Dwight Spaulding Burgess Home Page:Information about Josiah Whitney
General Josiah Whitney (b. 11 September 1731, d. 29 January 1806)
Notes for Josiah Whitney:
From "The Decendents of John Whitney" by Frederick Clifton Pierce, Chicago 1895
383. GEN. JOSIAH WHITNEY (Richard, Richard, Richard, John), b. in Stow.
Mass., Oct. 12, 1731; m. (int.) in Stow, Sept. 9, 1751, Sarah FARR, b. Jan. 19, 1735; d. Harvard, Mass., Apr. 21, 1773; m. 2d in Harvard, Feb. 3, 1774, Sarah DWELLY, of Bridgewater; d. Whitingham, Vt., Feb. 18, 1817.
The citizen of Harvard who held the highest military rank during the Revolutionary war was Col. Josiah WHITNEY. He was at that time the town's most noted and influential citizen and the leader of the majority in town, politics. He was born in Stow, the youngest son of Richard and Hannah (WHITCOMB) WHITNEY, his mother being a near relative of the veteran military leaders Col. Asa and Gen. John WHITCOMB. Sept. 2, 1746, his parents deeded to him land in Harvard, which he occupied soon after marriage. His dwelling stood nearly opposite the present alms house until torn down in 1869, after it had served the town for forty-five years as a home for its paupers. He inherited a fondness for military affairs, and when about his majority he entered upon what later proved a most brilliant military record.
In the spring of 1755 he was a member of the company commanded by Capt. William
PIERCE, that marched in Col. WHITCOMB's regiment against the French and Indians
at Crown Point. He was in the bloody battle at Lake George, Sept. 8, 1755, where
the gallant Dieskau, leading a large force of French and Indians, was signally
defeated by the undisciplined valor of the New England yeomanry led by Gen.
Phineas LYMAN. From Aug. 13 to 26, 1757, he was a member of the foot company
commanded by Capt. Israel TAYLOR that marched on the late alarm for the relief of
Fort William Henry, as far as Springfield. Sept. 26, 1774, the town approved of the
choice of officers of the two military companies. Capt. Josiah WHITNEY commanded
the youngest company. He was also captain of the company for a few years prior to
the above date. Dec. 19, 1774, the Continental Resolves were read before the town
and they were approved. A committee was appointed to prepare a covenant to be
signed by the inhabitants, in which they further pledged their adherence to indepen-
dency. Josiah WHITNEY was appointed one of a committee of ten to inspect breaches of the covenant.
April, 1775, the Provincial Congress, convened at Watertown, deter-mined upon the establishment of an army of thirteen thousand men for the siege of Boston, expecting the other colonies to come to their assistance with twenty thousand more. Ten companies were to constitute a regiment as heretofore, but the complement was fixed at fifty-nine privates, two musicians, five corporals, four sergeants, one ensign, a lieutenant, and captain. The term of enlistment was for eight months.
Col. Asa WHITCOMB, of Lancaster, was authorized to raise a regiment, and
was one of the first to report his command complete. May 25 he announced his
staff, of which Josiah WHITNEY, of Harvard, was lieutenant-colonel. His regiment
had eleven companies, containing five hundred and sixty volunteers. It was the
largest of the twenty-six Massachusetts regiments before Boston. April 10, 1776,
Capt. Josiah WHITNEY was appointed to take command of a battalion of men raised
by the state. Oct. 29 he was in camp at Hull with his regiment, and in a communi-
cation to the provincial council and house of representatives at Watertown, states,
"though the pay of the state was small, yet my zeal for the liberties of my country
was so great that I cheerfully undertook," etc.
Upon the departure of the Continental army for New York, the Massachusetts
militia was summoned to the defense of the coast. Two regiments were formed in
April, 1776, for the defense of Boston harbor and stationed at Hull. For these the
Continental organization was adopted which fixed the battalion complement at eight
companies of ninety men each. It was one of these regiments that was commanded
by Col. WHITNEY as stated above.In July, 1777, the Massachusetts Council of War, suddenly aware of New England's peril if the victorious progress of BURGOYNE was not stayed, hurriedly sent heavy reinforcements of militia to aid Gen. Benj. LINCOLN, who was then harassing the rear of the invading army. Col. Josiah WHITNEY, on July 27 ordered a draft of one-sixth of the training bands and alarm lists in his regiment to march at once to Bennington with six days rations, and on Aug. 2 ordered one-half of the militia to follow with eight days rations. Jan. 13, 1778, he was chairman of a committee which had been appointed by the town "to take into consideration the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union of the United States of America Concerted on by Congress."
