John Whitaker

Echo Manor Plantation House, Built ca 1743

1745 - 1823

John Whitaker was born 21 May 1745 in Yorktown, VA. He was the son of Robert WHITAKER and Sarah BURTON John died 22 Nov 1823 in Halifax, Wake, N.C , at the age of 78, and was buried in Whitaker Cem., Wake, NC (no longer exist).
NOTES for John:
John Whitaker played an important part in the process of carving Wake Co. out of the wilderness and establishing the County's Government. His name appears often in the colonial records. In 1776 he is a "Trustee of the Peace." He was in the active Wake County Militia which was called Revolutionary War Patriot. North Carolina Revolutionary Soldiers, Sailors, Patriots & Descendants, Vol. II, page 198. D.A.R. Lineage Book, Vol. 29 (1899). John served as Justice of the Court in Wake County from 1777 to 1787. The minutes of the first meeting of the Wake County Governing Board bear the signature of John. John served on the Country Board the first year of U.S. independence. He also served as Road Commissioner for Wake County.
Wake County Court Records, Book B:4-14, 1777 - 1784; D.A.R. Linage Book, Vol. 29 (1899).

In addition to his deep interest and devotion to public affairs, John Whitaker was a successful planter and business man. He owned and operated a tannery, a brick yard, a lumber mill, and a turpentine and pitch distillery. He was also a substantial land holder. Builder of Whitaker's Mill in Raleigh.

John Whitaker was married three times. His first marriage c1765 to Elizabeth Hardy, 6 children; he 2nd married Fereby Pearson on 17 Apr 1786 in Wake Co., N.C. they had 7 children, then after the death of Fereby, John married the widow, Elizabeth Walton. Col John died 22 Nov 1823 and was buried in the Whitaker Cemetery on his plantation a short distance west of Manor House. (Cemetery no longer exists). His death was reported in the Raleigh Register on 25 Nov 1823: "One of the oldest and most respectable inhabitants of the country." He was survived by Elizabeth, his 3rd wife, and by all thirteen children of his first two marriages.

John's estate was administered, but there was no will. The 1824 Estate Papers are maintained in the North Carolina State Archives. The papers contain the names of his widow, all of his children and some of their spouses' names.

Pg 568-69 Article 948

COLONEL JOHN WHITAKER, Squire of Echo Manor Plantation, son of Robert (1718-1765) and Sarah Whitaker, was born 2 May, 1745, in that portion of Craven County that was cut off in 1746 to form Johnston, and cut off from Johnston in 1770, to form southeastern Wake County. "Echo Manor Plantation House," where he was born, was built about 1743 on land granted to Robert Whitaker by George II. The grant, dated 23 May, 1741, describes 840 acres of land in Craven (now Wake) County on the north side of Swift Creek, a tributary of Neuse River and on both sides of Steep Hill Creek. The house located south of Raleigh, off Old Fayetteville Stage Road, is shown on Price-Strother 1808 Map of North Carolina as "Col. Whitakers," and probably is the oldest house now standing on its original foundation in Wake County.

Colonel John Whitaker was active in the Militia when it was called out to duty in 1776, and along with Colonels Joel Lane, Theophilus Hunter, and John Hinton, he was active in establishing the Wake County Government. He served on the first governing body for Wake County after independence, and as justice of the court from 1777 to 1787.

In addition to "Echo Manor Plantation." Col. Whitaker owned and operated a brick yard, tannery, saw mill and turpentine distillery. He died in 1823 and was buried in the Whitaker Family Cemetery on the plantation. Before his death, he conveyed "Echo Manor Plantation" to his son, Col. Willis Whitaker, by "deed of gift."

Colonel John Whitaker married first, Elizabeth Hardy, and one of their sons, Samuel Whitaker, served as High Sheriff of Wake County (1820-21), and was elected nine times to the House of Commons and five times to the State Senate. Colonel Whitaker married secondly, Ferebee Pearson, daughter of Capt. Samuel Pearson, builder of Yates mill, and one of their sons, Col. Willis Whitaker (1791 - 1880), served as paymaster for the American forces in the War of 1812. Wesley Whitaker, Jr., Colonel John Whitaker's grandson, served as Mayor of Raleigh (1872-73).

