Rev. William Theo. Dwight, DD

Is your surname Dwight?

Research the Dwight family

Rev. William Theo. Dwight, DD's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


William Theodore Dwight, DD

Birthplace: Hartford, CT
Death: Died in Andover, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Timothy Dwight, IV, President of Yale and Mary Dwight
Husband of Eliza Loockerman Dwight
Father of Rev. Henry E. Dwight, MD; Elizabeth Bradford Smyth; Thomas Bradford Dwight, Esq.; Mary W. Dwight and William T. Dwight
Brother of Timothy Dwight; Benjamin W. Dwight, MD; James Dwight, Twin; John Dwight [twin]; Rev. Sereno Edwards Dwight, Pres. Hamilton Col. and 2 others

Occupation: Clergyman
Managed by: Vance Barrett Mathis
Last Updated:

About Rev. William Theo. Dwight, DD

Rev. William Theodore Dwight, D.D. (son of Prest. Timothy Dwight of Yale College and Mary Woolsey), b. at Greenfield Hill, Ct., June 15, 1795, grad. at Yale in 1813, was for one year amanuensis to his father (1813-14). This office involved 6 hours' daily employment, each day, during college terms (or f of the year). The compensation was but $150.00 yearly; but the position was eagerly coveted. He then began the study of law with his brother Sereno; but severe, chronic inflammation of the eyes soon turned him away from all study and even reading.

[NOTE: There is an engraved portrait of Rev. William Theodore Dwight, D.D., in this book, but Google Books neglected to scan it. Obtain a hard copy of this book by inter-library loan, and scan this image.]

The next year (1815) he became a clerk in "The Eagle Bank," at New Haven; but was compelled by his greatly diseased eyes to intermit ere long all work with them," by day and by night. The following year (1816), the last of his honored father's life, he spent at home with him, and had the satisfaction, full of mingled pain and pleasure, of ministering to his comfort in his last illness. He was afterwards (1817-19), tutor at Yale for two years. He went then to Philadelphia, and, after studying law with Charles Chauncey, Esq., of that place, practiced the profession there until 1831. He became at this time a professing Christian, under the ministry of Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Skinner, and determined to enter the ministry. In the course of a few months, ho was licensed to preach by the Third Presbytery of New York, and, on June 6, 1832, was settled over the Third Cong. Church of Portland, Me.; where he continued at work, abounding in labors and usefulness, for 32 years (lS.'iii-iM). Many precious revivals, with large ingatherings of converts to the church, witnessed to the faithfulness of his pulpit and parochial efforts. Many were the collateral forms of service to the cause of evangelical religion, in which he rejoiced to lay out his strength and time. He was, for more than 20 years, President of "The Maine Missionary Society." As "overseer" of Bowdoin College, for many years, he did much to promote its best religious character. He was also a trustee and director in various benevolent societies, and "A Visitor" at Andover Theological Seminary, and a Corporate Member of the A. B. C. F. M. A man of progress everywhere, he always took strong ground here, while others were halting and inactive, for a decided anti-slavery policy. His eloquent speeches on this subject at Providence, Brooklyn, Boston and Hartford will be long remembered by those who heard them.

He was often invited to other fields of labor than his life-long one at Portland, and, among other flattering and inviting positions, to the chair of didactic theology in each of three theological seminaries, in succession (at Bangor, Me., East Windsor, Ct., and Chicago, IL.) ; but he always gave to all such solicitations the same, uniform, negative answer.

He was a man of high literary and aesthetic culture, and exceedingly fond of superior paintings and engravings, and poetry. He had great ease in extemporaneous speech on the platform, and in the pulpit. Few could equal him in public debate. His administrative talents were of a high order, which, with a superior knowledge of parliamentary rules on his part, made him a very favorite, presiding officer in ecclesiastical bodies, in, and even out of, New England. His moderatorship of the Convention of Cong. Churches at Albany, 1852, is remembered with grateful pleasure still, by those who participated in its proceedings.

His style of preaching was earnest, solemn and pungent, addressed to the conscience and meant to move the will of each one, who heard it, mightily towards what was true and right and wise. His diction was polished, and, in his formal orations and addresses, quite ornate.

He was a man of great decision of character, and earnest to vehemence in defending the violated rights of the needy and oppressed.

His manners were strikingly those of "the old school." Our fathers abounded, more than some of their descendants do, in that unwritten poetry of good-will to others, which voiced itself continually and spontaneously in every possible mode of tender and gentle expression of kindness to others.

His personal appearance was fine and commanding. He was 5 feet 6 inches high, and weighed about 175 pounds. He was of full figure, with a face of classic mould, and features expressive of moral thoughtfulness and abounding benevolence. He had a fair complexion and blue eyes; and his hair, which was originally of a dark chestnut color, was in his later years thoroughly white. His step was always firm and energetic, and never loitering; and he always impressed those who saw him anywhere with the feeling, that ho was a man of business, and had business then and there demanding his attention.

He resigned his pastorate, May 1, 1864, on account of feeble health — spending the interval between that time and his death, with his children at Andover and Philadelphia, greatly to their delight. He d. Oct. 22, 1865, aet. 70, at Andover, Mass.

He m. Oct. 12, 1831, Eliza Loockerman Bradford, b. Sept. 10, 1810, (dau. of Thomas Bradford, Esq., of Philadelphia, Pa., and Elizabeth Loockerman of Dover, Del.

She was a lady of great sprightliness of mind, geniality of feeling and generosity of disposition. The ends and means of earnest religious effort were always of great interest to her, and she was outspoken at all times for whatever was right and good. She was a faithful, sympathetic friend, and "given to hospitality." She d. at Portland, Oct. 2, 1863, aet. 53. Sec below brief sketches of Loockermans and Bradford lineage.

I. Loockermans Lineage. (The original s of the name is not now retained.)

I. Govert Loockermans, the settler, came to New Amsterdam with Vouter Van Twiller, Gov. of New Netherlands, April 1633, from Holland, in the service of the West India Company. He m. Maria Jansen (dau. of Roelf Jansen and Annetje Jans), and so was brother-in-law of Oloff Stevenson Van Courtlandt, whose son founded the Van Courtlandt manor in New York. He held high civil and military offices. He d. in 1670, leaving five children, I. Elsie, 2. Cornells, 3. Jacob, 4. Joannes, and 5. Maritjic. Elsie m. Cornelia P. Vandexveen, and for 2d husband, Jacob Leisler.

II. Jacob Loockermans, b. 1650, in New Amsterdam, m. Jan. 29, 1677, Helena Ketin. About 1681, he emigrated to Easton, Md. He d. Aug. 17, 1730. He had a son, Nicholas Loockermans, b. Nov. 10, 1697, who m. Sally (dau. of Vincent) Emerson, in 1721, and d. March 6, 1769: had but one child.

III. Vincent Loockermans, b. near Dover, Del. in 1722, m. as 2d wife Elizabeth Pryor (dau. of John Pryor, merchant of Dover, Del.), Feb. 1774, and had two children, Elizabeth and Nicholas.

IV. Elizabeth Loockermans, b. Dec. 23, 1779, m. Thomas Bradford, Esq., of Philadelphia. His dau., Elizabeth Loockermans Bradford, m. Rev. Dr. William T. Dwight.

[Maritjie Loockermans (sister of Jacob, and dau. of Govert Loockermans, whose lineage has been partly given above) m. Balthazar Bayard (step-sou to Gov. Stuyvesant), and had children: 1. Anna Maria Bayard, who m. Augustus Jay (grandfather of Gov. Jay); 2. Arietta Bayard, who m. Samuel Verplauk; 3. Jacobus Bayard who m. Hellegonda De Kay; 4. Judith Bayard, who m. Gerardus Stuyresant (grandson of the last Dutch Governor, Peter Stuyvesant).]


[Bradford Lineage.

I. William Bradford (son of William and Anne Bradford of Leicestershire, Eng.), b. May 20, 1660, m. 1682, Elizabeth Sowle (dau. of Andrew Sowle), with whom he learned the art of printing. He d. May 23, 1752.

II. His son, William Bradford, Jr., b. about 1688, m. Nov. 25,1716, Lytie Sandford.

III. His son, William Bradford, b. in New York in 1719, became a printer. In Dec. 1742, he commenced in Philadelphia to publish "The Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser," which was continued until 1801 by his son Thomas, who then merged it into "The True American." He was Col. in the Rev. War, and fought at Trenton, Princeton, Port Mifflin, etc. He m. 1742, Rachel (dau. of Thomas Budd of Philadelphia), and d. Sept. 25, 1791.

IV. His son, Lt. Col. Thomas Bradford, b. in Philadelphia, May 4, 1745, was in the revolutionary army, and fought at Princeton, Trenton, Valley Forge, etc. He established " The True American" in 1801. He m. Nov. 23, 1768, Mary Fisher, and d. May 7, 1838.

V. His son, Thomas Bradford, b. in Philadelphia, Sept. 11, 1781, was admitted to the bar, Oct. 25, 1801. He m. Elizabeth Loockermans above named.

[Eighth Generation.] Children of Dr. Wm. T. Dwight of Portland. 191. i. Rev. Henry Edwin Dwight, M.D., b. Aug. 2, 1832.

192. ii. Elizabeth Bradford Dwight, b. May 10, 1835, m. Aug. 12, 1857, Rev. Egbert Coffin Smyth, Collins Prof. of Nat. and Rev. Religion, Bowdoin Coll., Me. (1855-63), previously Prof. of Rhetoric in same College, and now (since 1863) Prof. of Ecclesiastical History in Andover Theol. Sem. He was b. Aug. 24, 1829, and was the son of Rev. William Smyth, D.D.,Prof. Math, and Nat. Phil, in Bowdoin Coll. for forty-three years (1825-68 and Harriet Porter Coffin (dau. of Nathl. Coffin, Treas. of Illinois. Coll. at Jacksonville, Illinois, and Mary Porter, dau. of Dr. Aaron Porter of Portland, Me., and Paulina King, sister of Hon. Rufus King, M. C.). The parents of Nathaniel Coffin were James Coffin and Martha McLellan of Suco, Me., "a goodly and godly couple." No issue.

193. iii. Thomas Bradford Dwight, Esq., b. Sept. 17, 1837, grad. at

Yale in 1859, since 1860 a lawyer in Philadelphia, Pa., and of late Asst. Dist. Attorney. He m. June 6, 1872, Junia Killen Porter (dau. of Robert R. Porter, M.D., of Wilmington, Del., and Lucinda Hall, dau. of Judge Willard Hall, U. S. Dist. Court for Delaware (1825-72). Junia Killen, wife of Judge Hall was dau. of Chancellor William Killen of Delaware, and Rebecca Allee).

194. iv. Mary Woolsey Dwight, b. June 23, 1839, resides unmarried at Andover, Mass.

195. v. William Theodore Dwight, b. July 12, 1844, d. Nov. 12, 1848.

Source: The history of the descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Mass., Volume 1 (Google eBook), Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight, J. F. Trow & son, printers and bookbinders, 1874, pages 207-09. Downloaded 2011.

view all

Rev. William Theo. Dwight, DD's Timeline

March 3, 1796
Hartford, CT
August 2, 1832
Age 36
May 10, 1835
Age 39
September 17, 1837
Age 41
June 23, 1839
Age 43
July 12, 1844
Age 48
October 22, 1865
Age 69
Andover, Massachusetts
Yale 1814