Friday, February 5, 2016

Holbrook line: John Whitaker 1660-1713

John may or may not be the immigrant ancestor in this line, because there is some discussion in the world of the internet as to whether he was or was not the son of Aaron Whitaker.  I tend to think "not proven" so we will start with John. 

It's not clear where John was born but it was probably somewhere in Warwickshire or Lancashire, England, although even that it's clear.  The first that is known of John is that he was a servant of Thomas Taylor's in Baltimore County.  Thomas had land surveyed in 1694, so if he served a typical four year period as an indentured servant, he would have been there at least by 1690,and possibly sooner. 

He was married by 1687, when the first of his 9 children were born.  His first wife's name was Catherine, and she was the mother of his children.  She may have died at or shortly after the birth of his last son, Isaac, in 1704.  When he died in 1713, his wife's name was Mary.  We don't know any more at present about either Catherine or Mary.  (It's so frustrating to me when we don't know about the women!!!) 

John eventually owned several parcels of land in Anne Arundel County, and presumably lived there.  There is what appears to me to be speculation (only) that the family was Quaker.  Certainly some of John's grandchildren were Quaker, but I've found nothing that makes me think that these Whitaker's were of that faith.  The children were all baptized at St. George's Parish.  If all the land that John owned was cultivated, then he probably had slaves but there is nothing in his will to indicate that.  We have to keep it in mind as a possibility, however. 

When he died, he left Whitaker's Ridge, 250 acres, to sons John and Charles, the rights to enlargement to sons Peter and Abraham, 150 acres of Whitaker's Ridge to son Isaac and unborn child, and names his wife and daughters Elizabeth, Hannah, and Sarah.  His estate excluding land was valued at just under 100 pounds.   (It doesn't appear that the unborn child survived.) 

That's what is known of ancestor John Whitaker.  I'd love to know more of his story, especially more about his occupation, presumed to be farming, and his religion.  I'd like to know if he had slaves or if he used indentured servants, or how he farmed that many acres.  And of course, I'd love to know who his parents were, and where his origins were in England. 

Our line of descent is:

John Whitaker-Catherine
Elizabeth Whitaker-Daniel Scott
Martha Scott-Daniel McComas
Martha McComas-Robert Amos
Robert Amos-Elizabeth Amos (yes, cousins)
Martha Amos-Peter Black
Elizabeth Black-Isaac Hetrick
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants