Family:Whitney, Richard (1661-1723)

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Richard3 Whitney (Richard2, John1), son of Richard2 and Martha (Coldham) Whitney,[1] was born 13 Jan 1660/61, Watertown, MA,[2] and died 5 Dec 1723, Stow, MA.[3]

He married about 1691, Elizabeth Sawtell,[4] daughter of Jonathan and Mary (Tarbell) Sawtell. She was born 3 Feb 1668/9, Groton, MA,[5] and died 24 Nov 1723, Stow, MA.[6]

He had land granted him in Stow, 24 Oct 1682.[7]

He lived on 28 Aug 1688 at Stow, MA, and was taxed 3s. 6d. as "Richd Whetney junr."[8]

Bond says in his History of Watertown that Elizabeth SAWTELL was b. Feb. 3, 1668; m. Aug 13, 1691, Joseph Morse; he d. Jan. 24, 1709, and she m. 2d, Feb. 10, 1713, Benjamin Nurse, Sr., of Framingham. That is wrong, however. On 8 Oct 1698, the four surviving daughters of Jonathan Sawtell of Groton deeded their rights to Jonas Prescott. That Middlesex County deed (13:197) proves that Elizabeth, daughter of Jonathan Sawtell of Groton married Richard Whitney of Stow.[9][10] The wife of Morse and Nurse was her cousin, daughter of Jonathan Sawtell's brother Zachariah Sawtell.

The will of Richard Whitney of Stow, yeoman, aged; eldest son Richard Whitney; second son Jonathan Whitney; youngest son Joshua Whitney; eldest daughter Hannah Farr; daughter Elisabeth Wetherbee; daughter Sarah Whitney; daughter Ruhamah Whitney; youngest daughter Hephzibeth Whitney; my eight children; sons Richard and Jonathan Whitney, executors; witnesses John Gardner, Jr., Moses Whetney, Jr., and Mary Whitcomb; dated 2 Dec 1723.[11] "Barry says the will was pro[bated] 23 of the same mo[nth]."[12]

On 29 Feb 1723/4, Richard Whitney of Stow, husbandman, was appointed guardian of Joshua Whitney, in his 16th year, and Sarah Whitney, in her 20th year.[13] On the same day, guardian bond was posted by Richard Taylor of Sudbury, husbandman, and Richard Whitney of Stow, as surety, as guardian of Ruhamah Whitney, in her 18th year, and Hephzibah Whitney, in her 13th year.[14]

His inventory was taken 14-16 Jan 1723/4, and exhibited in court 9 Mar 1723/4. On 19 Jan 1724/5, division of his estate was made to: Richard Whitney, Joshua Whitney (by guardian Richard Whitney); Jonathan Whitney; Samuel Farr in right of wife Hannah; John Witherbee in right of wife Elizabeth; Richard Taylor as guardian of Ruhamah and Hephzibah Whitney; and Hezekiah Hapgood, husband to Sarah Whitney; all signed.[15]

The date and place of 25 Aug 1691 in Watertown for the marriage of Richard Whitney and Elizabeth Sawtell has been published, but no original record of that marriage has been found, so it cannot be supported.[16]

Children of Richard3 and Elizabeth (Sawtell) Whitney:

i. Richard4 Whitney, b. 9 Dec 1692, Stow, MA,[17]; m.(1) Hannah Whitcomb; m.(2) Hannah (Eveleth) Ayers.
ii. Hannah Whitney, b. ca. 1694; m. Samuel Farr.
iii. Elizabeth Whitney, b. ca. 1696; m. John Weatherby.
iv. Jonathan Whitney, b. 26 Feb 1698/9;[18] m. Alice Willard.
v. Sarah Whitney, b. ca. 1703; m. Hezekiah Hapgood.
vi. Ruhamah Whitney, b. ca. 1705; m. Josiah Whetcomb.
vii. Joshua Whitney, b. ca. 1707; m.(1) Zerviah -----; m.(2) Azubah (Burt) Farnsworth; m.(3) Rebecca (Winship) Whitney; m.(4) Mary -----.
viii. Hepzibah Whitney, b. ca. 1710; m. Seth Sawyer.


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

2.^  "Richard Whetny, s. Richard & Marrtha, b. 13 Jan 1660," according to Watertown Records, Comprising the First and Second Book of Town Proceedings, with the Land Grants and Possessions. Also, the Proprietors' Book, and the First Book of and Supplement of Births, Deaths, and Marriages (Watertown, MA: Historical Society, 1894), vol. 1, p. 22.

3.^  "Richard [Whetney] Jr., [died] Dec. 5, 1723. [a. 62, G.R.1]," according to Vital Records of Stow, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911), p. 267.

4.^  Dale C. Kellogg, and John B. Threlfall, "Richard Sawtell of Watertown, Mass. and Some of His Descendants," NEHGR, Volume CXXVI (1972), p. 6.

5.^  "Elizabeth [Sawtell], dau Jonathan, [born] Feb. 3, 1668," according to Vital Records of Groton, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: 1926).

6.^  "Elizabeth [Whetney], w. Richard Jr., [died] Nov. 24, 1723. [Whitney, a. 56, G.R.1]," according to Stow Vital Records, p. 267.

7.^  Frederick Clifton Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney (Chicago, IL: 1895), p. 30.

8.^  Walter Lloyd Jeffries, "Taxes Under Gov. Andros", NEGHR, vol. XXXII (1878), p. 81.

9.^  Pierce, loc. cit.

10.^  Kellogg and Threlfall, op. cit., pp. 6, 140.

11.^  Middlesex County, Massachusetts, probate file #24,735. Two references give the date 22 Dec 1723, which is wrong: Henry Bond, Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, Including Waltham and Weston; to Which is Appended the Early History of the Town. With Illustrations, Maps, and Notes (2nd ed., Watertown, MA: 1860), p. 643; and Pierce, loc. cit..

12.^  James Savage, Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, (1860-1862), vol. IV, p. 531.

13.^  Middlesex County, Massachusetts, probate file #24,737.

14.^  Middlesex County, Massachusetts, probate file #24,736.

15.^  Middlesex County, Massachusetts, probate file #24,735.

16.^  Kellogg and Threlfall, op. cit., pp. 6, 140.

17.^  Birth date calculated from age at death.

18.^  Birth date calculated from age at death.

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