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.
First Name:  Last Name: 
Maiden Married
[Help]   [Advanced Search]  [Surnames]

What's New (past 120 days)

13 December 2013

If you are a descendant of the Reverend John Whittlesey 1780-1864 or the Pratt family of Weymouth, Massachusetts from about 1640 until the mid 1800s when they were living in Norwich and Salem, Connecticut then you need to be aware of an outstanding book,
Ancestors and Descendants of George Rufus Brown and Alice Nelson Pratt published by the Newbury Street Press the printing arm of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  Here is a link to the book; www.americanancestors.org/Product.aspx?id=27960   

I received my copy of this new  book on 11 December and am overwhelmed by the thoroughness of this collaborative work, three authors and many members of the staff at NEHGS.  Very few genealogies are as well documented and referenced as this work. Many of the assumptions of previous genealogies, particularly the efforts of Charles Barney Whittelsey in his 1898 and 1941 Whittlesey genealogies followed by the 1992 update by my daughter and me, have been clarified.  The advent of the Internet has made research and source referencing considerably easier than it was in the 1980s and decidedly more than in the 1890s through 1941.  In a letter from Charles Barney Whittelsey to my grandfather he stated that he had written 5000 letters in that period and received 3500 replies.  We wrote many, as our timing for the 1992 book was just a bit before email was widely accepted and websites such as Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org were available for searching digitized records.  Nonetheless, we perpetuated quite a bit of misinformation.  Some of that has been noted in the Brown/Pratt book, thankfully.

The notes and bibliography section of this book comprises 134 pages with as many as 30 entries per page of endnote references for citing sources.  Superbly Done! There is a 64 page index as well.


of the information for this section of the publication came from work

done previously by MaryEm Whittlesea (Bodman) Kenner in her superb, 1979,  Whittlesey

Ancestral Lines compiled especially for the descendants of Sarah

Victoria(Whittlesey) Pratt (1831-1923 and her husband George Pratt


We as a family and descendants of this branch in particular owe a debt of gratitude to Christopher C. Child in particular for the Pratt/Whittlesey (Section III) of the book and  Julie Helen Otto, another researcher at NEHGS for their efforts which benefit all of us in the preservation of our family's genealogical and historical data.  They did have a great headstart provided by MaryEm!

Issues I have been working to resolve for many years:

Some of the issues addressed by the compilers which affect the Whittlesey family are the actual birthdate and place of our progenitor, John Whittelsey.  I have searched the records of many Cambridgeshire churches in the 1620-1650 time frame, some even in Latin and been unable to find a likely candidate for our John.  I believe I have a marriage date and place for his parents, John Whittelsey and Lydia Terry in 1621/2, but cannot find that at this moment. (Now on the to do list).  We have been unable to find the specific ship John arrived on from England and thus not the year.  We have an assumption that he arrived in 1635, no proof! Some say late 1640s, again no proof.  About the only thing we can substantiate for John Whittlese is his marriage on 20 Jun 1664 to Ruth Dudly from volume 1 page 110 from the extracts of land records of Old Saybrook, Connecticut.  There are 10 children listed here as well with their birth dates.  The 11th child, Samuel, and definitely the most famous in that era, was not listed in this entry.

The next issue, which I label, 'The Dudley Dilemma' does have a conclusion and that is that Ruth Dudley is not related to the Dudley line which is considered "royalty".  The proofs of this in a couple of papers I have gathered, will be posted on this site under and Folios and Media tab in the coming weeks.

The third issue is our revered family crest or coat of arms acquired by John Tully Whittlesey, # 210, page 67 in the 1992 book.  Nancy Irene Whittlesey (Campbell) Mead, a retired Oregon judge whose son lives in England, spent quite a bit of time at The College of Arms in London a couple of years ago and was assisted in a search to verify the proper existence of our crest to no avail even to the point of having problems with the components of the crest being used together.  Nonetheless, I still revere it as it has been a symbol for our family since the mid-1800s and certainly contains a worthy motto "Animo et Fide"  courage and faith. Besides, I have it on my 1959 U S Naval Academy graduation ring as an inserted engraved plug.

I would be most pleased to hear input on any of these subjects from family members or other historians.  Willis III