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Picturing history: President Wilford Woodruff sites — ancestry and birth

SHARE Picturing history: President Wilford Woodruff sites — ancestry and birth

With the exception of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, it is hard to find one whose life and ministry had a greater impact on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than that of President Wilford Woodruff. His thousands of pages of journal entries, missionary success, service as a pioneer, civic leader and president of the LDS Church — including his issuing the Manifesto in 1890 — comprise a significant contribution to the Restoration.

Plaque interpreting the general birth site of Wilford Woodruff.

Plaque interpreting the general birth site of Wilford Woodruff.

Kenneth Mays

Wilford was born March 1, 1807, in a section of Farmington, now Avon, Connecticut in the greater Hartford area. His parents were Aphek and Beulah Thompson Woodruff. A local Latter-day Saint historian Earle Stone found, providentially, the worn headstone of Wilford’s mother, Beulah, which had not heretofore been located. Wilford was still younger than 2 years of age when she died.

Presently, the homes of Eldad and Dinah Woodruff, President Woodruff's paternal grandparents, and Lot and Anna Thompson, his maternal grandparents are still extant.

Stone championed the placement of and wrote the text of a plaque placed on a large rock which identifies the general birth site of President Woodruff, who was the fourth president of the LDS Church. On the weekend of Nov. 19-20, 2016, President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, visited some of the Woodruff sites while they were there for the dedication of the Hartford Connecticut Temple.