William Whipple, Sr. (1652 - 1712)

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Birthplace: Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island
Managed by: Danna K Youtsey
Last Updated:

About William Whipple, Sr.

Marriages

  1. Elizabeth Sprague
  2. Mary Towers m. 1675

-------------------- ◦From Dr. Charles M. Whipple, correspondent, note of March 28th, 2008


William Whipple


The Whipples From Smithfield


William Whipple, the fourth son of Captain John, was christened 16 May 1652 in

Dorchester, Mass., and died in Smithfield, Rhode Island 9 March 1711/12.i He married Mary (maiden name unknown), her birth and death dates unknown. William lived and died on his farm in the Louquisset meadows, took the Oath of Allegiance to King Charles II in 1671, and was taxed on at least three occasions: 1684, 1687, and 1688. His Last Will and Testament included the names of three children:

i. Mary, born about 1689; died after 14 Aug 1749, married Richard Sprague


ii. William, born about 1691; died 16 Nov 1776; married Elizabeth Sprague


iii. Seth, born about 1696; died 13 Nov 1724.


William Whipple in Early Town Records


William is the least documented of the Whipple brothers. In addition to his Last

Will and Testament, the following lists a summary of these records, inclusive of the years 1671 to 1712, taken from The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 Volumes, (Providence: Snow & Farnham, 1892-1915). Individual entries are noted with the volume number and page. Original spelling and punctuation have been retained in most entries.

Last Monday of May 1671


William Whipple and Benjamin Whipple took an Oath of Allegiance to King

Charles the Second. (III:200)

18 January 1678


William Whipple made Proclamation of a stray horse he had taken up, color bay,

branded on the foreshoulder with an X, the two hind feet with a white in the forehead,
with a small white on the nose, somewhat short of stature, something small. (V:338)

9 February 1679/80


William paid to have his horse shoed. (XV:201)


13 March 1681


It was voted that William Whipple may change eleven acres of land which his

father gave him at "Louassqusuck," the said eleven acres lying at the eastern or
northeastern end of his other land, and being parted from his other land by a highway
between them layed out by the surveyor to go up into ye country and take it up elsewhere upon the Town's Common, he having paid his change money.(VIII:113).

27 April 1682


William Whipple requested that he might change eleven acres of land that he had

of his father, John Whipple, which was divided by a highway from the rest of his land.
He ended his request with "your neighbor, William Whipple." The Bill was granted by
the towne, as attested to by John Whipple, Junior, Clerk. (XVII:1).

9 September 1685


William's property line was recorded on a deed transferring ownership of 30 acres

of land from his brothers, Eleazer Whipple to Samuel Whipple.(XX:10)

9 September 1685


William's property line was recorded on a deed transferring ownership of 20 acres

of land from Eleazer Whipple to Christopher Smith [his granddaughter Hannah's motherin-law's father]. (XIV:150)

20 February 1688/9


William witnessed a deed transferring 25 acres of land from Valentine Whittman

to William Hopkins [His sister Abigail's second husband]. (XIV:200)

21 December 1691


William's property line was recorded on a deed transferring ownership of 60 acres

of land from Samuel Whipple to Eleazer Whipple.(XIV:207).

20 February 1699/1700


This day William and Mary Whipple his wife hath exhibited a bill of demand of

Tenn pounds and 10s new England silver which the said Mary saith shee committed into Providence Williams his hand, for to be returned to her againe when she demanded it.But said Providence Williams dyeing, her money is not yet returned, therefore that some way may be considered that they may receive the same. Order that Daniel Williams be sent for to come now to the Councill to give them an account of the estate of Providence Williams which the Councill formerly put into his custody until further Order: but the said Daniel Williams hath refused to give the Councill any account of the said Estate; saying that he judged that the Councill hath nothing to doe to take an account of the said Estate. (X:52-3).ii

11 November 1703


William Whipple and Richard Arnold [His sister Sarah's second husband]

witnessed a deed of sale made between Thomas Arnold [Richard's father] and Shadrach Manton [Sarah's sister-in-law's husband]. (V:162).

17 June 1707


William Whipple of the town of Providence gave notice to the town council that

he had taken up a stray brown mare, which was earmarked, docked, and branded with a blaze in her face. (IX:180).

28 July 1707


Whereas William Whipple hath this day preferred a bill to ye Towne desireing the

Town to gratifie him with fifty acres of land, or more, for service, which (he saith) he did ye Town in the Indian Warrs about Thirty yeares since; ye Towne having Considered ye bill, their Ans: to it is, that they doe not yet see cause to gratifie his Request. (XI:119).

5 May 1710


William's property is mentioned in the Last Will and Testament of Richard

Arnold. [Second husband of his sister Sarah] (VII:4)

Last Will and Testament


Upon the 25th day of March 1712 the last will & Testament of William Whipple of this

town of Providence (deceased) was Exhibbitted to the Towne Concill & was by them
Examined & Proved; The Record of sd will is as followeth./

In the name of God amen, I William Whipple of the Towne of Providence in her

Majestyes Coloney of Road Island & Providence Plantations in new England, being weake in
body yet by the Blessing of God of sound & perfect memory; And I knowing that all men are
subject to Mortallitye, and not knowing how soone it may please god to Remove me out of
this life, I do make this my lat Will & Testament, hereby making voyd all former Wills by me
mad either by Word or writeing & this only to stand in force as my last will & Testament.

