This page conforms to the XHTML standard and uses style sheets. If your browser doesn't support these, you may not see the page as designed, but all the text is still accessible to you.

SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

Bringing the heritage of Schenectady County, New York to the world since 1996

You are here: Home » Families » HMGFM Home » Whitney

Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Whitney

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

Go to previous family: Sanders | next family: Melville

[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 55-61 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The family name of Whitney is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "hwit," meaning white, and "ey," meaning water, literally signifying "white water," or "the clear running stream." Others incline to the derivation "withig," willow; or "witan," assembly, and "ey" or "ige," which may mean island as well as water, so that it could signify the "Island of Willows," or "Island of Assembly," the advocates of the latter idea pointing out that the place where this family originated was an exceptionally good locality for the assembling of large gatherings, such as armies or tourneys; but as a matter of fact the line of descent is traced in direct course to the time when the Whitney family lived beside the Wye river, coursing through Wales and England, and forming in its lower course the boundary between Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire, joining the estuary of the river Severn, eleven miles north by west of Bristol, England. Its length is about one hundred and thirty miles, navigable to Hereford, and the stream is noted for its picturesque scenery, in fact so beautiful is the river Wye, made attractive by its castellated shores, that it is well called "the Rhine of England." It was appointed the boundary between England and Wales by Athelstan in the year 939

The early owners of the land were, before the days of surnames, known as "Eustace" or "Baldwin," or "Robert of Whitney," as the Christian name might be. Written in the style of those times, "of" was "de" and after a while, "De Whitney," or "De Wytteneye," as it was usually spelled, came to be regarded as the family name. Finally the letter "h" was introduced and the "De" was dropped, so that throughout four centuries the present form has been the established one. It also shows on old English records as Witney, Wittney, Witnenie, Witeney, Witteneye, Wytney, Wyttneye, Wyteney, Wytteneye, Whiteneye and Whittenye.

The Whitney Arms — Shield: Azure, a cross chequy or and gules. Crest: A bull's head couped sable, armed argent, the points gules. Motto: Magnanimiter crucem sustene; "Gallantly uphold the cross." As registered in the College of Arms, and probably originating during the early crusades, remaining unchanged up to the time of emigration of John Whitney, in 1635.

Regarding the origin of the family and its location, as it leads towards the departure of a member in direct descent who became the progenitor of the family in America, there is much of interest, and it must necessarily be expressed in brief. At the present day, there is a tract in England known as "Whitney Wood," probably identical with the one referred to in a writ of the seventeenth year of Henry III (1233), wherein the sheriff of Hereford was commanded "to cause a good breach to be made through the woods of Erdelegh, Bromlegh and Witteneye, so that there may be safe passage between the City of Hereford and Maud's Castle." This castle was built by William le Braas, Lord of Brecknock, about 1216, in the reign of King John, and so named in honor of his wife. The Domesday Book mentions Whitney in the year 1086, at which time the land was scarcely under cultivation, as follows: "In Elsedune hundred, the King holds Witenie, Aluuard held it in the time of King Edward, and was able to go where he pleased. There is half a hide yielding geld. It was and is waste."

Rolf, or Guy, has the credit of being the first of whom there is undisputed, authentic trace. He had a son, Turstin de Wigemore, the Fleming, who was living in 1086, and married Agnes, daughter of Alured de Merleberge, of Ewias Castle. Their son was Eustace, who, "at the request of my mother, Agnes, have given to St. Peter and the brothers of Gloucester a hide of land in Pencombe which is called Suthenhale (Sydnal), free and clear from any encumbrance; and through this deed, I have placed it on the altar of Saint Peter of Gloucester."

Eustace had a son, also named Eustace de Wytteneye, Knight, who confirmed this deed of gift, by a document so signed and delivered to "the monks and Lord Reginald, Abbot of Saint Peter's at Gloucester, and to the convent of that place." Thus, while there may be no record showing that Eustace, the elder, used the name in full, his son, in the days of Reginald the Abbot, or 1263-84, wrote himself as "Eustace de Wytteneye," and it is therefore proved that he was third in descent from Turstin the Fleming, son of Rolf, who owned the land on the river Wye, the home of the Wytteneyes, later changed to Whitney in records.

