Family:Whitney, Peter (1744-1816)
Rev. Peter6 Whitney (Aaron5, Moses4, Moses3, Richard2, John1), son of Aaron5 and Alice (Baker) Whitney, was born 6 Sep 1744, Petersham or Littleton, MA, and died 19 Feb 1816, Northborough, MA, aged 71 years.
Marriage intentions were published 10 Feb 1768, Northborough, MA, for him "Rev." and Julia Lambert "of Reading". He married, 17 Mar 1768, Reading, MA, Julia Lambert, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Nichols) Lambert [but Pierce says of William Lambert, of Reading]. She was born 9 Apr 1742, Reading, MA, and died 10 Jan 1821, Quincy, MA, aged 79 years.
Rev. Peter Whitney, A. M., the son of Rev. Aaron Whitney, was born in Petersham, MA, 6 Sep 1744. After attending the schools of his native town he entered Harvard College, from which institution he was graduated in the class of 1762. When he entered the university he was only thirteen years and ten months old-an age much younger than but few have entered since. One of the first acts of the newly incorporated town of Fitchburg was to note in town meeting, 26 Nov 1764, "To have Sabbath days preaching the winter insuing." It was also voted, "To have preaching in Thomas Cowdin's house,"and the committee on preaching were instructed "to apply to Peter Whitney," among others Accordingly the committee applied to and secured the Rev. Peter Whitney, who went there and preached in the tavern of Thomas Cowdin, during the summer and winter. In the year 1766 there was not any preaching, and the inhabitants of the town were obliged to attend in Lunenburg. In 1767 application was made to Rev. Peter Whitney, but having received a call elsewhere, he declined. He was ordained minister at Northborough, MA, 4 Nov 1767. He was the author of an excellent history of Worcester County (Worcester, 1793), single sermons and papers in the "Memoirs of the American Academy." He was a very methodical man, always walking with his wife to meeting, followed by his ten children, always in the exact order of their age. He was an easygoing man, perhaps more absorbed in the political issues of his day than in direct aggressive work. We give the following as illustrating a state of things which was once a matter of importance, but which has entirely passed away: A family in Northborough lost a member, and Dr. Puffer, of Berlin, was invited to officiate at the funeral. He complied, whereupon Rev. Peter Whitney, the minister of the town, wrote that unless the matter was satisfactorily explained, all ministerial intercourse must cease. This was founded on the fact that the old parishes had territorial limits, beyond which a minister was regarded as an interloper. Dr. Puffer recognized this claim, but explained his action in this case in such a way that Mr. Whitney was satisfied, and amicable relations were restored. The correspondence is a fine specimen of precise, dignified and courteous composition. But what a change! No one would think of restricting a protestant family in the choice of a minister on the sad occasion of a funeral. The following notice of Mr. Whitney is quoted from the "History of Northborough," by his successor, as a just tribute to his memory: Distinguished for the urbanity of his manners, easy and familiar in his intercourse with his people; hospitable to strangers, and always ready to give a hearty welcome to his numerous friends; punctual to his engagements; observing an exact method in the distribution of his time; having a time for everything, and doing everything in its time, without hurry or confusion; conscientious in the discharge of his duties as a Christian minister; catholic in his principles and in his conduct; always taking an interest in whatever concerned the prosperity of the town and the interests of religion-he was for many years the happy minister of a kind and affectionate people." His will was probated 28 Sep 1813. Nahum Fay, Esq., of Northborough, was executor, and the document mentions his wife Julia; daughter Elizabeth; son Maj. Thomas Whitney; son Rev. Peter Whitney; daughter Julia, married Capt. Antipas Brigham; daughter Margaret, married Dr. Josiah Adams; son Capt. William Whitney; son Abel Whitney; son John Whitney; son Aaron Whitney; daughter Sally, married Lemuel Bracket. He resided Northborough, MA.
Children of Peter6 and Julia (Lambert) Whitney:
i. Thomas Lambert7 Whitney, b. 10 Dec 1768, Northborough, MA; m. Mary Lincoln. ii. Peter Whitney, b. 19 Jan 1770, Northborough, MA; m. Jane Lambert Lincoln. iii. Julia Whitney, b. 7 May 1771, Northborough, MA; d. 16 Feb 1772, Northborough, MA, in infancy. iv. Julia Whitney, b. 25 Aug 1772, Northborough, MA; d. 29 Nov 1800; m. Antipas Brigham. v. Margaret Whitney, b. 12 Feb 1774, Northborough, MA; m. Josiah Adams. vi. Elizabeth Whitney, b. 6 Sep 1775, Northborough, MA; d. s. p. 26 Sep 1856; m. ("of Northborough, int. 17 Apr 1814, Quincy, MA) 1 May 1814, Northborough, MA, Ebenezer Adams "of Quincy". vii. William Whitney, b. 14 Dec 1776, Northborough, MA; m. Zilpah Eager. viii. Aaron Whitney, b. 17 Aug 1778, Northborough, MA. Went west. ix. Sally Whitney, b. 3 Nov 1781, Northborough, MA; m. Lemuel Brackett. x. Abel Whitney, b. 23 May 1783, Northborough, MA; m. Susanna White. xi. John Whitney, b. 29 Sep 1785, Northborough, MA; m. Sophia Vinal.
- 1790, Northborough, Worcester Co., MA: Revd Peter Whitney, 2 males over 16, 4 males 0-15, and 5 females.
- 1800, Northborough, Worcester Co., MA: Revd Peter Whitney, 1 male over 45, 1 male 10-15, 1 female over 45, and 3 females 16-25.
- 1810, Northboro, Worcester Co., MA: Rev. Peter Whitney, 1 male over 45, 1 male 26-45, 1 female over 45, 1 female 26-45, 1 female 10-16, 1 other free person.
- All data imported from Frederick Clifton Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, (Chicago: 1895), pp. 161-163.
1.^ "Peter [Whitney], s. Rev. Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Allice, [born] Sept. 6, 1744," according to Records of Littleton, Massachusetts, Printed by Order of the Town. First Installment: Births and Deaths from the Earliest Records in the Town Books, Begun in 1715 (Littleton, MA: Town of Littleton, 1900), p. 48. Also, "Peter [Whitney], s. Rev. Aaron and Alice, [born] Sept. 6, 1744," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Petersham, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (1904).
2.^ "Rev. Peter [Whitney], [died] Feb. 29, 1816, a. 71," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Northborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1850 (1901).
4.^ "Peter [Whitney], Rev., and Julia Lambert, [married] Mar. 17, 1768," according to Thomas W. Baldwin, ed., Vital Records of Reading, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: 1912), p. 477.
5.^ "Julian [Lambert], d. of Thomas and Elizabeth, [born] Apr. 9, 1742," according to Thomas W. Baldwin, ed., Vital Records of Reading, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: 1912), volume 1, page 139.
12.^ "Julia [Whitney] and Capt. Antipas Brigham, both of Northborough, April 7, 1799," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Westborough, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (1903).