At the close of the Revolutionary war he was colonel of
the Second Worcester Regiment, in which the seventh and eleventh companies were
from Harvard. He was made brigadier general in 1783, but resigned the office
before the breaking out of the Shay's insurrection, and as he did not take any active
part in it, some of his enemies accused him of treasonable complicity in the same.
In 1782 the governor appointed him a justice of the peace in and for the county of
Worcester. In 1783-4-7-8-9 he was a member of the board of selectmen, and during
all these years he was one of the most popular moderators at the deliberations of
the town voters.
Gen. Josiah WHITNEY was the delegate from Harvard to the convention held for
the purpose of ratifying the Federal Constitution, in Boston, Jan. 9, 1788. He voted
with the minority, and was opposed to the constitution. He stated in convention,
however, that though he had been opposed to it, he should support it as much as if
he had voted for it. He was the representative in Legislature, 1780-81-87-88-89. He
had twenty-five children, sixteen by the first marriage and nine by the last, of the
children by the first marriage thirteen died young. He was a prominent member of
the church, and in seating the meeting-house--that is, in assigning the pews--he was
given one of the most prominent in the edifice. Administration on his estate was
granted in the probate court, May 4, 1806. Upon his gravestone is the following:
Erected in memory of
Josiah WHITNEY Esq
who died Jan 24, 1806
aged 74 yers. 4 mos 13 days
Cease Dear friends for me to weep,
For Christ my bed has blest;
Beneath this stone I sweetly sleep
in God's eternal rest.
He d. Ashby, Jan. 24,1806; res. Stow, Harvard and Ashby, Mass.++
1045. i.JOSIAH, b. Feb. 25, 1753; m. Anna SCOLLAY.
1046. ii.ELIZABETH. b. May 7, 1755; m. Apr. 28, 1796, Phineas BARNARD, b.
-----. She d. -----, and he m. her sister, Mrs. BURGESS (see);
res. Harvard. Ch.: Levi, b. Oct. 24, 1800, Ephraim.
1047. iii.STEPHEN, b. May 1, 1757; m. Persis LOCKE.
1048. iv.SARAH, b. Apr. 11, 1775; m. Dec. 14, 1791, Laomi BURGESS, b. Mar.
1, 1770; m. 2d, Sept. 27, 1827, Phinehas BARNARD, of Harvard.
She d. May 23, 1860. Ch.: Mary, b. Jan. 20, 1792; Josiah, b. Dec.
14, 1793; Emery, b. June 22, 1795; Susana, b. Sept. 27, 1798; Ma-
randa, b. Mar. 29, 1801; Rachel, b. June 4, 1803; Laomi, b. Sept.
6, 1805, Sarah, b. Aug. 29, 1807; Benj. Franklin, b. Jan. 23, 1810;
Dwelly Whitney, b. July 26, 1812; Adeline, b. Aug. 8, 1814, Chas.
Wesley b. Jan. 11, 1817; Baldwin Bradford, b. Oct. 7, 1819.
1049. v.OLIVER, b. Jan. 9, 1777. Is reported to have died at sea.
1050. vi.ARTEMAS WARD, b. Nov. 17, 1778. Same report as Oliver.
1051. vii.DWELLY, b. Aug. 2, 1782. Same report as Oliver.
1052. viii.SUSANNA, b. Oct. 2, 1780; m. Nov. 8, 1803, John ADAMS, of Ashhurn-
ham, and had 12 ch.; d. No. Adams, Mass., May 5, 1866. He was
b. Mar. 9, 1780; he is buried in Guilford, Vt. Ch.: Susan Adams
Boyden, b. Aug. 26, 1804; d. Apr. 18, 1884; Mary Adams Lyons,
b. Apr. 12, 1806; d. Feb. 1, 1846; John Adams, b. Feb. 17, 1808;
d. Aug. 26, 1869; Miranda Adams Burnap, b. Jan. 26, 1810; d.