Ffirst, I bequeath my spirit to god that gave it and my body to the Earth to be decently

buried at the will of my Executor hereafter Named,

Secondly. I Give to my loveing son william all my lands & house & improvements

whatsoever; hee paying such Legacies as I shall obleidge him to; Thirdly. I give to my loveing
son Seth Whipple Thirty Pounds, to be paid to him after he shall attaine to the age of one &
twenty yeares, to be payd by my Executor as he shall be able. Ffourthly, I give to my loveing
Daughter Mary Sprague Ten pounds to be paid to her by my Executor as my Executor shall
be able, which Ten Pounds is besides what I have already given to her, which is one Cow &
Calf & Eight Sheepe & Eight lambs, besides what household stuff I have already given to her:

Ffiftly, my Will is that my son william shall maintaine his loveing Mother mary whiple

my wife with all such nessecary things as shee shall have Ocation for duireing her Narurall
life; And if shee se cause to dwell with Either of my other Children then my said son William
shall allow to his sister or brother where my loveing wife shall make her aboad according to
her Nessesity, & his ability. Sixthly, I Constitute & Appoynt my loveing son William
Whipple my Executor to Execute my last will & Testament, to pay all my just Debts, &
Receive all my just debts, and to se my Body decently buried; And in Confirmation of this my
last Will & Testament I have hereunto set my hand & seale this Twenty & Seventh day of
ffebruarey in the yeare of our Lord one Thousand Seven hundred & Eleven or Twelve And
Eleventh yeare of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lady Anne, by the Grace of God Quene of
Great Brittan./ Signed, Sealed, published and declared in the presence of us Job Whipple,
Thomas Hopkins, & William Hopkins. William Whipple, his mark. (VII:94-95)

An inventory of his movable estate was submitted by the Town Subscribers on 15

March 1712, and included such items as " two beds and furniture, thirty pounds of wollen yarne, cotton & wooll cloath, one chest, ten pounds of fethers, saddles & panel, old iron tooles, cart & wheeles, grindstone, beetle & wedges, old lumber, meat & butter, Indian corn, two oxen, five cowes, hefers, yearelings, 3 maares, four swine, twenty seven sheepe, looking glass, etc." The sum total of his movable estate was just over £110, which was about average for a Rhode Island farmer at that time. (VII: 94-99). Of those who signed his Last Will and Testament, Job Whipple was his nephew (son of Eleazer), and William Hopkins was the second husband of his sister Abigail, with Thomas being the father of William Hopkins.

Considering that much is known about his brothers, it is surprising that so little of

his life is preserved in written records. Unlike his older brothers, he does not appear in
pre-1675 Indian War accounts. As seen above, the town council rejected his claim that he fought in that war. His earliest recorded activity in the colony was in 1671, when as a teenager he was forced to take an oath of fealty to the king, and in 1678, when he found a stray cow. Even then, it is not clear as to whether he was still living in Providence town, with or near his father, or had moved to the Louquisset. Not until 13 March 1681 is it clear that he had done so.

It would appear that William lived a rather uneventful, bucolic life. He was not a

formally educated man, and, like six of his seven brothers, could not read or write ---or at least could not write his name. His preference of religion is unknown.iii He apparently
paid his taxes on time, was respected by his neighbors, and in the end, willed a modest
estate to his children. His brothers continually bought and sold land, took an active part in town and colony politics, and assumed positions of public responsibility, but not
William--- although history did record that William was "a good neighbor."

The record of his marriage has never been found. His wife Mary (apparently

much younger than William) is not mentioned in town records until the year 1699, and
although most unusual in the seventeenth century, it may be that he married rather late in
life. It may even be that he married more than once. It is known that his first child was
not born until he was about 40 years of age.

William and Mary's youngest son, Seth, a minor at the time of his father's death

in 1712, died intestate in 1724, without known issue. Providence town proprietors
granted property to Seth on 24 January 1717, which was subsequently sold by William
Junior. Considering that land could not be owned in Rhode Island until an individual was 21 years old, this grant would likely place Seth's date of birth close to the year 1696. As far as is known, Seth never married. William Junior married Elizabeth Sprague, and possibly was married a second time to a woman named Esther, who died 29 July 1757 and was buried in the North Burial Grounds.iv

Mary Whipple Sprague


William and Mary's oldest child, Mary, also married into the Sprague family. She

married Richard Sprague in about 1710. Mary was born around1689 and died after
August of 1749 when her husband's Last Will and Testament was drawn. Nine children
were born to this couple:

i. Ruth, born about 1713; died after 1749


ii. Zerviah, born 1716.


iii. Obadiah, born 1717; died 12 Jun 1800


iv. Abigail, born about 1719; died after 1806


v. Urania, born about 1721; died after 1780


vi. Lydia, born about 1723; died after 1806


vii. Amos, born about 1725; died 1806


viii. Enoch, born about 1727; died 10 June 1810


ix. Daniel, born about 1729; died after 1748


This family descended from Edward Sprague of Upwey, Dorsetshire, England.

His sons William, Ralph, and Richard immigrated to America in 1629 on the ship Lion's Whelp, settling in the Bay area. One wonders if the Sprague brothers were acquainted with Captain John Whipple, living as they were but a short distance from his home in Dorchester. William moved to the Hingham settlement, which is approximately half way
between Boston and Plymouth, in the year 1634. Of William's five sons, three lived and
died in the immediate area, leaving his two youngest, Jonathan and Captain William Junior, to move on westward, Jonathan settling in the Providence, Rhode Island area in 1670, with William joining him about two decades or so later. Two of their nephews
eventually joined them: Anthony Junior in 1690 and Richard around the year 1710, after which he met and married Mary Whipple. There is no record of their marriage. As noted, Anthony Junior married Mary Tilden in 1689, and had one son and six daughters, including Elizabeth, who married William Whipple Junior. There is no record of their marriage.v (That is, Mary was married to the uncle of William Junior's wife). William and Mary produced 26 grandchildren to William Whipple Senior, most of whom lived and
died in Smithfield Township.vi

As noted, the first known Sprague to reside in Rhode Island was Jonathan, around

the year 1670. He was the uncle of Mary's husband Richard, and the great uncle of
William Junior's wife, Elizabeth. The Reverend Jonathan Sprague was one of the
founders of the Rhode Island Baptist denomination: "It appears that Jonathan Sprague
had commenced preaching, and received his ordination in said Providence church, and
that he frequently visited and preached the word to this distant branch of brethren
(Smithfield), which increased in numbers, until they were organized into a distinct church [the first in the Smithfield area] at the above date (1706), under the pastoral care of said elder Sprague…he was a very pious and judicious man, an able and faithful minister.…This church erected a meeting house about one mile north of the Smithfield Academy…. Elder Sprague lived and labored with this church, until he was called to his reward in January, 1741, aged ninety-three years.…"vii Other Spragues to pastor this church were Peter, Jonathan's nephew, son of William, in 1780, and Elisha, grandson of Mary Whipple Sprague in 1795.

Captain William Sprague, Jonathan's brother, was the ancestor of two Rhode

Island governors. "Those who recognize an overruling Providence in human affairs are
wont to see the special Divine Hand in the election of William Sprague to the
governorship…in the spring of 1860. He sprang from an old Massachusetts and Rhode
Island family which had won merited honors in civil and military affairs. His ancestor,
Jonathan Sprague, first mentioned in Rhode Island history in 1681, was for many years a member of the General Assembly, and speaker of the House of Deputies in 1703…
[Governor] William's grandfather, William, was the first calico printer in Rhode Island
and one of the first in America."viii

Sixth Generation Male Whipple Descendants of Captain

John Whipple Through His Son William

Captain John Whipple, c1617-1685


William Whipple, Senior 1652-1712


William Whipple Junior, c1691-1776


Benjamin, 1728-1812 Moses, 1730-1807 Eleazer, 1734-1781


Jeremiah, 1764-1830 William, 1768-1839 Eleazer, 1758-1825


Joseph, 1771-1848 Joseph 1760-1824


Jesse, 1771-1840


Reuben, 1786-1839 Leonard, 1792-1852 David, 1789-1852


Lebbius, 1790-1869 Otis, 1796-1853 Cornelius 1800-1879


Arthur, 1793-1853 Lyman, 1798-1821 -------


William, 1801-1874 John, 1790-1843


Barton, 1804-1854 Levi, 1798-1871


James, 1809-1875 ---------


Albert 1813-1835 Jabez, 1803-1873


-------- George, 1809-1879


Welcome, 1806-1858 Arnold, 1813-1882


Stephen 1813-1876 Abner, 1822-1893


Bela 1817-1868


The above descendancy chart shows that the three Whipple grandsons of William

Senior produced a total of six great grandsons and 21 great great grandsons who are
known to have lived to adulthood, and who bore the Whipple name. The oldest, Reuben, son of Jeremiah, was born in 1786. The last of the sixth generation to die was Abner, son of Jesse, who died in 1893. Because of insufficient information, only 35 Whipple males of the seventh generation have been identified, 21 of those through the four sons of Jesse.Names and dates were abstracted from www.whipple.org , and the sources it quotes.

Captain William Whipple Junior


Rural Constable


Captain William3 Whipple (William2, John1) was born about 1691 in Rhode Island

and died in Smithfield, Rhode Island 16 November 1776. He was made a freeman 6 May 1712.ix In about 1713, he married Elizabeth Sprague, born 26 May 1694 and died after 1735. William may have married a second time to a woman named Ester, who died 29 July 1757, and was buried in the North Burial Ground.x William and Elizabeth had 17 children, all born in Smithfield--- and with the exception of Jeremiah and Amey of whom nothing is known, in addition to Anthony, Joseph, and Elizabeth I, who died young, all were married in Smithfield.

i. Mary, born 28 Feb 1714/15; died after 1752; married Stephen Olney.


ii. Elizabeth I, born 26 May 1716; died before 24 Oct 1718


iii. Jemima, born 1 Oct 1717; married Benjamin Davis.


iv. Elizabeth II, born 24 Oct 1718; died 1764; married Jeremiah Wilkinson


v. William, born 11 Oct 1719: died 16 Nov 1796; married Mary (_)


vi. Mercy, born 15 Mar 1721; married David Arnold.


vii. Jeremiah, born 19 May 1722.


viii. Hopestill, born 28 May 1723; died 12 Oct1793; married Nicholas Brown.


ix. John, born 7 May 1724; died 20 Mar 1807.


x. Anthony, 9 Apr 1725; died 11 Jul 1751.


xi. Sarah, born 10 Oct 1726; married Solomon Aldrich.


xii. Benjamin, born 2 Jun 1728; died12 Jun 1812; married Jerusha Peck.


xiii. Moses, born 31 Jan 1729; died 3 Sep 1807; married PatienceMathewson


xiv. Joseph, born 18 Apr 1731; died 27 Dec 1760.


xv. Amey, born 31 May 1732.


xvi. Eleazer, born 20 Jan 1733; died 22 Mar 1781; married Anna Brown.


xvii. Hannah, born 2 May 1735; died 22 Nov 1825; married Christoph Jencks.


