Family:Whitney, William Hildreth (1815-a1850)

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William Hildreth Whitney (Aaron, [poss.] Jonathan5, Samuel4, John3, Benjamin2, John1), son of Aaron and Betsey (Hildreth) Whitney, was born 4 or 7 Oct 1815, Industry, ME,[1][2] and died after 11 Feb 1890, Piscataquis Co., ME.

Marriage intentions were published 22 Oct 1842, Sebec, ME, for him "Mr." "of Sebec" and "Miss" Mary V. Morrill "of Sebec".[3] He "Mr." married, 10 Nov 1842, Sebec, ME, "Miss" Mary V. Morrill, both of Sebec.[4] She was born 30 Dec 1819,[5] Augusta, ME, daughter of John and Abbie (Varney) Morrill. She died 25 Apr 1911, Dover-Foxcroft, ME. Both are buried in the Brown (Old Dover Village) Cemetery in Dover-Foxcroft.

On 29 Apr 1845 was recorded William H. Whitney’s mark for sheep: a swallow tail in the left ear.[6]

The following is an analysis of the historical records which support the identity of William H. Whitney of Sebec, Maine as William Hildreth Whitney, the son of Aaron and Betsey Whitney of Guilford, Piscataquis Co., Maine. Evidence is also presented concerning the identity of his wife, Mary V. (Morrill) Whitney.

The vital records of Guilford, Piscataquis Co., Maine include the registration of the birth dates of the children of Aaron and Betsey Whitney. In this recording, William Hildrith (sp.) Whitney is recorded as being born in Industry, Maine on October 7th 1815. There is no Aaron Whitney family record in the vital records of Industry, or any mention of any births to them there.

Sometime after the birth of his last child in 1858, William had recorded in the vital records of Sebec, Maine the birth dates of his children. Also included in this record are the birth dates for William H. and Mary V. Whitney. William H. Whitney is recorded as being born Oct. 4, 1815. Mary V. Whitney is recorded as being born Dec. 29, 1819.

It is now noted that there is a discrepancy of three days in the birth dates provided for William. This is not the only discrepancy in the records, and this type of discrepancy is commonly found in the sometimes confusing old records in the State of Maine.

Further complicating the evidence is the grave marker on the grave of William and Mary Whitney in the Brown Yard (Old Dover Village Cemetery) in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. The grave marker is inscribed with the birth and death dates for both parties. It is inscribed that William H. Whitney was born Oct. 4, 1817, and died Feb. 11, 1890. It is inscribed that Mary Morrill Whitney was born Dec. 30, 1819, and died Apr. 25, 1911. Note that in this record, William is now two years younger, and Mary one day younger, than in previous records.

No death record for William H. Whitney has yet been found, other than the grave marker. It does not appear in the Sebec or Dover-Foxcroft records. The death record for Mary V. Whitney appears in the vital records of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. It states that she died in Dover on 25 April 1911 of Arteriosclerosis Premidiate. She died at the age 92 years, 3 months, and 26 days. This makes her date of birth 30 December 1818, one year older than in previous record. The informant for this information was not a family member, but C. C. Hall, MD of Dover. She was born in Augusta, Maine, the daughter of Moses and Abbie (Varney) Morrill.

The obituary of Mary V. Whitney appears in the Thursday, April 27, 1911 edition of the Piscataquis Observer newspaper in Dover, Maine. Here, her daughter, Mrs. Frank E. Waterman, states that her mother died at the age of 92 years, 4 months, seemingly supporting the information on the death record (which probably originally came from her). The obituary states that Mary was born in Augusta, one of a family of nine children. The obituary also says that after the death of her husband, she and her grandson, Edward E. Whitney moved to Dover. So, even though he is buried in Dover, he may not have died there.

It is difficult to conclude which information is correct, and which is not. The recording of William's birth date in Guilford is further complicated by another glaring probable error in recording. Aaron and Betsey Whitney are recorded as both being born in exactly the same town on exactly the same date: 10 September 1774 in Lewiston, Maine. Although not out of the realm of possibility, it must be assumed to be a clerical error by the Town Clerk in copying the record. Therefore, the day of William's birth can also be suspect in light of other records.

