Family:Whitney, Phinehas (1740-1819)

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Rev. Phinehas6 Whitney (William5, William4, Nathaniel3, John2, John1), son of William5 and Hannah (Harrington) Whitney, was born 23 Apr 1740, Weston, MA,[1] was baptized 11 May 1740, Weston, MA,[2] and died 13 Dec 1819, Shirley, MA, in his 80th year.[3]

Marriage intentions were published 25 Mar 1762, Weston, MA, for him "Mr." "of Weston" and "Mrs." Miriam Willard "of Harvard".[4] He "Mr." "of Weston" married firstly, 28 Apr 1762, Weston, MA, "Mrs." Miriam Willard,[5] daughter of Moses and Susannah (Hastings) Willard. She was born 25 Sep 1740, Lunenburg, MA, and died 20 Mar 1769, Shirley, MA, in her 29th year.[6]

Marriage intentions were published 3 Mar 1770, Shirley, MA, for him "Rev." and Lydia Bowes "of Groton" "of Bedford".[7] He "Rev." "of Shirley" married secondly, 19 Apr 1770, Brookline, MA, Lydia Bowes,[8] a cousin of John Hancock, daughter of Nicholas and Lucy (Hancock) Bowes. She was born 17 Dec 1749, Bedford, MA, and died 11 Oct 1805, Shirley, MA, in her 56th year.[9]

Marriage intentions were published 19 Feb 1809, Shirley, MA, for him "Rev." and "Mrs." Jeane Gaffield "of Fitchburg".[10] He "of Shirley" married thirdly, 8 Mar 1809, Fitchburg, MA, "Mrs." Jane (Nichols) Garfield,[11] daughter of Israel and Desire (Holbrook) Nichols. She was born 24 Feb 1747, Lancaster, MA, and died 4 Mar 1824, Peterborough, NH. She had married firstly, 18 Apr 1771, Petersham, MA, Elijah Garfield. The last died 21 Mar 1794, Fitchburg, MA.

It was some eight years after the meeting house in Shirley had been prepared for use before a ministry had been established, the pulput, meantime, being supplied by transient preachers and regular candidates. On 25 Feb 1762, Mr. Phinehas Whitney received an unanimous call to settle, on the following terms: First, he was to receive £133 6s 8d as a settlement, one-half to be paid in three months and the rest within a year. Second, he was to receive £53 13s 4d as a salary, to be raised to L60 when the town should have seventy-five families. Third, he was annually to receive twenty cords of wood, to be cut and brought to his door. These preliminaries being adjusted, Mr. Whitney was ordained 23 Jun 1762. The ministry of Mr. Whitney, which lasted for more than half a century, was one of general peace and prosperity. He had the confidence of his people, and between him and them a good degree of harmony was maintained. He was also favorably considered abroad, was frequently invited to sit in ecclesiastical councils, to assist in the settlement of clergymen, and was noted for his decisions and firmness. In the trying period of the American Revolution, when the people of the town found themselves unable to pay his full salary, he bore the deprivations with calm resignation, and even contributed of his private resources toward the expense of the war what would have been an equitable tax on his property had that property been legally taxed. Mr. Whitney was a classmate and particular friend of Rev. Zabdiel Adams, of Lunenburg, and preached the funeral sermon at the burial of that distinguished divine. In his doctrinal views Mr. Whitney assented to many of the tenets that were imported in the Mayflower, yet maintained a becoming liberality toward fellow Christians of other names. He seemed rooted and grounded in the noble principles of Armenian Congregationalism, and believed that on these principles the church militant could be most surely estabilished. He was graduated from Harvard in 1759, and died in 1819, after having entered the fifty-seventh year of his ministry. For several of the later years of his life he was deprived, by paralysis, of ability to peform his pulpit labors, and had the assistance of a colleague from 1815 until within a few months of his death.

Mrs. Whitney's father Lieut. Moses Willard, was born in Lancaster about 1702. He resided in Groton on a farm near the Nonaicocius purchase and bounding in part on the brook. He purchased in Groton in 1723, and dwelt in that town until 1732. About 1733 he removed to Lunenburg and there joined Captain, afterward Colonel, Josiah Willard in obtaining from the Province of Massachusetts the grant of the town of Winchester and become one of the grantees. A new charter was obtained from the Province of New Hampshire in 1753, it having been ascertained to be within the limits of the latter province. Much of his time seems to have been passed in the new township and in guarding the frontier at Fort Dummer and Ashuelot. He was an early inhabitatnt of Charlestown No. 4, a frontier town particularly exposed to attack from the French and Indians. And so it happened in the old French war, that, on the 18th of June, 1756, when Lieut. Moses Willard with his son of the same name, was at work upon his farm, within sight of the fort, the Indians made a sudden attack upon them. The father fell mortally wounded. The Indians pursued the son and wounded him with a spear; but he succeeded in making his escape, carrying the spear with him into the fort. Lieut. Moses had two children and the sufferings of the family did not begin with the death of the father or the wound of the son. In Aug. 1754, on a previous attack the daughter Susannah, wife of James Johnson and her sister Miriam, a young girl of fourteen, afterward the wife of Rev. Phinehas Whitney, of Shirley, were with several others taken captive and carried through the wilderness to Canada. Mrs. Johnson published a narration of her captivity, which contains many interesting recitals. Moses Willard was the son of Simon and Mary (Whitcomb) Willard, and this Simon was a son of Henry and Mary (Lakin) Willard, and his Henry was the fourth son of Major Simon. He resided Shirley, MA.

