Ancestral Stories

Bartholomew Ball was Mayor of Dublin in 1553–54. He is my 12th Great Grandfather and comes through my mothers side of the family and more specifically a descendant of the Seagraves line.

He was the son of Thomas Ball and Margaret Birmingham. The Ball family owned lands in Dublin at Ballygall near Glasnevin and operated the bridge over the River Dodder after which Ballsbridge, Dublin, is named.

A merchant, Bartholomew Ball served as high sheriff of Dublin City for 1541–42 before becoming mayor for 1553–54.

He married Margaret Bermingham in 1530 and lived in Ballygall, County Dublin. They had ten children, of whom only five survived. Their sons Walter Ball and Nicholas Ball both served as Mayor of Dublin.

Bartholomew Ball died in 1573, and is buried in St. Audoen’s Church, Dublin.


Walter Ball was from a wealthy Irish merchant family. His father Bartholomew Ball, his brother Nicholas Ball and sons Robert Ball and Edward Ball all served as Mayor of Dublin. He married Eleanor Ussher, daughter of Alderman Robert Ussher. He conformed to the established religion (Anglican) to progress politically, and became Commissioner for Ecclesiastical Causes, imposing the Reformation on Dublin. This led to the conflict with his mother, Margaret Ball, whom he imprisoned for recusancy in Dublin Castle, where she endured conditions of appalling squalor for four years. Despite protests from other family members, especially his brother Nicholas, Walter defended his actions, arguing that he had shown clemency by sparing his mother’s life, and that she could free herself by swearing the Oath of Supremacy (although it was almost impossible for a Roman Catholic to do this in good conscience). He remained implacable and during his brother’s term as Mayor managed to thwart his efforts to free their mother. Margaret died in prison, and now is venerated as the Blessed Margaret Ball by the Catholic church for being Martyred for her faith.

Elected an Alderman in 1573, he served as mayor of Dublin from 1580 to 1581. He took great interest in the foundation of Trinity College Dublin, and was one of the collectors for its building. Along with John Terrel and William Usher, they took possession of the land of All Hallows Monastery. He died on 8 December 1598.


Nicholas Ball  served as Lord Mayor of Dublin, and MP for Dublin in the Parliament of Ireland. He was from a wealthy Irish Merchant family: his father Bartholomew Ball and brother Walter Ball were also mayors of Dublin. Unlike his brother who converted to Anglicanism, Nicholas remained a Roman Catholic like his martyred mother Blessed Margaret Ball. He married Begnet Luttrell and they had three children, Margaret, Jane and Bartholomew, The lived near Kells, County Meath.

Nicholas served as Master of the Merchants Guild, Sheriff of Dublin City, an Alderman of Dublin from 1574 and Mayor of Dublin from 1582-1583. During his time as Mayor he tried to have his aged mother released from Dublin Castle, where she had been imprisoned for recusancy on the orders of his brother Walter, but Walter, who seems to have been determined that their mother must die in prison, managed to thwart his efforts, and she died, still a prisoner, in 1584. In 1585 he was elected to serve in the Irish House of Commons for Dublin. He died in 1609 and is buried in St. Audoen’s Church, Dublin.


This is my 5th great grandfather, Charles Lynch, who ran away and made something of his life in America.


This is another part of the Ancestral Stories of the Knuppel Family.

About 1720-25 Charles Lynch, a youth of about 15 or 18 years of age, ran away from his home in Galway, Ireland, and came to America. The immediate cause of his leaving home, according to the tradition repeated by his great-granddaughter, Mrs. Mary Ann Dearing, was the harsh and unjust treatment of his stepmother. According to another version, he was angered because of a punishment received at school. At any rate, soon after leaving his father’s roof, he met up with the captain of a vessel on the point of sailing for Virginia and was easily persuaded to avail himself of the opportunity of seeking his fortune in that far off land.

The ship on which he took passage was but a short distance from shore when young Lynch, his heart failing him, actually plunged into the sea and made for land. He was, however, taken up and the vessel resumed her course. On reaching America, the captain apprenticed young Lynch, for his passage over, to Christopher Clark, a well-to-do tobacco planter in what now is Louisa county, Virginia. But romance soon took a hand and Lynch lost his heart to Miss Sarah Clark, one of the four daughters of Christopher Clark, and they were finally married about 1733.

His son, Charles Lynch and my 5th Great Uncle, has been credited or blamed for the phrase and use of what is known as the “Lynch Laws.”

In 1767 Charles became a justice of the peace of Bedford County, Virginia but was disowned by the Quakers for taking an oath of office, something they were not permitted to do.

Lynch served in the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Convention from 1769 until 1778, when he became a militia colonel. After the Revolution, he served in the Virginia Senate from 1784 to 1789.

In several incidents in 1780, Lynch and several other militia officers and justices of the peace rounded up suspects who were thought to be a part of a Loyalist uprising in southwestern Virginia. The suspects were given a summary trial at an informal court; sentences handed down included whipping, property seizure, coerced pledges of allegiance, and conscription into the military. Lynch’s extralegal actions were legitimized by the Virginia General Assembly in 1782.

“Lynch’s Law,” referring to organized but unauthorized punishment of criminals, became a common phrase, as it was used by Lynch to describe his actions as early as 1782. The Oxford English Dictionary, however, notes, “The origin of the expression has not been determined.”

For more Ancestral Stories click here.

These are my relatives no matter good or bad. You can’t pick your ancestors!All of my research comes from Ancestry.

Ancestral Stories – Four More Family on the Mayflower

In my last writing about the relatives on the Mayflower, which you can find HERE, I talked about William Bradford and mentioned he worked with William Brewster. This is about Brewster and his trip aboard the ship “Mayflower.” On that trip he brought his wife and two sons. Yes, they were actually named Love and Wrestling. Brewster’s two daughters, Patience and Fear, stayed back in England and would come over on the next few years on the ship “Anne.”

This is from the Sawrey-Sherrod-Brewster line.


William Brewster

Mayflower Chaplain

11th Great-Grandfather


BIRTH: About 1566, in the vicinity of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England, son of William and Mary (Smythe)(Simkinson) Brewster.
MARRIAGE: Mary, about 1592, probably in the vicinity of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England.
CHILDREN: Jonathan, Patience, Fear, an unnamed child who died young, Love, and Wrestling.
DEATH: 10 April 1644 at Plymouth.

William Brewster was born about 1566, the son of William Brewster. He was educated in both Greek and Latin and spent some time at Cambridge University, although he never completed a full degree. He went into the service of William Davison, then Secretary of State, while his father back home maintained a position as the postmaster of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire. Under Davison, Brewster first traveled to the Netherlands. After Davison was removed as Secretary of State by Queen Elizabeth, Brewster worked himself into his father’s postmaster duties and maintained Scrooby Manor. Brewster was instrumental in establishing a Separatist church with Richard Clyfton, and they often held their meetings in the Manor house. Brewster and the others were eventually found and forced out, and fleeing prosecution and persecution they headed to Amsterdam in 1608, and moved to Leiden, Holland in 1609. Brewster became the church’s Elder, responsible for seeing that the congregation’s members carried themselves properly, both helping and admonishing them when necessary.

In Leiden, Brewster working with Thomas Brewer, Edward Winslow, and others, began working a printing press and publishing religious books and pamphlets that were then illegally conveyed into England. Brewster also employed himself teaching University of Leiden students English. By 1618, the English authorities were onto him and his printing press, and had the Dutch authorities in pursuit of him. Thomas Brewer was arrested and held in the University of Leiden’s prison, but Brewster managed to evade the authorities and went into hiding for a couple years.

When the Leiden church congregation decided to send the first wave of settlers to establish a colony that everyone could eventually move to, their pastor John Robinson decided to remain behind in Leiden with the majority of the congregation, intending to come later. The smaller group that went on the Mayflower desired the next highest ranking church official, Elder Brewster, to go with them; so he agreed. He brought his wife Mary and two youngest children, Love and Wrestling, on the Mayflower with him.