Among the Whipple daughters, Mary, (the oldest) married Stephen Olney, who

was the grandson of her great aunt Mary Whipple Olney. Elizabeth II married Jeremiah
Wilkinson the son of Deborah, daughter of Eleazer Whipple, her great uncle. The
Whipple's sixth child, Mercy, married David Arnold, who was the grandson of John
Arnold, Mercy's great aunt Sarah Whipple's stepson. Mercy and her husband lived and
died in Glocester Township, about ten miles from her place of birth. The youngest
Whipple daughter, Hannah, married Christopher Jenckes, whose grandfather's brother
was Joseph Jenckes, governor of Rhode Island. Hannah's mother-in-law's grandfather's sister was married to Colonel Joseph Whipple, Captain John Whipple's seventh son. Jemima and Sarah Whipple married Benjamin Davis and Solomon Aldrich respectively.
Lost Gravestones

William Whipple Junior was buried in the "Whipple Burial Lot, on the Whipple

farm on Lime Rock Road,"xi as were his sons John and Benjamin. The headstones of
these men, and those of Jerusha and Sarah (wives of Benjamin) and Hopestill Brown
(daughter of Hopestill Whipple who married Nicholas Brown in 1744), were later moved approximately three miles southeast to the Moshassuck Cemetery in Central Falls--by Phebe Whipple, wife of Arnold of Providence. The gravestones of Emily and Millie Aldrich (granddaughters of Sarah Whipple who married Solomon Aldrich in 1751) were moved to the Mineral Spring Cemetery at the same time. George Hawkins, Mary Whipple (William's oldest daughter) Olney's grandson through her daughter Sarah Hawkins, died as a child "by falling on the ice at Lime Rock," in 1831; accordingly, if the markers were moved immediately thereafter, William Junior would have already been deceased for 55 years. The uncertain date of 1697 could indicate that those responsible for the removal, two or more generations later, were even less aware of the facts than those who had the marker inscribed sometime after 1776.

The inscription on his headstone read, "Captain William Whipple, Died 16 Nov

1776, aged 79 years." xii William was addressed as "Captain" on at least one other
occasion.xiii His eldest son, Ensign William, likewise died on a November 16 date-an unlikely historical coincidence. His brother Seth was born about 1696, and it is possible that Seth's date was attributed to William Junior. William would have had to be at least 21 years of age to have served as executor of his father's Will.xiv This fixes his birth in 1691 at the latest, not 1697.William's wife Elizabeth was born in 1694, and they
were married in 1713. This would make Elizabeth 19 years old and William Junior 16 (using the 1697 date) when married--- another unlikely scenario. He was made a freeman in 1712 at the age of 21, again showing that his year of birth was around 1691.

It may be assumed that the gravestones of William's wife and children Elizabeth, Jeremiah, Anthony, Joseph, and possibly Amy, who all died young, disappeared before the removal. It also seems logical that William Senior, his wife Mary, and others

of their children and grandchildren would have been buried in this family burial plot, but
this question likely will not be answered because the plot was "plowed up" after removal of the stones. The headstones removed to Moshassuck Cemetery no longer stand, having been replaced by a communal monument.xv Indeed, it is probable that the headstones of a number of the William Senior and William Junior families were moved at that time. It appears that the "list" supplied by L.A.Sayles was corrupted or otherwise inaccurately transferred to cemetery records. The headstones of at least two other family members not on the Sayles' list are known to have been removed at that time,xvi and the wives of William Senior and William Junior were undoubtedly buried beside them. In the rural
Rhode Island of that day, it was typical for two or more generations of the same farm family to be buried on a particular farm. For instance, the farm burial lot of William Senior's brother, Eleazer, (Whipple-Mowrey) was a mile down the road, and was normative for rural families. The final resting place of at least four generations of the William Whipple Senior family was apparently uprooted by the construction of a road in the mid-1800s. It is regrettable that their remains now lie under six inches or more of asphalt, and that their headstones never again will be viewed by their descendants. From another perspective, it is fortuitous that the headstones were moved to a large multifamily cemetery. Had they remained where they were they likely would be in the same regrettable condition now as the Eleazer Whipple cemetery.

William Whipple Junior lived and died on the Louquisset estate handed down to

him by his father in 1712. "This property was located in Smithfield Township (now the
town of Lincoln) on the road that leads from Providence to Worcester, Massachusetts.
William lived in a small house that stood a little east of the road not far from a place
called Lime Rock. He had the largest family of any of the Whipples on record."xvii This
house was adjacent to the Moshassuck River, approximately eight miles north of the town of Providence, and a mile west of the Blackstone River. It was passed on to William's eldest son, Ensign William III. He in turn deeded it to his nephew Jesse Whipple, who subsequently sold it in the year 1807 and moved out of state in 1817.

William Whipple Junior in Early Town Records


William appeared on a few occasions in The Early Records of the Town of

Providence, 21 volumes (Providence: Snow and Farnham, 1892-1915). Individual entries are noted with the volume number and page. Original spelling has been retained.

