Property "Joined with" (as page type) with input value "Phoebe Whittemore Carter (1807-1885) + Mary Ann Jackson (1818-1894) + Sarah Elinor Brown (1827-1914) + Mary Caroline Barton (1829-1910) + Mary Meek Giles (1802-1852) + Emma Smith (1838-1912) + Sarah Brown (1834-1909) + Sarah Delight Stocking (1838-1906) + Eudora Lovina Young (1852-1921)" contains invalid characters or is incomplete and therefore can cause unexpected results during a query or annotation process.Wilford Woodruff was born 1 March 1807 in Avon, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States to Aphek Woodruff (1778-1861) and Beulah Thompson (1782-1808) and died 2 September 1898 San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, United States of unspecified causes. He married Phoebe Whittemore Carter (1807-1885) 13 April 1837 in Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, United States. He married Mary Ann Jackson (1818-1894) 15 April 1846 . He married Sarah Elinor Brown (1827-1914) 2 August 1846 in Cutler's Park, Florence, Douglas County, Nebraska. He married Mary Caroline Barton (1829-1910) 2 August 1846 in Cutler's Park, Florence, Douglas County, Nebraska. He married Mary Meek Giles (1802-1852) 28 March 1852 . He married Emma Smith (1838-1912) 13 March 1853 . He married Sarah Brown (1834-1909) 13 March 1853 . He married Sarah Delight Stocking (1838-1906) 31 July 1857 . He married Eudora Lovina Young (1852-1921) 10 March 1877 . Charlemagne (747-814)/s, Henry II of England (1133-1189)/s, Hugh Capet (c940-996)/s, William I of England (1027-1087)/s.



Wilford Woodruff, Sr. (March 1, 1807 – September 2, 1898) was the fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1889 until his death. Woodruff's large collection of diaries provides an important record of Latter Day Saint history, and his decision to formally end the practice of plural marriage among the members of the LDS Church in 1890 brought to a close one of the most difficult periods of church history.

Woodruff was one of nine children born to Aphek Woodruff, a miller working in Farmington, Connecticut. Wilford's mother Beulah Thompson died of "spotted fever" in 1808 at the age of 26, when Wilford was fifteen months old. He was raised by his step-mother Azubah Hart. As a young man, Woodruff worked at a sawmill and a flour mill owned by his father.

Conversion to Mormonism

Woodruff joined the Latter Day Saint church on December 31, 1833. At that time, the church numbered only a few thousand believers clustered around Kirtland, Ohio. On January 13, 1835, Woodruff left Kirtland on his first full-time mission, preaching without "purse or scrip" in Arkansas and Tennessee.

Quotation from Wilford's own History:

At an early age my mind was exercised upon religious subjects, although I never made a profession until 1830. I did not then join any church, for the reason that I could not find any denomination whose doctrines, faith or practice, agreed with the gospel of Jesus Christ, or the ordinances and gifts which the Apostles taught. Although the ministers of the day taught that the faith, gifts, graces, miracles and ordinances, which the ancient Saints enjoyed, were done away and no longer needed, I did not believe it to be true, only as they were done away through the unbelief of the children of men. I believed the same gifts, graces, miracles and power would be manifest in one age of the world as in another, when God had a church upon the earth, and that the Church of God would be reestablished upon the earth, and that I should live to see it. These principles were riveted upon my mind from the perusal of the Old and New Testament[s], with fervent prayer that the Lord would show me what was right and wrong, and lead me in the path of salvation, without any regard to the opinions of man; and the whisperings of the Spirit of the Lord for the space of three years, taught me that he was about to set up his Church and kingdom upon the earth in the last days. I was taught these things from my youth by Robert Mason, an aged man, who lived in Simsbury, Connecticut, who was frequently called the old prophet Mason. He taught me many things which are now coming to pass. He did not believe that any man had authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel, but believed it was our privilege, through faith, prayer and fasting, to heal the sick and cast out devils by the laying on of hands, which was the case under his administration, as many could testify.

