Whitaker Family

Whitaker Family, p. 2, Previous

29 Sep 2005

Mural of Alexander Whitaker Baptizing Pocohantas

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Baptism of Pocahontas by Alexander Whitaker

Jabez Whitaker was sent to VA with the rank of Lt. by the Virginia Company, in charge of tenants for one of the plantations known as the College land -- set aside for the endowment of an Indian College "for the training up of the children of those Infidels in true Religion, moral virtue and Civility." By November he settled near Jamestown in charge of fifty colonists, and gave a "good acompt of the trust reposed in him."

In late 1619, Lieutenant Jabez Whittaker and perhaps as many as fifty men were sent by the Virginia Company to the Company's tract. According to Whittaker, he and his men built a 40' by 20' "guesthouse" to season new immigrants. They also erected other dwellings, and fenced in their acreage and livestock. The tenants who worked on the Company Land agreed to serve for seven years in return for 50% of the profits of their labor. Additionally, the Virginia Company provided the tenants with a year's supply of food and cattle along with clothes, weapons, tools, and other equipment.

This "guesthouse" became, in times of illness, the first hospital in Virginia.

Aboard the Bona Nova in 1621 there were shipped "600 bushells of English meale whereof 36 were sent to Smiths hundred and 20 bushells to Mr Farrars Plantation soe there remayned to the 2 Companys of C. Weldon and Lieve-Whitakers 544 bushel onely witness the Cape Merchant. We do know that from reading the 'Records of the Virginia Company' that the ships in the 1618-1620 era left London on the Thames River and arrived in Virginia in the Isle of Wight at Cowes and that Jamestowne in Virginia had its own separate port. We know that, from this same passage, of 100 men aboard the first known trip of the Bona Noua, 50 were Captain Weldon's men and 50 were Lieutenant Jabez Whittaker's men."

 From 1624-1626 he was Captain and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1626 he was a member of the Colonial Council of Virginia, when he received a letter from his father-in-law Sir John Bourchier "ordering him back to England to his wife and child." He left Virginia for England in 1628.

That child was William Whitaker, born 1618 in Surry, England. It is uncertain when William came to Virginia, but he was a Major and a Colonel in the Virginia Militia, a tobacco planter; and in 1648-56 he was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1656 he was granted a 90-acre patent on the N.E. side of the James River for transporting two persons to Virginia. He was a member of the Colonial Council of Virginia in 1659.

At right: Jamestown, VA, church tower

Jabez Whitaker

Jabez Whitaker, youngest son of Dr. William A. Whitaker and his second wife, Joan Taylor, was born in 1595, a few days after Dr. William A. Whitaker died. Joan Taylor Whitaker named the infant Jabez, citing I Chronicles 4:9: “and his mother called his name Jabez, saying ‘Because I born him in pain.’”

About 1617, Jabez married Mary Bourchier, daughter of Sir John Bourchier and Dame Elizabeth Bourchier, of Lambeth Parish, County Surrey, England. The Bourchiers are descended from the youngest son of King Edward, III. As far as is known, they had only one son, William Whitaker, b. 1618, England, d. after 1668, James City County, Virginia, of which more later.

About the time his son was born, Jabez left his wife and child in England and went out to Virginia, possibly because his brother, Alexander Whitaker, “The Apostle to Virginia,” had drowned in the James River in 1617 and he had to tend to his estate, though there are no surviving documents.

At any rate, Jabez soon became a noteworthy citizen of Virginia. The Records of the Virginia Company of London, the organization that “settled” Jamestown, notes of him on 23 June 1620: “Hee haveinge receaved notice of the good carriage of some psonnes in Virginia was specially to recommend unto them one Mr. Jabez Whittakers, Leiutennant of the Companies men who had given a good Accounpt of the trust reposed in him.” (p.22) “Ffor so much as it appeared y Mr. Whttakers has obeyed the Companies orders in buildinge a Guesthouse for entertaynement of Sick psonnes and for y relief and comfort of such cases as came weake from Sea and had allso begunn to plant vaine, Corne, and such good Comodities and rayled in 100 acres of ground, it was moved y the Court would please to bestow some reward uppon him for his better encouragement in soe good a course. Whereoppon itt was agreed and ordered that hee should have two boyes sent him when the Comp shal be able and that the reward of Tobacco allowed him by the Governor of Virginia shall be confirmed onto him.” (p.23)
This reference to Jabez Whitaker’s “rail fence” is the first mention of a fenced plot of land in America.

