The Whitman Ancestors:
1520-1780

Page Compiled and Written by P. D. Crowe

Contents

Introduction
Surnames
First Generation
Second Generation
Third Generation
Fourth Generation
Fifth Generation
Sixth Generation
Seventh Generation
Eighth Generation
Ninth Generation
Tenth Generation
Index
Sources

Introduction

Here begins "Whitmania", with ten generations of the Whitman family, from the "Martyr" of Ostend to John "Deacon" Whitman who first settled in Nova Scotia at Annapolis Royal.
This group of families spanned not only two centuries, but in crossing the Atlantic Ocean to establish themselves in the American colonies, they were the essence of the transition to the New World.

In this segment of the Whitman family history, I want to begin with the individuals who led up to the time of the family's settlement in the American colonies after leaving Europe, and follow them to about the Revolutionary War period. Another page will cover the Whitman branch through which I am descended, which is John "Deacon" Whitman, a Loyalist, who emigrated to Annapolis, Nova Scotia in 1761.

In the New England colonies, there was a Robert Whitman who settled at Ipswich... He was possibly a brother, some other relation, or perhaps no relation to John Whitman of Weymouth. However, Robert Whitman did arrive in America at about the same time at the same place and settled nearby in the same colony. Charles Henry Farnam, who wrote an extensive genealogical study on John Whitman of Weymouth in 1889 through Yale University, states that this Robert Whitman was an illiterate while members of the John Whitman family were well educated. Just this fact makes it doubtful that Robert was of the immediate family. Additionally, there is no lingering trace of any children or estates left by Robert Whitman, though there are conveyances on record to and from him and his wife Susan. In 1679 Robert Whitman was listed as a proprietor of the community land at Ipswich, and his name appears there on various documents.

There was another man named Francis Whitman who was a shipwright of Boston, who died in 1708 at the age of 50. He may have been Robert Whitman's son. He was not related to John Whitman of Weymouth, according to Farnam. His children were Francis, Mary and Sarah. His wife Mary outlived him and owned land on Essex Street in Boston in 1718. Francis, the son of this Francis Whitman, is also listed as being a shipwright, and was Captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in Boston in 1755. It is believed that the Elizabeth Whitman who made her will in Boston in 1760 was the widow of Francis Whitman (2). In her will, she mentions her son Francis (3), who was possibly the only child of Francis Whitman (2). Farnam's study believes that the descendants of Frances Whitman ended with this son.

In Providence, Rhode Island, there is mentioned a Valentine Whitman... Ancient documents name him as an interpreter to the Indians. It is not surely known what ever became of him or his posterity. The Whitman families of Providence are not related to him, though in Warwick, Rhode Island, there are families probably descended from him.

John, Zechariah, Robert and Valentine are, according to Farnam, the only Whitmans who came from Europe to New England. Because they emigrated at about the same time, it is entirely possible they were at least relatives of some sort. John and Zechariah are known to have been brothers, but what relation any other Whitman arrivals on American soil during this period of time may have been is not known. It would seem if there was a close relation, it would have been documented within the many personal and official papers left by John and Zechariah, as was the case of John and Zachariah's apparent sister, Elizabeth. Farnam does not mention Elizabeth, perhaps because she is not a male Whitman, and so neither her marriage in England to Thomas Streame in England nor her marriage in Weymouth to General John Otis did not produce male Whitmans. Her son John Streame was, however, mentioned in Zachariah Whitman's will in 1666. It is reported that the marriage record of Elizabeth Whitman and Thomas Streame mention that her father's name was Richard Whitman. The descendants of Valentine Whitman say that this Richard was the father of Valentine, so perhaps Elizabeth was a cousin brought to New England. This is a point still open to research.
It is therefore believed that most every Whitman family originating in the United States from the New England area of this period is descended from the relatives of John Whitman of Weymouth.


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Copyright P. D. Crowe; Created 31 Jul 1999 by EasyTree, from Sierra On-Line

Updated 13 May 2000