The Whiting Women - Synopsis


          The legend of Gladys Mabel Hunt[1] began many years before she was even born in Wellington, Maine, on the cusp of the 20th century.  She was born to "White" parents, whose own parents were all "White", as were all of their ancestors.  Not a single Narragansett Indian. Zero.


          Gladys Mabel (Hunt) Whiting would die just as the 21st century came into view, but her story would live on for decades afterwards. The story was embellished until it eventually developed a life all of its own. It grew legs and walked so far away from the truth, that it could never find its own way back. Let me show you how to go back to the truth.


          The "story" was mostly based on conjecture, but it was inevitable that Gladys Mabel Hunt would become a "Whiting Woman".  She was groomed since birth to be one and left a long paper trail revealing her desire to truly be on that one path. She chose her own destiny.


          It began on April 21, 1836, when Francina Ann Spearin[2] was born in Palmyra, Maine.  Francina was the oldest child of Sarah B. Whiting[3] and the granddaughter of John Whiting[4] and Margaret Fairbrother[5].  John Whiting's family had come from England and immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in 1636, then to Hartland, Maine before 1805.


          Francina's father, Reuben S. Spearin[6], died or abandoned his family when she was very young and her sister Paulina M. Spearin[7] was just a baby.  Reuben Spearin disappears from records after 1840.


          In about 1844, Francina's mother, Sarah B. (Whiting) Spearin, age 29, married her first cousin, once removed, Alden Bradford Ellis[8], age 22.  Sarah and Alden Ellis would have four children together.


          Sarah Whiting and Alden Ellis are cousins because they shared common ancestors, Lovell Fairbrother[9] and Catherine Withee[10].  Lovell and Catherine (Withee) Fairbrother are Sarah B. Whiting's grandparents and Alden B. Ellis' great-grandparents.


          Alden and Sarah probably divorced before his Civil War enlistment on September 10, 1862.  Alden Bradford Ellis was 40 years old at the time of his service. He was taken prisoner June of 1863 and discharged in September 1863.  After his service, Alden B. Ellis married Sarah F. Hodgton[11], a woman, who was 25 years younger than Sarah B. Whiting.


          In 1860, Francina A. Spearin, age 24, married her 21-year-old first cousin, Ephraim E. Whiting[12].  Ephraim Whiting was the youngest son of Leonard Whiting[13], Sarah B. (Whiting) Spearin Ellis' older brother.


          Ephraim was very young when his mother Hannah[14] died and the only one of his brothers to stay in Maine.  Ephraim's older brothers James, Leonard and Silas, went with their father Leonard Whiting to California to find gold in 1852, leaving when Ephraim was just 13.


          Ephraim and Francina Whiting had five sons, the oldest was Seth L. Whiting[15].  Seth Whiting, a 38-year-old bachelor, would become Gladys Hunt's step-father when he married her 21-year-old mother, Vidella M. Cook[16] on August 19, 1899.  Vidella M. Cook and Seth L. Whiting had a son, Seth Odell Whiting[17], Gladys M. Hunt's half-brother.


          Gladys Hunt's mother, Vidella M. (Cook) Hunt Whiting was the illegitimate child of Viola Elizabeth Cook[18] and Frederick Walter Tripp[19].  When Vidella Cook/Tripp was 18, Viola E. Cook had another daughter, Lona B. Cook[20], with an unknown father. Lona Cook was Gladys’ aunt. 


          Viola E. Cook would marry her employer William Henry Smart[21] six months before giving birth to his stillborn son.  Two years later they had another 'stillborn' son, when Viola E. Smart was 42 years old.


          Pearl "Perly" R. Hunt[22] and Vidella M. Cook, Gladys’ parents, were both 19 when they were married on October 14, 1896. Vidella M. Hunt was already pregnant with daughter, Gladys Mabel Hunt, born only three months after the wedding.  Perly and Vidella Hunt soon divorced.


          Gladys' parents were double-second cousins, sharing half of their great-grandparents: Samuel Cook[23] and Lydia Wentworth[24]; other set of great-grandparents was William Hunt[25] and Mary "Polly" Dunlap[26].


          Gladys' father, Perly R. Hunt, age 24, married a woman twice his age on April 6, 1901 in Skowhegan, Maine, after Vidella M. Whiting's death.  Isabelle M. Stewart[27] was a 48-year-old widow, whose husband, Hiram S. Steward[28] had died of "Chronic Alcoholism" the year before.


