified causes. He married Beulah Thompson (1782-1808) 25 November 1801 in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. He married Azuba Hart (1792-1851) 9 November 1809 in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States.


Father of Wilford Woodruff, Pioneer of 1847 By Delores Woodruff McEwan Maxwell, great-granddaughter Aphek Woodruff - Father of President Wilford Woodruff.

He came from a long line of hard working ancestors whose lives were distinguished by their sincerity, sobriety and industry. He was a generous hearted man. He rarely refused to grant a favor, even when it seemed probable that the favor might prove a loss to him. Aphek, by his industry and frugality, had acquired a respectable competency for that time. His property consisted of a large farm well stocked with cattle, a flour mill and a carding machine. These had cost years of toil and self denial. Their loss to him saved him his honor but subjected his family to the hardships which the changed financial conditions brought about. These experiences of Aphek had much to do in the formation of his sons character, for they avoided debts and were scrupulously careful to make their word good in every business undertaking.


Aphek Woodruff was born in Farmington Hartford County, Connecticut November 11, 1775. He was the son of Dinah Woodford and Eldad Woodruff. He had four brothers and two sisters. Eldad, Samuel, Titus, Ozem, Elizabeth and Helen.


Aphek became a miller at the age of 18 and followed this occupation for about 50 years. Most of the time he worked 18 hours a day. His son Wilford wrote in his Journal concerning his Father. "he was a man of great charity and integrity, and made himself poor by giving to the poor. He was liberal and accommodating to his fellow men, loaning money and becoming surety for his neighbors. He generally said 'Yes' to anyone who asked a favor at his hands."

Conversion to Mormonism

On July 1, 1838 Wilford was given a Patriarchal Blessing by the Prophet Joseph Smith. He was told that he would baptize all his Father's household. He knew his Father believed the gospel to be true, but a terrible depression and darkness rested over the whole family that day and Wilford was afraid that he was not going to be able to do what had been promised him in his blessing. He went to his room and prayed fervently to his heavenly Father to remove the evil spirits from the family. After some time he returned to his father's house and they all went to the banks of the Farmington River . There Aphek, his wife Azubah, daughter and several others were baptized.

On July 20, 1844 Wilford ordained his father a High Priest and Patriarch.

Utah Pioneer

Aphek became a Utah pioneer in his 69th year, coming to Salt Lake City in 1847. On the way, while trying to get into the wagon he fell to the ground, and the wagon with twenty-five hundred pounds in it, ran over his legs. Miraculously, no bones were broken.

His declining years were passed under the loving care of his son Wilford. He lived first in a corner house in the Old Fort, and afterwards resided at the family home which later became known as The Valley House. He died here May 15, 1861 at the age of 83. He lived close to his family and was loved by all who knew him.


Josiah Woodruff was the second child and the first son born to Sergt. Joseph Woodruff and his wife Hannah Clark. He was born in Farmington , Hartford Co. Connecticut, August 16, 1706. He married probably in Farmington, Connecticut, Sarah Woodford on December 19, 1733. Sarah was born June 4, 1714 in Farmington Conn. She was the daughter of Joseph Woodford and Lydia Smith. They had ten children; Sarah, Appleton, Phebe, Lydia, Josiah, Wlisha, Eldad, Joseph, Obedience, and Phebe. The first Phebe died shortly after birth. Josiah died May 8, 1759 aged almost 83 years. Sarah his wife died November 28, 1790. Josiah and his wife lived in that part of Farmington, Conn. Called Northington, now West Avon, Connecticut. He was a Deacon in the Congregational Church there. Eldad was the Father of Aphek. Aphek was the Father of Wilford Woodruff.

Family & Marriage

First Marriage: Beulah

He married Beulah Thompson November 25, 1801 in Farmington. They had three sons, Asmon, Thompson and Wilford. Beulah died January 11, 1808, the baby Wilford was only nine months old.

  1. Azmon Woodruff (1802-1889)
  2. Ozem Thompson Woodruff (1804-1892)
  3. Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898) - Mormon pioneer, missionary, apostle and 4th President of the LDS Church.

2nd Marriage: Azubah

His second marriage was to Azubah Hart who bore him six children, five boys and one girl.

  1. Philo Woodruff (1811-1827) - born November 29, 1811, and died by poison administered by a physician November 25, 1827;
  2. Asahel Woodruff (1815-1838) - born April 11, 1814, and died in Terrahaute [Terrehaute], October 18, 1838;
  3. Franklin Woodruff (1816-1816) - born March 12, 1816, and died June 1;
  4. Newton Woodruff (1818-1820) - born June 19, 1818, drowned September 1820;
  5. Eunice Woodruff (1820-1853) - born June 19, 1821. Step-brother, Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898) married her to Dwight Webster, in Farmington, Connecticut, August 4, 1841.
  6. Julius Woodruff (1821-1823) - born April 22, 1820, and died in infancy;


Offspring of Aphek Woodruff and Beulah Thompson (1782-1808)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Azmon Woodruff (1802-1889) 29 November 1802 Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut 14 June 1889 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Elizabeth Norton Hart (1796-1851) Elizabeth Norton Hart (1796-1851) Harriet Newell Cole (1823-1870)
Ozem Thompson Woodruff (1804-1892)
Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898) 1 March 1807 Avon, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States 2 September 1898 San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, United States

Offspring of Aphek Woodruff and Azuba Hart (1792-1851)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Philo Woodruff (1811-1827)
Asahel Woodruff (1815-1838)
Franklin Woodruff (1816-1816)
Newton Woodruff (1818-1820)
Eunice Woodruff (1820-1853)
Julius Woodruff (1821-1823)


Vital Records

1847 Smoot/Wallace Pioneer Company

223 individuals were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post on the Elkhorn River about 27 miles west of Winter Quarters, Nebraska. Departure 18 June 1847 / Arrival 25 Sep 1847. Smoot 1847 Pioneer Company

  • Woodruff, Aphek 68
  • Woodruff, James Jackson Infant - grandson (Wilford Woodruff)
  • Woodruff, Mary Anne Jackson 28 - 2nd wife of Wilford Woodruff



Footnotes (including sources)


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