2 June 1718


Att a Towne meeting held att Providence this 2d day of June Anno Dom: 1718. It

being the Townes Election day the choice of Towne officers…Col. Joseph Whipple
[William's uncle] chosen Towne councilleman…William Whipple chosen hog constable
and ingaged. (XXX:14

29 October 1718


[William and his first cousin, James, son of Eleazer Whipple, allowed the town to

use their properties.] "The commette Chosen to appoint the place for ye building a pound in the Northern parte of our Towne ship this day made Return of a place they have pitched upon: which is by the highway side betweene James Whipples and William Whipples where they the said Whipples have promised to allow Land so long as it is Improved upon for that use. The which returne is by Town Accepted where upon it is voated and ordered that Sam. Wilkinson Junr. [James Whipple's nephew] and Ensign James Whipple shall Build a Poound vpon said place or spot of Land pitched vpon: and have theire satisfaction out of the Townes Treasurey for there Labour and servis there in." (XIII:8)

6 June 1720


It Being the first munday in said month and the Townes Election day for the

Choce of theire Towne officers … Col. Joseph Whipple, elected councilleman…William Whipple chosen pound keeper and ingaged. (XIII:37)

5 June 1721


….Joseph Whipple elected Moderator…William Whipple elected pound keeper,

but refused to serve. (XIII:53)

19 June 1721


Saturday ye 10th day of June 1721, the meeteing againe in being--Col Joseph

continues as moderator…Ensign James Whipple is Chosen pound keeper in the roome of William Whipple (XIII:54)

3 June 1723


…Col. Joseph Whipple chosen councilleman…Job Whipple [William's first

cousin] chosen ffences uiewer…William Whipple chosen pound keeper and ingaged
(XIII:63)

17 June 1725


…Col. Joseph Whipple chosen councilleman…Leiutt. Job Whipple chosen

ffences uiewer…William Whipple chosen pound keeper and ingaged. (XIII:27)

"On 28 September 1733, John Whitman of Smithfield, blacksmith, and wife Sarah

(Sprague), sold to William Whipple of Smithfield their rights in the land of their father
Anthony Sprague (Jr) [William's grandfather] of Attleboro, dec.."xviii The Whitman
mansion in Lime Rock is extant, and listed in the National Register. Valentine Whitman,
John's father, is mentioned prominently throughout the Early Records of Providence, as a friend and associate of Captain John Whipple. Another Sprague Aunt, Lydia Sprague Harris, was married to Richard Harris, William's business partner in the lime
manufacturing business. And as noted later, two other Sprague aunts, Phebe and Mary,
married Whipple cousins.

William Whipple Junior and three of his oldest sons were listed in Smithfield

records of 1748. The town had earlier passed a "Highway Act." This act provided for
"surveyors who made it their duty to inspect the roads within the limits of their respective districts, and enough were appointed to care for the highways…specific provision was made, and every male inhabitant of the town, twenty-one years or older and able bodied, was required to work on the highways six days per year."xix At that time, the Smithfield population was 450. The township was divided into 16 highway districts to be worked by the persons listed, the first person on the list being the surveyor. William and his sons Anthony, William, and John were assigned to District 4, with William Junior serving as surveyor. District 4, "began at Locusquesset Brook to the Providence line, beginning at the old highway by the lime kiln, to end where said highway intersects with the highway that goes by Dr. Jenckes'---also, the Cross Road from Abraham Scott to Pawtucket River."xx As previously noted, Captain Job Whipple, William Junior's first cousin, son of Eleazer Whipple, as well as Job's son, Stephen, and nephew Ephraim (son of Job Junior) were listed in District 5. His brother-in-law, Richard Sprague, and sons were also listed.

It is thus seen that by the year 1748, 63 years after the death of Captain John

Whipple, only seven adult (16 years or older) Whipple men resided in the Louquisset
meadows, each a descendant of either William or Eleazer, Captain's John's third and
fourth sons. By the time of the Smithfield census of 1774, the Whipple population had
decreased to five male heads-of-household: Benjamin, John, William, Joseph, and
Stephen. The first three were sons of William Junior, and he, now in his mid to late 80s,
was apparently living with one of them. Stephen, William Junior's second cousin, was
the youngest son of Captain Job. This decline in Whipple residents is reflected in a
paucity of elected town officials from the family. In 1731, the town of Smithfield was set off from Providence, and in March of that year its first town officers were elected.
Whipple town officers from its incorporation in 1731 until its division in 1871 were Job
in 1735 and 1736; Stephen (Job's son) 1755, 1761, 1772, 1780, 1782, 1785; and Jeremiah (son of Benjamin, grandson of William Junior), 1822, 1824, and 1827.xxi

The Joseph Whipple in the 1774 census was the grandson of Colonel Joseph

Whipple, the seventh son of Captain John. Joseph (1734-1816) had moved to south
Smithfield (not the Louquisset Meadows) about the year 1755, and had four sons,
William, John, Samuel, and George. (Joseph and his sons are buried in the same burial
plot as Captain John and Sarah Whipple). The only other known descendant of a non-
Louquisset Whipple brother in Smithfield Township before the mid-1800s was Ephraim, the great-great grandson of Benjamin Whipple, the fifth son of Captain John. Ephraim (1800-1875), who moved to Greenville, in southwest Smithfield Township in about 1825, had three sons: Andrew, William, and John.xxii

A Mayflower Family


William Whipple Junior married Elizabeth Sprague about the year 1713. She was

the daughter of Anthony and Mary (Tilden) Sprague of Cumberland Township. "They
[the Spragues] lived in the west central part of Cumberland on the Blackstone River.
Smithfield was just on the other side of the river. Apparently when Elizabeth married
William Whipple Junior she moved to Smithfield, but obviously kept close ties with her
parent's family. Two other daughters of Anthony and Mary married Whipples. Mary
Sprague was married at Providence (probably Smithfield) to Eleazer, eldest son of
Eleazer (Captain John's third son). Phebe Sprague married Peter Whipple, son of
William, who was the son of David (Captain John's sixth son). Peter and Phebe lived in
Cumberland." xxiii

Elizabeth Sprague Whipple was a documented descendant of a Mayflower family.