Sept. 19, 1892; Francis Porter Adams, b. Dec. 13, 1812: d. May
26, 1883; Artemas Whitney, b. Jan. 3, 1814; living in Ann Arbor,
Mich.; ae. 79; Sarah Adams Childs, b. Feb. 23, 1816; d. Oct. 12,
1850; Luceba Adams Prouty, b. Apr. 13, 1818; d. July, 1844;
Henry Lee Adams, b. Feb. 8, 1820; d. Dec. 30, 1865; William
Barney Adams, b. July 10, 1822; d. Jan. 24, 1831; Caroline Amelia
Adams Doane, b. Mar. 20, 1826; living in No. Adams, Mass; 66
years old. She has the photographs of four of Gen. WHITNEY's chil-
dren--namely, her mother, Susannah WHITNEY, who lived to
the age of 85 years; Sarah WHITNEY BARNARD, who lived to he 86
++ Gen. WHITNEY had 25 children, but the others died in infancy.
years; Daniel WHITNEY, who lived to be 85 years; Moses Gill
WHITNEY, youngest child of Gen. WHITNEY, age 85.
1053. ix.LEMUEL, b. Sept. 19, 1784; m. Elizabeth HILL.
1054. x.DANIEL, b. Oct. 23, 1786; m. Hannah SHEDD.
1055. xi.JOHN HANCOCK, b. Dec. 13, 1788; m. and res. Cazenovia, N. Y.
1056. xii.MOSES GILL, b. Feb. 4, 1791; m. Ann SHIELDS.
1057a. xiii. INFANT, d. Feb., 1766.
1058a. xiv.INFANT, d. Feb. 18, 1768.
1059a. xv.INFANT, d. Mar. 16, 1763.
1060a. xvi.INFANT, d. May 10, 1762.
1061a. xvii. INFANT, d. June 4, 1761.
According to "Planters of the Commonwealth" by Charles Edward Banks, 1930:
16. Gen. Josiah5 Whitney (Richard4, Richard3, Richard2, John1); b. 12 Oct 1731; Marriage banns for he and Sarah Farr were published 9 Sep 1751 Stow, Middlesex, MA; m. Sarah Dwelly 3 Feb 1774 Harvard, Worcester, MA; d. 24 Jan 1806 Ashby, Middlesex, MA, at age 74; his estate was probated 29 Mar 1806 Ashby, Middlesex, MA; administration bond posted by Amos Wellington of Ashby, with Asa Kendall, Jr., Gent., and Abel Stearns, yeoman, of Ashby, as sureties, as administrator of the estate of Josiah Whitney, late of Ashby; his estate was probated 7 Apr 1806 Ashby, Middlesex, MA; inventory taken by Allen Flagg, Abel Stearns, and Elisha Jones, total $135.78; his estate was probated 10 Apr 1806 Ashby, Middlesex, MA; petition by Luther Lawrence, attorney of Sarah Whitney of Ashby, widow of Josiah Whitney, late of Ashby; estate was insolvent; his estate was probated 26 Apr 1806 Ashby, Middlesex, MA; auction of personal estate; mentioned were Lemuel Whitney, Isaac Whitney, and Sarah Whitney.
He was also known as Capt. Josiah Whitney. He was also known as Col. Josiah Whitney.
Sarah Farr was also known as Sarah Farrar. She was born on 19 Jan 1734/35. She died on 21 Apr 1773 Harvard, Worcester, MA, at age 38; in her 39th year.
Children of Gen. Josiah5 Whitney and Sarah Farr all b. Harvard, Worcester, MA, were as follows:
53 i. Josiah6 Whitney Jr; b. 25 Feb 1753; m. Anna Scollay 10 Jan 1776 Harvard, Worcester, MA; d. 2 Jan 1827 at age 73.
54 ii. Elizabeth Whitney; b. 7 May 1755; m. Thomas Atherton 15 Dec 1774 Harvard, Worcester, MA; husband "of Bolton", wife "of Harvard."
She was also known as Betty Whitney. She was also known as Elisabeth Whitney.
55 iii. Stephen Whitney; b. 1 May 1757.
He was also known as Steven Whitney.
