Family:Whitney, Eli (c1803-a1887)

From WRG
Jump to navigationJump to search

Eli7 Whitney (Enoch6, Moses5, Nathaniel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1), son of Enoch6 and Hannah (Newcomb) Whitney, was born about 1803, Harrison or Brownfield, ME, and died after 1887.

He married firstly, int. 16 Nov 1824, cert. 8 Dec 1824, 3 Jan 1825, Harrison, ME, Ann Hartford.[1] She was born about 1804, ME, and died before 1877.

He married secondly, 3 Dec 1877 or 1878, Chatham, NH, Abigail (Libby) Knight,[2] daughter of William and Hannah (Gould) Libby of Bridgton, ME. She was born 1 Jun 1810, Windham, ME, and died after 1880. She had married firstly, 2 Jun 1838, Joseph S. Knight.

Eli was a farmer.

Children of Eli7 and Ann (Hartford) Whitney:

i. David J.8 Whitney, b. 31 Aug 1825, Harrison, ME; m. Celia Bridget Trainer.
ii. William H. Whitney, b. ca. 1828, Harrison, ME; m. Anna/Annie/Ann E. Scannell.
iii. Sarah A. Whitney, b. ca. 1833, ME; d. after 1850.
iv. Eli Whitney, b. ca. 1835, Naples or Stow, ME; "Jr." m.(1) 16 Mar 1859, Lawrence, MA, Mary J. Brown, b. ca. 1838, Stow, ME, dau. of Samuel and Philinda (-----) Brown;[3]; m.(2) 9 Jan 1867, Chatham, NH, Susan B. Howard,[4] b. ca. 1835, Brownfield, ME, daughter of John and Catherine (-----) Howard.
v. Mary Ellen Whitney, b. ca. 1837, ME; m. 20 Oct 1871, New York, NY, Monville E. Crooker.
vi. Enoch Whitney, b. 24 Sep 1839, Naples, ME; m. Susan Lord.
vii. Huldah E. Whitney, b. ca. 1841, prob. Naples, ME; m. 3 Jun 1860, ME, Elisha J. Brown.
viii. Emily Whitney, b. ca. 1844, ME; d. after 1860.
ix. Maria Whitney, b. ca. 1847, ME; d. after 1850.

Eli7 and Abigail (Libby)(Knight) Whitney had no known children.

Children of Joseph S. and Abigail (Libby) Knight (from 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses):

i. Julia A. Knight, b. ca. 1833, ME.
ii. Simeon Knight, b. ca. 1836, ME.
iii. Betsey E. Knight, b. ca. 1833, ME; m. ----- Lombard.
iv. Rosanna Knight, b. ca. 1838, ME.
v. Emanuel M. Knight, b. ca. 1841, ME.
vi. Lucy A. Knight, b. ca. 1843, ME.
vii. Abby D. Knight, b. ca. 1846, ME.
viii. John P. Knight, b. ca. 1847, ME; m. Margaret -----. Son: George Knight, b. ca. 1869, ME.
ix. Joseph Knight, b. ca. May 1850, ME.


Conjecture for placing Eli Whitney in this family:

At the present time, the question of Eli's ancestry can be answered by argument only, because primary records of the families in question are undiscovered, and probably do not now exist. Several researchers contributed to the solution to this question, and they shall be credited for their contributions.

My proposed ancestor lineage for Eli Whitney is as stated above. The genealogical and historical information concerning the first four members of this lineage is well documented, and it is left to the reader to familiarize themselves with it. The birth of Moses Whitney, the son of Nathaniel and Hannah (Day) Whitney is recorded in the published Vital Records of Biddeford, York Co., ME. Moses was born in Biddeford 17 Mar 1738/9. He was married to Mary "Molly" Page in Falmouth (Cape Elizabeth), Cumberland Co., ME, 6 Sep 1763. A record of the marriage is found in the Maine Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. III, page 101, and is also found in Hugh McLellan's History of Gorham, Maine.

Moses and Molly (Page) Whitney had eight children, all born in Gorham, Cumberland Co., ME, and are documented in the published vital records of that town. Their third child, and first son, Enoch, was born in Gorham 8 Apr 1773. It should be noted that Moses Whitney was married three times, and Molly was his second marriage. He married first Susanna Crockett, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Cobb) Crockett, intentions published in Falmouth 27 December 1760. With Susanna he had one daughter, Susanna, born 29 June 1762. Susannah (Crockett) Whitney died two days after the birth of her daughter. Moses married third Abigail Skillings Kimball, the widow of Caleb Kimball. Moses and Abigail's marriage is recorded in the Gorham vital records, and in Moses' Revolutionary War pension file. They were married in Gorham 22 Jan 1792, and had one child, Sally Whitney, whose birth is recorded in Gorham on 22 Oct 1793.

