Family:Whitney, Aaron (1714-1779)

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Aaron5 Whitney (Moses4, Moses3, Richard2, John1), son of Moses4 and Lydia (Taylor) Whitney, was born 14 Mar 1714, Littleton, MA,[1] and died 8 Sep 1779, Petersham, MA, aged 65 years.[2]

He married firstly, 12 Jul 1739, Littleton, MA, Alice Baker "of Phillipston", daughter of Joseph and Alice (Jefts) Baker. She was born circa 25 Nov 1717 (calculated from age at death), Concord, MA, and died 26 Aug 1767, Petersham, MA, aged 49 years 9 months 1 day.[3]

Marriage intentions were published 20 Oct 1768, Lunenburg, MA, for him "Rev. Mr." "of Petersham" and "Madam" Ruth Stearns "of Lunenburg".[4] Marriage intentions were published 21 Oct 1768, Petersham, MA, for him and "Mrs." Ruth Stearns "of Lunenburg".[5] He "Rev." "of Petersham" married secondly, 6 Nov 1768, Petersham, MA, "Mrs." Ruth (Hubbard) Stearns "of Lunenburg",[6] daughter of Jonathan Hubbard. She was born circa 1717 (calculated from age at death), and died 1 Nov 1788, Keene, NH, in her 72nd year.[7] She had married firstly, 7 Apr 1736, Lunenburg, MA, Rev. David Stearns, son of John and Abigail (Fiske) Stearns "of Lunenburg".

The Rev. Aaron seems to have lived in Littleton for a time and then removed to Petersham in Worcester County. All of the children are listed in both town's vital records, with only the first child, Abel, b. 1740, specified in both records as having been born in Littleton. All others are given as if they were born IN the town in which the listing appears. The only solution to the birth location of the seven children after the first Abel would be a church record that shows the year of change of residence.

He was also known as Rev. Aaron Whitney. He receive a B.A. in 1737, Harvard College, Cambridge, MA. He was ordained at Petersham in 1738. He was a strong loyalist during the Revolutionary War between 1775 and 1783.

"Mr. Whitney was a strong loyalist in Revolutionary times, was prevented from preaching in his pulpit, and held services in his own house. (See Rev. E. B. Willson's address in com. of the 100th anniversary of the Incor. of Petersham, July 4, 1854.) He had numerous correspondents in England, and is supposed to have had strong friends and admirers, but as was natural at that period was harshly judged by those who were opposed to his political course. Himself a clergyman he was the progenitor of a race of able divines; a son, grandson, and two great-grandsons of his name having been settled ministers."

Pierce says the following:[8]

Sept. 6, 1738, the town of Petersham, Mass., voted to "settle an orthodox minister in this place." Mr. Aaron WHITNEY was chosen as the minister, and received as a settlement a proprietor's lot with £200 in money, and an annual salary of £150. The church was gathered in Oct. 1738 and consisted of fifteen male members. Mr. WHITNEY was ordained in December of that year, and preached acceptably to his people until, when the storm of the approaching revolution was gathering, he espoused the royal cause, and in his sermons and prayers inculcated submission to King George III. As he persisted in this course, at length the popular indignation rose to such a pitch that the church was rent with dissentions, and public worship was neglected. In 1774 he was dismissed from the parish, but refused to accept his papers, and by vote of the town, Peter GORE, a half-breed Indian, was stationed at the meeting-house door with a musket to keep the Tory preacher from entering. He afterward preached at his own house regularly to those who sympathized with the royal cause, and claimed to be the minister of the town up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1779, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. From the first Rev. WHITNEY was an uncompromis- ing Tory. At a town meeting held Dec. 13, 1774, it was voted that the town will not bargain with or employ the Rev. Mr. WHITNEY to preach for them any longer. On the 24th of May of the following year (1775) the town voted unanimously "that it will not hire the Rev. Mr. WHITNEY to preach any longer and that he be dismissed from any further services as a minister of the gospel in this town." As the pastor was as determined to preach as the town was opposed to his efforts in that direction, they chose a committee of ten to see that the public worship on the next Lord's day, and all future worship, be not disturbed by any person or persons going into the desk but such as shall be authorized and endorsed by the town committee. Aaron's will is dated July 15, 1779; mentions wife, Ruth, and children, Charles, Aaron, Alice MANN, Lucy KENDALL, Peter, Paul, and Abel. The estate was settled by agreement of the heirs Nov. 12, 1779.

Children of Aaron5 and Alice (Baker) Whitney:

i. Abel6 Whitney, b. 7 Jul 1740, Littleton, MA;[9] d. 15 Mar 1756, Cambridge, MA, aged 16 years,[10] student at Harvard College. See Harris's Cambridge epitaphs, p. 16. (HAW).
ii. Charles Whitney, b. 14 May 1742, Littleton, MA;[11] m. Elisabeth Kimball.
iii. Peter Whitney, b. 6 Sep 1744, Littleton[12] or Petersham, MA; m. Julia Lambert.
iv. Aaron Whitney, b. 5 Sep 1746, Littleton, MA;[13] m.(1) Hannah Stearns; m.(2) Hannah Willard.
v. Alice Whitney, b. 23 Sep 1748, Littleton, MA;[14] d. 1807; m. (int. 5 Aug 1773, Petersham, MA) Ensign Mann.[15]
vi. Lucy Whitney, b. 9 Apr 1751, Littleton, MA;[16] "of Petersham" m. (int. 4 May 1776, Petersham, MA[17]) 22 May 1776 at New Salem, MA, Samuel Kendall, Jr., "of New Salem".[18]
vii. Paul Whitney, b. 23 Mar 1753, Littleton, MA;[19] m. Charlotte Clapp.
viii. Abel Whitney, b. 15 Mar 1756, Lunenburg, MA, or Petersham, MA;[20] m. Clarissa Dwight.