Her great great grandfather Richard Warren, who was christened in London in 1580 and died at Plymouth in 1628, was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact. Thus, Elizabeth and William's 17 children, all of whom were born on their Louquisset farm, including eight sons, claimed the Mayflower as their heritage.xxiv The photograph of the Warren Plaque below was taken behind the First Parish Church at Plymouth, founded in 1620.
The plaque is located just outside the main entrance to the cemetery immediately to the south and behind the church. Plaques honoring the other Pilgrims are seen on this wall. Warren was buried in this cemetery but, like so many others, his gravestone was never erected in order not to alert the Indians as to how many Pilgrims had died.

Mayflower Whipples descend from Richard's oldest child, Mary, who married

Richard Bartlett in 1628. The Bartlett's daughter, Elizabeth, married Anthony Sprague.
Anthony Sprague Junior married Mary Tilden. Their daughter, Elizabeth, married
William Whipple Junior. Richard Warren's English origins have been the subject of a
great deal of speculation, and over a dozen undocumented ancestries published about
him. It has long been known of his marriage to Elizabeth Walker on 14 April 1610 at
Great Amwell, Hertford. In the will of Augustine Walker, dated April 1613, he mentions "my daughter Elizabeth Warren wife or Richard Warren", and "her three children Mary, Ann, and Sarah." The Warrens had seven children, five daughters and two sons. Little is known of his life at Plymouth. His wife and daughters came to America in 1623, and he and his wife had sons Nathaniel and Joseph at Plymouth. He received land in 1623 and shared in the division of cattle in 1627. The only record of his 1628 death is Morton's 1669 account, New England's Memorial, in which Morton writes: "This year died Mr. Richard Warren, who was an useful instrument and during his life bare a deep share in the difficulties and troubles of the first settlement of the Plantation of Plymouth." Warren's descendants include such notables as presidents Ulysses Grant and Franklin Roosevelt.xxv Several Whipple descendants are card-carrying members of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, including the present author who is a twelfth generation descendant of Mr. Warren through Eleazer, the youngest son of William Whipple Junior and Elizabeth Sprague.xxvi

It is unusual that only three of Elizabeth and William Junior's sons produced

children. Jeremiah apparently died as a child. Anthony died at the age of 27, and Joseph at 29. Both died intestate, with their father serving as administrator; neither fathered children.xxvii John died, apparently childless, at the age of 83.xxviii In the 1774 Smithfield census, he was listed as head of household with two adult women living with him. William Junior's oldest son, Ensign William, who died at the age of 77, was father to one daughter. Benjamin lived out his life in the Louquisset meadows, dying at the age of 84. His son, Captain Jeremiah Whipple (1764 - 6 August 1830), had three sons: Reubin (1786 - 1839), Libbeus (1790 - 1869), and Arthur (1793 - 1853). Of these, Reubin died childless, Libbeus had two daughters, and Arthur was father to one son, Jeremiah7 Whipple (Arthur6, Jeremiah5, Benjamin4, William3, William2, John1), who it is thought died childless in 1866.

In summary of the descendants of the Louquisset brothers, the sons of William

Junior who lived and died in Louquisset, Jeremiah, Anthony, Joseph, John, Benjamin,
and William fathered only one daughter and one son among them. As previously noted,
none of Samuel's (second son of Captain John) descendants stayed in Smithfield. Thus,
with the possible exception of Scott, the great great grandson of Eleazer, after two
centuries the surname inherited from the three original Louquisset brothers was no longer heard in the meadows of the Louquisset. In time, Whipples from other than the three original families eventually moved into both the southern and northern sections of
Smithfield-Lincoln. These later descendants of Captain John's other sons, and a few
descendants of those families described below have lived for centuries even in the
environs of Lime Rock.

This eventual state of affairs was quite unlike earlier days in the Louquisset

settlement. "Below is a tax record levied by the town of Providence, 16 June 1713. The source is E. Richardson, The History of Woonsocket, 1641-1876, 51-53. Whipples in the list of taxpayers on that date were: Daniel, 116; Eleazer, 15; Eleazer Junior, 16, James, 18, Job, 17; Seth, 119; Thomas, 5; William with mother, 38. The number behind the
name was the dwelling place along the roads. Eleazer and four of his sons, Eleazer Junior, James and Job, who lived in dwellings 15 through 18, and Daniel who lived in dwelling 116 comprised the Eleazer Whipple family"xxix As noted previously, Thomas, in dwelling 5, was the only known son of Samuel to take up residence on his inherited land in the Louquisset meadows. He moved to the state of Connecticut approximately four years after the date of this tax. Descendants of William Senior, who had died the year before, were his widow and William Junior in dwelling 38, and his youngest son, Seth, in dwelling 119. This is the only known record that lists members of all three families in the same Louquisset document.

