Family:Whitney, Samuel (1707-a1789)

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Samuel4 Whitney (John3, Benjamin2, John1), son of John3 and Letty (Ford) Whitney, was born 5 May 1707, York, Maine, and died 1754, three weeks after being scalped by Indians, or, according to another source, after 1789, Maugerville, NB.

Marriage intentions for him and Lydia Spooner were published 23 Aug 1731, Kittery, ME.[1] She was born say 1710, and died after 1789, Maugerville, NB, Canada.

He was Deacon of the "Old Congregational Church." He and Lydia Spooner lived in 1739 at New Meadows, Maine; settled there. He and son Samuel Whitney were Samuel Whitney of Brunswick and his son Samuel were captured by the Indians and taken prisoner to Canada, and sold for 126 livres; he had a wife and eight children [besides Samuel, Jr.?]; subsequently he made his escape on 24 Jul 1751 at Brunswick, Maine. He was a grantee of land in 1761 at Maugerville, NB, Canada.

Pierce says the following:[2]

He was born in York, Me., but early settled in Brunswick, Me. In 1754, during the time of the French and Indian war, while engaged in hoeing corn in a field with his son Samuel, Jr., they were surprised by the Indians, and before they could reach their guns, which were stacked near by, were taken prisoners. The father was scalped and the prisoners with others taken to Canada and held for 126 livres. The father died after three weeks of suffering, and the son after seven years of imprisonment managed to escape and return to Maine.

Family researchers have said the following:

"[We] have attempted to prove the possibility that Deacon Samuel Whitney (b. 1707 York, Maine) and of New Meadows, Brunswick had four additional children other than that documented on the Brunswick vitals. This apparently was the case in a 1751 deposition to the General Court of Massachusetts requesting assistance for ransom money for release of his still captured son Samuel Whitney Jr. in Quebec. From 1751 on, Deacon Samuel Whitney Sr. seems to have left no further records in the Brunswick area. However, in church records of Maugerville N.S./N.B. along the St. John's River, Samuel seems to appear with wife Lydia at various times from 1773-1789. Land grant records show a Samuel Whitney in 1763. It is unclear whether the grant was to Samuel Sr. or Samuel Jr. We have located a deed in N.B. dated 1797 signed by Samuel Whitney and wife Mary disposing of property. We believe this to be Mary Aston/Austin, referencing a marriage in Brunswick, Maine of Samuel Whitney Jr. dated Feb. 9, 1760. Church records in Brunswick show Samuel and Mary being dismissed from Brunswick church in 1763 and 1765. Samuel Jr. was also a Deacon. Other Whitney's found on various lists in the 1760's in New Brunswick are Ebenezer, Josiah, Jeremiah and John. It is our belief that several, if not all, of these men are the four undocumented additional children of Deacon Samuel and Lydia Spooner Whitney born after 1743. Samuel Whitney Jr. the possible brother to these four men was born in 1732 and according to Pierce was released from capture about 1758. Ebenezer is documented as going to Meremechee, N.B., Josiah to Bridgton, Maine about 1787 (our focus project). John was documented in 1783 as being at Amesbury Peninsula having nine children and being on the St. John's from 1769. We have found no further records of Jeremiah. We would like to invited anyone with primary or circumstantial records to either prove, disprove or add to the above paradigm.
In researching the family of Samuel Whitney Sr. (John 3, Benjamin 2, John 1) we found deeds believed to be Samuel's brothers John (born 1719) and Benjamin (born 1725) at Registry of Deeds in Alfred, Maine. Extracts of deeds: 1. John Whitney of Great Sebascodegon Island purchases of James Thompson of Brunswick, 30 acres on Great Sebascodegon Island and situated in that part commonly called Indian Town. Dated December 11, 1756. 2. Benjamin Whitney of Sebascodegon Island purchases of Sepren Cornish of Sabascodegon Island 20 acres on Sebascodegon Island. Dated May 6, 1758. Note: The possibility exists here of brothers purchasing land on Sebascodegon Island just off shore from Harpswell and Brunswick. We suspect this John Whitney to be Samuel's brother who was born 1719 and heretofore little is known. He may have also removed to New Brunswick with brother Deacon Samuel Sr and Jr and family. Benjamin born 1725 has been well documented.
Further extracts of Whitney's entries in Harpwell Vital Records recorded by Rev. Elisha Eaton 1754-1764 and by his son, Samuel Eaton, 1765-1843 found at the Maine Historical Society in Portland: 1. Elizabeth Whitney, wife of John Whitney, received into Communion Oct. 7, 1759. 2. Benj. Whitney received into Communion Oct. 21, 1759. 3. Charity the dau. of John Whitney and wife bapt. in infancy Aug. 7, 1755. 4. Isaac son to Benj. Whitney and wife bapt. in infancy June 12, 1757. 5. Rebekah, dau. to Benj. Whitney and wife baptized in infancy May 6, 1759.[3]

Children of Samuel4 and Lydia (Spooner) Whitney were as follows:

i. Samuel5 Whitney, b. 15 Sep 1732, Brunswick, ME;[4] m. Mary Aston.
ii. Jonathan Whitney, b. 21 Dec 1734, Brunswick, ME;[5] m. Mary Henden.
iii. Lydia Whitney; b. 20 Feb 1735/6, Brunswick, ME;[6] d. after 1751.
iv. Susanna Whitney, b. 25 Jul 1738, Brunswick, ME;[7] m. 15 Sep 1757, Nathaniel5 Whitney, son of Nathaniel4 and Hannah (Day) Whitney; marriage intentions for her "of Brunswick" and Nathaniel5 Whitney "of Gorham" were published 27 Sep 1757, Falmouth (Portland), ME.
v. (poss.) John Whitney, b. circa 1740, calculated from age at death, d. before 7 Dec 1820, Thorndike, ME, "Elder", aged 80 years.
vi. Lettis Whitney, b. 27 Jun 1742, Brunswick, ME;[8] d. after 1751.
vii. (child) Whitney, b. say 1744, d. after 1751.
viii. Ebenezer Whitney, b. about 1745; m. Huldah Mooers.
ix. (child) Whitney, b. say 1748, d. after 1751.
He and Josiah Whitney may be the same person.


1.^  "Samuel [Whitney] and Lydia Spooner, both of Kittery, [intentions] 23 Aug. 1731," according to Joseph Crook Anderson II and Lois Ware Thurston, ed., Vital Records of Kittery, Maine, Prior to 1892 (Rockport, Maine: Picton Press, 1991).

2.^  Frederick C. Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635 (Chicago, IL: The Author, 1895), p. 61.

3.^  Nancy Metelski, "Samuel, John and Benjamin Whitney of New Meadows," e-mail message from to the WHITNEY-L mailing list, 4 Feb 2001.

4.^  "Samuel Whitney, son of Samuel and Lydia, b. 15 Sept 1732," according to Brunswick, Maine, Vital Records.

5.^  "Jonathan Whitney, son of Samuel and Lydia, b. 21 Dec 1734," according to Brunswick, Maine, Vital Records.

6.^  "Lydia Whitney, daughter of Samuel and Lydia, b. 20 Feb 1735," according to Brunswick, Maine, Vital Records.

7.^  "Susannah Whitney, daughter of Samuel and Lydia, b. 25 July 1738," according to Brunswick, Maine, Vital Records.

8.^  "Lettis Whitney, daughter of Samuel and Lydia, b. 27 Jun 1742," according to Brunswick, Maine, Vital Records.

Copyright © 1999, 2006, 2007, 2011, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group