In 1832, I was inspired to go to Rhode Island; my brother, Asahel, was also directed by the Spirit of God to go to the same place. When we met, we both told our impressions, and it caused us to marvel and wonder what the Lord wanted of us in Rhode Island; but, as we had made preparations to move to the west, we let outward circumstances control us, and, Jonah like, instead of going to Rhode Island, we went to Richland, Oswego County, New York, and there remained until December 29, 1833, when I heard Elders Zera Pulsipher (1789-1872) and Elijah Cheney (1785-1863) preach. My brother Azmon and I believed their testimony, entertained the elders, and offered ourselves for baptism the first sermon we heard. We read the Book of Mormon, and I received a testimony that it was true.

We soon learned what the Lord wanted of us in Rhode Island, for at the time we were warned to go there, two of the elders were preaching there, and had we gone, we should have embraced the work at that time.

December 31.--I was baptized by Elder Zerah Pulsipher; he confirmed me the same evening.

January 2, 1834.--I was ordained a teacher, and my brother Azmon an elder, and a small branch organized of twelve members, by Elder Pulsipher.

Zions Camp Participant

This Judith Mehr rendition depicts struggles endured by members of Zion's Camp, an expeditionary force to help Church members in Jackson County redeem their brethren.

One of the most interesting episodes in the early history of LDS Church was the march of Zion's Camp (1834). The members of the Church in Missouri were being persecuted, and the Prophet Joseph made it a matter of prayer and received a revelation on February 24, 1834. The Lord instructed the Prophet to assemble at least one hundred young and middle-aged men and to go to the land of Zion, or Missouri. (See D&C 130:19–34.)

Zion’s Camp, a group of approximately one hundred and fifty men, gathered at Kirtland, Ohio, in the spring of 1834 and marched to Jackson County, Missouri. By the time they reached Missouri, the camp had increased to approximately two hundred men.

For his faithful service, Wilford was one of the members of the original Quorum of Seventy, from 1835-1838, when he was ordained an apostle. During that time he served several mission assignments.

LDS Apostle

Gravesite of Wilford Woodruff

Woodruff was always known as a conservative religious man, but was also enthusiastically involved in the social and economic life of his community. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying fishing and hunting. Woodruff learned to fly fish in England, and his 1847 journal account of his fishing in the East Fork River is the earliest known account of fly fishing west of the Mississippi River. As an adult, Woodruff was a farmer, horticulturist and stockman by trade and wrote extensively for church periodicals.

Oldest Audio Recording

This is an audio recording that was made on March 19, 1897 by Wilford Woodruff,at age 91, just one and a half years before his death. It is one of the oldest audio recordings ever made, using a "talking machine" or cylinder phonograph invented by Thomas Edison just two decades previously.

Family Life

Wives of Wilford Woodruff - Plaque on Gravesite.

Like many early Latter Day Saints, Woodruff practiced plural marriage. He was married to seven (possibly nine) women; however, not all of these marriages were concurrent.

Woodruff's wives bore him a total of 34 children, with 13 preceding him in death.

Marriage #1: Phoebe Carter

Phoebe Whittemore Carter (1807-1885) - (8 March 1807 – 10 Nov 1885), m. April 13, 1837

Woodruff met his first wife, Phoebe Carter, in Kirtland shortly after his return from his first mission through Southern Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. Woodruff came to Kirtland on November 25, 1836, along with Abraham O. Smoot. He was introduced to Phoebe by Milton Holmes on January 28, 1837. She was a native of Maine and had become a Latter Day Saint in 1834.

Woodruff and Phoebe were married on April 13, 1837, with the ceremony performed by Frederick G. Williams. Their marriage was later sealed in Nauvoo by Hyrum Smith. In the late 1840s, Phoebe was set apart as a missionary and served with Woodruff as he presided over the Eastern States Mission. Phoebe was later numbered among the "leading ladies" who helped organize the Relief Society in Utah Territory in the 1860s through the 1880s.

