Mailing List:1998-03-29 09, WHITNEY: Nathaniel-6 article, by Tim Doyle

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Mailing List Archives > 1998-03-29 09, WHITNEY: Nathaniel-6 article, by Tim Doyle

From: Tim Doyle <tdoyle -at-> Subject: WHITNEY: Nathaniel-6 article Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 14:57:16 -0600 The following is located in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 137, April 1983, p. 143-145. Nathaniel Whitney of Grafton, Massachusetts. Contributed by Michael J. Roman, Westborough, Mass. While researching my family's history, I came across an error in Frederick Clifton Pierce's Whitney genealogy that had me and others on a false trail for some years. I would like to take this opportunity to bring to light the error and indicate the correct information. On page 134 of The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came From London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635 (Chicago, 1895) Pierce notes that Nathaniel-6 Whitney (Nathaniel-5-4-3, John-2-1) was born at Westborough, Mass., 28 July 1728, married at Grafton, Mass., 20 February 1754 Abigail Marstop and that he lived at Spencer at the time. The correct marriage data for Nathaniel was that he married Abigail Joslin, 26 December 1753. It appears Pierce was confused by the fact that Nathaniel Whitney, who married Abigail Joslin at Westborough, 26 December 1753, had children born in the neighboring town of Grafton, beginning with Nathaniel, born 14 October 1754; whereas Nathan Whitney married at Grafton, 20 February 1754, Abigail Marstass and had children born at Spencer beginning with John, born 7 September 1754. Note also that Pierce transformed Marstass from the records to Marstop in his work. The error seems obvious when one realizes that Nathan and Nathaniel are two separate names rather than two forms of the same name. To be absolutely certain that Nathaniel and Abigail Whitney were married in Westborough one needs to connect them with their Westborough families. Worcester County records provide this needed evidence. A deed, dated 10 March 1755, establishes the connection on the Whitney side. ". . . I Nathaniel Whitney of Westborough ... for and in Consideration of that Parentall love & good will that I have & do bare to my dutifull Son Nathaniel Whitney of Grafton . . ." (Worcester County, Mass., Deeds, 55:232). The connection on the Joslin side comes from probate and land records. Abigail Joslin's father Joseph Joslin, died in 1761, and the administrators of his estate in July 1762, set off to "Abigail the wife of Nathaniel Wheetney the Eldest Surviving Daughter of the Deceased: two tracts of land. One of twenty-two acres and ". . . allso near a bout fouer acers & a Quarter of an acer of River meadow and meadow Land Scittuate on the North Sid of Sudbury River So called bounded beginning at the River and Runs North Eleven Drs East Twenty - fouer rod by the meadow Land of Ithemar Bellows then a bout Thirty Dr East fouer rod and three Quarters of a rod then South Seventy one Drs East a bout Twenty Seven rods to a Small white oak and Stones then South a bout thirty one Dr w to a maple tree in the meadow marked and So to the River then by the River to where it began (Worcester County, Mass., Probate, 34095, Series A). On 31 March 1763 ". . . Nathaniel Whitney of Grafton and Abigail Whitney ye wife of ye said Nathaniel Whitney . . ." sold property with the same description as above to Jabez Snow of Westborough. The land was referred to as ". . . an absolute Estate of Inheritance in Fee simple." (Worcester Deeds, 55:6). Nathaniel lived in Grafton until his death on I May 1776. Reverend Ebenezer Parkman of Westborough wrote in his diary for 3 May of that year "p.m. I rode to Grafton to ye Funeral of the late Mr. Nathaniel Whitney (son of our late Mr. Nathaniel Whitney) he was taken ill last Saturday afternoon with anguishness, upon which followed a Fever, & expired on Wednesday p.m." (Westborough Public Library's microfilm copy of Reverend Ebenezer Parkman's diary). The elder Nathaniel Whitney had died at Westborough on 27 January 1776. The above-mentioned evidence clearly points to the fact that Pierce's person number 732, Nathaniel Whitney, married Abigail Joslin, 26 December 1753 at Westborough. Further research led to the discovery of the identity of Nathaniel's maternal grandparents. Pierce had found the marriage record of Nathaniel's parents and thus knew the mother's maiden name, but since no birth record exists, he gave no clue as to her origins. "Nathaniel Whitney junr. of Weston & Mary Child of Watertown were married in Weston. July. 20 1721. By Wm. Williams Pastor of ye Chh there" (Weston, Mass., Records). Henry Bond in his History of Watertown (Boston, 1860) also noted this marriage and made a guess as to who Mary's parents were but guessed wrongly. The key to the Child question comes from the I I November 1755 entry in Reverend Parkman's diary. "At Eve also Mr. Whitney and his Wife with their Brother Child return from the Funeral of his Sister Liscomb who has dy'd Somewhat Suddenly . . ." (The Diary of Ebenezer Parkman, 1703-1782, First Part, Three Volumes in One, 1719-1755, edited by Francis G. Walett [Worcester, Mass., 19741, 297). Nathaniel Whitney was variously referred to as Nathaniel Whitney, Mr. Nathaniel Whitney, or simply Mr. Whitney throughout this diary. The terms "Brother" and "Sister," as was customary for the times, covered the relationships for brother and sister as well as brother-in-law and sister-in-law as did the terms Father, Mother, Son, etc. If "Sister Liscomb" was actually the sister-in-law of Nathaniel Whitney, then her birth record would identify Mary Child's parents. Vital records show that Hannah Liscum died at Southborough, Mass., 10 November 1755, and that Samuel Liscomb of Southborough had married Hannah Fay at Westborough on 7 March 1733/4. One need not trace Hannah back any further to find her origins. The will of John Child of Waltham, Mass., dated 6 April 1742 and proved 14 December 1747, mentions Hannah Liscomb, a married daughter Mary (married name not given), and other children. ". . . I give and Bequeath unto my five Grand Children, being Children of my Daughter Hannah Liscum which she had by Her former Husband John Fay ... I Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Mary the Sum of Thirty pounds which Sum together with what She hath already had at marriage is her portion (Middlesex County, Mass., Probate, no. 4412, First Series). For further details on the ancestry of Mary Child and Abigail Joslin, see Michael J. Roman, "The Ancestry of Hattie E. J. Bruce," copies of which are in the Society's library and circulating collection. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Tim Doyle <a href=""></a> tdoyle -at- <a href=""></a>

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