A Cousin Controversy


On 24 June 1734, William Whipple Junior, brother of Seth Whipple, sold to

Philip Smith of Providence, a plot of land in Providence on the east side of the Mill
River.xxx William's wife Elizabeth Sprague signed the deed with an "x". The town
proprietors had formerly granted this property to Seth, 24 January 1717.

A controversy as to the identities of two William Whipple cousins has been

ongoing for several years. However, this 1734 deed, and William Junior's recently
discovered nativity and necrology dates, provides compelling evidence that he was the
son of William, not David, Captain John's sixth son. He was designated on the 1734
document as "Junior," and signed his name "William Whipple Junior," which would not
have been the case were he David's son. The fact that Elizabeth's name and mark
appeared on the deed, and that he clearly was stated to be the brother of Seth, is
unequivocal evidence as to his identity.xxxi

Only one other William Whipple was born in the 1680s or 1690s in the New

England Colonies. He was Captain William Whipple, born in Ipswich, Mass. 28 February 1696, and died in Kittery, Maine, 17 August 1751. His eldest son was General William Whipple, a signatory to the Declaration of Independence from New Hampshire. No proven relationship exists between the early Ipswich, Maine, and New Hampshire Whipples and the Rhode Island Whipples.xxxii The only other known Rhode Island William Whipple to be born before 1710 was William (1704) the illegitimate son of William, and grandson of David.

i John O. Austin, Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (Albany, NY: 1887, reprint edition, Baltimore: Genealogical Publication Company, 1978) 222. Henry E. Whipple, A Brief Genealogy of the Whipple Families Who Settled in Rhode Island (Providence: A. Crawford Greene, 1873), James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850 (Providence: Narragansett Historical Publishing Company, 1892). Records of the First Church at Dorchester in New England

1636-1734 (Boston: George H. Ellis, 1891) 267 and 181. Vital statistics on the children and grandchildren of Captain John Whipple and Sarah are taken from the above and numerous publications that quote from them. For more recent information,
consult www.whipple.org , Weldon Whipple, Webmaster.

ii Providence Williams was the son of The Reverend Roger Williams. He died at Newport on 22 Jul 1686. His brother, Daniel, was appointed executor of his will on 14 Sep 1686.


iii William Whipple Senior likely was Baptist. William Junior and Mary married into a staunch Six Principle Baptist family, the Spragues. Mary's husband, Richard Sprague, helped build the Baptist Church of North Smithfield in 1738. The first Baptist church to be built in Smithfield was in 1706.


iv Henry E. Whipple, from a corrected copy of the book found in the Rhode Island Historical Society Library, call no. CS71. W574, 1873, RIHSL, 10.


v Warren V. Sprague, Sprague Families in America (Privately published, 1913). Warren V. Sprague, A Supplement to the Sprague Families in America, 1941. This source includes the many Sprague genealogies published in the 1800s and early 1900s. The most complete source presently available is the Sprague Database-The Composite Sprague Database-Richard E. Weber, Project Developer, and A. Arnold Sprague, Webmaster, 2004. On line at www.sprague-database.org . Unfortunately

this source has William Junior and Mary incorrectly descended from the David Whipple line.
vi Warren V. Sprague, 139. In 1712, Mary and Richard Sprague bought land with a new house upon it from Thomas Comstock, about one mile north of Mary's childhood home, in a place called Woonsocket and shown to be near the Branch River and Woonsocket Hill in North Smithfield where they were taxpayers from 1713 until 1748. Richard Sprague is mentioned in a deed from Captain William Sprague, his uncle, as having helped to build a meetinghouse in Smithfield, in
1738. In his last will and testament, dated 14 August 1749, Richard mentioned his wife Mary, sons Obadiah, Enoch, Amos, and Daniel, and daughters Ruth Whiteman, Zerviah Comstock, Abigail, Urania Aldrich and Lydia. The two Sprague governors of Rhode Island, William 1838-39, and his nephew William, 1860-62, were descendants of the above Captain William Sprague.

vii Richard Knight, History of the General or Six Principe Baptists, in Europe and America (Providence: Smith and Parmenter, 1927) 267.


viii Thomas Bicknell, The History of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 3 vols (New York: The American Historical Society, 1920) 3:1152. The first Sprague governor was his uncle William, in 1838.


ix David Jillson, "Descendants of Capt. John Whipple of Providence, R.I.," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 32 (1878) 405. Henry E Whipple, from a corrected copy of the book found in the Rhode Island Historical Society Library, call No. CS71. W574, 1873, RIHSL, 3.


x Henry E. Whipple, from a corrected copy of the book found in the Rhode Island Historical Society Library, call number CS71.W574, 1873, RIHS, 10.


xi Nellie M.C. Beaman, ed., " Lincoln Cemetery Inscriptions," Rhode Island Genealogical Register 19 (1996): 74-75. See also: Whipple Lot, Lincoln, Historical Cemetery #LN075, Gravestones in Natural Order, Providence County. Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Database, on computer at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library. Printout 3 Oct 2002


xii Beaman, 74. "On the Whipple Farm, stones now taken up and removed, lot plowed down. List of names given by Mr. L. A. Sayles. (Handwritten in: 'Now in Moshassuck Cemetery')."


xiii William A Mowry, The Descendants of Nathaniel Mowry of Rhode Island (Providence: S. S. Rider, 1878) 74.