When the passengers of the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Colony, Brewster became the senior elder, and so served as the religious leader of the colony. He became a leader and was a signer of the Mayflower Compact. In the colony, he became a separatist leader and preacher, and eventually, as an adviser to Governor William Bradford. Brewster’s son Jonathan joined the family in November 1621, arriving at Plymouth on the ship Fortune, and daughters Patience and Fear arrived in July 1623 aboard the Anne.

As the only university educated member of the colony, Brewster took the part of the colony’s religious leader until a pastor, Ralph Smith, arrived in 1629. Thereafter, he continued to preach irregularly until his death in April 1644. “He was tenderhearted and compassionate of such as were in misery,” Bradford wrote, “but especially of such as had been of good estate and rank and fallen unto want and poverty.”

Brewster was granted land amongst the islands of Boston Harbor, and four of the outer islands (Great Brewster, Little Brewster, Middle Brewster and Outer Brewster) now bear his name. In 1632, Brewster received lands in nearby Duxbury and removed from Plymouth to create a farm there.

His wife Mary died in 1627, and he never remarried. n 1634, smallpox and influenza ravaged both the English and the Indians in the region. William Brewster, whose family had managed to survive the first terrible winter unscathed, lost two daughters, Fear and Patience, now married to Isaac Allerton and Thomas Prence, respectively He lived to be nearly 80 years old, dying in 1644. His estate inventory lists the titles of several hundred books that he owned.  Shortly after he died, William Bradford wrote a short but concise biography of Brewster in his history Of Plymouth Plantation, though he erroneously filed it under 1643 instead of 1644.


Ancestral Stories- “Sitting in the Governor’s Chair”


Have you ever been to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? How about Sevierville, also in Tennessee?

They are BOTH in Sevier County Tennessee.

It was named after John Sevier.


This is the story of Linda’s relative. (Hughes-Snodgrass-Sevier line)


John Sevier

Linda’s 4th Great Grandfather


John Sevier, pioneer, soldier, statesman and a founder of the Republic, was Tennessee’s first governor and one of its most illustrious citizens. Married and on his own at age sixteen, he was in the vanguard of frontier life and accomplishment from his late teenage years until his death. First and only governor of the aborted State of Franklin, six-term governor of Tennessee, and congressman for four terms from the eastern district, he was also a soldier of no mean accomplishment, having risen to the rank of general in the North Carolina militia.

Born near the present town of New Market, Virginia, Sevier was the oldest of seven children of Valentine and Joanna Goad Sevier. His forebears–the Xaviers–were of Huguenot religious persuasion who had fled France for England, anglicized their name, and become prosperous farmers. By 1740 Valentine had arrived in Virginia and settled in the Shenandoah Valley on Smith’s Creek.

Not much is known of Sevier’s early life. Educational opportunities were limited, but as a child he apparently learned to read and write; later his state papers and correspondence with Andrew Jackson and others exhibited a concise and direct style. Married in 1761 to Sarah Hawkins (1746-1780), a daughter of Joseph and Sarah Marlin Hawkins, the couple settled in the valley of his birth. There Sevier farmed, dealt in furs, speculated in land, ran a tavern, and fought Indians–along with raising an ever-increasing family.

By 1773 he lived on the Holston River, but three years later he had moved to a farm on the Watauga River near the present town of Elizabethton. In the same year, North Carolina authorities created the Washington District, which included the Watauga settlements, and Sevier was sent to the Provincial Congress of North Carolina as representative.

The Revolutionary War began in 1775, and in the following year Sevier was named a lieutenant colonel of the North Carolina militia and assigned first to protecting the frontier settlements. He fought elsewhere but was confined primarily to the South. The encounter for which he became best known was the battle of Kings Mountain (1780), in which he and his fellow frontiersmen fought Tories and British soldiers at a location just north of Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The British, having met with only moderate success in the middle and northern colonies, had turned in late 1780 to the soft underbelly of the rebellious provinces where they prevailed without difficulty in Georgia. Then they moved northward without serious opposition. Major Patrick Ferguson, assigned to the command of the British left flank, viewed the western settlements with disdain. Overconfident, he ordered frontiersmen to lay down their arms and give allegiance to the Crown; otherwise, he wrote, he would march over the mountains, “hang . . . western leaders and lay the country waste with fire and sword.” Sevier and others, accepting the challenge, gathered at Sycamore Shoals late in September 1780, determined to engage Ferguson before he could reach Watauga. They soon found him on a narrow ridge in northwest South Carolina where he, with perhaps one thousand men, had ensconced himself, claiming that even “the Almighty” could not drive him off. But the backwoodsmen ascended the heights and assaulted him from both south and west, taking care to remain well camouflaged behind trees, logs, and rocks. Although forced to fall back several times, the westerners rallied each time, and, after about an hour of fighting, claimed victory. They had lost fewer than one hundred men while the British had lost three times that number, including Ferguson. The victory turned the British from the West and pushed Sevier forward as the foremost figure among the people. Several months before Kings Mountain, Sevier’s wife of nearly twenty years died and was buried in an unmarked grave just outside Nolichucky Fort in Washington County. She and Sevier had raised ten children. Sevier later married Catherine (“Bonny Kate”) Sherrill (1754-1838), whom he had rescued four years earlier during a surprise attack by the Cherokees. They reared eight children.

Soon after the Revolution, Sevier became involved in a movement designed to secure separate statehood for the people living in Washington, Sullivan, and Greene Counties. The Continental Congress in 1780 had urged that lands claimed by North Carolina and Virginia should become states soon after hostilities might end. Thomas Jefferson had presented a plan whereby eighteen new states might be carved from the western territories. But North Carolina authorities objected vehemently when western leaders assembled in Jonesborough in August 1784 to make plans for statehood. When they chose Sevier as governor and drafted a constitution, claiming an “inalienable right” to form an independent state, Governor Alexander Martin threatened to “render the revolting territory not worth possessing” if North Carolina did not retain sovereignty over it. Attempts at conciliation divided the Franklin people into factions, and border warfare developed. Several men were killed or wounded, and two of Sevier’s sons were captured, threatened, and held briefly.

Sevier’s term as governor of Franklin expired in the spring of 1788, and for all practical purposes the state came to an end. Sevier was arrested and charged with treason but never tried. Within less than a year he had taken an oath of allegiance to North Carolina and was elected to the state Senate. A few months later he was restored to his rank of brigadier general in the North Carolina militia.

North Carolina permanently ceded its western lands to the central government in 1789, and in the following year President George Washington signed into law a measure for the governance of the region. Sevier probably was the choice of most of the western people for the post of territorial governor, but Washington appointed William Blount instead. Soon Sevier became a member of the Territorial Legislative Council–a group of five men provided for under the Congressional Ordinance of 1787 designed for the governance of territories. He was among those who urged Governor Blount to call the legislature into session to make plans for statehood as required under the ordinance. Blount complied, and early in 1796 leaders drafted a constitution and applied to Congress for admission. After several weeks of debate–at times acrimonious, as Federalists and Anti-Federalists haggled over terms and reasons for admission–Congress recommended statehood, and President Washington signed into law a bill creating Tennessee as the sixteenth state.

The new constitution had provided for a two-year term for governors with the right to serve “not . . . more than six years in any term of eight.” The other qualifications to hold the office of governor were simple. One must be at least twenty-five years of age, possess a freehold of at least five hundred acres, and be a citizen for four years. Sevier met these requirements and became the only serious candidate.

