Archive:The Ancestors and Descendants of Ebenezer Whitney and Dorcas Drury Parlin
The Ancestors and Descendants of Ebenezer Whitney and Dorcas Drury Parlin by their great-great grandson, Kenneth Louis Whitney Self-published, 2003 in Silver Spring, Maryland Copyright 2003, all rights reserved Preface
The family Whitney in the United States has drawn, over the decades, the attention of a number of fine genealogists. To these genealogists we Whitneys owe a debt of gratitude, for it is they who have preserved out great heritage. The works of Henry Austin Whitney, Rev. Frederick Whitney, Dr. Henry Bond, William Lebbeus Whitney, and Frederick Clifton Pierce, have done much to preserve the family record from the year 1635 to 1900, a period of 265 years since John and Elinor Whitney landed in Boston and made their way to Watertown, Massachusetts.
John Whitney of Watertown, Massachusetts and Henry Whitney, first found in Southold, Long Island in 1649, are the patriarchs of the two largest Whitney families in the United States. Both families helped pioneer New England, and their descendants were among the pioneers who spread far and wide across the great continental United States. They settled its lands, built its towns and cities, fought its wars, and added to the great American ingenuity. But above all, they populated it with many families. At the end of the nineteenth century, two genealogists wrote definitive genealogies of these two great families. In 1878, Stephen Whitney Phoenix published The Whitney Family of Connecticut, and its affiliations; being an attempt to trace the descendants, as well in the female as the male lines, of Henry Whitney; from 1649 to 1878; to which is prefixed some account of the Whitneys of England. Seventeen years later, in 1895, Frederick Clifton Pierce published The Descendants of John Whitney, who came from London, England to Watertown, Massachusetts in 1635.
Frederick Clifton Pierce attempted to write a complete pedigree of all of the descendants of John and Elinor Whitney. To this end, he failed. But the attempt produced a genealogy which since publication has been considered the authority on the John Whitney family through the nineteenth century. Genealogists of today realize that Pierce made some mistakes, and some of the families are incomplete or confused, but his work remains the basis upon which any Whitney researcher can rely as he tries to document the path that Pierce pioneered.
The genealogy presented on the succeeding pages is that of the ancestors and descendants of Ebenezer and Dorcas Drury Parlin Whitney. Pierce’s genealogy contains no mention of any descendants of Ebenezer Whitney. His lineage ends with the notation of his birth, and neither the date or place of his birth is mentioned. Fortunately, Ebenezer’s family and descendants are preserved for us by another genealogist, George Burbank Sedgeley, himself a Whitney descendant. In 1943, Sedgeley published Micah Whitney, Revolutionary Soldier and His Twelve Children Settled Early in Phillips, Maine. Jacob and Joseph Whitney Came to Phillips 1792. Salmon Whitney Appeared in Letter E Plantation 1810. This work documents Ebenezer’s descendants through three generations, and brings us to the decade of 1940.
The genealogy herein was first conceived as an update of the work of Sedgeley, bringing the family from 1943 to the present. However, as I became familiar with the process of collecting and verifying genealogical information, I realized that data was available to me that probably was not available to previous authors. Also, twentieth century communications and data retrieval methods are much more efficient than in the past. The Internet, although littered with misinformation, is a wonderful tool with which to communicate with fellow researchers, share data and sources, and find clues for the documentation of data. I also realized that previous authors had not been able to supply complete data, and a number of errors were made concerning Ebenezer’s ancestors and descendants. I have therefore broadened the scope of this genealogy to supply as complete a genealogy as is possible of the ancestors and descendants of Ebenezer Whitney.
To paraphrase what another genealogist once wrote, a person is not truly dead until his name is never again spoken. May this effort provide the reader with an appreciation for his ancestry and family history, and may it keep alive the memory of our ancestors, who contributed so much to our local and national heritage.
John Whitney, Emigrant
John Whitney arrived in Boston, Massachusetts probably in June of 1635, and immediately went to Watertown, where his son Joshua was soon born. The reason that John brought his family to America is not entirely clear. He was a successful merchant in London, where he was a “Freeman” of the Merchant Tailors’ Company. But he was also a member of the Puritan religious sect, which was being persecuted. England was experiencing great political and economic upheaval at that time, with rule of law and economic circumstance uncertain. So perhaps John brought his family to New England to ensure their religious freedom, or to protect the economic and social status of himself and his sons.
The ancestry of John Whitney is a subject of great debate and continued research. In 1895, Henry Melville, A.M., LL.B., published a work entitled The Ancestry of John Whitney, who with his wife Elinor, and sons John, Richard, Nathaniel, Thomas, and Jonathan, emigrated from London, England, in the year 1635, and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts; the first of the name in America, and the one from whom a great majority of the Whitneys now living in the United States are descended. Melville spent four years in research and two visits to England while compiling this genealogy, and it stood as the authority on the John Whitney ancestry until 1933, when it was first challenged by the genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus. It was challenged once again in 1994 by Paul C. Reed. The crux of the matter is that the grandfather of John Whitney cannot be convincingly ascertained. Researchers are now trying to discover the identity of John’s grandfather, and hopefully in time, his ancestry will be elucidated.
The London family into which John was born is known with much greater certainty. His father was Thomas, described as a “gentleman”, of Lambeth Marsh, an area of London on the Surrey end of the Westminster bridge. On May 12, 1583, Thomas took as his bride Mary Bray, daughter of John Bray and Margaret Haslonde. Mary Bray was baptized at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, London on 24 December 1564. Thomas was born probably about 1563 in or around London. Following is a record of the twelve children of Thomas and Mary Bray Whitney, the first ten of whom were baptized at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, London, England:
2. Margaret, d., bap. 18 Oct 1584, buried 12 Jan 1603/04 at Isleworth, Middlesex Co., England. 3. Thomas, s., bap. 25 July 1586, buried 19 Aug 1587 at Westminster, London 4. Henry, s., bap. 11 Nov 1588, buried January, 1588/89 at Westminster, London 5. Arnwaye, s., bap. 2 Feb 1589/90, buried August 1591 at Westminster, London 6. John, s., bap. 20 July 1592, mentioned below. 7. Nowell, d., bap. 30 Oct 1594, buried 28 Feb 1596/97 at Westminster, London 8. Francis, s., bap. 27 Jan 1588/89, buried August 1643 at Westminster, England 9. Mary, d., bap. 2 Aug 1600, buried 8 Aug 1600 at Westminster, London 10. Robert, s., bap 10 Nov 1605, died young. 11. Frances, d., bap. 11 May 1615 12. Thomas, s. b. about 1608 in England; married Margaret Mogge George on January 31, 1631/32 at St. Gregory’s by St. Paul’s, London; buried 20 May 1637 at Westminster, London. 13. Robert, s., b. about 1610 in England; married Mary Tower of Tarvin, Cheshire, Eng. on 18 Jan 1635/36 at St. Dunstan’s, Stepney, Middlesex, Eng. He was buried 3 April 1662 at St. Peters, Cornhill, London. Mary was buried there 27 Oct 1667.
Mary Bray Whitney was buried at Westminster, London on 25 Sept 1629. Thomas was also buried there 14 April 1637.
John Whitney was educated at the Westminster School, now known as St. Peters College. On 22 February 1607, at the age of fourteen, he was apprenticed to William Pring of the Old Bailey. Mr. Pring was a “Freeman” of the Merchant Tailors’ Company, a prosperous trade guild. Seven years later, on March 13, 1614, at the age of twenty-one, John was released from apprenticeship by Mr. Pring and he became a full member of the company. On 8 November 1624, his father apprenticed to John his brother Robert, who served seven years.
In about 1618, John married Elinor, last name unknown. No record has ever been discovered documenting this marriage, and it may have taken place outside of the London area. The couple took up residence at Isleworth-on-Thames, which is about eight miles from Westminster. There, the first three of their children were born and baptized: Mary, John and Richard. Shortly after John’s brother Robert was apprenticed to him, the family moved to an unknown location, where Nathaniel was born. By 1626, they moved to the parish of St. Mary Aldermary, where they lived on Bowe Lane. Here the daughter Mary died in 1626/27, and son Thomas was born and baptized in 1627. Sometime thereafter the family once again moved to an unknown location. In about 1633, son Jonathan was born, and it is possible that several other children may have been born and died in infancy. In September 1631, John placed his ten-year-old son John, Jr. in the Merchant Tailors’ School at the English Metropolis, where he remained the four years until the family sailed for America in May of 1635.
The Whitney family sailed from London in May of 1635 aboard the ship Elizabeth & Ann, Roger Cooper, Master. They would have arrived in Boston Harbor in June, and immediately traveled up the Charles River to Watertown. Son Joshua was born there 15 July 1635. John purchased from John Strickland a sixteen acre homestead. Mr. Strickland was one of the Watertown colonists who went to Connecticut and settled Wethersfield Plantation, the oldest town on the Connecticut River. Over the next seven years John Whitney was granted nine other lots of land, totaling 198 acres, and purchased several other lots. By 1640 he had become one of the largest holders of real estate in Watertown. The exact location where John Whitney lived is in dispute, but it was known as “Whitney Hill”. John spent many years with his eight sons felling trees and clearing land on the many acres of his homestead.
On March 3, 1636, by a vote of the General Court of the Colony, John Whitney was admitted “Freeman”, an honor reserved for church members and persons of high character and standing in the community. Only “freemen” were allowed to hold office and vote for government officeholders. Among other privileges, the “freemen” made the decisions about who would be allowed to settle in the town. Three of John’s sons: John, Richard and Thomas were all later admitted freemen at Watertown. In succeeding years, John would be chosen to a number of positions of civic leadership, including Constable in 1641, Selectman in 1638 through 1655, and Town Clerk in 1655. By reading the preserved town documents of Watertown, one becomes aware that John Whitney was one of its most respected citizens. Numerous times in the town records he is referred to as Mr. Whitney. “The title ‘Mr.’ is comparatively seldom used, and none but the most highly respected citizens were considered entitled to it.”
The Selectmen were very much what the term seems to imply. They were selected as the best of the “freemen” to administer the town business. It is very likely that his business experience in England made him well qualified to help manage the financial affairs of Watertown. His name appears many times in the town financial records as the person responsible for paying or collecting debts and taxes. It is obvious from his penmanship and spelling displayed in the town records when he was Town Clerk that he was well educated, and very physically and mentally fit for a man over sixty years of age.
In June, 1641, the Quarter Court of the colony commissioned John Whitney “Constable of Watertown”, an office of great dignity, and one he held for many years, at least through 1656. This is what Henry Austin Whitney says of the office of Constable:
“At the time constables were appointed by the General Court, and, besides the duties attached to the office in latter times, they were required to collect the taxes of the town and the levies made by the General Court; to pay the debts of the colony due to individuals in their respective towns; to supply the town with sealed weights and measures, to set in order the watch in those towns where no captain dwelt; and to inflict the punishments ordered by judicial authority when there was no other appointed to do it. As a badge of his office a constable was required to carry a black staff five or five and one-half feet long with a top or head five or six inches long.”
It is of interest that one of John Whitney’s fellow selectmen was Thomas Mayhew. Mr. Mayhew went on to become the Governor of Nantucket Island, and is a direct ancestor of my wife, Carol Arnold Whitney. We are sure that our ancestors were well acquainted with one another in mid-seventeenth century Watertown.
Elinor Whitney gave birth to a total of eight sons, three of them born in Watertown. Joshua was born, as mentioned before, immediately after their arrival in Watertown in July of 1635. She subsequently gave birth to two more sons: Caleb and Benjamin. Caleb died in infancy, and Benjamin went on to become the patriarch of the Maine branch of the family, which is the focus of this work. John Whitney’s death in 1673 signaled a change in Whitney family life. Benjamin’s brothers Richard and Thomas subsequently moved to Stow, Mass., Jonathan to Sherborn, and Joshua lived in Groton before moving back to his father’s farm. Son John stayed on the Watertown family farm, then built a home on a three acre lot on Lexington Street in 1643, remaining there the rest of his life. His home stood in that part of town where the lots were designed for compact dwelling of the townsmen for mutual defense.
The following passage is taken from “A Watertown Farm in Eight generations: A Memorial of the Whitney Family” by William H. Whitney. It is a description written of the end of the eighteen century, when John Whitney’s grandson, Capt. Daniel Whitney owned the 142 acres which were left of the John Whitney Farm. It follows a description of the estate as it was then divided.
“These farming divisions of the close of the 18th century were the result of the plans and labors of the seventeenth century, and the eight boys worked for their father and (for) these other farmers whose names are in this inventory record and whose titles formed the Whitney family farm. Our imaginations must fill the intervals of this farm toil. There was fishing the river for food; There were pioneers calls to hunt the wilde for game; There was a County and Town bounty for wolves, foxes, and blackbirds. There was the sterner duty to scour the woods for lurk-savage-foes, and to rally the women and children for defense in the Garrison House against the attack. Watertown was open and on the frontier. This farm between the Concord and Sudbury highways, in 1643 was at a point of great exposure; but later was doubtless a place of great refuge for those farther out actually driven from their lands by the Indians. Then there was the march to the out-posts to repel the attack. Capt. Patrick of Watertown led the Watertown men to the Pequot War in 1637. Forty men went to Groton in 1676 and the same number went under Capt. Hugh Mason, then a Selectman, marched to the relief of Sudbury garrison houses invested by a band of a thousand Indians April 21, 1676. John Whitney was called from his farm and impressed by Colony order to go upon this Sudbury expedition.”
A Whitney family member’s military service will be mentioned throughout this history. A large part of the reason for that is that a citizen’s military service to his town and country has been well documented and preserved over the centuries. You will see that each Whitney generation has produced men who have answered the call for the protection of self, neighbors, town, and country. Not only did John Whitney serve in the defense of his neighbors and town, but so did his brothers, sons, and nephews.
Elinor Whitney died in Watertown 11 May 1659. John subsequently married, 29 September 1659 in Watertown, Judah Clement, the widow of Robert Clement. John had no children by Judah, and she pre-deceased him, as there is no mention of her in his will.
John Whitney died in Watertown 1 June 1673. It is certain that over the years he divided his real estate holdings among his sons, and the rest he bequeathed in his will. Following is the division of his assets among his sons:
I give to my son John Whitney: my meadow called beaver-brook meadow with the upland that appertains to it; a yoke of oxen; or nine pounds ten shillings; and ten acres of my land called devedend land, and a trunk and one pair of sheets and one pair of pillow beers; and two pewter dishes, a great one and a small one; and the bed whereon I lie with all of the furniture belonging with it.
I give to my son Richard Whitney ten acres of my land called devedend land and two cows and a great sea chest.
I give to my son Thomas Whitney ten acres of my land called devedend land and two cows and a sad colored suite, namely a pair of breeches and a close coat; and a pewter dish.
I give to my son Jonathan Whitney: one iron kettle and a great brass skillet.
I give to my son Joshua Whitney: twenty acres of my land called devedend; and a cupboard and a little table and a chest and a great kettle and a warming pan and a skillet.
I give to my son Benjamin: the old gray mare, if she live. (She did.)
The small amount given to some of his sons was due to his having provided them earlier with farms. It is well to note that the division of John Whitney’s estate ended the relationship with the Whitney family of England. As far as his children were concerned, their history started in Watertown in 1635. Following is a record of the family of John and Elinor Whitney of London, England and Watertown, Massachusetts:
6. John Whitney, baptized 20 July 1592 at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, London, England, married in England, date and place unknown, Elinor, whose maiden name is unknown. Children:
14. Mary, d. baptized at Isleworth Parish, London England 23 May 1619. She was buried at St. Mary Aldermary, London, England 16 February 1626/27.
15. John, s., baptized at Isleworth Parish, London England 14 September 1621.
At the age of ten, John was placed in the Merchant Tailors’ School, where he remained until the family left for New England. He married about 1642, probably in Boston, Ruth Reynolds, the daughter of Robert and Mary Reynolds. Ruth was born about 1622 in Kent, England. John resided in Watertown, and was admitted “freeman” 26 May 1647. He was a selectman from 1673 to 1680. John is found among the soldiers enlisted by Capt. Hugh Mason for the defense of the colony in 1675. Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, the assembly line, and guns with interchangeable parts is a direct descendant of John and Ruth Whitney. John died in Watertown 12 October 1690, and his wife Ruth died before 1706, probably in Watertown. They had ten children, all born in Watertown between 1643 and 1660.
16. Richard, s., baptized at Isleworth Parish, London England 6 January 1623/24. He came to America with his parents, and on 19 March 1650/51 he married, in Watertown, Martha Coldam, daughter of Thomas and Joanuah Coldam of Lynn, Essex Co., Mass. They had eight children, all born in Watertown between 1653 and 1672. He was admitted “freeman” 7 May 1651. In 1681, the family moved to Stow, when it was a part of or belonged to Concord, Mass. He was proprietor of Stow 3 June 1680, and April 7, 1697, being 70 years old, he was released from training by the court. Richard was a member of the “train band”, or local militia, of Stow. The adult males between the ages of 16 and 60 were obligated to train in the use of arms and in the art of war, for the protection of the town from marauders. Richard must have petitioned the court to be released of this duty, and he was so relieved. Among his descendants are many distinguished Americans, some very wealthy. They include General Josiah Whitney, General James Scollay Whitney, Hon. William Collins Whitney, and many others.
17. Nathaniel, s., born date and place unknown, in England between his brothers Richard and Thomas. He is mentioned in the passenger list aboard the Elizabeth and Ann, but there is no further mention of him. He is not mentioned in his father’s will, and probably died young.
18. Thomas, s., baptized 10 December 1627 at St. Mary Aldermary, London, England. He came to America with his parents, and on 11 November 1654 in Watertown, he married Mary Kedall (Kettle). Thomas and Mary had eleven children, all born in Watertown between 1656 and 1673. Sometime after the children were born, the family resided in Stow. Thomas died in Watertown on 20 September 1719, almost ninety years old.
19. Jonathan, s., born in England about 1633 or 1634. Jonathan came to America with his parents, and he took the oath of fidelity in 1652. On 30 October 1656, in Watertown, he married Lydia Jones, the daughter of Lewis and Anna (Stone) Jones. Lydia was born in England in 1632. About 1659 his father gave him 39 acres of land in Watertown, which he had purchased from Richard Woodward. November 7, 1664, Jonathan and Lydia sold this land to Thomas Flagg for 40 pounds. Jonathan and Lydia had eleven children, all born in Watertown between 1657 and 1679. Jonathan was admitted an inhabitant of Sherborn, Mass. in 1679, when in that year he signed the social compact entered into by all of the inhabitants. He was active in community affairs, as witnessed by his participation in the division of common lands and in the building of the community church. Lydia died in Sherborn, Middlesex Co., Mass. on 3 February 1701/02, and Jonathan died there on 1 January 1702/03.
20. Joshua, s., born 15 July 1635 in Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He was the first of the Whitney name born in America. He married three times. He first married a woman named Lydia of Groton, Middlesex Co., Mass. about 1656, with whom he had no children. He married second, 20 November 1664 in Charlestown, Mass., Mary Buckmaster. Joshua and Mary had two children, and then she died in Watertown on 17 March 1671/72. Joshua married third, 30 September 1672 in Watertown, Abigail Tarbell. They had ten children between 1673 and 1692, but the record of their children is incomplete and the subject of much debate. Joshua was one of the earliest settlers and the original proprietor of Groton, Mass. He was very involved in the life of the town, and served in many capacities. He was a Deacon of the church, and was elected Selectman in 1681-84, 1687, and 1701. In 1680 he was he was selected one of the board to arrange matters pertaining to the meeting house. In 1684 he was elected Constable, in 1690 he was elected a tithing-man, and in 1693 the overseer of the highway. He and his son Joshua, Jr. served as soldiers in King Phillip’s war, but they had to move back to Watertown for a few years when the Indians burned the town in the spring of 1676. Joshua died in Watertown 7 August 1719, and was buried in the old burying ground at Groton.
21. Caleb, s., born in Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He was buried in Watertown 5 December 1640.
22. Benjamin, born 6 June 1643 in Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, mentioned below.
Note: We are indebted to the genealogists Frederick Clifton Pierce, Henry Melville, William H. Whitney, and Henry Austin Whitney for preserving the historical facts about the Whitney family members in this generation.
If one sets sail from the Massachusetts coastline and sails toward the coast of Maine, one is sailing down wind and toward the east: hence the term “downeast.” This is how the residents of Maine became known as downeasters. In the seventeenth century colonial period, Maine was a part of the Massachusetts Colony, and later was known as the District of Maine, still a part of Massachusetts. Maine received its statehood on March 15, 1820 as a result of the Missouri Compromise. Colonists started settling in Maine as early as 1623, and a number of the descendants of John and Elinor Whitney eventually came to settle in Maine, or to own land there; but it is believed that the first Whitney downeaster was their youngest son, Benjamin.
Benjamin2 (John1) Whitney was born in Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts on 6 June 1643. His first recorded presence in Maine was in York, York Co., where he was a witness to agreements signed by one John Doves in 1662, 1666, and 1668. He was also present in Cocheco (now part of Dover, Strafford Co., N.H.) in 1667-68, where he was listed as an inhabitant. At this time he was the only one of John Whitney’s sons not living in Watertown. He married first Jane, whose maiden name is unknown, as is the date and place of their marriage. She is thought to be most likely from York, but Cocheco is also a prospect. It is very possible that these marriage records are missing, along with records of the births of seven of their nine children, because the records of York were lost in the great Indian massacre of 1695.
It was the wish of the seventy-six year old John Whitney that his youngest son Benjamin return from York to Watertown; there to live on the Whitney homestead and care for his father. In order to facilitate this move, John promised a deed to his seventeen-acre homestead with house and barn as an enticement. So in the year 1668, Benjamin and Jane returned to Watertown, and it was recorded in Watertown that their daughter Jane was born there 29 September 1668. John deeded the property to Benjamin and Jane on 5 April 1670. However, on 9 March 1670/71, with the consent of John, Benjamin and Jane sold to Benjamin’s brother Joshua for forty pounds their right in their father’s estate (described as “the Mansion house of John Whitney”).
By 1674 Benjamin and Jane had returned to York, Maine, for on 13 April 1674, the selectmen of York laid out a ten-acre lot of upland for them. Benjamin has been described as a tailor, which was a highly sought-after craft, and undoubtedly farmed his land. He and Jane had nine children, but only the births of three are recorded: Jane as previously mentioned in Watertown, Joshua, who was born after their removal to Sherborn, Massachusetts, and Nathaniel, whose birth is recorded in the York, Maine vital records along with those of his children. The places and dates of the births of their other children remain unknown. Indeed, the dates given as approximations of their birth dates are those given by other genealogists, and may not be reliable. In fact, it is not sure that Jane was their first-born. It is possible that one or both of her brothers Timothy and John were actually born in Maine prior to their return in 1668 to Watertown.
Benjamin and Jane remained in York at least for eleven years. Then it is recorded that on 24 March 1684/5, they sell to Jonathan Sayward, for 10 pounds and 14 shillings, “a certain tract and parcel of land which I have improved, possessed, and have a small tenant upon, planted, and lived upon these several years”, which was granted by the town of York in 1680, and the ten other acres granted by the town in 1674. Benjamin and Jane are next found in Sherborn, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, where their last child, son Joshua, was born 21 September, 1687. Jane Whitney died in Sherborn 14 November 1690. Benjamin married second, Mary Poor in Marlborough, Middlesex Co., Mass. 11 April 1696. With Mary he had two more children, both probably born in Framingham, Middlesex Co., Mass. In 1718 he received from his nephew Benjamin, son of his brother Jonathan, a legacy of 10 shillings per annum. Toward the end of his life he lived in Sherborn on land belonging to Harvard College, which he leased from Governor Danforth. Benjamin Whitney died in Sherborn 26 March 1723, almost eighty years old. Following is a record of his family:
23. Jane, d., born 29 September 1668 in Watertown, Middlesex Co., Mass., married in Sherborn ,4 January 1693/94, Jonathan Morse, Jr.. He was born 11 July 1667 in Sherborn, the son of Lt. Jonathan Morse and Mary Barbour. They are said to have had 5 children (Abigail, Isaac, Jane, Eunice and Abiah Morse), all born in Maplewood, Mass. between 1695 and 1709.
24. Timothy, s., born about 1672, possibly in York, Maine. He resided in York, and in 1703 was a member, along with his brothers Nathaniel and John, in the militia company formed by Captain Abraham Preble to defend York from Indian attack. Nothing more is known of Timothy.
25. Elinor (Elner), d., born about 1675, possibly in York, Maine. Elinor does not appear in this family in the older genealogies. However, she can be placed here by a reading of her brother Jonathan’s will. In this will, Jonathan leaves his son Jonathan, Jr. the sum of 100 pounds as payment for the care of his father’s sister “Elner” (9 April 1752 to 9 April 1754). Elinor had one son, born to an unknown father, and termed “illegitimate”. Elinor died after 9 April 1754, for she was then living with her nephew Jonathan in Mendon, Worcester Co., Mass. Child: Daniel, s., born 27 February 1704/05 in Sherborn, Mass.
26. John, s., born about 1678, possibly in York, Maine. He married first, about 1704 Lettes (Letty) Ford, daughter of John Ford and Joanna Andrews Searle of Kittery, Maine. Letty was the sister of Sarah Ford, who married John’s brother Nathaniel. John was a member of Capt. Abraham Preble’s militia company, along with his brothers Timothy and Nathaniel. He owned land in York adjacent to that of his brother Nathaniel, as stated in the deed to Nathaniel’s land. John and Letty had eight children, the first seven of whom were born in York between 1705 and 1719 (Mary, Samuel, Elizabeth, Hannah, Mercy, Mehetible, and John, Jr.). They subsequently removed to New Meadow, a small town near Brunswick, Cumberland Co., Maine. Their last child, Benjamin, was recorded as being born in Brunswick. They then removed to Lisbon Falls, Androscoggin Co., Maine. John married second, on 14 January 1730/31 in Kittery, Maine, Susannah Barton Smith. I can find no further mention of this couple.
