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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Whitney

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1552-1555 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The earliest record of Henry Whitney, the American ancestor of this branch of the Whitneys, is found October 8, 1649, when he was associated with two others in the purchase of land in Southold, Long Island. He was born in England in 1620, died in Norwalk, Connecticut, 1673. He removed to Huntington, Long Island, where he built a grist mill for Rev. William Leverich, about which there was some trouble resulting in law suits. He next removed to Jamaica, Long Island, where his name appears several times on the records — 1662-63-64. In 1665 he appears in Norwalk, Connecticut, where he built a "Grounde Corn Mill" at the mouth of "Norwake River by the falls." His last appearance on the records is October 11, 1669, in "A true and perfect list of all the freemen appertaining unto the plantation of Norwake." His will was dated June 5, 1672. An inventory was sworn to November 8, 1673. He was twice married, but nothing is known of his wives further than that his second wife was a Widow Ketcham.

(II) John, son of Henry Whitney, "the founder," (the only child mentioned in his father's will) was most likely born before his father went to Southold, Long Island, as he was of legal age prior to January 20, 1665-66. He settled with his father in Norwalk, followed the business of miller and millwright, succeeded him in the possession of the mill and homestead, later building a fulling mill at Norwalk, and seems to have been a busy, prosperous man. He married, March 17, 1674-75, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Smith. Children:

  1. John, born at Norwalk, Connecticut, March 12, 1676-77; married, March 4, 1709-10, Elizabeth Finch; he was a miller.
  2. Joseph, of whom further.
  3. Henry, born February 21, 1680; a weaver; he married, June 14, 1710, Elizabeth, daughter of "the late lieutenant John" and Mary (Benedict) Olmstead.
  4. Elizabeth, born about 1684; married Joseph Keeler, son of Samuel and Sarah (St. John) Keeler.
  5. Richard, born April 18, 1687; a millwright; married, April 7, 1709, Hannah, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Beers) Darling, of Fairfield, Connecticut.
  6. Samuel, born 1688; removed to Stratford; married, January 18, 1721, Anne Laboree.
  7. Anne, born 1691; married, October 13, 1709, Matthew St. John, one of the original settlers of Ridgefield, Connecticut.
  8. Eleanor, born January 27, 1693; married, June 13, 1717, Jonathan Fairchild, a fuller and cloth dresser of Norwalk.
  9. Nathan, settled at Ridgefield after his marriage, about 1715, to Sarah ————.
  10. Sarah, married, June 13, 1717, Samuel Smith, a farmer.
  11. Josiah, married, October 30, 1729, Eunice Hanford.

(III) Joseph, second son of John and Elizabeth (Smith) Whitney, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, March 1, 1678, died 1741. After the death of his elder brother John, he came into possession of the grist mill by deed from his father, stipulating to pay all his debts and give him one-half the tolls which the mill should earn during his father's lifetime. He was a very eccentric man about whom many anecdotes are told. He married, in Norwalk, July 6, 1704, Hannah, daughter of Zerubbabel Hoyt, of Norwalk. She was a member of the First Congregational Church in Norwalk in 1725. Children:

  1. Hezekiah, born April 10, 1705; married, January 3, 1732, Margaret Harris.
  2. Hannah, born November 5, 1707; married (first) Daniel Keeler, a farmer of Norwalk; married (second) Samuel Betts, of Wilton.
  3. Joseph, born December 6, 1710; married Mary Coit.
  4. Thankful, born March, 1713; married Ebenezer Benedict; settled at New Canaan, Connecticut.
  5. Elizabeth, born 1717; married (first) June 26, 1735, Miles Riggs, of Stamford, Connecticut; married (second) David Rockwell, a great-grandson of John Rockwell, an early settler of Stanford in 1641; married (third) 1791, being then about seventy years of age, Agur Fairchild, who was six years her senior; he died in 1797, after which she lived in Ridgebury until she was ninety-four years old, then went to live with her son, Miles Riggs, at Newfield, Connecticut, where she died in August, 1815, aged ninety-eight years. Miles Riggs, her son, was a soldier of the revolution, and tradition says that on one of his visits home from the army he found two of his three children dead and his wife very ill.
  6. David, of whom further.
  7. Abraham, born February 23, 1723; married, December 23, 1750, Anne Plumb.

(IV) David, son of Joseph and Hannah (Hoyt) Whitney, was born at Norwalk, Connecticut, May 11, 1721.

