Family:Whitney, Isaac L. (1794-1834)

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Isaac's Locations

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Isaac L. Whitney (Whitneys of SC, possibly Francis, possibly Francis, possibly Francis, possibly Joshua3, David2, Samuel1), parentage unproven (but see Notes, below), was born 1775-1794,[1] probably in South Carolina, and died 10 June 1834, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).[2]

He married, in The Cherokee Nation East (Alabama), before 1829, Elizabeth "Betsey" Thompson, daughter of John "Jack" Thompson and Elizabeth Murrell.[3] She was born about 1814, and died before 1851, Illinois District, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).[4]

Isaac L. Whitney is first mentioned in deed records in Edgefield County, South Carolina.

5 February 1815 Andrew Gomillion to John Gomillion indenture in consideration of One Hundred dollars paid in hand by John Gomillion. Andrew Gomillion sold 165 acres on the waters of Shaw Creek as surveyed by David Burk. /s/ Andrew Gomillion Wit: /s/Lovet Gomillion; /s/ I. L. Whitney. Proved: 29 January 1816 by Lovet Gomillion. Recorded 5 June 1823. [5]

15 February 1815 For Two hundred dollars in hand paid, Andrew Gomillion sold John Gomillion 200 acres on the waters of Horse Pen Pond where Andrew lately resided. /s/ Andrew Gomillion. Wit: /s/ Lovet Gomillionl; /s/ I. L. Whitney. Proved: 27 January 1810 [1816?] by Lovet Gomillion who saw Isaac L. Whitney sign as witness.[6]

15 February 1815 For Three hundred and fifty dollars paid in hand, Andrew Gomillion sold to John Gomillion 92 acres on line running through Andrew Gomillion's pond and adjoining lands of the widow of Carpender Gomillion, William Nicols. /s/ Andrew Gomillion. Wit: /s/ Lovet Gomillion, /s/ I. L. Whitney Proved: 27 January 1816 by Lovet Gomillion who saw Andrew Gomillion and Isaac L. Whitney sign. [7]

3 July 1815 William Riley and J. L. Whitney were grated 1000 acres on the South Edisto River, Barnwell District. The survey was done by Thomas Cargill. Adjoining land owners were named as Richard Jones and Mathew Wilkinson. The 'J. L.' Whitney noted on this grant was probably I. L. Whitney (Isaac L. Whitney) since both William Riley and Richard Jones were named in a subsequent lawsuit by Isaac L. Whitney. [8]

Court of Common Pleas

Barnwell District

South Carolina

Isaac L. Whitney vs. Richard Jones

Richard Jones was attached to answer Isaac L. Whitney in a plea of trespass. Mr. Whitney by John M. Felder, his attorney, compains that Richard Jones and one William Riley on the 17th day of February, 1816, at the Court House in Barnwell made a promissory note in writing for $417.05 to be repaid on or before January 1, 1817. Neither of them have paid the said sum of money or any part of it to Isaac Whitney. Now he is asking a judgement of $1000....sheriff H. D. Duncan of Barnwell District was ordered to attach the body of Richard Jones and compel him to appear in the Court of Common Pleas on the first Monday after the fourth Monday in March to answer to Isaac L. Whitney on this case. Jury trial filed for the plantiff $417.05 with interest thereon from the 1st of Janurary 1817. Judgement signed the 29th of May 1818 and Fi.FA. the same day. Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas was Orgamey. C. Allen. After this date, Richard Jones had levied on his property....and ordered to pay the amount in October 1818. Signed by James Hagood, Foreman.[9]

Isaac L. Whitney was noted on the 1820 Census for St. Matthews (Orangeburg) South Carolina. Isaac and his brother, Hiram C. Whitney, were in North Alabama by probably, no later than, the summer of 1827. At some point prior to leaving South Carolina, Isaac L. Whitney was stated to have been the guardian of Peter M. Butler.

17 March 1831
Discharge of Guardianship
Orangeburg District
South Carolina
I the undersigned formerly a ward of Isaac L. Whitney
after attaining full age have settled the guardianship
account of the said Whitney and received from
John C. Kennerly as security to the guardian
high bond of said Whitney and from
William L. Lewis who is representative to
James Steward who was also security to the
same Bond for said Whitney pay respective Portion.
Wherefore by these presents I do acquit and discharge
the said John G. Kennerly and William L. Lewis
from all claim liability or demand on act of said
guardianship as witness my hand and seal on the
day and date above written.
Peter M. Butler
Signed and sealed in the presence of
H. Murroar.[10]

Isaac L. Whitney lived in the Cherokee Nation in North Alabama, but as many other white men, he used the neighboring Blount County Alabama court system when necessary.

