Family:Whitney, Aaron (c1795-1842)

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Aaron Whitney (Joseph), son of Joseph and Elizabeth (-----) Whitney, was born between 1790 and 1800, and died 25 Aug 1842, Lawrence Co., AR, having shot himself in the right temple with a pistol.

He married firstly, Rachel Poindexter.[1] She apparently died between 1840 and Aug 1842.

He married secondly, Sarah Crutchfield. She was born in Lexington, KY.

"1842 Lawrence Co AR Probate - Aaron Whitney died Aug 1842. Heirs: Elizabeth Reed, wife of John Reed of Dade Co MO, Thomas J. Whitney of Bates Co MO, James M., Wade H. & Rachel Whitney of Lawrence Co AR. There was an inquest 26 Aug 1842; the verdict was that Aaron Whitney died by shooting himself in the right temple with a pistol. Since there is no mention of a spouse, presumably Rachel died between 1840 and Aug 1842."[2]

"14 Sep 1842, Arkansas Weekly Gazette Murder: Aaron Whitney of St. Clair Co., MO was found dead in his bed on the night of the 25 ult. His reputed wife Sarah Whitney (alias Crutchfield) swore before the Coroner, that he committed suicide and the verdict of the jury was the same. Since the inquest, however, suspicion has been entertained against the wife and a reward of $150 in Arkansas paper has been offered for her delivery to the Sherriff of Lawrence County, Ark. She has escaped from the officers and is described as follows, by a correspondent: "She is about 45 years of age about 130 or 140 lbs., is good looking, is getting gray, particularly in the temples, has pale blue or gray eyes, her right wrist has been broken, and has a brazen countenance. She says she was raised near Lexington, KY, has sons living on Fox River, MO, has travelled all over the western States and part of Texas, and has lived in Howard Co., MO." [3]

Children of Aaron and Rachel (Poindexter) Whitney:

i. Elizabeth Whitney; m. John Reed of Dade Co., MO according to 1842 probate records of her father.
ii. Thomas J. Whitney, b. ca. 1819, TN; res. Bates Co., MO. Enumerated in Holt Co., MO in 1850. The family believes that Thomas joined his brother Wade in Nebraska but died there before 1860.
iii. James Madison Whitney, b. ca. 1822, MO; m. Mary Burris.
iv. Wade H. Whitney, b. ca. 1827, MO.
v. Rachel Ann Whitney, b. ca. 1829, MO; m.(1) James M. Hudson by whom she had two children William born about 1847 and Elizabeth born 1849; m.(2) Joshua Kelso and is with him on the 1860 census for Holt Co MO. This indicates Rachel was born 1829 in Missouri which fits the profile for when the family came to Missouri. 1860, Holt Co MO, Household 1044: Joshua Kelso, age 29, b. Iowa, Rachel, age 31, b. MO, William A. Hudson age 13, Elizabeth Hudson age 11, Sarah A. Kelso age 5, John A. Kelso age 3, Harriet L. Kelso age 1, and James P. Kelso age one month.


Two descendants of Thomas J. "Whitney" SR. have been DNA tested. They are exact matches to one descendant of James Madison "Whitney" SR that was also tested. However neither of these three, whom all exact at 12 markers, match the DNA profiles John, Henry, or Samuel.

It is also probable that Aaron "Whitney" may not have been a Whitney. If he was, "his" children were not. Possibly the children were picked up from other families.

There is more here that probably needs to be examined. The surnames returned as two marker mismatches to the descendant of James Madison "Whitney" SR (who took a 25 marker test) are Maudsley, and Williams. These surnames have presented no clues as of yet.

The two Thomas J "Whitney" SR. subjects only have 12 marker results, and it is extremely likely that there would not be any substantial difference at 25 markers to the descendant of James Madison "Whitney" SR.

DNA matches can pop up at anytime. More will probably follow...


  • 1820: not found. Not found on the partial TN census, and the MO schedules no longer exist
  • 1830, Howard Co., MO: Aaron Whitney, 1 male 30-39, 3 males 5-9, 1 female 30-39, 1 female 10-14, 1 female under 5, 1 male slave under 10, 8 total
  • 1840, Bonne Femme, Howard Co., MO: Aaron Whitney, 1 male 40-49, 1 male 20-29, 1 male 15-19, 1 male 10-14, 1 female 50-59, 1 female 40-49, 1 female 10-14, 1 male slave 24-35, 1 male slave 5-9, 1 male slave under 5, 1 female slave 5-9, 1 female slave under 5, 12 total, 5 in agriculture


  • Census records

1. ^  "Said decedents [David and Berry Poindexter] had a sister named Rachel. She intermarried with Aaron Whitney and they are both dead. Children if any are unknown to complainants.", POINDEXTER, BERRY et al vs SPROWLS, JOHN et al Circuit 1866, Jackson Co., TN Loose District/Chancery Court Papers Reel #105, Pickett - Poteet, S.

2. ^  Kay Haden, Siblings in the Law Suit - Rachel Whitney, 26 Apr 2005.

3. ^  14 Sep 1842 Weekly Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock, AR.

Copyright © 2010, Tim Doyle and the Whitney Research Group

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