Family:Whitney, Nathan (1727-1803)

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Nathan5 Whitney (David4, Benjamin3, John2, John1), son of David4 and Rebecca (Fillebrown) Whitney, was born 12 Mar 1726/7, Waltham, MA,[1], and died 10 Aug 1803, Westminster, MA, in 77th year.[2]

Nathan married, Sep 1752, Tabitha Merriam, daughter of Thomas and Tabitha (Stone) Merriam. She was born 10 May 1733, Lexington, MA, and died 26 Dec 1822, Westminster, MA, aged 89 years 7 months.[3]

He was also known as Capt. Nathan Whitney. He lived at Westminster, MA; his home is one of the oldest buildings in Westminster and is occupied by his direct descendants. Several years before the Revolution, he was made a captain of a unit of the local militia by King George III, and drilled his men on the lawn in front of this house. He also served as a tax collector under the king. Before the War, he gave up his commission from King George and remained loyal to the colonies. During the war, captured Hessian officers and their orderlies were quartered in this house. The captives were helpful on the farm and assisted in planting an aple orchard on the estate. When one of the Whitney sons was very ill, the Hessian physician was summoned from Rutland and is credited with saving the son's life. Another of the Hessian officers made charcoal sketches of Mr. and Mrs. Whitney and copies of the sketches hang in the Historical Museum.

Pierce says the following:[4]

On the 26th of Dec., 1750 Nathan WHITNEY bought of Benjamin BROWN lot No. 90, in the south part of the township (Narragansetts No. 2, now Westminster, Mass), now represented by his gt-gr. sons, Edward and George C. WHITNEY, of Worcester, who occupy a portion of it, and the building thereon as a summer residence. Early in July following he was reported to the Gen. Ct. as 'a good man, at work on the spot.' Not finding, however, a satisfactory site on the premises for a permanent dwelling ho., he purchased of his prospective f.-in-law, Thomas MERRIAM, of Lex., the S.E. end of the adjoining lots, Nos. 83 and 84, and erected a temporary place of abode, near where his gd. s., Calvin, now lives. This, a few years later, was superseded by a more substantial structure, the oldest part of the habitation herein represented. In 1752 or 1753 he brought to his new home his yg. bride, Tabitha MERRIAM, whom he m. in Sept. of the former year. It is stated that after Mr. W. had bought his lot and expended some labor upon it he became much discouraged and resolved to abandon the undertaking. But his intended f.-in-law, who had considerable landed interests in the vicinity, dissuaded him from his purpose. Moreover, the coming hither of his w. at an early day helped to make him contented, though loneliness on her part and fear of Indians caused her for a time much unhappiness. As time went on, however, outward trials diminished, but sad domestic experiences arose. Twice were these new-comers wholly bereaved of their children. By the fearful epidemic of 1756, the first two d. before the third saw the light, while a similar visitation in 1764 took from them the four that in the intervening period had been born to them. Three only of the nine they had in all, b. at a later date, were spared to mature years. He was a weaver by trade and established a loom in his colonial home.
Nathan WHITNEY was an enterprising, prosperous citizen, patriotic and public-spirited, and interested in military affairs. As corporal in the Co. of which Daniel HOAR was Capt. in 1759, he was ordered in the name of his majesty, George II., to impress for service in the Canada Expedition one Edward JOYNER, a resident of the township. In 1771 he had risen to the dignity of captain, receiving his commission from the royal governor at that date, Thomas HUTCHINSON. Mr. WHITNEY departed this life Aug. 10, 1803, at the age of 76. His wid., Tabitha, survived him nearly 20 years, passing on Dec. 26, 1822, ae. 90. That he was an eminently successful farmer, and one of the largest property holders of his day is shown by the U.S. valuation and tax-list made out in 1798, and also by the inventory of his estate filed at the Prob. Ct., Oct. 1, 1803. It may be questioned whether another resident of the town was so favorably conditioned in this respect as was he at that early date. Interesting features of his will are that his s. David, to whom he bequeathed his home farm, shall furnish his wid., Tabitha, besides certain specified household privileges and conveniences, '2 cows, a horse to ride with when she wants it," and also each year '4 bush. rye meal, 6 bush. Indian, 2 bush. wheat made into flour, 100 lbs. pork, 100 beef, 3 barrels cyder, and 10 cords wood.'