For months before the admissions bill was enacted, Tennesseans had been conducting affairs as though the state had been legally admitted to the Union. Elections were held in late February and legislators convened in late March. On March 29 they examined the returns of the gubernatorial race and determined that Sevier had won. On March 30 Sevier took the oath of office at Knoxville. In a brief inaugural address, he thanked voters for the confidence reposed in him and he pledged to discharge “with fidelity” the tasks of chief executive. A sixteen-gun salute ended the brief ceremonies. When Sevier became governor, the total population of the new state was only about 85,000, but by the end of his gubernatorial service it had increased to nearly 250,000.

Although the office of governor was not considered a full-time task, still Sevier faced the usual problems which the foibles of human nature are sure to create. Indian problems were vexatious as any, and Sevier met them with characteristic vigor. The Tellico and Dearborn treaties, negotiated in 1805 and 1806 respectively, did much to clear Indian claims in both east and west, but the attitude and actions of the federal government in its strict policy of enforcement angered Tennesseans.

Many disputes over military rank tried Sevier’s patience. Free men between eighteen and fifty were subject to military duty, and they elected their own officers. But allegations of fraud permeated the contests in many of the counties and at all levels, and the governor–who issued the commissions–had to decide who had been legally and duly elected. Although Sevier apparently handled these matters as judiciously as he could, he was frequently criticized in many counties for allegedly selecting political friends and favorites. His disputes with Andrew Jackson over these and other matters led to considerable bitterness between the two. Indeed, Jackson’s charges that Sevier was guilty of forgery and bribery in his procurement of lands brought challenges to duels and bitter words.

Internal improvements such as wagon roads interested Sevier from his early days as governor. He also frequently mentioned a need for “the encouragement of education,” and a measure chartering schools in most of the counties was enacted in 1806. Improving conditions in the state militia and the development of a better means of settling disputes over land titles were other matters of concern.

In March, 1809–a few months before his final term ended–Sevier ran before the legislature for the U.S. Senate but was defeated by Judge Joseph Anderson. Later in that year, voters in Knox County sent him to the state Senate. Then, in 1811, he was elected to Congress. His advanced years and his unfamiliarity with federal procedures resulted in his being an ineffective legislator on the national level, however.

Sevier died on September 24, 1815, while on a mission to the Alabama territory where he had gone with U.S. troops to determine the proper location of the Creek boundary. He was buried on the eastern bank of the Tallapoosa River near Fort Decatur.

Sevier was a product of the frontier and a hero to Tennesseans who understood and appreciated his varied career. When in 1887 his body was reinterred on the courthouse lawn in Knoxville, a monument was erected whose inscription well describes his life of public service:

“John Sevier, pioneer, soldier, statesman, and one of the founders of the Republic; Governor of the State of Franklin; six times Governor of Tennessee; four times elected to Congress; a typical pioneer, who conquered the wilderness and fashioned the State; a protector and hero of Kings Mountain; fought thirty-five battles, won thirty-five victories; his Indian war cry, ‘Here they are! Come on boys!’



For more Ancestral Stories visit HERE.

Ancestral Stories- “Our Ride on the Mayflower” part 1

This is the first of several articles concerning my (the Knuppel side) relatives that arrived in this country on the ship “Mayflower.”


William Bradford

My 11th Great-Grandfather



I will spare you the information about the voyage except for a few things. Several residents of England had wish for some religious freedom and decided to leave and head for America. A group of these people asked one of their own, William Bradford, to organize the trip. The ship left, after several complications and a bigger ship not showing up, on September 6, 1620. There were 102 people on a cramped ship making their way to a new land looking for a new life.

After several storms in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mayflower approached land, the crew spotted Cape Cod just as the sun rose on November 9. The Pilgrims decided to head south, to the mouth of the Hudson River in New York, where they intended to make their plantation. However, as the Mayflower headed south, it encountered some very rough seas, and nearly shipwrecked. The Pilgrims then decided, rather than risk another attempt to go south, they would just stay and explore Cape Cod. They turned back north, rounded the tip, and anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor. The Pilgrims would spend the next month and a half exploring Cape Cod, trying to decide where they would build their plantation. On December 25, 1620, they had finally decided upon Plymouth, and began construction of their first buildings.

Before going ashore at Plymouth, Pilgrim leaders (including Bradford and William Brewster) drafted the Mayflower Compact, a brief 200-word document that was the first framework of government written and enacted in the territory that would later become the United States of America. The signing took place on a trunk that held all of William Brewster’s things he brought over. The ship remained in port until the following April, when it left for England.

A group of brave men went out into a storm looking for a place to set up a small camp or village. When the exploring party made their way back on board, Bradford learned of the death of his wife Dorothy. Dorothy (May) Bradford from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire fell overboard off the deck of the Mayflower during his absence and drowned. William Bradford recorded her death in his journal.

Elected Governor

Successful colonies require successful leadership. The man to step forward in Plymouth colony was William Bradford. After the first governor elected under the Mayflower Compact perished from the harsh winter, Bradford was elected governor for the next thirty years. In May of 1621, he performed the colony’s first marriage ceremony.

Under Bradford’s guidance, Plymouth suffered less hardship than their English compatriots in Virginia. Relations with the local natives remained relatively smooth in Plymouth and the food supply grew with each passing year.

By autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims had much for which to be thankful. After the harvest, Massasoit and about ninety other Indians joined the Pilgrims for the great English tradition of HARVEST FESTIVAL. The participants celebrated for several days, dining on venison, goose, duck, turkey, fish, and of course, cornbread, the result of a bountiful corn harvest. This tradition was repeated at harvest time in the following years.

Eventually, the new village began to thrive. Bradford met his second wife on the next ship. She was Alice (Carpenter) Southworth, age about 32and he married her in Plymouth on August 14, 1623. She had arrived on the ship Anne some weeks earlier. Alice was the widow of Edward Southworth. She was one of five daughters of Alexander and Priscilla Carpenter of Wrington, co. Somerset in England, all being of Leiden about 1600. Alice brought two sons to the marriage: Constant, born about 1612, and Thomas, born about 1617. Alice and William had three children. She died in Plymouth on March 26, 1670 and was buried on Burial Hill in Plymouth near her husband’s stone.

Bradford Writes It All Down

William Bradford kept track of everything. Because he did, we have a great piece of history in a diary he wrote that has been named Of Plimouth Plantation. It was written over a period of years by William Bradford, the leader of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. It is regarded as the most authoritative account of the Pilgrims and the early years of the colony which they founded.

The journal was written between 1630 and 1651 and describes the story of the Pilgrims from 1608, when they settled in the Dutch Republic on the European mainland through the 1620 Mayflower voyage to the New World, until the year 1647. The book ends with a list of Mayflower passengers and what happened to them which was written in 1651.

He died on May 9, 1657 in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts.



The line for this story is Sawrey-Sherrod-Bradford


Look for more parts of “Riding on the Mayflower” as I identify other relatives on the ship. 


Ancestral Stories- Clay Family Massacre

Mary Obedience Clay is the 5th great-grandmother of my wife. She survived this horrible event. 


“In the month of August, Mitchell Clay had harvested his crop of small grain, and wanting to get the benefit of the pasture for his cattle, … he asked two of his sons, Bartley and Ezekial, to build a fence around the stacks of grain…

“While Mitchell Clay was out hunting, the two sons were building fence pens around the grain stacks. The older daughter, with some of the younger girls, was down on the river bank putting out the family washing. While this was in progress, a marauding body of eleven Indians crept up to the edge of the field and shot young Bartley Clay dead.

“When the girls … heard the shot that killed their brother, they lit out for the house for safety. Their path to the house was directly by where Bartley had fallen. An Indian attempted to scalp the youth and at the same time capture the older girl, Tabitha Clay. She was trying to defend the body of her brother…

“In the struggle the girl reached for the knife which hung on the Indian’s belt. Missing the knife, the Indian literally cut her to pieces before killing her…

“Ezekial Clay, about 16, was captured by another Indian…

“About the time of the Indian attack, a man named Lincoln Blankenship called at the Clay cabin. When Mrs. Clay saw her daughter Tabitha in her death struggle… she begged Blankenship to go and shoot the savage and save her daughter’s life. But Blankenship ran away from the scene and reported to settlers on New River that the Clay family had been murdered by the Indians.

