Ens. John Whitman

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Ens. John Whitman

Also Known As: "Abijah Zachariah Peter Whitman"
Birthdate: (94)
Birthplace: parish of Latimer, Orchard Leigh, Buckinghamshire, England
Death: November 13, 1692 (94)
Weymouth, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Whitman, of Leigh in Buckinghamshire and unknown Whitman
Husband of Ruth Whitman
Father of John Whitman, Jr.; Sarah Jones; Mary Pratt; Abiah Whitman, Sr.; Judith King and 4 others
Brother of Elizabeth Otis and Rev. Zachariah Whitman

Occupation: Deacon and Ensign
Managed by: Clifford h. Cobb
Last Updated:

About Ens. John Whitman

Who was the father of John Whitman of Weymouth?

According to Robert Charles Anderson in the Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 John1 Whitman of Weymouth, Zachariah1 Whitman of Dorchester, New Havan and Milford and Elizabeth1 (Whitman) [Stream] Otis are all children of Richard Whitman of Lee, Buckinghamshire, England.[1]

Zachariah Whitman was married on 10 Jun 1630 to Sarah Biscoe in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England just a few miles from Lee, Buckinghamshire where his father lived.[2][3] The Bishop of London issued a marriage license on 22 February 1619/20 to "Thomas Streame, cordwainer, and Elizabeth Whitman, spinster, daughter of Richard Whitman, of Leigh, co. Bucks, husbandman; at St. Bennet, Paul's Wharf, London"[4]. "Thomas Streame and Elizabeth Whiteman" were married at St. Bene't and St. Peter, Paul's Wharf, London, on 22 February 1619/20[5] Zachariah Whitman arrived on the Truelove from Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England and arrived in Dorchester by 1635[6] He brought with him two of the sons of his sister, Elizabeth1 (Whitman) [Stream] Otis. On the passenger list of the Truelove, immediately following the family of Zachariah Whitman and preceding the next family group, were the following four individuals: "Rabecca Fenner," aged 25, "Tho[mas] Tibbald's," aged 20, "Thomas Streme," aged 15, and "Jo[hn] Streme," aged 14[7] His brother John Whitman arrived later arriving in Weymouth in 1638. [6] Thomas Stream and of John Stream where both the children of Elizabeth (Whitman) Stream.[1]

The will of Zachary Whitman, dated 24 April 1666 states: "Zachary Whitman of Milford" bequeathed to "my cousin Zachary Whitman my brother's son my house & land at the decease of my wife" and "all the books my wife can spare" (This clearly a reference to his brother John Whitman of Weymouth and his son Zachary Whitman) and to "my cousin John Streame" twenty pounds; "I give Dr. Preston's books to my cousin Clarke and my cousin Streame"; (This referring to his two nephews sons of Elizabeth (Whitman) Stream. [8]

The will of Zachary Whitman’s widow Sarah (Biscoe) Whitman also names the children of Zachary Whitman’s two siblings: Elizabeth (Whitman) Stream and John Whitman of Weymouth. "The nuncupative will of Mrs. Sarah Whitman widow late of Milford deceased. We whose names are underwritten do testify that Mrs. Sarah Whitman of Milford in the county of Newhaven widow, lately deceased, having a purpose to make her will & being at that time in perfect sense & memory not long before she died declared her mind for the dispose of her worldly estate as followeth or in words to that purpose & effect, viz: I will give my goods to my cousins, namely my cousin George Clarke, to my cousin John Stream & to my cousin Zachary Whitman. In witness to the truth whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names this 5th day of April 1671, Samuell Burwell, Nathan Burwell, Elnathan Botchford. This was taken upon oath this 26th of April 71 before me Alex[ander] Bryan Assistant. I also Thomas Welch of l\1ilford do testify to the substance of what is abovewritten, expressed to me & in my hearing by the said Mrs. Whitman deceased two or three days before she died, only with this addition, that she spake of the dispose of some of the best (meaning her goods) to Zachary Whitman. In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name the day & year abovewritten, Thomas Welch”[9]

