William D Whitney was born about 1821 in Ohio. Parents unknown. The first official record of him is a marriage record. He married on 1 April 1841 in Athens County Ohio to a Emily (or Mary) French. She went by Amelia on most records.
William and Amelia are next found on the 1850 US Federal Census, Section 10, Van Wert County, Ohio in the same home as the family of Sarah Brees Cline. Relationship unknown. Amelia’s sister Sarah French is living with them. William and Amelia have three children: John, Miriam, and Henry L.
In 1860, the family had moved to Lake, Logan County, Ohio and there are six children: John, Henry, Charles, Mathew, David and Sarah.
Miriam is not listed with the family in 1860 and there is a Miriam Whitney, daughter of W D and A Whitney, that is buried in Spoon Cemetery, Wharton, Wyandot, Ohio. The dates on Find-A-Grave don’t quite match but the tombstone image is not legible. Amelia’s sister Nancy M French Case lived in Wyandot County. I believe there is an error on Find-A-Grave and that the Miriam listed actually died in 1857 and that would line up to be the correct Miriam.
By 1870, William, Amelia and six children: John, Henry, Martha (?), David, Sarah and James are in Meramec, St Louis, Missouri. The whereabouts of Charles and Mathew are unknown.
The 1880 US Federal Census lists, William and Amelia living with two of their children: Sarah and James as well as a 6 year old granddaughter, Levina F. (parents unknown). They are in Ramsey, Fayette County, Illinois.
Nothing is known of William D Whitney after that. By 1900 his wife is listed on the census, living with her daughter, as a widow.
A 1891 plat map of Fayette County Illinois shows his sons, David Case Whitney, owning 120 acres and Henry Louis Whitney owning 40 acres. By 1900 David and Henry are living in East St Louis, St Clair, Illinois. Sarah, with Amelia, are living in Edwardsville, Madison County, Illinois.
Amelia is listed on the census as being the mother of 9 children, 4 living. The four are Henry, David, Sarah and Unknown. James died about 1897 and the nothing has been found about the other children. Nothing is known about the granddaughter on the 1880 census.