Heywood says the following:[5]

"On the 26th of Dec., 1750, Nathan5 bought of Benjamin Brown lot No. 90, in the south part of the township, now represented by his gt.-gd. sons, Edward (133) and George C. (135) Whitney of Worcester, who occupy a portion of it and the buildings thereon as a summer residence. Early in July following he was reported to the Gen. Ct. as 'a good man, at work on the spot.' Not finding, however, a satisfactory site on the premises for a permanent dwelling ho., he purchased of his prospective f.-in-law, Thomas Merriam of Lex., the S. E. end of the adjoining lots, Nos. 83 and 84, and erected a temporary place of abode near where his gd.s., Calvin (111), now lives. This, a few years later, was superseded by a more substantial structure, the oldest part of the habitation herein represented. In 1752 or 1753 he brought to his new home his yg. bride, Tabitha Merriam, whom he m. in Sept. of the former year. It is stated that after Mr. W. had bought his lot and expended some labor upon it he became much discouraged and resolved to abandon the undertaking. But his intended f.-in-law, who had considerable landed interests in the vicinity, dissuaded him from his purpose. Moreover, the coming hither of his w. at an early day helped to make him contented, though loneliness on her part and fear of the Indians caused her for a time much unhappiness. As time went on, however, outward trials diminished, but sad domestic experiences arose. Twice were these new-comers wholly bereaved of their children. By the fearful epidemic of 1756, the first two d. before the third saw the light, while a similar visitation in 1764 took from them the four that in the intervening period had been born to them. Three only of the nine they had in all, b. at a later date, were spared to mature years.
"Nathan Whitney5 was an enterprising, prosperous citizen, patriotic and public-spirited, and interested in military affairs. As Corporal in the Co. of which Daniel Hoar was Capt. in 1759, he was ordered in the name of his majesty, George II, to impress for service in the Canada Expedition one Edward Joyner, a resident of the township. In 1771 he had risen to the dignity of Captain, receiving his commission from the royal Governor at that date, Thomas Hutchinson. (See Chapter XV.)
"Mr. Whitney departed this life Aug. 10, 1803, at the age of 76. His wid., Tabitha, survived him nearly 20 years, passing on Dec. 26, 1822, a. 90. That he was an eminently successful farmer, and one of the largest property holders of his day is shown by the U. S. valuation and tax-list made out in 1798, an abstract of which is given in the body of this work, pp. 207-11, and also by the inventory of his estate filed at the Prob. Ct., Oct. 1, 1803. It may be questioned whether another resident of the town was so favorably conditioned in this respect as was he at that early date. Interesting features of his will are that his s., David (90), to whom he bequeathed his home farm, shall furnish his wid., Tabitha, besides certain specific household privileges and conveniences, '2 cows, a horse to ride with when she wants it' and also each year '4 bush. rye meal, 6 bush. Indian, 2 bush. wheat made into flour, 100 lbs. pork, 100 beef, 3 barrels cyder, and 10 cords wood.'"

Children of Nathan5 and Tabitha (Merriam) Whitney, all born Westminster, MA:

i. Tabitha6 Whitney, b. 29 Jun 1753;[6] d. 14 Oct 1756, Westminster, MA, aged 2 years 3 months 15 days.[7]
ii. Nathan Whitney, b. 16 May 1755;[8] d. 28 Aug 1756, Westminster, MA, aged 1 year 3 months 12 days.[9]
iii. Tabitha Whitney, b. 6 Jul 1757;[10] d. 27 Jun 1764, Westminster, MA, aged nearly 7 years.[11]
iv. Nathan Whitney, b. 9 Apr 1759;[12] d. 2 Jul 1764, Westminster, MA, aged 5 years 3 months.[13]
v. Jonathan Whitney, b. 14 May 1761;[14] d. 21 Jun 1764, Westminster, MA, aged 4 years 2 months 7 days.[15]
vi. Ruth Whitney, b. 17 Apr 1763;[16] d. 9 Jul 1764, Westminster, MA, aged 1 year 3 months.[17]
vii. Nathan Whitney, b. 1 Jul 1765;[18] m. Eunice Puffer.
viii. David Whitney, b. 16 Aug 1767;[19] m. Elizabeth Barns.
ix. John Whitney, b. 13 Oct 1769;[20] m. Elizabeth Stearns.

Census

References

1.^  "Nathan [Whitney] [dup. Whitny], s. David and Rebeckah, [born] Mar. 12, 1726 [dup. 1726-7]," according to Vital Records of Waltham, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1904).

2.^  "Nathan [Whitney], Capt., h. Tabitha, [died] Aug. 10, 1803. [77th year, G.S.1.]," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (1915).

3.^  "Tabitha [Whitney], wid. Nathan, [died] Dec. 26, 1822, a. 89y. 7m.," according to Westminster Vital Records.

4.^  Frederick C. Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635 (Chicago, IL: The Author, 1895), p. 75.

5.^  William Sweetzer Heywood, History of Westminster, Massashusetts (First named Narragansett No. 2), From the date of the original grant of the township to the present time, 1728-1893, with a Biographic-Genealogical Register of its Principal Families, (Vox Populi Press: S.W. Huse & Co., Lowell, Mass.: 1893), pp. 921-922.

6.^  "Tabitha [Whitney], d. Nathan and Tabitha, [born] June 29, 1753," according to Westminster Vital Records.

7.^  "Tabitha [Whitney], d. Nathan and Tabitha, [died] Oct. 14, 1756, a. 2y. 3m. 15d.," according to Westminster Vital Records.

8.^  "Nathan [Whitney], s. Nathan and Tabitha, [born] May 16, 1755," according to Westminster Vital Records.

9.^  "Nathan [Whitney], s. Nathan and Tabitha, [died] Aug. 28, 1756, a. 1y. 3m. 12d.," according to Westminster Vital Records.

10.^  "Tabitha [Whitney] 2d, d. Nathan and Tabitha, [born] July 6, 1757," according to Westminster Vital Records.

11.^  "Tabitha [Whitney], d. Nathan and Tabitha, [died] June 27, 1764, a. 7 nearly," according to Westminster Vital Records.

12.^  "Nathan [Whitney] 2d, s. Nathan and Tabitha, [born] Apr. 9, 1759," according to Westminster Vital Records.

13.^  "Nathan [Whitney], s. Nathan and Tabitha, [died] July 2, 1764, a. 5y. 3m.," according to Westminster Vital Records.

14.^  "Jonathan [Whitney], s. Nathan and Tabitha, [born] May 14, 1761," according to Westminster Vital Records.

15.^  "Jonathan [Whitney], s. Nathan and Tabitha, [died] June 21, 1764, a. 4y. 2m. 7d.," according to Westminster Vital Records.

16.^  "Ruth [Whitney], d. Nathan and Tabitha, [born] Apr. 17, 1763," according to Westminster Vital Records.

17.^  "Ruth [Whitney], d. Nathan and Tabitha, July 9, 1764, a. 1y. 3m.," according to Westminster Vital Records.

18.^  "Nathan [Whitney], s. Nathan and Tabitha, [born] July 1, 1765," according to Westminster Vital Records.

19.^  "David [Whitney], s. Nathan and Tabitha, [born] Aug. 16, 1767," according to Westminster Vital Records.

20.^  "John [Whitney], s. Nathan and Tabitha, [born] Oct. 13, 1769," according to Westminster Vital Records.


Copyright © 1999, 2006-2008, 2010, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group

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