Family:Whitney, John (1698-1765)

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John4 Whitney (Isaiah3, Thomas2, John1), son of Isaiah3 and Sarah (Woodward)(Eddy) Whitney, was born 6 Dec 1698, Cambridge Farms, MA,[1] and baptized 4 May 1699, Lexington, MA.[2] He died circa 1765.[3]

He married, 20 May 1724, Lancaster, Massachusetts Rebecca4 Whitney (Moses3, Richard2, John1),[4] daughter of Moses3 and Sarah (Knight) Whitney.[5] She was born say 1701, Stow, MA, and died 27 Jul 1780, Harvard, MA, of advanced age.[6]

John Whitney was a leader in the movement to separate the town of Harvard from the town of Lancaster, Massachusetts and later led the movement to separate the town of Shirley from Groton, Massachusetts, and then held the first town meeting in his home.[7]

Pierce says the following:[8]

He resided in Lancaster on territory which was subsequently annexed to Shirley in 1765. It was at his house that the first town meeting was held, when the people took their first step as a body politic. This was later purchased for a workhouse and almshouse. It was used for that purpose for many years, but afterward became a private dwelling. ...
The following petition began the separation of Shirley from Groton: To the inhabitants of the town of Groton, assembled in town meeting on the first day of March 1747, the petition of us, the subscribers, being all inhabitants of the town of Groton aforesaid, hereby showeth that your petitioners all live in the extreme parts of the town, and by that means are incapacitated to attend the public worship constantly, either ourselves or families; and being sensible that our being set off in order for a precinct will be of great service to us, we desire that we may be set off by the bounds following, viz: Beginning at the mouth of the Squannacook river, and to run up said river till it comes to Townsend line, and then by Townsend and Lunenburg line till it cometh to Groton southwest corner, and so by the south line of said town until it cometh to Lancaster river, and then down said river till it cometh to Harvard corner, and then about a mile on Harvard north line; then turn north and run to the waste brook in Coicors (Cauicus or Nonacaiucus) farm, where people generally pass over, and from thence to the mouth of Squannacook river, where we first began; and your petitioners, as bound in duty, shall ever pray, etc. [Signed] John Whitney & 32 others.
The prayer of the petioners was granted, and Shirley was incorporated in 1753.

Children of John4 and Rebecca4 (Whitney) Whitney:

i. John5 Whitney, b. 20 Mar 1724/5, Harvard, MA;[9] m.(1) Hannah Sawtell; m.(2) Elizabeth Sawtell.
ii. Sarah Whitney, b. 5 Feb 1726/7, Harvard, MA;[10] m. Benjamin Wilson.
iii. Beulah Whitney, b. 23 Jan 1729/30, Harvard, MA,[11] and d. 7 Feb 1763, Shirley, MA.[12]
iv. Ezra Whitney, b. 24 Aug 1731, Harvard, MA;[13] m. Agnis -----.
v. Abner Whitney, b. 21 Jan 1733/4, Still River (Lancaster/Harvard), MA;[14] m. Sarah Hilton.

References

1.^  Birth and baptism record for "John [Whitney], s. of Isaiah and Sarah, b. Dec. 6, 1698, bp. May 4, 1699" as found in Lexington, Massachusetts. Record of Births, Marriages and Deaths to January 1, 1898 (Boston, MA: Wright and Potter, 1898).

2.^  Ibid.

3.^  John Whitney probably died near the date that deed of ownership of his property at Town Meeting Road, Shirley, MA passed to his son John Jr. in 1765.

4.^  "John [Whitney], of Lancaster, and Beckah Whitney of Stow, [married] May 20, 1724," according to Henry S. Nourse, ed., The Birth, Marriage and Death Register, Church Records and Epitaphs, of Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1643-1850 (Lancaster, MA: 1890). Also, "John [Whitney] [int. Whetney] [of] Lancaster, and Rebeckah Whitney [int. Whetney], [married] May 20, 1724, in Lancaster," according to F. Apthorp Foster, ed., Vital Records of Stow, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911).

5.^  See the article "The Parentage of Rebecca Whitney, wife of John Whitney,", by Robert L. Ward.

6.^  Death record for "Rebekah [Whitney], wid., [died] July 27, 1780, 'of advanced age.'" as found in Thomas W. Baldwin, ed., Vital Records of Harvard, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: Wright & Potter Printing Co., 1917.

7.^ 

8.^  Frederick C. Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635 (Chicago, IL: The Author, 1895), pp. 47-48.

9.^  Birth record for "John [Whitney], s. of John and Rebecca, [born] Mar. 20, 1725" as found in _____, Vital Records of Shirley, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1918).

10.^  Birth record for "Sarah [Whitney], d. of John and Rebecca, [born] Feb. 5, 1727" as found in _____, Vital Records of Shirley, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1918) and "Sarah [Whitney], d. of John and Rebekah, Feb.15,1726-7" as found in Nourse, Henry S., ed., The Birth, Marriage and Death Register, Church Records and Epitaphs, of Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1643-1850 (Lancaster, MA: 1890). Her birth was recorded in both Harvard and Lancaster.

11.^  Birth record for "Beulah [Whitney], d. of John and Rebec[c]a, [born] Jan. 23, 1730" as found in _____, Vital Records of Shirley, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1918).

12.^  Death record of "Beulah [Whitney], d. John and Rebacah, [died] Feb. 7, 1763" as found in _____, Vital Records of Shirley, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1918).

13.^  Birth record for "Ezra [Whitney], s. of John and Rebec[c]a, [born] Aug. 24, 1731" as found in Harvard Vital Records.

14.^  Birth record for "Abner [Whitney], s. of John and Rebecca, [born] Jan. 21, 1733-4" as found in Harvard Vital Records.


Copyright © 2006-2008, Tim Doyle, Robert L. Ward, and the Whitney Research Group.

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