Friday, October 18, 2013

Holbrook: Josiah Whittemore

Josiah Whittemore is something of a mystery. He was born in 1749 to John Whittemore and Lydia Clough.  He married first, in Lunenburgh, Ma, Lucy Snow, on August 9, 1773.  She died in Leominster in 1794.  Secondly he married Martha Parkhurst Rider, widow, in late 1795, also in Leominster.  He had 10 children with his first wife and 4 children with his second wife.  He's listed as being a Revolutionary War veteran, and in August of 1977 marched 180 miles in 9 days with the "Northern Army" on an alarm at Bennington.   

Find a Grave shows his monument at the Phiillipston Center Cemetery in Phillipston, Massachusetts. He is buried next to his second wife, Martha, who died in 1826.  There is also a memorial stone for Lucy at the same cemetery, in basically the same style, but it is unknown where she was buried. 

I don't yet know his church affiliation, or his occupation.  I do know he must have been very busy, with 14 young mouths to feed, although it appears that his oldest children may have been out of the household by the time his youngest children were born.  I have not been able to locate him in a census, unless he was the Josiah Whittemore in West Cambridge, Essex, Massachusetts in 1810 with 15 people in his household. We have no record that he ever lived in that location, so I'm skeptical. 

I chose to write about Josiah because he is representative of so many of our ancestors. We can learn the bare facts about his life, but we don't know how to fill in the dash between 1749-1814.  He apparently kept his name out of the court system, he did his duty when he was called, and he raised a large family. Since this was Massachusetts, it's possible that he was a Congretationalist, perhaps attending the lovely church building shown on the Phillipston, Mass wikipedia page.  I'd love to go to Massachusetts to see what else can be learned about him, but that may never happen.  Meanwhile, we can be glad he existed, because without Josiah Whittemore, we wouldn't be here!

Our line of descent:

Josiah Whittemore-Lucy Snow
Josiah Whittemore-Betsy Foster
Elizabeth Whittermore-Joseph Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Lois/Gladys/Ray/Howard Holbrook