27. Nathaniel, s., mentioned below.
28. Jonathan, s., born 1681, probably in York, Maine. On 14 January 1700/01 in Medfield, Norfolk Co., Mass., he married Susanna Fairbanks. She was born 16 March 1681/82 in Medfield, the daughter of George Fairbanks and Rachel Adams. They had twelve children, all born in Sherborn between 1703 and 1721 (Susannah, Jonathan, Jr., Keziah, Dorothy, Mary, Lydia, Jesse, Hannah, Elias, Mehetible, and George). It is possible that Jonathan was a minister, for in 1721 he is on the Sherborn tax list as being taxed at the minister’s rate (and he paid one of the largest taxes!). In 1723 his name appeared first on a petition to separate off from Sherborn the town of Holliston. He was a Selectman in Holliston in the years 1724 thru 1728 and 1732, 1736 and 1737. He resided in Sherborn, Holliston, and Milford, Mass., and died in Holliston, Middlesex Co., Mass. 16 January 1754.
29. possibly Josiah, s., born about 1683. Josiah is not placed by the older genealogists as a member of this family. However, he could be placed here using the well-argued deductive reasoning of Robert Ward of the Whitney Research Group, an Internet association of Whitney researchers. Robert Ward argues that this is the only family into which Josiah can be satisfactorily placed. However, documentation has not so far been discovered which would guarantee his place in this family. Josiah married Merriam Barrett before 5 November 1707. Merriam was the daughter of Joseph Barrett and Martha Gould, and she was born in Chelmsford, Middlesex Co., Mass. on 29 April 1686. Josiah and Merriam had seven children, all born in Chelmsford between 1707 and 1727 (Eunice, Martha, Josiah, Benjamin, Merriam, Peter, and Elinor). After the births of the children, the family eventually removed to Willington, Windham Co., Connecticut. Merriam died there 26 January 1750/51, as did Josiah on 19 November 1766.
30. Benjamin, s., born about 1685, probably in York, Maine. He married in Boston, Suffolk Co., Mass. on 7 August 1705, Esther Maverick, the widow of James Maverick of Winnissimet, Mass. Esther had two children by James Maverick (Martha in 1693, and James in 1699). Benjamin and Hester had one son, Benjamin, Jr., born in Sherborn 22 May 1709. Benjamin, Sr. is said to have been an innkeeper. He probably died in Sherborn.
31. Joshua, s., born 21 September 1687 in Sherborn, Middlesex Co., Mass. Joshua is said to have been a cordwainer by trade. He married Hannah Rockett in Medfield, Norfolk Co., Mass. on 26 November 1709. Hannah was born in Medfied 24 August 1691, the daughter of Josiah Rockett and Mary Twitchell. Their first two children, Hannah in 1710 and Joshua, Jr. in 1712, were born in Medfield. By 1713 the family had removed to Mendon, Worcester Co., Mass., where their next three children were born (Ezekiel, Bethia, and Bethia again) between 1716 and 1727. The family then removed to Uxbridge, Worcester Co., Mass.. Two more children were born: Gershom, born about 1729, place unknown, and Mary, born in Uxbridge in 1732. Joshua was buried in Ware, Hampshire Co., Mass. on 16 June 1771, and Hannah was buried there 8 August 1772.
Benjamin Whitney married second, Mary Poor in Marlborough, Middlesex Co., Mass., on 11 April 1696. Children are:
32. Mark, s., born about 1700 in Framingham, Middlesex Co., Mass. He was a soldier in Captain Samuel Wright’s Rutland Co. from 10 Novenber 1723 to 10 June 1724. He married in Framingham on 4 January 1726/27 Tabitha Mellen. She was born 4 January 1703/04 in Framingham, the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Mellen. Mark’s father Benjamin, and Tabitha’s father Thomas must have been well-acquainted, for they were both among those who became dissatisfied with the church at Framingham in 1732 and went to the Hopkinton church. Mark was admitted a member of the Hopkinton church on 27 April 1735, and lived in Hopkinton until he removed to Framingham. He was dismissed by the Hopkinton church to the Framingham church 5 April 1752, and was admitted a member in Framingham on 10 February 1754. While he resided in Framingham he kept a tavern on the old Whitney homestead near the Havens, which had been left by his father, Benjamin. He soon removed to Natick, where he resided until his death. In 1759 he was a surveyor of highways, and in 1760 was a member of the parish committee. He was a prominent and leading citizen in the towns in which he lived, for the title “Mr.” is prefixed to his name in the town records. Mark Whitney died 23 June 1760 in Natick, Middlesex Co., Mass. His widow Tabitha taught school in Hopkinton after his death. They had eleven children born between 1726 and 1742 (Love, Jason, Mary, Mark, Jr., Tabitha, Thomas, Tabitha, Sarah, and Esther).
33. Isaac, s., born about 1702, probably in Framingham, Mass.; married there on 27 September, 1722 Elizabeth Bridges. He lived in Hopkinton on land he owned next to that of his brother Mark. They had four children born in Hopkinton between 1725 and 1731 (Isaac, Judith, Elizabeth, and Gideon). Isaac died in Hopkinton in 1749, and was predeceased by Elizabeth, as she is not mentioned in his will.
Nathaniel3 Whitney (Benjamin2, John1) was born 14 April 1680 in York, York Co., Maine. We know the date of his birth not from an original recording of it, but from a recording in the York town records of the births of his children. It was noted by the town clerk as a way of distinguishing which Nathaniel Whitney was the head of the family. Nathaniel, along with his brothers Timothy and John]], was a member of the military company commanded by Capt. Abraham Preble in 1703 for defense against Indian attack. The young Nathaniel had moved from York to Sherborn, Mass. about 1685, so the family had been spared the Indian massacre of 1690. York, and indeed all of New England would remain under threat of Indian raids for many years.
When the military obligation of the three brothers was fulfilled, Nathaniel and John remained close, as each had large families while living next to each other in York. Nathaniel must have gone first to Kittery, Maine, where he was a weaver. It was there that he may have met Sarah Ford, daughter of John Ford and Joanna Andrews Searle of Kittery. Sarah Ford was the sister of Lettice Ford, who married Nathaniel’s brother John. They were married about 1705, probably either in Kittery or York. The records of York show that in 1708, Nathaniel Whitney, weaver, of Kittery bought from Johnson and Mary Harmon a certain piece of salt marsh and thatch ground in York, commonly known as the Sunken Marsh. Even though there is no record in York of the appropriation or sale of land to Nathaniel’s brother John, there is a notation in the deed to Nathaniel’s land that it was next door to the land of his brother John.
Nathaniel and Sarah lived in York for the next seven to eight years. During this time, the first four of their ten children were born. Their first child, Nathan, is recorded in the York vital records as having been born in York in 1707. The circumstances for his birth in York can only be theorized, for Nathaniel is listed as “of Kittery” in the 1708 land transfer record. However, he and Sarah may have been living with his brother John in 1707, in advance of the land purchase.
In the York records is an entry in November 1715 of a transaction involving the “Sunken Marsh” property. “Nathaniel Whitney, of York, weaver, and wife Sarah, sell for four score pounds to Joseph Harris, ½ the tract of land known as the Sunken Marsh, having sold the other ½ tract to John Stagpole, and all housing, timber, etc.” This sale must have been in anticipation of the relocation of the family, because the next record found of this family is in 1716 in Sherborn, Mass., close to his father and brothers. The record we find is that of the birth of their son John, 27 November 1716, a year after the Sunken Marsh land sale.
The stay in Sherborn was short, however, for there is a record in York in the year 1717 of the purchase of land by Nathaniel Whitney from John Racklift. It involved twenty acres of land, and a small orchard on the southeast side of the York River, on the northwest side of Rogers Cave in York. Nathaniel lived in York until at least 1760, and the births of his last five children are recorded there. His estate was settled in 1768 by his son, Amos. The following is a record of this family:
27. Nathaniel Whitney, born 14 April 1680 in York, York Co., Maine; married about 1705 Sarah Ford, daughter of John and Joanna (Andrews)(Searle) Ford of Kittery. Children are:
34. Nathan, s., born in York, York Co., Maine 10 January 1706/7. He married first in York 12 November 1730, Lydia Young. She was born in York 15 October 1711, the daughter of fisherman Matthews Young and Eleanor Haines. Nathan and Lydia removed to Biddeford, York Co., Maine, where all seven of their children were born between 1732 and 1747. He married second, Elizabeth Melcher of Biddeford. They were married in Biddeford 20 October 1748, and had three children while living there between 1749 and 1754. Nathan and family then became early settlers of Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine. In 1752, Nathan purchased from Enoch Freeman of Falmouth the thirty-acre Lot 26 in Gorham. The lot had a dwelling house and barn already constructed upon it. He was a prominent and influential citizen in Gorham, serving on many important town committees, was a selectman in 1774, and was an elder of the church. He was commomly known as Elder Nathan Whitney. Nathan died in 1804 in Gorham. His children were; by his first wife Lydia: David, Abel, Lydia, Sarah, Nathan, Jr., Matthias, and [[Family:Whitney, Matthias (1744-c1820)|John]. By his second wife, Elizabeth, he had: Anna, Ebenezer and Asa.
35. Nathaniel, Jr., s., born 12 December 1709 in York, York Co., Maine. He married 3 January 1733/34 Hannah Day, the daughter of Joseph Day and Patience Hilton. Hannah was born in Gloucester, Essex Co., Massachusetts 8 August 1714.
After their marriage, Nathaniel, Jr. and Hannah resided in Biddeford, and there had their children, at the same time brother Nathan resided there with his family. All nine of their children were probably born in Biddeford between 1735 and 1752, although daughter Tabitha may have been born in Kittery. Sometime after the birth of their son Josiah in 1752, the family removed to Falmouth, which is now called Portland, Cumberland Co., Maine. There they resided until about 1769, when Nathaniel, Jr. followed his brother Nathan to Gorham. They are recorded as coming to Gorham from Falmouth, and in 1769 Nathaniel, Jr. bought in Gorham a homestead farm from Benjamin Winslow. The farm consisted of two thirty-acre lots (No. 51 & 52) and the south half of the 100-acre lot No. 76. His house stood on Lot 51, and the hill on which he and some of his brothers settled was known as “Whitney Hill”. Nathaniel, Jr. must have been successful, for in 1772, he is listed as one of only four residents of Gorham owning two horses. He is listed in 1766 as one of the owners of the grist mill built on the Little River in Gorham. Both he and his brother Nathan were influential in town affairs, for he was on the committee of five in 1774 which drew up instructions for Gorham’s representative to the Continental Congress. In 1777, both brothers were chosen to serve on the committee to determine the instructions to be given to Gorham’s Continental Congress representative about the type of government the Congress should choose for the country. Nathaniel, Jr. died after 1790, and is buried in York. Children of Nathaniel, Jr. and Hannah (Day) Whitney: Nathaniel, Jr., Hannah, Moses, Aaron, Miriam, Tabitha, Patience, Hepsibah and Josiah.
36. Abel, s., mentioned below
37. Sarah, d., born 8 November 1714 in York, York Co., Maine. She married first in York, 13 July 1736, Jeremiah Simpson, the son of Lt. Daniel Simpson and Frances Plaisted. Jeremiah was born in York 15 January 1717/18. They had two children, both born in York: Lydia Simpson, born 17 February 1736; and Jeremiah Simpson, Jr., born 12 February 1738/39. Jeremiah Simpson died in York before 24 January 1757. Sarah married second, John Larrabee. Nothing more is known to the author.
38. John, s., born 27 November 1716 in Sherborn, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. John was a well-respected physician. It is unknown where he received his medical training, but he is found referred to as Dr. John Whitney “of Boston”. Dr. John Whitney is found first at Eastham, Barnstable Co., Cape Cod, where he was married first, by Mr. Joseph Crocker, to Jerusha Knowles. She was born in Eastham 9 March 1719, the daughter of Samuel Knowles and Bethia Brown. John and Jerusha had four sons. The first three, John, Josiah, and Seth were born in Eastham between 1740 and 1743. The fourth son, Nathaniel was born in Eastham on an unknown date, and it was possibly during or after his birth that Jerusha died. Before 1747, John married second, Margaret Coffin of Sherbourne, Nantucket Island, Mass. She was born 9 July 1721, the daughter of Major Josiah and Elizabeth (Coffin) Coffin. John and Margaret had a daughter Sarah, born 22 April 1747 in Sherbourne on Nantucket Island. By 1749 they had removed to York, Maine, where their next two children, Margaret and John Coffin Whitney were born in 1749 and 1751, and where John’s father still resided. John must have left his children by Jerusha Knowles in the care of Jerusha’s sister Azubah, for on 9 May 1751 in Eastham, Cape Cod, Josiah Sears, husband of Azubah is made guardian of John’s sons John and Nathaniel. The fates of Josiah and Seth is unknown at this time. Margaret Whitney must have died shortly after the birth of her third child, for before 1755, John married third, Hephzibah (Adams) Adams, the widow of Richard Adams. Hephzibah had two children, Richard and Hephzibah Adams, by her first husband, and would have two more with John Whitney (Hephzibah in 1755 and Miriam in 1757). Dr. John Whitney was a respected physician and surgeon in York, Maine. No record of his death has been found.
39. Lydia, d., born before 1720, died in York 14 July 1720.
40. Isaac, s., born 9 March 1720/21 in York, York Co., Maine. He married first, Sarah Crosby, daughter of Dr. Crosby of York. Marriage intentions were published in York 25 February 1743, and they were probably married there 5 September 1743. The family first lived in York, for their first four children (Lucy, Phineas, Isaac, Jr., and Hannah) were born there between 1745 and 1750. The family is then said to have moved to Saco, but their children born there (David, Stephen, and Jonathan) are recorded across the river in Biddeford between 1752 and 1757. The family then removed to Gorham, where Sarah (Crosby) Whitney died 23 June 1765. Isaac married second, 29 August 1765, Mrs. Hannah Payne. They had five children (Barnabas, Henry, Timothy, Sarah, and Timothy), all born in Gorham between 1766 and 1771. There is no record found of the death of Hannah (Payne) Whitney. Isaac married third Mrs. Mary Walker, 1 January 1784 in Gorham. Isaac is reported to have served as a private in the Buxton company of Captain John Elden in 1775. Isaac died in 1800 at the home of his son Henry in Freeport, Cumberland Co., Maine.
41. Amos, s., born 5 March 1723/24 in York, York Co., Maine. He married in York, 5 September 1748, Sarah Payne, daughter of Thomas Payne and Mary Gookin. Sarah Payne was born 12 June 1729 in York. Amos and Sarah’s first three children (Ebenezer, Amos, Jr., and Mary-Gookin) were born in York between 1749 and 1754. The family then removed to Gorham, where they were early settlers. They built a log house on two thirty-acre farm lots (No. 40 & 42). They lived on this homestead until 1798, when it was sold to Joseph Crocker Snow of Falmouth, Mass. Amos was a productive farmer, as it was noted that in 1772, he was one of only four farmers in town to cut 20 tons of hay. Amos Whitney was a highly respected citizen, known to be a man of great integrity. He was one of three men chosen in 1763 to be tax assessors, the earliest tax record in Gorham. Amos was the town’s first Town Clerk, and held the position from 1764 through 1770. He was also chosen selectman from 1764 through 1767, and 1769. Town records show that he was also active in the affairs of the church. Amos and Sarah had three more children (Elias, Jotham and Ruth), all born in Gorham between 1763 and 1769. Sarah (Payne) Whitney died before 1773, for on 14 August 1773, intentions were published in Gorham for the marriage of Amos Whitney and Hannah (Blake) Johnson of Falmouth, the widow of James Johnson. Hannah was born in Hampton, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire on 2 June 1728. She died in New Gloucester, Cumberland Co., Maine, 14 May 1815. Amos died 1 March 1807, and is buried in Buxton, Cumberland Co. Maine.
42. Lydia, d., born 22 July 1726 in York, York Co., Maine. Died in York 23 March 1727/28.
43. Joanna, d., born 13 March 1729/30 in York, York Co. Maine. Nothing more is known by the author.
Benjamin Whitney’s Maine family branch spent one generation in Watertown, Mass. and two generations in York, Maine, and has again moved its family seat. Five of the ten children of Nathaniel and Sarah Whitney removed to Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine. Some came by way of other towns, but these Whitneys of York remained a close family as they sought better opportunities in life.
Gorham, Maine, first called Narraganset No. 7, then Gorhamtown, felt the first lumberman’s axe in the year 1736. Gorham lies just a few miles west of what is now known as Portland, Maine, then a thriving seaport known as Falmouth (name changed to Portland in 1786). Although its distance from Falmouth was small, the land upon which Gorham was to sit was considered to be the frontier, and its early settlers were of the hardiest stock. The experience of Gorham’s early settlers is very much similar to that of the early settlers of almost all New England towns in the 17th and 18th centuries. If one is to appreciate one’s heritage, then an understanding of that experience and the sacrifices made and the hardships endured is essential.
The grant establishing the Narraganset Township No. 7 was a direct result of the animosity that existed between the Native American Indian tribes and the early settlers who encroached on and appropriated their traditional hunting and farming lands. The Indian tribes grew very wary of the English settlers as treaty after treaty was signed and then broken, resulting in their way of life being forever changed. Over the many decades since 1620, relations with the Indians varied. Sometimes they worked and played side by side as townships developed. But this never seemed to last, as attacks on settler’s towns and farms occurred also. The settlers lived with the fear of attack on a daily basis. Trainbands were formed in most towns to train the townsmen in military and defense skills. The first great culmination of this animosity was in 1677, when King Phillip’s War was fought. Troops were raised by the colony’s General Court to battle with King Phillip’s forces, and the soldiers were promised a land grant in exchange for their service. The campaign waged against King Phillip’s warriors was extremely difficult, and was carried out in extreme winter weather conditions. The cost to the soldiers of the victory was great, and the land grants were a well deserved reward.
Many old New England families have preserved for them stories from that early period pertaining to their ancestors’ experience in pioneering this great country. Many of those stories entail survival of attack by Indian bands. The story preserved for us is not of Abel Whitney, but of his first cousin Samuel, the son of Abel’s uncle John Whitney. However, the story reveals to us the dangers which lurked around them as our forefathers pushed forward the frontiers.
Samuel was captured by a raiding party of Indians and a Frenchman during peacetime, just before the outbreak of the French and Indian War. His account of the capture is preserved for us in a petition he filed on December 4, 1751 with the General Court of Massachusetts in Boston. I am paraphrasing that account and adding in some details from other accounts in published histories.
At about two o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, July 24, 1751 in New Meadow, Lincoln Co., Maine, Samuel Whitney was in a field mowing hay. He was in a group that included his son Samuel, Jr., Isaac, Edmund, and Gideon Hinkley, and Samuel Lumbers. Meanwhile, Hezekiah Purington, who lived on the Purington farm at New Meadows, crossed the New Meadows in his canoe to visit with the men working in the hay field on the Brunswick side. The men had left their guns at some distance from where they were working, and Purington thought it would be a good joke to take the weapons. It was in the act of concealing the weapons that he and the guns were seized by a party of Indians who were lurking in the same cover he was using. There were nineteen Indians (nine of the Norridgewalk Tribe, and ten Canadians) and one Frenchman in the raiding party. Realizing that they were in mortal danger, the men tried to retreat from the field, but were cut off by the Indians. Isaac Hinkley tried to escape, and was brutally killed and scalped. He fell into a gully on the lower part of the field, and his body was not discovered until the next spring. One of the Norridgewalk tribe was well known to the men, and the Norridgewalks were kept from murdering all of them by the Canadian Indians.
After the raiding party secured its captives, it set about destroying or wounding a herd of cattle numbering between 20 and 30 head. Some of these cattle were the property of Samuel Whitney. The band then marched their prisoners off to Quebec. Before they even got to Canada, the Indian band was given new clothes and guns and plenty of provisions as a reward for their exploit. Samuel noted that the Norridgewalk Tribe had departed Norridgewalk, Maine and was now encamped on the Canada River near Quebec, under the influence of the French. It was a custom among the Indian tribes that captives would be made to sing for them. Samuel describes having to sing a chorus in the presence of the Governor of the Penobscot Tribe.
Samuel befriended a man named Peter Littlefield, a former captive who now chose to live among the natives. Mr. Littlefield loaned Samuel 126 livres, with which Samuel paid his ransom. Samuel applied to the Canadian government for a pass, which was granted. He returned to Boston via Louisbourgh, Nova Scotia. Samuel Whitney, Jr. and his fellow captives remained in Canada until they escaped or were released. During that time they suffered much hardship.
Samuel Whitney petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts in Boston for financial help for himself and his wife and eight children, and for the funds to repay his ransom and to ransom his son. The government provided for the families of all of the men while they were captives.
The wheels of government turned slowly, even by today’s standards. The Narraganset Battle with King Phillip’s warriors was fought in 1677, and land grants had been promised to those who took part in the action. The Massachusetts General Court did not make good on the land grant promise until 1733. In those 54 intervening years, many who were entitled to grants passed away, leaving their entitlement to their heirs and close relatives. By 1733, those entitled to a land grant numbered 840. These 840 were then divided into seven societies, and each society was granted the land in one of the seven Narraganset townships. The proprietorship for Narraganset No. 7, called Gorhamtown, was given to Shuabel Gorham, the heir of Capt. John Gorham of Barnstable on Cape Cod. The majority of the members of the Narraganset No. 7 society were from Cape Cod (Barnstable, Yarmouth, Eastham, and Sandwich), but some were also from Plymouth, Tinsbury, Abbington, Duxbury, and Scituate. Gorhamtown was subdivided into 120 30-acre lots, and the lots were assigned by lottery to each of the 120 society members. The owner of the lot could then either settle on the lot or sell it.
The experience of the early Gorhamtown settlers is very much like the experience of other pioneers who settled our New England towns. In May of 1736, Capt. John Phinney and his son Edmund paddled their canoe up the Presumpscot and into the Little River, landing at or near Blenham Falls. The next day, Capt. Phinney allowed Edmund the honor of cutting a very old basswood tree, which would be the first tree to fall in the new settlement of Gorhamtown. In a new settlement, the top priority was the clearing of the land so that crops could be sown, and the building of housing for the families. John and Edmund worked all that summer clearing the land of trees, planting crops, and building a log house. When all was prepared, that fall Capt. Phinney moved his family into the first log house in Gorhamtown. The Phinney family lived there as the only family in town for 2½ years, until the winter of 1738/39, when two more families, the McLellans and the Moshers moved in.
The early years were very difficult. The land was heavily populated with forest, and had to be cleared for planting. The families were very dependant on the land to supply their food, and farming implements were fairly scarce or non-existent. This called for very primitive farming methods at times. Winters were harsh, and food became scarce if there was a poor or insufficient harvest. All of the work that went into the development of these New England towns was, of course, done under the constant threat of Indian attack. The lands the settlers were claiming were traditional hunting or farming areas for the native tribes, or were an area commonly passed through during a migration. The English-heritage settlers greatly upset the Native American pattern of life, and were highly resented.
Abel4 Whitney (Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was not the earliest Whitney brother to settle in Gorham, as Nathan and Amos settled there before him. Abel was born in York, York Co., Maine on 23 July, 1712. Like his father before him, he was a weaver. On 12 November 1735 in York, Abel was married by Rev. Sam Moody to Mary Cane, the daughter of Nicholas Cane and Mary Parsons. Mary was born 19 January 1714/15 in York. Abel and Mary’s first child, Joanna, was born in York in 1736, and then the family removed to Wiscasset, Maine. The next two children, Moses and Joseph, were born in Wiscasset in 1738 and 1740. There is a record of Abel Whitney, now of Wiscasset and formerly of York, buying a property in Berwick on 19 April 1738. The family probably never lived in Berwick, however, as in 1741, Abel sold the farm in Wiscasset (also known as Pownalborough) to a Michael Seavey. The family removed back to York, where son Daniel was born in 1741, and all successive children were born thereafter. Sometime after the birth of son Paul in 1756, and possibly after the birth of daughter Deborah in 1759, Abel removed his family to Gorhamtown. Abel died prematurely in Gorhamtown at the age of 47. He died sometime earlier than 1 October 1759, for that is the date his will was probated. The inventory of his estate included a house and four acres of land in York (valued at 26 pounds), and a house and 30 acre lot in Gorham (valued at 40 pounds). It looks like you could get more for your money in Gorham than in York!
Mary Whitney had fourteen children with Abel in the 24 years they were married, and 6 of them were ten years old or less when Abel died. Mary (Cane) Whitney married second in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine, 10 June 1763, Samuel Crockett. Mary was the third spouse of Samuel Crockett, and he had at least seven children (the record is imperfect) by his previous two wives. Samuel came from New Hampshire and settled in Falmouth, Maine. He lived on the corner of Middle and Plum Streets in Falmouth, and was a shipwright. Mary and Samuel raised their family in Gorham, and they spent their later years living in West Gorham with Samuel’s son, Samuel, Jr. Mary Whitney Crockett died about 1794 in Gorham, and is buried in the Old Village (South Street) Cemetery in Gorham. There was no marker placed on her grave. Samuel Crockett died in Gorham 19 December, 1798, and is buried in the Old Village Cemetery, Gorham. Following is a record of the family of Abel and Mary (Cane) Whitney.
