Family:Whitney, Shadrach (1698-1764)

From WRG
Jump to navigationJump to search

Shadrach4 Whitney (Jonathan3, Jonathan2, John1), son of Jonathan3 and Sarah (Hapgood) Whitney, was born 12 Oct 1698, Watertown, MA,[1] baptized 22 Sep 1700, Watertown, MA,[2] and died 8 Aug 1764, Groton, MA, in 67th year.[3]

He "of North Town" [Townsend] married, 5 Jan 1731/2, Groton, MA, "widow" Prudence (-----) Lawrence.[4] She died 25 Dec 1762, Groton, MA, in her 68th year.[5] She had married firstly, about 1713, Thomas Lawrence, son of John and Hannah (Tarbell) Lawrence, b. ca. 15 Dec 1691, died 4 Oct 1729, Groton, MA, aged 37 years 9 months 19 days.

He signed a petition on 31 Dec 1746 at Groton, MA.

He left a will dated 20 Jul 1764, Groton, MA; of Groton; brother Amos Whitney; cousin Sible Lakin, daughter of brother Timothy Whitney, decd.; cousin Jonathan Whitney, son of brother Zaccheus Whitney, decd.; Jonathan Herrick and Joseph Herrick, Jr., sons of Joseph Herrick, both under 21, else their brothers and sisters; Timothy Whitney, son of brother Daniel Whitney; Jonathan Lawrance of Groton; Joseph Herrick, "now living on my Land in New Hampshire"; cousin Francis Fullam; "sister Sarah Warren's daughter Anner that married to a Cox"; Submit Woods, daughter of Reuben Woods; cousin Jonathan Parkhist son of my late sister Parkhist decd.; Sarah Lawrence, daughter of Capt. Thomas Lawrence of Groton, under 18; Lois, wife of Joseph Herrick; Edmund Lawrance; James Prescott, Esq., of Groton, executor; witnesses Jonas Farnsworth, Abijah Warren, and Oliver Prescott.

On 14 Aug 1764, Groton, MA, his will was proved.

His tombstone, cited in Epitaphs from the Old Burial Grounds, Groton, MA, by Dr. Samuel Green, "Memento Mori - Here lies the Body of Mr. Shadrach Whitney who departed this Life August the 8th A.D. 1764 in the 67th year of his Age. From death Arrest no Age is free". Also from the Farnsworth Memorial: Author's note: "He made his will a few weeks before his death, and bequeathed to the town the sum of £40, the income to be applied to the support of the minister. His wife died Dec. 25, 1762; they probably had no children."

Pierce says the following:[6]

Shadrach WHITNEY, son of Jonathan WHITNEY, and brother of Amos, the giver of the Townsend parsonage, was born in Watertown, in 1698. He was in Townsend before it was chartered, in 1732. The Groton records contain his marriage: "Jan. 5, 1731-2, Shadrach WHITNEY, of ye North Town to Prudence LAWRENCE." He was rather a prominent man, and served in several committees, appointed by the proprietors, to lay out and apportion the undivided lands equally among them. He lived in that part of the town, which was left in Mason, by the running of the Province line. It appears that in 1753 he had "a house and barn, and about twenty acres cleared and fenced and a young orchard," in that town. He owned lands in Mason, Townsend and Groton. In Aug. 1733, the Townsend proprietors held a meeting "at ye publick meeting house," the principal object of which was "to see if ye said proprietors think it convenient to grant a recompense (to Ephraim SAWTELL) for any land which may be flowed by erecting a dam upon Squannacook river, near ye house of John PATT in order to sett upp mills for the benefit of said Proprietors." A grant of land was awarded to said SAWTELL at that meeting. The following record in connection with that vote is here presented:
"The Subfcriberf whofe namef are underwritten (being diffatisfied with the Vote of ye Proprietorf in granting an Equivolent for Landf which may be flowed of afore Said) have Decented againft ye proceedingf of faid vote. Ebenezer WYMAN, Samuel KENDALL, Amos WHITNEY, Jasher WYMAN, Shadrach WHITNEY.
Atteft: Jasher WYMAN, Proprietor's Clerk.
Some time in the latter part of his life he moved from Mason to Groton, where, on the 20th of July, 1764, he made his will, which was proved, approved, and allowed on the 14th of the following August. After making several bequests to relatives and friends, he gave the town of Groton forty pounds, to be put upon interest "in such a way and manner as they shall think fit, so that the interest thereof may be improved and applied to the support of the ordained minister of the town of Groton, from time to time, forever hereafter."
The WHITNEYs, from that time to the present, have been noted for their liberal donations, both to religious and scientific objects. As in the flowage case cited, they have always done their own thinking, and were always ready to place themselves squarely on the record.

Children of Thomas and Prudence (-----) Lawrence, all born Groton, MA:

i. Prudence Lawrence, b. 14 Sep 1715, Groton, MA; d. 14 Oct 1797, Hollis, NH; m. 30 Jan 1732/3, Groton, MA, Samuel Cummings.
ii. Mary Lawrence, b. 7 Sep 1718 [sic], Groton, MA; bapt. 28 Sep 1717 [sic], Groton, MA; d. 1750, Groton, MA; m. 1 Feb 1738/9, Groton, MA, John Longley, Jr.
iii. Thomas Lawrence, b. 3 Sep 1720, Groton, MA; d. 1758, Lake George, NY; m. 3 Mar or 3 Jul 1743 or 1744, Groton, MA, Sarah Houghton.
iv. Jonathan Lawrence, b. 2 Sep 1725, Groton, MA; d. 12 Apr 1806, Groton, MA, in his 81st year; m. Esther Shed.

Shadrach4 and Prudence (-----)(Lawrence) Whitney had no children.


A possible identification of his wife is with Prudence Hyde, daughter of Samuel and Deliverance (Dana), born 29 Apr 1693, Newton, MA. This is based on her rather unusual first name, her age at death, and the absence of any later history for Prudence Hyde.


1.^  "fhedrick Whitny, s. Jonathan & Sarah Whitny, b. 12 Oct 1698," according to Watertown Records, Comprising the Third Book of Town Proceedings and the Second Book of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, to the End of 1737. Also Plan and Register of Burials in Arlington Street Burying Ground (Watertown, MA: Historical Society, 1900), volume 2, page 13.

2.^  "22 Sep 1700, Shadrach, s. of Jonathan Whitney, bapt.," according to Watertown Records, Comprising East Congregational and Precinct Affairs, 1697 to 1737. Also, Record Book of the Pastors, 1686-1819 (Watertown, MA: Historical Society, 1906), volume 4, page 133.

3.^  "Shaderah [Whitney], [died] Aug. 8, 1764 in his 67th year, G.R.2," according to Vital Records of Groton, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, MA: Essex Institute, 1926-1927).

4.^  "Shadrach [Whitney], of North Town [Townsend] and Prudence Lawrence [wid.], [married] 5 Jan 1731/2," according to Groton Vital Records.

5.^  "Prudence [Whitney], w. Shadrach, [died] Dec. 25, 1762, in her 68th year, G.R.2," according to Groton Vital Records.

6.^  Frederick C. Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635 (Chicago, IL: The Author, 1895), p. 55.

Copyright © 1999, 2008, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group