In the Revolutionary War pension file of Moses Whitney, M-804, Roll #2568, #7953, National Archives, Washington, D.C., there is testimony that Moses and Abigail Whitney moved to Harrison, Cumberland Co., ME, in 1812, and resided there with their daughter Sally and her husband, Rev. Joseph Phinney.

Enoch Whitney, son of Moses and Molly (Page) Whitney, was married first in Gorham to Hannah Newcomb, the daughter of John and Abigail (Young) Newcomb. The intention of marriage was published in Gorham 2 Jun 1792. Primary record sources for their family are still undiscovered, and so secondary sources must be relied upon. The two sources are:

First, Ridlon, Rev. G. T., Early Settlers of Harrison, Maine, with an Historical Sketch of the Settlement, Progress, and Present Condition of the Town, published 1877. It should be noted that Rev. Ridlon's daughter, Anna Decker Ridlon, married Charles Sumner Whitney, the great-grandson of Enoch Whitney.

Second, Whitney, Fairfield, "Some Descendants of John Whitney and Elinor, James Gray and Mary Stinckney, Thomas Caswell and _____, John Nutting and Sarah Eggleton". This manuscript was contributed to this project by Larry Tracy of Kennebunkport, ME. It was photocopied about 1980 by the Harrison Historical Society from papers in the possession of Miriam (Sylvester) Monroe. It was prepared by her uncle, Fairfield9 Whitney, son of Edward Kendall8 Whitney (Freeman7, Enoch6, Moses5, Nathaniel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1) of Harrison. Fairfield9 Whitney was born 20 Feb 1862. The Eli Whitney in question is, therefore, Fairfield9 Whitney's grandfather's brother. The hand printed notations were added by society member, Mary T. Carlson. The few hand written notations were probably done by Mrs. Monroe. In the manuscript, one sentence in the description of the Joseph Phinney farm in Harrison, ME, leads one to believe that the manuscript was written in 1937, when Fairfield9 was 75 years old.

Both authors agree that Enoch6 and Hannah Whitney arrived in Harrison on the Joseph Phinney Farm in 1810. Ridlon says that Enoch lived in Limington, Standish, and Buxton before settling in Harrison. Fairfield Whitney lists Gorham, Limington, Standish, Buxton, Harrison, and Brownfield as his places of residence. Both authors note Enoch's second and third marriages to Mrs. Kendall and Mrs. Dennet, respectively, and his death in Brownfield in 1857. His arrival in Harrison in 1810 pre-dates that of his father, Moses by two years.

Both authors list the same eight children born to Enoch and Hannah:

  1. Daniel, b. in Limington 22 January 1793
  2. Mary, who married William Decker of Casco
  3. Freeman, b. in Standish 9 March 1800
  4. Eunice, b. in Gorham 30 May 1807
  5. Eleazer, b. in Gorham abt. 1809
  6. William, b. Harrison
  7. John, b. Harrison, died young.
  8. Eli

It is unfortunate that neither author notes the place of birth of Eli, but one can deduce that he was born either in Harrison, or in Brownfield. In the widow's claim filed by Celia B. Whitney on her husband's (David J. Whitney) Civil War pension (#158218, National Archives, Washington, D.C.) is a copy of the marriage certificate from the City of Boston, Mass. for David Whitney and Celia Bridget Trayner. David stated that his father was Eli Whitney, and Eli as born in Harrison, ME. The date of David and Celia's marriage was 14 September 1850.

It is very fortunate that Fairfield Whitney (FW), with notations made by Mary T. Carlson (MC), makes further reference to Eli Whitney. After Eli's name, MC makes the note "m. Ann Hartford". FW then says that Eli lived in Stow, ME, and he thinks he remembers Eli visiting Edward K. Whitney, FW's father. FW then goes on to mention Eli's son Enoch, who lived at the head of Crystal Lake and sometimes worked for Edward K. Whitney, FW's father. MC then appends research that she did on Enoch, son of Eli and Ann (Hartford) Whitney. She says that Enoch was born in Naples, ME, 24 Sep 1839, and died in Harrison 14 Oct 1919. The Census of Stow, Maine of 1850 (see above) shows the family of Eli and Ann Whitney of Stow and their nine children. The list of children includes the oldest son, David age 24, and Eli, Jr. age 15 and Enoch age 10.

The Whitney abstracts from the vital records of Chatham, NH, immediately west of Stow, ME, are contributed by David Crouse of Bangor, ME. The following two entries are significant:

Whitney, Eli, Jr.; Stow, ME; 3rd m.; b. Naples, ME; son of Eli and Ann Whitney; and Susan B. Howard; Stow, ME; 1st m.; b. Brownfield, ME; dau. of John & Catherine Howard; m. 9 January 1867.