That the Whitney family was represented in the Crusades seems more than likely, for a cross on a coat-of-arms which is known positively to date to that period is quite generally understood by the most careful students of ancient heraldry to indicate that it once belonged to a crusader, and in the Whitney arms the chief, in fact, the only, solitary symbol, is a cross.

Nearly every writer dealing with the history of this family has given the following explanation: "Sir Randolph de Whitney, the grandson of Eustace, accompanied Richard Coeur de Lion to the Crusades, and distinguished himself greatly by his personal strength and great courage. On one occasion he was sent by Richard on a mission to the French commander, and, as he was leaving the British camp, the brother of Saladin (whom he had twice before defeated) followed him with two Saracens in his company, and, riding around a small hill, made a furious attack upon De Whitney, who defended himself with the greatest vigor; but his assailants were gaining upon him, when a furious Spanish bull, which was feeding near the field of conflict, was attracted by the red dresses of the Saracens, and becoming angry at the color flitting before him, made so vigorous an attack upon them that they were diverted from their intended prey, and sought safety in flight. Sir Randolph soon succeeded in wounding his single assailant, whom he left for dead, and then, overtaking the two Saracens, dispatched them and proceeded upon his mission from the King."

To carry the entire line, even by name and date from the time of Turstin, son of Rolf, in 1086, to the time of John Whitney, who emigrated to America in 1635, more than two and one-half centuries ago, would require much space; but in brief it perfects the family history.

Sir Robert de Whitney, of Whitney, Knight, living in 1242, had son, Sir Eustace de Whitney, Knight, who was granted Free Warren by King Edward I, in 1284, and was summoned to military service beyond the seas in 1297, and summoned to the Scotch war in 1301. His son was Sir Eustace de Whitney, of Whitney, who was knighted by Edward I, in 1306, and was member of parliament for Herefordshire in 1313 and 1352. His son was Sir Robert de Whitney, Knight, one of two hundred gentlemen, who in 1368 went to Milan in the retinue of the Duke of Clarence, and was member of parliament for Herefordshire in 1377-79-80. His son, Robert, was sent abroad to negotiate a treaty with the Count of Flanders in 1388; was member of Parliament in 1391;was sent to France to deliver castle and town of Cherbourg to the King of Navarre, in 1393; was Knight Marshal at the Court of Richard II; was killed, with his brother and relatives, at the battle of Pilleth, in 1402.

His son, Sir Robert Whitney, of Whitney, Knight, was granted the Castle of Clifford and lordships of Clifford and Glasbury, by Henry IV, in 1404, on account of his services; was member of parliament, 1416-22; fought in the French war under Henry V, was captain of Castle and town of Vire, in 1420, and died March 12, 1441.

His son, Eustace de Whitney, Knight, born 1411, was head of the commission sent to Wales by Henry VI, in 1455; member of parliament for Herefordshire, 1468; married Jenett Russell, daughter of Sir Thomas.

His son, Robert, probably also a knight, was an active participant in the War of the Roses; attainted as a Yorkist by Lancastrian parliament, in 1459;probably was at battle of Mortimer's Cross, in 1461, and was the subject of a poem by Lewis Glyn Cothi, on his marriage to Constance, the great-granddaughter of Sir David Gam.

His son, James Whitney, was appointed receiver of Newport, part of the estate of the Duke of Buckingham, confiscated by Henry VIII, in 1522.

His son, Robert, of Icomb,was placed in charge of Brecknock, Hay and Huntington, the confiscated estates of the Duke of Buckingham, in 1523; was nominated Knight of the Bath by Henry VIII, at coronation of Anne Boleyn, in 1531, and died in 1541. He furnished forty men to put down rebellion in 1536. He married Margaret, daughter of Robert Wye, of Gloucestershire, England.

His son, Sir Robert Whitney, Knight, was dubbed in October, 1553, the day following Queen Mary's coronation; was summoned before the Privy council in 1555-59; member of parliament for Herefordshire, 1559, and died August 5, 1567.

His son, Sir James Whitney, born in 1544, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth at Windsor, in 1570; was sheriff of Herefordshire, 1574-86-87; died May 31, 1587.

His brother, Robert Whitney, married Elizabeth, daughter of Morgan Guillims, or Duglim, who had a son, Thomas Whitney, of Westminster, Gentleman, see forward.

