Family:Whitney, Shadrach (1770-1832)

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Shadrach5 Whitney (Timothy5, Daniel4, Jonathan3, Jonathan2, John1), son of Timothy5 and Katherine (Davenport) Whitney, was born 6 Oct 1770, Shrewsbury, MA,[1] and died 5 Oct 1832, Sutton, MA, aged 62 years.[2]

He married, 5 Nov 1801, Boylston, MA, Sophia Martin,[3] illegitimate daughter of possibly John Morris Martin and Mary Ball (see Notes below). She was born about 21 Apr 1784, Northborough, MA, and died 18 Aug 1863, Sutton, MA, aged 79 years 3 months 27 days, of dysentery, born in Northboro.[4] She bore the surname Martin at marriage, at age 17, but her father's name as given in her death record was Samuel Brigham (who was probably her step-father: see Notes below).

Children of Shadrach5 and Sophia (Brigham)(Martin) Whitney:

i. Sophia6 Whitney, b. ca. 1802, Boylston, MA; d. 5 Feb 1864, Marlborough, MA, aged 61 years, of ovarian tumor and ovarian dropsy;[5] m. 17 Jan 1826, Lancaster, MA, Charles Bridge.[6]
ii. Betsey Whitney, b. ca. 2 Mar 1806, Boylston, MA; d. 23 Mar 1881, Northbridge, MA, aged 75 years 21 days, of old age;[7] m. 28 Oct 1832, Sutton, MA, James Anderson.[8]
iii. Catharine Whitney, b. ca. 1810, Boylston, MA; d. 26 Sep 1829, Sutton, MA, aged 19 years.[9]
iv. Sally Whitney, b. ca. 1812, Boylston, MA; m. 6 May 1834, Sutton, MA, Luther F. Woodbury.[10]
v. Persis Whitney, b. ca. 1813, Boylston, MA; d. 21 Dec 1834, Sutton, MA, aged 21 years.[11]
v. (son) Whitney, b. ca. 1816; d. 21 Nov 1826, Lancaster, MA, aged 10 years, of fever.[12]
vi. Timothy Whitney, b. ca. 1822; d. 4 Mar 1852, Sutton, MA, aged 31 years, of consumption;[13] m. (int. 7 Jul 1849, Sutton, MA) Sarah Ann Dorr.[14] No children for them have been found. She was probably the Sarah A. Whitney, dau. of John Dore, b. 1821, Wakefield, NH, who m. 29 Sep 1861, Wakefield, NH, James Twombly.[15]

Notes

The alleged parentage for Sophia (Brigham) Martin as daughter of Samuel and Mary (Ball) Brigham can not be correct since Samuel Brigham and Mary Ball were not married until 17 Feb 1789, and their daughter Sophia was apparently born 22 Nov 1803. That Sophia did marry a Whitney, and she was still alive in 1854.

(Comment on 7 May 2008 by Arthur Franke)

Agreed that Samuel and Mary (Ball) Brigham were not the parents of Sophia (Brigham)(Martin) Whitney. In Sophia's death record, it gives her father's name as Samuel Brigham, but omits the name of her mother. It does state that her father was born in Westborough and her mother in Northborough. There was, indeed, a Samuel Brigham born 6 Dec 1763, Westborough, son of Edmund and Sarah (-----) Brigham, who was old enough to be Sophia's father. He was evidently the Samuel Brigham who married, 5 May 1785, Westborough, MA, Lydia Ball. She was born 4 Feb 1765, Westborough, MA. It may be that her birth occurred in that part of Westborough that became Northborough in 1766, shortly after her birth. However, this couple apparently moved to Maine, and had a daughter Sophia born in 1804, who died in 1830 in Boston.

Thus the question of which Samuel Brigham was the father of Sophia (Brigham)(Martin) Whitney remains a mystery. The fact that a younger Sophia Brigham married a different Whitney in the same area of Massachusetts is a very confusing factor.

Another possibility is suggested by the fact that she married at 17 with the surname Martin. That would be extremely young to be a widow. Instead, she could have been an illegitimate daughter of Samuel Brigham and a Martin woman, raised with the Martin surname. Alternatively, she might have been adopted by a family named Martin.

In any case, her birth is not recorded in the vital records of any town in the area.

(Comment on 8 May 2008 by Robert L. Ward)

I have another theory that would seem to explain everything.

First of all, there is no mention in the 1859 Abner Morse genealogy of the Brigham family of a Sophia Brigham as a member of the Dr. Samuel Brigham and Mary Ball family. The birth date that is assigned to her here is also the birth date of an infant, probably named Nahum, that died at the age of four weeks on 12/9/1803 according to Boylston church records. It is hard to explain how Morse would have missed a daughter Sophia since his work is the only surviving source of the birth dates of all the other children and he has all the other children correctly identified.

