Whittlesey-WhittelseyFamilyHistory
Genealogy of the Whittlesey-Whittelsey family based upon the 1855 Memorials of the Whittlesey Family, the 1898, 1941 and 1992 Whittelsey/Whittlesey Genealogies along with input from family members. In addition there is information on the Descendants of Seth Savage of Berlin, Connecticut
Additional family lineage of Willis Savage Whittlesey III can be found at cravendescendants.org; brownedescendants.org and frisbiedescendants.org
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Notes


Matches 81 to 120 of 1,014

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 #   Notes   Linked to 
81 1870 Census shows name as Lewis age 6 in Southington, Connecticut
1880 Census shows name as Lewis age 17 in Southington, Connecticut 
WHITTLESEY, Lewis Isaac (I29823)
 
82 1880 Census shows Charly age 1 WHITTLESEY, Charles (I7218)
 
83 1898, 1941 and 1992 W-W Genealogies show birth as 1748. Saybrook Vital Records show baptism as 1745 and this is the only valid date to use at this time. WHITTELSEY, Rebecca (I776)
 
84 19 in 1870 Federal Census DAUGHARTY, Fannie Ellen (I8673)
 
85 1900 Census living with in-laws gives month of birth and year and also says they had two children and had been married 17 years DONNELLY, Edward R (I29459)
 
86 1900 Census shows that she was the mother of 7 children, 5 of whom were living in 1900; the same census shows the following children: William H. age 26 born in 1874, Minnie born in 1870, Mabel born ion 1884, Ida born in 1873 all in California Ann (I8422)
 
87 1900 Federal Census shows her to be 10 years old. Born November 1889. WHITTLESEY, Alice Emma (I1938)
 
88 1910 census 18 years old SOMERS, Helen (I3421)
 
89 1910 Census Atlantic City, NJ SOMERS, Warren Sr. (I29461)
 
90 1910 Census shows that Francis is a male.
Never Married 
HALL, Francis Whitllesey (I29785)
 
91 1920 census 48; 1900 Census living with in-laws gives month of birth and year and also says they had two children and had been married 17 years MESSICK, Fannie C (I29460)
 
92 1920 Census show birth was in Ireland age 33 POWERS, Richard Francis (I19059)
 
93 1920 Census shows birth as Sweden HALL, Rudolf (I29783)
 
94 1920 Census shows name as Latatia Shelby Dickinson age 25 THOMPSON, Laetitia Robb (I3553)
 
95 1940 Census lists age as 47, SS Death Index also lists 1893 as birth year. W-W Genealogy lists 1898 as birth, likely incorrect. MATTES, Meta (I7631)
 
96 1941 W Genealogy showed Walter Louis for 1992 book we were given Lewis by a family member. Haven't checked birth recordfs as of 20 November 2013. RESLEY, Walter Lewis (I8146)
 
97 1998 Christmas card from Lillian Marie Whittlesey Torres stating burial place as West Redding. WHITTLESEY, Robert Stewart (I4988)
 
98 2 FAMC F15
3 ADOP HUSB
2 FAMC F16
3 ADOP HUSB 
WRIGHT, Hyrum Smith (I642)
 
99 2 in 1860 census living in Linn County, Missouri BAILEY, Stephen Whittelsey (I8342)
 
100 2 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 BAILEY, Byron P (I8351)
 
101 2 in 1910 US Census WHITTLESEY, Margaret (I19097)
 
102 2, 15Aug1826, Almira/Haskin *
(1789)
(1789)
(1789)
(1789)
(1789)
(1789)
Ruby/Yale * 1815
(1789)
(1789)
(1789)
(1789)
(1789)

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

2, 15Aug1826, Almira/Haskin *
(1789)
Ruby/Yale * 1815
(1789)

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

2, 15Aug1826, Almira/Haskin *
(1789)
Ruby/Yale * 1815
(1789) 
JOHNSON, Elihu (I6103)
 
103 28 years old when he died in 1852 BAILEY, Justus Jabez (I4309)
 
104 3 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
13 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 name given as Philander M. not E as in 1870 census.

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

3 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
13 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 name given as Philander M. not E as in 1870 census.

3 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
13 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 name given as Philander M. not E as in 1870 census.

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

3 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
13 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 name given as Philander M. not E as in 1870 census.

