Family:Whitney, Herbert Ellison (1850-1931)

From WRG
Jump to navigationJump to search

Rev. Herbert Ellison9 Whitney (Benjamin Nichols8, Oliver7, Joshua6, Caleb5, Jonathan4, Richard3, Richard2, John1), son of Benjamin Nichols8 and Lovina R. (Lowell) Whitney, was born 6 Nov 1850, Hancock, VT, and died 25 Jul 1931, Weare, NH, aged 80 years 8 months 19 days. He was buried in Cambridge, MA.

He married, 24 Dec 1873, Mary Louise Traffarn, daughter of Job and Sally Ann (Dayton) Traffarn/Traffam. She was born Feb 1858, Boonville, NY, and died after 1940.

Herbert E. Whitney, or, as he prefers to be called, simply Herbert - having as he says "got tired of carrying about so long a name" - was born in Hancock, VT. He was graduated from Canton Theological school in 1872, and was settled and ordained to the ministry in Waterloo, Canada, in 1873; was the same year married to Mary Traffarn at Utica, NY; was afterward engaged in his profession in Webster, NY, Ludlow, VT, Storm Lake and Mount Pleasant, IA, Sherborn and Columbus, NY, Athol and Boston, MA.

"The members of the Second Unitarian Society of West Somerville are to be ministered to by a woman pastor, Rev. Mary T. Whitney of North Cambridge, who has received and accepted a unanimous call. The new pastor will enter upon the duties of her office at once. Mrs. Whitney is the wife of Herbert Whitney, pastor of the First Unitarian church at Athol, to whom she was married in Utica, New York, in 1873. She was born in Boonville, NY which is near Utica. Her maiden name was Traffarn, and on her father's side she is a descendant of an old Huguenot family. Although her father was orthodox, he was very liberal in his faith and convictions, a tendency which she has inherited to a notable degree. Her early education was acquired at Utica academy, Whitetown seminary and Clinton Liberal Institution, all prominent schools of learning. She graduated at St. Lawrence university of Canton, NY, and for a time turned her attention to teaching, filling most acceptably an important position in the Webster (New York) academy for several years. She afterward attended the kindergarten training school at Chicago, from which she graduated and taught that system for a year. During all this time her attention had been largely given to the religious movements of progressive Christianity, and her naturally speculative mind had been directed into congenial channels by mathematical and logical studies, with a leaven of theology coming from the most liberal of teachers. In 1885 she believed it to be her duty to preach the gospel, and her first sermon was delivered from the pulpit of the Universalist church at Mount Pleasant. She became pastor of parishes at Upper Lisle and Middleville, NY, preaching to the great satisfaction of her hearers, and manifesting a remarkable capacity for parish work. It was in the latter place that she ordained as a minister of the gospel in 1887. Three years ago she was invited to assume the pastorate of the Unitarian church at Millbury, MA, which was then in a rather languishing condition and deeply in debt. She continued there until within a short time, and succeeded during her three years' ministry in lifting a good part of the debt and increasing membership. Mrs. Whitney is president of the Worcester League of Unitarian Women. She is a very popular public speaker. Only a few days ago she made an address at Portland, ME, at the annual meeting of the Sunday-school Society, and she spoke with much force before the convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union recently. Her lessons and teachings are from the practical side of life, and she makes the greatest questions of morals applicable to the interests of daily life. She has a commanding presence and a voice clear, resonant and penetrating that can be plainly heard in the most distant part of the halls of the largest size;" resided Ludlow, VT, Storm Lake, IA, Athol, MA, 11 Prentiss St., North Cambridge, MA.

Children of Herbert Ellison9 and Mary (Traffarn) Whitney:

i. Waldo T.10 Whitney, b. 6 Sep 1877, Ludlow, VT; m. Alice L. Tower.
ii. Frederick T. Whitney, b. 9 Sep 1879, Ludlow, VT; m. 29 Jun 1910, Boston, MA, Anna W. (Walker) Wakefield, b. ca. 1878, Calais, ME, dau. of Thomas and Annie (Haggerty) Walker.[1]
iii. Karl Traffarn Whitney, b. 21 Jul 1882, IA; d. 28 Jun 1937, Goffstown, NH; m. 11 Jul 1910, Rochester, VT, Alice Kezer.
iv. Leslie T. Whitney, b. 17 Dec 1884, IA; d. aft. 1940, then unmarried.


Herbert WHITNEY 29 Self M M W VT Clergyman VT VT Mary T. WHITNEY 28 Wife F M W NY Keeping House NY NY Waldo T. WHITNEY 2 Son M S W VT VT NY Frederick W. WHITNEY 9M Son M S W VT VT NY Job TRAFFAM 76 Oth M M W NY Farmer RI RI Sally T. TRAFFAM 62 Oth F M W NY Keeping House NY NY Sarah WEED 11 Oth F S W NY Servant NY VT

122 143 Whitney, Mary T. Head W F Feb 1858 42 mar 24 4ch 4liv New York Connecticut New York Minister, Rents house Traffam, Sally D. Moth W F Dec 1817 82 wid 4ch 1liv New York New Hampshire New York

  • 1910, Elizabeth Ward 11, Union Co., NJ.
  • 1910, Boston Ward 10, Suffolk Co., MA.
  • 1930, Weare, Hillsborough Co., NH.
  • 1940, Weare, Hillsborough Co., NH.


  • Census records.

1.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 597, page 154.

Copyright © 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2020, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.