John of Woodbridge, NJ was born in the early 1670’s in Scotland. We have never seen original documentation, but it's possible that he is from the County of Aberdeen. This however is not certain.
He was married to Elizabeth Edwards, his first wife, on March 31, 1706 by a Justice of the Peace at Woodbridge, NJ. John Eddy of Woodbridge's parentage has never been determined. Elizabeth was born in the Parish of Haddington near Edinburgh, in East Lothian, and 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 British 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 appears frequently in The Archives of Colonial New Jersey.
John of Woodbridge farmed in NJ until middle age when he removed himself to the Scottish settlement called the Manor of Maske that was located near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Manor of Maske was 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 to the Manor of Maske with him, James stayed in NJ and farmed land purchased from his father, as well as land provided by his wife’s family - the Bloodgoods and the Gachs. Many years ago I discovered his will in the basement of the York County Archives. (At the time of his death the Marsh Creek or Manor of Maske area and Gettysburg were in York County. Now, that area is in Adams County.) As shown in his last will and testament John of Woodbridge married one more time, after the death of Elizabeth. Both wives are memorialized in his will.
John of Woodbridge was illiterate. He signed his will with an X. We know that his third child, James, learned to read and may have been the first to use the EDDEY spelling. Most of his descendants that remained in NJ or moved across Arthur Kill to Staten Island continued to use the EDDEY spelling. However, all of John's sons who moved with him to Pennsylvania's Marsh Creek Settlement - and then later further west to the midwest - used the EDDY spelling. Some later descendants from Staten Island reverted to the Eddy spelling, including William Simonson Eddy.
John's parentage is unknown, but recent Y chromosome DNA data has provided a clue as which Scottish family he is derived. More Y DNA analysis is underway, but it does appear that he is a direct descendant of the Lyle family of Scotland. There were a large number of John Lyles that date back to the very early 1300's, and with more Y DNA information it might be possible to determine what Lyle family he is directly descended. If so, this would be the first real evidence of his parentage.
William Simonson Eddy, shown above, was the genealogist for the John of Woodbridge line. In 1921 he was elected one of several Vice Presidents of the Eddy Family in America, a year after the organization was established. William Simonson Eddy was a world renowned Illuminator, along with his mentor Amalie Ritterhoff. Their studio was located in the Wall Street area of NYC. An article about him can be found on page 1918 of the November 2018 edition of the Eddy Family in America Bulletin.