          When Gladys M. Hunt first met her future husband, George Elisco Whiting[29], they were very young children and being raised as first cousins. George E. Whiting’s father, George W. Whiting[30], now Gladys' uncle, would become her father-in-law when she married George E. Whiting on January 31, 1917 in Garland, Maine.  Gladys M. Whiting named her first daughter Vidella M. Whiting[31], after her dead mother.


          Gladys never knew her mother Vidella, because after the birth of a second child, Seth O. Whiting, Vidella was probably suffering from post-partum psychosis and committed suicide.  Gladys was 4 years old.


          Gladys' step-father, Seth Whiting did not remarry until 1913, when Gladys and her brother were teenagers, so it is unclear what kind of mother figure Gladys may have had in her early childhood.


          Whomever she was, if there was someone to show Gladys how to be maternal, failed miserably at the job.  Gladys was as poor an excuse for a mother as there ever was.  Except for maybe Gladys' daughters and granddaughters, who were also shining examples of selfishness.


          Gladys M. Whiting had three more daughters born after Vidella.  Madeline Dora Whiting[32], who died at age 3; Mildred Evelyn Whiting[33] and an illegitimate daughter, Charlene Hester Whiting[34].  Mildred E. Whiting is living with her grandparents in Detroit, Maine and Charlene H. Whiting is a 'Welfare Child' living in Barkhamsted, Connecticut in the 1940 Census, both have been abandoned by their mother, Gladys.


          Gladys Whiting also had three sons, two with her husband George E. Whiting.  The oldest, Fred Elisco Whiting[35] was sent to live in the "Maine School for Boys" in 1940.  Son Merle E. Whiting[36] died at age 4 and Gladys’ illegitimate son Chester Judkins Kimball Whiting[37], born in Sharon, Connecticut, also died there at only 15 days old.


          So why was Gladys M. Whiting in Litchfield County Connecticut in the middle 1930's at almost exactly the same time as her daughter Vidella M. Whiting?  In 1936, a 19-year-old Vidella Whiting married 21-year-old George Wesley Ryer[38], who was living in Winsted, Connecticut. 


          George W. Ryer is the best candidate so far, for being the father of Richard "Dick" Arthur Tash[39].  A photograph of George W. Ryer's nephew, George Byron Ryer[40], shows more of a likeness to Richard A. (Ryer) Tash than any of Dick Tash's half-siblings ever did.


          Vidella M. (Whiting) Ryer would marry three more times, her second husband, Raymond David Tash[41], adopted her son Richard.  Her name would be: Vidella Marian (Whiting) Ryer Tash Fowler Durkee.


          Gladys' daughter, Mildred E. Whiting would have eight children with three different men, the first one being illegitimate. Her name was Gloria Jean (Neill) Savoy[42], a premature baby girl, unwanted and given up for adoption, the child of a married man, named Thomas Neill[43].


          After having two more children, Mildred divorced her first husband, Wilfred Martin Savoy[44] and he moved to Alaska before 1950. She then married her second husband Everett R. Safford[45] on February 4, 1950 in Lancaster, Massachusetts and had four more children.


          Curiously, Wilfred M. Savoy is the only person in this chronicle that had an actual relationship with any Native Americans at all.  He married on July 13, 1956 in Fairbanks, Alaska to Mary Marie Peters, a 29-year-old American Eskimo whose "Race" is indicated as "Indian".


          I am unsure as to who started the rumor that Gladys Mabel Hunt was a descendant of the Narragansett Tribe from Canada, but anyone with a good sense of geography knows that Narragansett is in Rhode Island and that has never been in Canada, ever.  Fractured fairy tales.


          Gladys Mabel Hunt was born and lived in a part of Maine that had degenerated considerably over the generations.  Her half-brother, Seth O’Dell Whiting settled in Athens, Maine not far from Happy Hollow.


          Happy Hollow was a Pauper Colony in West Athens, whose residents were described on May 7, 1905 in the Washington Post from Washington, District of Columbia, on Page 37. Ref: Hard Cider Murder.


“The present population is composed almost entirely of two families—the Browns and Tuttles, whose members have intermarried for generations, with the result of producing monsters and idiots, some harmless and some as dangerous as wild beasts.”