56 iv. (--?--) Whitney; b. before 4 Jun 1761; d. 4 Jun 1761 Harvard, Worcester, MA.
57 v. (--?--) Whitney; b. before 16 Mar 1763; d. 16 Mar 1763 Harvard, Worcester, MA.
58 vi. (--?--) Whitney; b. before 4 Dec 1764; d. 4 Dec 1764 Harvard, Worcester, MA.
59 vii. (--?--) Whitney; b. before 1 Feb 1766; d. 1 Feb 1766 Harvard, Worcester, MA.
60 viii. (--?--) Whitney; b. before 18 Feb 1768; d. 18 Feb 1768 Harvard, Worcester, MA.
61 ix. (--?--) Whitney; b. before 10 May 1762; d. 10 May 1762 Harvard, Worcester, MA.
Sarah Dwelly was born Bridgewater, Plymouth, MA. She died on 29 Feb 1816 Whitingham, Windham, VT. She died on 18 Feb 1817 Whitington, Windham, VT.
Children of Gen. Josiah5 Whitney and Sarah Dwelly all b. Harvard, Worcester, MA, were as follows:
62 i. Sarah6 Whitney; b. 11 Apr 1775.
63 ii. Oliver Whitney; b. 9 Jan 1776; b. 9 Jan 1777.
64 iii. Artemus Ward Whitney; b. 17 Nov 1778.
65 iv. Susannah Whitney; b. 2 Oct 1780.
66 v. Dwelly Whitney; b. 2 Aug 1782; b. 21 Aug 1782.
He was also known as Dwelle Whitney.
67 vi. Lemuel Whitney; b. 19 Sep 1784; m. Betsy Hall 4 Dec 1804 Ashburnham, Worcester, MA; husband "of Ashby;" d. 9 Jul 1853 at age 68.
68 vii. Daniel Whitney; b. 25 Oct 1785; b. 25 Oct 1786; his estate was probated 28 Mar 1806 Ashby, Middlesex, MA; Daniel Whitney and Moses Gill Whitney, minors over 14, children of Josiah Whitney, late of Ashby, Esq., deceased, chose Abel Stearns as guardian; his estate was probated 29 Mar 1806 Ashby, Middlesex, MA; Abel Stearns, of Ashby, was appointed guardian of Daniel Whitney and Moses Gill Whitney of Ashby, children of Josiah Whitney, late of Ashby, deceased, and posted bond with Amos Wellington and Abraham Edwards, of Ashby, as sureties.
69 viii. John Hancock Whitney; b. 13 Dec 1788.
70 ix. Moses Gill Whitney; b. 4 Feb 1791; baptized 2 Oct 1791; his estate was probated 28 Mar 1806 Ashby, Middlesex, MA; Daniel Whitney and Moses Gill Whitney, minors over 14, children of Josiah Whitney, late of Ashby, Esq., deceased, chose Abel Stearns as guardian; his estate was probated 29 Mar 1806 Ashby, Middlesex, MA; Abel Stearns, of Ashby, was appointed guardian of Daniel Whitney and Moses Gill Whitney of Ashby, children of Josiah Whitney, late of Ashby, deceased, and posted bond with Amos Wellington and Abraham Edwards, of Ashby, as sureties.
More About Josiah Whitney and Sarah Farr:
Marriage: 09 September 1751
More About Josiah Whitney and Sarah Dwelly:
Marriage: 03 February 1774, Harvard, MA.
Children of Josiah Whitney and Sarah Farr are:
- Josiah Whitney, b. 25 February 1753.
- Elizabeth Whitney, b. 07 May 1755.
- Steven Whitney, b. 01 May 1757.
Children of Josiah Whitney and Sarah Dwelly are:
- +Sarah Whitney, b. 11 April 1775, Harvard, Worcester,Ma119.
- Oliver Whitney, b. 09 January 1776.
- Attemus Ward Whitney, b. 17 November 1778.
- Susanna Whitney, b. 02 October 1780.
- Dwelly Whitney, b. 02 August 1782, Harvard, Ma.
- Lemuel Whitney, b. 13 December 1784, Harvard, Ma.
- Daniel Whitney, b. 25 October 1785, Harvard, Ma.
- John Hancock Whitney, b. 13 December 1788.
- Moses Gill Whitney, b. 04 February 1791.