"Nicholas Whitman the third son of Thomas Whitman, had his father's homestead and lived with him. The following is from Judge Whitman's memoir: (he of Portland Maine): 'Nicholas Whitman was a man of great vigor, industry and activity. His dwelling-house was near Marfield river a few rods west of the dwelling-house, afterwards built by his son Ebenezer, and lately occupied by Joseph Keen. He was born about the time of the breaking out of Philip's War, in which his father's dwelling-house and the other dwellings in that part of the town were, according to tradition, destroyed by the Indians. This was a period of great disasters and alarm. The settlements were sparse and wide apart. To come to the aid of each other of a sudden was difficult and attended with danger. The progress of the settlement was of course retarded, and privations were multiplied. Schools could not be established, and the children were but scantily furnished with the means of education. They were taught by their parents to read, but not, in many instances, to write. Nicholas could doubtless read his bible, but if he could write at all it was with difficulty. But possessing strong native powers, he was enabled to manage the common affairs of life to good advantage. Although his family was large he increased his estate. He was a constant attendant upon public worship, although for a greater part of his life the meeting place was three miles distant from him.

'In is religious notions he partook, in some measure, of the times and was somewhat pertinacious. He could not readily yield assent to what, by the then rising generation, were deemed improvements either in doctrine or ceremony. Whatever he had witnessed in the conduct of his forefathers had with him the force of law. Accordingly it is related of him that, having grown up while it was fashionable, owing probably to the open and unfinished state of the meeting houses in early times,, for the men to put on their hats during sermon time, he could not readily brook the idea of an innovation even in this particular. This practice had existed during the whole of the ministry (about fifty years) of the first settled minister; after which, his successor, a fashionable young man from the metropolis, who was able to persuade all, except Mr. Whitman, to lay aside the practice, and finding him contumacious, he delivered a discourse on the subject; but before he had finished, Mr. Whitman arose and with great gravity, and possibly without intending sarcasm, remarked 'that rather than offend a weak brother, he would pull off his hat', and accordingly did so thereafter, as well during the sermon as prayer time.

'He had before his death settled portions of his homestead upon his sons Thomas and John, and his son David was amply provided for by the bequest of his uncle John, as before mentioned. Seth, Eleazer and Benjamin were settled on his outlands. His other children, after his decease, had, between them, the residue of his homestead. He had the rare felicity of having eleven of his children all settled, and well settled, in the same town with himself, where they all spent their days in good reputation. Five of them lived to be of the ages respectively, 80, 86, 87, 90, 94. the other six died between 30 and 70 years of age. His posterity have been very numerous, and several hundred are now living.

'He came to his death, 'unfortunately', on the 6th. of August 1746, he being then seventy-one years of age. It happened at this time that his son John had some hay to get in, and he had come with his team to help him, and was remarkable always for insisting on driving his own team, which happened at the time to be somewhat unruly oxen. The cart being loaded on the meadow, by the river, nearly fronting the dwelling-house of Dea. John Whitman, he drove it from thence up a sidelong bank, he walking on the upper side, and the cattle going quick, and the stubble being dry and slippery, he slipped and fell, and before he could recover himself, the cart wheel passed over his body and he expired in a fey hours after. The above named Dea. John Whitman, who is his grandson, was present and, pointed out the spot to the writer (Judge W.). But for this occurrence he might have attained to a great age. The vigor of his health and constitution gave promise of it, and his father and grandfather before him had lived to very aged.'

"Nicholas was three times married. He married in 1700, 1. Sarah Vining of Weymouth and had six children; she died in 1713; he then married 2. Mary, daughter of Francis and Hannah Brett Cary and they had two children; upon her death in 1719 he married the same year, 3. Mary, daughter of William and Mary Trow Conant, the great granddaughter of Roger Conant, of whom honorable mention is made in the early history of the country; by this marriage they had eight children, four of whom died in infancy." A total of sixteen children, the last of whom was Ebenezer Whitman born in 1736.1

  1. Children of Nicholas Whitman and Sarah Vining:
  2. 1) Thomas, born 1702; died 15 December 1788, age 86.
  3. +2) John, born 1704;
  4. 3) Josiah, born 1706, died young.
  5. 4) David, born 1709, died 1789, age 80.
  6. 5) Jonathan, born 1710, died 3 October 1778, age 68.
  7. 6) Seth, born 1713, died 16 July 1778 age 65.
  1. Children of Nicholas Whitman and Mary Cary:
  2. 7) Eleazer, born 1716, died 31 May 1807, age 91.
  3. 8) Benjamin, born 1719, died young.
  1. Children of Nicholas Whitman and Mary Conant:
  2. 9) Mary, born 1720, died young.
  3. 10) William, born 1722, died young.
  4. 11) Josiah, born 1724, died 18 April 1754, age 29.
  5. 12) Sarah, born 1726, died 26 April 1818, age 93.
  6. 13) Abigail, born 1728, died young.
  7. 14) Nicholas, born 1731, died 1803, age 72.
  8. 15) Susannah, born 1734, died young.
  9. +16) Ebenezer, born 1736, married 1760 Abigail Freelove, died 1786, age 50.3

  • Sources:
  • Source (19), Page 31-34.
  • Source (19), Page 52.
  • Source (19), Page 57.