52 Ancestors: #18 Samuel David Whitney...Yes, Another Samuel Whitney

Image courtesy of Google Maps
711 Hatties Lane (formerly 711 Brown's Ave/Alley)
Once was the home of Samuel David Whitney

Page from the Whitney/Harrison Family Bible
Shows the date of birth of Samuel David Whitney

I am participating in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge put forth by Amy Johnson Crow of the blog No Story Too Small.  If you aren't familiar with the challenge be sure to check out her blog.

Yes, there's another Samuel Whitney in my family tree. Well actually he was a Samuel David Whitney and he was the brother of my maternal great grandmother, Carrie Whitney Harrison. Named after his father, he was born November 3, 1885 to his namesake and Sarah Jane Harris Whitney in New Bern, NC. He grew up alongside my great grandmother at 10 Brown's Alley in the city.

I know that he was often referred to as David. This was probably to differentiate himself from his father since they resided under the same roof. The family oral history is that David's father Samuel Whitney worked as a drayman and delivered fish into the city of New Bern. This makes me think that this newspaper article I came across may be in fact be about my Samuel David Whitney.

The Daily Journal, May 3, 1904, Page 4

I don't have a picture of him but I do know from his World War I draft registration card that he was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and black hair.  I have one picture of my great grandmother Carrie Whitney Harrison. I wonder if he resembled her in any way.

Carrie Whitney Harrison

In 1910, he was still residing at home with his parents and siblings.

Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: New Bern Ward 5, Craven, North Carolina; Roll: T624_1104; Page: 24B; Enumeration District: 0026; FHL microfilm: 1375117.

He was single and his occupation was listed as a laborer in the "Guano" industry. This make me think he was probably working in a fertilizer plant. It looks like he was still working in the same industry in 1918.

Images courtesy of FamilySearch.org
Source citation:  "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KZ8Y-FTL : accessed 24 Jun 2014), David Whitney, 1917-1918; citing Craven County, North Carolina, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d); FHL microfilm 1765633.

Samuel David married Virginia Fonville of New Bern on December 23, 1913.

Marriage License for Samuel David Whitney and Virginia Fonville
Image courtesy of FamilySearch.org
Source citation:  "North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VXTR-TGR : accessed 25 Jun 2014), S H Whitney and Virginia Fouville, 22 Dec 1913; citing Craven, North Carolina, United States; FHL microfilm 000288285.

As far as I've been able to tell no children arose from this marriage. Sadly, Virginia Whitney died on October 21, 1930 from vascular heart disease. 

Samuel married Madie Stancil at some point after his first wife's death. Here they are listed in the 1937 Baldwin's New Bern North Carolina City Directory.

Image courtesy of Ancestry.com
1937 Baldwin's New Bern North Carolina City Directory.

Image courtesy of Google Maps.

During that year, he was worked as a janitor at the Zeno Lodge No. 23 IBPOE in New Bern. The building still stands at 921 Main St. 

On August 1, 1939, my great grandmother and Samuel David's younger sister, Carrie Whitney Harrison died. While she was alive, she lived right next door to her older brother. His sister Amey Whitney Brown died in 1913, his father and mother died in 1916 and 1937 respectively. I think with my great grandmother's death in 1939, the losses in his life started to take their toll on him.

By 1940, David Whitney had switched occupations and was working as a carpenter in house construction.  His wife Madie was working as a housekeeper. Things seemed to be fine until tragedy struck again. Madie Whitney died on December 3, 1945 from acute Myocarditis.

Samuel David Whitney died from cirrhosis of the liver on March 12, 1957. He's buried at Greenwood Cemetery in New Bern, NC.


  1. Very sad cirrhosis of the liver, suggest he may have begun to indulge in alcohol as a way to cope with situational depression. He sounds like an ambitious man who had a sad end.

    1. It is sad.I am sure there is more to his story. I hope by sharing this info that maybe someone who knew a bit more about him may find this. Thanks as always Victori for stopping by.

  2. I hope his life wasn't as sad as it sounds. I thought of him taking to alcohol after all the tragedies too. Self medication is always so sad.

    1. Self medication is sad. I have to say I used to do it myself so I feel for the guy. Hopefully I will be able to learn more about his story over time. Thanks Kristin for your comment.

  3. Three deaths of close relatives in three years is a lot to handle.

    1. Yes it is LindaRe. I really feel for the guy. Thanks LindaRe for following.


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