John of Woodbridge, NJ was born in the early 1670’s in Scotland. We have never seen original documentation, but it is thought he is from the County of Aberdeen.
He was married to Elizabeth Edwards, his first wife, on March 31, 1706 by a Justice of the Peace at Woodbridge, NJ. It is almost certain Elizabeth was born in the Parish of Haddington near Edinburgh, in East Lothian. Her parentage is well documented. John and Elizabeth lived for a period of at least three decades in a section of Colonial East Jersey known as the “Outerbounds of Woodbridge,” which includes Woodbridge and several smaller towns west of the colonial port of Perth Amboy. It is thought he arrived at Perth Amboy alone, as a young child, sent as an indentured servant for the English Gach or Gage family. He resided in their household for many years. The head of the Gach household was a Judge for Colonial New Jersey. This trusted young man was witness to many Jersey events that are corroborated with entries published in a series of books titled The Archives of Colonial New Jersey. In fact, John of Woodbridge became so trusted by the Gage/Gach family that one of his sons, James Eddey, married the granddaughter of the man to whom John was indentured. James Eddey's name also appears frequently in The Archives of Colonial New Jersey.
John of Woodbridge farmed in NJ until middle age when he removed himself to the primarily Scottish settlement called the Manor of Maske near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is also referred to as the Marsh Creek Settlement. Many years later during the Civil War John of Woodbridge's farm would find itself near the center of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Although most of his sons moved west with him, James stayed in NJ and farmed land purchased from his father as well as land provided by his wife’s family - the Gachs. As shown in his last will and testament John of Woodbridge married after the death of Elizabeth. Both wives are memorialized in his will.
John of Woodbridge was illiterate. He signed his will with an X. James, his third child, learned to read early and may have been the first to use the EDDEY spelling, as did most descendants that remained in NJ or moved across Arthur Kill to Staten Island. However, John's sons who moved west to Pennsylvania and the mid-west reverted to the EDDY spelling. Many later descendants, including those from Staten Island, use the Eddy spelling.
William Simonson Eddy, shown above, was the genealogist for the John of Woodbridge line. He was elected as one of the Vice Presidents of the Eddy Family in America in 1921, a year after the organization was established. Along with his mentor Amalie Ritterhoff he was a world renowned Illuminator. Their studio was located in the Wall Street area of NYC. An article about William Simonson Eddy can be found on page 1918 of the November 2018 edition of the Eddy Family in America Bulletin.