“When the savages got the scalps of Bartley and Tabitha Clay, they left the area with Ezekial Clay as their prisoner. Mrs. Clay took the bodies of Bartley and Tabitha to the house and laid them on the bed. She then took her small children and made her way through the woods to the home of James Bailey, six miles distance.

“Meanwhile Mitchell Clay… retraced his steps homeward and discovered the scene of horror… Thinking all his family had been killed or captured, Mitchell Clay left his cabin and headed for the settlements on New River.

“A party of men under the leadership of Captain Matthew Farley went to the Clay cabin and buried the two Clay children. They then pursued the Indian party. They caught up with the Indians in present day Boone County. Several of the Indians were killed.

“Charles Clay, brother of the two murdered Clay children, killed one of the Indians… Ezekial Clay, the captive lad, was hurried away by the Indians who escaped the Captain Matthew Farley party and was taken to their towns in Ohio. There he was burned at the stake, the third of Mitchell Clay’s family to meet an untimely death at the hands of savages.”

This episode has significant connection to the history of Oceana and Wyoming County since Mary Clay (1772-184?), daughter of Mitchell and Phoebe Clay, sister of Bartley, Tabitha, and Ezekial Clay, and wife of Capt. Ralph Stewart, lived most of her life in Wyoming County and lies buried at Crany, a short distance from Oceana. Mary Obedience Clay, 11 years old at the time, was no doubt a witness to the Indian attack at Lake Shawnee. Mary Stewart’s brother, Henry J. Clay (1782-1866), who lies buried in the Stewart Cemetery at Matheny, was a mere babe-in-arms when the attack on the Clay family occurred.

Probably in the summer of 1787, the Indians, possibly led by Boling Baker, raided settlements along the Falls of New River, stealing about 20 horses. Capt. Charles Hull, with about 20 men, chased the Indians northward. Known as the Hull Expedition, this group, which included John Cooke and Thomas and Peter Huff, trekked its way to present-day Oceana. Crossing over a mountain and onto a stream, the Hull party was accosted by a band of Indians and Peter Huff was killed. After burying Huff the next morning, Hull and his men decided to return back to the New River settlements. The stream became known as “Peter Huff Creek,” a geographic locale that was used on land grants as early as 1789, now shortened to Huff Creek.

As I progress on my journey to “dig up” my ancestors, I stop every few days and delve into their personal history. Most are just regular persons that do their daily work and get married and have children. Nothing out of the ordinary. But every once in awhile, I find some nice tidbits about an accomplishment that I find interesting and perhaps historical.

This is one of those stories.


Douglas Clan of Scotland

How is this family part of my roots?

  1. The Douglas family joins when Catherine Douglas marries Joel Sherrod.
  2. Their daughter Mary Sherrod joins in matrimony to Henry Sawrey III.
  3. The name Sawrey is my moms maiden name.


Historical notation:

The Douglases were once the most powerful family in Scotland. The chiefs held the titles of the Earl of Douglas, and following their forfeiture the chieftancy devolved upon the Earl of Angus (see also: Duke of Hamilton). The 4th Earl of Morton held the chieftaincy during the 16th century, the Earldom of Morton was then a subsidiary title of the 8th Earl of Angus after the 4th Earl’s forfeiture and death in 1581.

William de Duglas’ name appeared on several official charters between 1175 and 1213. From him today’s Douglases can trace their roots.

Sir William “le Hardy” Douglas, was the first person of note to join William Wallace in his revolt against England. He was Constable of Berwick Castle in 1297 and a witness to the sacking of Berwick by Edward I “Longshanks” of England. Captured during Wallace’s revolt, William Douglas was taken to the Tower of London, where he died in 1298.

Four principle stems of the Douglas family wrote their great and often noble deeds into more than seven hundred years of turbulent Scottish history. The branches of the House of Douglas were: the Douglas of Douglasdale (the Black Douglases) who gained fame with Bruce; the Angus “Red Douglases” who played a significant part in the Scottish/English conflict between the mid-15th and early 18th centuries; the line of Morton, closely aligned with the fortunes of Mary, Queen of Scots; and the Drumlanrig and Queensbury Douglases who reached their zenith with the “Union of Crowns” in the early 18th century. Other, though no less important, branches of the Douglases were those of Annandale, Moray, Ormond, Forfar, Dalkeith, Mains, the Dukes of Touraine, Buccleuch, and Hamilton, and the Earls of Home.

Sir William’s son (“the Good” Sir James or “the Black Douglas”) was the foremost captain to Robert the Bruce during and after the Scottish “Wars for Independence.” Sir James was given the task of taking King Robert’s heart to the Crusades. He fell in battle against the Moors near Teba, Spain in 1330. His son, Sir William, inherited the family estates but fell in battle against the English at Halidon Hill in 1333. Sir William’s heir and uncle, Sir Archibald, was killed within an hour during the same battle.

Sir Archibald’s son, Sir William, became the first Earl of Douglas and later succeeded to the Earldom of Mar. The 2nd Earl, Sir James Douglas, fell fighting against Percy at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388. Sir Archibald “the Grim”, the 3rd Earl, was the natural son of “The Good” Sir James. He is known to have fought against the English at Poitiers in 1356 and is credited with the restoration of many church properties. Archibald “the Grim” subdued Galloway for the Scottish Crown built Threave Castle soon after. The 4th Earl, another Archibald, fought against Henry IV of England at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403, where he was taken prisoner. He became a general in Joan of Arc’s army, continuing to fight against the English. For his efforts, he was awarded the Duchy of Touraine. The 4th Earl was killed at the Battle of Verneuil. Sir Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl, died from a fever in Restalrig, Midlothian, and was buried at Douglas. Sir William, 6th Earl, and his brother David were murdered, on trumped up charges, in the presence of the young King James II in the so-called Black Dinner. Sir James Douglas, 7th Earl of Douglas, called “the Gross”, was also created Earl of Avondale in 1437. He was the great-uncle of the murdered Douglas lords and likely had something to do with it to obtain greater political power. William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas was the eldest son of James Douglas, 7th Earl.

In 1452 King James II sent one of Douglas’s friends with an invitation to Douglas to come to Stirling Castle under a safe-conduct. There James demanded the dissolution of a league into which Douglas had entered with two other powerful lords. Upon Douglas’s refusal, the king murdered him with his own hands, stabbing him 26 times, and had the earl’s body thrown out of a window. James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas, was the last of the ‘Black’ earls of Douglas. He succeeded to the earldom on the murder of his brother William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas by King James II and his entourage. He denounced his brother’s murderers and took up arms against the king. This rebellion culminated in the Battle of Arkinholm in 1455 where the power and fortunes of the Black Douglases was forever broken.

The “Red Douglas” line of Angus Earls originated through an illegitimate child of William, 1st Earl of Douglas. George, 4th Earl of Angus, was a third cousin of James, 9th Earl of Douglas but was more closely aligned to his Stewart cousins. As a result, the “Red Douglases” sided with King James II at Arkinholm and contributed greatly to the fall of the “Black Douglases.” The 5th Earl of Angus, Sir Archibald “Bell the Cat”, was involved in the conspiracy by a clique of nobles to remove the king’s favorite, Cochrane. When the tale of the mice tying a bell around the cat’s neck was related to the nobles, Sir Archibald stepped forward proclaiming, “I will bell the cat!” The nobles then captured Cochrane and hung him from Lauder Bridge in front of King James III. The two elder sons of “Bell the Cat” fell at the Battle of Flodden Field.

