On or about April 2, 1646, William Whiting of Hartford, in what would later become Connecticut, wrote a Will. He apparently died about July 1647 there in Hartford.I have also found an as-yet unverified statement that William Whiting's widow, Susannah, died July 08, 1673 in Hartford.
I have recently found an abstract of the William Whiting Will at the following source:
"A Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of ...", by Royal Ralph Hinman, at p. 97:
“Whiting, William, Hartford – was a member of the General Court in 1637. The Court ordered him to supply 100 pounds of beef (for Hartford) to carry on the Pequot war, in 1637. He was treasurer of the colony in 1641 to 1647. . . . . . His estate at his decease was over £9000 sterling. In 1649 [DAB: sic—is this a typo for 1647? LDS and World Connect trees all suggest an important date (of Will? Probate? Death? Burial?) of July 24, 1647] he made his will. His children were William, John, Samuel, Sarah, Mary and Joseph. Joseph appears to have been born after the will was made, and he provided for him by a codicil to his will. He had a sister Wiggins who had children. He gave £10 to Margery Parker, £10 to Mr. Hopkins; £10 to Mr. Webster; £10 to the children of Mr. Hooker; £10 to the children of Mr. Stone; £10 to the poor of Hartford; £5 to the town of Hartford; £5 to the poor of Windsor; £5 to the poor of Wethersfield, and £5 to the children of the Rev. H. Smith, of Wethersfield. His son William was a merchant in London, and sold the lands he received by his father to Siborn Nichols, of Witham, in England.”
Please note that the abstract of the Will states that William Whiting had a "sister Wiggins" who had children. Does anyone know who this might have been?She MIGHT have lived in Hartford, but she could have lived elsewhere in New England, or even back home in "Olde" England.
I believe that some researchers have mis-interpreted this reference to "sister Wiggins" and have reached a faulty deduction that Susannah (MNU) Whiting was also born a Wiggins. Does anyone have any information from a primary historical source (NOT the LDS Ancestral Files or some gedcom from Ancestry.com) about a Susannah Wiggins, or any Wiggins family in Hartford, CT in the mid-1600s, or about a Wiggins family connected to William Whiting?
I find the guesses about Susannah (MNU) Whiting as born a Wiggins to be a less reasonable interpretation of the evidence than the alternative below, i.e., that Susannah was born a Pritchard.
In 1647, a man could use the term "sister" to refer to a full sister (shared parents), a half-sister (only one shared parent), a step-sister (no shared parents), a sister-in-law (e.g., married to one's brother), a sister-in-law (the sister of one's wife), or a sister-in-law (the wife of one's wife's brother). So which would be most likely to be remembered by a man in his Will? I think the most likely response is that he was referring to his own married sister and her children (who would have been William Whiting's nieces and/or nephews). There is a possibility (but not a probability) that William Whiting had married the sister of his brother-in-law Wiggins (i.e., WW's sister married a Wiggins and WW married the sister of that Wiggins). While there are certainly some instances of such marriages, they were certainly not the most common, or the norm.
William Whiting made a bequest of 10 pounds to a Margery Parker. I believe this was likely the same woman as the Margery who had married William Parker before 1637, resided for a time in Hartford, but then had moved to Saybrook before 1646. Many, if not most, Parker researchers suggest that Margery's maiden name was Pritchard (a/k/a Prichard).
The Saybrook Vital Records have a record of the births of William Parker's children, and state "Margery, wife of William [Parker] Sr, died Dec 6, 1680". See http://dunhamwilcox.net/barbour/saybrook_barbour_p.htmhttp://dunhamwilcox.net/barbour/saybrook_barbour_p.htm
Saybrook Vital Records from Barbour, 1668-1852 - P, transcribed by Coralynn Brown.
Many, if not most, Parker researchers suggest that Margery's maiden name was Pritchard (a/k/a Prichard). I am presently formulating a theory that Margery (Pritchard) Parker might have been the sister of Susannah (MNU) Whiting, wife of William.
Because the abstract does not state that Margery Parker was a "sister", it is likely that the Will itself did not contain any such explicit language. Nonetheless, I believe that it is more likely than not that Margery was somehow related to William Whiting, and possibly through his wife.
Consider the other bequests in the Will. The "Mr. Hopkins" is almost certainly a reference to Edward Hopkins, a founder of Hartford and sometime governor (and who reportedly had married an Ann Yale). The "Mr. Webster" is almost certain referring to John Webster, another Hartford founder and a magistrate. Thus we see gifts to two men who were among the civic leaders, and with whom WW would have had frequent contact (and likely friendship). The bequests to the children of Hooker (i.e., Rev. Thomas), of Stone (i.e., Rev. Samuel) and of the Rev. H. Smith (of Wethersfield) all fall into the category of the clergy and/or ministers of the Puritan flocks. The gifts to the poor are obviously charitable gifts.
So why would William Whiting leave a gift to a woman, Margery Parker, and not to her husband, William Parker (formerly of Hartford, but by 1647 of Saybrook)? I believe it is because Margery was a relative of William Whiting's wife, Susannah. The most likely relative would be that Susannah and Margery were sisters.
Therefore, I would propose as a theory that William Whiting's wife was born Susannah Pritchard (and NOT Susannah Wiggins). Of course this needs further research, but this theory is statistically more likely than the notion that she was Susannah Wiggins.
If anyone has any information that would shed light on these issues? Please share by posting here or by contacting me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.