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THE DESCENDANTS OF JOHN AND ELINOR WHITNEY OF WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS BY HENRY AUSTIN WHITNEY First Generations



THE DESCENDANTS
OF
JOHN AND ELINOR WHITNEY OF WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS
BY
HENRY AUSTIN WHITNEY

Reprinted with additions from the New England Historical &
Genealogical Register for April & July, 1857.


John Whitney of Watertown, Massachusetts, was the progenitor
of very numerous descendants, who are to be found probably
in every county of New England and in every State in the Union.

He embarked at London, England, in April 1635, then aged 35,
in the ship, the Elizabeth & Ann, Roger Cooper, Master, with
his wife, Elinor Whitney, aged 30 years and sons, John Whitney,
aged 11 years, Richard Whitney, aged 9 years, Nathaniel Whitney,
aged 8 years, Thomas Whitney, aged 6 years and Jonathan Whitney,
aged 1 year.

He probably arrived in June and immediately settled in Water-
town, where his son Joshua Whitney was born the 15th of July.
He purchased a 16 acre homestall, which had been granted to
John Strickland, who was dismissed from the Watertown church,
May 29, 1635, and was one of that colony from Watertown that
went and planted Wethersfield, the oldest town on the Connecti-
cut River.

This homestead was the permament residence of Mr. Whitney. In
1668 he requested his youngest son, Benjamin Whitney, who had
settled at York, Maine, to return and live with him on his
homestead, with the assurance that it would be his own after
his father's decease. In 1671, Benjamin Whitney, with his
father's consent, conveyed his rights and obligations in this
homestead, to his brother, Joshua Whitney, who had settled in
Groton, Massachusetts, for £40. After the decease of his
father, Joshua Whitney returned to Groton, Mass., and on the
29th of October, 1697, sold this ancient homestead to Deacon
Nathan Fiske. It was situated at a little distance north of
Belmont Street and East of Common Street.

It is stated above that Mr. Whitney purchased his homestall;
but before 1642, the Town had granted him nine other lots of
land, amounting to 198 acres. The Registry of Deeds, which
contains comparatively few of the early conveyances, shows
that he made several purchases of land, and it is probable
that he had aided all his other sons in their settlements as
he did Jonathan, to whom he gave 39 acres, about 1659 - and
Benjamin to whom he gave the homestead, as we have already
noticed. (see Whitney Families, Bond's Watertown, below)

Jonathan and Benjamin Whitney received these gifts from their
father when they were quite young and it is possible that they
shared in some later division of his estate; which may account
for the fact that Mr. Whitney, in his Will, that while he be-
queaths parcels of land to all his other sons, merely gives to
Jonathan Whitney "one iron kettle and a great brass skillet;"
to Benjamin, "the old mare, if she live" !

p.6 DESCENDANTS OF JOHN WHITNEY & ELINOR WHITNEY OF
WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS.

Mr. Whitney was admitted freeman March 3, 1635-6; was appointed
Constable of Watertown by the General Court on June 1, 1641;
was a Selectman 1638 to 1655, inclusive and was Town Clerk of
Watertown in 1655.

John Whitney's wife, Elinor, the mother of his eight sons,
died May 11, 1659, aged 54 years, and he married (2) Sept 29,
1659, Judah Clement, who was not living at the date of his Will,
April 3, 1673. He died June 1, 1673, aged 74 years. Inventory
dated June 4, 1673: 50 acres Dividend land; 3 acres Beaver Brook
meadow, and 1-1/2 acres of upland; 1 acre of plain meadow, be-
sides his personal property, consisting of household goods and
stock on the farm. This shows that he then held but a small part
of his lands both granted and purchased, which had probably been
distributed to his sons.

CHILDREN OF JOHN & ELINOR WHITNEY.

1. John Whitney born in England in 1624, died at Water-
town, Massachusetts October 12, 1692.
2. Richard Whitney born in England 1626.
3. Nathaniel Whitney born in England 1627; is not men-

tioned in his father's Will - probably died young.
4. Thomas Whitney born in England 1629; died at Water-
town September 20, 1719.
5. Jonathan Whitney born in England 1634; died at Sher-
burne about 1702.
6. Joshua Whitney born at Watertown, July 15, 1635; died
(?) at Groton, Mass., 1719.
7. Caleb Whitney born ____ was buried at Watertown July
12th, 1640.
8. Benjamin Whitney born at Watertown, June 6, 1643; died
at Sherburne, 1723.