Andrew Douglas of Hermiston, younger son of Archibald I, Lord of Douglas and uncle of William “le Hardy” was the progenitor of the Douglases of Dalkeith , the Earls of Morton, and the Douglases of Mains. The 4th Lord Dalkeith succeeded to his estates upon the resignation of his father and was raised to the peerage as Earl of Morton prior to his marriage to Joanna, the deaf and dumb daughter of King James I. Sir James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, played an important role in the affairs of Mary, Queen of Scots. He became Regent of Scotland in 1572, for the infant James VI (and I.) However, once James VI reached the age of majority, Morton was implicated in the murder of James’ father, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (in 1567), and was executed in 1581. Darnley was the second but eldest surviving son of Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, and his wife, Lady Margaret Douglas. Darnley’s maternal grandparents were Archibald Douglas, sixth Earl of Angus, and Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England and widow of James IV, king of Scots. Darnley was a first cousin of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The titles of Douglas and Morton passed to the Earls of Angus who became heirs to the Dukedom of Hamilton. Their titles then passed to the 7th Duke of Hamilton while the estates have passed down to the Earl of Hume, the present Douglas of Douglas. The nature of Scottish law and how it pertains to titles and estates is convoluted and, as a result, it is unclear who the apparent Chief of Douglas might be.



NOTE- This is a big clan and I will be adding more stories to the Douglas Clan.



Barnes Bunch


At a Glance


Thomas Barnes 1360-1440- 15th great-grandfather of Linda

John Bowsey Barnes 1416-1465

John Barnes 1448-1486

William Barnes 1486-1558

Richard Barnes-  Bishop of Nottingham 1532-1589

Richard Barnes 1549-1605

George Barnes 1591-1650

Thomas Barnes 1636-1679

John “Deacon” Barnes Sr 1666-1752

Jonathan Barnes 1703-1783

William Barnes 1753-1773

William Barnes 1773-1860

Nathan Parker Barnes 1801-1870

John Benton Barnes 1846-1922

Ida May Barnes 1870-1936

Edith Eugenia Whitaker 1900-1990

Paul Burton Meeker 1922-

Linda Lee Meeker 1952-


The earliest we can find is Thomas Barnes who was born in 1360 and died in 1440 but we have no other information on him except he had a son John 


John Bowsey Barnes was born 1416 Writtle, Chelmsford Borough, Essex, England and married Margaret Deol (1424-June 1, 1470) in 1442. They are the parents of Sir John Barnes, Baron; Sir William Barnes and Margaret Bowley. He died in 1465


When John Barnes was born in 1448 in Writtle, Essex, England and died in 1486 in his hometown. When born, his mother Lady Margaret, was 24 and his father was 32. He had one son (William) with Constance Pakenham (1464-1530) in 1480. 


William Barnes was born in 1486 in Essex, England. His father, John, was 38 and his mother, Constance, was 22. He married Dorothy Hansard (1496-1548) in Eastwood, Herefordshire, England. They had six children in 28 years. George Barnes 1504–1590, Alice Ales Barnes 1507–1557 Thomas Barnes I 1524–1574, Sir William Alderly 1532–1559 Richard 1532–1589, Geoffrey Edward Barnes

William died on February 24, 1558, in his hometown at the age of 72.


Richard Barnes was born in 1532 at All Hallows, Honey Lane, London, England. He married Jona Lee on February 3, 1547 in Kirkham, Lancashire, England. She died in 1549 after having son Richard Jr. 

He married Fredesmund Gifford in the 1560s and then was appointed as Bishop of Nottingham in 1567 and later, in 1570, was appointed Bishop of Carlisle. He died on August 24, 1587 at Honey Lane, London, England.


Richard Barnes (1549-1605) Born November 10, 1549 at Kirkham, Lancashire, England and died abt 1605 Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire, England

He was baptized in Lancashire: Kirkham – Parish Register on November 10, 1549 and married Elizabeth Battersby (1564-1604) on September 8, 1589 in  Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire, England. 

Their children included: George Thomas (1591-1650) Margery (1592-) 

Elizabeth (1593-) Richard (1600-1632) George (1604-1650)


George Barnes was born in 1591 in Manchester, Lancashire, England and died in 1650 at Bridekirk, Isle of Man, England. He married Jeneta Key on December 1,1629 in Bridekirk,Cumberland,England.

They had two children which were: Thomas Berance (1636-1679) and Anna (1641-)




Thomas Barence Barnes who was born on October 18, 1636 in Barking, Essex, England. He came to the United States in 1656 on the Speedwell ship. 

On July 21, 1662 he married Abigail Goodenow in Marlborough, MA.

They had the following children:

  1. Thomas Barnes, born on March 23, 1662 and he married Mary Howe in Marlborough on April 14, 1685
  2. Dorothy Barnes born on February 6. 1664
  3. John Barnes born in Marlborough on December 25, 1666
  4. William Barnes born on April 3,  1669
  5. Abigail Barnes, born on June 14, 1671
  6. Theophilus Barnes, born on February 10, 1673 died in February 1675
  7. Susanna Barnes- she married Supply Weeks in Marlborough on June 4, 1699 She died in Marlborough on January 15, 1711


He died on July 2, 1679 in Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA.

More on Thomas B. Barnes: 


Thomas Barnes came to America on the Speedwell, sailing from Gravesend about 20 May 1656 and landing in Boston, MA on 27 Jun 1656 in company with Shadrack Hapgood, John Fay, Nathaniel Goodnow and Thomas Goodnow, whose daughter Abigail he married.  He bought land (8 acres) from Johnathan Johnson in 1663. His house and goods were burned by Indians during the destruction of Marlborough, Massachusetts in 1676 in King Philip’s War. He temporarily moved to Concord, Massachusetts. This is where his youngest child Susanna was born.  Upon returning to Marlborough, he bought land in the old Indian Plantation, Ockoocangansett. Thomas was active in community affairs, as evidenced by his name on numerous petitions and public documents. He first bought land in the then newly formed town, Marlborough in 1662 and received additional land grants later.

He enlisted in the Pequot War in Capt. Mason’s Unit #1635 at Hartford, Hartford County, CT.


John “Deacon” Barnes was born on December 25, 1666 in Marlboro, Middlesex, Massachusetts and died on April 5, 1752 in his hometown. 

He married Hannah Howe in 1695 in Marlboro, MA and they had the following children:  Abigail (1695-1741) Dorothy (1698-1734) 

Daniel (1701-1775) Jonathan (1703-1783) 

Hannah (1712-1789) John (1716-)


Jonathan Barnes was born in Marlboro,Massachusettsand died there on November 26, 1703. He married Rachel Hosmer on January 21, 1735, in Massachusetts. They had nine children in 18 years. 

  1. Silas was born on January 21, 1735
  2. Elisha was born on October 28, 1736- died June 7, 1740
  3. Fortunatus was born on September 25, 1738
  4. Rachel was born on July 13, 1740
  5. Lucy was born on July 7, 1742
  6. Dorothy was born on December 18, 1747
  7. Jonathan was born on November 6, 1749
  8. David was born on September 2, 1751- died January 28, 1756
  9. William was born on March 21, 1753


William Barnes was born on March 21, 1753, in Marlborough, Massachusetts. His father, Jonathan, was 49 and his mother, Rachel, was 39. He married Sarah Merriam on March 22, 1773. In almost three months of marriage they conceived one child (William, Jr.)

William Sr. died as a young father on June 18, 1773, in his hometown.


William Barnes Jr. was born in November 1773 at Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He married Abigail Parker in 1795 and their son Nathan was born in 1801. Abigail died October 19, 1809.

William married Mary Kimball in 1839. He died January 11, 1860 in Hillsboro, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, USA


Nathaniel Parker Barnes was born in Hillsborough, NH on June 13, 1801 and died in Bunker Hill, Illinois on November 20, 1870. 