He was an ardent patriot, and rendered good service during the revolution. "For many years he owned and commanded a sloop which was used by the Government in carrying despatches and supplies sometimes under the very guns of the enemy." "When Norwalk was burned in 1779 he ran out of the harbor with his sloop loaded with the families and goods of his neighbors, escaping from the British and safely reaching Stamford." He conducted a grist mill in Norwalk in which his son Ebenezer succeeded him. He married, May 11, 1741, Elizabeth, born at Norwalk, June 6, 1718, daughter of Ebenezer and Elizabeth Hyatt. She died October 28, 1798, aged "80 years, 4 months and 22 days." He died at Silver Mine in New Canaan, Connecticut, April 16, 1816. Children:

  1. Ebenezer, of whom further.
  2. Timothy, born July, 1744; a cooper, served in the revolution; married, February 25, 1770, Anna Wood, born November 3, 1742, daughter of Alexis Wood, of Norwalk.
  3. Betsey, born April 5, 1746; married, about 1767, James Jerrit.
  4. David (2), born February 17, 1748, died March 30, 1748.
  5. Anna, born February 14, 1749, died September 16, 1754.
  6. Esther, born February 3, 1751; married, October 27, 1773, Phineas St. John, son of Nathan and Lois (St. John) St. John; they settled in Wilton, Connecticut, and later in Walton, New York, where they died; Phineas was a soldier of the revolution.
  7. Abigail, born April 3, 1754, married, July 6, 1775, John Reed, a soldier of the revolution.
  8. Anna, born April 10, 1756, married Samuel Seymour; they settled at Walton, Delaware county, New York, where they died.
  9. Deborah, born July 20, 1758; married, September 26, 1781, Isaac Keeler.
  10. David Hyatt, born August 25, 1761; cooper, miller, millwright, farmer, and soldier of the revolution; he married, May 12, 1796, Nancy Raymond, who survived him, dying at the home of her son in Taylor, Cortland county, New York.

(V) Ebenezer, eldest son of David and Elizabeth (Hyatt) Whitney, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, August 8, 1742. After following the sea for forty-five years he moved to Silver Mine, in New Canaan, Connecticut, where he bought and managed a grist mill. He was a master mariner (or captain) but seems to have been equally proficient in the time-honored family business of milling. He died in Silver Mine, April 3, 1808, and is buried in the cemetery there. He married, December 19, 1771, in Norwalk, Ruth, born November 15, 1756, daughter of Simeon Raymond. Tradition says he was a paymaster in the revolutionary army and that it was he and not his father who took the sloop load of women and furniture out of Norwalk harbor in 1779. Children:

  1. Betsey, born February 1, 1773; married (first) January 31, 1793, Richard Sherman, of Albany, New York, a sailor who was lost at sea; married (second) January 5, 1812, Deodate Gaylord, a soldier and a pensioner of the revolution; she died October 16, 1846.
  2. Asa, born and died in 1774.
  3. Abby, born June 8, 1775; married, July 19, 1796, Henry Fitch; she lived to be eighty-three years of age; he to the age of "95 years, 9 months, 12 days."
  4. Asa, of whom further.
  5. Lucretia, born July 19, 1778, drowned in a well, May 22, 1781.
  6. Clarissa, born February 21, 1780, died in Dunsville, Ingham county, Michigan, in her ninetieth year; she married (first) Lockwood Hoyt; (second) Lewis Blackman; (third) Jacob Wright.
  7. Aaron Wilkes, born October 17, 1781; settled at Wilton, Connecticut, where he was ordained a minister of the Baptist church; he married, July 5, 1804, Sarah Bennett.
  8. Eben, born November 19, 1783; was bound to his brother Asa, May 15, 1798, to learn his trade of silversmith and watchmaker; he was in business many years in New York City; his tombstone records that "The law of truth was in his mouth and iniquity was not found in his lips. He walked with me in peace and equity and did turn many away from iniquity"; he married (first) Esther Patterson, born at Red Bank, New Jersey; married (second) Emeline Hoyt, of Stamford, Connecticut; married (third) Elizabeth Raymond, of Norwalk.
  9. Lucretia, born June 27, 1786; married Daniel Fitch.
  10. Roxana, born October 26, 1789; married, March 19, 1815, James Taylor.
  11. Maud, born in Troy, New York, June 27, 1792; removed to Norwalk, Connecticut; married, January 21, 1816, Benjamin Weeks, a soldier of the war of 1812; they settled in Henrietta, Monroe county, New York, then in Webster, same county, where he served the Baptist church as deacon for thirty years; Maud lived in Webster until 1874, the last survivor of the thirteen children of her parents.
  12. George Washington, born July 26, 1794; settled in East Venice, New York, a farmer; married, April 4, 1816, Matilda Olmstead; he died December 18, 1861; she was living in August, 1874.
  13. Hannah Hoyt, born February 4, 1796, married, September 23, 1817, Miles Root, of New Canaan.

