Archive:Whitney Family - Findings, Stories and Theories - May 11, 2008

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Archives > Archive:Extracts > Whitney Family - Findings, Stories and Theories - May 11, 2008

Whitney Family - Findings, Stories and Theories - May 11, 2008

on the occasion of the 87th birthday of Grace Olive Whitney Acheson,

great great great granddaughter of John Seth Whitney


- information that is documented by government sources, cemetery records, reliable family history

- hypotheses, theories, unconfirmed information, unknown details

Whitney Family of Halifax, Nova Scotia

The family story told by Cora Whitney at the 1943 Whitney Family Reunion is that Josiah Whitney, descended from the Henry Whitney line, left New England from Boston in 1775 and settled about 12 miles from the Halifax harbour.

About 1788- 1790- John Seth (Leith) was born. He had an older brother and maybe other siblings.

At age of 12, John Seth and his older brother wandered down to the harbour and got on board a ship which sailed around the world, unknown to his parents for some months.

John Seth was on a whaling ship off Labrador when it capsized. He supposedly swam to shore and spent the winter in a village, staying with the shoemaker.

Whitney Family of Stanbridge East Township, Quebec and Vermont

1798?- Eleanor (Elinor Ann/ Ellen/ Helen/ Helena) Hunter, daughter of William? Hunter, born in ?

1812-1815?- John Seth reported to have served as Wheelsman on the British Naval vessel, The Shannon. He does not appear in the muster roll for May- June 1813 at the time of the clash with the Chesapeake.

1819 - Nov. 27- marriage of John Whitney and Ellen Hunter, residence of both was given as St. Armands, Lower Canada. The marriage was performed by John Barr, J.P., and recorded in Highgate, Vt. John Barr was also the town clerk of Highgate.

Note: not sure if they are the right John and Eleanor (Ellen) as LDS says they had one son, Don Alonzo Whitney in 1824 in Vermont. This John is reported to have been born in about 1794 and Ellen in about 1796.

1819?- Josiah Whitney, son of John and Eleanor Whitney, born in Halifax? I have not been able to find any record at the Provincial Archives in Halifax and the United Church Archivist searched old Methodist records for the area and found nothing.

1823? - Sarah Jemima, daughter of John and Eleanor Whitney born in Quebec. Her obituary says that she was born in the County of Broome, Quebec.

1825 - Census of Stanbridge showed John Whitney living there with his wife and two children, one boy and one girl, both under the age of six.

1827? - John Guyan, son of John and Eleanor Whitney, born in Montreal (marriage registration) or St. Albans, [Vermont ] (death certificate).

1829 - Matthew Lang, son of John and Eleanor Whitney, born in Stanbridge (marriage register).

1831 - Census - John Whitney and family living in Stanbridge Township on Concession 8, non-proprietors of real property and the tenure by which the family held the land was “possession”. John was listed as a farmer and the family included six members - two children from 0-5 years of age and two from 6 to 13. They had 100 acres including 20 acres improved land, 12 meat cattle, 21 sheep and 5 hogs. They grew wheat, peas, oats, barley, rye, Indian corn, potatoes and buck wheat. They all were listed as Church of England members.

1833 - Noah, son of John and Eleanor Whitney of Stanbridge, born 14 May, 1833, baptized 27 June, St. Armand Methodist records. He was baptized by a minister name Matthew Lang.

1835 - Janet Hunter, born on Aug. 10, 1835,in Vermont. She was the daughter of William (born Ireland and Church of Scotland, according to 1851 Census for Stanbridge) and Abigail Hunter (born USA and Congregationalist). Three other siblings were also born in Vermont: Norman in about 1831, Electa Lousia on June 4, 1834 and Mary Abigail on June 18, 1839.

About 1835- 1837- John, Eleanor and family left Stanbridge, Quebec.

Between 1839 and 1842- Janet Hunter’s family appears to have moved to Quebec - four more siblings were born there: Adelia Victoria May 6, 1842 in Dunham and John on Dec. 7, 1844, William on Sept. 10, 1849 and Ellen Elizabeth on Feb. 26, 1852 in Stanbridge.

Whitney Family of North Easthope and Mornington Townships, Ontario

1835- Sarah’s obituary says that her family came to Perth County in about 1835.

1837- Eleanor Whitney purchased 100 acres from the Canada Company (Lot 7, Concession 1 in North Easthope Twsp., Ontario) on 4 Aug. (Git Res?) Perth Archives says leased in May 1837 and received deed in Aug. 1837. They built a shanty that year. [MS 729 Reel 1, p. 120 says Aug. 1837., item 858]

1839 - John Whitney leased 100 acres of land from the Canada Company (Lot 6, Concession 2, North Easthope Twsp.)

1841 - 31 July - sale of Lot 7, Concession 1 North Easthope to Josiah Whitney.