It appears from the records that William understood his birthday to be October 4, not 7. It is recorded as 4 when reported to the Sebec Town Clerk, and on his grave marker. As to the year of birth on the grave marker, the engraver or informant almost certainly made on error, as the other records are consistent with 1815 in both Sebec and Guilford. As to Mary, whether she was born in 1818 or 1819 is problematical. The only record supporting 1819 is in Sebec, when her children were recorded. It appears that no record for the Moses Morrill family was made in Sebec. Otherwise, the evidence supports 1818, although that information seems to come from the same source, her daughter.

Although the records are contradictory in many cases, the contradictions are not major. Whether William was born on October 7 as recorded in Guilford, or on October 4 as he seemingly believed, William H. Whitney of Sebec appears to convincingly be William Hildreth Whitney, and the son of Aaron and Betsey Whitney of Guilford based on the unlikely scenario that another William H. Whitney was also born on one of those two dates.

Obituary in the Piscataquis Observer dated Thursday, 27 April 1911:

Death of Mrs. Mary M. Whitney
The passing away of Mrs. Mary Morrill Whitney occurred at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Frank E. Waterman, during the early hours of Tuesday morning, at the advanced age of 92 years and 4 months. She had been in failing health for many years, gradually losing her strength of body as well as mind, but owing to her strong constitution the breakdown came slowly. Two weeks ago she fell in the house and sustained a fractured rib, from which she never rallied, becoming unconscious for several days before the end came.
Mrs. Whitney was born in Augusta, and was one of a family of nine children. She moved to Sebec in early life and there married Wm. H. Whitney. Nine children were born to them, of whom the following survive: Mrs. D. D. Whiteck of Sacramento, Calif., Mrs. A. W. Livermore of Milo, Mrs. Waterman of this place, Albert C. and Joseph H. Whitney of East Corinth and Frank Whitney of Bangor. Her husband's death occurred 21 years ago, after which she and her grandson, Edward E. Whitney, who had lived with her since boyhood, moved to this place. She made her home with him here until 5 years ago when she went to live with Mrs. Waterman.
In her younger years Mrs. Whitney was looked upon by the people of Sebec as a veritable ministering angel, for wherever sickness, no matter of how grave a nature, visited the neighborhood, or sorrow came to the households in that vicinity, her services were always sought and never refused. She was cheerful, bright, thoughtful, and kind and had many friends. During the last years of her life, when old age crept upon her and beclouded her mind, a souce of deepest regret to all who knew her, she was most tenderly cared for by her grandson and later her daughter, everything possible being done for her comfort.
Mrs. Whitney has one sister, Mrs. L. A. Terry, who resides in San Francisco, Calif., also two brothers, Joseph and Benjamin Morrill, residents of Washington State. She is survived also by 22 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at the Waterman home Thursday at one o'clock, Rev. W.A. Kelley officiating. Interment will be made in the Dover village cemetery.

Children of William Hildreth and Mary V. (Morrill) Whitney:

i. William Whitney, b. 27 Aug 1843, Sebec, ME;[7] m.(1) Rozilla Goff; m.(2) Hattie Ruth Nevers.
ii. Mary A. Whitney, b. 27 Mar 1845, Sebec, ME;[8] m. Daniel D. Whitbeck of Sacramento, CA.
iii. Benjamin M. Whitney, b. 6 Jan 1847, Sebec, ME;[9] m. Isabel R. Powers.
iv. Joseph H. Whitney or Joseph M. Whitney, b. 14 Feb 1849, Sebec, ME;[10] m. Annie F. Hall.
v. Sarah E. Whitney, b. 17 Mar 1851, Sebec, ME.[11]
vi. Ada G. Whitney, b. 10 May 1853, Sebec, ME;[12] m. Andrew W. Livermore of Milo, ME.
vii. Eliza J. Whitney, b. 29 Dec 1855, Sebec, ME;[13] m. 5 Oct 1875, Sebec, ME (recorded Dover-Foxcroft, ME), Frank Elwin Waterman.[14]
viii. Albert C. Whitney b. 29 Mar 1858, Sebec, ME;[15] m. Allie E. Chandler.
ix. Frank S. Whitney, b. 28 Dec 1860, Sebec, ME;[16] m. Lucy L. Brockway.

Edward Whitney, b. 12 Oct 1868, ME, is really their grandson, who lived with them after the death of his father, their son William, who m. Rosa Goff.