Thomas Whitney, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Guillims) Whitney, was a native of Westminster, England, and was buried in St. Margaret's, April 14, 1637. It is recorded that in 1611 he paid the subsidy tax, and on December 6, 1615, on the probate of the will of his father-in-law, John Bray, he was appointed executor. He apprenticed his son, John, on February 22, 1607, and his son, Robert, on November 8, 1624. At the time of his death, in 1637, his oldest surviving son, John, being out of the country, administration of his estate was granted, May 8, 1637, to his remaining sons, Francis and Robert. Of the other six children, he having had nine, all six were then dead. He obtained, May 10, 1583, from the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, a license to marry Mary Bray, in which document he is mentioned as "Thomas Whytney of Lambeth Marsh, Gentleman," and the marriage took place on May 12, at St. Margaret's Church. She was the daughter of John Bray, of Westminster, and she was buried in St. Margaret's on September 25, 1629. "Lambeth Marsh" is the name still existing, and denotes a locality near the Surrey end of the Westminster bridge. Children:

  1. Margaret, born 1584, died 1604;
  2. Thomas, 1587, died 1587;
  3. Henry, 1588, died 1589;
  4. John, 1589, see forward;
  5. Arnwaye, 1590, died, 1591;
  6. Nowell, 1594, died 1597;
  7. Francis, 1599, died at Westminster, 1643;
  8. Mary, 1600, died 1600;
  9. Robert, 1605, died in parish of St. Peter's, Cornhill, London, England, 1662.

(I) John Whitney, son of Thomas and Mary (Bray) Whitney, was born in Westminster, England, 1589; was baptized in St. Margaret's church, July 20, 1592, and coming to America in 1635, died at Watertown, Massachusetts, June 1, 1673. He was recorded "Gentleman" in his marriage license taken out in England, and it is presumed that his education in the famous "Westminster School" now known as St. Peter's College, was a good one. When fourteen years old, he was apprenticed by his father, February 22, 1607, to William Pring, of the Old Bailey, London, who was a "Freeman" of the Merchant Tailors' Company, then the most famous and prosperous of all the great trade guilds, numbering in its membership distinguished men of the professions, the nobility and the Prince of Wales. On March 13, 1614, when twenty-one years of age, he became a full-fledged member. He made his residence at Isleworth-on-Thames, eight miles from his Westminster home, and about 1618, married Elinor ————, who was born in England, 1599, and six children were born to him before sailing for America, three afterwards. His father apprenticed to him his youngest brother, Robert, November 8, 1624, who served seven years. He removed, about 1631, to London, where entries in the register of St. Mary Aldermery indicate that he resided in "Bowe lanne," near Bow church, where hang the famous bells. Early in April, 1635, he registered with his wife, Elinor, and their sons, John, Richard, Nathaniel, Thomas and Jonathan, as passengers in the ship "Elizabeth and Ann," Roger Cooper, master. They arrived at Watertown, Massachusetts, in June, and settled there, where their son, Joshua, was born July 15. John Whitney purchased a sixteen acre homestall, which had been granted to John Strickland, who had been dismissed from the Watertown church, May 29, 1635, and was one of that colony to remove and plant Wethersfield, Connecticut. This homestead was the permanent home of John Whitney. It was situated a short distance north of Belmont street and east of Common street. In 1668 he requested his youngest son, Benjamin, who had settled in York, Maine, to return and live with him at the homestead, assuring him that it should be his after his death. With the father's consent, Benjamin conveyed his rights for forty pounds, in 1671, to his brother, Joshua, and when the father died, Joshua returned to Groton, and October 29, 1697, sold the homestead to Deacon Nathan Fiske. John Whitney was admitted freeman, March 3, 1635-36, was appointed constable of Watertown, June 1, 1641, by the general court; selectman, 1638 to 1655, inclusive, and town clerk, 1655.