  1. Sarah Emma Woodruff (1838-1840)
  2. Wilford Woodruff (1840-1921)
    1. Lucy Emily Woodruff (1869-1937) - (granddaughter) Wife of George Albert Smith (1870-1951), 8th President of LDS Church.
  3. Phoebe Amelia Woodruff (1842-1919) - wife of Lorenzo Snow (1814-1901), who succeeded Wilford as 5th President of the LDS Church
  4. Susan Cornelia Woodruff (1843-1897)
  5. Joseph Carter Woodruff (1845-1846)
  6. Ezra Carter Woodruff (1846-1846)
  7. Sarah Carter Woodruff (1847-1848)
  8. Beulah Augusta Woodruff (1851-1905)
  9. Aphek Woodruff (1853-1853)

Marriage #2: Mary Ann Jackson

Mary Ann Jackson (1818-1894) - (18 Feb 1818 – 25 Oct 1894) m. Aug 2, 1846. They later divorced, but remained in close contact and he supported her for many years there after, and her son James even went to live with him for a time. She is included on his gravesite plaque list of wives.

  1. James Jackson Woodruff (1847-1927)

Marriage #3: Sarah Brown

Sarah Elinor Brown (1827-1914), (22 Aug 1827 - 25 Dec 1915) m. Aug 2, 1846 (left after 3 weeks)

Marriage #4: Mary Barton

Mary Caroline Barton, (12 Jan 1829 - 10 Aug 1910) m. Aug 2, 1846 (left after 3 weeks)

Marriage #5: Mary Webster

Mary Meek Giles (1802-1852) (6 Sept 1802 – 3 Oct 1852) m. March 28, 1852, She died just six months after marriage. No Children.

Marriage #6: Emma Smith

Emma Smith (1838-1912) - During Woodruff's time as president of the LDS Church, his wife, Emma Smith Woodruff, accompanied him to public functions, and she was the only wife he lived with after Phoebe's death in 1885. She was a niece of Abraham O. Smoot. Although she married Woodruff when she was 15, she did not have the first of her eight children until she was 20. Emma was involved in the Relief Society, serving as both a ward and stake president for that organization. She also served as a member of the Relief Society General Board from 1892 to 1910.

  1. Hyrum Smith Woodruff (1857-1858)
  2. Emma Manella Woodruff (1860-1905)
  3. Asahel Hart Woodruff (1863-1939)
  4. Ann Thompson Woodruff (1867-1867)
  5. Clara Martina Woodruff (1868-1927)
  6. Abraham Owen Woodruff (1872-1904) - LDS Apostle who died at early age.
  7. Winnifred Blanche Woodruff (1876-1954)
  8. Mary Alice Woodruff (1879-1916)

Marriage #7: Sarah Brown


Sarah Brown (1834-1909) - her father was recruited Wilford to join Zion's Camp (1834) and traveled on one early mission with him. Md. March 13, 1853

Her family suffered great tragedy in the 1852 Saluda steamboat explosion. In the spring of 1852, the worst tragedy in the history of Missouri River boating occurred when the steamship Saluda exploded and sank with massive loss of life.

  1. David Patten Woodruff (1854-1937)
  2. Brigham Young Woodruff (1857-1877)
  3. Phoebe Arabell Woodruff (1859-1939)
  4. Sylvia Melvina Woodruff (1862-1940)
  5. Newton Woodruff (1863-1960) - Mayor of Smithville, Utah 1900
  6. Mary Woodruff (1867-1903)
  7. Charles Henry Woodruff (1870-1871)
  8. Edward Randolph Woodruff (1873-1873)

Marriage #8: Sarah Stocking

Sarah Delight Stocking (26 Jul 1838 – 28 May 1906) m. July 31, 1857

  1. Marion Woodruff (1861-1946)
  2. Emeline Woodruff (1863-1915)
  3. Ensign Woodruff (1865-1955)
  4. Jeremiah Woodruff (1868-1869)
  5. Rosannah Woodruff (1871-1872)
  6. John Jay Woodruff (1873-1964)
  7. Julia Delight Stocking Woodruff (1878-1954)

Marriage #9: Eudora Dunford

Married Eudora Lovina Young (1852-1921) on March 10, 1877 (later divorced)

Dora Young was the oldest of three daughters born to the Mormon Prophet, Brigham Young (1801-1877) and Lucy Bigelow (1830-1905), one of his plural wives. She eloped with her first husband, but then divorced him because of his alcoholism. She married secondly as a plural wife to Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898), 4th President of the LDS Church, but then left him to be with a married Salt Lake Attorney, Charles Hagan.