Mr. Phinehas Whitney, was admitted to the church 23 Nov 1760, and was dismissed to Shirley, 13 Jun 1762.[12]

Children of Phinehas6 and Lydia (Bowse) Whitney:

i. Thomas7 Whitney, b. 19 Mar 1771, Shirley, MA;[13] m. Henrietta Parker.
ii. Nicholas Bowes Whitney, b. 21 Mar 1772, Shirley, MA;[14] m. Ann Adams.
iii. Lydia Whitney, b. 8 Sep 1773, Shirley, MA;[15] m. 8 Jan 1804, Shirley, MA, John Watson, "of Amhurst, N.H."[16] She d. 7 Feb 1853, leaving 6 ch.
iv. Elizabeth Whitney, b. 8 Nov 1775, Shirley, MA;[17] m. ("of Shirley" int. 7 Apr 1805, Bolton, MA)[18] 1 May 1808, Shirley, MA, Dr. Amos Parker of Bolton, MA;[19] had 3 ch.
v. William Whitney, b. 30 Oct 1778, Shirley, MA;[20] m.(1) Elizabeth Fiske; m.(2) Martha Symonds.
vi. Rebecca Cooke Whitney, b. 2 Sep 1781, Shirley, MA;[21] d. 1874, Essex Village, NY; m. ("of Shirley" int. 11 Feb 1801, Winchendon, MA[22]) 16 May 1801, Shirley, MA, Deacon William Bellamy Merriam "of Bedford";[23] had 4 ch. She was the mother of Gen. William S. Merriam who was father of Col. John L. Merriam of St. Paul, (he d. there 12 Jan 1895; obituary in St. Paul Sunday Globe, Jan. 13, 1895), who was the father of ex-Governor William R. Merriam of St. Paul, as ex-Governor of Minnesota.
vii. Phinehas Sullivan Whitney, b. 6 Jul 1785, Shirley, MA;[24] m.(1) Lucy Cobb; m.(2) Julia Robinson; m.(3) Eliza Collard.
viii. Sarah Whitney, b. 19 Dec 1787, Shirley, MA;[25] unmarried
ix. Clarissa Whitney, b. 2 Dec 1790, Shirley, MA;[26] m. 4 May 1815, Shirley, MA, Henry Isaacs;[27] had 3 ch.
x. Charles Whitney, b. 2 Jan 1794, Shirley, MA; bapt. 5 Jan 1794, Shirley, MA;[28] m. Dolly Davenport


132 150 Henrietta Whitney 75 F - $3200 Mass. Sally " 62 F - " Thomas " 50 M - Farmer $12000 " Charlotte B. " 50 F - " Thomas E. " 24 M - Trader " Geo. Barrett 32 M - " $2000 " Charles " 24 M - " " Jonas Longley Jr. 19 M - Clerk " Bridget Barny 22 F - Ireland

181 170 Thomas Whitney 60 M - Farmer $8000 $700 Massachusetts Sally B. 60 F - " Henrietta 85 F - $5000 " Sally 70 F - " Clarisa Isaacs 68 F - $1000 " George Ahlan 16 M - Farm laborer Mass. Margeret ONeal 18 F - Servant Ireland


1.^  "Phinehas [Whitney], s. William and Hannah, [born] Apr. 23, 1740," according to Mary Frances Peirce, Town of Weston. Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1707-1850. 1703--Gravestones--1900. Church Records, 1709-1825. Appendix and Addenda, Cent Society, Gleanings from the Town Files, Bits of Genealogy, Error, Indexes, &c. (Boston, MA: McIncloe Bros., Printers, 1901), page 69.

2.^  "Phinehas [Whitney], s. William and Hannah (dec'd), b. Apr. 24, bap. May 11, 1740," according to Weston Vital Records, page 434.

3.^  "Phinehas [Whitney], Rev., [died] Dec. 13, 1819, in 80th y., G.R.1," according to Vital Records of Shirley, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1918).

4.^  "Phinehas [Whitney], Mr., of Weston, and Mrs. Miriam Willard of Harvard, int. Mar. 25, 1762," according to Weston Vital Records, page 106.