3 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
13 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 name given as Philander M. not E as in 1870 census. 
BAILEY, Philander E (I8348)
 
105 4 in 1860 Census living in Linn County, Missouri
Referred to as Nannie 14 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

4 in 1860 Census living in Linn County, Missouri
Referred to as Nannie 14 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia

4 in 1860 Census living in Linn County, Missouri
Referred to as Nannie 14 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

4 in 1860 Census living in Linn County, Missouri
Referred to as Nannie 14 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia

4 in 1860 Census living in Linn County, Missouri
Referred to as Nannie 14 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia 
BAILEY, Nancy Lucretia (I8346)
 
106 4 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 BAILEY, Harriet Farnsworth (I8343)
 
107 At least one living or private individual is linked to this note - Details withheld. FREER, Phoebe Hope (I30444)
 
108 6 in 1860 Census living in L:inn County, Missouri
16 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia 
BAILEY, Horace Welford (I8345)
 
109 6 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
16 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

6 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
16 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

6 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
16 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

6 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
16 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

6 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia
16 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 
BAILEY, John N (I8347)
 
110 7 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

7 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

7 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

7 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

7 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 
BAILEY, Cree Minter (I8350)
 
111 79 years 7 months old EUSTIS, William Tappan (I4940)
 
112 8 in 1860 census, Linn County, Missouri
18 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

8 in 1860 census, Linn County, Missouri
18 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia

8 in 1860 census, Linn County, Missouri
18 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

8 in 1860 census, Linn County, Missouri
18 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia

8 in 1860 census, Linn County, Missouri
18 in 1870 census living in Grant Township, Harrison County, West Virginia 
BAILEY, Washington (I8344)
 
113 At least one living or private individual is linked to this note - Details withheld. HALL, Jean R (I29787)
 
114 9 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

9 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

9 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

9 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880

9 in 1880 census living in Troy District, Gilmer Bounty, West Virginia 15 or 16 June 1880 
BAILEY, Silas J (I8349)
 