JOHN WHITNEY, JR.

John Whitney, Jr., of Watertown, Mass. He married,
probably in 1642, Ruth Reynolds a dau. of Robert Reynolds
who was successively of Watertown, Weathersfield, Conn. &
of Boston, Mass. He was admitted freeman, May 26, 1647;
was a Selectman from 1673 to 1679 inclusive. He died Oct.
12, 1692. His Will, informal and not proved, was written
February 27, 1685; subscribed "in the year 1690;" lodged
for Probate, March, 1693. March 1, 1692-3, the heirs agreed
that the Will should be the rule of division, with some few
alterations. This Will, evidently written by John Whitney,
Jr., is very curious, and although not on record, it may be
found in the files of the Middlesex, Massachusetts Probate
Office; one of the last clauses is as follows:

"If any of my sonnes or sons-in-law, or daughters be
quarrelsome by going to Law, or troublesome to their
brethren, I say they shall lose the share of what I
have bequeathed them. I desire they should live in love
to God, and one toward another." His Inventory, dated
October 26, 1692, contained 18 lots of land amounting
to 210 acres.

Footnotes. At that time Constables were appointed by
the General Court of Massachusetts, and, besides the
duties attached to the office in latter times, they
were required to collect the taxes of the town, and
the levies made by the General Court; to pay the debts
of the Colony due to individuals in their respective
towns; to supply the town with sealed weights and
measures; to set or order the watch in those towns
where no Captain dwelt; and to inflict the punish-
ment ordered by judicial authority, "where there was
not another appointed to do it within his own town,
unless he can get another to do it." As a badge of
his office, a Constable was required to carry a black
staff five or five and a half feet long, with a tip or
head, five or six inches long.

p.7 DESCENDANTS OF JOHN AND ELINOR WHITNEY.

Mr. Whitney first settled (1643) and always resided on
a three acre lot on the east side of Lexington Street,
on land granted to E. How, and the next lot south of the
residence of the Phillips family, and is probably the
same lot now occupied by his great-great-grandson,
Bradshaw Whitney. The ground is somewhat elevated, and
there is little doubt that it is the "Whitney Hill"
sometimes mentioned in the records - Dr. Bond thinking
it is very probable that his supposition, p. 1031 -
Bond's History of Watertown, p. 1031, respecting this
hill, is incorrrect.

Insert: p.1031 - Bond's Watertown.
Whitney's Hill, is supposed to be the same which has
of late been called White's Hill. The homestall of John
Whitney, of sixteen acres, bought of John Stickling, was
situated east of it. October 29, 1697, Joshua Whitney,
then of Groton, Mass., sold this 16 acre homestead to
Corporal (afterwards, deacon) Nathan Fiske, and it was
then bounded north by Joseph Sherman, and Henry Spring;
east by Thomas Bond; south by Lieutenant Jonas Bond and
west by N. Fiske. At an early date, John Whitney, Senior,
and his sons, hd become proprietors on the north and west
sides of the hill. In 1644, the homestall of John Whitney,
Jr., was on or near the spot where Mr. Charles Whitney now
or lately resided, and he owned the lot in the Town Plot
at the S.W. corner of Belmont and Lexington streets.

The meeting-house, built about 1695, where Mr. Angier
was settled was at the S.E. angle of Belmont and Lexing-
ton street cross-roads and it was ordered to be built
between the widow Hannah Stearns and Whitney's Hill, and
was sometimes described as between Pound and Whitney's
Hill. The Pound was then at those cross-roads, where it
was constructed about 1687. Elbow Hill is sometimes
mentioned in the description of roads, and was probably
nothing more than a declivity in Lexington Street, at
first called the Concord Road. The highest point in
Mount Auburn Cemetary is less than 100 feet above tide-
water, and before its present appropriation, this tract,
or a part of it, was called Stone's Woods. It does not
seem to have been deemed of sufficient height or import-
ance to be designated or referred to in any of the records.

p.7 Descendants of John & Elinor Whitney of Watertown.

