Family:Whitney, Ezra (1731-a1800)

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Migration Route of Ezra Whitney

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Ezra5 Whitney (John4, Isaiah3, Thomas2, John1), son of John4 and Rebecca4 (Whitney) Whitney, was born 24 Aug 1731, Harvard, MA.[1] He died sometime after 1800, and probably before 1810, and probably in or near Athens, VT.[2] He was a housewright (carpenter).[3]


He married, sometime before 17 May 1756, Agnis -----.[4] She was born say 1732.[5] Some have identified her surname as either Ross or Rossiter, and some have assigned Ezra a second wife, but no primary evidence has been found to support either of these claims.[6] Because Ezra's eldest son was born 17 May 1756, he would have been conceived about August, 1755, a period in which Ezra was in the military at St. George's, ME. If Agnes was actually the mother of this son, her identity might be discovered by searching the records of this locality.

Ezra Whitney served in The French and Indian War under Capt. Jabez Bradbury at St. George's (present site of Thomaston, ME) between 11 Jun 1755 and 30 Nov 1755 with his brother, John Whitney.[7]

The births of his first two children were recorded in Shirley, and the next two in Lunenburg. These towns were adjacent and just across the county border from one another. Sometime between 1762 and 1767 he relocated with his family from the Shirley / Lunenburg area to Montague, where his next child's birth was recorded. Ezra was enumerated in the 1771 Massachusetts Tax Valuation in Montague with 1 house, annual worth of real estate of £2-10s-0d, 1 horse, 1 cattle, 3 goats/sheep, 8 acres of land under tillage producing 57 bushels of grain per year, 12 barrels of cider per year, and 3 acres of mowing land producing 4 tons of hay per year.[8] After residing in Montague, Ezra relocated once again, sometime about 1772 to Rockingham, Vermont, just up the Connecticut River from Montague. On 7 May 1772, Ezra Whitney purchased two ninety acre lots in Rockingham, Cumberland County (now Windham County), New Hampshire Grant (now Vermont).

"Joseph Burr, of Rockingham in the County of Cumberland and in the New Hampshire Grant, Yeoman for and in consideration of the sum of thirty six pound ten shilling Bay money ... by Ezra Whittney of said Rockingham, Housewright ... two ninety acre Lotts ... number five in the Tenth Range and six in the Tenth Range ... in Rockingham ... this seventh day of May in the second year of the free and Independent States of America and in the year of our Lord 1772".[9]

Ezra Whitney sold his land in Montague, amounting to a little over 66 acres, for £106 13s 4d on 1 Sep 1773.

On 4 Aug 1776 "Agnis Whitney", having formerly "owned the covenant", was propounded (named as a candidate for admission to communion with a church) into the First Church of Rockingham. Three weeks later, on 25 Aug 1776, she was received into the church. The following week, on 1 Sep 1776 "Moses Agnis & Lucretia Children of Ezra & Agnis Whitney" were baptized at the church.[10]

On 14 Jan 1779, Ezra sold one of his ninety acre lots in Rockingham to Joseph White.

"Ezra Whittney of Rockingham in the County of Cumberland and State of Vermont, House Right, for and in consideration of the sum of fifty pounds currant money of the state aforesaid ... by Josiah White of Rockingham ... one ninety acre Lott of land it being number five in the Tenth Range of Lotts ... in Rockingham ... this fourteenth day of January Anno Domini [1779] and in the third year of American Independence."[11]

In 1781, Ezra Whitney was taxed in Rockingham Township.[12] In Dec 1785, the family resided in Rockingham.[13]

In June, 1787, "Ezra, Agnes, Moses, Rebeckah, and Creche" Whitney were 'warned out' of Athens, Windham County, VT.[14]

In 1791, the family was enumerated in Athens, Windham County, VT. The family consisted of 2 males 16 years and older (Ezra and Moses), and 2 females (wife and Lucretia).[15]

In 1800, the family was enumerated in Athens, Windham County, VT. The family consisted of 1 male 45 and over (Ezra), 1 male 16-26 (Moses), and 1 female 45 and over.[16]

By 1810, Moses Whitney is found residing in Athens, but Ezra is no longer listed.

Children of Ezra5 and Agnis (-----) Whitney:[17]

i. (son)6 Whitney, b. 17 May 1756, Shirley, MA,[18] and probably d. young.[19]
ii. (daughter) Whitney, b. 18 Dec 1757, Shirley, MA,[20] and probably d. young.[21]
iii. Ezra Whitney, b. 29 Nov 1760, Lunenburg, MA;[22] d. 8 May 1842, Burns, Allegany County, NY.[23]
iv. Rebekah Whitney, b. 2 Jan 1762, Lunenburg, MA.[24] She was living in 1787 when the family was warned out of Athens. She was probably one of the 'older sisters' who, with their mother, Lucretia Whitney remembered seeing packing a rucksack for their brother Ezra Whitney as he prepared to go to war in 1780.
v. Agnis Whitney, b. 10 Apr 1767, Montague, MA.[25]
vi. Lucretia Whitney, b. 4 Nov 1771, MA,[26] perhaps in Montague; died 28 Feb 1855, Allegany County, NY.[27]
vii. Moses Whitney, bapt. 1 Sep 1776, Rockingham, VT.[28]

Census

References

1.^  Birth record of 'Ezra (Whitney), s. of John and Rebec[c]a', 24 Aug 1731, as found in: Baldwin, Thomas W., ed., Vital Records of Harvard, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: Wright & Potter Printing Co., 1917), page 113.

