Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 145

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The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)

Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.


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WHITNEY GENEALOGY. 145

It was some eight years after the meeting house in Shirley had been prepared for use before a ministry had been established, the pulput, meantime, being supplied by transient preachers and regular candidates. On Feb. 25, 1762, Mr. Phinehas WHITNEY received an unanimous call to settle, on the following terms: First, he was to receive £133 6s 8d as a settlement, one-half to be paid in three months and the rest within a year. Second, he was to receive £53 13s 4d as a salary, to be raised to L60 when the town should have seventy-five families. Third, he was annually to receive twenty cords of wood, to be cut and brought to his door. These preliminaries being adjusted, Mr. WHITNEY was ordained June 23, 1762. The ministry of Mr. WHIT- NEY, which lasted for more than half a century, was one of general peace and pros- perity. He had the confidence of his people, and between him and them a good de- gree of harmony was maintained. He was also favorably considered abroad, was frequently invited to sit in ecclesiastical councils, to assist in the settlement of clergy- men, and was noted for his decisions and firmness. In the trying period of the American Revolution, when the people of the town found themselves unable to pay his full salary, he bore the deprivations with calm resignation, and even contributed of his private resources toward the expense of the war what would have been an equitable tax on his property had that property been legally taxed. Mr. WHITNEY was a classmate and particular friend of Rev. Zabdiel ADAMS, of Lunenburg, and preached the funeral sermon at the burial of that distinguished divine. In his doc- trinal views Mr. WHITNEY assented to many of the tenets that were imported in the Mayflower, yet maintained a becoming liberality toward fellow Christians of other names. He seemed rooted and grounded in the noble principles of Armenian Con- gregationalism, and believed that on these principles the church militant could be most surely estabilished. He was graduated from Harvard in 1759, and died in 1819, after having entered the fifty-seventh year of his ministry. For several of the later years of his life he was deprived, by paralysis, of ability to peform his pulpit labors, and had the assistance of a colleague from 1815 until within a few months of his death. Mrs. WHITNEY's father Lieut. Moses WILLARD, was born in Lancaster about 1702. He resided in Groton on a farm near the Nonaicocius purchase and bounding in part on the brook. He purchased in Groton in 1723, and dwelt in that town until 1732. About 1733 he removed to Lunenburg and there joined Captain, afterward Col., Josiah WILLARD in obtaining from the Province of Massachusetts the grant of the town of Winchester and become one of the grantees. A new charter was obtained from the Province of New Hampshire in 1753, it having been ascertained to be within the limits of the latter province. Much of his time seems to have been passed in the new township and in guarding the frontier at Fort Dummer and Ashuelot. He was an early inhabitatnt of Charlestown No. 4., a frontier town particularly exposed to attack from the French and Indians. And so it happened in the old French war, that, on the 18th of June, 1756, when Lieut. Moses WILLARD with his son of the same name, was at work upon his farm, within sight of the fort, the Indians made a sudden attack upon them. The father fell mortally wounded. The Indians pursued the son and wounded him with a spear; but he succeeded in making his escape, carrying the spear with him into the fort. Lieut. Moses had two children and the sufferings of the family did not begin with the death of the father or the wound of the son. In Aug. 1754, on a previous attack the daugher Susannah, wife of James JOHNSON and her sister Miriam, a young girl of fourteen, afterward the wife of Rev. Phinehas WHITNEY, of Shirley, were with several others taken captive and carried through the wilderness to Canada. Mrs. JOHNSON published a narration of her captivity, which contains many interesting recitals. Moses WILLARD was the son of Simon and Mary (WHITCOMB) WILLARD, and this Simon was a son of Henry and Mary (LAKIN) WILLARD, and his Henry was the fourth son of Major Simon. He d. Dec. 13, 1819; res. Shir- ley, Mass. 1926. i. THOMAS, b. Mar. 19, 1771; m. Henrietta PARKER. 1927. ii. NICHOLAS B., b. Mar. 21, 1772; m. Ann ADAMS. 1928. iii. LYDIA, b. Sept. 8, 1773; m. Jan. 8, 1804, John WATSON. She d. Feb. 7, 1853, leaving 6 ch. 1929. iv. ELIZABETH, b. Nov. 8, 1775; m. May 1, 1808, Dr. Amos PARKER of Bolton, Mass.; had 3 ch. 1930. v. WILLIAM, b. Oct. 3, 1778; m. Elizabeth FISKE and Martha SYMONDS. 1931. vi. REBECCA COOK, b. Sept. 2, 1781; m. May 16, 1801. William B. MERRIAM; had 4 ch. Mrs. Deacon MERRIAM d. in Essex Village, N.Y. in 1874. She was the mother of Gen. Wm. S. MERRIAM who was father of Col. John L. MERRIAM of St. Paul, (he d.

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