(VI) Asa, son of Ebenezer and Ruth (Raymond) Whitney, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, August 17, 1776, died in New York City, December 8, 1812. He learned the trade of silversmith and watchmaker; settled in New York City where the directory names him at different business locations from 1798 to 1811 and with home at 123 Cherry street, where he died. He and his wife are buried in the "Cemetery of the Brick Meeting-house" on Christie street. He married, in Norwalk, October 7, 1797, Catherine Leggett, born June 26, 1778, died December 31, 1813 or 1814. Children, all born in Norwalk:

  1. Edwin, died in infancy.
  2. William Reed, born October 5, 1799; a jeweller of New York City; died December 16, 1824; his place of business was on Wall street near Broadway.
  3. Catherine, died in childhood.
  4. Edwin Leggett, born July 15, 1803; a merchant of New York City and Philadelphia; married, February 22, 1825, Joanna Eliza Bicknell, born in Portsmouth, England, October 20, 1809.
  5. Henry, died in infancy.
  6. Thomas Richard, born April 30, 1807; author and engraver; he was a senator of New York in 1854-55 from the fourth district, representative in the thirty-fourth congress from the fifth New York congressional district, 1855-57; he was at one time editor of The Republican and The Sunday Times; published 1845 an historical poem "The Ambuscade"; was also the author of the "American Policy"; he died in New York City, April 12, 1858, and is buried in Greenwood; he married (first) October 7, 1827, Elizabeth Comstock, born November 6, 1808; he married (second) Sarah Ann Heustis, born at Westchester, New York, May 8, 1810.
  7. Simeon Raymond, died in infancy.
  8. Asa Harvey, of whom further.

(VII) Asa Harvey, youngest son of Asa and Catherine (Leggett) Whitney, was born at Norwalk, Connecticut, February 25, 1811, died May 1, 1846. He engaged in the lumber business in northern New York, where he also owned a farm. He was a successful and capable business man, but at an early age contracted consumption which carried him away while still a young man. He married, September, 1836, Almira Matilda Wait, born February 8, 1815, died February 7, 1897. Children:

  1. Josephine, born April 18, 1838; married, March 17, 1858, George R. Phelps.
  2. Isabelle Alsina, born January 1, 1840.
  3. Sarah Emily, born August 13, 1842; married William Rufus Washburn; child, Charles.
  4. Warren Edwin, of whom further.

(VIII) Warren Edwin, only son of Asa Harvey and Almira Matilda (Wait) Whitney, was born in Hadley, Saratoga county, New York, December 24, 1844. He was educated in the public school, and for a few years engaged in farming. He later began work in the glove factory of William Case, following with six years in the employment of Uriah Case. January 1, 1871, he began glove manufacturing at 14 School street, Gloversville, where he remained two years, when he removed to Prospect street. He purchased a property on the Height on which he erected a home with factory on the same plot of ground. This has now developed and become one of the leading residential streets. His business is a large and prosperous one, his special line of manufacture being fine goods for men's and women's wear. Mr. Whitney has been a director of the City National Bank since its organization and vice-president since 1891. Since 1903 he has been treasurer of the Prospect Hill Cemetery Association. He has now been in active business life for forty years and is gradually withdrawing wherever possible from outside affairs. Since 1901 he has been a member of the school board, and since 1898 president of the Nathan Littauer Hospital board, having been a director since its organization. He was chairman of the building committee that had in charge the erection of the new Congregational church in 1894; he is now an active member and trustee. Politically he is a third party Prohibitionist and supports his convictions with all his energy. He married, October 31, 1867, Anna Sarah Robertson, born February 25, 1843, daughter of Robert Robertson, granddaughter of Duncan Robertson, and great-granddaughter of Robert and Jane (McMartin) Robertson, of Scotch ancestry. Duncan Robertson married Tirzah Woodruff. Their son Robert (2) married Angelina Brownell; children: Mary, Jane, Duncan, Anna, Sarah and Frances. Children of Warren Edwin and Anna Sarah Whitney:

  1. Marion R., born September 26, 1869.
  2. Florence Anna, born June 26, 1876; married, October 20, 1903, Charles J. Fox; born October 20, 1873; children:
    1. Charles Warren, born July 24, 1904;
    2. Marion Gertrude, October 1, 1906;
    3. and 4. Donald Whitney and Dorothy, twins, March 7, 1909.
  3. Walter Duncan, born January 25, 1878.
  4. Jane Bell, born February 9, 1883.

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