He married (first) in England, Elinor ————, born in 1599; died at Watertown,Massachusetts, May 11, 1659; married (second), Judah Clement, who died before his death in 1673. Children:

  1. Mary, baptized in England, May 23, 1619, died young;
  2. John, born in England, 1620, died at Watertown, October 12, 1692, freeman of Watertown, May 26, 1647, selectman, 1673-80, married, 1642, Ruth, daughter of Robert Reynolds, of Watertown, Massachusetts;
  3. Richard, born in England, 1626, see forward;
  4. Nathaniel, born in England, 1627, nothing further known;
  5. Thomas, born in England, 1629, died September 20, 1719, married, Watertown, January 11, 1654, Mary Kedall or Kettle;
  6. Jonathan, born in England, 1634, died in Sherborn, 1702, married, Watertown, October 30, 1656, Lydia, daughter of Lewis Jones;
  7. Deacon Joshua, born in Watertown, July 5, 1635, died at Watertown, August 7, 1719, married, (first) Lydia ————, (second) Mary ————, who died at Groton, March 17, 1671, (third) September 30, 1672, Abigail Tarball;
  8. Caleb, born at Watertown, July 12, 1640, buried December 5, 1640;
  9. Benjamin, born at Watertown, June 6, 1643, died in 1723, married (first) probably at York, Maine, Jane ————, who died November 14, 1690, married (second) April 11, 1695, Mary Poor, of Marlboro, Massachusetts.

(II) Richard, son of John and Elinor Whitney, was born in England in 1626, and came to Watertown, Massachusetts, with his parents, arriving in June, 1635. He was admitted freeman, May 7, 1651; was proprietor of Stow, June 3, 1680, whither he probably removed when it was a part of Concord or belonged to it. On April 7, 1697, being seventy years of age, he was released from training by the court. He married, March 19, 1650, Martha Coldam, and their eight children were born in Watertown, Massachusetts. Children:

  1. Sarah, born March 17, 1652;
  2. Moses, August 1, 1655, married Sarah Knight;
  3. Johannah, January 6, 1656; Deborah, born October 12, 1658;
  4. Rebecca, December 15, 1659, died February, 1660;
  5. Richard, January 13, 1660, see forward;
  6. Elisha, August 26, 1662;
  7. Ebenezer, June 30, 1672, at Concord, Massachusetts, died August 5, 1727, married Anna ————.

(III) Richard (2), son of Richard (t) and Martha (Coldam) Whitney, was born at Watertown, Massachusetts, January 13, 1660, died at Stow, Massachusetts, December 15, 1723. He had land granted to him at that place, October 24, 1682, whither he removed from his native town. He married Elizabeth, born February 3, 1668, died November 24, 1723, daughter of Jonathan Sawtell, of Groton, Massachusetts. Children:

  1. Richard, born at Stow, Massachusetts, in 1694, see forward;
  2. Jonathan, born at Stow, February 26, 1699, died November 8, 1773, married, at Lancaster, Massachusetts, January 29, 1718, Alice Willard, born December, 1699, died February 19, 1792, daughter of Simon Willard;
  3. Sarah, born 1703, married, 1723, Captain Hezekiah Hapgood;
  4. Ruhamah, born 1705;
  5. Joshua, born at Stow, 1706, married Zerviah ————;
  6. Hannah, married Samuel Farr;
  7. Elizabeth, married, December 29, 1722, John Wetherby;
  8. Hepzibah, born 1710, married, October 12, 1732, Seth Sawyer.

(IV) Richard (3), son of Richard (2) and Elizabeth (Sawtell) Whitney, was born at Stow, Massachusetts, in 1694, died April 27, 1775. He married (first) Hannah, daughter of Josiah Whitcomb, of Lancaster, Massachusetts, who was born in 1693, died November 17, 1743; married (second) October 26, 1745, Mrs. Hannah Ayers, born in 1704, died September 27, 1775. Children:

  1. Mary, born November 24, 1715, married ———— Gates;
  2. Dorothy, April 13, 1718, married ———— Taylor;
  3. Daniel, February 13, 1720, died in 1782, married, November 9, 1744, Dorothy Goss, of Lancaster, Massachusetts;
  4. Hannah, May 29, 1723, married ———— Wetherbee;
  5. Richard, born at Stow, July 31, 1725, died May 4, 1798, married, Sudbury, December 10, 1747, Mary Perry; Elizabeth, July 23, 1728, died before 1775, married, April 15, 1748, Joseph Wetherbee;
  6. Josiah, born in Stow, October 12, 1731, see forward;
  7. Sarah, married, December 23, 1769, Captain Hezekiah Whitcomb, of Harvard, Massachusetts.

