Family:Whitney, George Sands (1838-1918)

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George Sands Whitney (Jacob M., James), son of Jacob M. and Nellie (Freeman) Whitney, was born 18 Apr 1838, Margaretville, Delaware Co., NY, and died 5 Jun 1918, Pepacton, Delaware Co., NY.

He married, 27 Mar 1872, Delilah Jane Gavett, daughter of William G. and Jane (Burrow) Gavett. She was born 26 Mar 1847, and died 30 Aug 1906, Union Grove, Delaware Co., NY.

Occupation: Farmer.

Military Service: Pvt., 23y, enlisted 5 Dec 1861, Hancock, NY, Company D, 101st Infantry Regiment. Transferred 24 Dec 1862 to 37th Infantry, NY Volunteers. Transferred 29 May 1863 to Company E, 40th Infantry. (On 7 Jul 1864, letter of company changed from E to B.)

He reenlisted as a Veteran Volunteer on 29 Dec 1863 for an additional three years or the duration of the war. This enabled him to get a four-week furlough to go home in Jan 1864 to see his family. He was shot through his right shoulder in the famous Battle of the Wilderness, 5 May 1864. He was promoted to Corporal on 1 Mar 1865, and at the end of the war was mustered out with the regiment on 5 Jul 1865 in New York City at Hart's Island.

A 30 May 1906 photograph of Downsville-Fleming Post, No. 280, G.A.R., shows 27 veterans from that area, including George Whitney. He is easily identifiable in the first row, far right, with white hair and beard.

George S. Whitney's middle name of Sands may have been in honor of George H. Sands, a prominent citizen of Middletown, Delaware Co., NY, where George Whitney was raised. His father, Jacob Whitney, was a contemporary of George Sands, who was a merchant, postmaster of the town, and justice of the peace. (Naming a son in honor of a friend was also the case with Dustin Wood Whitney, George's younger brother, who was named after Hiram Dustin Wood.) George Whitney may also have lived with George Sands' family during some of his younger years--not unlike several other brothers and sisters who lived with other families. Some were called adopted in census records even though they retained their Whitney surname.

Children of George Sands and Delilah Jane (Gavett) Whitney, all born Delaware Co.:

i. George Arthur Whitney, b. 23 Feb 1873, Cat Hollow, NY; d. 6 Apr 1962, Roscoe, Sullivan Co., NY; m. Mirta Jane Becker, daughter of Harley and Amanda (Bigelow) Becker; they had two sons and two daughters.
ii. Sarah Jane Whitney, b. 9 Mar 1875, Cat Hollow, NY; d. 4 Oct 1959, Oneonta, Otsego Co., NY; m. 23 Dec 1896, Junius Shaver, son of James Richard Philip Bassett Thomas Washburn and Helen (Hitt) Shaver; they had identical twin sons, Harvey and Harley, and two daughters.
iii. Nellie Catherine Whitney, b. 14 Nov 1877; d. 19 Jan 1884 of diphtheria; bur. Gavett Cemetery, Millbrook Rd., Margaretville, NY (in family plot with parents).
iv. Flora Eliza Whitney, b. 3 May 1880; d. 19 Jan 1884 of diphtheria; bur. Gavett Cemetery, Millbrook Rd., Margaretville, NY (in family plot with parents).
v. Minnie Mabel Whitney, b. 19 Oct 1882; d. 23 Nov 1883; bur. Gavett Cemetery, Millbrook Rd., Margaretville, NY (in family plot with parents).
vi. Rosa Delilah Whitney, b. 15 Dec 1886, Union Grove, NY; d. 4 Jul 1987, Middletown, NY; m. 14 Feb 1907, Laverne Allen, d. 1925; they had one son and four daughters.
vii. Harvey Daniel Greene Whitney, b. 8 Mar 1891; d. 29 Nov 1955, Binghamton, NY; m. Evelynn V. Patton; no children.


2614 Deborah Akerly 70 F - $1000 N.Y. George Whitney 12 M - " Attended school

919 890 Philip Burhance 58 M - Day Laborer $100 New York Illiterate Hellen " 47 F - " Illiterate Cornelia " 17 F - Domestic " Attended school Josephine " 16 F - do " Francis " 11 F - " Attended school George " 23 M - Day Laborer " Illiterate 891 Henry Whitney 35 M - Farmer $1500 $500 New York Margaret " 28 F - " Alice " 6 F - " Attended school Emma " 4 F - " Henry D. " 1 M - "

66 72 Whitney, George 32 M W Farmer $4000 $500 New York Male citizen over 21 Carson, Abram 22 M W Works on Farm " Male citizen over 21

George S. WHITNEY 42 Self M M W NY Farmer NY NY Delila J. WHITNEY 33 Wife F M W NY Keeping House NY NY George S. WHITNEY 7 Son M S W NY NY NY Sarah Jane WHITNEY 5 Dau F S W NY NY NY Nellie C. WHITNEY 3 Dau F S W NY NY NY WHITNEY 1M Dau F S W NY NY NY Flora E. GAVETT 19 Othe F S W NY Servant Girl NY NY

90 93 Whitney, George S. Corpl. B 40 NY Inf -- Dec 1861 5 Jul 1865 3y 6m Pepacton, NY Gunshot wound left shoulder

  • 1892, New York State Census, Colchester, Delaware Co.: George - 53; Delilah - 46; George A., Sarah J. [ages unreadable; and two other names unreadable]
  • 1900, Colchester, Delaware Co., NY:

Whitney, George W. Head W M 62 mar New York -----, Deliah J. Wife W F 53 mar New York -----, Arthur G. Son W M 27 sgl New York -----, Rose D. Dau W F 14 sgl New York -----, Harvey D. Son W M 9 sgl New York Gavett, Sylvester BiL W M 61 New York

  • 1910, Andes, Delaware Co., NY: George S. - 73 - in household of Junius Shaver


  • Photocopy of Death Certificate, reg. no. 17, Town of Colchester, Delaware County, State of New York.
  • Munsell's History of Delaware County, New York, 1797-1880 (New York: W.W. Munsell & Co., 1880), p. 89, tells part of the story of the 101st Regiment: "The portion raised in Delaware County was originally enlisted for the '1st Regiment, Union Brigade,' as it was to be named. Recruiting was slow, and as troops were needed at the front, parts of organizations were consolidated and regiments put together. Delaware County troops were put together with others enlisted in Central New York [2nd Onondaga County Regiment] and organized into the 101st Regiment New York Volunteers at Hancock. From there the Regiment was transferred to the 'seat of the war' and attached to the Army of the Potomac."
  • George Whitney, Military Service Records, New York State Archives, Albany, NY, and National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC. Soldier's military history includes mention of soldier reported as deserted 18 Apr 1862 (due to transfer to another regiment). However, pension record indicates that this charge was removed after his full military record was reviewed, 30 Sep 1885. According to his complete pension file in the National Archives, in 1891 he revealed another injury that had occurred in a mishap during the nighttime evacuation of Petersburg, VA, 2 Apr 1865. Supposedly, this injury and its aftermath affected what work he could do; so perhaps he was eligible to receive more money as an invalid pensioner.
  • Pension Record, Civil War, Certificate #717040, 30 Aug 1918. He was last paid $27 on 4 May 1918 and dropped from the Pension Roll because of his death on 5 Jun 1918.
  • 1906 photograph in collection of Colchester Historical Society, Downsville, Delaware Co., NY.

Copyright © 2011, Helen Rogers and Robert L. Ward; 2013, Helen Rogers, Sally Whitney Goodfellow, and the Whitney Research Group.

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