In 1829, Isaac L. Whitney did the Inventory of the Estate of James Scott in Blount County, Alabama. He also appears on a listing of people who owned money to the estate. November-December 1827, Isaac borrowed $6.00 from James Scott. The notation stated "..due 25th next December (1828)". [11] Also appearing on this listing with Isaac Whitney are Hezekiah B. Posey and Moses M. Posey who were known close neighbors of the Whitney's in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

In February 1829, Issac L. Whitney filed assult charges against Owen Brady. Isaac was apparently not physically able to appear in court on this day.

February - 1829 - 7th day
Blount County
The State of Alabama
Isaac Whitney against Owen Brady
This day came the plaintiff by his attorney and defendant being solmnly called came not but made default. Therefore on motion of the plantiff it is considered by the Court that Judgement be entered for the plantiff against the said Defendant, but because it is not known what damages the said Plantiff hath sustained by reason of his injuries let a Jury come here at the present term of this Court and enquire of the damges aforesaid and therefore upon came a Jury. To wit......and having heard the evidence upon their oath, do say, that they assess the damages herein to three hundred and thirty three dollars.
Court adjourned til Court in course
Patrick Scott
Judge [12]

nunahi-duna-dlo-hilo-i ("the trail where they cried")

Sometime in March or April, 1834, Isaac Whitney, his pregnant wife Betsey, and their children, boarded the Steamship, Thomas Yeatman, at Guntersville Landing, on the Tennessee River, in Alabama, bound for what was called the "new country" (Indian Territory). They were traveling in the detachment of Lt. J. W. Harris.[13] Their emigration was completely voluntarily. They were paid, by the Federal Government, a commutation allowance, which included approximately $2,000, for the improvements, on their lands.[14]

The family is Isaac Whitney is listed in The Cherokee Emigration Rolls 1819-1835, in the company of Lt. Joseph Harris:

Betsy Whitney: (3) Arr. May 16, 1834 (one male
and female under 10. 1 female between 10-25).
2 died on the way and 1 birth june 9 1834.
Isaac S. Whitney: (1) Arr June 10 1834 (One male 25-:50). Arrived June 10 1834. Dead.[15]


In the claim of the heirs of John Thompson, who took a reservation under the Treaty of 1817.

Elizabeth Thompson, the widow of Alexander Thompson, deceased, who was a son of the reservee appears before the Commission, April 8, 1845 and testifies as follows:

"In the year 1817, I lived upon his (John Thompson) place and was married to his son, Alexander. He (John Thompson) then occupied the place upon which he took the reservation on the north side of the Tennessee River opposite Fort Deposite upon which he had a valuable ferry called Thompson's Ferry. As near as I can recollect (from my children's ages) he (John Thompson) left his reservation in the year 1827 and he removed his family directly across the river to the house my husband had built there 10 years before and from there emigrated west in the fall of 1829. When he emigrated to this country, he left his ferry in possession of Elizabeth (one of his daughter's by his last wife). She was then married to Isaac Whitney and is now the wife of Robert Runnion, as already stated. They lived there upwards of a year and then the brother of Whitney (a white man) took possession.[16]

Following the death of Isaac Whitney, his widow married after 10 June 1834, Robert Runyan. The older children Marien Joseph Whitney and Ruth Whitney are later, on the Dawes Final Rolls (1895), referred to as Joseph Runyan and Ruth Runyan, both noted as "dead, no issue".[17] A review of all collected data for the Whitney, Thompson, and Runyan Families strongly suggest that these 2 people are the children who removed from Alabama to Indian Territory with their parents, Isaac and Betsey Whitney. However, this fact cannot be proved at this time.

Children of Isaac L. and Betsy (Thompson) Whitney:

i. Marien Joseph Whitney, b. 1829, Alabama, d. aft 1850.
ii. Ruth Whitney, b. 1830, Alabama, d. before 1890.
iii. Mariah Whitney, b. 9 Jun 1834, Indian Territory; d. after 1900; m. ----- Gore/Goree.[18]


Although Isaac's parentage has not yet been identified, DNA analysis has shown that he is a descendant of or otherwise genetically related to Samuel1 Whitney of Bermuda. Isaac L. had a brother named Hiram C. Whitney.