"We conclude that Elizabeth (Whitman) (Stream) Otis was his sister, and that Zachariah Whitman was also son of Richard Whitman of Lee,Buckinghamshire, which is about two miles from Chesham...Zachariah Whitman was brother of John Whitman {1638, Weymouth}"[10]


  1. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume VII, T-Y, (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011) Zachariah Whitman GM2:7:359-63 see also John Stream GM2:6:573-77; Thomas Stream GM2:6:578-80; Thomas Holbrook GM2:3:352,354, John Otis (GM2:5:322-26)
  2. NEHGR 65:67; GM2:7:359-63
  3. Torrey 3:1657 1630 Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States [WHITMAN, Zachariah (-1666) & Sarah BISCOE (1606-1671); Chesham, Eng, 10 Jun 1630; Dorchester/Milford, CT {Chesham Reg. 227; Whitman (1889) xi; Reg. 54:384, 65:67; Avery Anc. (1925) 123; Shaffer-Hunt 73; Miner Anc. 200; Brush-Bowers 45}]
  4. Publications of the Harleian Society (The Society London) Register Series 26:84
  5. Publications of the Harleian Society (The Society London) Register Series 39:3
  6. Robert Charles Anderson. The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1640 p 242 (Boston, Massachusetts. New England Historic and Genealogical Society. 2015) GMDIR p 371; John Whitman: Unknown; 1638; Weymouth [MBCR 1:375; SPR Case #2012; Weymouth Hist 4:753; Charles H Farnam, History of the Descendants of John Whitman of Weymouth, Mass. (New Haven, Connecticut, 1889)] See also his brother in GM2:7:359-63; GMDIR 371; Zachariah Whitman; Chesham, Buckinghamshire; 1635 on Truelove; Dorchester, New Haven, Milford [GM2:7:359-63]; GMDIR 322; Stream, John: London; 1635 on Truelove; Weymouth, Milford [GM2:6:573-77] and Stream Thomas; London; 635 on Truelove; Wyemouth, [GM2:6:578-80]
  7. The Original Lists Of Persons of Quality . . ., John Camden Hotten, ed. (London 1874; rpt. Baltimore 1974) 131
  8. New Haven, Connecticut, Probate Records 1 :2:2
  9. New Haven, Connecticut, Probate Records 1:2:38
  10. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume VII, T-Y, (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011) p 359-63
  11. Roberts, Gary Boyd; Ancestors of American Presidents
  12. Anderson, Robert Charles, Zachariah Whitman Great Migration 1634-1635, T-Y. (Vol T-Y, Page 361) (Online database accessed February 11, 2015. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012.)

According to the "John Whitman Of Weymouth, Mass." book by Charles H. Farnam, John (1) left London, England on either the ship the "True Love" or the "Confidence". It is said that John (1) left his wife Ruth, whom he married in 1625, and their four children and came over on the "True Love" with his brother Zachariah, but John's name does not appear on the manifest. Zachariah's does, along with his wife Sarah and one child. The "Confidence" also does not contain John's name.