Mr. Whitney first settled (1643) and always resided on
a three-acre lot on the east side of Lexington Street,
on land granted to E. How, and the next lot south of the
residence of the Phillips family, and is probably the same
lot now occupied by his great-grandson, Bradshaw Whitney.

The ground is somewhat elevated, and there is little
doubt that it is the "Whitney Hill" sometimes mentioned
in the records. Dr. Henry Bond (Bond's Watertown) think-
ing it very probable that his supposition, (p.1031) re-
specting this hill - is incorrect.

CHILDREN:

1. John Whitney b. Sept 17, 1643.
2. Ruth Whitney b. April 15, 1645, m. (1) John Shattuck
and had four children. She m. (2) Enoch Lawrence and had
four children.
3. Nathaniel Whitney b. Feb 1, 1646-7.
4. Samuel Whitney b. July 28, 1648.
5. Mary Whitney b. April 29, 1650 - died unmarried, 1693.
6. Joseph Whitney b. Jan. 15, 1651-2.
7. Sarah Whitney b. March 17, 1653-4, m. Daniel Harrington.
and had six children.
8. Elizabeth Whitney b. June 9, 1656 m. Daniel Warren and
had ten children.
9. Hannah Whitney - unmarried.
10. Benjamin Whitney b. June 28, 1660.

RICHARD WHITNEY.
Richard Whitney married at Watertown, March 19, 1650-1,
Martha Coldam. He moved from Watertown, Mass. to Stow as
early as 1681. Children:

1. Sarah Whitney b. March 17, 1652-3
2. Moses Whitney b. August 1, 1655.
3. Johannah Whitney b. Jan 16, 1656-7.
4. Deborah Whitney b. October 12, 1658.
5. Rebecca Whitney b. Dec 15, 1659; died Feb. 1660.
6. Richard Whitney b. Jan 13, 1660-1.
7. Elisha Whitney b. August 26, 1662.
8. Ebenezer Whitney b. June 30, 1672 was of Stow, Mass. in
1714; wife, Anna.

Thomas Whitney of Watertown. He gave his son Elnathan and
daughter, Martha, spinster, all his real and personal
estate, especially his house and 1/4 acre of ground, June
25, 1714 (recorded 1721) He was admitted freeman on April
18, 1690. He married January 11, 1654-5, Mary Kedall. He
died September 20, 1719 aged 90 years.
Children:
1. Thomas Whitney b. Aug 24, 1656 (see 33)
2. John Whitney b. May 9, 1659; died early.
3. John Whitney (again) b. Aug. 22nd, died Aug. 26, 1661.
4. Eleazer Whitney (twin) b. April 7, 1662.
5. Elnathan Whitney (twin) b. April 7, 1662 - Elnathan
Whitney became a town charge in January, 1727-8, and the
Selectmen ordered to see if his brother, Eleazer Whitney
would look after him. The next month they passed an order
to pay Samuel Jennison 20 shilings a week for taking care
of him, then in his 66th year.

p.8 DESCENDANTS OF JOHN AND ELINOR WHITNEY

6. Mary Whitney b. Dec 22, 1663; died early.
7. Bazaleel Whitney b. Sept. 16, 1665.
8. Sarah Whitney b. Mar 23, 1667; m. Charles Chadwick and had
three children.
9. Mary Whitney b. Aug 6, 1668; died Sept. 16, 1669.
10. Isaiah Whitney b. Sept 16, 1671 was of Cambridge, Mass.
an Inventory taken Jan. 10, 1711-12. He had wife, Sarah,
a daughter of George Woodward, who was the widow of John
Eddy. (seven children).
11. Martha Whitney b. Jan. 30. 1673-4; unmarried.

JONATHAN WHITNEY OF SHERBURNE.

