My William Whitman was born 1788 in MA, son of John Whitman and Bestsy Tyrell. He married Polly Richardson of VT in 1808. He left VT and lived for a time in NH before settling in Oxford County, ME. His brother Daniel also settled in Oxford County, ME.
I have gathered a lot of info from various town and vital records and Federal Census records and have also read the pages from Farnum's History of the descendants of John Whitman of Weymouth which detail the genealogy of this branch.
The John you speak of may be from the Valentine Whitman line. Farnum speaks of a John Whitman married in Leicester, VT who had issue in that town.
I have not researched any legal records prior to 1840, but hope to someday.
Let me know if I can help.
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