He married Sarah E “Sally” Evans on November 29, 1827. They had one child, John Benton Barnes,  during their marriage. Nathaniel died on November 20, 1870, in Bunker Hill, Illinois, at the age of 69.


John Benton Barnes was born on October 3, 1846, in Greenfield, New Hampshire. His father Nathan was 45 and his mother Sally was 40 at his birth. He was married three times and had one daughter. 

He married Pauline Amelia Goehring (1838–1917) on November 21, 1859 in Bunker Hill, Illinois and had no children. John married Matilda Lancaster in St Louis, Missouri, on April 15, 1869.

Then he married 19 year-old Mary Lucetta Smith in 1870 and they had one daughter, Ida May Barnes, on March 30, 1870. JB Barnes died on March 23, 1922, in Forest City, Illinois, at the age of 75, and was buried there.


Ida May Barnes was born on March 30, 1870, in Forest City, Illinois, her father, John, was 23, and her mother, Mary, was 18. She married James Buchanan Whitaker on January 1, 1893, in Mason County, Illinois. They had four children: John Floyd, Nelda E.,Edith Eugenia, James Leslie

Ida Mary (Barnes) Whitaker died on October 2, 1936, in Forest City, Illinois at the age of 66.


Edith Eugenia Meeker (1900-1990) married Sam Meeker (can be found in Meeker Family article) They had four sons: Paul, Clyde, Loren, Lyle


Paul Meeker (born 1922) married Donna Callaway (see Callaway article) and they had seven children: Linda, Jan, Carl, Ruth, Ross, Roger, Cari


This bring us to the current present day Linda (Meeker) Knuppel- She married Thomas Lee Knuppel on October 6, 1973.

Their children: Ryan, Rodney, Rhett, Randy


This is the direct line for Linda as we start with her mother and is the most current ancestor to the furthest. 


This interesting and unusual medieval English surname is of Norman French origin, and is locational from a place called “Caillovet-Orgeville” in Eure, France, and is derived from the Old Norman French “cail(ou)” for a pebble.


When Donna Lee Callaway was born on January 9, 1935, her father, Elmor Clyde, was 45, and her mother, Bertha, was 30. She married Paul B. Meeker on January 11, 1952.    Their children: Linda Lee, Jan Louise, Carl Burton, Ruth Ann, Ross Alan, Roger Alan, Cari Beth


When Elmore Clyde Callaway was born on January 10, 1890, in Tazewell, Illinois and his father, Louis, was 18 and his mother, Sarah, was 18. He married Bertha Hughes on August 4, 1923. 

   Children: Glen, Shirley, Jean, Donna, Clyde, Judy, Gary

  • He died on April 4, 1949 in Spring Lake, Illinois, at the age of 59. (GF)


Louis “Frank” Franklin Callaway was born in 1862, his father, William, was 36 and his mother, Ruth, was 28. He married Sarah Emmons and their children were Henry Melvin (1872-1954), Birdie (1881-), Clara (1884-) , Roy Blaire (1888-1953) , Elmor Clyde (1890-1949)

  • He died on July 24, 1932, in Tazewell, Illinois, at the age of 70. (GGF)


When William Ira Callaway was born on February 2, 1826, in Campbell, Virginia, his father, Josiah, was 19 and his mother, Lettice, was 18. He married Ruth Ann Lowry in 1852 (1834-1879).

Their children: Sirrilda Sinthealy (1854-1881) , Sarah Isabell (1856-1921) , Rhoda Jane (1858-1940), Lucetta (1860-1932) , Lewis Frank (1862-1932) , William Ira (1866-1866) , Fannie (1868-1889) , Henry Melvin (1872-1954)

  • He died on September 19, 1879, in Spring Lake, Illinois, at the age of 53.  (2GGF)


When Josiah Isaiah Callaway was born on December 5, 1806, in Giles, Virginia, his father, Elijah, was 26 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 22. He married Lettice Blankenship In 1825.

Children: William Ira (1826-1879) , Benjamin Franklin (1827-) ,Washington Elijah (1829-1897), Nancy Jane (1833-1880) , Josiah D (1836-1857) 

Children with Susannah Quick:  Charles W (1840-). Mary Isabel (1840-), Moses (1844-), Catherine (1845-) , Elizabeth (1847-1872)

  • He died on April 12, 1849, in Clark, Illinois, at the age of 42. (3GGF)


Elijah Washington Callaway was born in 1780 in Lewes, Delaware, his father, Isaiah, was 26 and his mother, Sarah, was 21. He married Elizabeth Whitford.

Children: Jeremiah (1805-1806), Josiah Isaiah (1806-1849), Male (1807-1808), Jeremiah (1809-) George Washington (1810-1893), Sarah (1813-1874), Nancy (1815-1850), Christopher (1816-1860), Esquire (1819-), Susan (1820-), William Burl (1824-1894), Elizabeth (1828-1850) Nancy (1828-1850), Archibald (1830-1901), Jeremiah C (1831-1883)

  • He died in 1832 in Edgar, Illinois, at the age of 52. (4GGF)


When Isaiah Callaway was born in 1754 in Lewes, Delaware, his father, William, was 42 and his mother, Margaret, was 39. He married Sarah Saunders on September 30, 1775, in his hometown. They had one child during their marriage. 

  • He died in 1813 in Giles, Virginia, at the age of 59, and was buried in Summers, West Virginia. (5GGF)


When William Callaway was born in 1712, his father, William, Sr. was 25 and his mother, Given, was 22. He married Margaret Moore/Moor on December 1, 1734, in Somerset, Maryland. Later, in 1752, he married Elizabeth Crawley. 

Children with Margaret: Mary, Martha (1730-1782), Jane (1735-1750), Margaret (1737-1791) 

Matthew (1737-1790), William (1739-1754), Zachariah (1745-1816),Elizabeth (1745-1787) 

Isaiah (1754-1815), Jonathan (1760-1834), Obediah (1762-1800), Peggy (1763-1791) 

Elizabeth (1767-1840), Abraham (1773-), William S. (1776-1860)

Children with Elizabeth Crawley: Amelia (1753-1773), Charles (1754-1827)

  • He died in 1758 in Maryland at the age of 46. (6GGF)


When Col.William Callaway was born on March 14, 1688, in Somerset, Maryland, his father, Peter, was 48 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 56. He married Given Caldwell in 1708 in his hometown. Children: John (1710-1781), William (1715-1784), Jane (1716-1747), Daughter (1722-1722), Elizabeth (1724-1758), Moses (1725-1759), Benjamin (1728-1783), Matthew (1732-1790)

  • He died on January 20, 1758, in Somerset, Maryland, at the age of 70. (7GGF)


When Peter Callaway was born in 1639 in Yorkshire, England, his father, Edmund, was 19 and his mother, Catherine, was 15. He married Elizabeth Ann Mamie Johnson on March 26, 1667, in Somerset, Maryland. Children included: Sarah (1676-1732), 

Anne (1678-), Peter (1681-1739), John (1685-1770), Jane (1685-1769) 

William (1688-1758)

 Some researchers believe his home was in Yorkshire. He sold himself into bondage in 1649 to William Pressley in order to pay for his passage to the new world. Peter Callaway arrived in Northumberland County, Virginia in 1649 and served out his seven years as a bonded servant. There is plenty more to write on this young man!

  • He died in 1719 in Somerset, Maryland, having lived a long life of 80 years. (8GGF)


When Edmund Callaway was born in 1620 in Cornwall, England, his father, Joshua, was 25 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 21. He married Catherine Elizabeth Windley in 1631 in England. 