115 137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
d. 12 July, 1821;
m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
The Meadows by the Farmington River
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
provide an opportunity to discuss situational
intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
“farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
the United States (1855)
. Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
her daughters the household arts”.2
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
What happened to the first two children?
Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
the process.3
2
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
3 Image: http://www.beafifer.com/smallpoxcolman.jpg
One possibility is they fell victim to small pox radiating from Boston during the 1721
epidemic. The first story about the Wadsworth family, finds Ruth’s Uncle, Dr. Theodore
Wadsworth (1753-1808) providing protection from smallpox by “variolition” –
voluntarily receiving a small inoculm and sustaining a localized mild disease. The
variolator deposited a small quantity of pus from the pock of a patient with mild disease
into a shallow cut in the arm or leg. The resulting disease was usually localized, and the
inoculate only mildly ill The patient was contagious for several weeks and had to be
isolated, as local outbreaks sometimes followed. This process however was very
controversial at the time, it was declared, “…the procedure to be a heathen practice and a
clear contravention of divine intent. Angry public debate, filled with recriminations and
damnations, continued through much of the 1721 epidemic Those opposed to inoculation
asserted that it infringed on the perergatives of divine providence, and they demanded the
death penalty for those physicians that willfully practiced inoculation”.4
Patient names carved into "Hospital Rock".
Photo: Stephanie Riefe.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html
In this supplemental article found about the Farmington battle
with smallpox, Dr. Wadsworth (Ruth’s Uncle) worked in
conjunction with Dr. Eli Todd and opened a hospital for
inoculates to languish and recover. There is a large stone that is left of this facility where
the patients used to sun themselves and carve their names on the rock,
Near the hospital building was a smooth sunny ledge on which the young patients could
socialize, and where they picked up messages and packages from home. Of the hundreds
who must have stayed at the hospital in the years 1792, 1793 and 1794, sixty-six have left
us their names or initials cut into the ledge. It is smooth, flat and slopes down away from
the old roadway. Scattered on the rock's surface in an irregular area about 15 by 20 feet,
the names are barely discernible until a visitor dusts them with flour. Then they emerge,
like a photographic print materializing in a darkroom pan. The old Settlement Road is
now abandoned, though it can be traced from the quarry on Route 6 several miles through
the forest to where it is interrupted by Interstate 84. Along it innumerable fragments of
trap rock litter the forest floor, and there area a few hints of stone walls. Near the road
and 1,000 feet from the rock itself, there is a cellar hole lined with mortar less rock and a
long-abandoned well. These are the only remains so far uncovered that accompany
Hospital Rock with its carved names recalling a long ago and very different time. It is
estimated that hundreds of patients were inoculated and spent their recovery at the Todd-
Wadsworth Smallpox Hospital . Fifty-two of the 66 names carved into the rock include
first, and sometimes middle, initials, and these patients can be further identified with
some confidence. Considerable information is available for 26 of them. The known ages
of the patients ranged from 9 to 33 years.4
4
Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Image: Jenner. smallpox vaccination in
1796.
http://old.lf3.cuni.cz/mikrobiologie/teozak/imun/jenner.gif
There is no mention of the Whittlesey
girls on the stone. It is mentioned that
variolition was a costly procedure,
perhaps they were too poor. The girls
are also younger than the article
mentions the patients were, perhaps they
were too young for a stay at their Great
Uncle’s hospital or just too young for vaccination. On the other hand, maybe they died
from inoculation; Only questions surround this connection of the immediate family
practicing variolition, and the young two timely deaths. With strong Congregational
beliefs well documented in his family, perhaps Abner was opposed to inoculation,
leaving his children to get sick and cause his wife to resent him. Either way, five years
after this Ruth, surviving the death of her daughters, first files a petition to the Superior
Court of Connecticut for a divorce from Abner.
Divorce was available to Connecticut couples on three grounds: adultery, fraudulent
contract, and willful desertion or providential absence for three or seven years
respectively. The earliest divorces were apparently granted by the general Court, but in
1677 the Court of Assistant, later the Superior Court, was given that power….Despite the
limited provisions of the law, the assembly in 1753 granted a divorce to a woman on the
grounds that her husband severely abused her, and in another case acquiesced in
separation and support payments. Divorce was possible then…but it was rare.5
Whittlesey, Ruth, Farmington,
petition showing that on
April 5, 1786, she was
married to Abner Whittlesey
who was so brutal & violent
in his treatment
of petitioner that she was
obliged to escape to the
refuge of her
father’s house & praying for
a divorce, guardianship of
their daughter
& a due proportion of the
estate of aforesaid Abner for
support of
5
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
petitioner & education of the daughter Differing votes.
Continued
Resolve granting petitioner a divorce from Abner
Whittlesey, guardianship of their daughter & payment of
$1,OOO for support of petitioner & $1,0OO for use & benefit
of the daughter. Differing votes Passed, with alterations &
additions Petition by Abner Whittlesey showing blamable &
provoking conduct by his former wife, Ruth, stating that
the alimony is excessive & praying for a new trial. Plea in
