Friday, December 20, 2019

52 Ancestors - Week 309: #520 Nathaniel Whitney (1647-1733) of Watertown and Weston, Massachusetts

Nathaniel Whitney (1647-1733) is number 520 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandfather, who married #521  Sarah Hagar (1651-1722) on 12 March 1673/4, in Watertown, Middlesex  County, Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their son, #260 William Whitney (1683-1720), who married #261 Martha Peirce (1681-1759) in 1706.
*  their son, #130 Samuel Whitney (1719-1782), who #131 Abigail Fletcher (1720-1783) in 1741.
*  their daughter #65 Martha Whitney (1764-1832) who married #64 Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)  in 1783.
*  their son  #32 Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) who married #33 Abigail Gates (1797-1867) in 1817.
*  their son #16 Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) who married #17 Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884) in 1851.
*  their son #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) who married #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) in 1874.
*  their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)  in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Name:                     Nathaniel Whitney[1–7]
*  Alternate Name:     Nathanell Whetny[8–11]    
*  Alternate Name:     Nathan Whitney[12]

*  Sex:                        Male    

*  Father:                   John Whitney (1621-1692)    
*  Mother:                 Ruth Reynolds (1623-1706)    
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                     1 February 1646/7, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1–2,8–9]    

*  Distribution:          6 May 1695 (age 48), father's estate distributed; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[3]    

*  Deed:                     10 March 1696 (age 49), sold two parcels in Watertown to John Livermore; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[4]    
*  Deed:                     30 December 1701 (age 54), bought 12 acres in Watertown from Joseph Grant et al; Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[5]    

*  Death:                    7 January 1732/3 (age 85), Weston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1-2,6]    
*  Probate:                 2 March 1732/3 (age 86), administration granted to Sarah, John and Benjamin Whitney; Weston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[2,7]  
3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1;               Sarah Hagar (1651-1722)    
*  Marriage 1:            12 March 1673/4 (age 27), Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1–2,10–11]    

*  Child 1:                  Nathaniel Whitney (1676-1730)    
*  Child 2:                  Sarah Whitney (1679-????)    
*  Child 3:                  William Whitney (1683-1720)    
*  Child 4:                  Samuel Whitney (1687-1753)    
*  Child 5:                  Hannah Whitney (1689-1768)    
*  Child 6:                  Elizabeth Whitney (1692-????)    
*  Child 7:                  Mercy Whitney (1700-????)    
*  Child 8:                  Grace Whitney (1700-1720)
*  Spouse 2:               Sarah (Shepard) Goble (1667-1746)    
*  Marriage 2:            2 November 1724 (age 77), Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[2,12]  
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

The book by Frederick Clifton Pierce, Whitney.  The Descendants of John Whitney (Chicago, 1895)[1] provides an excellent family history of the Nathaniel Whitney family.  The Whitney Family Research Group wiki page for Nathaniel Whitney updates the sketch for him[2].

Nathaniel Whitney was born 1 February 1646/7, the son of John and Ruth (Reynolds) Whitney of Watertown, Massachusetts[1-2, 8-9].  The Watertown town record says:

"Nathanell Whetny the Sonn of John & Ruth Whetny borne the 1d 12m 1646"

Nathaniel Whitney married, as his first wife, Sarah Hagar (1651-1722) on 12 March 1673/4 in Watertown[1-2,10-11].  Sarah was the daughter of William and Sarah (Bemis) Hagar.  The Watertown town record says:

" Nathanell Whetny and Sary Hagar Joyned in Marriage the 12 of March [1673]"

Nathaniel and Sarah had eight children, all but the last recorded in Watertown:

*  Nathaniel Whitney (1676-1730), married 1695 Mercy Robinson (1676-1740).
*  Sarah Whitney (1679-????), married 1699 Charles Chadwick (1674-1711).
*  William Whitney (1683-1720), married 1706 Martha Peirce (1681-1759).
*  Samuel Whitney (1687-1753), married 1721 Anne Laborie (1698-1753).
*  Hannah Whitney (1689-1768), married 1708 Nathaniel Billings (1688-1769).
*  Elizabeth Whitney (1692-????), married 1714 Joseph Harrington (1691-????).
*  Mercy Whitney (1696-????), married 1717 ???? Graves (1697-????).
*  Grace Whitney (1700-1720).