He was a tobacco farmer. Children: Francis (1647-1700), Peter (1649-1719), Joseph (1650-1735) 

William (1650-)

  • He died in May 1719 in Somerset, Maryland, at the impressive age of 99. (9GGF)


“Henry” (Joshua William) Callaway was born on March 10, 1595, in Cornwall, England, the son of Monjoy and Patrick. He married Elizabeth Stepney (1599-1642) in 1618 and their children were: Thomas (1618-1687), Edmund (1620-1719), Mary Milner (1627-)

  • He died in 1642 in Charles City, Virginia, at the age of 47. (10GGF)


When Patrick Call-Calloway was born in 1570 in Scotland, his father, Richardius, was 36 and his mother, Mary, was 31. He had one son (Joshua William) with Monjoy Curror in 1595. 

  • He died in 1627 in Amherst, Virginia, at the age of 57. (11GGF)


Richardius Call-Calloway was born in 1534 in Westbury, Wiltshire, England. He had two sons with Mary Carlton which were  Joshua (1558-1627), Patrick (1570-1627)

  • He died in 1611 in Scotland having lived a long life of 77 years. (12GGF)

Whitaker Brood


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.” 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.

Here we go. The early entries have little or no information. the words in parentheses (25GGF) designates what relationship they are to Linda (Meeker) Knuppel.


(25GGF) Johias Whitaker (1042 – 1066)

(24GGF). Edwinus Whitaker (1060 – 1087)

(23GGF)  Sir Simon Whitaker (1080 – 1135) Knighted in 1100

(22GGF) Alanus Whitaker (1133 -1227)

(21GGF) Sir Jordan Whitaker (1200 – 1275) Knighted; married Phillipa Astleymil

(20GGF) Sir John Whitaker (1240-1331) Knighted in 1262; MAGNA CARTA confirmer

(19GGF) Sir John Whitaker (1275 -1330) married in 1316 to Amica Marmion

(18GGF) Sir Richard Whitaker (1300 -1375) Knighted by Edward III in 1327;  married Joan Culi

Notes on Sir Richard- Sir Richard de Whitacre (circa 1300-1375) was the Lord of the Manors of Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Elmdon, and Freasley. He was the son of Sir John de Whitacre and Amica de Marmion and grandson of Sir John de Whitacre, a confirmer of the Magna Carta. His principal seat was at Whitacre Hall, a Medieval fortified manor house in Nether Whitacre.His family, being of Anglo-Saxon descent, were of the very few who were allowed to keep their lands after the Norman Conquest. In fact, his ancestor Johias Whitacre (1042-1066) died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Nevertheless, this family was allowed to keep their lands in Warwickshire and continued to rise to prominence throughout the Medieval period.Sir Richard was knighted by King Edward III in 1327. He fought in the King’s personal retinue during the English victories at Calais and Crecy during the Hundred Years’ War. For this, it is believed that he received lands in Padiham, Lancashire, where his descendants would eventually move to, settling at The Holme. He was a vassal of the Baron Tamworth, then in the Marmion family of which his mother was a part, who were lords of Tamworth Castle where Sir Richard is known to have fulfilled many of his Knight-services. It is also likely that he at times served the Earl of Warwick, although no records of this are in existence.Sir Richard is documented as having a few legal issues. In one case, after banding together with a group of about six relatives, he assaulted a rival family member from a nearby parish and caused him physical harm. When the lawyer who would be representing the prosecution traveled through Nether Whitacre, he was imprisoned, supposedly at Whitacre Hall, until after the trial was over. In another case, Sir Richard sued, successfully, a church for lands he felt he was entitled to. After marrying Joan Culi, he produced a few heirs, one of which, Sir Simon de Whitacre, would succeed him. He is thought to have died around 1375. It is not known where his final resting place is; however, the local church of St. Giles is the most likely place.


(17GGF) Sir Richard Whitaker (1380–1434) born and died at Symonston Hall, Lancashire, England.

(16GGF) Thomas Henry Whitaker (1405-1448) born and died at Symonstone Hall, Clivinger Burnley, Lancashire, England. He married Lady Elizabeth of Burnley in 1430. They had one son, Robert, born in 1440.

(15GGF) Robert Whitaker was born in 1440 in Lancashire, England and died abt 1531 in Yorkshire, England. He married Mary Greenwood (1440-1531) in 1458 and they had one child, Thomas Cromwell Whitaker, born in 1458. 

(14GGF) Thomas Cromwell Whitaker was born 1458 Simonstone Hall, Lancashire, England and died in 1529 at Simonstone Hall, Lancashire, England. He married Joanna Pritchard in 1480 and they had 13 children. He then married Mary Greenwood and they had one son in 1523. 

(13GGF) Richard Thomas Whitaker was born in 1480 in Burnley England and died in 1540. He married Margaret N. Wellascotts (1480-1545) in 1503 and they had four children: Thomas (1504-1598) ,Sir Henry (1506-1599). Margaret (1525-1567) and Sir Thomas Laurence lll (1528-1582).

(12GGF) When Thomas Whitaker was born on September 22, 1504, in Holme, Lancashire, England, his father, Richard, was 24 and his mother, Margaret, was 24. He married Elizabeth Nowell and they had eight children together: Richard Whitaker 1545–1597 Robert Whitaker Of Holme 1545–1581 William Whitaker 1548–1595   William A. “Rev Doctor Divinity” (Whittekers) (1548-1595) Frances Whitaker 1594–1687 Joseph Whitaker –1726 Willm. Whitaker –1738 Thos Dobson –1799

(11GGF) William A. “Rev Doctor Divinity” Whitaker was born in December 1548 in Lancashire, Lancashire, England. He married Susan Culverwell and they had 15 children together. He then married Lady Joane Paronite Fenner and they had one son together. He died on December 4, 1595, in Whalley, Lancashire, England, at the age of 47.

He was a prominent Protestant Calvinistic Anglican churchman, academic, and theologian. He was Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and a leading divine in the university in the latter half of the sixteenth century. His uncle was Alexander Nowell, the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral and catechist. He wrote over 20 theology books. 

NOTES: Robert Whitaker, an uncle, left an annuity of 40 lbs to his nephew, William Whitaker, then A.B., scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge. The will was attested by William Cecil, later Lord
Burleigh. The master of Trinity College was the Rev. Whitgift (afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury), who singled William out for special favors, because of William’s indefatigable study of scriptures, the commentators, and the schoolmen. William was regarded as an authority in both Latin and Greek. He took his B.A. in 1567-8, was made a Fellow of Trinity in 1569, and took his
B.D. at Trinity in 1578. He was ordained priest and deacon at Lincoln, 21 Dec 1576; was appointed University Preacher in 1577; and invested with the Prebendary of Norwich in 1578, in which year he was also “incorporated” at Oxford University.
In 1580, through the influence of the Nowells and Lord Burleigh, Queen Elizabeth appointed William A. Whitaker “Regius Professor of Divinity” at Cambridge University. At the time, there were only three Regius Professors in all of England, and only one in Divinity. Shortly afterwards, the Queen also made William A. Whitaker Chancellor of St. Paul’s Cathedral, 1580-1587. In 1587, also, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
In 1586, Queen Elizabeth appointed him Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, over the protests of some of the Fellows who objected to William’s Calvinistic Puritanism. William had gained his position through influence and patronage, but his administration was based wholly upon merit, scholarship, ability. His judgements were regarded as fair, just, and impartial, which soon made him one of the most loved of Masters. In his History of the College of St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge (1869), Thomas Baker is almost unbounded in his praise for William Whitaker as one of the greatest Masters of all time. William held the post for eight years, until his death in December, 1595.
In 1573, 1574, 1578, and again in 1583, William published Greek translations of Latin verses by his uncle, Alexander Nowell, who was for some forty years Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. These translations were widely regarded for their grace and beauty. William published several major works of theology in his lifetime and leftnseveral others in manuscript. His works are all extremely Puritan in argument and tone, he being an ardent follower of Calvin and Deza. Still, he came to be respected as the foremost theologian in the time of Queen Elizabeth.
In 1581, he published a bi-lingual (Latin and Greek) “Ten Answers to Edmund Campion, the Jesuit.” An English translation (?with the Latin on
facing pages) was published in London in 1606, by Richard Stock. His works are strongly anti-Catholic, for he regarded the church in Rome as the devil’s work, so to speak. In 1582, William published “The Pope of Rome is the Antichrist.” Over the years, he published learned disputes over scriptures with John Durei, the Scottish Jesuit (1583), Robert Bellarmine (1588), and Thomas Stapleton (1588).
In all these arguments, William was said to have stated the opposition’s position fairly, with clarity, and then offered his counter-arguments with such logic and force, that even his opponents respected his abilities and arguments. Some of his opponents are said to have hung his portrait on their walls as a gesture of admiration and honor. In November and December of 1595, he was working with others in London on the so-called Lambeth Articles. In drafty carriages, in inclement weather, he caught a cold, which worsened with exhaustion, and he died 4 Dec 1595.