From http://www.oakbaydesigns.com/Maine/2whitman.htm

NEHGR 1959 pg 47: Des. of Thomas Jones Hingham, Hull Manchester

Genealogical and family history of the state of Maine: In the days of the colonization of New England before 1680 four men named Whitman came to New England. Two of them John of Weymouth and Zachariah were brothers but are not known to be related to either of the others. John is claimed as the ancestor of a large part of the Whitmans of New England. I Deacon John Whitman came from England and became one of the earliest settlers of Weymouth Massachusetts. When he came or how long he had been in Weymouth before he was made freeman there December 1638 is not known. In 1645 he was appointed ensign in the militia and also appointed to end small controversies a position equivalent to that of justice of the peace at the present time. He was also deacon of the church in Weymouth probably from its first establishment until his death which occurred November 13 1692 when he was nearly ninety years old it is said. His family did not come to this country until 1641, four years or more after his arrival. John Whitman lived upon a farm adjoining the north side of the highway leading by the north side of the meeting house of the North Parish in Weymouth and directly off against it and extending to Weymouth river, and his dwelling house was situated near the center of it. The same farm entire descended by bequest from father to son until 1806 when the title went into a female line of descendants who still occupy the place. John Whitman was among those citizens of Weymouth who received allotments of land in 1642 as follows. Twenty one acres in the west field fifteen of them upland and six of salt marsh four acres and a half on the western neck eleven acres in Harrisons range first given to him sixty acres by the goat pond first given to Mr Hull and four acres of fish marsh first given to Mr Hull In the list of 1651. Ensign Whitman is given twelve lots of land and on the list of 1663 he received eighty one lots comprising sixty acres. The first deed on record to John Whitman bears date 10 28 1649 in which Thomas Jenner of Charlestown grants to Elder Bates and John Whitman of Weymouth one dwelling house at Weymouth now in possession of John King, two orchards and twenty one acres adjoining more or less also twelve acres of Ye Western Neck be it more or less also half an acre upon Grape Island be it more or less also forty acres which is his own pp proper lot be it more or less and eighteen acres which was his father's also ye round marsh being four acres more or less and one acre of fresh marsh adjoining and six acres of marsh above ye fresh pond and a wood lot on Hingham side. The first deed on record made by John Whitman bears date March 19 1648 by which he sells to William Hayward about twenty two acres of land in Braintree which he had purchased of James Nash. Those entries show that he must have been one of the most extensive real estate owners in the town. His office of ensign he held till March 16 1680. At a session of the general court held May 15 1664 on the occasion of John Burrell and Richard Wager being sent as messengers to the Indians. John Whitman was allowed four shillings a day for his paynes and use of his horse in ye journey he was employed in for the countrey's service to the Narrowgansetts. From an entry in the Weymouth records it seems that John Whitman's wife's name was Ruth and that she died 8 17 1662 He had four sons and five daughters all but one of whom survived him and six of whom lived to be over eighty years of age. They were Thomas, John, Zechariah, Abiah, Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Hannah and Judith.


Ensign John Whitman was born before 7 January 1598 in England.1 He was baptized on 7 January 1598 in Holt, Norfolk, England.1 and died on 13 November 1692 in Weymouth, Province of Massachusetts Bay, now Norfolk County.1

Parents: son of Abiah Whitman and Alice (?).1 n.b. some sources have Zachariah Whitman.


  1. on 5 June 1627 in Albury, Hertfordshire, England to Prudence Alcock
  2. on 1628 in Weymouth, Dorchestershire, Eng to Ruth Reed b 1605 England and d 17 Aug 1662 Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts

10 children include: M# ary Whitman was born 1634 in Berkley,Brstl,Massachusetts, and died 10 JUL 1716 in Weymouth,Norfolk,Ma.

  1. Abiah Whitman was born Cu 1645/46 in Weymouth,Plymouth,Ma, and died 28 JAN 1727 in Weymouth,Norfolk,Ma.
  2. Thomas Whitman was born 1629 in Of Berkley,Brstl,Ma, and died 17 NOV 1712 in Bridgewater,Plymouth,Mass.
  3. John Whitman was born 1631 in Of Berkley,Brstl,Ma, and died 1 FEB 1713 in Weymouth,Norfolk,Eng.
  4. Elizabeth Whitman was born 1638/1648 in Weymouth,Nrflk,Ma, and died 2 FEB 1720 in Weymouth,Norfolk,Ma.
  5. Hannah Whitman was born 24 AUG 1641 in Of Berkley,Brstl,Ma, and died 8 OCT 1720 in Dartmouth,Bristol,Ma.
  6. Zachariah Whitman was born 1644 in Of Berkley,Brstl,Ma, and died 5 NOV 1726 in Hull,Plymouth,Massachusetts.
  7. Sarah Whitman was born 1629/1639 in Of Berkley,Bristol,Massachusetts, was christened in Of Weymouth,Norfolk,Massachusetts, and died 11 JUN 1718 in Hull,Plymouth,Massachusetts.
  8. Judith Whitman was born 1643 in Weymouth,Nrflk,Ma, and died AFT 1711 in Taunton,Bristol,?,Ma.
  9. Abijah Whitman was born 1646 in Weymouth,Norfolk,Mass, and died 28 JAN 1727.



