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  • Next we begin The Ancestry of Mary Whitten (Whiting), Wife of Ichabod Crippen, by Henry Z Jones, Jr. The key piece in this puzzle was finding that Mary Whiting, born 25 August 1765, wife of Ichabod Crippen of Columbia County, New York, was identical with Mary Whetton, born in Wareham, Massachusetts, 25 August 1765. This led to a complete genealogy of the descendants of Thomas Whitten or Whetton of Plympton, Massachusetts, who married in 1736, but whose ancestry has not been determined, despite extensive efforts by the author and others.

    Sometimes in genealogy the answers to long-sought-for problems are right before our eyes but often are overlooked. This was the case in the problem concerning Mary “Whiting” Crippen. My recent reexamination of the 1838 Revolutionary War pension file of Ichabod Crippen shows that his widow Mary Crippen said that “she was married to the said Ichabod Crippen on the 18th day of September 1783 by Esq. Spencer, J.P., at Spencertown; that previous to her said marriage she resided in the town of Alford, state of Massachusetts and bore the maiden name of Mary Whitting.” Pages from the old family Bible sent to Washington, D.C., to document her pension claim reveal that “M--- Crippen, daughter of John Whiten, was born August 25, 1765.” Neither of these two versions of her surname in the pension file was in the standard “Whiting” spelling.

    Editor’s comments: Matching Mary’s date of birth in the old Family Bible with the vital records of Wareham was the only proof of her identity, but the author did not immediately find her birth record. First, he determined that Thomas Whitten of Alford was from Plymouth County, based on the records of Thomas’ administration in the 1780s. Then the author searched the vital records of towns in Plymouth County, not all of which are readily available, and found her birth in Wareham.

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