abatement insufficient. Continued. Special grant of a new
trial in regard to alimony & guardianship of the child.
Resolve in accordance with the special grant. Resolve
committing guardianship of aforesaid daughter to such
person as the court of probate for Farmington district
shall appoint & requiring petitioner to pay to this
guardian the money necessary for support of the minor & to
pay to aforesaid.
Ruth $1,OO, September 1799-October 1801 II:llO-116
Perhaps the divorce came about as Abner’s family was very patriotic including many
sons or his brothers fighting in the Revolutionary War. Ruth’s family is recoded as being
heroic patriots themselves, her father is listed as a Captain in the public records of
Connecticut for the year 1761, yet no mention of Abner’s involvement in anything other
than farming, being delusional and his contested divorce records. The Wadsworth’s were
very prominent, Ruth’s Great Grandfather was with his brother in the capturing of the
Charter Oak and hiding it in the legendary tree. As the story goes,
Two English kings, a royal agent, a colonial hero and a candle-lit room are the figures
and backdrop in one of the most thrilling chapters of America's legend of liberty. The
refusal of our early Connecticut leaders to give up the Charter, despite royal order and the
threat of arms, marked one of the greatest episodes of determined courage in our history.
The Charter Oak Tree. http://www.colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm
On October 9, 1662, The General Court of
Connecticut formally received the Charter won from
King Charles II by the suave diplomacy of Governor
John Winthrop, Jr., who had crossed the ocean for the
purpose. Twenty-five years later, with the succession
of James II to the throne, Connecticut's troubles began
6
CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
INDEX. Hartford, CT.
http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
in earnest… His Majesty's agent, followed up failure of various strategies
by arriving in Hartford with an armed force to seize the Charter. After
hours of debate, with the Charter on the table between the opposing
parties, the candle-lit room suddenly went dark. Moments later when the
candles were re-lighted, the Charter was gone. Captain Joseph Wadsworth
is credited with having removed and secreted the Charter in the majestic
oak on the Wyllys estate…For over a hundred and fifty years, the "charter
oak" was a prominent and widely recognized Connecticut landmark.
When it was toppled during an 1857 storm, acorns were collected as
keepsakes, as were a considerable amount of twigs, leaves, branches and
lumber.7
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200
Whittlesey, C.B., (1992).TheWhittlesey-Whittelesey Geneology.Artistic Printing Co. Salt Lake City Utah.
Whittelsey, H.N. (1855). Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in the United States. Hartford, CT: The Whittlesey Association. From the
Quintin Publications Collection.
Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
INDEX. Hartford, CT.
http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
7
State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
d. 12 July, 1821;
m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
The Meadows by the Farmington River
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
provide an opportunity to discuss situational
intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
“farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
the United States (1855)
. Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
her daughters the household arts”.2
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
What happened to the first two children?
Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
the process.3
2
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
3 Image: http://www.beafifer.com/smallpoxcolman.jpg
One possibility is they fell victim to small pox radiating from Boston during the 1721
epidemic. The first story about the Wadsworth family, finds Ruth’s Uncle, Dr. Theodore
Wadsworth (1753-1808) providing protection from smallpox by “variolition” –
voluntarily receiving a small inoculm and sustaining a localized mild disease. The
variolator deposited a small quantity of pus from the pock of a patient with mild disease
into a shallow cut in the arm or leg. The resulting disease was usually localized, and the
inoculate only mildly ill The patient was contagious for several weeks and had to be
isolated, as local outbreaks sometimes followed. This process however was very
controversial at the time, it was declared, “…the procedure to be a heathen practice and a
clear contravention of divine intent. Angry public debate, filled with recriminations and
damnations, continued through much of the 1721 epidemic Those opposed to inoculation
asserted that it infringed on the perergatives of divine providence, and they demanded the
death penalty for those physicians that willfully practiced inoculation”.4
Patient names carved into "Hospital Rock".
Photo: Stephanie Riefe.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html
In this supplemental article found about the Farmington battle
with smallpox, Dr. Wadsworth (Ruth’s Uncle) worked in
conjunction with Dr. Eli Todd and opened a hospital for
inoculates to languish and recover. There is a large stone that is left of this facility where
the patients used to sun themselves and carve their names on the rock,
Near the hospital building was a smooth sunny ledge on which the young patients could
socialize, and where they picked up messages and packages from home. Of the hundreds
who must have stayed at the hospital in the years 1792, 1793 and 1794, sixty-six have left
us their names or initials cut into the ledge. It is smooth, flat and slopes down away from
the old roadway. Scattered on the rock's surface in an irregular area about 15 by 20 feet,
the names are barely discernible until a visitor dusts them with flour. Then they emerge,
like a photographic print materializing in a darkroom pan. The old Settlement Road is
now abandoned, though it can be traced from the quarry on Route 6 several miles through
the forest to where it is interrupted by Interstate 84. Along it innumerable fragments of
trap rock litter the forest floor, and there area a few hints of stone walls. Near the road