5.^  "Phinehis [Whitney], Mr., of Weston, and Mrs. Miriam Willard, [married] Apr. 28, 1762, by Rev. Samuel Woodward," according to Weston Vital Records, page 115.

6.^  "Mariam [Whitney], w. Rev. Ph[i]n[eha]s, [died] Mar. 20, 1769, in 29th y. [Miriam, G.R.1]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

7.^  "Phin[eha]s (W[torn]) [Whitney, T.C.] [Whitney], Rev., and Mrs. [Miss, T.C.] Lydia Bowes of [torn]ton [Groton, T.C.], int. Mar. 3, 1770. [Whitney and Lydia Bowes of Bedford, m. ----, B.R.]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

8.^  "Rev. Phineas [Whitney] of Shirley and Lydea Bowes [int. Lydia], Apr. 19, 1770. In Brookline," according to Registry Department of the City of Boston, A Volume of Records Relating to the Early History of Boston, Containing Boston Marriages from 1752 to 1809 (Boston, MA: Rockwell and Churchill, 1903), p. 329.

9.^  "Lydia [Whitney], w. Phin[eha]s, [died] Oct. 11, 1805, in 56th y. [w. Rev. Phinehas, in 57th y., G.R.1]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

10.^  "Phenehas, Rev., and Mrs. Jeane Gaffield of Fitchburg, int. Feb. 19, 1809," according to Shirley Vital Records.

11.^  "Rev. Phinehas [Whitney] of Shirley to Jane Garfield, [married] Mar. 8, 1809," according to Walter A. Davis, comp., Old Records of the Town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts (Fitchburg, MA: Fitchburg City Council, 1898-1913), vol. III, p. 82. Also, "Phenehas, Rev., and Jane Garfield, m. Mar. 8, 1809, B.R.," according to Shirley Vital Records.

12.^  "Phinehas [Whitney], Mr., c.m. Nov. 23, 1760, dism. to Shirley, June 13, 1762," according to Weston Vital Records, page 475.

13.^  "Thomas [Whitney], s. Rev. Phinehas and Lydia, [born] Mar. 19, 1771. [dup. Mar. 21, B.R.]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

14.^  "Nicholas Bowes [Whitney], s. Rev. Phinehas and Lydia, [born] Mar. 21, 1772," according to Shirley Vital Records.

15.^  "Lydia [Whitney], d. Rev. Phineas and Lydia, [born] Sept. 8, 1773," according to Shirley Vital Records.

16.^  "Lydia [Whitney] and John Watson of Amhurst, N.H., [married] Jan. 8, 1804," according to Shirley Vital Records.

17.^  "Elizabeth (Whitnay) [Whitney], d. Rev. Phinehas and Lydia, [born] Nov. 8, 1775," according to Shirley Vital Records.

18.^  "Eliza [Whitney] of Shirley and Dr. Amos Parker, int. April 7, 1805," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Bolton, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (1910).

19.^  "Elizabeth [Whitney] and Dr. Amos Parker of Bolton, [married] May 1, 1805," according to Shirley Vital Records.

20.^  "William [Whitney], s. Rev. Phin[eha]s and Lydia, [born] Oct. 30, 1778. [dup. Oct. 31, B.R.]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

21.^  "Rebecca Cooke [Whitney], d. Rev. Phineas and Lydia, [born] Sept. 2, 1781. [dup. July 2, B.R.]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

22.^  "Rebeccah Cook [Whitney] of Shirley and William Bellamy Merriam, int. Feb. 11, 1801," according to Franklin P. Rice, ed., Vital Records of Winchendon, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (1909).

23.^  "Rebeccah [int. Rebecah] Cook [Whitney] and William Bellamy Miriam of Bedford [int. Merriam of Winchenton], [married] May 16, 1801. [Rebecca Clark [dup. Cooke] Whitney and William Bellamy Merriam of Winchindon [dup. Meriam of Bedford], B.R.]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

24.^  "Phinehas Sullivon [Whitney], s. Rev. Phinehas and Lydia, [born] July 6, 1785," according to Shirley Vital Records.

25.^  "Sarah [Whitney], d. Rev. Phinehas and Lydia, [born] Dec. 19, 1787," according to Shirley Vital Records.

26.^  "Clarissa [Whitney], d. Rev. Phinehas and Lydia, [born] ---. [Dec. 2, 1790, B.R.]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

27.^  "Clarissa [int. Clarrissa] [Whitney] and Henry Isaacs of Mason, N.H., [married] May 4, 1815. [Clarissa, B.R.]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

28.^  "Charles [Whitney], s. Rev. Phinehas and Lydia, [born] Jan. --. [bp. Jan. 5, 1794, B.R. b. Jan. 2, 1794, G.R.1.]," according to Shirley Vital Records.

Copyright © 2006, 2008, 2013, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.