Joshua Whitney

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ChartsAncestors of William Jerome Pierce
Joshua Whitney, son of John Whitney and Elinor (…), was born at Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, between 15 July 1635 and 1636.1,2,3 He died at Groton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 1 August 1719,2,3 and was buried at Groton Cemetery, Groton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.4

Joshua married (1) Mary (…), whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), say 1664;5,3,6 he married (2) Abigail Tarbell, daughter of Thomas Tarbell and Mary (…), at Groton, 30 September 1672.3,6

Joshua Whitney was one of the earliest settlers, a deacon, and original proprietor at Groton. He dwelt there probably until it was burnt by the Indians, during King Philip's war, in the spring of 1676. He later returned to Watertown for a few years.

Bond was the first to indicate that Joshua had three wives, the first being Lydia. Anderson points out that "Mary Whitney", together with Joshua, and "Nathannil Lawrance[e] made a deposition on 1 October 1666. There are no records of any wife named Lydia, Joshua has two children, Joshua and Sarah in 1665 and 1668 respectively, and that "Mary Whetny the wife of Joshuah Whetny deceased the 17 of March" 1671[\2?] at Watertown. Most likely there was no wife named Lydia, and Bond perhaps confused Joshua's wife with that of his elder brother, Jonathan, who did have a wife Lydia.

In 1680 Joshua was selected as one of the board to arrange matters pertaining to the meeting house. He was elected selectman for Groton in 1681, 1683, 1684, and 1687, constable in 1684, a tithing-man 1690, a "ffleus newers" in 1685, being selected at the town meeting; in 1693 elected overseer of highways; in 1701 was chairman of the committee to heat the meeting house; in 1702 again elected selectman.

There is at least one record of his paying the town for one of his parcels of land: "Joshuay Whitny have payd for his land which he did purchis of the Town Comity in the yer 1683, the and inst sum of twellve shillins for twelve ackrs of land. I say payd for acording too ordr for the us of the Town."

On 22 Apr 1715 the churched elected new deacons:
Wereas, Deacon Whitney is old, and desirous of the choice of another to officiate in his place, and whereas Dea. John Farnsworth is desirous of a new choice, unless he were more unanimously confirmed, the church did thereupon unanimously elect, or make choice of Simon Stone and Thomas Tarbele, to officiate as deacons in the church of Groton.5,7,3

Joshua left a will dated 17 April 1713, and proved 6 October 1719.

Family 1

Mary (…) d. 17 Mar 1671
  • Joshua Whitney3 b. 14 Jun 1665
  • Sarah Whitney3 b. 10 Oct 1668
  • Hannah Whitney3 b. say 1670, d. bef. 1713

Family 2

Abigail Tarbell b. abt. 1652, d. aft. 1719
  • Abigail Whitney3 b. 1673, d. bef. 1713
  • Mary Whitney+3 b. 1 Jul 1675, d. 29 Dec 1749
  • William Whitney3 b. 28 Feb 1678
  • Cornelius Whitney3 b. say 1680
  • David Whitney3 b. 1682
  • Eleanor Whitney2 b. say 1684
  • Elizabeth Whitney3 b. say 1686
  • Martha Whitney3 b. say 1688
This person was last edited on16 Dec 2017


  1. [S1974] Historical Society, Watertown Records, Four vols. (subtitle varies) (Boston, Massachusetts: David Clapp & Son, 1894-1906), 1:3:4, further cited as Historical Society, Watertown Records.
  2. [S789] Dean Crawford Smith and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, 1978-1908: Part I: The Ancestry of Warren Francis Kempton, 1817-1879 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996), 522-550, further cited as Smith and Sanborn, Kempton Ancestry: Part I.
  3. [S69] Frederick Clifton Peirce, Whitney: The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came From London, England to Watertown, Massachusetts in 1635 (Chicago, Illinois: p.p., 1895), 24-25, further cited as Peirce, Whitney.
  4. [S1546] Allan Gilbertson, Find A Grave memorial #5043799, added 25 Aug 2000, online, accessed 18 Aug 2012, further cited as Find A Grave.
  5. [S2053] Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr. and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants To New England, 1634-1635 (7 vols., Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-2011), 7:371, further cited as Anderson, et al., The Great Migration.
  6. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 1660, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  7. [S9] Henry Bond, Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, Including Waltham and Weston to Which is Appended the Early History of the Town, With Illustrations, Maps And Notes (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1860), 644, further cited as Bond, Bond's Watertown.