xiv In most states in the 18th and 19th century, the "age of legal action" required to serve as an executor for males was 14. In the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Missouri the minimal age was 17. In Rhode Island, land could not be owned until age 21. Judge Tapping Reeve, The Law of Baron and Femme, of Parent and Child, Guardian and Ward, Master and Servant, and the Powers of the Courts of Chancery; With an Essay on the Terms Heir, Heirs, and Heirs of the Body, 3rd ed. (1862 reprint, New York: Source Book Press, 1970).

xv "The earliest presently listed burial at Moshassuck Cemetery is 1868, but records don't start until 1909. The cemetery caretaker referred me to the librarian at the Central Falls Library, who keeps a database of old burials at the cemetery. He told me where the earliest burials were located, so I went back to the cemetery and searched the gravestones. I came across only one common gravestone inscribed: Whipple-Sprague-Salsbury, 1766-1885. There was no other information, and no way to get an interment list since the records are filed by date of death, not by surname, and do not start until 1909." Barbara R. Carroll, Exeter, Rhode Island, personal correspondence, 26 October 2002. It must be recalled that William's wife's maiden name was Sprague, as was his sister's married name.


"Phebe Whipple, who died in 1879, was the great granddaughter of William Whipple Junior, and the granddaughter of Benjamin his son. Her grandmother, Jerusha Peck Whipple, died 21 May 1766 (probably giving birth to her mother Phebe Whipple Dexter, daughter of Jerusha and Benjamin, who was born on 20 May 1766). The first date on the common monument at Moshassuck Cemetery is 1766. Also, her husband, Arnold Whipple, son of Jabez, was the grandson of John Whipple and Bethiah Salsbury. The third name on the common monument is Salsbury." Barbara R. Carroll, Exeter, Rhode Island, personal correspondence, 5 Jan 2003. Arnold Whipple was the great grandson of Benjamin, Captain John Whipple's fifth son. See Henry E Whipple, 16-17, for the ancestry of Arnold.


xvi "Cemetery records state that Phebe Dexter was the wife of William, born 21 May 1766, died 21 June 1821. Entry for William Dexter states that he died 31 October 1795. A note on the database record states that Phebe and William were also removed from the burial ground in Smithfield. John E. Sterling, Compiler, Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Database.On computer at the Rhode Island Historical Society Library, Providence, RI." Barbara R. Carroll, Exeter, Rhode Island,

personal correspondence, February 27, 2003.

xvii Henry E. Whipple, 48. William Junior, between the years 1755-59, deeded land to six of his eight sons: Benjamin, Eleazer, John, Joseph, Moses, and William. Several of these deeds place the original Whipple property on both sides of the Moshassuck River. Smithfield Record of Deeds, 4:74-76.


xviii Robert S. Wakefield, compiler, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, 18 vols. (Plymouth: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1999) 18:67.


xix Thomas Steere, History of the Town of Smithfield (Providence: E. L. Freeman, 1881) 26


xx Steere, 28.


xxi E. Richardson, History of Woonsocket (Woonsocket: S. Foss Printer, 1876) 33-38. Steere, 183, 194-95.


xxii Henry E. Whipple, 41.


xxiii Judith Ray, Founders and Patriots of the Town of Cumberland Rhode Island (Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1990). Personal correspondence, 24 Sep 2002.


xxiv Wakefield, 18:66-67. Richards's father was Christopher Warren, born 1558, died 7 Dec. 1587.


xxv Summarized from Edward Davies, "The Marriage of Richard Warren of the Mayflower," The American Genealogist 78 (April 2003) 81-86.


xxvi Membership certificate number 75,238.


xxvii Smithfield Probate Records, 1749-68, 2:68 and 2:352. City Clerks Office, Central Falls, RI.


xxviii Nellie MM.C. Beaman, ed., "Abstracts of Smithfield Wills," Rhode Island Genealogical Register, (Princeton, Ma, 1991) 14: 85. In his Last Will and Testament, John mentions his niece Phebe and nephew Jeremiah, children of his brother Benjamin.


xxix Norma A. Combs, at nacombs@ntelos.net, correspondence to Whipple.Org and the authors, 11 February 2003. This is the only known record that enumerates members of the three families in the same document.


xxx Providence Record of Deeds, 9:316-17. City Hall, Division of Archives and History. Providence, RI The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 vols., collected and printed by the Records Commissioners (Providence: Snow & Farnham, city printers, 1892-1915)[hereinafter ERP] XX:83.


xxxi Charles Whipple Junior, "Captain John Whipple's Two Grandsons Named William: A Reply, online at www.whipple.org/twowilliams/charles.html 1 November 2002.


xxxii Blaine Whipple, History and Genealogy of "Elder" John Whipple of Ipswich, Massachusetts, his English Ancestors and American Descendants (Victoria, British Columbia: Trafford Publishing Company, 2003) vi. [3] -http://sprague-database.org/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I42686&tree=SpragueProject

view all 16

William Whipple, Sr.'s Timeline

1651
May 16, 1651
Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts
1652
May 8, 1652
Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts
May 16, 1652
Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts
May 16, 1652
Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts
1675
1675
Age 22
Providence, Rhode Island, USA
1678
1678
Age 25
Providence, Providence, RI
1691
1691
Age 38
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
1696
1696
Age 43
Rhode Island, USA
1712
March 9, 1712
Age 59
Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island
1906
October 2, 1906
Age 59