(10GGF) William Whitaker was born in 1582 in Holme, Lancashire, England. He had two sons and two daughters with Katherine Deane. He then married Mary Liversidge and they had five children together: Robert, Maria, Isabell, Jeremiah and Jane.

He died in 1638 in Holme, Huntingdonshire, England, at the age of 56.

(9GGF) Jeremiah Whitaker was born in 1599 in Wakefield, England and died in 1654 in London. He married Chephizibah Peachy in 1629 and they had five children: William, Mary, Jeremiah, Richard and John.

He was an English Puritan clergyman, and an important member of the Westminster Assembly. After being educated at the grammar school there under the Rev. Philip Jack, he entered Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, as a sizar in 1615, two years before Oliver Cromwell. In 1619 he graduated in arts, and for a time was a schoolmaster at Oakham, Rutland.

In 1630 he was made rector of Stretton, Rutland; and on the ejection of Thomas Paske from the rectory of St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, in 1644, Whitaker was chosen in his stead. He was an oriental scholar, and preached, when in London, four times a week. When the Westminster Assembly was convened in June 1643, he was one of the first members elected, and in 1647 was appointed its moderator. In the same year he was chosen by the House of Lords, along with Thomas Goodwin, to examine and superintend the assembly’s publications

Whitaker died on 1 June 1654, and was buried in the chancel of St Mary Magdalen. 




(8GGF) Richard Whitaker was born in London in 1644 and came to the United States where he died in 1710 in Fairfield, New Jersey. He married Elizabeth Adkins Provoe in 1680 and they had six children. Abigail (1680-1718) Richard (1680-1720) Nathaniel (1681-1753) Peter (1683-) James (1689-1720) Katharine (1694-1718).

(7GGF) Richard Whitaker II (1680-1720) was born in 1680 in Fairfield, New Jersey. He married Abigail Hammond in 1700 in his hometown.They had four children: Nathaniel (1696-1752) Richard (1700-1759) Thomas (1702-1779)  Catherine (1704-) Elizabeth (1704-) James (1708-) Richard Whitaker II died on January 12, 1720, in Fairfield, New Jersey, at the age of 40.

(6GGF) Nathaniel Whitaker was born in 1694 in Fairfield, New Jersey when his father, Richard, was 14 and his mother, Abigail, was 18. He married Mary Ann Abbott Dixon on 18 Nov 1729 in Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey, United States. He then married Ruth Buck (1719-1752) on September 13, 1738, in New Jersey.  He died on December 13, 1752, in his hometown at the age of 58.

(5GGF) Lewis W Whitaker was born in 1734 and married Anna Thompson (1737-1810) in 1753. They had three children: Lydia (1760-1830) Lewis (1764-1830)  Lemuel (1772-1849) Lewis died in 1773 at the age of 39. Anna Thompson was born on April 27, 1737, in Fairfield, New Jersey. She died in 1810 in her hometown at the age of 73.

(4GGF) Lemuel Whitaker was born on June 21, 1772, in Fairfield, New Jersey when his father, Lewis, was 38 and his mother, Anna, was 35. He married Ruth Barker on April 12, 1791, in his hometown. According to the 1810 Ohio Census, his first name was Leminnie. In subsequent Ohio census (1820, 1830,1840), he was listed as Lemuel. In 1805 he married Jannette Buchanan.

  • Children with Ruth: Harriet (1798-1881) Reuben Barker (1800-1868)
  • Children with Janette: Fanny A. (1806-1813)  Israel (1808-1880) Samuel P (1810-1886) Ruth J (1812-1880)  James Buchanan (1813-1893) Neri (1816-1890) Sarah (1818-1890) William B (1818-1890)  Lewis (1820-1890) 

 He died on January 13, 1849, in Brush Creek, Ohio, having lived a long life of 76 years.


Reuben W (3GGF) Reuben Barker Whitaker was born in New Jersey on 8 Jan 1800. He married Frances (Fanny) Martin and their children were: David (1823-1850)  Lemuel (1824-1895) John Buchanan (1826-1872) Milton (1828-1863) Annis (1834-1913) Lewis (1838-1890) 

He married Margaret Hannah Smith (1813-1881) in 1853 and their children were: Adelia Mary (1854-1929)  Beth Ann (1858-1941) Ruth A (1858-) Seth (1868-)

He passed away on April 11, 1868 in Jefferson, Coshocton, Ohio, United States.


The Move to Illinois


(2GGF) John Buchanan Whitaker was born on May 13, 1826, in Muskingum, Ohio. He married Louisa Catherine Cheek. Their children: Henry Edward (1858-1923) Mary Ella Ellen (1861-1936) James Buchanan (1864-1952) William (1864-) Reuben S (1871-) He died on June 8, 1872, in Forest City, Illinois, at the age of 46.

(GGF) James Buchanan Whitaker was born July 16, 1864 in Forest City, Illinois. He married Ida May Barnes on January 1, 1893, in Mason, Illinois. Their four children were (John) Floyd (1894-1977) Nelda E (1897-1987) Edith Eugenia (1900-1990) (James) Leslie (1904-1962)  James B died in 1952 in his hometown at the age of 88.

(GM) Edith Eugenia (Whitaker) Meeker was born in 1900 and attended school in the Manito/Forest City area. She married Sam Meeker October 6, 1920. She supported her husband in his farming endeavor and was a loving and devoted wife and mother. They had four children.  (Paul, Clyde, Loren, Lyle) . Edith died of natural causes in 1990 and her husband Sam died a few hours later of the same thing (broken heart?).


In a Nutshell:


Johias Whitacre 1042-1066   (25th great-grandfather of Linda)

Edwinus Whitaker 1060-1087

Simon Whitaker 1080-1135

Alanus Whitaker 1133-1227

Jordan Whitaker 1200-1275

Sir John Whitaker 1240-1278

John Whitaker 1275-1330

Richard Simon Whitaker 1300-1380

Sir Richard Whitaker 1380-1434

Thomas Henry Whitaker 1405-1448

Robert Whitaker 1440-1531

Sir Thomas Cromwell Whitaker 1458-1529

Richard Thomas Whitaker 1480-1540

Thomas Whitaker 1504-1598

William A. “Rev” Whitaker 1548-1595

William Whitaker DR 1582-1638

Jeremiah Whitaker 1599-1654

Richard Whitaker 1644-1710

Richard Whitaker, II 1680-1720

Nathaniel Whitaker 1694-1752

Lewis W Whitaker 1734-1773

Lemuel Whitaker 1772-1849

Reuben Barker Whitaker 1800-1868

John Buchanan Whitaker 1826-1872

James Buchanan Whitaker 1864-1952

Edith Eugenia Whitaker 1900-1990

Paul Burton Meeker 1922-

Linda Lee Meeker 1952-



Did you find mistakes? Would you like to add something?

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Tom Knuppel Husband of Linda (Meeker) Knuppel