Aaron5 and Ruth (Hubbard)(Stearns) Whitney had no children.

Census

References

1.^  "Arron [Whitney] [Aaron dup.], s. Moses and Lydia, [born] Mar. 14, 1714," according to Records of Littleton, Massachusetts, Printed by Order of the Town. First Installment: Births and Deaths from the Earliest Records in the Town Books, Begun in 1715 (Littleton, MA: Town of Littleton, 1900), p. 5.

2.^  "Rev. Aaron [Whitney], [died] Sept. 8, 1779, a. 65y. G.S. ," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Petersham, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (1904).

3.^  "Alice [Whitney], w. Rev. Aaron, [died] Aug. 26, 1767, a. 49y. 9m. 1d. G.S.," according to Petersham Vital Records.

4.^  "Aaron [Whitney], Rev. Mr., of Petersham, and Madm Ruth Stearns of Lunenburg, int. Oct. 20, 1768," according to Walter A. Davis, comp., Early Records of the Town of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, Including That Part Which is Now Fitchburg, 1719-1764 (Fitchburg, MA: Fitchburg City Council, 1896), volume 1, page 57.

5.^  "Rev. Aron [Whitney] and Mrs. Ruth Stearns of Lunenburg, int. Oct. 21, 1768," according to Petersham Vital Records.

6.^  "Aaron [Whitney], Rev., of Petersham, and Mrs. [Madam, dup.] Ruth Stearns of Lunenburg, [married] Nov. 9, 1768 [by Rev. Zabdiel Adams, dup.]," according to Lunenburg Vital Records, volume 1, page 103, and volume 3, page 190.

7.^  "Mrs. Ruth [Whitney], [died] Nov. 1, 1788, 72y.," according to Keene, New Hampshire, Vital Records.

8.^  Frederick C. Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635 (Chicago, IL: The Author, 1895), p. 79-80.

9.^  "Abel [Whitney], s. Rev. Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Allice, [born] July 7, 1740, at Littleton," according to Littleton Vital Records, p. 47. Also, "Abel [Whitney],s. Rev. Aaron and Alice, [born] July 7, 1740. At Littleton," according to Petersham Vital Records.

10.^  "Abel [Whitney], s. of Rev. Aaron of Petersham, [died] Mar. 15, 1756, a. 16y. G.R.1," according to Vital Records of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: 1914-1915).

11.^  "Charles [Whitney], s. Rev. Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Allice, [born] May 14, 1742," according to Littleton Vital Records, p. 48. Also, "Charles [Whitney], s. Rev. Aaron and Alice, [born] May 14, 1742," according to Petersham Vital Records.

12.^  "Peter [Whitney], s. Rev. Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Allice, [born] Sept. 6, 1744," according to Littleton Vital Records, p. 48. Also, "Peter [Whitney], s. Rev. Aaron and Alice, [born] Sept. 6, 1744," according to Petersham Vital Records.

13.^  "Aaron [Whitney], s. Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Allice, [born] Sept. 5, 1746," according to Littleton Vital Records, p. 48. Also, "Aaron [Whitney], s. Rev. Aaron and Alice, [born] Sept. 5, 1746," according to Petersham Vital Records.

14.^  "Allice [Whitney], d. Rev. Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Allice, [born] Sept. 23, 1748," according to Littleton Vital Records, p. 48. Also, "Alice [Whitney], d. Rev. Aaron and Alice, [born] Sept. 23, 1748," according to Petersham Vital Records.

15.^  "Alice [Whitney] and Ensign Man, int. Aug. 5, 1773," according to Petersham Vital Records.

16.^  "Lucey [Whitney], d. Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Alice, [born] Apr. 9, 1751," according to Littleton Vital Records, p. 48. Also, "Mary [Lucy?] [Whitney], d. Rev. Aaron and Alice, [born] April 9, 1751," according to Petersham Vital Records.

17.^  "Lucy [Whitney] and Samuel Kindell Jr. of New Salem, int. May 4, 1776," according to Petersham Vital Records.

18.^  "Lucy [Whitney], Mrs. [of Petersham, M.R., and Samu[e]ll Kendall [Kindall, jr. M.R.], [married] May 22, 177-, C.R. [1776. M.R.]," according to Vital Records of New Salem, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1927).

19.^  "Paul [Whitney], s. Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Alice, [born] Mar. 23, 1753," according to Littleton Vital Records, p. 48. Also, "Paul [Whitney], s. Rev. Aaron and Alice, [born] Mar. 23, 1753," according to Petersham Vital Records.

20.^  "Abel [Whitney], s. Rev. Aaron and Alice, [born] March 15, 1756," according to Petersham Vital Records.


Copyright © 1999, 2006-2008, 2013, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.

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