Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Whitmore, William Henry

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WHITMORE, William Henry, genealogist, b. in Dorchester, Mass., 6 Sept., 1836. He is the son of a Boston merchant, was educated in the public schools of that city, and has devoted the leisure of his business life to antiquarian research and authorship. For eight years he was a member of the Boston common council, of which he became president in 1879, and he is a trustee of the Boston public library. The degree of A. M. was conferred on him by Harvard and Williams in 1867. About 1868 he was one of the patentees of a machine for making cube-sugar, and in 1882 he patented one for making hyposulphite of soda. His “Ancestral Tablets” (Boston, 1868) is an invention of great use to genealogists, being a set of pages cut and arranged to admit the insertion of a pedigree in a condensed form. He was a founder of the “Historical Magazine” in 1857, of the Prince society in 1858, and of the Boston antiquarian society in 1879, to which the Bostonian society succeeded. Mr. Whitmore has been an editor of the “New England Historical and Genealogical Register,” in which many of his papers first appeared, and “The Heraldic Journal,” which he established in 1863. He has edited “The Poetical Works of Winthrop Mackworth Praed” (New York, 1860); “The Hutchinson Papers,” with William Appleton (2 vols., Boston, 1865), “Dunton's Letters” (1867), and the “Andros Tracts” (3 vols., 1868-'74), the last three being for the Prince society; and the “Records” of the Boston record commission, which he established in 1875 (19 vols., with others ready for the press); and he was co-editor of “Sewall's Diary,” writing all the local notes (Boston, 1875-'82). He prepared the “Laws of Adoption,” his codification being passed by the legislature almost unchanged in 1876; a “Revision of the City Ordinances,” with Henry W. Putnam (1882); and a “Report on the State Seal,” which was accepted by the legislature in 1885. He reprinted in fac-simile the “Laws of Massachusetts of 1672” (Boston, 1887). Mr. Whitmore has contributed to various magazines, native and foreign, and is the author of many genealogies, the most important of which are the families of Temple, Lane, Norton, Winthrop, Hutchinson, Usher, Ayres, Payne, Whitmore, Lee, Dalton, and Wilcox. His other works comprise “Handbook of American Genealogy” (Albany, 1862), reprinted with additions as “The American Genealogist” (1868); “The Cavalier Dismounted,” an essay (Salem, 1864); the “Elements of Heraldry” (Boston, 1866); “Massachusetts Civil List, 1636-1774” (Albany, 1870); “Copp's Hill Epitaphs” (Albany, 1878); “History of the Old State-House,” issued by the city of Boston (1882); and “Life of Abel Brown,” the engraver (Boston, 1884).