and 1,000 feet from the rock itself, there is a cellar hole lined with mortar less rock and a
long-abandoned well. These are the only remains so far uncovered that accompany
Hospital Rock with its carved names recalling a long ago and very different time. It is
estimated that hundreds of patients were inoculated and spent their recovery at the Todd-
Wadsworth Smallpox Hospital . Fifty-two of the 66 names carved into the rock include
first, and sometimes middle, initials, and these patients can be further identified with
some confidence. Considerable information is available for 26 of them. The known ages
of the patients ranged from 9 to 33 years.4
4
Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Image: Jenner. smallpox vaccination in
1796.
http://old.lf3.cuni.cz/mikrobiologie/teozak/imun/jenner.gif
There is no mention of the Whittlesey
girls on the stone. It is mentioned that
variolition was a costly procedure,
perhaps they were too poor. The girls
are also younger than the article
mentions the patients were, perhaps they
were too young for a stay at their Great
Uncle’s hospital or just too young for vaccination. On the other hand, maybe they died
from inoculation; Only questions surround this connection of the immediate family
practicing variolition, and the young two timely deaths. With strong Congregational
beliefs well documented in his family, perhaps Abner was opposed to inoculation,
leaving his children to get sick and cause his wife to resent him. Either way, five years
after this Ruth, surviving the death of her daughters, first files a petition to the Superior
Court of Connecticut for a divorce from Abner.
Divorce was available to Connecticut couples on three grounds: adultery, fraudulent
contract, and willful desertion or providential absence for three or seven years
respectively. The earliest divorces were apparently granted by the general Court, but in
1677 the Court of Assistant, later the Superior Court, was given that power….Despite the
limited provisions of the law, the assembly in 1753 granted a divorce to a woman on the
grounds that her husband severely abused her, and in another case acquiesced in
separation and support payments. Divorce was possible then…but it was rare.5
Whittlesey, Ruth, Farmington,
petition showing that on
April 5, 1786, she was
married to Abner Whittlesey
who was so brutal & violent
in his treatment
of petitioner that she was
obliged to escape to the
refuge of her
father’s house & praying for
a divorce, guardianship of
their daughter
& a due proportion of the
estate of aforesaid Abner for
support of
5
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
petitioner & education of the daughter Differing votes.
Continued
Resolve granting petitioner a divorce from Abner
Whittlesey, guardianship of their daughter & payment of
$1,OOO for support of petitioner & $1,0OO for use & benefit
of the daughter. Differing votes Passed, with alterations &
additions Petition by Abner Whittlesey showing blamable &
provoking conduct by his former wife, Ruth, stating that
the alimony is excessive & praying for a new trial. Plea in
abatement insufficient. Continued. Special grant of a new
trial in regard to alimony & guardianship of the child.
Resolve in accordance with the special grant. Resolve
committing guardianship of aforesaid daughter to such
person as the court of probate for Farmington district
shall appoint & requiring petitioner to pay to this
guardian the money necessary for support of the minor & to
pay to aforesaid.
Ruth $1,OO, September 1799-October 1801 II:llO-116
Perhaps the divorce came about as Abner’s family was very patriotic including many
sons or his brothers fighting in the Revolutionary War. Ruth’s family is recoded as being
heroic patriots themselves, her father is listed as a Captain in the public records of
Connecticut for the year 1761, yet no mention of Abner’s involvement in anything other
than farming, being delusional and his contested divorce records. The Wadsworth’s were
very prominent, Ruth’s Great Grandfather was with his brother in the capturing of the
Charter Oak and hiding it in the legendary tree. As the story goes,
Two English kings, a royal agent, a colonial hero and a candle-lit room are the figures
and backdrop in one of the most thrilling chapters of America's legend of liberty. The
refusal of our early Connecticut leaders to give up the Charter, despite royal order and the
threat of arms, marked one of the greatest episodes of determined courage in our history.
The Charter Oak Tree. http://www.colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm
On October 9, 1662, The General Court of
Connecticut formally received the Charter won from
King Charles II by the suave diplomacy of Governor
John Winthrop, Jr., who had crossed the ocean for the
purpose. Twenty-five years later, with the succession
of James II to the throne, Connecticut's troubles began
6
CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
INDEX. Hartford, CT.
http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
in earnest… His Majesty's agent, followed up failure of various strategies
by arriving in Hartford with an armed force to seize the Charter. After
hours of debate, with the Charter on the table between the opposing
parties, the candle-lit room suddenly went dark. Moments later when the
candles were re-lighted, the Charter was gone. Captain Joseph Wadsworth
is credited with having removed and secreted the Charter in the majestic
oak on the Wyllys estate…For over a hundred and fifty years, the "charter
oak" was a prominent and widely recognized Connecticut landmark.
When it was toppled during an 1857 storm, acorns were collected as
keepsakes, as were a considerable amount of twigs, leaves, branches and
lumber.7
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200
Whittlesey, C.B., (1992).TheWhittlesey-Whittelesey Geneology.Artistic Printing Co. Salt Lake City Utah.
Whittelsey, H.N. (1855). Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in the United States. Hartford, CT: The Whittlesey Association. From the
Quintin Publications Collection.
Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
INDEX. Hartford, CT.
http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
7
State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200

