House Whiteaker

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House Whiteaker
Noble House
House Whiteaker Coat of Arms.jpg
Coat of Arms Associated with House Whiteaker since 1300 C.E.
CountryEngland Kingdom of England
Lordship of Ireland Lordship of Ireland
United States United States
EstatesBaronies & Manorial Lordships
TitlesBaron/Baroness, Knights/Dames
FoundedPre-Domesday
FounderJohias Whitacre
Current headCurrently Unknown
EthnicityAnglo-Saxons
This Noble House follows Agnatic Primogeniture

House Whiteaker is an Anglo-Saxon Noble family whose name originates from Warwickshire prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. House Whiteaker emerged from the Battle of Hastings as an influential family name in Warwickshire where they were seated at Nether Witaker (Nether Whitacre) traditionally they were descended from Wihtgar, a nephew of Cedric, King of the West Saxons. They also held the villages of Padiham and Simonstone, in Lancashire. In addition to Simonstone in Lancashire they also branched to The Holme, and to Balkholme manor in Yorkshire. They also branched to Mendham and Knoddis Hall in Suffolk, Lyssom House in Hereford, and branched north to Besley Hall in Yorkshire, There is a Whitaker House in Nether Whitaker. Notable amongst the family at this time was Reverend George Whitaker, Rural Dean of Dunwich.

Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Whiteaker are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Whittaker, Whitacre, Whittiker, Whitacker, Whiteaker, Whitakker, Whitakier, Whitakerr, Whitaaker, Whitecar, Wetaker, Wyteacre, Whitticker, Whittiker, Whitteker, Whittacker, Whitteaker, and Whiteker, and about 95 others. The correct way to pronouce this name is: wahyt-acre and not wit-a-ker. It is commonly mispronounced by American descendents. There are many Whiteaker lineages from England not to be confused with his lineage. This lineage descends from the Lords of Nether Whitacre.

House Whiteaker History

The surname Whiteaker belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname Whiteaker was first found in Warwickshire where the first record of the name was Johias Whitacre (1042-1066), who died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Despite the fact he was on the losing side of the battle, his family were permitted to keep their estates there. The place names Whitacre, Over Whitacre and Nether Whitacre were listed in the Domesday Book as Witacre and literally meant "white cultivated land."[1] One of the earliest rolls was the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Those rolls listed: Alan Witacur in Oxfordshire; and Richard de Whitacre in Northamptonshire. Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Henricus Wyteacre; Willelmus de Wetaker; and Rogerus Whitteacres. "The Whittakers or Whitakers are numerous in Lancashire. From the 14th to the 16th century a gentle family of this name lived at High Whitaker or Whitacre in the vills of Simonstone and Padiham, in the parish of Whalley: the Whitakers of Holme and those of Henthorn branched off in the 15th century and those of Healy about 1620.

Migration to the United States

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. This lineage came to the American colonies in the 17th century by Aaron Whiteaker (1640-1713) who was the son of William Whiteaker (1620-1690) by his wife Mary Elizabeth Camm (1620-1687). He married Catherine Gough (1640-1713) and had seven children by that marriage and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. This lineage would eventually become ranchers and farmers in Michigan and Wisconsin where cemeteries are filled with Whiteaker descendants.[2]

John Douglas Whiteaker (1820-1902), who was an American Democrat politician, Governor of Oregon, 1859-62; and a member of Oregon State House of Representatives, 1865-70; Member of Oregon State Senate, 1876; U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue for Oregon, 1885-90 is among some of the most famous Whiteakers in this line.

References

  1. Mills, D. (2011). A dictionary of British place-names. Oxford University Press.
  2. Filby, P. W., & Meyer, M. K. (Eds.). (1981). Passenger and immigration lists index: a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries (Vol. 2). Gale Research Co..