John Whitney, the father of Nathaniel Whitney, died on 12 October 1692 in Watertown, and administrators, wife Ruth and sons John and Benjamin Whitney, were appointed on 23 December 1692[3]. John Whitney's will bequeathed one half of his home farm and half the meadow to Nathaniel, and Nathaniel was required to pay money to his five sisters.  Articles of agreement were written and agreed to by all parties, and Nathaniel received land valued at 22 pounds and 7 shillings from the estate on 6 May 1695.

Nathaniel Whitney resided in 1694 in the western part of Watertown which became the separate town of Weston in about 1707.  He owned the covenant of the Weston church in 1711[1-2].  

Nathaniel Whitney and Samuel Whitney, yeomen of Watertown, sold two parcels of land in Watertown on 10 March 1696 to John Livermore, yeoman of Watertown, for a valuable sum of money[4].  The first parcel of 5 acres of meadow in the west end of Watertown, on the north side of a country road partly within the lands of John Livermore.  The second parcel of 10 acres of upland and swamp on the south side of the country road, part of the so-called "land of contention," was bounded by meadow of John Livermore, Mr. Phillips and John Warren. 

On 30 December 1701, Nathaniel Whitney, planter of Watertown, bought land in Watertown for 5 pounds of currant money from Joseph and Mary Grant, Caleb and Elizabeth Grant, and Henry ???[5].  The 12 acres of land in Watertown near the farm was bounded south by Edward Garfield, north by Samuel Edy, west by Treadway's land and east by Zechariah Cutting. 

Sarah (Hagar) Whitney died 29 July 1722 in Weston, Massachusetts.  Nathaniel married, secondly, Sarah (Shepard) Goble (1667-1746), widow of Thomas Goble, on 2 November 1724 in Concord, Massachusetts[2,12]

Nathaniel Whitney died on 7 January 1732/3 in Weston, Massachusetts[1-2,6].  The death record in the Weston vital records book says:

"Mr. Nath^ll Whitney deceas^d in Weston Jan^y 7 1732-3.  Aged about Ninety years."

There is no known burial record for him.

Nathaniel Whitney, husbandman of Weston, died intestate, and the complex administration of his estate is in Middlesex County Probate Records, Probate Packet number 24,731[2,7].  The summary of the probate records is:

*  Administration of the estate was first granted to his widow Sarah Whitney on 2 March 1732/3.  An inventory was taken by John Warrin, Daniel Carter and John Walker on 1 February 1732/3.  The real estate, consisting of about 45 acres of upland and meadow with a house and barn,  was valued at 300 pounds, and the personal estate at 122 pounds, 18 shillings and 4 pence.

*  The administratrix was ordered to appear before the court on 25 March 1733/4 to render an account.  The heirs appeared before a commission on 13 January 1734 and Joseph Harrington requested an adjustment.  An account was exhibited on 25 March 1733/4.

*  The commission, composed of Deacon John Coollidge and Mr. William Williams of Watertown, and Lieut. Josiah Jones, Mr. Ebenezer Allen and Mr. Nathan Fisk all of Weston, was appointed by the Court on 15 April 1734 to apprise and to divide the real estate into two parts - one third for the widow's dower and the remaining two-thirds to one of the children, to be chosen by the heirs-at-law.  They were also directed to determine if the children of the deceased had received anything from their father.  The commission reported to the Court on 28 October 1734 that they had found approximately 58 acres of land with a mansion house in Weston, bounded easterly by land of Mr. Whittemore, by the highway and by John Waring, westerly by land of William Whitney, northerly and southerly by the Squadran lands, valued at 572 pounds. They then set off two parcels of land for the widow's dower - eleven and a quarter acres, including part of the mansion house, and five acres of woodland.  They requested the heirs to nominate one of the children to receive the remaining two thirds of the real estate.  A majority of the heirs chose William Whitney, son of William Whitney deceased (who was the son of Nathaniel Whitney).  William Whitney was dwelling on the land at the time.  They also reported that Nathaniel Whitney, the eldest son of Nathaniel Whitney, had received a deed of gift of 14 acres of land in Weston from his father during his lifetime, valued at 91 pounds.