137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
d. 12 July, 1821;
m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
The Meadows by the Farmington River
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
provide an opportunity to discuss situational
intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
“farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
the United States (1855)
. Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
her daughters the household arts”.2
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
What happened to the first two children?
Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
the process.3
2
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
3 Image: http://www.beafifer.com/smallpoxcolman.jpg
One possibility is they fell victim to small pox radiating from Boston during the 1721
epidemic. The first story about the Wadsworth family, finds Ruth’s Uncle, Dr. Theodore
Wadsworth (1753-1808) providing protection from smallpox by “variolition” –
voluntarily receiving a small inoculm and sustaining a localized mild disease. The
variolator deposited a small quantity of pus from the pock of a patient with mild disease
into a shallow cut in the arm or leg. The resulting disease was usually localized, and the
inoculate only mildly ill The patient was contagious for several weeks and had to be
isolated, as local outbreaks sometimes followed. This process however was very
controversial at the time, it was declared, “…the procedure to be a heathen practice and a
clear contravention of divine intent. Angry public debate, filled with recriminations and
damnations, continued through much of the 1721 epidemic Those opposed to inoculation
asserted that it infringed on the perergatives of divine providence, and they demanded the
death penalty for those physicians that willfully practiced inoculation”.4
Patient names carved into "Hospital Rock".
Photo: Stephanie Riefe.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html
In this supplemental article found about the Farmington battle
with smallpox, Dr. Wadsworth (Ruth’s Uncle) worked in
conjunction with Dr. Eli Todd and opened a hospital for
inoculates to languish and recover. There is a large stone that is left of this facility where
the patients used to sun themselves and carve their names on the rock,
Near the hospital building was a smooth sunny ledge on which the young patients could
socialize, and where they picked up messages and packages from home. Of the hundreds
who must have stayed at the hospital in the years 1792, 1793 and 1794, sixty-six have left
us their names or initials cut into the ledge. It is smooth, flat and slopes down away from
the old roadway. Scattered on the rock's surface in an irregular area about 15 by 20 feet,
the names are barely discernible until a visitor dusts them with flour. Then they emerge,
like a photographic print materializing in a darkroom pan. The old Settlement Road is
now abandoned, though it can be traced from the quarry on Route 6 several miles through
the forest to where it is interrupted by Interstate 84. Along it innumerable fragments of
trap rock litter the forest floor, and there area a few hints of stone walls. Near the road
and 1,000 feet from the rock itself, there is a cellar hole lined with mortar less rock and a
long-abandoned well. These are the only remains so far uncovered that accompany
Hospital Rock with its carved names recalling a long ago and very different time. It is
estimated that hundreds of patients were inoculated and spent their recovery at the Todd-
Wadsworth Smallpox Hospital . Fifty-two of the 66 names carved into the rock include
first, and sometimes middle, initials, and these patients can be further identified with
some confidence. Considerable information is available for 26 of them. The known ages
of the patients ranged from 9 to 33 years.4
4
Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Image: Jenner. smallpox vaccination in
1796.
http://old.lf3.cuni.cz/mikrobiologie/teozak/imun/jenner.gif
There is no mention of the Whittlesey
girls on the stone. It is mentioned that
variolition was a costly procedure,
perhaps they were too poor. The girls
are also younger than the article
mentions the patients were, perhaps they
were too young for a stay at their Great
Uncle’s hospital or just too young for vaccination. On the other hand, maybe they died
from inoculation; Only questions surround this connection of the immediate family
practicing variolition, and the young two timely deaths. With strong Congregational
beliefs well documented in his family, perhaps Abner was opposed to inoculation,
leaving his children to get sick and cause his wife to resent him. Either way, five years
after this Ruth, surviving the death of her daughters, first files a petition to the Superior
Court of Connecticut for a divorce from Abner.
Divorce was available to Connecticut couples on three grounds: adultery, fraudulent
contract, and willful desertion or providential absence for three or seven years
respectively. The earliest divorces were apparently granted by the general Court, but in
1677 the Court of Assistant, later the Superior Court, was given that power….Despite the
limited provisions of the law, the assembly in 1753 granted a divorce to a woman on the
grounds that her husband severely abused her, and in another case acquiesced in
separation and support payments. Divorce was possible then…but it was rare.5
Whittlesey, Ruth, Farmington,
petition showing that on
April 5, 1786, she was
married to Abner Whittlesey
who was so brutal & violent
in his treatment
of petitioner that she was
obliged to escape to the
refuge of her
father’s house & praying for
a divorce, guardianship of
their daughter
& a due proportion of the
estate of aforesaid Abner for
support of
5
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
petitioner & education of the daughter Differing votes.
Continued
Resolve granting petitioner a divorce from Abner
Whittlesey, guardianship of their daughter & payment of
$1,OOO for support of petitioner & $1,0OO for use & benefit
of the daughter. Differing votes Passed, with alterations &
additions Petition by Abner Whittlesey showing blamable &
provoking conduct by his former wife, Ruth, stating that
the alimony is excessive & praying for a new trial. Plea in
abatement insufficient. Continued. Special grant of a new
trial in regard to alimony & guardianship of the child.
Resolve in accordance with the special grant. Resolve
committing guardianship of aforesaid daughter to such
person as the court of probate for Farmington district
shall appoint & requiring petitioner to pay to this
guardian the money necessary for support of the minor & to
pay to aforesaid.
Ruth $1,OO, September 1799-October 1801 II:llO-116
Perhaps the divorce came about as Abner’s family was very patriotic including many
sons or his brothers fighting in the Revolutionary War. Ruth’s family is recoded as being
heroic patriots themselves, her father is listed as a Captain in the public records of
Connecticut for the year 1761, yet no mention of Abner’s involvement in anything other
than farming, being delusional and his contested divorce records. The Wadsworth’s were
very prominent, Ruth’s Great Grandfather was with his brother in the capturing of the
Charter Oak and hiding it in the legendary tree. As the story goes,
Two English kings, a royal agent, a colonial hero and a candle-lit room are the figures
and backdrop in one of the most thrilling chapters of America's legend of liberty. The
refusal of our early Connecticut leaders to give up the Charter, despite royal order and the
threat of arms, marked one of the greatest episodes of determined courage in our history.
The Charter Oak Tree. http://www.colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm
On October 9, 1662, The General Court of
Connecticut formally received the Charter won from
King Charles II by the suave diplomacy of Governor
John Winthrop, Jr., who had crossed the ocean for the
purpose. Twenty-five years later, with the succession
of James II to the throne, Connecticut's troubles began
6
CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
INDEX. Hartford, CT.
http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
in earnest… His Majesty's agent, followed up failure of various strategies
by arriving in Hartford with an armed force to seize the Charter. After
hours of debate, with the Charter on the table between the opposing
parties, the candle-lit room suddenly went dark. Moments later when the
candles were re-lighted, the Charter was gone. Captain Joseph Wadsworth
is credited with having removed and secreted the Charter in the majestic
oak on the Wyllys estate…For over a hundred and fifty years, the "charter
oak" was a prominent and widely recognized Connecticut landmark.
When it was toppled during an 1857 storm, acorns were collected as
keepsakes, as were a considerable amount of twigs, leaves, branches and
lumber.7
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200
Whittlesey, C.B., (1992).TheWhittlesey-Whittelesey Geneology.Artistic Printing Co. Salt Lake City Utah.
Whittelsey, H.N. (1855). Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in the United States. Hartford, CT: The Whittlesey Association. From the
Quintin Publications Collection.
Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
INDEX. Hartford, CT.
http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
7
State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200