  1. [S585] Hal Bradley, "Bradley, Collette, Gillespie & Opp Ancestry", Jan. 1, 2006, unverified.


  1. 1234p Ens. John Whitman (Deacon too) born (?) of Weymouth, MA (NEHGR 1959 pge 44)

According to the "John Whitman Of Weymouth, Mass." book by Charles H. Farnam, John (1) left London, England on either the ship the "True Love" or the "Confidence". It is said that John (1) left his wife Ruth, whom he married in 1625, and their four children and came over on the "True Love" with his brother Zachariah, but John's name does not appear on the manifest. Zachariah's does, along with his wife Sarah and one child. The "Confidence" also does not contain John's name.


History of the Descendants of John Whitman of Weymouth, Mass by Charles Farnam 1889

John Whitman, one of the earliest settlers of the town of Weymouth, in the State of Massachusetts, is the Ancestor, if not of all, yet of nearly all of the name of Whitman, as well as of an equal number, at least, bearing other names, in this country. He came from England, but from what particular part of it cannot be ascertained. He may have originated from Holt, in the county of Norfolk. The name of Whiteman has existed there. In the list of those copied into Winthrop's Journal, Avho were admitted freemen, the name of the above John is spelled with an e, as are those of Holt. Governor Winthrop and his company came principally from the vicinity, and, probably, some of them, from tlie town of Holt. And John came over, if not at the same time, yet not many years after, and attached himself to the same company, and, it may be presumed, was allured thither by his neighbors and friends, who either came with or had preceded him a few years. The "e" may have been omitted by him, as he and his posterity have ever written their names without it.

The exact date of his settlement in Weymouth has not been ascertained, but he appears among those who received allotments of land in the list of 1642.

In the Weymouth records is found this entry : "died 18.17, 1662, Ruth, wife of John Whitman;" there is evidently an error as to date, which should probably read: " d. 8.17, 1662;" some think this was the wife of John, while others think it refers to Ruth Reed, wife of John". The date of the birth of the eldest child of John, viz: Ruth, b. Feb. 1, 1663, would, however, indicate that it must be the wife of John. The loss of the early church records on which the name of the wife of John would appear destroys any opportunity of clearing the mystery regarding- her name.

He had four sons and five daughters, all but one of whom survived him, and six of whom lived to be over eighty.

The Coat of Arms was obtained from Thomas Culleton of London, a well-known genealogist. It has been impossible to procure absolute proof of the right of this family to use the same. A similar shield with varying crests but the same motto has, however, been in the possession of several branches since the latter part of the last century. This fact has induced the writer to insert the plate, hoping that at some future time more absolute proof can be obtained.


History of the early settlement of Bridgewater in Plymouth County, Massachusetts including an extensive family register.

Nahum Mitchell Boston: Printed for the author by Kidder & Wright 1840



John Whitman was one of the first settlers at Weymouth ; made free 1638 ; a very respectable man ; was the first Deacon ; the first military officer (an ensign) appointed in that town ; one of the three persons appointed by the Governor "to end small controversies" there : he died there 1692, ae. a. 90. He was ancestor of most of the name in this country. His wife was probably Mary, her family name not known-: his children mentioned in his will 1685, proved 1692, then living, were 4 ss., Thomas, John, Abiah, Zechariah, and 5 Ds., all m. viz : Sarah Jones. Mary, w. of John Pratt. Elizabeth, w. of Josiah Green. Hannah, w. of Stephen French. Judith King. Judge Whitman of Portland has given a very full and interesting memoir of the ancestor and his descendants, published at Portland 1832; but as it is within the scope and purpose of this publication to give some account of all the early settlers of this town, we shall notice those branches that became inhabitants here, referring all who are solicitous to know more of this numerous and respectable family, to the Judge's Memoir.