36. Abel Whitney, born 23 July 1712 in York, York Co., Maine married 12 November 1735 Mary Cane. She was born 19 January 1714/15 in York. Their children were:
44. Joanna Whitney, d., born 10 October 1736 in York, York Co., Maine. Died young, possibly in York or Wiscasset, Maine.
45. Moses Whitney, s., born 17 February 1737 in Wiscasset, Cumberland Co., Maine. When Lincoln Co. was organized in 1760, Wiscasset became part of Lincoln Co. Moses was living in Gorham when the proceeds of his father’s will were dispersed 30 May 1764. There is a record in Falmouth of the publishing of the intention to marry of Moses Whitney and Lois Crediford of Falmouth, published 28 August 1761. Many genealogists and historians list this as the first marriage of Moses Whitney. However, I am of the opinion that this marriage probably did not take place. Records in the Cumberland County Courthouse indicate that on 13 January 1766, Lois Crediford, a singlewoman with one daughter, was charged with fornication (sexual relations without the benefit of marriage). On 15 January 1766 in Falmouth, Cumberland Co., Maine, Moses Whitney married Priscilla Burnell. Moses and Priscilla had two children. Son Zebulon was baptized in Falmouth on 7 December 1766, and daughter Nabby (probably Abigail) was born in Gorham on 12 April 1777. Moses died sometime between 1777 and 1790, when in the Maine census of that year, Priscilla is listed in Gorham as the head of household. There is a record in Gorham of a Priscilla Whitney marrying David Young of Little Falls on 15 December 1796. This is probably Priscilla’s second marriage.
46. Joseph Whitney, s., was born 10 March 1739/40 in Wiscasset, Cumberland Co., Maine. Joseph was an early settler of Gorham, Maine. In Hugh D. McLellan’s History of Gorham, Maine there is an account of the participation of Joseph and his first cousin, Nathan Whitney, Jr. in the French and Indian War. In 1761, they were among a company of men dispatched from Gorham under the command of Capt. Simon Jefferd to help fortify Halifax, Nova Scotia against attack by the French. Many in the company were selected because they were artificers (skilled craftsmen), having the skills to properly erect the fortifications. Both Joseph and Nathan Whitney, Jr. are listed as house carpenters. After the war, Joseph married first, 30 October 1765 in Gorham, Mehitable Stevens. Mehitable was the daughter of Benjamin Stevens and Sarah Pride, born 15 July 1750 in Gorham. They had five children (Abel, Mary, Anna, Mercy, and Solomon), all born in Gorham between 1767 and 1780. Mehitable died in Gorham shortly after the birth of her son Solomon. Joseph married second, Betty Phinney, the daughter of Edmund Phinney and Betty Meserve. Betty was an original settler of Gorham, for it was her father who felled the first tree in Gorham. She was born in Gorham 1 April 1759. Their intention to marry was published in Gorham 22 September 1781. They had nine children, all born in Gorham between 1782 and 1803 (Stephen, Joseph, Patience, Sarah, Hannah, Betty, Peggy, Edmund, and James). Joseph and Betty both died in Gorham; Joseph on 13 March 1819, and Betty on 14 February 1828.
47. Daniel Whitney, s., born 17 September 1741 in York, York Co., Maine, died young.
48. Joel Whitney, s., born 21 May 1743 in York, York Co., Maine. Joel first went to Falmouth, and then by 1763 was taxed as a resident of Gorham. In Falmouth, 26 September 1765, he was married by Rev. Ephraim Clark to Mary Weston, daughter of Joseph Weston and Hannah Parker of Falmouth. Their first child, Mary, was born in Gorham 14 September 1766. Shortly after her birth, probably 1767, the family removed to Chandler’s River, Washington Co., Maine. It was there that the rest of Joel and Mary’s thirteen children would be born (Hannah, Ephraim, Reuben, Joel, Daniel, Joel, Jr., Joseph, Lucy, Joseph, Paul, Abel and Joshua) between 1768 and 1791. Hannah Whitney was the first child born in Chandler’s River, and the family lived in a one-room log house Joel built on the south side of the river. In 1806, Chandler’s River would officially change to it’s present day name of Jonesboro, after it’s first principal proprietor, John C. Jones. Joel became a prominent man in Jonesboro; a land owner, mill operator, and counselor on matters of adjudication. His service in the Revolutionary War will be discussed in the next chapter. Joel Whitney died prematurely on 28 July 1791 in Jonesboro. His wife Mary survived him for many years. They are both buried in unmarked graves on the property where their house stood, on the south side of Chandler’s River in Jonesboro.
49. Mary Whitney, d., born 5 October 1744 in York, York Co., Maine. Mary married Samuel Whitmore in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine on 24 October 1764. Samuel was born 4 July 1744 in Cambridge, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, the son of John Whitmore and Lydia Cutter. On July 30, 1764, Samuel bought the thirty-acre Lot 78 in Gorham from Alexander Ross. He also owned the part of the “Bryant Morton strip” that was south of Lot 78, and on that land he built the house in which he and Mary lived. Samuel was a blacksmith by trade, and a prominent and respected man in Gorham. He was a Selectman of Gorham in 1773-1774, and town treasurer from 1779 to 1803. In 1782 he was a member of the Committee of Correspondence, Inspection and Safety of Gorham, and was a man of patriotic fervor during the Revolutionary War. He was appointed Captain of one of the Gorham companies in the Third Cumberland Co. Regiment on 10 May 1776. By December of that year he was a Captain in the Gorham and Pearsontown (Standish) Co., Massachusetts Militia, Col. Reuben Fogg’s Cumberland Co. Regiment. In 1781, he was commissioned Captain in the Gorham company of Col. Phinney’s Third Cumberland Co. Regiment of Militia. Samuel and Mary had twelve children, all born in Gorham between 1765 and 1788 (Lydia, Mary, Dorcas, John, Patience, Elizabeth, Samuel, Samuel, Joel, Sarah, Joanna, and Eunice). Their oldest daughter, Lydia Whitmore, married Uriel Whitney, the Revolutionary War soldier from Groton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Samuel Whitmore died in Gorham December 21, 1808. The date of Mary’s death is unknown.
50. Lydia Whitney, d., born 31 July 1746 in York, York Co., Maine. Lydia married, 2 July 1766 in Gorham, John Burnell. John was born about 1742, possibly in York or Wells, York Co., Maine. John was a caulker by trade, and after the birth of their first child, John Burnell, Jr., 1766 in Gorham, they removed to Falmouth, where their second child, Joseph Burnell, was born in 1769. They then removed to Boothbay, Lincoln, Co., Maine, where their next two children (Mary, also known as Nancy; and Jenney Burnell) were born in 1771 and 1773. By 1778 they had removed back to Gorham, where their last four children (Samuel, Sally, David, and Eunice Burnell) were born between 1778 and 1790 (although the record of their children may be imperfect). The family lived on the northerly half of Lot No. 20 in Gorham. Hugh McLellan’s History of Gorham, Maine records this about them: “Mr. and Mrs. Burnell, though not rich, were valuable members of society. She understood well the use of roots and herbs, which were much used in her day; was a good nurse and kind to those in sickness and distress. He was a good grave-digger, and helped deposit more bodies in the old cemetery at the village than any other man since the yard was opened.” Both John and Lydia Burnell died in Gorham; John on 13 January 1822, age 80, and Lydia on 29 October 1834, age 89.
51. Zebulon Whitney, s., born 27 November 1747 in York, York Co., Maine. He was married by Rev. Ephraim Clark in Falmouth (Cape Elizabeth), 10 November 1774, to Hannah Stone. She was born about 1755 on Cape Elizabeth, the daughter of Archelaus Stone and Sarah Weston. Her sister Abigail married Daniel Whitney, brother of Zebulon. He was a Revolutionary War soldier, enlisting as a private in June of 1778 in the company commanded by Captain Benjamin Lamont in Colonel Nathaniel Wade’s Regiment of the Massachusetts State Troops. He was marched to Rhode Island, where he served a term of six months, after which he was discharged. He returned to Gorham and lived there the rest of his life. He was granted a military pension. Zebulon and Hannah had nine children (Abigail, Happy, Matte, Rufus, Eli, Eunice, Hannah, Tabitha, and Elmira), all born in Gorham between 1776 and 1798. Hannah died in Gorham 10 December 1824, and Zebulon died there 11 September, 1833, age 86 years.
52. Joanna Whitney, d., born 27 September 1749 in York, York Co., Maine. She married in Gorham, 31 December 1769, Caleb Chase, the son of Lt. Joseph Chase and Mary Morse of Newbury, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Caleb was a 1766 graduate of Princeton College, and came to Gorham in 1769. He taught school in Gorham from 1769 to 1778, was also an inn-holder, and was licensed as a retailer of tea, coffee, and liquors. Caleb was very active in town affairs, and was Town Clerk and Treasurer for a number of years. He was very active in service to the town during the Revolutionary War, and served on the Committee for Communication with the Continental Congress as early as 1772. He served on these committees through 1778, as they communicated the wishes of the people of Gorham to the Congress. In 1779, the family removed to Concord, New Hampshire, where they opened a public house. Caleb was the Town Clerk of Concord from 1780 to 1792. Caleb and Joanna Chase had twelve children. The first five (Mary, Joseph, Abigail, William Hills, and Jacob) were born in Gorham between 1771 and 1778. The remaining seven children (Amos, Susannah, Joanna, Elizabeth, Moses, Charlotte, and William) were born in Concord, New Hampshire. Caleb died in Thornton, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 13 February 1810. Joanna died in Hanover, Grafton Co., New Hampshire about 1832.
53. Nephthalim Whitney, s., born 10 February 1750/51 in York, York Co., Maine. Nephthalim (also given as Naphtali in some instances) was a Revolutionary War combatant. When word of the Battle of Lexington and Concord reached Falmouth, Nephthalim enlisted as a private in Capt. Hart Williams’s Co., Col. Edmund Phinney’s 31st Massachusetts regiment of militia on May 22, 1775. The regiment reached Cambridge, Mass. by July of 1775, and took part in the siege of Boston. They did not take part in any major battle, but experienced skirmishing and indecisive fighting. The regiment was discharged in December of 1775, and it appears that Nephthalim returned to Falmouth. His next action was seen as a result of the burning of Falmouth, Maine by the British. On 16 October, 1775, Lieutenant Henry Mowat of the British Royal Navy sailed his armed ship HMS Canceau, accompanied by three other British vessels, into Falmouth harbor. Mowat had orders from Admiral Graves in Boston to “execute a just punishment on the town of Falmouth” for a perceived wrong done previously to Lt. Mowat and his ship. Two days later, October 18, 1775, the British vessels bombarded Falmouth and destroyed three-quarters of the town. One of the ways Falmouth’s patriots sought retribution was through the building of the privateer sloop “Retrieve” of 1776. The British ship “Milford” almost immediately captured the “Retrieve” and took it to Halifax. The crew of the “Retrieve” was taken prisoner aboard the cartel “Hostage”, where they were held for exchange for British prisoners. Nephthalim Whitney was among those crew members taken prisoner. After he was exchanged, he joined Capt. Samuel Whitmore’s 3rd Co., Col. Reuben Fogg’s 3rd Cumberland Co. regiment of militia. In December of 1776, he was drawn from that regiment into the Continental Army. He signed on for three years in Capt. Scott’s Co., Col. David Henley’s Regiment. He married Mary Stone of Scarborough on 22 March 1777 in Gorham, probably before his regiment left for the war. After the war, he was granted 100 acres of land in the area of Jonesport, Washington Co., Maine. In the 1790 Maine Census, he is reported living on Plantation No. 22 as a single person. Nothing else of him is known to the author.
54. Micah Whitney, s., mentioned below
55. Daniel Whitney, s., born 26 September 1754 in York, York Co., Maine. He was a Revolutionary War soldier, volunteering first in Capt. Hart Williams’ Co., Col. Edmund Phinney’s 31st Regiment of militia on May 15, 1775. The regiment arrived in Cambridge in July, 1775. After serving seven months, Daniel fell ill, was discharged, and returned home. In December of 1775, Daniel reenlisted in the same company and regiment, and returned to Cambridge and then Boston. In January, 1776, Col. Phinney was commissioned Colonel in the Continental Army, and formed a new regiment, the 18th Continental Regiment, into which Daniel was mustered. The British Army evacuated Boston on March 17, 1776, and in the following July, the 18th Regiment was ordered to Ticonderoga to reinforce the Northern Army. Daniel served at Ticonderoga, and was discharged from the army at Fort George, New York on 1 January 1777. From there he made his way home. He reenlisted again in the army on 7 July 1779 in a militia regiment commanded by Col. Jonathan Mitchell, and marched to Bagaduce (now Castine) as part of an effort to dislodge the British. In this regiment he served a total of four months (two in Bagaduce and two in Falmouth). He served another two month hitch at a later date as a substitute for Jonathan Crockett. He married in Gorham on 7 December 1780 Abigail Stone, the daughter of Archelaus Stone and Sarah Weston. She was born in Cape Elizabeth about 1753. They had ten children (Reuben, Betsey, Nabby, Peter, Olive, Mary, Luther, Damaris, Miriam and Happy), all born in Gorham between 1781 and 1802. On 14 April 1812, age 57, Daniel applied for a military pension due to reduced circumstances in life. He was a farmer, but could not work due to rheumatism. At this time he owned forty acres of land in Gorham with a small house and barn on it. He also owned two oxen, two cows, four sheep, and two pigs. He had a few articles of ordinary household furniture, and was in debt fifty dollars. At this time, his wife Abigail and four of his daughters were living with him. Abigail was 59 years old, was in a deranged state of mind, and had been so for eight years. Daughters Polly (Mary), 21, and Happy, 16 are described as weakly, Mehitable, 18, is able to earn a living, and Louisa, 14, is able to do some work. Daniel died in Gorham 13 December 1834, and Abigail died there on 1 June 1841.
56. Paul Whitney, s., born 30 June 1756 in York, York Co., Maine. Paul was a Revolutionary War soldier, first enlisting on May 15, 1775 with his brothers Nephthalim and Daniel in Capt. Hart Williams’ Co., Col. Edmund Phinney’s 31st Cumberland Regiment of militia. Paul served with his brothers in Cambridge until December of 1775, and then with his brother Daniel was mustered into the 18th Continental Regiment. He served at Ticonderoga, and was discharged there 4 August 1776. Upon return to Gorham, he enlisted in Capt. Samuel Whitmore’s 3rd Co. of Col. Reuben Fogg’s 3rd Cumberland Co. Regiment of militia. From this militia unit he was drawn along with his brother Nephthalim into Capt. Scott’s Co., Col. David Henley’s Regiment of the Continental Army for a 3-year hitch in December of 1777. Paul was reported killed in action in Rhode Island, August 29, 1778.
57. Deborah Whitney, d., was born in February of 1759. She married in Gorham, 5 June 1777, Jeremiah Williams, son of John Williams and Eleanor Jones. They had eight children, all surname Williams (Martha, Mary, Peter, Susannah, Lydia, Joseph, Daniel, Hannah), born in Gorham between 1778 and 1793. Jeremiah Williams died in Gorham 3 May 1823, and Deborah died there 27 October 1851.
Micah Whitney Soldier of the Revolution
The American Revolutionary War became a difficult time in the lives of the small-town citizens of Maine. For periods of time, Gorham was without one-third of its male population, as it equipped and sent its men to battle the British. There was much hardship for those who remained at home. Many were left in want, and the wealthier helped the poorer to subsist. What inspired these farmers and craftsmen from the wilds of Maine to such patriotism? Why were they so willing to leave their families in need and march off to battle? What inspired their families to such patriotism that they encouraged their men to go, and then to endure the ensuing hardship? We are in great luck, for they themselves can answer those questions for us.
On 31 December 1772, when conflict between the British government and their American colonists was at a full boil, the town of Gorham selected a committee of grievances and a committee of communication to advise the patriots of Boston concerning their feelings about the British government’s actions. The two committees were composed of the same membership, and on those committees sat Nathan Whitney and Caleb Chase. Nathan was Abel Whitney’s brother, and Caleb Chase was Abel’s son-in-law. The contents of the document produced by those committees on 7 January 1773 is preserved for us in Hugh McLellan’s The History of Gorham, Maine. The preamble provides a good explanation for the patriotic fervor which had engulfed the American Colonies.
“We find that it is esteemed an argument of terror to a set of the basest of men who are attempting to enslave us, and who desire to wallow in Luxury upon the expense of our earnings, that this country was purchased by the blood of our renowned forefathers, who, flying from the unrelenting rage of civil and religious tyranny in their native land, settled themselves in this howling wilderness. But the people of this town of Gorham have an argument still nearer at hand; not only may we say that we enjoy an inheritance purchased by the blood of our forefathers, but this town was settled at the expense of our own blood. We have those among us whose blood, streaming from their own wounds, watered the soil from which we earn our bread! Our ears have heard the infernal yells of the native savage murderers! Our eyes have seen our young children weltering in their gore in our own houses, and our dearest friends carried into captivity by men more savage than the savage beasts themselves! We many of us have been used to earn our daily bread with our weapons in our hands. Therefore we cannot be supposed to be fully acquainted with the mysteries of Court policy, but we look upon ourselves able to judge so far concerning our rights as men, as Christians, and as subjects of the British government, as to declare that we apprehend these Rights, as settled by the town of Boston, do belong to us, and that we look with horror and indignation on the violation of them.
We only add that our old Captain is still living, who for many years has been our chief officer to rally the inhabitants of this town from the plow or the sickle to defend their wives, their children and all that was dear from the savages. Many of our families have been inured to the danger and fatigue of flying to garrison. The timber of our fort is yet to be seen, and many of our watchboxes are still in being. Some of our women have been used to handle the cartridge, and load the musket: and the swords which we whet and brightened for our enemies are not yet grown rusty.
This preamble was followed by a list of resolutions containing the grievances of the citizens of Gorham against the policies of their British government. Two years later, the list of grievances had only grown longer, and a patriot in Concord fired The Shot Heard ‘Round the World.
On April 19, 1775, the rebellious farmers of Massachusetts chased 1800 British troops from Concord to Charlestown Neck, across from Boston. The next day, the colonists sealed off the city. The seige of Boston had begun. In that same month of April, 1775, Micah Whitney enlisted at Buxton, York County, District of Maine in Captain Jeremiah Hill's Company, Colonel James Scammon's Massachusetts Regiment of Militia. He enlisted as a private for a term of eight months. Colonel Scammon's Massachusetts Regiment was one of 12 regiments created by the Massachusetts Legislature. They were taken into the army on June 14, 1775, and were designated to serve until December, 1775. Four weeks after the regiment encamped in Cambridge, the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought.
On the night of June 16-17, 1775, General Artemus Ward of Massachusetts ordered the occupation and fortification of Bunker's Hill on the Charlestown peninsula. Due to confusion that evening, Breed's Hill was actually fortified, and Bunker's Hill was occupied. When the British Army in Boston awoke on the morning of June 17, they found themselves threatened by an army of patriots dug in on Breed's Hill. They massed their forces to invade Charlestown and drive the patriots back across Charlestown Neck to Cambridge. At about noon on that day, Colonel James Scammon was marching his troops from Cambridge toward Charlestown when two messengers came upon them and reported that the British were invading Charlestown and Lechmere's Point. Col. Scammon marched his troops to Lechmere's Point, where they were met by General Whitcomb. The General ordered them to march to Cobble Hill, a small hill on the peninsula, where they were to observe the enemy's floating batteries of cannon. Upon reaching this hill, Col. Scammon noticed the gunfire from Bunker's Hill and sent two sergeants to inquire if his troops were needed in the battle. Before the sergeants could return, Col. Scammon decided to move his troops to Bunker's Hill. As Col. Scammon's regiment neared the top of Bunker's Hill, the defenders started a retreat, as the British had broken through the lines. The regiment did not come close enough to the British to engage them in action, and retreated with the rest of the army back across Charlestown Neck to Cambridge. In a letter sent by General George Washington to the Continental Congress which contained the enumeration of soldiers killed, wounded and missing at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Colonel Scammon's regiment had listed two men wounded in the battle.
On June 15, 1775, George Washington was named Commander of the Continental Forces, and he assumed command of the army when he arrived in Boston on July 3, 1775. The seige of Boston lasted until Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 1776, when the British evacuated Boston. Col. Scammon’s regiment was assigned to Gen. William Heath’s Brigade, Gen. Israel Putnam’s Division, which formed the center of the army. The regiment was stationed at Cambridge, and manned Fort No.1 and the redoubt on the flank of Fort No. 2, where Col. Edmund Phinney’s 30th Regiment of foot was stationed. Col. Phinney’s Regiment had arrived in Cambridge in July, and now Micah was joined in the Siege of Boston by his brothers Nephthalim, Daniel, and Paul, along with his cousins John, Amos, and David.
Micah Whitney's enlistment in Colonel Scammon's regiment ended in December, 1775. During this time, he had served in Cambridge, Mass., and when his enlistment expired, he re-enlisted under Lt. Page in Captain Moses Whiting's Company of the 24th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army, commanded by Colonel John Greaton. His enlistment was for the term of one year.
Micah remained in Cambridge with the 24th Massachusetts Regiment until the British evacuated Boston. At that time, General Washington relocated his army to New York City, where Micah and the 24th Regiment next served. General Washington felt that New York City was the prime target for a British invasion. Colonel Phinney’s 30th Mass. Regiment marched directly to Fort Ticonderoga.
On August 25, 1775, General Washington had dispatched General Philip Schuyler northward up Lake Champlain with the ultimate objective of capturing Montreal, Canada. When General Schuyler became ill at the beginning of the mission, Brigadier General Richard Montgomery assumed the role of commander of the mission. At the same time, General Benedict Arnold led an expedition to take Quebec City. General Montgomery took Montreal, but Arnold failed to take and hold Quebec City. On April 21, 1776, Micah Whitney and the 24th Massachusetts Regiment were sent from New York City under the command of General William Thompson to reinforce the army in Canada. They sailed for Albany in sloops up the Hudson River.
The 24th Massachusetts under General Thompson arrived at the mouth of the Sorel River (Richelieu River today) on May 16, 1776. The next day, General John Thomas arrived with the first of the troops fleeing Quebec, which had been reinforced by a large British Army contingent. It was here that Micah and the 24th Massachusetts Regiment joined to reinforce the retreat of the Continental Army from Canada.
This retreat was one of the most physically demanding operations in military history. By early June, 1776, all of the men in Colonel Greaton's regiment were in the hospital in St. John's, most suffering from smallpox, with which they had been innoculated.
By July 17, 1776, all of the retreating troops had reached Fort Ticonderoga, New York. They were divided into four brigades. Colonel Greaton's regiment was placed in the first brigade under General Benedict Arnold, and with the second and third brigades, ordered to encamp on Mount Independence, which was to the southwest and across the lake from Fort Ticonderoga. The brigades were ordered to fortify Mount Independence in anticipation of attack by the British Army. General Arnold subsequently built a navy on the lake and fought the British navy at the Battle of Valcour Island. After this battle, the British Army retired to winter quarters in Canada, from where they were to emerge the next spring, only to suffer a tremendous loss at the Battle of Saratoga.
On November 18, 1776, Micah and his regiment marched south under the command of General Horatio Gates. Their purpose was to reinforce General Washington's army, which was in retreat across the Jerseys. At this time, the British army had taken New York City and were poised to take Philadelphia. They marched from Ticonderoga to Fort George on Lake George, where they embarked in boats down the Hudson River. Micah's regiment descended the Hudson River to Albany. They left Albany on December 1st for Esopus, and marched from there to Sussex Court House in New Jersey. They then marched from Sussex to Morristown, New Jersey, where they remained under the command of General William Maxwell for the protection of the surrounding country, which had been abandoned by the militia. Micah Whitney was honorably discharged from the army in Morristown, New Jersey on January 1, 1777.
While Micah was involved at Bunker Hill and Fort Ticonderoga, his older brother Joel was in Washington Co., Maine. There he was to become involved in the first naval action of the Revolutionary War. The story of this engagement is preserved in several accounts, which vary somewhat, as they are told from different perspectives. I will summarize the account taken from John Sprague’s Journal of Maine History, where it is narrated under the title “The Lexington of the Seas”.
By 1775, Machias, Washington Co., Maine had become a small but successful logging town, not much dependant on farming. It was, however, isolated and dependant on the sea lanes for communication and for the necessities of life. It traded finished lumber from its mills for trade goods from Boston and other trading centers to the south. With trade between the colonies and England disrupted during previous years, life had become much more difficult in Machias. One of the men who made a living in the lumber trade with Machias was the Bostonian Captain Ichabod Jones. Captain Jones owned two sloops, the Unity and the Polly, and the Polly was commanded by Captain Horton.
In the spring of 1775, Captains Jones and Horton both arrived with cargoes of lumber in Boston Harbor, only to find trade in much disarray due to the British enforcement of the “Boston Port Bill”, allowing no more trade goods to be landed on or departed from Boston wharfs. Capt. Jones, knowing how desperate were the citizens of Machias for supplies and how much the British were in need of lumber for their army, struck a deal with the British. He would load his sloops with supplies and sail to Machias, returning with the two sloops loaded with lumber from Machias for use by the British army. The British acceded to this plan, provided the armed schooner Margaretta captained by Midshipman Moore accompany them on the voyage.
The news of the battle at Lexington and Concord only slightly preceded the Unity, Polly, and Margaretta to Machias, and the town had erected a “Liberty Pole”. The pole was a tall pine tree, on which they left a tuft of verdue at the top. Liberty Poles were erected throughout the colonies as a solemn pledge to resist the British rule. When the sloops sailed into Machias on 2 June 1775, the citizens were very upset to observe their accompaniment by the Margaretta. However, after holding a town meeting on 6 June 1775, it was decided to allow the unloading of supplies and the loading of lumber. However, as the sloops were being loaded, Capt. Moore demanded that the Liberty Pole be removed. This demand convinced the citizens that the Margaretta and the sloops should not be allowed to depart for Boston. The citizens of Machias hatched a plan to capture the captain and crew of the Margaretta in Machias on Sunday, 11 June 1775, but the plan failed. The captain and his crew escaped and weighed anchor. Involved in the plan of capture was Joel Whitney of neighboring Chandler’s River (now Jonesboro).