2.^  Ezra Whitney is enumerated in the 1800 census in Athens, but is not found there in 1810.

3.^  Ezra is listed in several land transactions as a housewright, namely Vital Records of Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont, Book 1, FHL Microfilm 0028756, pages 42 and 75.

4.^  Assuming that Agnes was the unnamed mother of Ezra Whitney's eldest two children, she was probably married to him sometime before the birthdate of the eldest child. If she was not the mother of these two children, then they were married sometime before the birth of Ezra in 1760.

5.^  Purely an estimate.

6.^  Pierce badly confused this Ezra Whitney with another Ezra, and attributed the other Ezra with three wives: Agnes Ross, Elizabeth (-----), and Mercy Morse. Because it has now been shown that the other Ezra did not marry either an Agnes or an Elizabeth, and because this Ezra did marry an Agnes, some have attributed Elizabeth (-----) to this Ezra as well. However, no records have been found which indicate this Ezra married any woman but Agnes. In addition, no records have been found to identify her surname as being Ross or any other name, though there may be a hint in the fact that Ezra's daughter Lucretia named a son John Ross Franklin.

7.^  Robert E. MacKay, ed., Massachusetts Soldiers in the French and Indian Wars 1744-1755 (Boston: The Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1978), p. 478-481. According to the defunct website Forts of Maine (viewed using Google.com's cache), "Fort St. George's (1720 - 1762), Thomaston, A complex of two palisaded blockhouses located near the later site of the Knox Mansion."

8.^  Bettye Hobbs Pruit, The Massachusetts Tax Valuation List of 1771 (Rockport, Maine: Picton Press, 1998).

9.^  Vital Records of Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont, Book 1, FHL Microfilm 0028756, p. 42.

10.^  Peck, Thomas Bellows, "Records of the First Church of Rockingham, Vermont, from its Organization, Oct. 27, 1773 to Sept. 25, 1839.," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register Vol. 54 (April, 1900), p. 201.

11.^  Vital Records of Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont, Book 1, FHL Microfilm 0028756, p. 75.

12.^  MicroQuix, Colonial America - Pre-1790 Census Index, Tax Lists CD No. 136 (Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1994).

13.^  Pension File for Ezra Whitney, 1845, p. 4.

14.^  Rollins, Alden M., Vermont Warnings Out, Vol. 2: Southern Vermont Plus Additions to Vol. 1: Northern Vermont (Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 199?), p. 146. The record lists "Whitney, Ezra, Agnes, Moses, Rebeckah, and Creche [Lucretia]." If the Agnes listed is his wife, that would indicate that the daughter Agnes was probably deceased or married. If the Agnes was actually the daughter, then the wife was probably deceased. Note that Ezra's son Ezra was married and had several children in Athens by this time, so his father may have been moving there so they could help care for them after his wife had passed away, which would indicate that the Agnes was his daughter.

15.^  1791 Census of Vermont.

16.^  1800 Census of Vermont.

17.^  Because the name of the mother was not recorded for the births of the first two children, born in Shirley, it is only assumed that they were also the children of Agnes. It is also possible that Ezra had an as yet unknown first wife.

18.^  Birth of '----, s. Ezra', 17 May 1756, as found in _____, Vital Records of Shirley, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1918). Microfilmed copies of the original records show that the corner of this page is missing, and as such, the name of the child and the name of the mother are both lost.

19.^  No further record.

20.^  Birth of '----, d. Ezra', 18 Dec 1757, as found in _____, Vital Records of Shirley, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1918). Microfilmed copies of the original records show that the corner of this page is missing, and as such, the name of the child and the name of the mother are both lost.

21.^  No further record.

22.^  Birth of 'Ezra, s. Ezra and Agness', 29 Nov 1760, Lunenburg, Massachusetts.

23.^  Pension File for Ezra Whitney, 1845, p. 2.

24.^  Birth of 'Rebekah, d. Ezra and Agness', 2 Jan 1762, Lunenburg, Massachusetts.

25.^  Birth of 'Agnes, d. Ezra and Agnes', 10 Apr 1767, as found in _____, Vital Records of Montague, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1934), p. 48.

26.^  Mr. James S. Kasch to Tim Doyle, 12 Oct 1997.

27.^  Ibid.

28.^  Peck, Thomas Bellows, Vital Records of Rockingham, Vermont, from the beginning of the Records to January 1, 1845 and Records of the First Church of Rockingham, Vermont, from its organization, October 27, 1773 to September 25, 1839 (Pittsford, VT: Genealogical Society of Vermont, 1994), p. 222 and Peck, Thomas Bellows, "Records of the First Church of Rockingham, Vermont, from its Organization, Oct. 27, 1773 to Sept. 25, 1839.," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register Vol. 54 (April, 1900), p. 201.

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