Family:Whitney, James (1714-1755)

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James4 Whitney (Joseph3, Jonathan2, John1), son of Joseph3 and Rebecca (Burge) Whitney,[1] was born 23 Mar 1714, Sherborn, MA,[2] and died 1755, Dunstable, MA.[3]

He married, before 1740, Dunstable, MA, Eleanor Robbins, daughter of Jonathan and Margaret (Lund) Robbins. She was born 8 or 18 Jun 1721, Dunstable, MA.

He was also known as Ens. James Whitney.

On 17 Jan 1742/3, Hollis, NH, when he signed a petition to call Mr. Emerson as minister.

On 22 Jun 1757, Dunstable, MA, his inventory was taken by Abraham Kendall, John Steel, and Joseph Danforth.

On 27 Jun 1757, Dunstable, MA, administration was granted to Joseph Whitney of the district of Pepperel, Innholder, with Stephen Adams, gentleman, and Abraham Kendal, Yeoman, both of Dunstable, sureties, on the estate of his brother James Whitney, late of Dunstable.

On 27 Aug 1764, Dunstable, MA, a petition was made by Thomas Harwood, guardian for four minor children, and Isaac Powers, that Joseph Danforth, Abraham Kendall, and Samuel Taylor of Dunstable, and Joseph Senter and Joseph Whiting of New Hampshire, be appointed to apprise the real estate of James Whitney, late of Dunstable, decd.

On 27 Aug 1764, Dunstable, MA, Joseph Danforth, Abraham Kendall, and Samuel Taylor of Dunstable were appointed administrators.

On Nov 1764, Dunstable, MA, a report of commissioners was made, that the estate not be divided, but all estate is set to the oldest son, James Whitney; countersigned by Thomas Harwood, guardian.

On 2 Apr 1765, Dunstable, MA, division of the estate was made to James Whitney, husbandman, of Dunstable, eldest son, he to pay brothers and sisters each £17-17s-4&1/4d, as estate amounted to £146-13s-4d less £3-14s-6d settlement costs [which implies that there were seven children, of which James received two eighths, and the other six a single eighth].

On 10 Dec 1767, Dunstable, MA, receipt was given by Jona. Whitney.

On 10 Nov 1774, Dunstable, MA, an agreement of heirs was made, being James Whitney, Benjamin Whitney, and Francis Pollard in right of his wife Elenor Pollard, all of Dunstable, N.H., John Whitney and Jonathan Whitney, both of Jaffrey, N.H., Phinehas Bennt and Elizabeth his wife of Cockesmouth, N.H., and James Bancroft and Lucy his wife of Dackersfield, N.H., all children and heirs of James Whitney, late of Dunstable, Mass., husbandman, deceased.

Pierce says the following:[4]

Ensign James WHITNEY's heirs, late of Dunstable, Mass., signed an agreement in 1772, as per record in the Middlesex county probate court, and those mentioned were James and Benjamin of Dunstable, Ellenor, who had married Francis POLLARD, John and Jonathan WHITNEY, of Jaffrey, N. H., Elizabeth, wife of Phineas BENNETT, and Lucy, wife of James BANCROFT. James' estate was settled in 1757. He was called "Gentleman" and "Ensign." Joseph WHITNEY, of Pepperell, inholder, his "brother," was administrator.
Dunstable was originally a part of Groton; for fifty years was a frontier settlement, and suffered much from incursions of the Indians. In 1724 eleven men pursuing them were waylaid, and all except Josiah FARWELL killed. In May 1725, the celebrated John LOVEWELL, with a company of forty-six volunteers, set out for the enemy. He came up with them at Fryeburg, Me., and all but ten of his men were killed. The force of the Indians was broken and Paugus, their leader, slain. The gallant LOVEWELL fell, and the survivors, after great suffering, found their way back to the settlement.
About 1734 a party of men from Dunstable, Mass., went out on a hunting expedition and fell into the hands of the Indians. One of the party, WHITNEY, escaped, though badly wounded. He was too weak to think of returning home alone through the trackless and unpeopled forest, so he built himself a hut of logs, bark and branches of trees, and there passed the winter, subsisting chiefly on roots and cranberries. In the spring, another party went out to find and bury the dead, and came to this hut which they supposed to be that of an Indian. As they approached they saw something stir within it, One of the party Timothy REED, discharged his musket, and to his inexpressible horror found that he had killed one of his neighbors. His sorrow followed him to the grave. WHITNEY was just preparing to return home, having survived his wounds and all the perils and hardships of a winter in the wilderness. [Hist. Dunstable, Mass., p.57, and Dunstable, N. H., p. 134]
The two histories above cited, do not give WHITNEY's Christian name. The tradition in the family is that local histories give some facts of the shooting and that it occurred on the 'shore of a lake in Maine, which is to this day called WHITNEY's Pond.
The History of Temple, N. H., says: "Mr. WHITNEY went from Dunstable to the Saco river just before Quebec was taken by the English. He was killed by Indians and buried at Temple, N. H."

Children of James4 and Eleanor (Robbins) Whitney:

i. Ellener5 Whitney, b. 23 Jul 1740, Dunstable, MA;[5] m.(1) Isaac Powers; m.(2) Francis Pollard.
ii. James Whitney, b. 4 Nov 1742, Dunstable, MA;[6] m. Sarah Lund.
iii. Jonathan Whitney, b. 15 Aug 1745, Dunstable, MA;[7] m. Abigail Hemminway.
iv. John Whitney, b. 15 Aug 1745, Dunstable, MA;[8] m. Polley Jones.
v. Elizabeth Whitney, b. 21 May 1748, Dunstable, MA;[9] m. Phineas Bennett.
vi. Benjamin Whitney, b. circa 1752; m. Mrs. Rebecca Danforth.
vii. Lucy Whitney, b. 5 Jan 1755, Dunstable, MA;[10] m. James Bancroft.


1.^  His parentage is proven by his birth record.

2.^  "James [Whitney], s. of Joseph and Rebecka, [born] Mar. 23, 1714," according to Thomas W. Baldwin, ed., Vital Records of Sherborn, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: 1911).

3.^  Source of death

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. 57.

5.^  "Ellener [Whitney], d. James and Ellener, [born] July 23, 1740," according to Vital Records of Dunstable, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1913).

6.^  "James [Whitney], s. James and Ellener, [born] Nov. 4, 1742," according to Dunstable Vital Records.

7.^  "John [Whitney], s. twin, James and Ellener, [born] Aug. 15, 1745," according to Dunstable Vital Records.

8.^  "Jonathan [Whitney], s. twin, James and Ellener, [born] Aug. 15, 1745," according to Dunstable Vital Records.

9.^  "Elisabeth [Whitney], d. James and Ellener, [born] May 21, 1748-9," according to Dunstable Vital Records.

10.^  "Lucy [Whitney], d. James and Elenor, [born] Jan. 5, 1755," according to Dunstable Vital Records.

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