The citizens of Machias seized Capt. Jones’ two sloops and made them ready to pursue the Margaretta. Meanwhile, they sent to the neighboring settlements for help, and to Chandler’s River for powder and ball. All of the men from Chandler’s River were at Machias, so two young girls, Hannah and Rebecca Weston, nineteen and seventeen years old, hauled forty pounds of powder and balls twenty miles through the woods , but didn’t arrive until the battle was over. Hannah Weston was the sister-in-law of Mary Weston, the wife of Joel Whitney. The Daughters of the American Revolution chapter in Washington County is named the Hannah Weston Chapter.
The citizens made ready the sloop Unity to pursue the Margaretta. Forty men boarded the Unity, and the name of Joel Whitney is on the role of the crew. Only about half the crew had muskets, with only about three rounds per musket. The rest of the crew were armed with pitchforks, axes, clubs, and mauls. They were to engage the Margaretta with its squad of well-armed and trained marines. The Unity was a very fast sloop, and caught the Margaretta at Round Island. The Margaretta was boarded, and after hand-to-hand combat, the Margaretta was taken and Captain Moore mortally wounded. The Margaretta thus became the first captured British war vessel, engaged in the first naval battle of the American Revolution. It was also the first vessel to haul down the British flag, and the first to bring death to a British sea captain in the conflict.
Joel Whitney’s military service did not end here, however. The British subsequently fitted out two armed schooners in Halifax, the Diligence and the Tapnaquish. The two schooners arrived in Machias to avenge the loss of the Margaretta, and on July 12, 1775, Joel Whitney and his fellow citizens succeeded in capturing both schooners and their crews.
The militiamen of Washington Co., Maine were too remote to assign to a Continental Army regiment, so they were left as militia, to be called out when the coast was in need of defense from British attacks and invasion. On 28 June 1776 in Gouldsborough, Joel Whitney was chosen First Lieutenant in Colonel Benjamin Foster’s Sixth Lincoln Co. Regiment of Massachusetts Militia. He served in the tenth company at Chandler’s River. Joel’s company was called out twice to defend Machias: 16 July 1777 to 7 October 1777, and 16 December 1777 to 7 January 1778.
Micah5 Whitney (Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 11 December 1752 in York, York Co., Maine. Micah spent much of his youth in Gorham, and was only about seven years old when his father died. He eventually became a blacksmith, and it is possible that he learned the trade from his sister Mary’s husband Samuel Whitmore, who was eight years older than Micah. A story is told by Micah’s son Ebenezer about Micah shoeing the horse of George Washington during the war. General Washington thanked him by saying “man, you did a good job.”
Micah Whitney married Hannah Cobb in Gorham on 29 November 1779. Hannah was born 28 March 1762 in Falmouth, Cumberland Co., Maine, the daughter of Andrew Cobb and Hannah Green. Micah and Hannah must have been active in the religious life of Gorham. Micah’s name appears on a list of petitioners to the Legislature on 12 February 1790, requesting incorporation of “The Baptist Religious Society of Gorham.” The petitioners had maintained the society in Gorham for seven years.
The family of Micah and Hannah (Cobb) Whitney is registered in the vital records of Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine. While this then tells us the dates of birth of Micah, Hannah, and all of their children, there is no mention of their place of birth. Micah was certainly a landowner in Gorham into the first decade of 1800. His brother-in-law, Jeremiah Williams, sold him fifty acres of land with buildings in September, 1802. At that time, Micah was living in Gray, Cumberland Co., Maine. Micah is also found a resident of Gorham in the Early Maine Census of 1799. It is known, however, that the family did not always reside in Gorham in the decade of 1790. The first five children (Sarah, William, Lydia, Joel and Charlotte) were born in Gorham, as their births are registered there between 1781 and 1789. It is known that the sixth child, Ebenezer, was also born in Gorham in 1791, because his birth is recorded in the Bible of his wife, Dorcas Drury Parlin. The birth in 1806 of the twelfth and last child, Benjamin Morse Whitney, was found in a record in Gray, Maine by the genealogist George Burbank Sedgeley. This leaves us with five children whose birthplace is yet unknown.
From the book “The Early Settlers of Otisfield, Maine” by Grinfill B. Holden we know that Micah and family had settled in Otisfield, where they were found to be one of fourteen families of early settlers there when Jonathan Britton came in 1782. However, by 1784 Micah had sold the Otisfield land and removed back to Gorham. There is support for the thought at least some of the five children were born in Otisfield. In the book “The Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Rock, Greene, Grant, Iowa, and Lafayette Wisconsin” is the biographical sketch of Caleb Sylvester and his wife Joanna, daughter of Micah and Hannah. It says that Joanna was born in Otisfield, Maine. However, this sketch also contains some inaccuracy, so the birth place attribution would be suspect. This could lead one to conjecture that the children may have been born in Gorham, Otisfield or in Gray, but their births were recorded in none of those places.
The Micah Whitney family came to Phillips, Somerset (now Franklin) Co., Maine from Gray, Cumberland Co. in the early nineteenth century, probably about 1811. They found that other Whitney families had preceded them to Phillips. In 1792, the brothers Jacob5 and Joseph5 Whitney (Benjamin4, John3, Benjamin2, John1) came to Phillips from Lisbon, Lincoln Co., Maine. Jacob would spend the rest of his life in Phillips. Joseph was several years the constable of Phillips, but moved on to Ohio. Micah’s first cousin Barnabas, son of Abel’s brother Isaac, would also become a neighbor in nearby Freeman, Maine in 1808. It is not clear whether or not Micah knew that his Whitney neighbors were relatives.
Micah bought farm land in Phillips, a decision that he very well may have regretted. The weather in Maine in the years 1815 through 1830 was particularly difficult on the hard-scrabble Maine farmers, and many farm families departed for the more fertile and hospitable farmlands of what would become the great American mid-west. That migration would include Micah’s neighbor Joseph Whitney, who left with his family about 1816 for Ohio.
Micah maintained a blacksmith shop on his farm, and tried to make a living from it and from the farm. By 1820, when Micah was sixty-seven years old, his age and the difficult living conditions had left him disabled and unable to work his farm. On June 17, 1820, Micah made application to the federal government for a Revolutionary War pension based on his reduced circumstances in life. At that time he lived on a seventy-acre farm in Phillips, which was mortgaged. He had not debts owed to him which could be collected, owed one hundred sixty dollars on the mortgage, and had accrued five years, or one hundred dollars in interest. The farm was no longer worth what he had paid for it, and he could no longer make enough money from farming to pay the interest on the debt. Living with him on the farm were his wife Hannah and his children Lydia, Charlotte, Happy, Nehum and Benjamin. Hannah was fifty-eight years old and at that moment under a doctor’s care, suffering with a fever. Lydia was thirty-five years old, and was thought to be suffering from “consumption”, and old terminology for tuberculosis. His daughter Charlotte is described as “weakly”, and unable to work. The remaining children are teenagers.
The seventy-acre farm had a hut in which they lived , as well as a barn. They kept one calf, four sheep, and a swine. They had nothing of much value for household furnishings, and the farm equipment consisted of one old plough, one old harrow, one small chaise, an old axe, one shovel, four augers, and two pitchforks. Micah must have been illiterate, for he did not sign the petition for a pension, but made his mark instead.
Toward the end of their lives, Micah and Hannah Whitney lived with their son Benjamin Morse Whitney on what was known as the Rufus Bean Farm in Phillips, Maine. It would later be called the Voter Farm. The farm is located on SR-149, between Phillips and Salem, Maine. It was there that Micah died on 4 September 1832, and Hannah on 5 December 1833. They are buried in unmarked graves in a small cemetery on the banks of the Sandy River. The cemetery is located in a field on SR-149, directly opposite Wheeler Hill Road. In the lower left corner of the field, just inside the tree-line on a knoll is the cemetery.
54. Micah Whitney, born 11 December 1752 in York, York Co., Maine married 29 November 1779, in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine, Hannah Cobb. She was born 28 March 1762 in Falmouth, Cumberland Co., Maine, the daughter of Andrew Cobb and Hannah Green. Their children were:
58. Sarah (Sally) Whitney, d., born 11 January 1781 in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine. Her marriage to James Humphrey in Gray, Cumberland Co., Maine is reported in the Eastern Argus of 21 June 1805. Their children were probably born in Gray, but are found recorded in the Phillips, Maine Vital Records. Mary Humphrey was born 29 December 1805, and her sister Betsy was born 17 September 1807. “Sketches of the History of Phillips, Maine” by Albert Pease tells us that James Humphrey moved to Phillips in 1810, and subsequently moved on to Salem, Maine. Here he made bricks, cleared land, and built houses, moving from one farm to another until he had occupied three or four. The U.S. Census for 1850 finds James, 66 and Sarah, 69 living in Salem, with Sarah’s sister Charlotte living in their household. Mr. Pease tells us that the family moved on to Wisconsin where, having to haul his wood six or eight miles across open prairie, James became chilled, which caused his death. The 1855 Wisconsin State Census Index has listed a James Humphrey residing in Mifflin, Iowa Co., Wisconsin. Mifflin was the home of Caleb and Joanna (Whitney) Sylvester. Joanna Sylvester was Sarah (Whitney) Humphrey’s sister. Nothing more is known of this family.
59. William Peace Whitney, s., born 3 May 1783 in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine. William was a blacksmith by trade, and a Freewill Baptist circuit rider minister. He had a blacksmith shop on his farm, and as early as 1812 he had a shop in the village, which he occupied for about 25 years. His marriage to Sarah Frank in Gray, Cumberland Co., Maine was reported in the 26 April 1805 issue of the Eastern Argus. Sarah was born 29 January 1789, probably in Gray. William must have come to Somerset Co. (now Franklin Co.) sometime before 1811, because he is a signator to the petition of 19 March 1811 to the Massachusetts General Court for the incorporation of Phillips. The registration of William and Sarah’s family is found within the Phillips, Maine records. The family probably first came from Gray to Plantation No. 6, where they lived in an area that was set apart and became the town of Berlin in 1824. In 1842, part of Berlin was absorbed by and became a part of the town of Phillips. The records of Berlin are preserved in the Phillips records, and it is in the Berlin records that the family of William and Sarah is found registered. William and Sarah had seven children, and Sarah died in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine, on 20 August 1815, just sixteen days after the birth of her last child, Hannah.
William married second Nancy I. Carleton of Letter E Plantation. Nancy was born in Cumberland Co., Maine on 30 November 1806, and married William in Berlin, Maine on 10 November 1823. William and Nancy Whitney had five children, all born in Phillips, Maine. Sometime after the 1837 birth of their son George Washington Whitney, William moved his family west. It appears that the only child from his marriage to Sarah Frank who possibly accompanied the family west was the son William P. Whitney, Jr. The siblings remained in Phillips, where most were married. William gave his land in Phillips to his daughter Sally (Whitney) Quimby, and moved west, first to Dearborn Co., Indiana. By 1850, the family had moved on to Illinois, where William, Nancy, and their children Hiram, Philena, and George are found living in Tempest Township, DeKalb Co. By 1860, William and Nancy were living with their son Hiram in Cortland, DeKalb Co., Illinois. It was in Cortland that William died on 19 December 1863. He is buried in the Ohio Grove Cemetery in Cortland. After the death of her husband, Nancy (Carleton) Whitney moved with the family of her son George Washington Whitney to Kansas. By 1870, the family is living in Marysville Township, Marshall Co. Kansas. It was here that Nancy Whitney died on 3 January 1902. Children of William Whitney and Sarah Frank:
70. Sally Whitney, d., born 31 January 1806 in Gray, Cumberland Co., Maine, She died in Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine in 1886. She married Thomas Quimby in Phillips on 19 February 1825.
71. William Whitney, s., born 15 July 1807, died the same day.
72. Happy Whitney, d., born 14 June 1808, married 19 February 1829 in Phillips, David Quimby of Plantation No. 3.
73. William P. Whitney, Jr., s., born 8 July 1810. Is said to have lived in Sycamore, Illinois.
74. Huldy Whitney, d., born 5 March 1812, married in Phillips 22 March 1841, Abel Chandler of Temple, Maine. They lived in Temple, and are thought to have had no children.
75. Elmira Whitney, d., born 13 November 1813. Married 27 January 1837 in Phillips, Enoch Staples.
76. Hannah Whitney, d., born 4 August 1815 in Phillips, married Loren Worthley.
Children of William Whitney and Nancy I. Carleton:
77. Hiram Whitney, s., born 12 September 1825 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine. He died there 2 October 1825.
78. Nancy Peace Whitney, d., born 14 April 1826 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine. She married first, in Dearborn, Indiana, Vesta Adkinson. She married second, George Merritt Kinyon on 22 October 1849 in DeKalb Co., Illinois. Nancy (Whitney) Kinyon died in Sycamore, DeKalb Co., Illinois on 11 February 1912.
79. Philena Whitney, d., born 26 November 1828 in Phillips. She died there on 21 September 1829.
80. Hiram E. Whitney, s., born 12 April 1832 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine. He married Catherine Harshey 24 August 1853 in DeKalb Co., Illinois.
81. George Washington Whitney, s., born 8 December 1837 in Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine. He married Minnie Minerva Hartley on 23 January 1873 in Marysville, Marshall Co., Kansas. She was born 21 October 1850 in Berlin Crossroads, Jackson Co., Ohio. They had seven children (Frank Harschel, Alonzo Carlton, Nancy Vina, George Wilson, Pearl Hartley, Effie W., and Lester Long Whitney). George Washington Whitney died in Chanute, Neosha Co., Kansas on 30 October 1930.
60. Lydia Whitney, d., born in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine on 9 February 1785. Lydia never married, and lived with her brother Ebenezer at his home in Phillips, Maine. Ebenezer buried her in the Fields Cemetery near where he lived. Her grave marker is inscribed with a date of death of June 1849.
61. Joel Whitney, s., born 7 May 1787 in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine. It is not known when Joel Whitney first came to Phillips, but he married his first wife, Sally Dyer, in Phillips in June of 1815. Sally was born 10 November 1797 in Malden, Massachusetts, the daughter of Joseph Dyer and Sarah “Sally” Merritt. George Burbank Sedgeley tells us that Sally (Dyer) Whitney’s grandmother, Elizabeth Dyer, was one of the four women who blacked up the men who threw the tea overboard in Boston harbor. Sally’s grandfather was a sea captain in the Revolution, and died before Elizabeth brought her two son’s to Maine.
In 1818, Joel Whitney became the first postmaster of Phillips, Maine. He was also a storekeeper, and the store and post office were in the house in which he lived. Joel’s signature is very prominent in the old records of Phillips, as he was the town clerk for many years, as far back as 1819. Joel seemed to be a prosperous citizen at a time in Maine when prosperity did not abound. He had a genius for trade and a faculty for acquiring property. He owned a sawmill, and donated the land upon which was built the Union Church and the town schoolhouse.
Joel and Sally Whitney had eight children born in Phillips, and Sally died in Phillips on 6 April 1834. Joel married second, Sarah Ramsdell Crumpton, the widow of Samuel Crumpton. She was the daughter of Abner Ramsdell and Jerusha Collins, and was born in Farmington, Maine on 25 March 1802. The intentions for her first marriage to Samuel Crumpton were published in Farmington on 6 February 1821. The intentions of the marriage of Joel Whitney and Sarah Ramsdell Crumpton were published in Farmington on 27 September 1836. Joel and Sarah had one child, Julia, born in Phillips, who must have died young. Sarah may have died in childbirth, or shortly thereafter.
After Sarah’s death, Joel Whitney moved first to Avon, then to Plymouth, Penobscot Co., Maine, where he built a tannery, which was lost to fire. It was while he lived there that he married for a third time to Betsy Chase Ayer, the widow of Benjamin Ayer, Jr. Betsy, born 30 March 1796 in Unity, Waldo Co., Maine, was the daughter of Job Chase and Jane Potter (Petty?). Betsy married first, on 23 January 1817, Benjamin Ayer, Jr., who died in Unity, Maine 24 September 1833. Joel and Betsy were married in Unity on 9 May 1840. By 1850, Joel and Betsy were living in Portland, Cumberland Co., Maine, where Joel was a grocer. Living with them was Eliza Jane, Joel’s daughter by Sally Dyer. Shortly after 1850, Joel and Betsy moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where they were among the first settlers. Joel lived long enough to build a mill in St. Paul, but died there on 22 March 1852. His widow had his body returned to Phillips, where he is buried in the cemetery behind the Methodist Church. Betsy Chase Ayer Whitney married third, 19 January 1864 in Unity, Maine, Dudley Moody of Readfield, Maine.
Children of Joel Whitney and Sally Dyer, all born in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine:
82. Sophia Dyer Whitney, d., born 1 January 1816 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine. Sophia married Moses Sherburne, son of Samuel and Lucy (Carson) Sherburne on 5 December 1832. Moses Sherburne was born in Mount Vernon, Kennebec Co., Maine on 25 January 1808. He was a graduate of the Academy at China, Maine, and afterward studied law at the office of Hon. Nathan Cutler of Farmington, Maine. He started his law practice in Phillips in 1831, and thereafter became a prominent citizen of the state of Maine. He was appointed and elected to numerous political positions over the years, and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Congress as a member of the Democratic Party. In 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed him Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the newly-formed Territory of Minnesota. He was a prominent figure in the early days of Minnesota, and was instrumental in guiding the Territory to statehood. Sherburne County, Minnesota is named for him, and it is there, in Orono, Sherburne Co., where he died 29 March 1868. The record of their children is imperfect, but I believe they had eleven.
83. Charles Thaxter Whitney, s., born 18 September 1817 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine. He married Martha C. Thayer.
84. Juliana Whitney, d., born 9 June 1820 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine. She died there 23 November 1824.
85. Joel Emmons Whitney, s., born 18 May 1822 in Phillips, Somerset Co.,Maine. In 1838, Joel moved with his father to Plymouth, Maine. On 6 October 1865 he married Elsie Parish Ayer, the daughter of Thomas Burnham Ayer and Sybil Chase. She was born in Unity, Waldo Co., Maine on 20 January 1832, and was the niece if Betsy Chase Ayer, the third wife of her father-in-law. In 1850, Joel and family moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. Joel had learned the art of daguerreotype photography, possibly from Alexander Hessler. By 1853 he had set up a photography studio and gallery on the corner of Third and Cedar Streets in St. Paul. On August 5, 1851, Santee Sioux chief Little Crow signed a treaty ceding nearly all of the Sioux territory in Minnesota to the federal government. By 1862, the Sioux had become angered by the federal government and declared war against the white settlers. Joel Emmons Whitney became famous for his carte-de-viste images of the uprising and of the Sioux tribal members, many who took part in the uprising, including Chief Little Crow. Many of these photographs are held by the Smithsonian Institution National Anthropological Archives in Washington, D.C. In 1871, Joel sold his business to his partner and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. It was there that Elsie Whitney died in 1876. She had given birth to one daughter, Joella, while living in Atlanta. Joel moved from there to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The records of the Minnesota Historical Society indicate that he died in 1886, but no record is found. Records of the births of children other than daughter Joella are not found.
86. Eliza Jane Whitney, d., born 20 June 1824 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine
87. Sarah Gustanza Whitney, d., born 2 April 1827, died young.
88. Andrew Jackson Whitney, s., born 20 April, 1829 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine. In the 1850 Census, he is found living in Phillips with his sister Sophia D. Sherburne and her husband Moses.
89. Eliab Luthum Whitney, s., born 18 May 1831 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine.
Children of Joel Whitney and Sarah Ramsdell Crumpton:
90. Julia Whitney, d., born in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine, died young.
The monument to Joel Whitney and his family stands in the cemetery in which he is buried behind the Methodist Church in Phillips. It memorializes Joel and his first wife Sally and two of their children, Juliana and Sarah. Also on the memorial are his second wife, Sarah, and their child Julia. Joel Emmons Whitney every year had flowers placed on his father’s grave in Phillips.
62. Charlotte Whitney, d., born 16 March 1789 in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine. She never married, and lived for many years with her brother Ebenezer. In the 1850 Census she is found living with her sister Sally Humphrey and family in Salem Township. She died 4 April 1867, and is buried next to her sister Lydia in the Fields Cemetery on Rt. 142 from Phillips, just outside the town of Madrid.
63. Ebenezer Whitney, mentioned below.
64. Andrew Whitney, s., born 5 May 1794. On 25 June 1816 he married Huldah Sweetser, the daughter of John and Jane (Rideout) Sweetser. Huldah was born in Gray, Cumberland Co., Maine on 20 February 1796. On 12 December 1843, the birth dates of Andrew, Huldah, and all nine of their children were recorded in the Phillips records by the town clerk. Their places of birth were not recorded. Their children were:
91. Jane Rideout Whitney, d., born 4 March 1818. On 4 May 1837, the intention to marry was published in Phillips for Jane Whitney and Jacob Stinchfield. Jacob was born in Phillips on 22 April 1814, the son of Nathan Morse Stinchfield and Celinda White.
92. Cynthia Whitney, d., born 18 October 1819
93. Andrew Whitney, s., born 21 April 1822, died in Phillips 26 May 1832.
94. Betsy Roberts Whitney, d., born 4 January 1826.
95. Mary Whitney, d., born 18 September 1827.
96. John Sweetser Whitney, s., born 27 December 1829.
97. Lillas Whitney, d., born 1 October 1831. She married Allison Parker in Phillips on 27 October 1855.
98. Phebe French Whitney, d., born 23 August 1833.
99. Huldah Sweetser Whitney, d., born 7 September 1835. On 13 April 1853 in Phillips, she married Benjamin Whitney, son of Christopher Atwood Whitney and Adeline Howard. Benjamin was born in Phillips on 2 April 1828. They may have moved west with Benjamin’s family.
65. Mary Whitney, d., born 30 April 1797, married 10 March 1817 in Otisfield, Cumberland Co., Maine, Reuben Smith. Reuben was the son of Jonathan Smith and Sarah Scribner, born 10 August 1797 in Otisfield. Reuben and Mary lived in Otisfield until at least 1828, when their third child was born. It appears that they then moved to Berlin, where they are recorded in the censuses of 1830 and 1840. Berlin was absorbed into Phillips in 1842. They had five children, the first three born in Otisfield, and the last two in Berlin. The children were:
100. Ruth C. Smith, d., born 12 September 1817.
101. Happy F. Smith., d. born 18 September 1822.
102. Charlotte W. Smith, d., born 26 April 1828.
103. Reuben Smith, Jr., s., born 29 March 1833.
104. Juliann W. Smith, d., born 9 March 1835.
66. Joanna “Annie” Whitney, d., born 6 December 1799. On 8 October 1818 in Phillips, Somerset Co., Maine she married Caleb Barker Sylvester. Caleb was born 9 August 1793 in Bath Sagadahoc Co., Maine, the son of Charles Sylvester and Lucy Barker. They lived in Maine until at least 1840, when they are found in the census in Carthage, Somerset Co., with nine children. By 1850 they are found in the census for Mifflin, Iowa Co., Wisconsin. Joanna died in Mifflin on 17 April 1862, and Caleb died there 16 February 1868. Their children were:
105. Eliza Sylvester, d., born 25 March 1819 in Phillips, died there 11 May 1819.
106. Ebenezer Whitney Sylvester, s., born 25 August 1820 in Phillips. Married on 23 April 1856 Nancy Howard, born 6 September 1837 in Bruceville, Knox Co., Indiana, the daughter of William Howard and Nancy Young. Ebenezer died in 1906, and Nancy died 21 April 1913.
107. Eliza Anne Sylvester, d., born 23 May 1822 in Phillips. She married 12 April 1842 Lorenzo Stephens. He was born 12 April 1814 in Winthrop, Kennebec Co., Maine. He died 8 January 1888 in Montfort, Grant Co., Wisconsin. Eliza died in Minno, Hutchinson Co., Wisconsin on 15 January 1902.
108. Lydia Whitney Sylvester, d., born 25 February 1824, married Loren Ballou.
109. Sylvanus Sylvester, s., born 18 December 1825.
110. George William Sylvester, s., born 6 April 1829.
111. Charles Carroll Sylvester, s., born 11 April 1830 in Phillips. He married Charlotte Clare Burns 22 January 1860 in Trempealeau, Trempealeau Co., Wisconsin. He died 9 September 1908 in Mandelia, Watonwan Co., Minnesota.
112. Caleb Sylvester, Jr., s., born 18 May 1832, married 9 December 1869 to Elizabeth Chenoweth. Caleb died 9 March 1899, and Elizabeth 5 August 1910.
113. Franklin Sylvester, s., born 1834.
114. Attila Sylvester, s., born 1836.
115. Abigail Frances Sylvester, d., born 29 April 1839, married in 1857 John Yetter. He was born 24 October 1836 in Pennsylvania, and died 4 May 1883 in Rochester, Olmstead Co., Minnesota. Abigail died 2 March 1895 in Monte Vista, Rio Grande Co., Colorado.
116. John Fairfield Sylvester, s., born in 1841; married in 1863 Emma Osborn.
117. L. Emma Sylvester, d., born in 1843; married in 1868 Orson Clark.
67. Happy Whitney, d., born 1 November 1801. She may have been born in Gray, Cumberland Co., as her father Micah was “of Gray” when he bought land from Jeremiah Williams in Gorham in 1802. On 18 May 1821 in Phillips, she married Samuel Wilson Fennix. The modern spelling of the name is Phoenix. Samuel was born 7 January 1799 in Sanford, York Co., Maine, the son of George and Elizabeth Fennix. The family moved to Madrid, Franklin Co., Maine in March of 1837, and to Plymouth, Penobscot Co., Maine in March of 1848. By 1870 they had moved to Westbrook, Cumberland Co., Maine, where in the 1870 census, Samuel is listed as a lumberman, and Happy is keeping house. They had four children:
118. Mary Ann Fennix, d., born 13 August 1822.
119. Hanna Eliza Fennix, d. born 11 June 1826.
120. Sarah Jane Fennix, d., born 16 July 1830, died 2 October 1831.
121. Emma Fennix, d., born 22 January 1835, died two days later.
68. Nehum Whitney, s., born 11 October 1803, possibly in Gray, for the same reason as his sister Happy. In 1840 he is found living in Berlin Township, Franklin Co., Maine. George Burbank Sedgeley tell us that Nehum never married, and travelled to see a brother living in the west. Nothing more is known.
