Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Babette Samelson Whipple Dies at 91

The Harvard University Gazette reports that Babette (Samelson) Whipple, former psychology research at Massachusetts General Hospital and wife of the late Harvard astronomer Fred Lawrence Whipple, died on 18 Dec 2009, after a short illness. A resident of Belmont, Massachusetts, she was 91 years of age. (Her husband died in 2004.)
A memorial service is planned for April 10. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Babette and Fred Whipple Fund for Graduate Student Travel, c/o Amanda Preston, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., MS-45, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Whipple Power!

"Wow, no wonder we have so much Whipple power!"

Those are the words of my son last night in an email sent in response to a discovery that he is a descendant of both main groups of Whipples in the U.S.

Ever since the time I realized that there are two major groups of Whipples in the United States, I have known that I am a descendant of "Captain" John Whipple of Providence, RI. At one time I thought I might be "connected" to his somewhat older contemporary, "Elder" John Whipple of Ipswich, MA (born in Bocking, England). (The two are often confused or "combined" into a "composite" John Whipple.)

(I had hoped that I was connected through Josiah Chamberlain, an early husband of my 4th great grandmother, Hepsibah Cressey. I later learned that a different Josiah Chamberlain contemporary was the descendant of "Elder" John. [sigh].)

Yesterday my mother-in-law (a genealogist of many years) emailed the news that she had discovered a connection to the Ipswich Whipples, through Elder John's daughter Mary Whipple, who married Simon Stone.

So now it turns out that I married a Whipple, and all our children are descendants of both Whipple groups. What an exciting discovery. (I've always thought there was something special about my wife. This makes her even more so!)