(V) Brigadier-General Josiah Whitney, son of Richard (3) and Hannah (Whitcomb) Whitney, was born in Stow, Massachusetts, October 12, 1731, died in Albany, Massachusetts, January 24, 1806. He was the citizen of Harvard, Massachusets, who held the highest military rank during the revolution, and was at one time the town's most noted and influential citizen, being the leader in town politics. His mother was a near relative of the veteran military leaders, Colonel Asa and General John Whitcomb. On September 2, 1746, his parents deeded to him land in Harvard, which he occupied soon after his marriage, his dwelling standing nearly opposite the almshouse, until torn down in 1869. He inherited a fondness for military affairs, and when about his majority, he entered upon what proved a most brilliant military career. In the spring of 1755 he was a member of the company commanded by Captain William Pierce, that marched in Colonel Whitcomb's regiment against the French and Indians at Crown Point: He was in the notoriously bloody battle at Lake George, September 8, 1755, where the gallant General Dieskau was defeated by the New England yeomanry. From August 13 to 26, 1757, he was a member of the foot company commanded by Captain Israel Taylor that marched on the late alarm for the relief of Fort Henry, as far as Springfield, and on September 26, 1774, he was chosen commander of a company. When, on December 19, 1774, the Continental Resolves were read before the town, a committee was appointed to prepare a covenant to be signed by the inhabitants, pledging adherence to independence, he was one of ten named to inspect breaches of the covenant. Colonel Asa Whitcomb, having been authorized to raise a regiment at the time of the provincial congress, April, 1774, he did so, and on May 25 announced that Josiah Whitney, of Harvard, was lieutenant-colonel. That regiment contained five hundred and sixty volunteers, mustered into eleven companies, and was the largest of the twenty-six Massachusetts regiments before Boston. He was appointed to take command of a battalion of men raised by the state, April 10, 1776, and on October 29 wrote from Camp at Hull, "though the pay of the state was small, yet my zeal for the liberties of my country was so great that I cheerfully undertook it." When the continental army departed for New York, his regiment went with the Massachusetts militia to the defense of the coast. When General Burgoyne was marching toward Albany from the north, he ordered, on July 27, 1777, a draft of one-sixth of the training bands and alarm lists in his regiment to march at once to Bennington, and on August 2, ordered one-half of the militia to follow. On January 13, 1778, he was made chairman of a committee which the town had appointed "to take into consideration the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union of the United States of America Concerted on by Congress." He was commander of the Second Worcester Regiment of militia, as colonel, when it took part in the operations in Rhode Island, when in August and September, 1778, an attempt was made to wrest that colony from the others. He was chosen one of two delegates to be sent to the convention for the state constitution. He was made brigadier-general in 1783; but resigned the office before the breaking out of Shay's insurrection. In 1782 the governor appointed him a justice of the peace in and for the county of Worcester. In 1783-84-87-88-89, he was a member of the board of selectmen, and during this period one of the most popular moderators at the deliberations of the town voters. He was the delegate from Harvard to the convention held to ratify the federal constitution, in Boston, January 9, 1788, and voted with the minority in opposition but would support it nevertheless. He was representative in legislature, 1780-81-87-88-89. With church matters he was prominently identified.

He married (first) in Stow, Massachusetts, September 9, 1751, Sarah Farr, born January 19, 1735, died in Harvard, Massachusets, April 21, 1773; married (second) at Harvard, February 3, 1774, Sarah Dwelly, of Bridgewater, who died at Whitingham, Vermont, February 18, 1817. Children:

  1. Josiah, born at Harvard, Massachusetts, February 25, 1753, died January 2, 1827, married, Harvard, January 10, 1776, Anna Scollay, baptized April 18, 1756, died, Nelson, New Hampshire, March 8, 1824;
  2. Elizabeth, born May 7, 1755, married, April 28, 1796, Phineas Barnard, he married (second), her sister, Mrs. Burgess;
  3. Stephen, born, Harvard, May 1, 1757, died, Lynn, Massachusetts, married, February 6, 1783, Persis Locke, born 1757, died in Deerfield, June 25, 1806;
  4. infant, died June 4, 1761;
  5. infant, died May 10, 1762;
  6. infant, died March 16, 1763;
  7. infant, died February, 1766;
  8. infant, died February 18, 1768;
  9. Sarah, born April 11, 1755, married (first) December 14, 1791, Laomi Burgess, born March 1, 1770, married (second) September 27, 1827, Phineas Barnard, of Harvard, and she died May 23, 1860;
  10. Oliver, born January 9, 1777, reported to have died at sea;
  11. Artemas Ward, born November 17, 1778, similar report as on Oliver;
  12. Susanna, born October 2, 1780, married, November 8, 1803, John Adams, of Ashburnham, and died in North Adams, Massachusetts, May 5, 1866;
  13. Dwelly, born August 2, 1782, similar report as Oliver;
  14. Lemuel, born Harvard, September 19, 1784, died July 9, 1853, Ashburnham, Massachusetts, married, December 4, 1804, Elizabeth Hall, born February 6, 1788, died April 30, 1852;
  15. Daniel, born October 25, 1786, see forward;
  16. John Hancock, born December 13, 1788, married and resided at Cazenovia, New York;
  17. Moses Gill, born February 4, 1791, married Ann Shields.

(VI) Daniel, son of Brigadier-General Josiah and Sarah (Farr) Whitney, was born in Massachusetts, October 25, 1786, died April 18, 1869. He was a master mason builder, and moved with his family from Boston, in 1825, on a sloop, with all his goods and a family consisting of ten children, to New York City, the trip consuming one week. There he resided until he died at the age of eighty-two. He had presentiments the year previous to his death that it was to be his last, as it proved, and accordingly named his eight pall-bearers. He was most active in building circles after the great fire of 1835. He married, March 10, 1808, Hannah Shedd, of Waltham, Massachusetts, where he had resided in younger days. Children:

  1. Daniel J., born February 11, 1809, died in San Francisco, February 10, 1850;
  2. Hannah Maria, October 10, 1810, died, unmarried, December 25, 1859;
  3. George, October 30, 1812, died at sea;
  4. Josiah Marshall, Boston, January 19, 1814, married, at Astoria, New York, May 16, 1839, Mary Jane Ayers, born September 8, 1820;
  5. Edward Oliver, December 24, 1816, married Eliza Lawrence;
  6. Lucy Jane, December 16, 1818, died January 11, 1861, married, October 19, 1854, George B. Revere, born January 26, 1823, died December 11, 1882;
  7. Susanna, February 24, 1821;
  8. Benjamin Shurtliff, November 5, 1822, died August 6, 1850;
  9. Abigail, November 21, 1824, married Theodore Crowell, and removed to Dillsburg, Pennsylvania;
  10. William Minott, Boston, January 2, 1827, see forward;
  11. Warren Webster, New York City, March 12, 1829, married in New York City, February 4, 1856, Jenny A. Bord, born in Troy, New York, February 10, 1836;
  12. Sarah Louisa, September 26, 1831, died August 14, 1832.

(VII) William Minott, son of Daniel and Hannah (Shedd) Whitney, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, January 2, 1827, died at his residence, No. 156 Washington avenue, Albany, New York, May 10, 1905. He resided with his parents in Boston until they removed by boat trip in 1828 to New York City. At the start of his career, he found employment in a metropolitan dry goods establishment, and then in a wholesale dry goods house. He soon became recognized as an expert in the buying of goods, and from 1852 to 1859 was chief buyer for various large houses. The large store, Nos. 43-45-47-49 North Pearl street, Albany, to which he was to devote the larger share of his life, was opened in 1859 by Ubsdell, Pierson & Company, and in 1860 he came to Albany as their manager. In 1862, when James T. Lenox purchased the business, Mr. Whitney continued to represent the new management. In 1865 he formed a partnership with John G. Myers by the purchase of the Lenox store, and the place became widely known as the "New York Store." Its business increased until it became the most extensive of its kind between the metropolis and Chicago. This arrangement continued until 1870, when Mr. Myers retired, and Mr. Whitney continued the business alone until 1877, when he admitted William H. Pangburn and S. M. Van Santvoord as partners. Twelve years later this firm was dissolved, and Mr. Whitney continued the business with his son, William M. Whitney, Jr. In 1896, he admitted his other son, Charles L. A. Whitney, as a partner, which resulted in its continuation as one of the most enterprising and successful concerns in this part of the country. Mr. Whitney was a Mason, a member of the Universalist church, and a member of the Fort Orange and Albany clubs. He was a director of the First National Bank, and in 1886, by appointment of the mayor, served as chairman on the committee of public celebration which arranged the Bi-Centennial of Albany as a chartered city.

For many years Mr. Whitney resided in his handsome home, No. 5 Lodge street, but removed to a larger residence, No. 156 Washington avenue, where he died at 5 o'clock on the morning of May 10, 1905, having suffered a stroke of apoplexy the previous day.

William M. Whitney married, in New York City, June 16, 1856, Amelia Cook, born in New York City, January 31, 1831, and in 1910 was living in Albany. Her parents were Walter and Mary (Munro) Cook. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Whitney:

  1. Leila, born in New York City, May 17, 1857; married, Albany, New York, November 25, 1879, William Henry Stott, born at Stottville, September 12, 1855, died at Albany, August 22, 1888, son of Charles Henry and Catherine (Oakley) Stott; children:
    1. Leila Vanderbilt, born at Albany, November 25, 1880;
    2. a son, born and died at Stottville, Columbia county, New York, July 3, 1882;
    3. Helen Munro, Stottville, New York, June 18, 1883;
    4. Jonathan Whitney, Stottville, May 5, 1885; Whitney, Stottville, March 20, 1887.
  2. William Minott, Jr., born in New York City, December 3, 1858, died there, December 21, 1858.
  3. William Minott, Jr., born in New York City, August 1, 1861, died at Albany, February 6, 1899; married, Stottville, New York, June 9, 1886, Jessie Douglas Stott; children:
    1. Leila Douglas, at Albany, May 3, 1887;
    2. William Minott, 3rd, at Albany, June 5, 1888;
    3. Prudence, at Albany, October 15, 1890.
  4. Virginia Belle, born in New York City, January 8, 1865, died there December 8, 1865.
  5. Charles Lee Anthony, born at Albany, New York, September 19, 1870, see forward.
  6. Mabel, born at Albany, December 4, 1874; married Albany, December 29, 97, Charles Hamilton Sabin, born at Williamstown, Massachusetts, August 24, 1868, and in 1910 was located in New York City as the vice-president of the Guarantee Trust Company; child, Charles Hamilton Sabin, Jr., born Albany, New York, July 4, 1902.

(VIII) Charles L. A., son of William Minott and Amelia (Cook) Whitney, was born in Albany, New York, September 19, 1870. He received his education at the Albany Academy and at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Immediately afterward he entered the large store of his father, and in 1896 he was admitted to the firm as a partner. When his father died, in 1905, he assumed the responsible position of manager of the establishment, and has been thoroughly successful. He has traveled abroad, is a man of refined tastes, and is particularly fond of outdoor sports, more particularly polo. His home in Loudonville, to the north of Albany, is named "Wyebrook Farm," because of the original settlement of the family several centuries ago at Whitney on the Wye river, in England. He has furnished it in most attractive manner with rarest of antique material, and devotes personal attention to the cultivation of his handsome estate. He is a member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, a director of the Albany City Savings Institution, and a member of the Fort Orange and Albany Country clubs of Albany, of the Loudon Hunt Club, the Albany Academy Alumni Association, the Remsen Polo Club and the Remsen Country Club of New Jersey. He married, at Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, September 27, 1893, Grace Niles, born in New York City, July 3, 1874, and was educated at Briarly's. Her father was Lucien Hanks Niles, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 14, 1841, and in 1910 was a resident of New York City. Her mother was Mattie A. (Bradford) Niles, born at North Yarmouth, Maine, September 4, 1841, died in New York City, April 24, 1897; their marriage took place at Providence, Rhode Island, September 30, 1863. Child of Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. A. Whitney, Marjorie, born at Albany, September 26, 1894.

Go to top of page | previous family: Sanders | next family: Melville

You are here: Home » Families » HMGFM Home » Whitney

http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/families/hmgfm/whitney-1.html updated July 30, 2009

Copyright 2009 Schenectady Digital History Archive — a service of the Schenectady County Public Library