Whitney, Eli, Stow, ME; age 70; 2nd m.; son of Enoch and Hannah Whitney; and Abigail Knight; Bridgton, ME; age 67; 2nd m.; dau. of William and Hannah Libby; m.3 December 1877.

Here we have the marriage records of both father and son, with Eli, Sr. the son of Enoch and Hannah Whitney. Eli, Jr. is the son of Eli and Ann Whitney (with Ann Hartford being Eli, Sr.'s first marriage). Eli, Jr. was born in Naples, also the birthplace of Enoch, son of Eli and Ann Whitney.

Eli Whitney's first marriage, to Ann Hartford, appears in the published Early Vital Records of Harrison, Maine, section 2, page 12. The record is dated 25 April 1825 in Harrison, and certifies that on 3 January past (1825) Jacob Emerson, Justice of the Peace, solemnized the marriage between Eli Whitney and Ann Hartford.

Missing are the birth records of both Eli Whitney, Sr. and of his children with Ann Hartford. I am indebted to Marion Brooks and her colleagues at the Naples, Maine, Historical Society for researching their records, and to Larry Tracy for introducing me to Marion. According to the Naples Historical Society, all vital records before the year 1857 have been lost. A search of the remaining records yielded nothing about this family. However, the census records of Stow for 1850 seem to establish the members of this family. Since these vital records are lacking, I believe the above argument establishes the lineage of David J. Whitney of Stow, ME. He is the son of Eli7 and Ann (Hartford) Whitney of Stow, Oxford Co., ME, the grandson of Enoch6 and Hannah (Newcomb) Whitney, and the great-grandson of the Revolutionary War soldier, Moses5 Whitney and his wife Molly Page.


18 22 Eli Whitney 47 M - Farmer $600 Maine Ann 47 F - David 24 M - Do William 20 M - Do Sarah A. 17 F - Attended school Eli 15 M - Attended school Mary 13 F - Attended school Enoch 10 F - Attended school Huldah 9 F - Attended school Emily 6 F - Attended school Maria 3 F -

717 2582 David Whitney 24 M - Md. Cecelia B. " 26 F - Ireland James H. " 4 M - Mass. Georgianna " 1 F - " 2583 Charles White 24 M - Teamster N.H. Hessie " 10 F - Ireland John Bradley 18 M - Blacksmith " 2584 William Whitney 22 M - Teamster Md. Ann E. " 20 F - Ireland Mary A. " 2 F - Mass. Ellen B. " 6m F - " 2585 Peter Quigley 24 M - Bootmaker England Sarah A. " 32 F - "

"Md." here should be "Maine". Apparently David and William were brothers living in the same house.

361 360 Eli Whitney 58 M - Farmer $400 $300 " Ann " 58 F - " Eli J. " 25 M - Farmer $300 -- " Emma J. " 16 F - " Attended school

2 2 Whitney, Eli 66 M W Farmer $500 $250 Maine Male citizen over 21 -----, Ann 66 F W Keeps House Maine

280 299 Whitney, Eli 36 M W Farmer $900 $300 Maine Male citizen over 21 -----, Susan B. 37 F " Keeping house " Howard, Catherine 17 " " " " "

Eli WHITNEY 77 Self M M W ME Farmer ME ME Abigail WHITNEY 70 Wife F M W ME Keeping House ME ME George KNIGHT 11 GSon M S W ME At Home ME ME

Eli WHITNEY 45 Self M M W ME Farmer ME ME Susan WHITNEY 48 Wife F M W ME Keeping House ME ME

28 28 Whitney, Eli Head W M Oct 1834 65 mar 23 Maine Maine Maine Farmer, Owns mortgaged farm -----, Susan B. Wife W F Jan 1831 69 mar 23 0ch 0liv Maine Maine Maine


  • Census records.

1.^  Harrison, Maine, Vital Records.

2.^  "Eli Whitney (b. 1808, Standish, ME, s. of Enoch Whitney & Hannah Whitney) & Abagail Knights, m. 3 Dec 1878, Chatham, Carroll Co., NH," according to New Hampshire, Vital Records, Marriage Index.

3.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 126, page 163.

4.^  "Eli Whitney (b. Naples, ME, s. of Eli Whitney & Ann Whitney) & Susan B. Howard, m. 9 Jan 1867, Chatham, Carroll Co., NH," according to New Hampshire, Vital Records, Marriage Index.

Copyright © 2010, 2013-2015, 2017, 2021, Kenneth L. Whitney, Robert L. Ward, and the Whitney Research Group.