Col. Willis Whitaker (1791 - 1880) married first, Lucy M. Newsome. He married secondly, Temperance Jones. Wilson Willis Whitaker (1818 - 1864), son of Willis and Lucy M. Newsome Whitaker, married Amelia Ann Jones, daughter of Capt. Henry Jones of Crabtree. Their sons, Joel D. and Willis Whitaker, were owners of Whitaker Mill built in 1778 by Isaac Hunter onCrabtree Creek and operated as a grist mill, paper mill, and confereate powder mill.

Joel D. Whitaker (1852 - 1926), son of Wilson Willis and Amelia Ann Jones Whitaker, married first Helen Lechie Jones. He married secondly, Willie Toxie, and one of their daughters, Helen Whitaker (1894 - 1973), was a prominent member of the Colonial Dames, DAR, and Barons of Runnemede with three orders of Distinction. Another daughter, Amelia Whitaker, married C. T. McClenahagen, and one of their daughters, Marian, married Charles Brantly Aycock, grandson of Charles Brantly Aycock, Governor of North Carolina.

Colonel John Whitaker was a lineal descendant of the celebrated Puritan Divine, William Whitaker, D. D. (1548 - 1595), Headmaster, St. John's Cambridge University, England, whose great-great-grandfather, Thomas Whitaker, was living in 1431 at the Whitaker Ancestral place, called the "Holme" in Lancashire, England.

The Whitakers originally spelled, Whiteacre, were from an ancient landed gentry in England whose family estate was called "Whitecarefield."

Alexander Whitaker, D. D., son of Dr. William Whitaker and collateral ancestor of Colonel John Whitaker, came to the Virginia Colony in 1611. He taught and baptized Pocahontas and officiated at her marriage to John Rolfe. A painting of this baptism hangs in the rotunda in our national Capitol in Washington, D. C.

Jabez Whitaker (1595 - 1626), posthumous son of William Whitaker and lineal ancestor of Colonel John Whitaker, married Mary, daughter of Sir John Bouchier and his wife, Dame Elizabeth Bouchier, and they migrated to Virginia before 1620. Jabez was Chief Lieutenant for the Virginia Company of London, and the 1620-21 records of that Company disclose that he built the first hospital on American soil.

Robert Whitaker, Colonel John Whitaker's father, was born in Warwick County, Virginia about 1718. He died in 1765, and was buried in the Whitaker Family Cemetery in Wake County, N. C. Robert was the son of John (1694 - 1750) and his wife, Martha Gough Whitaker. Robert Whitaker's grandfather, Richard Whitaker (1618 - 1655); and his great- great-grandfather, Jabez Whitaker (1695 - 1726), all served in the Virginia House of Burgesses.

Colonel John Whitaker's ancestral lineage extending back to King Edward III, King of England and to Richard DeClare, (1215) Magna Charter Surety, is recorded in Living Descendants of Blood Royal Vol. 1, by Professor Arthur Adams, PhD., President American Society of Genealogists, and Count D'Angerville F. R. S. A., Author of World Nobility and Peerage, published by World Nobility and Peerage, 150 Fleet St., London, E. C. A. England.

SOURCES: Land Grant; Deeds; Craven, Johnston and Wake County Court Records; Colonial Records of Virginia; Colonial Records of North Carolina; Records of the Virginia Company, Library of Congress; North Carolina Marriage Bonds; DAR Records; Muster Rolls of the War of 1812; Annuals of Henrico Parish; Cantabrigienes; Virginia Coloney Vol1, Page 370; Cambridge University, England; Living Descendants of Blood Royal; Line of Descent, Magna Charter Sureties; Directory of National Biography, English; Whitaker Family History; Our Children's Ancestors.