Sunday, December 16, 2012

Andrew White of Watertown, MA

international man of mystery
Andrew White is another one of those frustrating ancestors who seem to appear out of thin air.  There are no clues as to where he was born and because of this most of the old genealogies suggest that he was an immigrant.  There was another White family that lived in Watertown, that of John White, and it is possible that Andrew was a kinsman, but it is just as possible that their common surname  was only a coincidence. An Andrew White was deposed in 1689 in Middlesex County Court and gave his age at 23, this would put his birth year close to 1666.

ancestry errors
If you are an subscriber you will have seen, like me, the many trees which claim that the parents of Andrew are John and Hannah French White. John White died Jan 1 1668/69 and left only one son, also named John. And while we are on this blooper, John White, who married Hannah French was the son of William and Mary White of Haverhill. He was not the son of Resolved White, a Pilgrim on the Mayflower. Sorry if I just ruined your day.

Not much is known about Andrew White.  He married Sarah Sanderson, daughter of William and Sarah Sanderson in Watertown on Feb 4 1695/6. If he was born in 1669 or 1670 he was 26 and Sarah was 28 years old. Nine months later, their first child, a daughter was born. 

Their children were:

1. Sarah, born November 17, 1696 married Thomas Hastings, she was baptized on December 12, 1697
2. Andrew, baptized December 29, 1700 married Jane Dix
3. William, baptized December 20, 1701 married Sarah Cutting
4. Hannah, born Jan 15, 1708/9 married Jonathan Learned

The White family, at least Andrew and Sarah, remained in Watertown for the rest of their lives.  Andrew seems to have been fairly successful as he and another man, Nathaniel Sterns, paid 400 pounds for a house and farm.  Andrew also bought land in Cambridge. 
Andrew and his family were also full members of the church.  In a seating chart from 1741, Mr. Andrew White is seated in the second row, his son Andrew Jr. was seated in the front gallery.  Seating in the Puritan meetinghouse was very important   Members were seated according to their age, importance, wealth and social standing. The closer you were to the  front the more "important" your standing in the community.  In 1748, Andrew Jr. took his fathers place in the second row.

Andrew died May 13 1742.  William Richard Cutter is a bit confusing in that he states that Sarah died on December 31 1749 and then turns around and says that Andrew had a second wife named Mary with whom he had more children. 

William Richard Cutter,Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Families Relating to the State of Massachusetts, Vol 4
Watertown Records, East Congregational and Precinct Affairs, 1697-1737
Thompson, Roger, Divided We Stand, Watertown, Massachusetts 

comments, corrections, and confrontations welcome
cite your sources 

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