Deacon Joshua Whitney

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Deacon Joshua Whitney

Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of John Whitney, Sr. and Elinor Whitney
Husband of Abigail Tarbell; Mary Whitney; Abigail Whitney (Tarbell) and Lydia Whitney
Father of Martha Williams; Cornelius Whitney; Joshua Whitney, Jr.; Sarah Jewell; Hannah Woods and 12 others
Brother of Mary Whitney; John Whitney, Jr; Richard Whitney, I; Nathaniel Whitney; Thomas Whitney Sr. and 9 others

Occupation: Deacon and original proprietor at Groton; served in King Philip's War
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Deacon Joshua Whitney

Joshua Whitney (1635 - 1719), son of John and Elinor Whitney, was born 15 July 1635 at Watertown, Massachusetts, and died at the age of 83 on 7 August 1719 at Groton, Massachusetts. He married (1) Mary Buckminster, widow of Thomas Buckminster, Jr. on 20 November 1664 at Charlestown, Massachusetts. Her parentage and birth are unknown. She died 17 March 1671/2 at Watertown, Massachusetts; (2) Abigail Tarbell, daughter of Thomas and Mary Tarbell, on 30 September 1672 at Watertown, Massachusetts. No birth or death record has been found for her. She was still living in Groton on 6 October 1719, when she posted bond as executrix of her husband's estate. It is likely she was the same as Abigall (Spalding) Whitney who died at age 91 on 29 November 1743 at Lebanon, Connecticut.

Marriages and Children

  1. Mary (Unknown), married 20 November 1664 Charlestown, Massachusetts
    1. Joshua Whitney (born 14 Jun 1665 Groton, Massachusetts) married (1) Mary Uknown, (2) Sarah Uknown Fellowes, widown of Mr. Warren
    2. Sarah Whitney (born 10 Oct 1668 Groton, Massachusetts - died young)
    3. Hannah Whitney (born about 1670) married Thomas Woods
  2. Abigail Tarbell, married 30 September 1672 Watertown, Massachusetts
    1. Abigail Whitney (born about 1673), married John Hutchins
    2. Mary Whitney (born 1 Jul 1675, Groton, Massachusetts), married Ephraim Peirce
    3. William Whitney (born 28 Feb 1677/8, Watertown, Massachusetts) married (1) Lydia Perham; (2) Margaret Mirick
    4. Cornelius Whitney (born about 1680), married Sarah [possibly Shepard?]
    5. David Whitney (born 1682), married (1) Elizabeth Warren; (2) Prudence (Merrills) Sedgwick
    6. Eleanor Whitney (born about 1684), married Samuel Shepard
    7. Sarah Whitney (born, about 1686), married Nathaniel Jewell
    8. Martha Whitney (born about 1688), married Isaac Williams
    9. Elizabeth Whitney (born about 1689), married Ebenezer Farnsworth

Biographical Sketch

Joshua Whitney was the first of the family who was born in America. He was one of the earliest settlers, a deacon and original proprietor at Groton, Massachusetts, and dwelt there until it was burned by the Indians during King Philip's war, in the spring of 1676. He served as a soldier in King Philip's war with his son, Joshua Jr. He returned to Watertown for a few years and died there in 1719. His will is dated 17 April 1713, and was proved 5 October 1719. It mentions several children whose births are not recorded. He was buried in the old burying ground in Groton.

On 9 March 1670/71, his brother Benjamin Whitney (with the consent of his father) sold to Deacon Joshua Whitney for £40, all right to his father's homestead, house, barn and about 17 acres in Watertown, bounded on the north by John Sherman, east and south by William Bond, west by M. Underwood, obtained 5 April 1670. On 3 April 1673 he was mentioned in the will of his father, of which he was co-executor with his brother John. "I give unto my son Joshua Whitney: twenty acres of my land called devedend: and a cubard and a little table and a cheste and a great kittle and a warming pan and a skillit." Joshua sold this homestead (the portion purchased from his brother and the portion inherited from his father) to Deacaon Nathan Fiske on 29 October 1697.

On 17 March 1691/92 he and his son Joshua Whitney, Jr., recorded as "Joshua Whitting" and "Joshua Whitting Junr.," were members of the garrison in the West Regiment of Middlesex.

In November 1711, a list of frontier garrisons reviewed by order of the governor includes "Deacon Whitney".

Will of Joshua Whitney

Dated17 April 1713. Deacon Joshua Whitney of Grotton, "aged about seventy six years"; Abigail, my now n[ ]ed wife; son William Whitney, all housing and lands in Grotton; his mother above [i.e. Abigail] and he to be executors; son Joshua Whitney, £30; son Cornelous Whitney; son David Whitney; my five daughters now living, Mary Peirce, Elenor Shepard, Sarah Juell, Martha Williams, and Elisabeth Farnworth; eldest daughter Hutchins's children, her eldest son John Hutchins (under 21), and the rest of her children (under 21); her three daughters; eldest daughter, wife of Thomas Woods, having received her portion; witnesses, Jonathan Bowen, Abraham Moores, Samll. Cummings.

His will was proved on 6 October 1719 at Groton, and bond was posted by widow Abigail Whitney and William Whitney, yeoman, both of Groton, as executors.

Civic Service

  • 1681: Elected a selectman
  • 1683: Elected a selectman
  • 1684: Elected constable
  • 1684: Elected a selectman
  • 1687: Elected a selectman
  • 1685: Selected at the town meeting as a news newers
  • 1690: Elected a tithing-man
  • 1690: Served on board arranging matters pertaining to the meeting house
  • 1693: Elected overseer of highway
  • 1701: Chairman of the committee to heat the meeting house
  • 1702: Elected selectman


Alice, wife of Nathaniel Woods, was NOT the daughter of Joshua Whitney, as demonstrated by the terms of his will.


'Joshua Whitney

Born in Watertown, Ma Deacon See Notes on 1645 to John Whitney and Elinor Ellen.

Joshua married Abigail Tarbell and had 11 children.

He passed away on 17 Apr 1713 in Watertown, Ma Age.

Family Members


John Whitney 1599-1673

Elinor Ellen 1599-1659


Abigail Tarbell 1651-1700


Sarah Whitney 1686-1730

Alice Whitney 1670-1721

Abigail Whitney 1683-1713

Mary Whitney 1675-1749

William Whitney 1678-1737

Cornelius Whitney 1690-1934

David Whitney 1682-1769

Elizabeth Whitney 1684-1753

Martha Whitney 1684-70

Hannah Whitney 1663-1713

Eleanor Whitney 1685-1724 '

view all 44

Deacon Joshua Whitney's Timeline

July 5, 1635
July 5, 1635
Watertown, Middlesex, Mass.
July 15, 1635
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
June 27, 1662
Age 26
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
May 19, 1663
Age 27
June 14, 1665
Age 29
Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
October 10, 1668
Age 33
Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Age 34
Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts