OUR WHITING FAMILY
WILLIAM WHITING (mar. Susannah Wiggin)
JOSEPH WHITING (mar. Mary Pynchon)
MARY WHITING (mar. Joseph Sheldon)
WILLIAM WHITING, one of the early settlers of Hartford, Connecticut, is mentioned in the histories of this country as early as 1632 or 1633. He was an original proprietor of the town.
William Whiting was a merchant of wealth, and had dealings with Virginia and Piscataqua. Between 1631 and 1633, “The Bristol men had sold their interest in Piscataqua, to the Lords Say and Brooke, George Wyllys and William Whiting, who continued Thomas Wiggin their agent.” Mr. Whiting retained his interest in Piscataqua until his death, and was one of the most efficient promoters of the trade and commerce of Hartford. He was also engaged in a patent for lands at Swampscott with Lords Say and Brook. He also had a trading-house at the Delaware River, and also at Westfield, Mass.
William married SUSANNAH WIGGIN in 1647. We know nothing about her lineage.
He was “one of the most respectable of the settlers in 1636” – “one of the civil and religious Fathers of Connecticut,” a man of wealth and education, styled in the records “William Whiting, Gentleman.” Several of his letters, written in 1637, now in the State Archives, are sealed with his arms, which are a variation of those of the family of Whiting of Boston, Lincolnshire, England.
William Whiting sat with the Court of Magistrates in 1637.
In 1638 William was allowed to trade with the Indians; and he was appointed with Major Mason and others to erect fortifications in 1642. In the same year he was appointed with Mason to collect tribute of the Indians on Long Island and on the Main.
His home-lot in 1639 was on the east side of the street now called Governor Street.
William was made a freeman in February of 1640. In 1641, he was chosen Treasurer of the Colony of Connecticut, which office he retained for seven years, until his death. In 1642, he was chosen to be a magistrate, and continued in that office also, until his death.
In 1646 “a plot was laid by Sequasson, Sachem of the Naticks, to kill Governors Haynes and Hopkins and Mr. Whiting, on account of the just and faithful protection which these gentlemen had afforded to Uncas. The plot was made known by a friendly Indian and the danger averted.”
William Whiting bore the title of Major in 1647.
William began his will, dated 20 March 1643, by stating that he intended “a voyage presently unto sea.” The last addition to his will was made on 24 July 1647, and he probably died soon after, leaving his widow Susanna. The inventory of his estate amounted to Ł2854. His will can be seen in Trumbull’s Colonial Records of Connecticut (Vol. I, p. 493).
Because he was an Original Proprietor, William Whiting's name appears on the Founders' Monument which occupies a place of honor in Hartford's Old Burying Ground behind the "Center" Church. His name appears on the south face, fifth from the bottom.
Founders' Monument, Hartford, Connecticut
William Whiting is considered to be one of the civil and religious fathers of Connecticut. All of his descendants are eligible to be members of the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, and many other honorary societies.
Susannah really would have had her hands full then. Her eldest son was probably thirteen then, our ancestor Joseph was not yet two, and evidently there was one other son born after William’s death in 1647. It is highly likely that William left sufficient assets to provide Susannah with all the help she needed to raise her family in the style to which they were accustomed.
The Whiting’s social circle would have paralleled that of other prominent families in Hartford. So as our Joseph grew up, he would have been in close proximity to and association with the children of the John Pynchon family, one of New England’s most powerful and influential families.
William’s widow, Susannah, remarried in 1650, Mr. Samuel Fitch, of Hartford, by whom she had two sons. Samuel Fitch died in 1659, when our Joseph would have been only fourteen years old. Susannah remarried for a third time, Mr. Alexander Bryan, of Milford, Connecticut. She died at Middletown, at the house of her daughter, a Mrs. Collins, and was buried there on 8 July 1673. Our Joseph would have been 28 years old when his mother died.
CHILDREN of WILLIAM & SUSANNAH WHITING
- William Whiting. In 1686, the Assembly of Connecticut appointed him their “agent to present their petition (in reference to the Charter) to the King of England.” He remained there and became a London merchant and died there in 1699.
- John Whiting, born in 1635; d. 1689 in Hartford, Conn.
- Samuel Whiting.
- Sarah Whiting, born about 1637; mar. (1) Jacob Mygatt, and (2) John King. Died 1704.
- Mary Whiting; died 25 October 1709.
- JOSEPH WHITING, born 2 October 1645, at Hartford, Connecticut. He married Mary Pynchon, the daughter of John and Amy (Wyllys) Pynchon.
- A son, born 1647, after the death of his father [see Trumbull, p. 495].
As an adult, JOSEPH WHITING left Hartford and became a merchant first at Westfield, Massachusetts.
On 5 October 1669, Joseph married MARY PYNCHON, born 28 Oct 1650, the daughter of the Honorable John Pynchon and Amy Wyllys Pynchon.
Given the wealth and importance of Joseph’s family in Hartford, not to mention Mary’s father’s wealth and social status, the youngsters must have celebrated as elegant a wedding as her station in life would allow. What started out, however, as a brilliant match with a bright future, ended in grief all too soon, as was very often the case in colonial America out on the frontier, such as Westfield Massachusetts was. Mary had given Joseph two children, a girl and a boy, but by 1675 or early 1676, she died, more than likely in childbirth.
Joseph removed from Westfield, Mass. back to Hartford in 1675 or ‘76 – with Mary before she died, or afterwards, is unclear. But given an appropriate period of time for mourning, Joseph married again, in 1676, his second wife, Anna Allyn, and was again in Hartford for the rest of his life.
Anna was born 18 August 1654, the daughter of Col. John Allyn. Anna’s mother was a granddaughter of the Honorable William Pynchon, just as was Joseph’s first wife, Mary.
Joseph Whiting was appointed Treasurer of the Colony of Connecticut in 1679 and served – for 39 years – until his death. His son John succeeded him to the same office for another 32 years.
Joseph Whiting died in 1718. His second wife, Anna Allyn Pynchon died 3 March 1735.
CHILDREN by MARY PYNCHON
- MARY WHITING was born 19 August 1672 at Westfield, Massachusetts. She married Joseph Sheldon.
- Joseph Whiting was born 5 Oct 1674; died young.
CHILDREN BY ANNA ALLYN
- Anna Whiting, born 28 August 1677 at Hartford, Connecticut. She died 18 April 1684.
- John Whiting, born 13 November 1679 at Hartford; died young.
- Susannah Whiting, born 18 June 1682 at Hartford. She married (1) Samuel Thornton; (2) Thomas Warren.
- William Whiting, born 14 March 1685 at Hartford. He died 6 September 1702.
- Anna Whiting, born 18 August 1687 at Hartford.
- Margaret Whiting, born 5 January 1690 at Hartford. She married Rev. Jonathan Marsh.
- John Whiting, born 15 December 1693. Served as Treasurer of the Colony of Connecticut 32 years, 1718-50.
MARY WHITING was born 19 August 1672 at Westfield, Hampden county, Massachusetts. She married in 1694, Joseph Sheldon.
- Goodwin, Nathaniel. Genealogical Notes: First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts (1969) pp. 343-44. At Stockton Cal. Public Library 929.3744 GOO.
- Heraldic Journal, i. 160.
William Whiting’s arms, a variation of those of the family of Whiting of Boston, Lincolnshire, England.
Rothery, Deborah. Our Family Tree (Portand, Ore.: typescript 1990) p. 61.
Society of Colonial Wars, p. 38.
- Trumbull, J. Hammond. Colonial Records of Connecticut Vol. I, page 493-5. (GET)
- Trumbull, J. Hammond. The Memorial History of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884 (Boston: Edward L. Osgood, Publisher, 1886). Vol. I, Part II, pp. 221-76; on “Major William Whiting”, pp. 269-70. Conn. St. Lib. Call Number: F 102 .H3 T8.
- Waterfield, Peter Whiting. Whiting Genealogy (Framingham MA: January 1982). At SLC Library.
- Barbour, Lucius B. Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1977). Conn. St. Lib. Call Number: HistRef F 104 .H353 A22 1977. Contains genealogical information on over 950 families of early Hartford.
- Bates, Albert C., ed. Original Distribution of the Lands in Hartford Among the Settlers. Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Volume XIV (Hartford: The Society, 1912). Conn. St. Lib. Call Number: HistRef F 91 .C7 v. 14].
- Hosley, William. By Their Markers Ye Shall Know Them: A Chronicle of the History and Restorations of Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground (Hartford: The Ancient Burying Ground Association, Inc., 1994). Conn. St. Lib. Call Number: HistRef F 104 .H362 H68 1994. Includes a transcription of headstone inscriptions in the cemetery keyed to a map in the back of the volume.
- Love, William D. The Colonial History of Hartford (Chester, CT: Centinel Hill Press, 1974, reprint). Conn. St. Lib. Call Number: F 104 .H357 1974.
- Talcott, Mary K. The Original Proprietors (Hartford, CT: Society of The Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, Inc., 1986, reprint). Conn. St. Lib. Call Number: HistRef F 104 .H353 A26 1986. Includes information reprinted from Trumbull’s Memorial History of Hartford County (above, first #4) on the individuals listed above as well as additional individuals having been proved to have resided in Hartford prior to 1640. Should you wish to purchase a copy of this booklet, contact the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 Elizabeth St., Hartford, CT 06105.
Historic Sites at Hartford, Connecticut, on the website of The Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, Connecticut. Click here for their Home Page.
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