          Seth O. Whiting married Emeline Smart[46], whose parents, John Sylvester Smart[47] and Emeline Berry[48] were first cousins.  Emeline (Smart) Whiting was the great-granddaughter of James Tuttle[49]


          The son of Emeline Smart and Seth O. Whiting, William Henry Smart Whiting, married Velma Blanche Knights[50], the gg-granddaughter of the very same James Tuttle, patriarch and resident of Happy Hollow. 


          Gladys Mabel Hunt Whiting should have been vilified instead of deified and claiming that she was a Native American is an egregious example of the abhorrent behavior of her descendants. Shameful.


          Speaking of her descendants, Gladys Hunt was the matriarch of a family whose progeny were also very successful at creating the same toxic home environment.  An environment ripe for bearing poison fruit.


          It's time to set the record straight for Gladys Mabel Hunt Whiting, her ancestors and all of her descendants. The lies stop here.


          The truth is out there, updated frequently and available online at:

[1] Gladys Mabel Hunt b Jan 22, 1897 d Feb 24, 1991; dau of Pearl Hunt 1877-1901+ & Vidella Cook 1877-1901

[2] Francina Spearin b Apr 21, 1836 d Jan 30, 1883; dau of Reuben Spearin 1808-1840+ & Sarah Whiting 1815-1882

[3]Sarah Whiting Feb 15, 1815 d May 27, 1882; dau of John Whiting 1759-1846 & Margaret Fairbrother 1782-1859

[4] John Whiting b Jan 25, 1759 d Jun 13, 1846; son of John Whiting 1727-1776 & Lucy Farmer 1736-1768

[5] Margaret Fairbrother b Mar 16, 1782 d Sep 12, 1859; dau of Lovell Fairbrother 1746-1813 & Catherine Howe 1750-1850

[6] Reuben Spearin b Jan 22, 1808 d 1840+; son of John Spearin 1764-1831 & Mary Kendall 1764-1852

[7] Paulina M. Spearin b 1840 d 1900+; dau of Reuben Spearin 1808-1840+ & Sarah Whiting 1815-1882

[8] Alden B. Ellis b Nov 11, 1822 d Feb 6, 1912; son of Freeborn Ellis 1792-1856 & Eunice Withee 1802-1883

[9] Lovell Fairbrother b Mar 31, 1746 d Oct 23, 1813; son of Thomas Fairbrother 1710-1758 & Susannah Webster 1715-

[10] Catherine (Withee) Howe b 1750 d 1850; dau of Withee; widow of Mr. Howe

[11] Sarah F. Hodgton b Dec 10, 1840 d Jun 7, 1913; dau of Abram Hodgdon 1809-1890+ & Mary Davis 1806-1870+

[12] Ephraim E. Whiting b Feb 4, 1839 d Sep 6, 1910; son of Leonard Whiting 1808-1880+ & Hannah Dyer 1807-1849

[13] Leonard Whiting b Mar 11, 1808 d 1880+; son of John Whiting 1759-1846 & Margaret Fairbrother 1782-1859

[14] Hannah Dyer b 1807 d May 23, 1849; possibly dau of Capt Jabez Dyer & Lydia Leach

[15] Seth L. Whiting b Jul 1861 d 1930+; son of Ephraim Whiting 1839-1910 & Francina A. Spearin 1836-1883

[16] Vidella M. Cook b Oct 15, 1877 d Feb 11, 1901; dau of Viola Cook 1861-1944 & Frederick Tripp 1858-1907

[17] Seth O. Whiting b Dec 19,1900 d Oct 3, 1968; son of Seth Whiting 1861-1930+ & Vidella Cook 1877-1901

[18] Viola E. Cook b Feb 17, 1861 d Mar 21, 1944; dau of Samuel Cook 1830-1910 & Susannah Hunt 1830-1870+

[19] Frederick W. Tripp b Jul 6, 1858 d Sep 3, 1907; son of Robert Tripp 1825-1890 & Roxanna Emery 1827-1889

[20] Lona B. Cook b Apr 1895 d 1953+; dau of Viola E. Cook 1861-1944 & Unknown

[21] William H. Smart b Oct 1, 1846 d Sep 9, 1927; son of Eliphalet Smart 1803-1873 & Susan Robbins 1804-1881

[22] Pearl R. Hunt b 1877 d 1901+; son of Daniel W. Hunt 1850-1924+ & Dora V. Wells 1848-1917