*  William Whitney, husbandman of Weston and grandson of Nathaniel Whitney, was ordered by the Court on 16 December  1734 to receive the two-thirds of the real estate valued at 348 pounds, and to pay the other heirs the sums defined in the decree by 13 October 1735.  He was to pay widow Sarah Whitney 12 pounds, to pay Nathaniel Whitney (eldest son of the deceased) 14 pounds, 15 shillings and 10 pence, to pay Samuel Whitney, Sarah Chadwick, Hannah Billing, and Marcy Greaves 60 pounds, 7 shillings and 11 and 1/7 pence apiece, and to pay the heirs of William Whitney deceased the like sum of 60 pounds, 11 shillings and 11 and 1/7 pence.


1. Frederick Clifton Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635 (Chicago : 1895)., page 28, Nathaniel Whitney sketch.

2. "John Whitney Family of Watertown, Massachusetts," website, Whitney Research Group (, Family: Whitney, Nathaniel (1647-1733) family sketch (,_Nathaniel_(1647-1733 : accessed 19 December 2019).

3. "Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( ), Probate Packet 24,681, John Whitney of Watertown, 1692 (also on FHL US/CAN Microfilm 0,432,081).

4. "Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch (, Middlesex County [MA] Deeds, "Deeds, 1696-1716, Vol12-13, Volume 12, page 250 (image 132 of 832), Nathaniel Whitney to John Livermore, executed 10 March 1696, recorded 30 November 1698 (also on FHL US/CAN microfilm 0,554,004).

5. "Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, FamilySearch, Middlesex County [MA] Deeds, "Deeds, 1706-1716, Vol 14-15, Volume 14, page 87 (image 62 of 720), Samuel Grant et al to Nathaniel Whitney, executed 30 December 1701, recorded 3 March 1702/3 (also on FHL US/CAN microfilm 0,554,005).

6. Mary Frances Peirce, Town of Weston. Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1707-1850. Gravestones-, 1703-1900. Church Records, 1709-1825. Appendix and Addenda, Centennial Society (Boston, Mass. : McIncloe Bros. Printers, 1901), Deaths, page 80, Nathaniel Whitney entry.
7. "Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors (,  Probate Packet number 24,731, Nathaniel Whitney, 1733 (also on FHL US.CAN Microfilm 0,432,082).

8. Watertown Records, Comprising the First and Second Book of Town Proceedings, with the Land Grants and Possessions. etc. (Watertown, Mass. : Watertown Historical Society, 1894), Volume 1, page 12, Nathaniel Whetny entry, 1646.

9. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, indexed database and digital image, (, "Watertown Births, Marriages and Deaths," page 19 (image 128 of 3991), Nathanell Whetny birth entry.

10. Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988, digital images,, Watertown > Births, Marriages, Deaths, 1673 (image 157 of 3991), Nathanell Whetny and Sary Hagar marriage entry.

11. Watertown Records, Comprising the First and Second Book of Town Proceedings, with the Land Grants and Possessions. etc., Volume 1, page 37, Nathanell Whetny and Sary Hagar marriage record.

12. Clarence S. Brigham,  "Concord (Mass.) Marriages, 1724," The American Genealogist, Volume  16 (1939-40),  page 23, Nathan Whitney and Sarah Goble marriage entry.


NOTE:  In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2019 to 364 Ancestors in 364 Weeks.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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