69. Benjamin Morse Whitney, s. born 19 March 1806. George Burbank Sedgeley found a record that Benjamin was born in Gray. Benjamin was educated in an academy in Limerick, Maine, and became a highly regarded scholar and educator, teaching school in Phillips in the winter. Benjamin was a farmer in the summer months, and lived on the “Rufus Beam Farm”, later the “Voter Farm” in Phillips. On 26 September 1830 in Phillips, Benjamin married Susan Wells. She was born in 1806, the daughter of Nathaniel Wells and Susan Harris of Ipswich, Essex Co., Massachusetts, and grew up in Mount Vernon, Kennebec Co., Maine. Benjamin was a Civil War veteran, having enrolled as a private in Co. G, 17th Maine Infantry on 21 July 1862. He was dishonorably discharged near Falmouth, Virginia on 17 January 1863. Below is a transcript of the defense in his court martial. In 1868, the family moved first to Arkansas, then on to Texas. Benjamin taught school in Texas, then went to New Mexico, where he became involved in mining. He entered a mine too soon after a blast, and was overcome by gas. He never fully recovered from this accident, and after 18 years in the west, returned to Maine, where they lived in Gardiner, Kennebec Co., Maine. Benjamin died there on 1 May 1890, and is buried in the cemetery behind the Methodist church in Phillips. Susan died in 1892 in Gray, Cumberland Co., Maine. They had seven children, all born in Phillips, Maine.
122. Phebe Coble Whitney, d., born 24 February 1831, married Orrington Andrews and lived in Gardiner, Maine.
123. Royal Thaxter Whitney, s., born 29 July 1832, married Sarah Louisa Lambert, and moved to Texas.
124. Martin Van Buren Whitney, s., born 21 June 1834.
125. Susan Malvina Whitney, d., born 28 May 1836.
126. Joseph Clement Whitney, s. (twin), born 26 February 1838, married Zubie E. Keen. Joseph was educated in Phillips, graduating from Phillips High School. He was an 1863 graduate of the University of the City of New York, where he studied medicine. He practiced successfully in Freedom, Maine for fifteen years, and then moved to Thorndike, Waldo Co., Maine. He was a member of the Waldo Co. Medical Society, and was affiliated with the Masonic Lodge. His politics was Republican, and he voted for Abraham Lincoln.
127. Mary Clementine Whitney, d. (twin), born 26 February 1838.
128. Dexter Benjamin Whitney, s., born December 1841, married Annis B. Ross. He was a hydraulic engineer, and lived in Gardiner, Maine.
Court Martial Charge Conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline. Specification 1st: In this, that he Benjamin M. Whitney, Private of Co. G, 17th Maine Vols. did at the time of his enlistment on the 21st day of July 1862, in the name of the United States willfully and fraudulently concealed his true age, and represent himself to be of the age of forty five years of age, when in fact he was fifty-six years of age. Specification 2nd In this, that the said Benjamin M. Whitney, Private, Co. G, 17th Maine Vols. did by fraud and cheating obtain from the Government of the United States, a large sum of money, to wit Twenty-five Dollars as bounty money, and thirteen dollars advance pay, when in fact said Benjamin M. Whitney was not entitled to receive or draw the same. All this at Camp at Cape Elizabeth, Maine on the 19th day of August 1862. To which charge and specifications the prisoner pleaded as follows: Guilty to Specification the 2nd Guilty to Specification the 1st Guilty to charge Defense: When the Three hundred thousand troops were called for, there was great enthusiasm in the neighborhood from which I came. I was urged very hard to enlist, they knowing my exact age as well as I did, saying they thought I could get through it. I have hitherto done my duty well, not being on the sick list but once and I think I could get through if I could get rid of carrying my pack. I was at the battle of Fredericksburg and used my musket as well as any one in the Regiment, I think.
The Court was then closed, and after mature deliberation, the Court do confirm the plea of the prisoner and do therefore sentence Private Benjamin M. Whitney of Co. G, 17th Regt. Maine Vols. as follows: Sentence To forfeit all pay, allowances, and bounties now due him, and to be discharged the service, and shall not receive any final statement. A.A. McKnight Col. 145th PA Vols. & President Court Martial B. Page, 1st Lieut. 1st NY Vols, Judge Advocate
Headquarters, 1st Division, 3rd Corps The proceedings of the court in the case of Private Benjamin M. Whitney of Co. G, 17th Maine Vols. are confirmed. The sentence is very light and is not adequate to punish such gross frauds and deception, but in view of the age of the prisoner and the disgrace which this dishonorable dismissal from his country’s service brings to him, the sentence is confirmed and will be Executed at once. D.B. Birney Brig. General
Micah Whitney had moved his family from Gorham, near the southeastern Maine Atlantic coast, to the beautiful rolling hills, forests, and farmlands of the Sandy River Valley in northwestern Maine. Phillips, Strong, and Freeman in Somerset (and then Franklin) County would be home to the next two generations of our Whitney ancestors. I remember my father taking me for a visit to Strong when I was a senior in high school. We drove out of Strong on a country road, and he was able to locate what had been at one time a Whitney family farming homestead. The old farmhouse was being thoughtfully restored by its present owners, who were that day absent. The farm was located on the side of one of those beautiful hills that surround the Sandy River Valley, and I vividly remember staring across those rolling hills, down into the valley below. I remember the majestic beauty of the shadows of the clouds as they rested on the hills in the distance. It could take your breath away.
Before incorporation as the town of Phillips, the settlement was known as Curvo, thus named by it’s first inhabitant, Capt. Perkins Allen about 1790. In a petition dated 19 March 1811, the citizens of Curvo requested of the Massachusetts General Court that the settlement be incorporated as a town. Signatories to the petition included the brothers Joseph and Jacob Whitney; William, son of Micah Whitney; and Phinehas Whitney, of unknown ancestry. The petition was granted 12 February 1812, and the town was named Phillips after William Phillips, Esq. of Boston, the town’s proprietor. At the first town meeting of Phillips in February, 1812, several Whitneys were elected to town office. Jacob Whitney was elected to one of the three Selectman positions. Phineas Whitney was elected as one of the highway surveyors, fence viewers, and hog reeves. Joseph Whitney was elected a hog reeve, and William Whitney a hog reeve and pound keeper.
Ebenezer6 Whitney (Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine 15 August 1791, the son of Micah and Hannah (Cobb) Whitney. As an adult, he stood 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and had light brown hair, blue eyes, and a light complexion. He came to Phillips, Somerset Co. (now Franklin Co.), Maine as a young man with his parents, around 1811.
On September 12, 1814, at the age of twenty-three, Eben was drafted into the United States Army from Phillips, Maine to serve in the War of 1812. He joined his regiment, the Third Massachusetts Regiment of Militia commanded by Lt. Colonel Ellis Sweet, in Farmington, Maine on September 28, 1814. Eben served in Capt. Elijah Butler’s Co. from that date until he was honorably discharged at Bath, Maine on 12 November 1814. Ebenezer’s wife Dorcas would later receive eight dollars a month as a widow of a War of 1812 pensioner.
Eben did not marry until late in life, and lived on a farm in Phillips near the Madrid town line with his two sisters, Charlotte and Lydia. Upon their deaths, Eben would bury his two sisters in the Fields Cemetery nearby. The farm would become known as the George Haley Farm, and on it Eben owned and operated a sawmill. At sometime in his life experience Eben acquired some civil engineering skills, as he had expertise in surveying and building roads. He surveyed the first wagon roads built in Phillips, including the one from Phillips to Rangeley. Early Phillips was very much in a wilderness. There were no roads, and the farms in the town were clustered in several sections of town. Traveling from one farm to another or into the village meant walking through forest and meadow and over fence-line. In 1832, the year of his father’s death, Eben was involved in surveying the international road from Solon, Maine through Jackman to the Canadian border.
Dorcas Drury was born in Temple, Kennebec Co., Maine on 28 March, 1812, the daughter of John and Anna (Mitchell) Drury. She lived in Temple until her first marriage, to Simon Parlin on 7 April 1836. Simon Parlin was born 16 September 1809 in Bingham, Maine, the son of Alpheus and Polly (Spear) Parlin. He died 25 January 1837 in East Wilton, Maine at the age of twenty-eight, almost three months before his son, Simon W. Parlin, would be born. Dorcas remained in Wilton with her young child until 1841 when she moved to Jay, Maine, where she resided at the time of her second marriage, to Ebenezer Whitney.
In his Micah Whitney genealogy, George Burbank Sedgeley preserves for us the story of the marriage of Ebenezer Whitney to Dorcas Drury Parlin. Eben was the school agent for his school district in Phillips, and was in need of a schoolteacher. He proposed hiring Dorcas Parlin, a young widow with an infant child. She would take the job only if Eben would build a cradle for her baby, which he did. Dorcas took her child to class with her, and the girl who led the class in spelling had the privilege of rocking the baby in the cradle. At the age of fifty-one, and twenty-one years her senior, Eben would marry his hired schoolteacher.
On December 23, 1842 in Jay, Franklin Co., Maine, Ebenezer Whitney and Dorcas Drury Parlin were married by Rev. Levy Eldridge, Minister of the Gospel. The couple resided on the farm in Phillips until May, 1855, when they moved not far to Strong, Franklin Co., Maine. Dorcas taught seventy-two terms of school, including many after the death of Ebenezer. She taught her last term of school at the age of seventy. They resided in Strong until March of 1858, when they moved to Freemen, Maine, just north of Strong. It was in Freeman, at the home of his son Drury Whitney, that Ebenezer died on 18 November 1874, at the age of eighty-three. In the census of 1880 for Freeman, Maine, Dorcas is found living in the household of her son Drury, and she moved with the family to Franklin, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts in 1887. Dorcas died in Franklin on 1 April 1894 at the age of eighty-two. Dorcas Drury Parlin Whitney had four children; one by her first husband, Simon Parlin, and three by her second husband, Ebenezer Whitney.
Child of her first husband, Simon Parlin:
129. Simon W. Parlin, s., born 17 April 1837 in East Wilton, Franklin Co., Maine. Simon was born almost three months after the death of his father, and he grew up in the home of his step-father, Ebenezer Whitney. He subsequently became a farmer in the summertime, and a schoolteacher in the winter. As and adult he was five feet, nine inches tall, and had gray eyes, light hair, and a light complexion. In 1862, he and his half-brother, Drury Whitney, answered the call of President Abraham Lincoln to serve their country in the Civil War. Simon Parlin was the first man of Phillips, Maine to answer that call, and his half-brother Drury Whitney was not far behind. Both enlisted in Phillips on 10 September 1862, and were inducted as Privates into Company D, 28th Regiment, Maine Infantry for an enlistment period of nine months in Augusta, Maine on 13 October 1862. Both brothers served their nine month tours of duty. Their regiment was attached to the 19th Army Corps, Department of the Gulf, under General Nathaniel P. Banks. They took part in the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, on the banks of the Mississippi River, south of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The siege commenced on 21 May 1863, and the main battle was enjoined on 14 June 1863. Six thousand Federal troops engaged 3,487 Confederate troops. The Federal Army lost 1,604 killed or wounded, and there were 47 Confederate casualties. Port Hudson surrendered four days after the fall of Vicksburg, and was the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. During their tours of duty, each of the brothers was promoted: Simon to 1st Sergeant and Drury to Corporal. They were both mustered out of the army in Augusta, Maine on 31 August, 1863. Four months later, on 11 December 1863, Simon re-enlisted for a three-year term as 2nd Lieutenant in Company F, 2nd Regiment, Maine Cavalry. He was discharged as of 15 May 1865 due to disability, and had spent a period of time in Maine prior to discharge due to this disability. On 17 July 1866 in Farmington, Franklin Co., Maine he married Sarah A. Hoyt. She was born 8 September 1843, the daughter of John Hoyt and Mary W. French.
Simon Parlin went on to a brilliant career as a journalist, serving as Editor-in-Chief of a publication called The American Horse Breeder. This publication’s offices were in Boston, to which he came in 1873. He and his family lived in Dorchester, East Boston, Cambridge, Boston, and Malden. In May of 1898, they moved to Wayland, and in May of 1901 to Medford, Massachusetts. Simon became known as one of New England’s best judges of horses, and was known as a champion for the New England Trotting Horse Breeder’s Association. Upon his retirement after nearly forty years in service for The American Horse Breeder, articles were published in the Boston Daily Globe and the New York Telegraph praising his career and his contribution to the trotting horse industry. The Telegraph said, in part: “With his retirement Mr. Parlin carries away the everlasting friendship and gratitude of his numberless friends and followers, who will surely miss his weekly articles from now on. He may also rest assured that his name will stand pre-eminent among the benefactors of a great industry as long as light harness horses are bred in this country, and that no one will ever replace him in the respect, estimation, and love of America’s trotting horseman.”
Simon W. Parlin retired to his home-town of Phillips, Maine. As he grew older, it seems his disability must have grown worse, and he lived for a time in a soldier’s home in Maine. Eventually his wife, Sarah Hoyt Parlin moved to live with her daughter, Mary Huddy, in West Medford, Massachusetts. Simon moved to the Soldier’s Home of Massachusetts in Chelsea, Mass. There he died on 1 June 1925, at the age of 88 years. The children of Simon W. and Sarah Hoyt Parlin were:
133. Phoebe Evangeline “Eva” Parlin, d. born 30 April 1870 in Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine. On 11 November 1889, intentions were published in Phillips for the marriage of Eva and Charles E. Bradbury. Their two children were: Claudia, born 20 November 1890; and Myra E., born 4 March 1894.
134. Mary Hoyt Parlin, d., born 28 February 1881 in Malden, Mass. Her married name was Huddy, and at the time of her father’s death she lived at 138 Monument St., W. Medford, Massachusetts.
Children of her second husband, Ebenezer Whitney:
130. John Drury Whitney, mentioned below.
131. Charles Edgar Whitney, s., was born 2 December 1846 in Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine. He married Julia Burbank in Phillips, Maine 28 April 1877. Julia was born 16 April 1858 in Salem, Franklin Co., Maine, the daughter of Benjamin Eliphalet Day Bray and Drusilla (Mayo) Burbank. Charles died at the Augusta State Hospital for the Insane in Augusta, Penobscot Co., Maine 13 August 1894. He was a farmer in Phillips, ME. Julia (Burbank) Whitney died in Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine 21 May 1937. They are both buried in the Strong Village Cemetery in Strong, Franklin Co., Maine. The three children of Charles Edgar and Julia (Burbank) Whitney, all born in Phillips, Maine were:
226. Charles Raymond “Ray” Whitney, s., was born 28 March 1878. He married Mary Elsie Durdan in Beverly, Essex Co. MA 29 September 1909. She was known by her middle name, Elsie, and she was born 28 January 1884 in Halburton, Prince Edward Island, Canada, the daughter of John E. and Elizabeth (Costain) Durdan. He was about ten years old when his father became ill, and Ray Whitney went to live with the Brackett family on their farm in Phillips. He did chores around the farm and continued in school. The Brackley’s son Carroll would become Ray’s life-long friend. After his father died in 1894, when Ray was about 16 years old, the family moved to Franklin, MA. Here Ray worked for a Dr. Gallison, driving and caring for the doctor’s horse and buggy. He learned quite a bit about medicine from the doctor.
Ray Whitney came to Beverly, Essex Co., MA shortly after the United Shoe Company opened there in 1906. He married Elsie Durdan, and worked as a machinist at United Shoe Co. for many years, as well as several other local companies. The family lived at 20 Whittier St. in Beverly. He was very active in the local Methodist Church, being the superintendent of the Sunday School for many years. He always kept a big garden and raised poultry. He loved the outdoors, going fishing whenever the opportunity presented. Ray Whitney died after a long illness in Beverly, MA 21 October 1942. He was buried 24 October 1942 at the Puritan Lawn Memorial Park in West Peabody, MA, on the east side of Suntaaug Lake. The park is part of what was the estate of John B. Pierce, Ray’s cousin. Elsie (Durdan) Whitney died in Beverly, MA 28 October 1959, and was buried with her husband 30 October 1959. The children of Charles Raymond and Elsie (Durdan) Whitney, all born in Beverly, Essex Co., MA are:
229. Esther May Whitney was born 14 February 1911. She married Phillip E. Nokes, with whom she had four children. She died 13 November 2000 in Beverly, MA.
230. Charles A. Whitney was born 16 December 1912. He married Dorothy A. Littlehale.
231. Ruth A. Whitney was born 5 December 1914. She married Malcolm R. Knox
227. Albert Daggett “Bert” Whitney was born 7 August 1879 in Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine. Bert never married, and was a successful farmer, owning a 300 acre farm. Bert Whitney resided on Tory Hill Rd. in Strong, ME prior to his death. He died 28 April 1952 in Bangor, Penobscot Co., ME, and was buried 30 April 1952 in the Strong Village Cemetery, Strong, ME.
228. Benjamin Burbank Whitney was born 20 May 1884 in Phillips, ME. He married Hazel Marie Hall 14 June 1921 in Bangor, Penobscot Co, ME. Hazel was born in Robbinston, Washington Co., ME 2 June 1896, the daughter of Willard S. and Mary H. (Dow) Hall. Benjamin Burbank Whitney, a University of Maine graduate, was employed by the Engineering Department of the Maine Central Railroad from May of 1912 until September 30, 1952, when he retired. His service to the railroad was interrupted by military service in the U.S. Army from July, 1917 to June, 1919. He held such positions with the railroad as Rodman and Instrument Man in Portland, ME; Assistant Roadmaster in Waterville and Calais, ME; Roadmaster in Calais, ME; and Track Supervisor in Bangor, ME. He lived at 148 Maple Street and 29 Grove St. in Bangor, ME.
232. Hall Whitney
132. Myra Anna Whitney, d., born 29 September, 1850 in Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine. Myra married 30 November 1882 in Maine, Frank Crosby Reed. Frank was born 8 March 1847 in Woolwich, Sagadahoc Co., Maine, the son of Crosby and Rachel (Look) Reed. Myra and Frank Reed never had children of their own, but were either adoptive or foster parents to Myra E. Bradbury, the daughter of No. 133 above, Phoebe Evangeline Parlin Bradbury. In the late 1890's, the family, along with Frank’s aunt Myra C. Allen, moved to Astoria, Clatsop Co., Oregon, the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. Astoria is located at the mouth of the Columbia River. Although Frank Reed was a carpenter by profession, in the 1900 census he is identified as the Fish Commissioner. By 1920, Myra and Frank had moved to a farm in Tigard, Washington Co., Oregon, between Tigard and Metzger. Neither Myra Allen nor Myra Bradbury were living with them at the 1920 census. In 1921, Myra and Frank moved again, this time to Whittier, Los Angeles Co., California. They lived in the Rivera Precinct, at 241 W. Main St., where Frank had a carpentry shop. Frank died in Whittier on 24 March 1933, aged 86 years, 16 days. At the end of her life, Myra lived at 1739 Morton St. in Los Angeles, which is near where Dodger Stadium is today. She died at the Lying In Sanitorium in Los Angeles on 28 August 1944, aged 93 years, 10 Months, 29 days. She was buried at the Rose Hills Cemetery in Whittier, California on 1 September 1944. Myra E. Bradbury, foster daughter of Myra and Frank Reed, married Elmer Leroy Bradley, son of Melvin and Catherine (Seyner) Bradley. He was born in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon on 6 March 1895. Elmer was a veteran of World War I, and worked as a bottler in a brewery. He died 13 March 1953 in San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California. Elmer and Myra had a daughter, Myra Evelyn Bradley, born in Oregon on 12 December 1912. She married Oliver Densil Dunagan, born in Kansas on 10 April 1905. Oliver Dunagan died 2 June 1984 in San Andreas, Calaveras Co., California. Myra Dunagan died 4 January 1968 in California.
As opportunities became available in what is now our American heartland, the great mid-west, with its better climate and soil and vast open spaces, many of Eben Whitney’s relatives left Maine. While Jacob Whitney remained his whole life in Phillips, his brother Joseph and family departed in 1816 for Ohio. A number of Jacob’s children departed mid-century for Wisconsin, and some eventually settled as far away as Arizona and Oregon.
Eben’s siblings Sarah (Humphrey) and Joel Whitney would emigrate to Minnesota. His brother William would leave for Indiana, before settling in Illinois. After William’s death, his wife Nancy (Carleton) would live with her son George Washington Whitney in Kansas. Eben’s sister Joanna (Sylvester) would move on to Wisconsin, and his brother Benjamin would live in Texas and New Mexico before suffering a mining accident and returning to Gardiner, Maine.
Eben Whitney would remain in Maine, farming, running a sawmill, and applying his civil engineering skills in this hard-scrabble, rural, Maine community. He would raise his small family here, and it would be left to his children to finally remove this line of Whitneys from Maine.
John Drury7 Whitney (Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was known throughout his life by his middle name. He would grow to be an adult of five foot, six inches in height, with dark hair and blue eyes. With a school teacher mother, Drury must have been well educated. He is described as a well-to-do farmer, and was a licensed preacher in the Methodist Church in Maine. He was also very musically talented, and we will see that this talent was passed on to the next generation. While the piano is the only instrument that is known that he played, he undoubtedly played one or more brass instruments as well. He led the first and second brass bands ever formed in Strong, first in 1862 and again in 1878.
Drury Whitney was born in West Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine on 21 October 1843. Like many of the other Whitneys of Maine, Drury and his half-brother Simon Parlin answered President Abraham Lincoln’s call to service in the Civil War. They enlisted in the army in Phillips on 10 September 1862. The 28th Maine Regiment was organized for active service on 6 October 1862, and both Drury Whitney and Simon Parlin were inducted into Company D on 13 October 1862 in Augusta, Maine to serve nine months of duty. The 28th Maine Infantry was commanded by Colonel Ephraim W. Woodman of Wilton, Maine. The officers of Co. D were: Orrin W. Thomas of Phillips, Captain; Jotham S. Staples of Phillips, First Lieutenant; Nathaniel II. Ricker of Avon, Maine, Second Lieutenant. Drury Whitney’s experience in this regiment is documented in two sources: Maine in the War for the Union: A History of the Part Borne by Maine Troops in the Suppression of the American Rebellion, Whitman and True, published 1865; and, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, compiled by Frederick H. Dyer, 1979. The history below is excerpted from both of these sources.
The 28th Maine Regiment of Infantry numbered nine hundred thirty-five men, and although it was the last to complete its organization, it was the first of the nine-month troops to leave Augusta. The regiment left Maine for Washington, D.C. on 26 October 1862, but upon reaching Jersey City, they were ordered to Fort Schuyler, New York harbor, to report to General Nathaniel Banks. There they had the old rifled muskets that had been issued exchanged for new Enfield Rifles. November 26,1862 they were ordered to East New York, where they joined with the 21st and 24th Maine Regiments and were attached to the Provisional Brigade of Col. Johnson of the 21st Regiment. While at East New York, the regiment was engaged in drilling, building barracks, and ordinary camp duty. On 13 January 1863, the regiment broke camp and moved to Brooklyn, and on 17 January 1863, the regiment departed New York by ship.
On 22 January 1863, the regiment touched for orders at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Here they were ordered by General Dwight to report to General Nathaniel Banks, commanding the 19th Army Corps at New Orleans, Louisiana. It took eight more sailing days, in which severe gales were experienced, before they were to reach New Orleans. They arrived on 29 January, and were turned over to General Sherman’s Second Division and ordered to encamp at Chalmette, seven miles below the city of New Orleans. Here was a long line of earth works which had been constructed and then abandoned by the rebels. They remained here doing picket duty and drilling until 15 February, when they embarked for Pensacola, Florida to reinforce the troops stationed there who were under the threat of attack. They arrived at the Warrenton Navy Yard and camped just outside the yard. On the 21st and 22nd, six of the 10 regimental companied proceeded across the bay to Pensacola. The remaining four companies, including Drury Whitney’s D Company, moved farther up and in the rear of Fort Barrancas. There they remained doing picket and other duty until 22 March, when they rejoined the other six companies at the navy yard and embarked on the steamer Eastern Queen for New Orleans. From there, Co. D was among three of the 28th Regiment’s companies who were ordered to Plaquemine, on the Mississippi River 25 miles above, which was at this time the extreme Union post on that side of the river. The other seven companies were ordered to Donaldsonville. The regiment served in these places until 27 May, when six companies were ordered to Port Hudson (including Co. D), where they participated in the siege at Port Hudson 30 May to 8 July. They were involved in the assault on Port Hudson on 14 June. They were assigned to General Nickerson’s Brigade of Geneal Dwight’s division, with the 14th Maine, and took position on the left center of the advanced line in the rear of Port Hudson. The regiment was employed for two weeks day and night doing picket duty and building batteries, with an occasional wounded man. In the advance on 14 June, part of the regiment was in front, but suffered no loss. The regiment was involved in further action, assailing rebel works and digging trenches within twelve feet of the enemy’s works. They were so close at times that the enemy picks could be heard digging on the other side. Grenades were thrown by both sides from one trench to another, and occasional skirmishes ensued.
The 28th Regiment companies at both Port Hudson and at Donaldsonville were all involved in several actions before 8 July, when Port Hudson surrendered. The regiment was rejoined and embarked from Port Hudson on 12 July for Baton Rouge, and embarked from there on 6 August for Cairo, Illinois, on its way home. They stopped for a day at Vicksburg, where the officers visited with General Ulysses S. Grant. They arrived at home in Augusta, Maine on 18 August, having come by way of Cairo, Illinois, Terre Haute, Indiana, and Buffalo, New York, having passed nearly around the whole Confederacy during its tour of duty. They were warmly welcomed at Augusta, where speeches were made by the governor and others. The regiment was mustered out on 31 August 1863. Quite a number of men had re-enlisted in the South, and did not return with the regiment. The regiment lost during its tour of service a total of 154 men: 1 officer and 10 enlisted men killed by mortal wound, and 3 officers and 140 enlisted men killed by disease.