[23] Samuel Cook b Aug 31, 1795 d 1850+; son of Cutting Cook 1761-1827 and Betsey Merrill 1766-1845

[24] Lydia Wentworth b Nov 12, 1789 d 1870+; dau of John Wentworth 1744-1806 & Ann Blazo -1807

[25] William Hunt b Jul 19, 1789 d 1865; son of Ephraim Hunt 1749-1818 & Martha Lowell 1760-1854

[26] Mary "Polly" Dunlap b 1792 d Nov 25, 1843; dau of Robert Dunlap of Litchfield, ME

[27] Mary Isabelle Sedgley b Dec 16, 1853 d 1940+; dau of Robert Sedgley 1815-1885 & Sarah Leavitt 1833-1891

[28] Hiram S. Steward b Jun 1848 d Mar 21, 1900; son of Josiah Steward 1816-1879 & Aurilla S. Hollis 1822-1902

[29] George E. Whiting b Apr 13, 1895 d Aug 1965; son of George W. Whiting 1866-1942 & Thurza J. Inman 1875-1958

[30] George W. Whiting b Oct 1866 d 1942; son of Ephraim E. Whiting 1839-1910 & Francina A. Spearin 1836-1883

[31] Vidella Whiting b Jun 9, 1917 d Jan 31, 2007; dau of George E. Whiting 1895-1965 & Gladys M. Hunt 1897-1991

[32] Madeline Whiting b May 10, 1924 d 1927; dau of George E. Whiting 1895-1965 & Gladys M. Hunt 1897-1991

[33] Mildred Whiting b Jun 5, 1927 d Feb 4, 1972; dau of George E. Whiting 1895-1965 & Gladys M. Hunt 1897-1991

[34] Charlene Hester Whiting b Jan 24, 1934 d Aug 19, 1993; dau of Gladys M. (Hunt) Whiting 1897-1991 & Unknown

[35] Fred E. Whiting b Dec 20, 1923 d Aug 18, 1987; son of George E. Whiting 1895-1965 & Gladys M. Hunt 1897-1991

[36] Merle Whiting b Oct 21, 1922 d 1927; son of George E. Whiting 1895-1965 & Gladys M. Hunt 1897-1991

[37] Chester J. K. Whiting b May 22, 1935 d Jun 6, 1935; son of Gladys M. (Hunt) Whiting 1897-1991 & Unknown

[38] George W. Ryer b Dec 17, 1915 d July 4, 1993; son of Byron W. Ryer 1880-1939 & Gertrude Worden 1898-1960

[39] Richard A. Ryer b Mar 31, 1943; son of George W. Ryer 1915-1993 & Vidella M. Whiting 1917-2007

[40] George B. Ryer b Jan 8, 1954 d Aug 11, 1003; son of Walter P. Ryer 1913-1974 & Ruth E. Kinney 1925-1982

[41] Raymond D. Tash b May 1, 1900 d Aug 19, 1980; son of William F. Tash 1853-1914 & Louisa E. Emett 1863-1918

[42] Gloria J. Savoy b Jul 6, 1945; dau of Mildred Whiting 1927-1972 & Thomas Neill 1907-1981

[43] Thomas Neill b Sep 29, 1907 d Sep 1, 1981; son of Thomas Neill 1876-1930+ & Sarah Johnston 1884-1967

[44] Wilfred M. Savoy b Jan 10, 1921 d Nov 5, 1991; son of Martin S. Savoy 1895-1989 & Mazy E. Pinkham 1902-

[45] Everett Safford b Dec 11, 1919 d Apr 17, 1988; son of George Safford 1885-1953 & Minetta Walton 1888-1962

[46] Emeline Smart b Aug 17, 1888 d Oct 29, 1921; dau of John Smart 1846-1927 & Emmeline Berry 1848-1924

[47] John S. Smart b Apr 1846 d Sep 22, 1927; son of John S. Smart 1816- & Betsey Tuttle 1821-1893

[48] Emeline Berry b May 1849 d Nov 8, 1924; dau of Isaac C. Berry 1807-1870+ & Cynthia Tuttle 1809-1902

[49] James Tuttle b 1777 d 1870+; born in New Hampshire; son of Tuttle & Unknown

[50] Velma B. Knights b Jul 23, 1922 d Dec 11, 1995; dau of Andrew Knights 1879-1968 & Blanche Hersey 1889-1958

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