Family:Whitney, James Rix (1760-1822)

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James Rex Whitney.jpg

Tombstone of James Rex Whitney

James Rex Whitney Military record.jpg

James Rex Whitney's military record

James Rix5 Whitney (Caleb4, William3, Joshua2, John1), son of Caleb4 and Margaret (Tracy) Whitney, was born 16 Oct 1760, Middletown or Norwich, CT,, and died 4 Feb 1822, Washington, MS.

He married, 31 Oct 1781, Windham, CT, Mary "Polly" Holland,[1] daughter of Joseph and Mary (Allen) Holland. She was born about 1764, New London, CT, and died 22 Nov 1814, Charleston, SC.

Pierce says the following:

He was born in Middletown, Conn., and resided nearly all his life in the south. Three years before his death he was elected sergeant at arms of the Miss. legislature. ... res. Franklin, Ga., and Washington, Miss.

William Lebbeus Whitney says:

He died at the home of his son, John M. Whitney, in Washington, Miss., and was buried there. Years afterward, and after removing to his plantation near Fayette, Miss., this son prosecuted a claim against the United States, for services of his father, during the Revolutionary War. The money recovered was expended in the purchase of a marble monument intended to be erected over his remains, but his grave could not be identified, the "neat enclosure put around it" having disappeared. In June, 1857, it was erected in the private graveyard of John M. Whitney on his plantation. On this cenotaph is the following inscription:
"In memory of
a native of Middletown, Connecticut.
He died February, 4th 1822.
He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, of Commo-
dore Paul Jones' Squadron of the Navy of the United
States, and was in that memorable battle lf the Richard
and the Serapis, on the 23rd Sept., 1779, and shared in the
severest struggle, to the honor and renown of his country's
effort for Liberty."

It bears also the emblem of the square and compasses, which indicates that he was a Freemason. The story of his services as he related them to his son John, is, in short, as follows: He was first in the land service, in Captain Lowrey's company of New York Militia. Afterward, he went to Boston, and entered the Navy. Went to sea on a cutter, and was captured by two British vessels. Paul Jones sighted these vessels, pursued them, made fight and captured them, together with the cutter and her crew. Thereupon, he joined Paul Jones' squadron, and was with him when he landed upon the estate of Lord Selkirk, on the coast of Scotland.

Abstract of the administration of his estate:[2]

7 Apr 1852, "To the Hon. Probate Court of he County of Jefferson in the State of Mississippi the petition of John M. Whitney respectfully sheweth, That sometime in the month of February A.D. 1822 in the State of Mississippi, James Whitney departed this life, leaving a family of children, one of whom is your petitioner; that the said deceased had been during his life, a Sailor in the navy of the United Sates, and as such was and is entitled to certain compensation from the government of the United States, the exact amount of which is unknown to your petitioner; that the heirs and distributees of said decedent are now desirous of obtaining from the said United States all moneys due and owing to them as heirs and distributees of the said James Whitney but are unable to do so unless letters of administration shall be granted on his personal estate authorising some competent person to make application and do other and such acts as may be necessary in the premises; your petitioner therefore prays your Court to grant to him letters of administration on the estate of said James Whitney on his giving bond with good security and qualifying as is directed and required by law, and your petitioner [?shows trust?] a bond in the [?penal?] sum of five hundred dollars would more than cover all the assets of the said decedent, and security [?therof?] your petitioner offers to your Court Franklin S. Whitney & your petitioner will ever pray &c.
Sworn to & Subscribed upon on this 6th day of April A.D. 1852
John M. Whitney
Robert Duncan, Judge of Probate.
7 Apr 1852, administration bond posted by John M. Whitney, with F. S. Whitney as surety, for $500.
7 Nov 1853, the administration of his estate was granted by the Probate Court of Jefferson Co., MS, to son John M. Whitney, and this was assented to by his brother William Whitney.
8 Nov 1853, first and final administration account of John M. Whitney: claim received $188.66, less expenses, balance $133.87. Sworn to.
No indication of who the other children were or how the money was distributed.

Children of James Rix5 and Polly (Holland) Whitney:

i. Jedediah6 Whitney, b. 3 Mar 1782, New York, NY; m. Keziah Barrett.
ii. Lebbeus Whitney, b. 8 Oct 1785, Hillsboro, NC; m. Elizabeth Ford.
iii. Mary Whitney, b. 1787, GA; d. in southern MO; m. say 1810, Richard Hardin. They lived in 1823 at Hardin's Ford, GA. They had seven children.
iv. William Whitney, b. 1790, GA; m.(1) ----- -----; m.(2) Sarah Leggett; m.(3) Mary (Coleman) Smith; m.(4) ----- (Witherspoon) King.
v. John Merrick Whitney, b. 4 Jun 1792, Franklin, GA; m. Clarissa Montgomery.


Mary Holland was a descendant of Mayflower passenger John Howland in the following line:

  1. John Howland, m. Elizabeth Tilley
  2. John Howland, m. Mary Lee
  3. Mary Howland, m. John Allyn
  4. Isaac Allyn, m. Lydia Leonard
  5. Mary Allyn, m. Joseph Holland
  6. Mary Holland, m. James Rix Whitney



1.^  "James Rix WHITNEY & Polly HOLLAND, [married] Oct. 31, 1781," according to Bailey, Frederick W., ed., Early Connecticut Marriages, as Found on Ancient Church Records Prior to 1800 (1896-1906), Brooklyn, 1:41.

2.^  Mississippi, Wills and Probate Records, 1780-1982, from

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