In her will, Mary (Ball) Brigham lists her children in the order Sophia Whitney, Rowena Whitney, Mary Mahan, Ann Carter and Lydia Whitney which, if Sophia is the oldest child, identifies them in their order of birth. Her will lists her three sons, Stephen, Samuel and Jonas B. in their order of birth.

There is the baptism on 7 Nov 1784 of an apparently illegitimate child with a given name of Sophy, daughter of Mary Ball, documented in the records of Northborough. This baptism makes a birth date for this child of 21 Apr 1784, as calculated from the death record of Sophia Whitney, very plausible.

I believe that Sophia Whitney is a child of Mary Ball but probably not of Dr. Samuel Brigham, that the 1784 birth date for Sophia is correct and that the History of the Brigham Family is simply wrong in its description of the her as a member of the Dr. Samuel Brigham family, having erred when it added her and her family to Abner Morse's original work. Morse did not include her since she is not a descendant of Thomas Brigham, merely an adopted daughter.

It is possible that Sophia's father was named Martin and that she used that surname at some point.

(Comment on 22 May 2008 by Arthur Franke)

A prime candidate for Sophia's father is John Monis Martin/Martyn, son of John and Abigail (Baker) Martyn, born 24 Nov 1761, Westborough, MA, who married, 1 Jun 1786, Northborough, MA, Abigail Fisk. That couple had two daughters born before 1790, but their family had four females in the census of that year, for Northborough, MA. These would be Abigail, her two daughters, and possibly Sophia.

(Comment on 8 Feb 2009, by Robert L. Ward)

Census

66 76 H. A. Ward 35 M - Shuttle Maker Mass. Sarah A. Ward 30 F - " Mary J. E. " 6 F - " Attended school Sylvia M. " 4 F - " Attended school Henry H. " 8/12 M - " 77 Timothy Whiting 28 M - Shuttle Maker Mass. Sarah A. " 29 F - N.H. Sophia " 65 F - Mass. 78 Whitin Fisher 59 M - Brickman " Ester " 49 F - " Sophia A. R. " 18 F - "

344 470 James Anderson 61 M - Farmer Ireland Betsey Anderson 50 F - Mass. Richard Anderson 20 M - Shoemaker " Edward Anderson 17 M - " " Daniel G. Anderson 15 M - " " Manton E. Anderson 9 M - " Sophia Whitney 71 F - "

1432 1981 James Anderson 62 M - Farmer $2000 $50 Ireland Betsey " 54 F - Mass. Edward " 22 M - Farm Laborer " Daniel G. " 20 M - Student of Divinity " Attended school Manton E. " 14 M - " Attended school Sophia Whitney 76 F - "

References

1.^  "Shadrich [Whitney], s. Timothy and Catherine, [born] Oct. 6, 1770," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (1904).

2.^  "Shadrach [Whitney], [died] Oct. 5, 1832, a. 62. GS 19," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Sutton, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (1907).

3.^  "Shadrach [Whitney] and Sophia Martin, [married] Nov. 5, 1801," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Boylston, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1850 (1900).

4.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 167, page 283.

5.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 175, page 139.

6.^  "Sophia [Whitney], Miss, and Mr. Charles Bridge, [married] Jan. 17, 1826. T.R.3, p. 235," according to Henry S. Nourse, ed., The Birth, Marriage and Death Register, Church Records and Epitaphs, of Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1643-1850 (Lancaster, MA: 1890), p. 235.

7.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 330, page 387.

8.^  "Betsey [Whitney] and James Anderson, [married] Oct. 28, 1832," according to Sutton Vital Records.

9.^  "Sally [Whitney] and Luther F. Woodbury, [married] May 6, 1834," according to Sutton Vital Records.

10.^  "Catherine [Whitney], d. Shadrach and Sophia, [died] Sept. 26, 1829, a. 19 GS," according to Sutton Vital Records.

11.^  "Perses [Whitney], d. Shadrach and Sophia, [died] Dec. 21, 1834. a. 21. GS 19," according to Sutton Vital Records.

12.^  "______ [Whitney], s. of Shadrach, [died] Nov. 21, 1826. T.R.2," according to Lancaster Vital Records, p. 195. Also "______ [Whitney], s. of Shadrach, [died] Nov. 21, 1826, 10y., fever. C.R.1.2," according to Lancaster Vital Records, p. 363.

13.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 68, page 153.

14.^  "Timothy [Whitney] and Sarah Ann Dorr, int. July 7, 1849," according to Sutton Vital Records.

15.^  "Sarah A. Whitney (b. 1821, Wakefield, NH, d. of John Dore) & James Twombly, m. 29 Sep 1861, Wakefield, Carroll Co., NH," according to New Hampshire, Vital Records, Marriage Index.


Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.

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