Jonathan Whitney of Sherburne, Mass., 1679. His father gave
him 39 acres of land about 1659, which he had bought of
Richard Woodward. He sold it for £40 to Thomas Flagg on Nov.
7th, 1664. He died about 1702. His Will, December 21, 1702.
Proved March 1, 1702-3. He married, October 30, 1656, Lydia
Jones, a dau. of Lewis Jones of Watertown. Children:

1. Lydia Whitney b. July 3, 1657; m. Moses Adams and had
nine children.
2. Jonathan Whitney b. Oct 20, 1658.
3. Anna Whitney b. April 28, 1660; m. Cornelius Fisher of
Wrentham, Mass.
4. John Whitney b. June 27, 1662.
5. Josiah Whitney b. May 19, 1664.
6. Elinor Whitney b. Oct 12, 1666; died Nov 23, 1678.
7. James Whitney b. Nov 25, 1668; died Nov 30, 1690.
8. Isaac Whitney b. Jan 12, 1670-1; d. Dec 2, 1690.
9. Joseph Whitney b. March 10, 1672-3.
10. Abigail Whitney b. Aug. 18, 1675.
11. Benjamin Whitney b. Jan. 6, 1678-9; was of Sherburne.
married, October 24, 1700, Mercy Travis, who m. (2) Thomas
Frink of Sudbury, Mass. prior to 1721. A Will made "in the
year 1713-14." Proved, September 25, 1718 - no issue.

Joshua Whitney of Groton and Watertown. He married three
times: First to Lydia ____. 2nd to Mary ___who died March
17, 1671-2. 3. Abigail Tarbell on September 30, 1672 at
Watertown.

1. Lydia Tarbell.
2. Mary Tarbell who died March 17, 1671-2.
3. Abigail Tarbell, Sept 30, 1672, Watertown.

His Will made April 17, 1713; proved october 6, 1719.

Children.
1. Hannah Whitney who m. Thomas Woods of Groton and had
four children.
2. Joshua Whitney b. June 14, 1666 at Groton, whose mother
was Lydia (Tarbell) Whitney.
3. Sarah Whitney b. October 10, 1668 at Groton, married
____ Juell.
4. Abigail Whitney who m. John Hutchins and had five

children.
5. Mary Whitney b. July 1, 1675 at Groton, Mass.; m.
Ephraim Peirce and had 9 children.

Joshua Whitney of Groton and Watertown - Wives:

1. Lydia _____
2. Mary ______ who died March 17, 1671-2
3. Abigail Tarbell, September 30, 1672 at Watertown.

Joshua Whitney's Will, made April 17, 1713; proved Oct.
6th, 1719. Children:

1. Hanna Whitney who m. Thomas Woods of Groton & had 4
children.
2. Joshua Whitney b. June 14, 1666 at Groton by his wife,
Lydia.
3. Sarah Whitney b. October 10, 1668 at Groton, married
____ Juell.
4. Abigail Whitney who married John Hutchins & had 5
children.
5. Mary Whitney b. July 1, 1675 at Groton, Mass.; m.
Ephraim Pierce. Nine children.
6. William Whitney b. Feb 28, 1678.
7. Cornelius Whitney.
8. David Whitney.
9. Martha Whitney who m. Isaac Williams, Jr. of Newton,
Mass. and had eight children.
10. Elizabeth Whitney who m. Eben Farnsworth & had 8
children.
11. Eleanor Whitney who married _____ Shepherd.

p. 9 DESCENDANT OF JOHN & ELINOR WHITNEY.

Benjamin Whitney of York, Cocheco, Watertown and Sherburne.
He was received as an inhabitant in 1667 and was taxed in
Cocheco, 1667-1668. He died at Sherburne, Mass., 1723. He
solde to his brother, Joshua Whitney, March 9, 1670-1, a
house, barn and about 17 acres of land at Watertown, Mass.,
bounded north by John Sherman, east and sough by William
Bond, west by Mr. Underwood - given him by his father, April
5, 1670. His wives:

1. Jane ____ who died at Sherburne, Nov 14, 1690
2. (?) Mary Poor whom he married at Marlborough, Mass.
April 11, 1695. Children:
1. Jane Whitney b. at Watertown Sept 29, 1669;
married Jonathan Morse and had 6 children.
2. Benjamin Whitney.
3. Jonathan Whitney.
4. Joshua Whitney b. at Sherburne, Sept. 21, 1687.

A Joshua Whitney bought land in 1713, formerly of the Nipmug
Indians, and appears afterwards to be of Mendon, Mass., per
the Suffield Deeds 27-174.

There were probably other children.

End of the First Generation.
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth


Owner/Sourcehttp://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/WHITNEY/2009-07/1248569866
Linked toI7885; Ruth Reynolds; John Whitney, Jr.; John Whitney, Sr.

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