Whether authentic to our branch of the family is not known definitely from - Norris Counsell Woodruff, Twelve Generations

Both appear or are mentioned in family records but whether authentic to our branch of the family is not known definitely since the link to the Woodruffs of England has not been established. One attempt to do so proved an expensive disappointment but not before some erroneous information had been included in Vol. III of the "Colonial Families of the United States" by George N. MacKenzie. Curiously enough, the person who furnished the data was apparently an enterprising imposter who claimed England as his home and Norris Woodruff as his name. This hoax is referred to in a note appearing as a preface to the "Woodruff Genealogy" published in 1925 by Frederick 0. Woodruff of Lexington, Mass.

The Woodruff Arms and Crest with the motto "Sit Dux Sapienta" (Let wisdom be our guide) are depicted and described in the various books of Heraldry. The crest is a mailed arm holding aloft a sprig of what is officially designated as honeysuckle. Our family has always maintained that it is Sweet Woodruff, an aromatic herb (Asperula Odorata) still to be found in some old fashioned gardens and that the motto is "Sweetest when crushed".

In New England in America there was, of course, no regular Post in the 17th Century. Letters were written on paper made by laborious hand methods from linen rags. The pen was cut with a small blade (hence our word "penknife") from the quill of a goose or wild turkey. It was dipped in ink, homemade from vinegar and ox gall or from tea and iron filings. Letters were not then, or for years afterward enclosed in envelopes. Instead the sheets were folded so that none of the writing could be seen and were sealed with a large blob of hot wax into which the writer impressed his seal with his signet ring or with a die mounted on a wooden handle. The family rings are no more but we still have an old die of the Arms and Crest. It is fashioned of lead or pewter, mounted on a small block of walnut. The scroll bears the name "Woodruff" instead of the motto, indicating that it was probably used as a book plate. We know this die to be over a century old since it belonged to my great grandfather William and we think it was brought to this country from New England by his father, Ezekiel. It is still in sufficiently good condition to make the imprint on the frontis page of this book.