There appears to have been some connection, perhaps father & son, or some other relationship, between Isaac L. Whitney and Samuel Whitney (c1765-a1820) and/or Francis Whitney. Isaac was found in the general location of Shaw Creek off the South Edisto River (between present day cities of Trenton and Johnston, Aiken County, SC) signing deeds with members of the Gomillon family, who were known to have been neighbors of Samuel Whitney.


  • 1800: not found., probably residing with parents
  • 1810: not found., probably residing with parents
  • 1820, St Matthews Parish, Orangeburg Co., SC: Isaac L. Whitney, 1 male 26-44, 1 male 16-17, 1 female over 45, 2 females 10-15; 9 people engaged in agriculture; 2 male slaves 26-44, 1 male slave 14-25, 3 male slaves 0-13, 2 female slaves over 45, 2 female slaves 26-44, 2 female slaves 0-13.
  • 1830: not found.
  • 1840: not found.
  • 1850, Walker Co., AL:

75 75 Thomas L. Reed 36 M - Farmer Tennessee Menerva Reed 40 F - S. Caro Margarett Reed 6 F - Ala Attended school Reuben C. Reed 5 M - Ala Attended school Mary A. R. Reed 2 F - Ala Jim Polk Reed 1/12 M - Ala Marien J. Whitney 21 M - Ala Susanah A. Whitney 17 F - Ala Elizabeth Whitney 15 F - Ala Elhannan Whitney 12 M - Ala Attended school Marion Whitney 21 M - Farmer Ala

"Marien J." is his son Marion, living with Isaac's sister-in-law Minerva.


1. ^  Age range taken from the 1820 Census, St. Matthews, Orangeburg County, South Carolina

2. ^  Noble, Jane B. (year unknown) The River Trail: The Saga of the Cherokee Removal, Park Hall, Oklahoma Cultural Center.

3. ^  Starr, Emmett (1921) History of the Cherokee Indians p.454-456 Thompson Family.

4. ^  As per the research of Patty Woodall, she was not appear with her children on the 1851 Old Settlers Roll, NARA Microfilm M685, Roll 12.

5. ^ Wells, Carol, Edgefield County, South Carolina: Deed Book 40, Published by Heritage Books, 2007, P. 85.

6. ^ Ibid, p. 87.

7. ^ Ibid, p.89.

8. ^ South Carolina Archives; Series: S213192; Volume: 0044; Page00061; Item: 001.

9. ^  Unindexed records. Court of Common Pleas Barnwell District South Carolina, LDS Roll No. 26.

10. ^ This privately held/owned document was found in the William Lynn Lewis Files of the Nell Peterkin Reid Collection currently archived in the Calhoun County Museum, St. Matthews, South Carolina. It was discovered and graciously shared with Jeanne Neilon by Mr. Jeff Reid (grandson of Mrs. Nell Peterkin Reid) of St. Matthews, Calhoun County, South Carolina.

11. ^  Blount Co. Alabma,Orphans Court Minutes 1829-1841,Pages 12-14.

12. ^ Blount County Alabama, Final Court Records, 1820-1835, Page 178, 7 February 1829.

13. ^  Noble, Jane B. (year unknown) The River Trail: The Saga of the Cherokee Removal, Park Hall, Oklahoma Cultural Center.

14. ^  The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

If they signed up for removal between 1817-1835, they received from the U S government to each head of the family a good rifle, a blanket, a kettle, 5 pounds of tobacco, and compensation for all improvements abandoned. All members of the family received a blanket. Each head of household removing at least 4 persons with him received $50. They also paid for the cost of removal and substance for one year afterwards.

15. ^  Baker, Jack D. Cherokee Emigration Rolls 1817-1835. Oklahoma City, OK: Baker Publishing Co, 1977, p. 48.

16. ^  From the private papers of Patty Woodall, Cherokee researcher: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75, Entry 25, Claim #1227, Heirs of John Thompson, Pages 17-24.

17. ^  NARA Microfilm T985, Roll 2, PMT ROll for Old Cherokee Settlers 1895, p. 372.

18. ^  Ibid.

Copyright © 2007, 2010, Jeanne Neilon, Tara Bellomy, Robert L. Ward, and the Whitney Research Group.

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