#8 – Whitten Line
By Don Taylor
It is often best and usually easiest to look at a person’s life backwards. That is to begin with their death records then follow them through all of the census records and finish with their birth record. Each record can build upon the next to provide a view of the life of the individual.
Daniel Whitten was buried with his wife, Martha Angelina Libby at Highland Grove Cemetery at North Shapleigh, York County, Maine in 1950.
In 1942, Daniel was living in Kennebunk, Maine when he filed a delayed birth certificate for his son, Herbert Winfield Whitten. The certificate showed Herbert was too old (58) to be drafted.
Then we find Daniel in the census records.
- 1940 – Age 80, widower, Kennebunk, ME.
- 1935 – Kennebunk, ME – Same House as 1940.
- 1930 – Age 70, with wife (Martha), Kennebunk, Maine.
- 1920 – Age 60, with wife (Martha), Kennebunk, Maine.
- 1910 – Age 50, with wife (Martha), Kennebunkport, Maine.
- 1900 – Age 41, with wife (Angie M), Shapleigh, Maine. [Martha Angelina]
- 1890 – (The 1890 Census was lost.)
- 1883 – Age 24, Living in Limerick, Maine when his son Herbert was born.
- 1882 – 1900 Census says they were married for 18 years; the 1910 Census indicates they had been married for 28 years.
Here is where things get sketchy. I can’t find Daniel in the 1880 census. Try as I might, I’m just not finding him.
I think I’ve found him in the 1870 Census. If so, he is a 10 year old, attending school, and living with an extended group of Whittens. Unfortunately, the 1870 Census doesn’t indicate relationships between people in the household.
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Jane Whitten F 83 Maine, – Keeping House
Hiram L Whitten M 39 Maine, – Laborer
Sarah Whittn F 28 Maine, – Without Occupation
Lizzie A Whitten F 17 Maine, – Works in Woolen Mill
Hiram A Whitten M 14 Maine, – Works in Woolen Mill
Charles F Whitten M 12 Maine, – Works in Woolen Mill
Daniel Whitten M 10 Maine, – Attending School
Susan E Whitten F 9 Maine, – Attending School
George M Whitten M 6 Maine, – Attending School
Clearly, Daniel cannot be the son of the 83-year-old Jane. Also, although the 28-year-old Sarah could be his mother, the 17-year-old Lizzie could not be the daughter of Sarah. The bottom line is that the 1870 census, by itself, begs more questions than provides answers.
The 1860 Census appears to clear up some of the questions.
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Hiram Whitten M 29 Me – Day Laborer, Personal Property worth $50.00
Julia A Whitten F 24 Me
Elizabeth A Whitten F 7 Me – Attended School
Hiram A Whitten M 5 Me – Attended School
Charles F Whitten M 3 Me
Daniel Whitten M 1 Me
It appears that Hiram is the head of the household and has a wife, Julia, and four children including Daniel. It appears to be a pretty typical family unit.
The problem with this assessment is that the Daniel Whitten post marriage is a clear family being followed for fifty plus years. The Daniel Whitten family of 1870 and before is likewise clear. However, the linkage of two Daniel Whittens is dubious at best. The only thing that links the two families is the name Daniel Whitten, the birth date/year and place of Daniel (Maine), and the birth location of Daniel’s parents (Maine). Not quite enough to make me comfortable that I have followed Daniel throughout his life and haven’t possibly crossed Daniels somehow. I definitely need to do more research to shore up my assertation that the Daniel Whitten of Dover, NH in the 1860s and 1870s is the same Daniel Whitten of Limerick, Shapleigh, Kennebunkport, and Kennebunk in later years.
List of Grandparents
- Grand Parent: Herbert Winfield Whitten
- 1st Great: Daniel Winfield Whitten
- 2nd Great: Hiram L Whitten?
Further Actions / Follow-up
- Find Daniel Whitten in 1880 Census.
- Find Daniel in a birth, marriage, or military record (Fold 3 might be a help with that) which would show relationships.
- Follow Hiram Whitten, his wife, and children after 1870.