-- MERGED NOTE ------------

137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
d. 12 July, 1821;
m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
The Meadows by the Farmington River
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
provide an opportunity to discuss situational
intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
“farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
the United States (1855)
. Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
her daughters the household arts”.2
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
What happened to the first two children?
Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
the process.3
2
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
3 Image: http://www.beafifer.com/smallpoxcolman.jpg
One possibility is they fell victim to small pox radiating from Boston during the 1721
epidemic. The first story about the Wadsworth family, finds Ruth’s Uncle, Dr. Theodore
Wadsworth (1753-1808) providing protection from smallpox by “variolition” –
voluntarily receiving a small inoculm and sustaining a localized mild disease. The
variolator deposited a small quantity of pus from the pock of a patient with mild disease
into a shallow cut in the arm or leg. The resulting disease was usually localized, and the
inoculate only mildly ill The patient was contagious for several weeks and had to be
isolated, as local outbreaks sometimes followed. This process however was very
controversial at the time, it was declared, “…the procedure to be a heathen practice and a
clear contravention of divine intent. Angry public debate, filled with recriminations and
damnations, continued through much of the 1721 epidemic Those opposed to inoculation
asserted that it infringed on the perergatives of divine providence, and they demanded the
death penalty for those physicians that willfully practiced inoculation”.4
Patient names carved into "Hospital Rock".
Photo: Stephanie Riefe.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html
In this supplemental article found about the Farmington battle
with smallpox, Dr. Wadsworth (Ruth’s Uncle) worked in
conjunction with Dr. Eli Todd and opened a hospital for
inoculates to languish and recover. There is a large stone that is left of this facility where
the patients used to sun themselves and carve their names on the rock,
Near the hospital building was a smooth sunny ledge on which the young patients could
socialize, and where they picked up messages and packages from home. Of the hundreds
who must have stayed at the hospital in the years 1792, 1793 and 1794, sixty-six have left
us their names or initials cut into the ledge. It is smooth, flat and slopes down away from
the old roadway. Scattered on the rock's surface in an irregular area about 15 by 20 feet,
the names are barely discernible until a visitor dusts them with flour. Then they emerge,
like a photographic print materializing in a darkroom pan. The old Settlement Road is
now abandoned, though it can be traced from the quarry on Route 6 several miles through
the forest to where it is interrupted by Interstate 84. Along it innumerable fragments of
trap rock litter the forest floor, and there area a few hints of stone walls. Near the road
and 1,000 feet from the rock itself, there is a cellar hole lined with mortar less rock and a
long-abandoned well. These are the only remains so far uncovered that accompany
Hospital Rock with its carved names recalling a long ago and very different time. It is
estimated that hundreds of patients were inoculated and spent their recovery at the Todd-
Wadsworth Smallpox Hospital . Fifty-two of the 66 names carved into the rock include
first, and sometimes middle, initials, and these patients can be further identified with
some confidence. Considerable information is available for 26 of them. The known ages
of the patients ranged from 9 to 33 years.4
4
Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Image: Jenner. smallpox vaccination in
1796.
http://old.lf3.cuni.cz/mikrobiologie/teozak/imun/jenner.gif
There is no mention of the Whittlesey
girls on the stone. It is mentioned that
variolition was a costly procedure,
perhaps they were too poor. The girls
are also younger than the article
mentions the patients were, perhaps they
were too young for a stay at their Great
Uncle’s hospital or just too young for vaccination. On the other hand, maybe they died
from inoculation; Only questions surround this connection of the immediate family
practicing variolition, and the young two timely deaths. With strong Congregational
beliefs well documented in his family, perhaps Abner was opposed to inoculation,
leaving his children to get sick and cause his wife to resent him. Either way, five years
after this Ruth, surviving the death of her daughters, first files a petition to the Superior
Court of Connecticut for a divorce from Abner.
Divorce was available to Connecticut couples on three grounds: adultery, fraudulent
contract, and willful desertion or providential absence for three or seven years
respectively. The earliest divorces were apparently granted by the general Court, but in
1677 the Court of Assistant, later the Superior Court, was given that power….Despite the
limited provisions of the law, the assembly in 1753 granted a divorce to a woman on the
grounds that her husband severely abused her, and in another case acquiesced in
separation and support payments. Divorce was possible then…but it was rare.5
Whittlesey, Ruth, Farmington,
petition showing that on
April 5, 1786, she was
married to Abner Whittlesey
who was so brutal & violent
in his treatment
of petitioner that she was
obliged to escape to the
refuge of her
father’s house & praying for
a divorce, guardianship of
their daughter
& a due proportion of the
estate of aforesaid Abner for
support of
5
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
petitioner & education of the daughter Differing votes.
Continued
Resolve granting petitioner a divorce from Abner
Whittlesey, guardianship of their daughter & payment of
$1,OOO for support of petitioner & $1,0OO for use & benefit
of the daughter. Differing votes Passed, with alterations &
additions Petition by Abner Whittlesey showing blamable &
provoking conduct by his former wife, Ruth, stating that
the alimony is excessive & praying for a new trial. Plea in
abatement insufficient. Continued. Special grant of a new
trial in regard to alimony & guardianship of the child.
Resolve in accordance with the special grant. Resolve
committing guardianship of aforesaid daughter to such
person as the court of probate for Farmington district
shall appoint & requiring petitioner to pay to this
guardian the money necessary for support of the minor & to
pay to aforesaid.
Ruth $1,OO, September 1799-October 1801 II:llO-116
Perhaps the divorce came about as Abner’s family was very patriotic including many
sons or his brothers fighting in the Revolutionary War. Ruth’s family is recoded as being
heroic patriots themselves, her father is listed as a Captain in the public records of
Connecticut for the year 1761, yet no mention of Abner’s involvement in anything other
than farming, being delusional and his contested divorce records. The Wadsworth’s were
very prominent, Ruth’s Great Grandfather was with his brother in the capturing of the
Charter Oak and hiding it in the legendary tree. As the story goes,
Two English kings, a royal agent, a colonial hero and a candle-lit room are the figures
and backdrop in one of the most thrilling chapters of America's legend of liberty. The
refusal of our early Connecticut leaders to give up the Charter, despite royal order and the
threat of arms, marked one of the greatest episodes of determined courage in our history.
The Charter Oak Tree. http://www.colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm
On October 9, 1662, The General Court of
Connecticut formally received the Charter won from
King Charles II by the suave diplomacy of Governor
John Winthrop, Jr., who had crossed the ocean for the
purpose. Twenty-five years later, with the succession
of James II to the throne, Connecticut's troubles began
6
CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
INDEX. Hartford, CT.
http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
in earnest… His Majesty's agent, followed up failure of various strategies
by arriving in Hartford with an armed force to seize the Charter. After
hours of debate, with the Charter on the table between the opposing
parties, the candle-lit room suddenly went dark. Moments later when the
candles were re-lighted, the Charter was gone. Captain Joseph Wadsworth
is credited with having removed and secreted the Charter in the majestic
oak on the Wyllys estate…For over a hundred and fifty years, the "charter
oak" was a prominent and widely recognized Connecticut landmark.
When it was toppled during an 1857 storm, acorns were collected as
keepsakes, as were a considerable amount of twigs, leaves, branches and
lumber.7
Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200
Whittlesey, C.B., (1992).TheWhittlesey-Whittelesey Geneology.Artistic Printing Co. Salt Lake City Utah.
Whittelsey, H.N. (1855). Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in the United States. Hartford, CT: The Whittlesey Association. From the
Quintin Publications Collection.
Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
INDEX. Hartford, CT.
http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
7
State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200