After mustering out of the army, Drury Whitney returned home to Freeman, Maine, where he remained until September of 1864, when he traveled to San Francisco, California. He arrived in California in October of 1864, remained there four years, and returned to Freeman in December of 1868. He brought with him upon his return a stick, which he cut in California, and a silver nugget. The stick was made into a cane for his father, and the nugget was fashioned into a decoration for the head of the cane by a Boston jeweler. The cane head bears the inscription “E.W.”, and the cane, which can be seen in the picture of Eben, was to be passed to the eldest of each generation. Both the cane and the picture of Eben are today in the possession of Eben’s third-great-grandson, Richard Whitney.
John Drury Whitney was married to Eldusty “Ellie” Peary in Strong, Franklin Co., Maine on 26 January 1870. They were married in the Methodist Church at Strong by the Rev. Enos T. Adams. Ellie Peary was born on the Getchell Plantation, Franklin Co., Maine on 7 June 1851. She was the daughter of Samuel Augustus Peary and Abigail Heath. Getchell Plantation is now the town of Dallas, Maine, just east of Rangeley, Maine.
Drury and Ellie Whitney lived on his farm in Freeman, Maine, where Drury was a successful farmer. He and Ellie were active members of the grange in Strong, and it was noted in a local newspaper that Drury Whitney was teaching vocal music at the Freeman Center Schoolhouse in February of 1885. After the death of Eben, Dorcas lived on the Freeman farm with Drury and Ellie and their family. Four of their five children would be born in Freeman, Franklin Co., Maine. Their fifth child would be born after their removal to Franklin, Massachusetts. The children of John Drury and Eldusty (Peary) Whitney were:
135. Frank Drury Whitney, mentioned below.
136. Minerva Belle Whitney, mentioned below.
137. Charles Louis Whitney, mentioned below.
138. Jonas Albert Whitney, born 7 November 1877 in Freeman, Franklin Co., Maine. Died 24 December 1877 in Freeman. He is buried in the Strong Village Cemetery in Strong, Maine, and is memorialized on the Whitney grave marker in the Union Street Cemetery in Franklin, Massachusetts.
139. Ralph Taylor Whitney, mentioned below.
It would be Drury and Ellie Whitney who would move their Whitney line from the State of Maine. They sold the farm in Freeman to Gilbert Eustis on 9 September 1887, when Drury was 44 years old and his children teenagers. From Freeman, they moved their family, which now included three children and Drury’s mother Dorcas, to Franklin, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts, where they arrived in October of that year. It is not clear what would make a middle-aged, well-to-do farmer remove his family from Maine to Massachusetts, and still remain a farmer. The family is recorded in the Franklin, Massachusetts Federal Census of 1900, and Drury Whitney is noted to be a farmer. In that census, Eldusty is keeping house, and Ralph is 10 years old. Living with them are William A. Peary, aged 14, a farm servant from Maine; Elsie B. Peary, aged 10, a servant from Maine; and a boarder, Sarah Lombard, aged 57. It is noted that there are a number of Ellie Whitney’s Peary relatives living in and around Franklin, and they may have influenced the removal of the Whitney family to Franklin. They lived at 182 Union Street in Franklin, which was directly across the street from The Union Street Cemetery. The house is no longer standing on that site.
By the year 1897, when he was 54 years old, Drury Whitney had become disabled enough to apply for a Civil War pension from the government. The application is dated 17 November 1897. The pension application states that his last illness commenced on 22 August, 1927. His daughter Minerva lived with the family and served as his nurse from then until his death 18 March 1936 of mitral stenosis and chronic nephritis. Both his mother and his wife predeceased him, and are buried in the Union Street Cemetery. Dorcas (Drury) Parlin Whitney died in Franklin 1 April 1894, and Eldusty (Peary) Whitney died there 29 November 1935 of a stroke.
John Drury Whitney was buried at the Union Street Cemetery in Franklin, Massachusetts on Sunday, 22 March, 1936. The Whitney grave marker in that cemetery memorializes Drury’s son Jonas, and his father, Eben. The following is his obituary, published in a local newspaper:
“Yesterday afternoon at 5:45 o'clock John D. Whitney passed away at his home, 182 Union Street after being an invalid for about 9 years as the result of a critical operation. He was in his 93rd year and was one of the two local Veterans of the Civil War, Commander Albert J. Newell of Post 60, G.A.R., now being the sole survivor in this town. John Drury Whitney was born in West Phillips, Maine, Oct 21, 1843, the son of Ebenezer and Dorcus (Drury) Whitney. He responded to President Lincoln's call of 1862 and served as a volunteer in the 19th Army Corps, Department of the Gulf, under General Banks and took part in the siege of Fort Hudson. He served out his period of enlistment and was honorably discharged.
He was united in marriage to Eldusty Peary at Strong, Maine, Jan. 26,1870, and they resided in Freeman Center, Maine, until October 1887, when the family moved to Franklin. Mr. Whitney is survived by four children, a daughter and three sons. They are Rev. Minerva B. Marshall of this town, Frank D. of Greenwood, Mass., Charles L. of Dedham and Ralph T. of this town. A son, Jonas Albert, died in infancy. There are also nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren surviving. Mr. Whitney's wife passed away Nov. 29, 1935.
For many years the deceased was a member of the local Methodist Church and the funeral service will be held there next Sunday afternoon at 2 o"clock. Military organizations will be represented. Mr. Whitney was formerly a member of Franklin Post 60, G.A.R.. but of late years he belonged to no organization, feeling he should devote his entire time to his home and church.
Local military organizations will form an escort from the Methodist Church to the Union Street Cemetery, where a military salute will be fired by a squad of Veterans from the Spanish War and American Legion Posts. "Taps" will be sounded by Official Bugler Herbert C. Stewart. Because of Mr. Whitney's love for band music, having been in his younger days a bandmaster in Maine, the local High School Band has been invited to play hymns enroute from the church to the cemetery.”
Children of John Drury Whitney: Frank, Minerva and Ralph Whitney (Charles Louis appears in the following section)
135. Frank Drury8 Whitney (John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 9 January 1871 in Freeman, Franklin Co., Maine. He moved with his family to Franklin, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts in October of 1887. Frank was residing in Branford, Connecticut where he worked for Adams Express, when on 8 May 1894 he married Kate Olivia Coggesshall in Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island. Kate was born 8 May 1894 in Narragansett Pier, R.I., the daughter of Jonathan L. and Abbie P. (Sennett) Coggesshall of Narragansett Pier. The couple resided in Branford, CT, where their first child, Everett was born, until 1901, when they moved to the Greenwood section of Wakefield, Massachusetts, where they purchased a home. For the next thirty-two years, they would engage in the lodging house business. In the first sixteen of those thirty-two years, they also had a dining room on Mechanic Street in Wakefield. The lodging house was known as the Wakefield House, located on Wakefield Square. After World War II, Frank was engaged with his son Everett in the funeral car rental business, for which they provided livery service. Frank Drury Whitney died at the age of 84 on 23 August 1955 in the Cotton Nursing Home in Reading, Middlesex Co., MA. He was at that time still a resident of Wakefield, MA. He was buried at the Riverside Cemetery, Wakefield, Rhode Island. The following is a transcription of his obituary, published in the Wakefield Daily Item on 14 August 1955:
“Frank Drury Whitney, 84, a retired hearse livery man, former owner of a lodging house and restraunt (sic), passed away Tuesday morning at a Reading convalescent home following a long illness. He had been a resident of Wakefield for 56 years. Born Jan. 1, 1871, in Freeman, Maine, he was the son of John Drury and Eldusty (Peary) Whitney. His wife, Mrs. Kate Whitney, passed away in September of 1950, after a short illness. In 1901, the couple purchased the Wakefield House and were engaged in the lodging house business for 32 years. During the first 16 years of this business they also operated a dining room on Mechanic Street. They moved to the Cooper St. Address in 1933. Surviving Mr. Whitney is a granddaughter, Mrs. Richard F. (Norma) Cutter (sic) of Wakefield and three great grandchildren. A son, Everett D., passed away in 1951.
Funeral services will be held at the Morrison Funeral Home, 13 Yale Ave., Thursday at 3:30 PM. Friends may call at the funeral home, 13 Yale Ave, tomorrow at 3:30 PM. Friends may call at the funeral home tonight from 7 to 9.
Interment will be held in the family lot in Riverside Cemetery, Wakefield, R.I., Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock.”
Kate Olivia (Coggesshall) Whitney died in Wakefield, MA 29 September 1950, at the age of 77. She was buried with her husband, Frank, at the Riverside Cemetery in Wakefield, R.I. The following is a transcription of her obituary, published in the Wakefield Daily Item on Monday, 2 October 1950: “Mrs. Frank D. (Kate Coggesshall) Whitney of 4 Cooper St., Greenwood, co owner of the Wakefield House in Wakefield Square for 32 years, died Friday night at her home following a short illness. Born Sept. 13, 1873 in Narragansett Pier, R.I., she was the daughter of Jonathan L. and Abbie L. (Sennett) Coggesshall. In 1901 she and her husband purchased the Wakefield House and were engaged in that business 32 years. During the first 16 years of this business they also operated a dining room on Mechanic St. where Ma's Lunch presently is located. They moved to the Cooper St. address in 1933. Mrs. Whitney was a member of the First Baptist Church, Narragansett Pier, R.I., where she was organist for many years prior to her moving to Wakefield 50 years ago. Besides her husband, a son, Everett D. Whitney also survives and a granddaughter, Mrs. Richard F. (Norma) Cotter, both of Wakefield. A brother, Fred J. Coggeshall of Narragansett, R.I., also survives. Funeral services were held at the Morrison Funeral Home, 13 Yale Ave., this afternoon at 2:30 o'clock with Rev. Walter Sheppard officiating. Interment will be held at the Riverside Cemetery, Wakefield, R.I. tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon at 2 o'clock.”
The children of Frank and Kate (Coggesshall) Whitney were:
140. Everett Drury9 Whitney (Frank Drury8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 31 July 1897 in Branford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. In 1901 he moved with his parents to Wakefield, MA. It was there on 3 August 1918 he married Alice Maybelle Donald. Alice was born in Foxcroft, Piscataquis Co., Maine, the daughter of Edgar A. Donald and Mabel Henfield, on 26 May 1897. Everett Drury Whitney died 22 June 1951 in Wakefield, MA, age 53 years. The following is a transcription of his obitauary, which appeared in the Wakefield Daily Item on 25 June 1951:
“Everett D. Whitney, a resident of Wakefield for the past 51 years, passed away on Friday, June 22, following a short illness, at his home, 4 Cooper St., Greenwood, where he had lived for the past 5 or 6 years.
Funeral services were held this Monday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the Morrison Funeral Home, 13 Yale Ave. Rev. Kenneth Clinton, pastor of the First Congregational Church, officiated, and also conducted committal services at the grave in Forest Glade Cemetery.
Many friends and relatives attended, and the floral tributes were numerous and of great beauty.
Mr. Whitney was born July 30, 1897 in Branford, Conn., son of Frank D. and Kate (Coggesshall) Whitney. His mother passed away last September. Since the war he had been associated with his father in the funeral car rental business in Greenwood, and during World War II he did radio work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previous to that he had been for more than 20 years with the F.L. Dunn Company, clothing importers.
He is survived by his wife, Alice Donald Whitney; a daughter, Mrs Richard F. Cotter (Norma) of Lodl, N.J.; a granddaughter, Marie Ann Cotter, and his father, Frank D. Whitney.”
Alice (Donald) Whitney died 13 July 1961 in Wakefield, MA., age 64. The following is a transcription of her obituary, which was published in the Wakefield Daily Item on Monday, 17 July 1961:
“Funeral services were held in the Morrison Funeral Home, 13 Yale Ave., yesterday afternoon, for Mrs. Alice (Donald) Whitney of 4 Cooper St., Greenwood. Mrs. Whitney passed away of a heart attack in her home last Thursday. Rev. John G. Koehler, pastor of the First Baptist Church, officiated. The Golden Rule Class of the First Baptist Church was represented at the services. Interment was in the family lot in the Forest Glade Cemetery, where Rev. Koehler conducted the committal service. The Morrison Funeral Service was in charge of the arrangements.”
Child of Everett and Alice Whitney was:
142. Norma Alice Whitney, born 9 March 1928 in Wakefield, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. There she married Richard Francis Cotter on 11 June 1950. Richard was born 9 April 1927 in Wakefield; divorced. She died in Wakefield on 24 October 2010. The children of Norma and Richard Cotter are: Private.
Obituary (The Wakefield Daily Item, 26 October 2010): Norma A. Cotter, 82, Retired Wakefield schools administrator. Wakefield. Norma A. Cotter, 82, a lifelong resident of Wakefield, died on Sunday, October 24 at the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. Born in Wakefield on March 9, 1928, she was the daughter of the late Everett and Alice (Donald) Whitney. Mrs. Cotter was a graduate of Wakefield High School, class of 1945. She had worked as an administrator for the Wakefield School Department before her retirement. Mrs. Cotter was a member of the First Baptist Church in Wakefield. She was a volunteer at the polls on election day for many years. She was also an excellent seamstress and enjoyed knitting and crocheting. Mrs. Cotter was the mother of Richard E. Cotter of North Reading, Marie A. Doyle of Maine, Gerald A. Cotter of Stoughton, Eileen J. Fratangelo of Pennsylvania, and Timothy P. Cotter of Wakefield. She was the grandmother of Meredith, Valerie, Kristen, Patra, Christine, Daniel, Megan, Nicole, and Kevin and the great-grandmother of James. She was the former wife of Richard F. Cotter of Melrose.
141. John Franklin9 Whitney (Frank Drury8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 22 September 1907 in Wakefield, Middlesex Co., MA. He died there of scarlet fever 25 February 1917.
136. Minerva Belle8 Whitney (John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born in Freeman, Franklin Co., Maine 11 February 1872. George Burbank Sedgeley tells us the following about her: “Minerva Marshall was a missionary, appointed by the General Board of the Nazarene Church, for about five years to Swaziland, South Africa among the Swazi and Zulu people. She was a licensed minister under the New England District of the Church of the Nazarene for fourteen years. Also a teacher of vocal music to the young people of Piggs Peak and Indingeni, Swaziland, and translated a Nazarene Hymnal in Lula language for the Abantus. Thousands of copies were sent to Africa from the Nazarene Publishing House in Kansas City, Missouri. She lives in Franklin, Massachusetts.” When she returned from missionary service in Africa, she started a Nazarene church in her parents home in Franklin, MA.
Minerva Whitney of Cambridge, MA married Henry Norton Foster Marshall of Jamaica Plain, MA 31 December 1895 in Franklin, Norfolk Co., MA. Henry Marshall was born 10 July 1839 in Clinton, Vermillion Co., Indiana, and this was his third marriage. George Burbank Sedgeley tells us about Henry Marshall: “He was in the wholesale paint oil and varnish business forty years in Boston. After retiring he was associated with D.L. Moody in building the East Northfield Seminary, being business manager there three years and at Mt. Herman school for boys for ten years. Also was one of four men who incorporated the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.”
Henry Marshall died 27 October 1913 in Newton, Middlesex Co., MA, where they lived at 150 Newtonville Avenue. He was buried 30 October 1930 at Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston, MA. Minerva Whitney Marshall died 28 April 1948 in Bangor, Penobscot Co., Maine, and is buried in the Strong Village Cemetery, Strong, Franklin Co. Maine. The child of Henry and Minerva Marshall was:
157. Ruth Bigelow9 Marshall (Minerva8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 3 June 1899 in Newton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. She married the Rev. Walter Leslie Sheppard 29 July 1922. Rev. Walter Sheppard was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1947 by the Bishop of Dallas, TX. He served in St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Concord, New Hampshire after being ordained deacon. He was ordained a Priest in 1950, and served at All Saints Episcopal Church in Attleboro, MA from 1952 until at least 1956. Previous to his association with the Episcopal Church, he was a minister in the Baptist church, and they are said to have lived in Greene, Maine in the early 1940's. Rev. Walter Sheppard died in Laconia, Belknap Co., New Hampshire in September 1968, and Ruth (Marshall) Sheppard died there 18 December 1991. Children of Walter and Ruth Sheppard are:
158. Thelma Alice “Teddi” Sheppard was born 1 October 1923 in Malden, Middlesex Co., MA. Thelma was a registered nurse. She was a resident of Skowhegan when on 12 May 1945 in Skowhegan, Somerset Co., Maine she married Frederick Andrew Kreitzer of Battle Creek, Michigan. Frederick was born 8 June 1923, the son of Clarence E. and Marie (Bohnefeld) Kreitzer of Farmersville, Ohio. Frederick died 9 January 1995 in Canterbury, Merrimack Co., New Hampshire. Thelma moved from Gilford, New Hampshire in 1991 to Gainsville, Alachua Co., Florida, where she died 9 June 1996, aged 72 years.
159. Ruth J. Sheppard was born 15 April 1925 in Malden, MA.
160. Walter Leslie Sheppard, Jr. was born 28 May 1929.
139. Ralph Taylor8 Whitney (John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was the only child of John Drury and Eldusty (Peary) Whitney not born in the state of Maine. Ralph was born 2 May 1890 in Franklin, Norfolk Co., MA. During World War I, Ralph entered the U.S. Army from Franklin, MA 20 May 1917. He was discharged from his first enlistment 7 February 1919 at Camp Devens, MA. He re-enlisted 17 July 1919 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and was subsequently discharged 16 June 1920 at Camp Benning, GA. It was during this second enlistment that Ralph married Myrtle Rockwood Grant, 3 December 1919 in Columbus, Muscogee Co., Georgia. She was born 28 April 1887 in North Bellingham, MA. During the war, Ralph was stationed in Panama, where he was a Musician 1st Class with the 29th Infantry Band and Orchestra.
Ralph played the organ, piano, and trombone, and also composed music. He was the organist and choir director for the First Baptist Church in Franklin for several years, until the church was destroyed by a hurricane in 1938. His wife Myrtle was also a pianist.
The Ralph Whitney family lived at several addresses in Franklin during the 1930's, then in the early 1940's removed to Wollaston, MA. From 1944 to 1947, Ralph was a linotype operator, machinist, and printer at the Machine Composition Co. in Boston, MA. The family subsequently removed to California, where Ralph continued to work in the printing business. Ralph and Myrtle Whitney lived in Bell, Los Angeles Co., CA at 4874 East Gage Avenue. He worked for several printing businesses in Los Angeles, CA from 1947 to 1953 as a linotype operator. It was in February of 1953 that he suffered a stroke, with resulting paralysis of his left side. Ralph died 2 July 1954, age 64 years, at a hospital in Camarillo, Ventura Co., CA. He was buried 6 July 1954 at Rose Hills Cemetery, Whittier, CA. Myrtle G. Whitney died in Encinitas, CA 20 February 1965, age 77 years. The following article was published in a local newspaper in Franklin, MA about their children:
A Family Tradition
Recent enlistments in the U.S. Marine Corps include Ralph T. Whitney, Jr. and his brother, Maitland G. Whitney. The two men are grandsons of John Drury Whitney, formerly of Franklin (and Freeman, Me.) Serving in wartime is a family tradition with the family. Preceding the brothers in the service, their father served with the 29th Infantry during the First World War. Their grandfather, John Drury Whitney, was in the Civil War. Their great grandfather, Ebenezer Whitney, served in the War of 1812, and their great great grandfathers, Micah Whitney and Capt. John Drury, served in the Revolutionary War. (Editor’s note: Their gr-gr-grandfather, John Drury, was born in 1780, and could not have served in the military during the Revolution. KLW)
161. Ralph Taylor9 Whitney, Jr. (Ralph8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 7 October 1921 in Franklin, Norfolk Co., MA. He married first, Barbara Kellett. Child of Ralph and Barbara (Kellett) Whitney is: Private Ralph Taylor Whitney, Jr. married second, Marjorie Elizabeth Baker. They were married 8 January 1965 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Marjorie was born in Fall River, Bristol Co., MA 14 October 1931. Ralph relates the following biographical information:
Twenty years of my career were spent in the US Marine Corps. My brother and I both enlisted in Boston in January, 1942. We went through boot camp at Parris Island, So. Carolina, and then were sent to the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport, R.I. for guard duty. In October, 1942, I volunteered for oversees duty with the 6th Replacement Battalion to join the First Marine Division at Guadalcanal. I was assigned to the First Signal Company, and stayed overseas for thirty months, making the landings with the First Marine Division at Cape Gloucester and Pelilieu. I was assigned to the same unit during the Korean conflict and made the landing at Inchon. Later, I was on the front lines as a rifleman near the Chosin reservoir. I received the Naval Letter of Commendation for duty driving guard mail to the front line battalions. I retired from the Marine Corps in August, 1965. I married Marjorie in January, 1965. After retiring from the Marine Corps, I worked for the Navy in the communications center at N.A.S. North Island for six years and then, after retiring again, I worked for the State of California in the supply field in San Diego and Oakland until 1982. I am now fully retired, and, being in good health for my age, play a lot of golf.
162. Maitland Grant9 Whitney (Ralph8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 6 October 1923 in Franklin, Norfolk Co, MA. He married Virginia Breen 31 August 1942 in Quincy, MA. Maitland Whitney died 17 April 1999 in San Diego, CA. The children of Maitland and Virginia Whitney are: Private
137. Charles Louis8 Whitney (John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 9 February 1874 in Freeman, Franklin Co., Maine. As a child, he lived in Freeman on his parents farm along with his grandmother, Dorcas, and his brother and sister, Frank and Minerva. Charles and his siblings must have been well educated, with a schoolteacher living in their household.
At the age of thirteen, he moved with his family to Franklin, Norfolk Co., MA. He married Florence Jessie Gibson in Hyde Park (City of Boston), Suffolk Co., MA on 3 November 1896. Florence was born 28 March 1878 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, the daughter of William M. Gibson and Ellen M. Phinney. Florence immigrated from Canada in 1888, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1896. The 1920 U.S. Census finds Charles, Florence and their five children living at 8 Fairmount Avenue, Suite #1, in Hyde Park. The apartment building they lived in was known as the Way Building, which housed on the street level the express company for whom Charles worked. The Way Building is still today in commercial use. Charles was a clerk, and the office manager at Hyde Park for the Adams and American Railway Express Company. He would retire from the company after forty-eight years of service. Prior to World War I, Charles’ son Earl, while studying art, was also an employee of the express company. Charles was one of a number of his father’s descendants to inherit musical talent. He played first trumpet in the 110th Cavalry Band (Mounted) of Boston for many years. This was a U.S. Army Reserve unit, and was the only mounted band in the country at that time.
Charles and Florence Whitney were active church members, and helped to build the First Presbyterian Church on River Street in Hyde Park, MA. Their children attended this church, as did their grandchildren, the children of Louis and Ann Whitney. Grace Whitney was married in the church. It was a large wooden structure with dark brown wooden shingles. The sanctuary had a very tall ceiling with large exposed wooden beams. There were Sunday School rooms on the main floor behind the sanctuary, one classroom above that, and a large basement used as a classroom and for social occasions, of which there were many. Bean suppers, Christmas parties, and Youth Fellowship meetings were just a few of the activities which kept the social hall busy. The church suffered two fires in the early part of the 1960 decade, succumbing to the second fire. A new, more modern structure was built in its place, and is still an active church today. The family would eventually move to Dedham, a suburb of Boston, where they lived at 82 Mount Vernon Street, directly across the street for what was then Dedham High School. The property had a detached barn, which was also used as a car garage. There was a field behind the house that separated the Whitney property from their neighbors, who had a flock of chickens. I can remember being chased back across that field by the rooster, who didn’t appreciate my attention to his chickens. Earl and Eleanor Whitney and their son Wayne would live here during the early years of their marriage, as would Lou and Ann and their first three children. After the death of Florence, the house was sold to the Thomas Tracy family. Subsequently, when the new Dedham High School was to be built on the site, the house was moved to a side street to the east of the new school.
Diane Whitney shares her memories of life at Mount Vernon Street in Dedham: “What I remember as a little girl was helping Grandma make her famous bread. She would keep me busy by giving me the bag of oleo to squeeze. She was a great cook, and her most memorable dishes were fresh bread, baked beans, fish chowder, and Dad’s favorite lemon cookies. I still have the recipe, and bake them during the holidays. Aunt Betty gave me her recipe years ago, and it’s so faded I can barely read it! She had a pantry off the kitchen where she did most of the work. I recall the old huge wood stove and her stoking it to bake and cook. I recall the large dining room with all of the uncles and aunts around it during the holidays. Also, the back hallway where the ice box was, and the man who delivered the big block of ice (funny, this is one of my memories also- KLW). I felt badly that the house was moved, as I always felt one day I would return for a last look. Grandma was rather stocky, firm, but loving and had a good heart. One day we walked to downtown Dedham together, she bought me a doll, and we came home where she showed me how to make doll clothes. I used to sleep in a white iron crib upstairs, and I remember standing in the crib looking out the window at the snow on all the many fir trees and the garage. Grandma wore her hair up in a bun, wore glasses, and spoke slowly. I remember she had a rocking horse, and Uncle Louie used to tell me that I was always rocking away and singing. He used to sit there and smile at me and wiggle his ears for me. Lou was the sweetest man, and I adored him, and Ann too.
All I remember of Grandpa is that he sat by the window in the little living room with his cane by his side, and didn’t speak due to a stroke. Grandma took care of him to the end.”