1841 - John Seth is reported to have walked to Goderich in order to vote. He was one of five entitled to vote for members of Parliament by securing a “free deed” of their property at least 3 months before the election. He voted for Mr. Dunlop.

1842 - Assessment List and Population Return- North Easthope - John Seth listed as owner of 200 acres - lots 7 on Concession 1 and lot 6 on Concession 2. Family listed as five members- two males over 16 (John Seth and John Guyan) one male under 16 (presumably Matthew Lang), one female over 16 (Eleanor) and one female under 16 (Sarah Jemima). It appears that Josiah was living away from the family then and that Noah may have died.

1846 - John Guyan moved to the farm on the Third line, Mornington Twsp. (William Guyan’s account says 1847).

Last half of 1847 or first half of 1848 - Eleanor died. No record of where she was buired and she did not leave a will [Perth County Archives].

1848 - Mornington Twsp.was surveyed. Squatters had arrived as early as 1843 and assumed that the concession lines would be extended from Wellesley Twsp. Intstead they were ¼ mile north of the Wellesley concessions. Some shanties had been built on concession lines and had to be torn down. There were no records as they had not purchased the land from the government. This led to bitter land disputes.

1848 - first log house built on Lot 10, Concession 2, Mornington. John Guyan.

1851 Census

- John Seth living in Easthope, widower, farmer, 2 storey log house, two children with him - Sarah and Matthew, a labourer. Note: Since Eleanor was still living in 1842, she must have died sometime between 1842 and 1851.
- Josiah, farmer, married, two year old son, John, living in Easthope.
- John Guyan, labourer, North Perth, Easthope

1851- April 15- John Seth sold 75 acres of Lot 7, Concession 1, North Easthope to Matthew by Indenture of Bargain and Sale.

1852 - The Hunter family (William and Abigail) arrived in Perth County, sometime between February and August. On Aug. 9, Janet Hunter (at age of 17) and 6 siblings were baptized by Rev. Joseph Shepley (Wesleyan Methodist minister in Southwold, Elgin County). Residence of parents listed as Wellesley.

1853 - John Guyan married Janet Hunter in South Easthope by banns of marriage, Rev. William Law Bayly, Baptist minister. [Registry book -Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths County of Perth Clerk of Peach Office] [last name spelled Witney]

1854 (March 7?, 1854- Josiah purchased Lot 6, Conc. 2, North Easthope from Canada Company - Sale - (leased in 1839). [Land register record]

1854 - 3 Jan to 7 March - Josiah purchased 100 acres - Lot 6, Concession 2, North Easthope from the Canada Company. Note: This is the same piece of property that John Seth

1854 - John Guyan sold west half of Lot 10 to father-in-law, William Hunter?

1855- Mornington Township Papers say that the West half, Lot 10 assigned from William Hunter to John Clark on Oct. 17.

1855- John Guyan bought the East half of Lot 10, Concession 2 on Nov. 3. The type of Sale or lease was Clergy Reserves which were set aside to be sold by the Crown to the settlers and the funds used to establish churches in the township.

1857 - Josiah was killed in a farm accident and was buried in Bell’s Cemetery (St. Andrews Presbyterian), Shakespeare. He died on Oct. 15 at the age of 38.

1861- Census - John Seth was living with son, John Guyan, and daughter-in-law, Janet.

1862- Janet (Hunter) Whitney died at age of 26 years, 2 months and was buried in the Old Methodist Cemetery in Milverton. Her child also died.

1865- William Hunter and Jane Hunter - St. Mary’s - grant or will?

1866 - John Guyan (Goyau) married Rebecca Jane Coulter on 31 October at Stratford by licence. Minster H.? Christopherson, Wesleyan Methodist. Witnesses Jane Dack and Thomas Dowfind?.

1866 - Guardianship listed (in wills) for Josias (h) Whitney, N. Easthope.

1867- John Edward, son of John Guyan and Rebecca Jane, born Sept. 2, 1867, baptized Sept. 7, 1867, Mornington

1868- July 6- John Seth sold 25 acres (Lot 7, Concession 1) to Sarah Jemima

1871- John Seth living with John Guyan at the time of the Census. John Seth died on Oct. 9, 1871, age 82. He is buried ?

1874 - 7 July- John Guyan (Goyan) received patent from Canada Company for 100 acres - half of Lot 10, Concession 2, Mornington.

1874 - Rebecca Jane Coulter died Dec. 9, 1874, age 25 years, 7 months. She was buried in the Old Methodist Cemetery, Milverton. She left three young children: John Edward Walker (Ned) Whitney (7), Margaret Alice (born Mar. 5, 1870) and Richard Henry (born Dec.1, 1874).

Sarah Jemima helped to raise these three young children. She was acknowledged and remembered for this in John Guyan’s will.

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