1. Thomas (the eldest s. and only one of the children of John Whitman of Weymouth, who came to Bridgewater) was born in Eng. a. 1629, came to this country with his mother, (after his father,) a. 1641, and m. Abigail, D. of Nicholas Byram, 1656, and came with his father-in-law Byram, or soon after, and settled in E. B. a. 1662 : he had John (at Wey:) 1658, Ebenezer, Nicholas, Susanna, Mary, Naomi, Hannah : his will 1711, proved 1712 : be died ae. a. 83. Susanna m. Benjamin Willis. Mary m. Seth Leach. Naomi m. William Snow 1686. It is not ascertained whom Hannah m.

John Whitman (b. Abt. 1602, d. November 13, 1692) John Whitman (son of Peter Whiteman and Alice Eaton)4706 was born Abt. 1602 in prob Holt, Norfolk ENG4706, and died November 13, 1692 in Weymouth, Norfolk Co. MA4706. He married Ruth Whitman, (nee?) on 16254706.

Includes NotesNotes for John Whitman:

[Martha Lincoln.ged]

John WHITMAN the immigrant, one of the earliest settlers of Weymouth, MA. He came from England, prob Holt,\county Norfolk, where name of WHITMAN/WHITEMAN very common. Gov WINTHROP and his company came from vic of Holt. John came yrs before 1638 and may have been attracted to Weymouth because of friends there. Made a freeman of the Mass Bay Colony 13 Mar 1638-39, and a town officer of Weymouth in 1643. In 1645 he was appointed an Ensign by the Gov and was prob the 1st military officer in Weymouth. (Weymouth genealogies list him as Ensign John WHITMAN) At the same time, May 14, 1645 he was made magistrate of the town, commissioner to end small causes as the office was termed. He was also deacon of the church prob from its foundation until his death 13 Nov 1692. He was likely near 90 yrs old when he died, as the youngest of his 9 children was born in 1646, the eldest in 1629, while some of his daughters may have been older. It is thought he was married in Eng about 1625. The family did not follow him to Weymouth until 1641. The fact that Zachariah and Robert came in 1635 makes it probable that John came also in that year. John WHITMAN owned and lived upon a farm adjoining the north side of the highway near the town center, the farm until 1830 owned by a descendant. He had many grants of land and by this and purchase became one of the largest land owners in the town. He held the office of Ensign until Mar 16, 1680. On May 15, 1664 he was appointed a messenger to the Indians and held other positions of trust in the colony. Children: Sarah (probably the eldest child): Married Abraham JONES Thomas, 1629 John, ___ Mary, 1634 Elizabeth, married Joseph GREEN Hannah, 24 Aug 1641 Judith, married Philip KING Zachariah, 1644 Abiah, 1646 References: (1) Cutter, New England Families (II):841 (2) Chamberlain, Genealogies of the Early Families of Weymouth, MA (3) Savage, Genealogical Dict of New England

More About John Whitman and Ruth Whitman, (nee?): Marriage: 16254706

Children of John Whitman and Ruth Whitman, (nee?) are:

   Zacharia Whitman, d. November 05, 17264706.
   Elizabeth Whitman, d. February 02, 1719/204706.
   Judith Whitman, d. date unknown.
   +Sarah Whitman, b. Abt. 1628, Prob. England4706, d. June 11, 1718, Hull, MA4706.
   Thomas Whitman, b. 16294706, d. 17124706.
   John Whitman, b. Abt. 16304706, d. February 01, 1712/134706.
   Mary Whitman, b. 1634, Eng4706, d. July 10, 17164706.
   Hannah Whitman, b. August 24, 16414706, d. date unknown.
   Abiah Whitman, b. 16464706, d. January 28, 1727/284706.

Deacon, Ensign

Immigration on ship Confidence 1638

Known as "John of Weymouth". Came to America December 1638 on the ship "Confidence"

Apparently John came alone to get settled in America before his family joined him in 1641.

view all 29

Ens. John Whitman's Timeline

January 7, 1598
Orchard Leigh, Buckinghamshire, England
January 7, 1598
Of Wickford, Washington, Ri
January 7, 1598
Of Wickford, Washington, RI
January 7, 1598
Of Wickford, Washington, RI
January 7, 1598
Of Wickford, Washington, RI
Age 30
England, (Present UK)
Age 32
Berkley, (Present Bristol County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
Age 32
Age 35
Berkley, Somerset, England