After a long illness, Charles Louis Whitney died of pneumonia 8 October 1949 at home in Dedham. He was buried at Brookdale Cemetery in Dedham 14 October 1949. Florence (Gibson) Whitney would die of a myocardial infarction two years later, 28 December 1951, at home in Dedham. She was buried with her husband 2 January 1952. The children of Charles and Florence Whitney were all born in Hyde Park (City of Boston), Suffolk Co., MA. They are:
171. William Earl9 Whitney (Charles8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 30 July 1898. William Whitney, as with other males of his generation, was known by his middle name, Earl. During the First World War, Earl went to Canada along with some Gibson cousins, took the oath of allegiance to His Majesty King George V on September 8, 1917 and enlisted on the same date at Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada in the 236th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, known as "The New Brunswick Kilties - Sir Sam’s Own”. When the battalion went overseas, it became part of "The 13th Canadian Black Watch Battalion".
The expeditionary force embarked for Britain 30 October 1917. Earl was transferred to the 20th Reserve Battalion on 14 March 1918, and proceeded to France for service with the 15th Battalion. In France, during the Battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918, he was buried alive by a shell explosion. According to the story, a lieutenant came along and tripped over his exposed foot, saw it move, and dug him up. It is said that one night around the time Earl was injured, his mother sat up in bed out of a sound sleep and cried out, “Earl’s dead.” Earl was invalided to Britain on 18 October 1918, where he caught influenza. He did not speak until his male nurse found a picture of his sister Grace in his belongings, and showed it to him. It was then that he began to speak again, asking to go home, and to recover. His trip home was very difficult, as he was very ill. Earl sailed for Canada aboard the Essiquibo on 24 February 1919, and was very ill for the entire voyage. He was met by his mother at Portland, Maine, and was discharged on April 10, 1919 at Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He won "The British War Medal" and "The Victory Medal". His mother took him to West Point, Maine to recover, but full recovery would be elusive. He would suffer the physical and psychological sequella of this traumatic event for the rest of his life. Earl’s experience in World War I forever changed his life, and he never spoke of it again. He did mention “The Kilties” from time to time, and loved to go to Hartford, CT to watch the pipers from Canada when they came to perform. During World War II he served in the Connecticut State Guard as a 2nd Lieutenant, Co. G, 10th Battalion. He was also a member of the American Legion in Milford, CT and an Air Raid Warden in Nichols, CT.
Earl married Eleanor May Crosby on 23 July 1923 in Hyde Park, MA. Eleanor was born 14 May 1902 in Dorchester, Suffolk Co., MA. She grew up in Milton, MA, and spent summers in Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada, where her father, Gilbert Crosby, had a homestead. After marriage, Earl and Eleanor Whitney resided in Farmington, Maine and Attleboro, MA, before settling in Nichols Village, Trumbull, Connecticut.
Earl was employed as a commercial artist at Park City Engraving Co. from 1938 to 1965 and at Swan Engraving Co. from 1965 until his death. Both companies are in Bridgeport, CT. His hobbies were painting and etching, mainly landscapes and seashores. He was an avid camper, and spent summers camping in the State of Maine (south of Bath in Small Point and West Point), where he would paint the rugged Maine coastline. Earl Whitney died 5 March 1967 in Nichols Village, Trumbull, CT. He is buried in the Nichols Cemetery, Trumbull, CT.
Eleanor (Crosby) Whitney married second, in 1970, Edwin Noble Black. She died on 6 October 1979 in Nichols Village, Trumbull, Connecticut, where she is buried in the Nichols Cemetery. The children of Earl and Eleanor Whitney, both born in Bridgeport, Fairfield Co., Connecticut are: Private
172. Charles Harold9 Whitney (Charles8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 1 July 1900. He, like other males of his generation, was known by his middle name, Harry. He married Ruth F. Warren in Hyde Park, MA 19 June 1937. Ruth (Warren) Whitney was born 27 June 1897 in Medford, Middlesex Co., MA, the daughter of Charles A. and Mary F. (Butterworth) Warren of Medford. Harry Whitney was a long-time employee of, and a retiree from, the Sturtevant Division of the Westinghouse Corporation in Hyde Park, MA, where he worked in the sales department.
I have many childhood memories of my Uncle Harry, but two things are most indelible in my memory: his pipe, and his love of fishing. Uncle Harry was the consummate fisherman. He loved to fish in many places, and I fished with him and my father at some of them during my youth. They loved to fish most often in those days from the piers at both A Street and Pemberton Pier in Hull, MA, as well as the pier in Plymouth, where mackerel was the fish of choice. In the winter, they could be found at the Congress Street Pier in Boston in the dark and cold of night, fishing for smelts. Sometimes in the summer, they would surf-cast off of the beach in Provincetown, on Cape Cod. Trips to the Marshall Cottage at West Point in Maine would be made to fish off of the rocks for mackerel. No matter where we fished, it was well known to us, and to the many people Uncle Harry knew at these places, that if the fish weren’t biting, all it took was for Harry to fire up his pipe. The action would soon commence.
Harry and Ruth Whitney lived for many years in Randolph, then lived a few years in Abington before retiring to Wareham, MA. It was in Wareham that both Harry and Ruth died: Harry on 27 June 1973, and Ruth on 12 January 1978. The are buried in the Fairview Cemetery, Hyde Park, MA. The only child of Charles H. and Ruth (Warren) Whitney is:
178. Charles Richard Whitney was born 28 June 1939 in Randolph, Norfolk Co., MA. He, like his father, was commonly known by his middle name. Richard's marriages are :Private. He died 18 April 1996 in Wareham, MA, and is buried in the Oakland Grove Cemetery in Bourne, MA. Although he was a truck driver and mechanic for many years, Richard also worked in metal fabrication and marine salvage. Like his father Harry, Richard loved the water, and spent many years fishing for bluefish, mackerel, and striped bass in Cape Cod Bay and Buzzards Bay. Richard had children only with his first wife. The three children are: Private
173. Clarence Raymond9 Whitney (Charles8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 11 May 1903. Like other males of his generation, he was known by his middle name, Ray. He married Elizabeth Mary “Betty” O’Buchon in Hyde Park (City of Boston), Suffolk Co., MA on 7 November 1936. Betty was born 7 July 1912 in Hyde Park, MA. Ray Whitney was a welder at the Sturtevant Division of the Westinghouse Corp. in Hyde Park, MA, from where he retired.
My most vivid recollection of Uncle Ray is of his hobby. In the very early years of television, when they ran on vacuum tubes, Uncle Ray knew a lot about their operation and repair. My father purchased a TV set in the early 1950's, and when it would stop working, he would take it to Uncle Ray for diagnosis and treatment.
Ray Whitney died in Hyde Park, MA 25 December 1986, age 83 years, and Betty Whitney died there 5 February 1994, age 81. They are buried in Brookdale Cemetery, Dedham, MA. The three children of Ray and Betty Whitney, all born in Hyde Park, MA are: Private
174. Grace Luella9 Whitney (Charles8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 6 December 1908. She married Duncan Archibald “Arch” Crawford 7 September 1935 in Hyde Park, MA.
Grace (Whitney) Crawford worked as a clerk in the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds in Dedham, MA. She met her future husband, Duncan Crawford, through his sister Catherine Crawford, who was a co-worker. Grace was an excellent gardener and landscaper, planning and planting the landscapes at all of the homes in which she lived. She was active in the work of the Presbyterian Church, and sang in the choir into her eighth decade. She also enjoyed bowling, and regularly brought home trophies, also into her eighth decade.
Duncan Crawford was born 4 August 1904 in Dedham, Norfolk Co., MA. He graduated Dedham High School, where he skipped two grades, and attended Chauncy Hall Preparatory School. He was an honors graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, class of 1926, and was a Registered Professional Engineer. Duncan was employed by the Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation after graduation, worked in both Boston, MA and New York, and attended. Harvard University during the depression, taking courses in business. He was transferred to Roanoke, Virginia as the President of Roanoke Gas Co., and then on to Atlanta, GA where he was Vice President of Atlanta Gas Light Co. and Georgia Natural Gas Company. He became President of the company in 1959, and retired in 1962.
Duncan Crawford raised Collie dogs, loved boating and fishing, and built and refinished furniture. While living in Atlanta, GA, he was very active in community affairs. He was a director of Children’s Welfare, United Appeal, Fulton National Bank, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and several natural gas industry trade associations.
Duncan Crawford died 10 May 1972 in Falmouth, Barnstable Co., MA. Grace died 8 March 1996 in Cumming, Forsyth Co., Georgia. They are buried in the Oakland Grove Cemetery in Bourne, Barnstable Co., MA. The children of Duncan and Grace Crawford, both born in New Rochelle, Westchester Co., New York, are: Private
175. Louis Irwin9 Whitney (Charles8, John Drury7, Ebenezer6, Micah5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) was born 9 December 1915, seven years after his sister Grace, and eighteen years after his oldest brother, Earl. Lou used to tell the story of his experience with his brother Earl’s military hardware. After Earl came home from the war, his military equipment was stored in the attic of the house on Mt. Vernon Street. When he was a youngster, Lou got into the attic and his brother’s gear. He found Earl’s loaded pistol, pointed it at the floor, and fired, not knowing it was loaded. The bullet ricocheted off the floor, ricocheted off something on the wall, and he felt the bullet travel through his hair!
Lou graduated from Dedham High School, where he ran track. He was also an avid canoe paddler at the Dedham Canoe Club on the Charles River. He worked at several jobs, and one is recorded in a letter from his sister Grace. His very first job it seems, either during of after high school was at Newcomb’s Store. Upon her death, Florence Whitney still had the first seventy-five cents Lou made at Newcomb’s Store. He also worked at Keelan’s Hardware Store in downtown Dedham, and as a clerk in the offices of a stock broker in Boston.
With war being waged in Europe, Lou thought there was a good chance the U.S. would become involved. He left his clerk position to learn skills needed to join the U.S. Navy’s Sea Bees. He graduated on 26 February 1941 from the New England Welding Laboratories of Boston, having completed the prescribed course of both Oxy-Acetylene and Electric Welding. He then took his new skills to the Sturtevant factory in Hyde Park, MA. When the U.S did join World War II, he joined the Navy and applied for duty with the Sea Bees, but the Navy decided to utilize his clerical skills instead, and he was made Yeoman in the Naval Post Office in Norfolk, VA. It was in Norfolk, Norfolk Co., VA that on 11 September 1944 he married Anna Frances Greene. Ann is the daughter of Henry R. “Harry” and Winifred G. (Mitchell) Greene. She was born 31 May 1918 in Boston, MA. While they lived in Norfolk, Ann was secretary to the manager of the Home Beneficial Life Insurance Co. office in Norfolk.
Lou returned to the Sturtevant factory after his military service. The factory was subsequently bought by the Westinghouse Corporation. Lou spent the rest of his working career at the Sturtevant Division of the Westinghouse Corporation, where he was a welder. His special talent in this area lay in water tight welds. He spent many years working in the nuclear program at Westinghouse, and built components for the generator of the first nuclear submarine: the U.S.S. Nautilus; and components for the hydrogen recombiner at the nuclear facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, among many projects. He retired from Westinghouse Corporation after many more than 40 years of service.
Ann (Greene) Whitney was also employed at the Sturtevant factory at the outbreak of World War II. She was the secretary to the person who negotiated with the U.S. government for the right to buy steel during the war. After the war, she raised her family and worked part time as a nursing assistant at the Dedham Nursing Home until her children were teenagers. She then worked first as a secretary at the N.S. Scoffield Co., which supplied concrete forms to the construction industry. She moved on to work at Eastern Drug Co., which sold sundries to drug stores around New England. Ann spent the last nineteen years of her working career at the Norfolk and Dedham Mutual Fire Insurance Company in Dedham, from where she retired. She started there as a file clerk, worked her way to be secretary to the company treasurer, and retired as an insurance underwriter.
Lou and his wife Ann purchased a home in 1949 in Dedham, MA at 563 Washington St. This was the neighborhood in which Ann grew up. The house was built in 1840 by a Captain Weatherbee, and was in great need of repair and modernization. During the many years he resided there and raised his family, Lou made many modernizing modifications to the house.
For all of his life, like his brother Charles (Harry), he was an avid fisherman. In the summer he fished for mackerel at several piers in Hull, Mass., and in the winter for smelts at Congress Street Pier in Boston. He was also very talented at woodworking, building many pieces of furniture. Several of his grandchildren have rocking horses made for them by their grandfather.
He was also an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Hyde Park, MA, where he raised his family and served in many capacities, including Elder. He died on December 27, 1985, age 70, at the Faulkner Hospital in Boston of a myocardial infarction. He was buried with his parents at Brookdale Cemetery, Dedham, MA on December 30, 1985. Their children are: Private
Families Allied with the Whitney Families
Nathaniel Whitney married Sarah Ford about 1705 in York, York Co., Maine
Sarah Ford was born, probably in York, but possibly in Kittery, Maine, the daughter of John and Joanna (Andrews) Searle Ford, the widow of John Searle. Sarah was the sister of Lettes (Letty) Ford, who would marry Nathaniel’s brother, John Whitney. A record of the Ford family is: John Ford of Kittery, York Co. Maine married Joanna (Andrews) Searle. Their children included:
1. Sarah, married Nathaniel Whitney
2. Lettes, married John Whitney
Abel Whitney married Mary Cane 12 November 1735 in York, York Co., Maine
Mary Cane was the daughter of Nicholas and Mary (Parsons) Cane, who were married before 1716, probably in York, York Co., Maine. A record of this family is:
Nicholas Cane, born about 1682, married Mary Parsons, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Parsons. Mary was born 13 October 1682 in York, York Co., Maine. Their children, all born in York, Maine were:
1. John, born 17 September 1706
2. Abigail, born 29 August 1708
3. Mary, born 19 January 1714/15
4. Joshua, born 19 March 1716/17
5. Mercy , born 14 October 1719
6. Samuel, born 30 November 1721
7. Elisabeth, born 11 September 1724
Nicholas and Mary (Parsons) Cane both probably died in Phillipstown, Maine, Nicholas before April 1758, and Mary before 1753.
Micah Whitney married Hannah Cobb 29 November 1779 in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine
Hannah Cobb was born 28 March 1762 in Falmouth (now Portland), Cumberland Co., Maine, the daughter of Andrew and Hannah (Green) Cobb. Hannah Cobb descends from two very old Cape Cod families, and it is through her that Micah Whitney’s descendants are Mayflower Descendants.
I. John Howland was born in 1592, the son of Henry and Margaret Howland of Fen Stanton, Huntingdonshire, Essex Co., England. He had at least four brothers: Arthur, George, Henry and Humphrey. Arthur and Henry would follow John to America.
John Howland sailed from Plimouth, England in the fall of 1620, and arrived on the Massachusetts shore aboard the Mayflower in November of 1620. John was the indentured manservant of John Carver, who would become the first governor of New Plimouth Colony in Massachusetts. The story of John Howland’s voyage is recorded in numerous publications about our Pilgrim forefathers. The trip from England to America was not uneventful. “In mid-Atlantic, during a violent storm, John Howland was almost drowned when a mountainous wave swept him overboard. Grasping a halyard which was trailing astern of the Mayflower, although at first he was several fathoms under water, he finally managed to haul himself to the surface. He was then rescued, by means of a boathook along with the rope, etc.” 1
On November 11, 1620, John Howland became the thirteenth signer of the Mayflower Compact, and on December 6, 1620 was one of ten people in the third expedition party to go ashore. During this exploration, they were attacked by the Indians at Eastham on Cape Cod.
The first winter at Plimouth was very difficult, with much sickness. Many of the Pilgrims did not survive. Among those who did survive was the Carver family, with whom John Howland lived. However, the following spring, Governor Carver became ill and died, and his wife Katherine died soon thereafter. It is thought by some historians that John Howland inherited the estate of the Carver family and used it to buy his freedom. However, no record of these transactions has survived.
Two years later, about 25 March 1623, John Howland married his fellow Mayflower passenger Elizabeth Tilley. Elizabeth was baptized at Henlow, Huntingdonshire, Essex Co., England 30 August 1697. She was the daughter of John and Joan (Hurst) Rogers, who did not survive the first winter in Plimouth. Elizabeth was the only child that her parents brought to America, and undoubtedly became a member of the Carver family upon the death of her parents. John Howland became the head of that household after the deaths of the Carvers, and Elizabeth was almost sixteen years old when she married John.
John Howland went on to become a leading citizen of the colony. In 1626, he was one of the colonists who assumed the colony’s debt of 1800 pounds to the Merchant Adventurers. He was made a freeman of Plimouth in 1633, and in 1634 he was sent to command the Pilgrims’ Trading Post on the Kennebec River at the present site of Augusta, Maine. John’s family may have joined him there, and it is thought that some of his children may have been born there. John held numerous public offices in the colony during his lifetime. He represented Plimouth at the General Court in the years 1641, 1645, 1647, and 1648. In 1641, 1644, and 1647 to 1651 he was one of the assessors of Plimouth, and in 1650 he was a surveyor of highways.
In 1639, John Howland took advantage of an opportunity to expand his land holdings. He chose a piece of land in Yarmouth on Cape Cod upon which his son John, Jr. and his daughters Desire and Hope and their families settled. Also in 1639 he purchased land and a dwelling house in the Rocky Nook (now in Kingston, MA) part of Plimouth. He lived in Rocky Nook the rest of his life. When he died, his estate contained numerous land holdings in the towns around Plimouth.
John Howland, Sr. died in Rocky Nook 23 February 1672/3, and was interred in Plimouth on 25 February. His widow Elizabeth died at the home of her daughter Lydia Browne in Swansea, MA on 21 December 1637. The following is a record of their children:
1. Desire, d., born probably in Plimouth in 1625
2. John, Jr., s., born 24 February 1626/7 in Plimouth
3. Hope, d., born 30 August 1629 in Plimouth
4. Elizabeth, d., born about 1631, possibly in Maine
5. Lydia, d., born about 1633, possibly in Maine or Plimouth
6. Hannah, d., born about 1637, possibly in Maine or Plimouth
7. Joseph, s., born about 1640 in Rocky Nook
8. Jabez, s., born about 1644 in Rocky Nook
9. Ruth, d., born about 1646 in Rocky Nook
10. Isaac, s., born 15 November 1649 in Rocky Nook
II. Hope Howland, daughter of John and Elizabeth Howland , was born 30 August 1629 in Plimouth, Plimouth Co., Massachusetts. In 1646, she married in Plimouth John Chipman, who was born about 1614 in Bryan’s Piddle, Dorchester, England, the son of Thomas Chipman. John held such public offices in Plymouth Colony as magistrate and Deputy of the Court, and was a member of the church at Barnstable, where he was ordained a ruling elder.
John and Hope Chipman lived in Barnstable on Cape Cod, where they had ten of their eleven children. Hope (Howland) Chipman died there 8 January 1683/4, and was buried in the ancient burial ground on Lothrop Hill in Barnstable. John Chipman was remarried after the death of his wife Hope. In 1684 he married second, Ruth Sargent, born 25 October 1642, in Charlestown, MA, the daughter of William Sargent. Ruth had been widowed twice before her marriage to John Chipman. She had previously been married to Jonathan Winslow of Marshfield and in July 1677 to the Reverend Richard Bourne, who died in 1682.
The following is a record of the children of John and Hope (Howland) Chipman, all but the first bing born in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts:
1. Elizabeth, d., born 24 June 1647 in Yarmouth, Massachusetts
2. Hope, d., born 31 August 1652
3. Lydia, d., born 25 December 1654
4. John, s., b. 2 March 1655/6, d. 29 May 1657
5. Hannah, d., born 14 January 1657/8
6. Samuel, s., born 15 April 1661
7. Ruth, d., born 31 December 1663
8. Bethia, d., born 1 July 1666
9. Mercy, d., born 6 February 1667/8
10. John, s. born 3 March 1669/70
11. Desire, d., born 26 February 1672/3
III. Hope Chipman, the daughter of John and Hope (Howland) Chipman was born 31 August 1652 in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts. Hope Chipman married first John Huckens, 10 August 1670 in Barnstable. John Huckens died 10 November 1678 in Barnstable without issue. Hope married second Jonathan Cobb 1 March 1682/3 in Barnstable. Jonathan was the son of Henry Cobb, born in 1605 in Reculver, Kent Co., England, and Sarah Hinckley, born 22 November 1629 in Tenderton, Kent Co., England. Henry emigrated from Southwark, Co. Surrey, England to Plymouth, Mass. He was in Plymouth in 1632, Scituate in 1633, and Barnstable in 1639. He was a founding member of the Scituate church 01 08 1635 and served as senior deacon and ruling elder for 44 years. He also served as Deputy to the Colony Court a number of years. He is buried on Lothrop's Hill, Barnstable, Mass. "A History of the Cobb Family," Phillip L. Cobb (Cleveland, 1907), pg 5, states "He doubtless had been a member of Rev. John Lothrop's church in England, as we gather from what Mr. Lothrop wrote in his church records. So that when Mr. Lothrop came to this country, Henry Cobb was among the very first who came to his support and joined him in the planting and establishing of a new town and church." (Lothrop was a Puritan minister in London in 1623, was imprisoned, and on his release came to America, arriving 09 18 1634 and settling at Barnstable.) Henry was born in 1596 and emigrated on the "Mayflower II" on Easter Monday in 1629 to Salem, Massachusetts.”
Jonathan Cobb was born 10 April 1660 in Barnstable. Hope and Jonathan resided in Barnstable and Middleborough, Massachusetts, and both died in Middleborough; Hope in July of 1728, and Jonathan 5 August 1728. They had six children, all born in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts. The following is a record of their children:
1. Samuel, s., born 16 February 1682/3
2. Jonathan, s., born 22 April 1686
3. Ebenezer, s., 10 April 1688
4. Joseph, s., born 24 August 1690
5. Lydia, d., born 17 January 1691/2
6. Gershom, s., born 7 July 1695
IV. Samuel Cobb, the son of Jonathan and Hope Cobb was born in Barnstable, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts 16 February 1682/3. Samuel married Abigail Stewart, the daughter of James and Desire Stewart. Abigail was born in Sandwich, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts 4 June 1692. Samuel ans Abigail were residents of Middleborough, Massachusetts, where the first five of their eight children were born, until 1717, when they became early settlers of Falmouth (now Portland), Maine. Samuel’s brothers Jonathan, Ebenezer and Joseph would also come to Falmouth.
Abigail (Stewart) Cobb died in Falmouth 3 September 1766, and ger husband Samuel died there in October of 1767. They had eight children, the first five born in Middleborough, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts, and the last three in Falmouth, Cumberland Co., Maine. A record of the children follows:
1. Chipman, s., born 5 March 1708/9
2. Samuel, s., born 11 December 1710, died 22 December 1710
3. Hannah, d., born 1 April 1712
4. Ebenezer, s., born 23 March 1713/14
5. Hope, d., born 13 March 1715/16
6. Samuel, s., born 10 March 1717/18
7. Peter, s., born 4 February 1719/20
8. Jane, d. born 7 July 1723
V. Chipman Cobb, the son of Samuel and Abigail (Stewart) Cobb, was born in Middleborough, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts 5 March 1708/9, and removed with his family to Falmouth, Cumberland Co., Maine in 1717. There, he became a house carpenter. He married Elizabeth Ingersoll, born 6 January 1702/3 in Boston, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, the daughter of Elisha and Mary Ingersoll. The date and place of the marriage is unknown. Chipman and Elizabeth Cobb had three children, all born in Falmouth, York (now Cumberland) Co., Maine. A record of the children is as follows:
1. Nathaniel, s., born 17 January 1731/2
2. Andrew, s., born 27 March 1734
3. Benjamin, s., born 9 January 1741/2
After the death of his wife Elizabeth, Chipman Cobb married second the widow Mary (Bloom) Green Hall, who was the mother-in-law of Chipman’s son Andrew, who had married Hannah Green, Mary’s daughter. There were no issue from this marriage, but the widow’s story is of interest.
Mary Bloom was first married to Lt. David (or Daniel) Green, and they lived in Georgetown, Maine. They had three children: Hannah, Joseph, and Sarah Green. Lt. Green was killed in the action at Louisberg in Nova Scotia in 1745. Mary married second Ebenezer Hall (also his second marriage) in Georgetown, Sagadahoc Co., Maine, intentions published there 9 May 1746. By 1750, when they settled on Matinicus Island, they had three children: Peter, Tabitha, and Phebe. Also living with them were Ebenezer Hall, Jr., who was a child by Ebenezer’s first marriage, and a boy named Benjamin Magrage. Ebenezer was in the fishing business, and also did some farming.
Ebenezer did not enjoy good relations with the members of the Penobscot Indian Tribe. In the summer of 1751, two Indians arrived on the island and Ebenezer, aided by his son, shot and killed them and buried them on the island. In addition, he twice burned the grass on Green Island in order to increase his hay crop. The Penobscots were not happy with Ebenezer and family living on Matinicus, because it interfered with their hunting of birds and seals. They petitioned the Governor, Spencer Phipps, in 1753 to have the Halls removed from Matinicus because they had no legal right to the island. The Penobscots implied that if the Halls were not removed, they would take things into their own hands. The Halls were not evicted, and on 1 June 1757 the Penobscots attacked the dwelling of the Halls on Matinicus Island.
In the dwelling at the time of the Indian raid were Ebenezer and Mary Hall, Benjamin Magrage, Sarah and Joseph Green, and Peter, Tabitha and Phebe Hall. Ebenezer Hall, Jr. was on a fishing trip, and Hannah Green was 23 years old then, and was married and living in Falmouth, Maine. The siege at the dwelling lasted until June 10, when Ebenezer was shot dead when he exposed his head while trying to negotiate with the Indians. Mary’s son Joseph Green escaped out the back window and hid. The rest of the family was taken prisoner by the Indians, the dwelling was ransacked and burned to the ground, and Ebenezer was scalped.
Young Joseph Green survived on the island by hiding in the woods. He eventually paddled a vessel from the island and was picked up by a small fishing schooner. He would write a memorial to the Massachusetts General Court about the experience. His mother and siblings did not fare as well. They were taken up the Penobscot River to a place now in the vicinity of Bangor, where Mary was separated from the children, and never saw them again. From there she was taken to Quebec, Canada, where she was held in captivity. She befriended another captive, Capt. Andrew Watkins, who paid her ransom.
Mary took passage on a boat for England, and then another to New York, from where she walked back to Falmouth, Maine and the home of her daughter, Hannah (Green) Cobb. The whole experience took place over about eighteen months. Mary subsequently wrote a memorial in 1760 about her experience as part of a request to the Massachusetts General Court for the funds to reimburse the widow of Capt. Watkins for her ransom.
On 4 July 1765, Mary (Bloom) Green Hall married Chipman Cobb of Falmouth, Maine. This was eleven years after her daughter, Hannah Green, had married Chipman Cobb’s son Andrew. Mary and Chipman Cobb resided in Falmouth until about 1775, when they removed to Gorham, where Mary died at age 89. The following are the records of the marriages and children of Mary (Bloom) Green Hall Cobb:
Mary Bloom married first, Lt. David (or Daniel) Green, who was killed in action at Louisberg, Nova Scotia in 1745. There were three children, all probably born in Georgetown, York Co. (now Sagadahoc Co.), Maine:
Hannah Green, born 10 June 1734
Sarah Green, who was taken into captivity by the Indians at Matinicus Island
Mary (Bloom) Green married second Ebenezer Hall. Intentions for the marriage were published at Georgetown 9 May 1746. Mary and Ebenezer had three children, all taken into captivity by the Indians at Matinicus Island:
Mary (Bloom) Green Hall married third, 4 July 1765, Chipman Cobb of Falmouth, Cumberland Co., Maine. They had no children.
VI. Andrew Cobb, was born 27 March 1734 in Falmouth, York (now Cumberland) Co., Maine. On 21 February 1754 he married Hannah Green, mentioned above. Andrew and Hannah Cobb resided in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine. Andrew enlisted as a Private in Capt. Samuel Whitmore’s Co., Col. Reuben Fogg’s Regiment of the Massachusetts troops during the Revolutionary War.
Andrew and Hannah were very active in the religious life of their Gorham community. However, during the period of the New Enlightenment, they became disenchanted with the Rev. Mr. Thatcher and they withdrew from his Congregationalist church. They then became active members of Free Will Baptist Society. In June of 1798, while Andrew was away at a Baptist convention and Hannah was away preparing a meal for the conventioneers’ return, their house burned down. Andrew rebuilt the house, which he shared with his son Ebenezer, with the idea that the house could be used as a home meeting place for their Baptist society.
Andrew and Hannah Cobb had ten children. The first seven were born in Falmouth, York (then Cumberland) Co., Maine and the last three in Gorham, Cumberland Co., Maine. A record of their family follows:
Daniel, born 7 May 1755
Phebe, born April 1756
Nicholas, born 30 April 1758
Hannah, born 28 March 1762, married Micah Whitney
Sarah, died young
Andrew, Jr., born 7 February 1764
Nathan, born 3 March 1767
Ebenezer, born 4 October 1768
Chipman, born 22 March 1771
Mary, born 26 March 1772
Hannah (Green) Cobb died in Gorham 30 April 1803, age 69. Andrew Cobb married second the widow Mrs. Hannah (Whitney) Fowler. In another twist of fate, Hannah (Whitney) Fowler Cobb was the daughter of Nathaniel and Hannah (Day) Whitney of York and Biddeford, Maine. She was born in Biddeford, York Co., Maine 15 November 1736. Hannah was then the first cousin of Micah Whitney, who married Hannah Cobb, the daughter of Andrew Cobb and his first wife, Hannah Green. Nathaniel Whitney was the brother of Micah Whitney’s father, Abel.
Andrew and Hannah (Whitney) Cobb removed to Limington, York Co., Maine where Hannah died. 10 February 1820, age 83. Andrew Cobb died in Limington at the home of his son Andrew, Jr. 20 July 1822. They had no children.
Thus, all descendants of Micah and Hannah (Cobb) Whitney are Mayflower descendants through Hannah’s ancestry. A summary of that ancestry follows:
John Howland, Mayflower passenger, married Elizabeth Tilley
Hope Howland married John Chipman
Hope Chipman married Jonathan Cobb
Samuel Cobb married Abigail Stewart
Chipman Cobb married Elizabeth Ingersol
Andrew Cobb married Hannah Green
Hannah Cobb married Micah Whitney
Ebenezer Whitney married Dorcas Drury Parlin 23 December 1842 in Jay, Franklin Co., Maine
Dorcas Drury was born 28 March 1812 in Temple, Kennebec Co., Maine. She is a descendant of Hugh and Lydia (Rice) Drury of Sudbury, Massachusetts.
I. Hugh Drury first appears in the colony in 1641 in Sudbury, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, where he was a house painter. Hugh probably came to the colonies with his family, as his siblings Henry, Joseph and Lydia were mentioned in his will. He owned several properties in Sudbury, as well as one-half interest in the Castle Tavern. Hugh married Lydia Rice, the daughter of Edmund Rice of Sudbury. Hugh and Lydia Drury had four children, all born in Sudbury, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. A record of these children follows:
1. John, born 2 May 1646
2. Thomas, born 1647, mentioned below.
3. Hugh, born abt 1648
Lydia (Rice) Drury died in Sudbury 5 April 1675, Hugh Drury married second the widow Mary Fletcher, who died in 1680. Hugh died in Boston, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts 6 July 1689.
II. Thomas Drury was born in Sudbury, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts in 1647. He married Rachel, the daughter of Henry Rice in Sudbury on 15 December 1687. The History of Framingham by William Barry tells us that Thomas settled in Framingham, where he was very active in community affairs. He was the first Deputy to the General Court in 1701, and served eleven years as Town Clerk and was a Selectman for eighteen years. Thomas and Rachel (Rice) Drury had nine children, the first two born in Sudbury and the rest born in Framingham, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. A record of these children follows:
1. Caleb, born 5 October 1688, mentioned below.
2. Thomas, born 29 August 1690
3. Mary, born 1694
4. Rachel, born 1696
5. John, born 1697
6. Lydia, born 1698
7. Elizabeth, born 22 June 1701
8. Micah, born 2 May 1704
9. Uriah, born 17 January 1706/07
III. Caleb Drury was born in Sudbury, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts 5 October 1688. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John and Elizabeth Eames of Watertown 10 October 1706 in Framingham, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Caleb and Elizabeth (Eames) Drury had nine children, all born in Framingham. Following is a record of their children:
1. Josiah, born 17 September 1707
2. Daniel, born 25 April 1709
3. John, born 18 June 1711; married Ann, the daughter of John and Abigail (Learned) Gleason on 22 November 1733 in Framingham. Mentioned below.
4. Caleb, born 22 May 1713, mentioned below.
5. Seuill Drury, born 9 January 1714/15, died 2 June 1715
6. Zedikiah, born 30 April 1716
7. Ebenezer, born 5 October 1718
8. Joseph, born 19 December 1720
9. Elizabeth, born 30 July 1721
Caleb Drury died in Framingham 5 November 1760.
IV. Caleb Drury was born in Framingham, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts 22 May 1713. He married Mehitabel, daughter of Jonathan and Mehitable (Neadham) Maynard on 27 May 1735 in Framingham. Mehitable Maynard was born in Framingham 4 March 1715/16. She and Caleb had thirteen children, all born in Framingham. The following is a record of those children:
1. Caleb, born 16 September 1735
2. Mehitable, born 26 July 1737
3. Jonathan, born 28 May 1739
4. Elizabeth, born 5 August 1741
5. William, born 4 July 1743, mentioned below.
6. Jonathan, born 23 March 1744/45
7. Zachariah, born 23 July 1748
8. Mehitable, born 15 October 1750
9. Abel, born 29 May 1752
10. Needham Drury, born 15 June 1754; died 17 January 1755.
11. Needham, born 15 February 1756
12. Sebelah, born 21 January 1758; died 22 November 1759.
13. Elijah, born 22 December 1759
Caleb Drury died 28 November 1807 in Framingham, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
V. William Drury was born 4 July 1743 in Framingham, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. He married his first cousin Elizabeth, the daughter of his uncle John and Ann (Gleason) Drury (mentioned above). Elizabeth was born in 1748 in Natick, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. They were married in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts 10 March 1768. They removed to the town of Temple, Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire where all eleven of their children were born. A record of those children follows:
1. Sally, died 24 June 1773
2. William, died 4 October 1775
3. William, died 5 March 1779
4. Betty, died 24 June 1791
5. John, born 15 January 1780; mentioned below.
6. Sally, born 23 August 1781
7. Senah, born 1 May 1783
8. Abel, born 1 February 1785; died 18 December 1791
9. William, born 18 September 1786
10. Noah, born 8 September 1788
11. Betty, born 11 September 1791
The Drury families were early settlers of Temple, NH. In 1775, at the request of the Provincial Congress, a census was taken of Temple, NH. Five Drury families are listed in that census. The heads of those households were Daniel, Ebenezer, Gershom, Jonathan, and William. In the 1790 U.S. Census, three families remain in Temple: those of William, Gershom, and Ebenezer.
After the births of their children, the family removed to Temple, Kennebec Co., Maine. The early settlers of Temple, Maine came from Temple, New Hampshire. It was in Temple, Maine that Elizabeth (Drury) Drury died 17 October 1821, and William 7 January 1829.
VII. John Drury was born 15 January 1780 in Temple, Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire, where his birth is recorded in the vital records. He came with his family to Temple, Maine where they were early settlers. In his Whitney genealogy, George Burbank Sedgeley states that John Drury was Captain John Drury, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. This is obviously untrue, as John Drury was not born until 1780. There were several Captain John Drurys in the War for Independence, and undoubtedly the family legend became clouded.
John Drury married Anna Mitchell, born in Massachusetts, 14 July 1807 in Temple, Kennebec Co., Maine. John and Anna Drury had nine children, all born in Temple, Kennebec Co., Maine. A record of those children follows:
1. Eliza, born 11 January 1808, died in Wilton, Maine 24 May 1838.
2. Jonas, born 13 March 1812.
3. Dorcas D., born 28 March 1812, married Simon Parlin and Ebenezer Whitney.
4. John Mitchell, born 27 June 1814
5. Drusilla, born 6 September 1816, died 13 September 1852 in Hartford, Maine.
6. Andrew, born 17 November 1818, died 1 June 1849 in Bangor, Maine.
7. Lucy Ann, born 12 May 1823, married Henry Allen, died in Enfield, Penobscot Co., Maine 2 June 1848.
8. Moses Warren, born 21 June 1825, died 10 September 1827.
9. Myra C., born 22 October 1828.
John Drury died in Temple, Maine 14 June 1828. The Bible record of his daughter Dorcas relates that he was 48 years, 6 months old when he died. John and Anna’s daughter Lucy married Henry Allen, and lived in Enfield, Penobscot Co., Maine. Lucy died 2 June 1848 in Enfield, possibly immediately after the birth of her second child, Henry Allen, Jr. Anna Drury was living in Enfield with Henry Allen and his two children when she died 23 August 1862.
Therefore, the direct ancestry of Dorcas (Drury) Parlin Whitney is:
Hugh Drury married Lydia Rice
Thomas Drury married Rachel Rice
Caleb Drury married Elizabeth Eames
Caleb Drury married Mehitable Maynard
William Drury married Elizabeth Drury
John Drury married Anna Mitchell
Dorcas Drury married Ebenezer Whitney
Charles Louis Whitney married Florence Jessie Gibson 3 November 1896 in Hyde Park, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts
The historian Robert Brand Hanson, himself a descendant of this Gibson family, provides data on this family back to Thomas Gibson, born about 1585. I am indebted to him for the following data about this family.
I. John Gibson and his wife Elizabeth emigrated from Scotland. John was born in Glasgow, Scotland 30 December 1801, and Elizabeth in Scotland about 1798. The 1851 census for Moncton, NB shows John (a stonemason) and Elizabeth Gibson arrived in New Brunswick in May, 1827, along with son John. Their two daughters, Elizabeth and Isabella were born in New Brunswick. The 1851 census finds their other son, William living apart from them in Elgin, NB. Also living in the Moncton household is listed George Robertson, age 63, a Scotch stonemason who arrived in November, 1816, and his daughter Ann, age 16, born in New Brunswick. The records of New Brunswick are scant to non existent, and the census records are inconsistent from decade to decade concerning peoples ages, so some may be inaccurate.
1. John, born in Scotland about 1725; married Ann Robertson 5 July 1855 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Their children were:
Alexander, born about 1855
John, born about 1857
Clara, born about 1859
Annie, born about 1861
Frank, born about 1864
Maude, born about 1868
Esther, born about 1870
2. William, born about 1826 in Scotland, mentioned below.
3. Elizabeth, born about 1831 in New Brunswick Province, Canada
4. Isabella, born about 1834 in New Brunswick Province, Canada
II. William Gibson was born about 1826 in Scotland and emigrated with his parents to New Brunswick Province, Canada. William married Charlotte Tucker about 1850 in New Brunswick Province. Charlotte was born in New Brunswick about 1828. The 1851 census for Elgin, NB locates William, age 24, a Scottish Farmer (arrived NB 1827), and his wife, Charlotte, age 23, of English descent and their son "Oracho" (Horatio), age 1. The 1861 Census for Elgin, NB shows William, age 34; Charlotte, age 34; with their first 7 children , plus a William (nephew), age 3. The father William is listed as a Scottish born farmer, while all the others are native born. All are listed as Baptist. William and Charlotte (Tucker) Gibson had twelve children. A record of those children, all born in New Brunswick Province, Canada follows: follows:
1. Horatio (Oracho), born about 1850
2. George, born about 1852
3. Margaret, born about 1853
4. Bertenia, born about 1856
5. William M., born 14 March 1855 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, mentioned below.
6. Angeline (Evangeline), born about 1858
7. John, born about 1859
8. Frances, born about 1861
9. Manning, born about 1863
10. Burpee, born about 1866
11. David, born about 1868
12. Miriam, born about 1870. Married Alfred Warren; lived in Camden, Maine.
The 1871 Census for Moncton, NB (District #186, Westmoreland City, Enumeration District #3, p.68) indicates a single household for John Gibson, age 70, his wife Elizabeth, age 70, William, age 45, his wife Charlotte, age 45, and 10 children (Horatio and Bertenia have disappeared from the list). John, Elizabeth, and William are all listed as Scottish born and Presbyterian, Charlotte as New Brunswick born and Baptist.
The 1881 Census for Moncton (District #33, p. 42, household #169) shows William, age 54; Charlotte, age 54, Frances, age 20, Manning, age 18; Burpee, age 15; David, age 13; Miriam, age 11.
III. William M. Gibson was born 14 March 1855 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. William married Ellen M. Phinney in New Brunswick. Ellen was born 10 July 1855 in Elgin, New Brunswick, Canada, the daughter of Edward and Ruth (Bannister) Phinney. The 1881 Census for Elgin, NB shows William, age 26, a stonemason of Scottish descent, his wife Ellen, age 25, New Brunswick born; daughter Florence, age 3; and son "Charley", age under 1. All are Baptists. The family entered the US by train via Moncton, New Brunswick and Vanceboro, Maine in July, 1887.
William and Ellen (Phinney) Gibson had three children, and a record of those children follows: 1. Florence Jessie, born 28 March 1878 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada; married Charles Louis Whitney.
2. Charles Manning, born 18 June 1880 in Elgin, New Brunswick, Canada. He married Helen Carlyle Brand 27 November 1901 in Hyde Park, MA. Helen was the daughter of Joseph Dorward Brand and Helen (Chalmers) Brand, and was born 15 January 1881 in Brechin, Scotland. Charles and Helen (Brand) Gibson had seven children. A record of those children follows:
Frederick Manning, born 10 April 1903 in Hyde Park, MA; died 25 October 1953 in Milton, MA.
Charles Ernest Gibson, born 20 February 1905 in Rockfield Blue Bonnetts, Quebec, Canada. Died 3 January 1990 in Dedham, Norfolk Co., MA.
Frank Gordon, born 18 November 1906 in Dedham, MA. Died 28 July 1976 in Martha’s Vineyard, MA.
Warren Cecil Gibson, born 27 August 1908 in Dedham, MA. Died 11 July 1988 in Florida.
William Sumner, born 8 January 1914 in Dedham, MA. Died 17 March 1993 in Waltham, MA.
Virginia May, born 20 November 1915 in Dedham, MA. Died 12 June 1989 in Dedham, MA.
Doris Eva, born 25 February 1917 in Gedham, MA. Died 20 July 1972 in Portland, Maine.
3. Viola Maude, born 24 November 1882 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. She married Fred Wood, and died in 1920.
A summary of the ancestry of Florence Jessie (Gibson) Whitney follows:
John Gibson married Elizabeth
William Gibson married Charlotte Tucker
William M. Gibson married Ellen M. Phinney
Florence Jessie Gibson married Charles Louis Whitney
Louis Irwin Whitney married Anna Frances Greene
I. Joseph Duff Greene, known commonly as “Duff” Greene was born in Petersham, Worcester Co., MA on August 20, 1840. He was the son of George A. and Olive W. Greene. A record of this family is:
George A. Greene, b. in Norton, MA
Olive W. (Eaton) Greene
Joseph Duff Greene, b. 20 Aug 1840 in Petersham, MA
George Greene, lived in Chicago, Ill, worked for Armour Meatpacking Co.
Marshall D. Greene, lived in Charlestown, Boston, MA
Ida Greene, m. Othello K. Merrill, lived in Springfield, MA
Duff Greene was a barber, both before and after the Civil War. On 24 May 1861 in Ware, Hampshire Co, MA, he enlisted as a Private in Co. G, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. In the late fall of 1861 he fought in the Battle of Seneca Creek, in Maryland. After this battle he was stricken with malaria and an inflammatory eye ailment. These ailments would plague him for the rest of his life. He was taken to a military hospital, a commandeered private home, in Frederick, Maryland.
On July 3, 1863, Duff Greene fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was injured in a fall while in a retreat from Ewell’s Brigade. In that fall, he suffered a right-sided hernia, which would also plague him the rest of his life. Very shortly after the battle at Gettysburg, Duff was detached to Long Island, NY as a recruiter. From there he was sent to Boston Harbor, where he remained until discharged in May of 1864.
On 2 January 1865, in Dana, Worcester Co, MA, Duff Greene married Harriet “Hattie” Stone, the daughter of Elbridge G. Stone and Broadesa Sibley. Hattie was born in Dana on 11 September 1848, and died there of “consumption” on 2 September 1870.
Duff Greene married, 2nd, Elizabeth Martha De Witt Wellington, commonly known as “Lizzie”. Lizzie was born in Ware, Hampshire Co., MA on 6 July, 1842, the daughter of Francis De Witt and Catherine Granger. A record of the family is:
Francis De Witt
Catherine Granger De Witt
Catherine De Witt, b. 1840
Elizabeth Martha De Witt, b. 2 July 1842 in Ware, Hampshire Co., MA
John De Witt, b. 15 September 1843, lived in Atlantic, Quincy, MA
Mary E. De Witt, m. Charles E. Dow
Francis De Witt was the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1856 to 1858. On 26 Nov.1862, he was appointed the rank of Captain, Com. Sub., in the US Volunteer Army by President Abraham Lincoln. He served most of his enlistment as the Captain of the Commissary at Beaufort, N.C. He was mustered out of the army at the rank of Brevet Major, 5 Feb 1866 in Washington, D.C. by President Andrew Johnson. After the war, he immediately returned to North Carolina, where he pursued business interests that he had researched while in the army, stationed in Morehead City at the close of the war. He started a steam-driven lumber mill at White Oak Creek, N.C., which was about 50 miles south of Newport, NC, and about 10 miles west of Morehead City. He was scalded in a steam accident at the mill, and survived about 3 days. His family was immediately notified, and his son-in-law, Frank Wellington, was dispatched by the family from Masssachusetts to North Carolina to check on his condition. Mr. Wellington found that Francis De Witt had passed away, and had been buried by the local F & A Masons. Local law and the time of year prevented the body from being exhumed and returned to Massachusetts. He remains buried where he died, in White Oak Creek, N.C., 12 September 1868.
Lizzie De Witt married, 1st, 20 April 1865, Frank White Wellington, b. in Brookline, MA, the son of Timothy W. and Susan R. Wellington. They were married in her home in Ware, MA. Frank Wellington was a bookkeeper before the Civil War, and a merchant after the war. Frank and Lizzie had one child, Frances Wellington. She married Charles E. Hopkins, and they lived in Francestown, New Hampshire. Frank Wellington died in Worcester, MA of malaria on 9 November 1868.
Duff Greene and Lizzie De Witt Wellington were childhood friends, and were married in Springfield, Hampden Co., MA on 13 May 1873. The record of their family is:
Joseph Duff Greene, b. 20 August 1840 in Petersham, MA
Elizabeth Martha De Witt Wellington Greene, b. 6 July 1842 in Ware, MA
1. Henry Russell Greene, b. 1876 in Springfield, MA
2. Jaye De Witt Greene, b. 12 September 1878, lived in New York City, where he worked in a sugar refinery.
Duff Greene worked as a barber for a number of years in Springfield, MA. He worked for himself, and for other barbers. He suffered greatly from malaria and its shaking effects. Also, about 1869, his eyesight started to fail, as cataracts formed from the inflammatory condition he contracted during the war. He would eventually lose the sight in the right eye and have poor vision in the left. He suffered many periods when the malaria kept him from working, and eventually, he and Lizzie and family moved to Boston, where he again tried employment as a barber, much to the same result.
On 1 March 1888, Duff and Lizzie Green parted company, never to live as man and wife again. Duff traveled to Springfield to see his sister Ida, and then went on to Chicago, Illinois, where he lived in a soldier’s nursing home. Over the next twenty years, Duff lived in a succession of soldier’s nursing homes, interspersed with stays with his sister and with his son Jaye D. in New York. He lived in nursing homes in Chicago, Illinois; Togus, Maine; Hot Springs, South Dakota; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Danville, Illinois. He died at the home of his sister, Ida Merrill, on 26 October 1918, in Springfield, MA.
Lizzie Greene remained in Boston, finishing the raising of her children. She then lived in a succession of boarding houses in Boston. She testifies that she was a seamstress, and then a housekeeper. She received pension benefits from Duff Greene’s military pension, and no record of her death appears in the pension files.
Sources: Civil War Pension Records, National Archives, Washington, D.C.:
Joseph Duff Greene: Invalid Application # 647.856 Cert. # 866.609 Widow Application # 1130744 Cert. #881245
Catherine DeWitt: Widow Application # 470539 Cert. #353.559 Massachusetts
US Census 1840 and 1850
Manual for the General Court, 1997-1998, pg. 406
Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, The Adjutant General, Norwood, MA, 1933, pg. 761.
Letter from Frances DeWitt to J. Turner, Esq., dated 12 May 1865
The above family history was researched and written with love for my mother, Anna Frances (Greene) Whitney.
II. Henry Russell Greene was born in 1876 in Springfield, Hampden Co., MA. Henry married Anna F. Miller, the daughter of Charles F. and Anna M. (Hume) Miller. Anna was born 25 August 1876 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Henry and Anna (Miller) Greene had four children, all born in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. A record of those chilren follows:
1. Henry R. “Harry”, born 14 August 1896 in Boston, MA., mentioned below.
2. Dorothy, married John Mitchell of Dedham, MA.
4. Robert, was a Dedham, MA policeman.
Henry Russell Greene and his wife Anna became estranged after the births of their children. It is known that at one time he was an engineer in a saw mill, and in 1911 was living in Pembroke Station, Florida. Nothing more is known of him.
Anna (Miller) Greene retired after a long career working for the Filene’s Department Store in Boston. She traveled back and forth between Florida in the winters and Weirs Beach in New Hampshire in the summers. She spent long periods of time in between her trips up and down the coast living in Dedham, MA . In the 1950's and 1960's she would rent a room in the home of Mary Brennan, which was directly across Weatherbee Lane from the Louis Whitney home at 563 Washington St. in Dedham. Anna Greene spent her final years in the Dedham Nursing Home, then located on Washington Street. She died there 24 October 1967, age 91 years.
III. Henry R. “Harry” Greene was born 14 August 1896 in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. In October of 1917, Harry married Winifred G. Mitchell, the daughter of Michael and Nora (Moran) Mitchell, both born in Ireland. Winifred was the sister of John Mitchell, who had married Harry Greene’s sister Dorothy, mentioned above. A record of the children of Michael and Nora (Moran) Mitchell’s children follows:
John Mitchell, born in Dedham, MA; married Dorothy Greene
Winifred G., born 20 April 1898 in Dedham, Norfolk Co., MA
Herbert Daniel “Bill”, born in Dedham, MA; married Margaret O’Rourke; had no children that lived.
Abram, born in Dedham, MA; lived in New Jersey
Margaret, born in Dedham, MA; married Alex Rogers
Harry and Winifed (Mitchell) Greene had three daughters. Their children are: Private
Harry Greene died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Dedham, MA 5 April 1945. He was buried five days later at the Brookdale Cemetery in Dedham. Winifred (Mitchell) Greene was then employed for many years as a live-in cook and nanny by Dr. Richard Warren of Highland Street in Dedham. She retired from that position in the 1960's and lived for a number of years in the Riverdale section of Dedham. She spent her final years in a nursing home on East Street in Dedham. She was affectionately known to her great grandchildren as “Giggy”. She died 2 April 1987, age almost 89 years, at the Faulkner Hospital in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA. She was buried two days later with her husband at the Brookdale Cemetery in Dedham.
A summary of the ancestry of Anna Frances (Greene) Whitney follows:
George A. Greene married Olive W. Eaton
Joseph Duff Greene married Elizabeth (DeWitt) Wellington
Henry Russell Greene married Anna F. Miller
Henry R. “Harry” Greene married Winifed G. Mitchell
Anna Frances Greene married Louis Irwin Whitney
Copyright © 2003, 2009, Kenneth L. Whitney