Census

131 131 Wm. H. Whitney 34 M - Farmer $400 Maine Mary V. " 32 F - " Wm. " 6 M - " Attended school Mary A. Whitney 5 F - Maine Attended school Benjn. M. " 3 M - " Jos. H. " 1 M - "

37 37 William H. Whitney 44 M - Farmer $600 $400 Maine Mary V. " 41 F - " William " 17 M - " Attended school Mary A. " 15 F - " Attended school Benj. M. " 13 M - " Attended school Joseph M. " 11 M - " Attended school Sarah E. " 9 F - " Attended school Ada G. " 7 F - " Eliza J. " 5 F - " Albert C. " 2 M - "

193 191 Whitney, William H. 54 M W Farmer $1000 $700 Maine Male citizen over 21 -----, Mary F. 51 F W Keeping house Maine -----, Ada J. 17 F W Domestic Servant Maine Attended school -----, Eliza J. 15 F W At home Maine Attended school Whitney, Albert R. 12 M W Attending school Maine Attended school -----, Frank 9 M W " " Maine Attended school

William WHITNEY 64 Self M M W ME Farmer ME ME Mary WHITNEY 55 Wife F M W ME Keeping House ME ME Edward WHITNEY 12 Son M S W ME At Home ME ME

Benjamin GILMAN 81 Self M M W NH Farmer NH NH Alice K. GILMAN 69 Wife F M W ME Keeping House ME ME Albert WHITNEY 22 Oth M S W ME Farm Laborer ME ME Charles PAGE 20 Oth M S W ME Farm Laborer ME ME Ada WHITNEY 27 Oth F S W ME Servant ME ME

88 98 Whitney, Edw. E. Head W M Oct 1869 30 mar 10 Maine Maine Maine Register of Deeds, Rents house -----, Ella D. Wife W F Mar 1867 33 mar 10 1ch 0liv Maine Maine Maine -----, Mary V. GMth W F Dec 1819 80 wid 9ch 8liv Maine New Hampshire New Hampshire 99 Dexter, Frank M. Head W M May 1853 47 mar 21 Maine Maine Maine Spinner wool mill, Rents house Dexter, Clara C. Wife W F Jul 1860 39 mar 21 0ch 0liv Maine Maine Maine

References

1.^  "William Hildrith Whitney, [son of Aaron and Betsey (Hildreth),] born in Industry October 7th 1815," according to Guilford, Maine, Vital Records.

2.^  "William H. Whitney, b. 4 October 1815," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

3.^  "Mr. William H. Whitney of Sebec and Miss Mary V. Morrill of Sebec published October 22 [1842]. Certificate issued November 10th 184[2]," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

4.^  "November 10, 1842, joined in the banns of matrimony Mr. William H. Whitney and Miss Mary Morrill, both of this town. H.G.C. Morrison, J.P.," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

5.^  "Mary V. Whitney, b. 29 December 1819," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

6.^  "April 29, 1845. William H. Whitney’s mark for sheep: a swallow tail in the left ear," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

7.^  "William Whitney [s. of William H. and Mary V.], b. 27 August 1843," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

8.^  "Mary A. Whitney [d. of William H. and Mary V.], b. 27 March 1845," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

9.^  "Benjamin M. Whitney [s. of William H. and Mary V.], b. 6 January 1847," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

10.^  "Joseph M. Whitney [s. of William H. and Mary V.], b. 14 February 1849," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

11.^  "Sarah E. Whitney [d. of William H. and Mary V.], b. 17 March 1851," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

12.^  "Ada G. Whitney [d. of William H. and Mary V.], b. 10 May 1853," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

13.^  "Eliza J. Whitney [d. of William H. and Mary V.], b. 29 December 1855," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

14.^  "Mr. F. E. Waterman of Foxcroft and Miss Eliza J. Whitney of Sebec married 3 October 1875 at Sebec. Edwin Parker, Minister of the Gospel," according to Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, Vital Records.

15.^  "Albert C. Whitney [s. of William H. and Mary V.], b. 29 March 1858," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.

16.^  "Frank Whitney [s. of William H. and Mary V.], b. 28 December 1860," according to Sebec, Maine, Vital Records.


Copyright © 2009-2011, Kenneth L. Whitney, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.

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