137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
d. 12 July, 1821;
m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
The Meadows by the Farmington River
http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
provide an opportunity to discuss situational
intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
“farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
the United States (1855)
. Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
her daughters the household arts”.2
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
What happened to the first two children?
Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
the process.3
2
Taylor 
WHITTLESEY, Abner (I71)
 
116 American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI)about Agnes Cornelia Deming
Name: Agnes Cornelia Deming
Birth Date: 1869
Volume: 42
Page Number: 168
Reference: Genealogy of the des. of John Deming of Wethersfield, Ct. By Jusdon Keith Deming. Dubuque, Ia, 1904. (694p.):397
 
DEMING, Agnes Cornelia (I8341)
 
117 California, Death Index, 1905-1939about Orville Whittelsey
Name: Orville Whittelsey
Birth Year: abt 1854
Death Date: 30 Jan 1923
Age at Death: 69
Death Place: Los Angeles, California, USA 
WHITTLESEY, Orville Holly (I7713)
 
118 California, Death Index, 1905-1939about Orville Whittelsey
Name: Orville Whittelsey
Birth Year: abt 1854
Death Date: 30 Jan 1923
Age at Death: 69
Death Place: Los Angeles, California, USA 
WHITTLESEY, Orville Holly (I7713)
 
119 California, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941
Name: S E Browne
Gender: Female
Marriage Date: 11 May 1882
Marriage Place: Alameda, California, USA
Spouse:
Spouse Gender: Male
Record Type: Index to Marriage Certificates



Source Information:
Ancestry.com. California, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Marriage records, select counties and years. California State Archives, Sacramento, California.





 
Family F2946
 
120 California, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941
Name: S E Browne
Gender: Female
Marriage Date: 11 May 1882
Marriage Place: Alameda, California, USA
Spouse:
Spouse Gender: Male
Record Type: Index to Marriage Certificates

Source Information:
Ancestry.com. California, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Marriage records, select counties and years. California State Archives, Sacramento, California. 
Family F2946
 

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