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J W.png This WRG Member is a Descendant of the immigrant John Whitney.

My Whitney Line

Edit My Whitney Line

My name is David Charles Bell Fritz and I am a great-grandson of Francis Jane Whitney and Southwick Elias Fritz, via their son, Harry.

It isn't a lot, but I'm always surprised by the "Whitneyana" I do have. One of the things that surprised me, recently, was that I have a book or two that have the signature "Eliza Crane" inside. You may know that she was Francis Jane Whitney Fritz's (Fanny's) friend at Vassar (according to my Great-Aunt Grata), and served as a nurse to her (Fanny's) children. I should catalogue the Whitney-related artifacts in my possession and post the result.

Although I once spent several days at the old Fritz family homestead in Nunda, New York when my Great Aunt Grata and her husband Frank Wagor lived there (1967), my grandfather, Harry Fritz (Grata's brother), moved from Nunda to Minneapolis, Minnesota ca. 1910, where he raised his family. The story that was told to me is that Harry and his brother Bill moved to Minnesota after having a falling out with their father, Southwick. Southwick had spent a winter in Minnesota, once, and vowed that it was so horrible he would never set foot in that state again. Thus, it was the logical place for Harry and Bill to go. I am 57 years old, grew up in Minneapolis, and now live across the river, in St. Paul. I have an ancient collection of tintypes (an entire album) that I hope to have scanned to digital format in the near future.

I have a sign that Erastus Whitney posted in the street-front window of his office, advertising his milling rates. His signature and the date appear at the bottom of the sign, hand-written. If I recall correctly, the year is 1823. I also have an old dictionary, printed in the year 1800, with Whitney signatures in it, and in which there is also a colonial bank note in the sum of so-many shillings redeemable for silver in London. I have Fanny Whitney's Bible, in which there appear birth and death records for some of the family, as well as a photo of Melvin Whitney's mill. I also have some postcards from correspondence between family at Canaseraga, New York, and elsewhere. I hope some day to have all these things scanned so that they can appear on this site at some future date.