Offspring of Wilford Woodruff and Phoebe Whittemore Carter (1807-1885)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Sarah Emma Woodruff (1838-1840) 14 July 1838 Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine 17 July 1840 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois
Wilford Woodruff (1840-1921) 22 March 1840 Montrose, Lee County, Iowa, United States 6 May 1921 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States Emily Jane Smith (1850-1878) Julia Spencer (1856-1895) Emily Jane Smith (1850-1878) Julia Spencer (1856-1895) Marie Louisa Erickson (1859-1937)
Phoebe Amelia Woodruff (1842-1919) 4 March 1842 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois 15 February 1919 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Lorenzo Snow (1814-1901)
Susan Cornelia Woodruff (1843-1897) 25 July 1843 Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois 6 October 1897 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Robert B Scholes (1835-1891)
Joseph Carter Woodruff (1845-1846)
Ezra Carter Woodruff (1846-1846)
Sarah Carter Woodruff (1847-1848)
Beulah Augusta Woodruff (1851-1905)
Aphek Woodruff (1853-1853)

Offspring of Wilford Woodruff and Emma Smith (1838-1912)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Hyrum Smith Woodruff (1857-1858)
Emma Manella Woodruff (1860-1905) 4 July 1860 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah 30 November 1905 Vernal, Uintah County, Utah Henry Azmon Woodruff (1855-1939)
Asahel Hart Woodruff (1863-1939)
Ann Thompson Woodruff (1867-1867)
Clara Martina Woodruff (1868-1927)
Abraham Owen Woodruff (1872-1904) 23 November 1872 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah 20 June 1904 El Paso, El Paso County, Texas Helen May Winters (1873-1904) Helen May Winters (1873-1904) Eliza Avery Clark (1882-1953)
Winnifred Blanche Woodruff (1876-1954)
Mary Alice Woodruff (1879-1916)

Offspring of Wilford Woodruff and Sarah Brown (1834-1909)
Name Birth Death Joined with
David Patten Woodruff (1854-1937)
Brigham Young Woodruff (1857-1877)
Phoebe Arabell Woodruff (1859-1939)
Sylvia Melvina Woodruff (1862-1940)
Newton Woodruff (1863-1960) 3 November 1863 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah 21 January 1960 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Catherine Amelia Partington (1863-1937) Catherine Amelia Partington (1863-1937) Elizabeth Susan Weeks (1865-1937)
Mary Woodruff (1867-1903)
Charles Henry Woodruff (1870-1871)
Edward Randolph Woodruff (1873-1873)

Offspring of Wilford Woodruff and Sarah Delight Stocking (1838-1906)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Marion Woodruff (1861-1946)
Emeline Woodruff (1863-1915)
Ensign Woodruff (1865-1955)
Jeremiah Woodruff (1868-1869)
Rosannah Woodruff (1871-1872)
John Jay Woodruff (1873-1964)
Julia Delight Stocking Woodruff (1878-1954)


#g1: Offspring of Aphek Woodruff (1778-1861) 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)
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
#g2: Offspring of Aphek Woodruff (1778-1861) 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

Wilford Woodruff Papers

Wilford Woodruff at age 37 in 1844, by Josh Christensen. The image is one of many featured on the Wilford Woodruff Papers website.

Very few in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kept records like Wilford Woodruff. Starting in 1828, Woodruff’s meticulous records document his extensive ministry and missionary service, the teachings of Joseph Smith (1805-1844) and other leaders, daily happenings, his witness of the church’s Restoration and other significant events until his death in 1898.

That roughly translates into more than 11,000 pages in 31 daybooks and journals. The fourth president of the church also penned over 13,000 letters, receiving more than 17,000 in return. “His records provided the backbone of church history in the 1800s,” said Jennifer Ann Mackley, who has studied Woodruff’s life for 24 years. “The value of his record is unmatched. His records complete the story of the Restoration in the 19th century.”



Footnotes (including sources)