In 1623, Jabez was referred to as a Captain: “... and we further require and commaund all persons whatsover under the charge of the said Captain Jabez Whitaker, that they yield unto him ready obedience touching all our abovesaid commands, as they will answer the contrary at their utmost perills. Given at James City, the 13th of May 1623.” signed: Frances Wyatt, Governor (p.25)

Jabez Whitaker was Elizabeth City’s representative to the House of Burgesses in the session that met from 5 March 1623 to 1624. And he was a member of the Council of Virginia in 1626.

On June 16, 1622, The Records note: “Sir John Bourchier’s request by letter for his Sonn Whitaker’s returne to England who, (as he sayeth) intended not to stay here any longer from his wife and child, he means to leave behinde hime, than he can furnish himselfe with necessaries.”
Jabez died in Virginia in 1626, before he could return to England.


William Whitaker

William Whitaker, only son of Jabez Whitaker and Mary Bourchier, was born in England in 1618, and died in Virginia after 1668.
His name first appears in the records of Warrick Co, VA, in 1639, when he was a “Viewer of Tobacco.” From 1649 to 1659, he was a member from James City County of the House of Burgesses at all its meetings, where he served on several important committees. In 1655, he was referred to as Lieutenant-Colonel, and in 1658 and later as Captain. In 1659, he was a Member of the Council of Virginia.
Two Land Grants were made to him: 90 acres, June 5, 1656, in James City County; and 90 acres, March 1662. He was an early resident of Martin’s Hundred.

We do not know the name of his wife, but William had two sons, (Capt.) Richard Whitaker born 1643 in VA; and William Whitaker (Jr. or II), born abt 1645.

(Source: History of Baldwin County, Georgia; Records of the Virginia Company; Virginia Magazine of Genealogy Vol. III.)

Richard Whitaker

Richard Whitaker, the older son of William Whitaker of James City County, Virginia, was born about 1645 in Warrick Co, VA, and resided in the Colony of Virginia until his death, some time after 1696. He received a grant of 135 acres in James City County, 28 October 1666 (when he was only 21), adjoining 100 acres part given him by Major WILLIAM WHITTAKER, his DECEASED FATHER. In 1676 he patented 600 acres in Warwick Co. In December 1668, he stood sponsor for (another of) Edward Thurston’s sons, along with his brother William.

Nathaniel Bacon denounced Richard Whitaker in 1676 as one of the supporters of Governor Berkeley. Berkeley was governor of Virginia for 35 years and did much to establish a lifestyle which continued to modern times. In 1680 Richard was a military and civil officer in Warwick Co., and from 1680-99 he served 20 years as a member of the House of Burgesses.
Richard Whitaker held a number of public offices: In November 1685, 1688, April 1691, and Sept 1696, he was a member of the House of Burgesses, representing Warwick County. In 1680, he is mentioned as a civil and military officer of Warwick County, and Sheriff of Warwick County in 1696. He apparently died soon after.
Richard Whitaker married, first, Miss Pyland, and, second, Elizabeth _______.
As far as we know, he had only one child: John Whitaker, b. 1694, who married Martha Gough.


John Whitaker and Martha Gough

John Whitaker, b. 1694, Warwick Co, VA, d. c1750 (when his widow married John Drewry). John Whitaker married Martha Gough, d/o Rev. William Gough and Alice Thacker. John and Martha had eight children:

1. Richard Whitaker, b. 1720, d. 1794; m. Elizabeth Cary
2. Gough Whitaker, b. -?-, d. 1772; m. Martha Cary
3. Robert Whitaker, b. -?-, d. 1765; m. Sarah _______
4. John Whitaker, b. 1732, d. 1784; m. Olive Taylor
5. James Whitaker, b. -?-, d. 1789; m. Catherine Wiggins
6. William Whitaker, b. -?-, d. 1789; m. Elizabeth Wiggins
7. Dudley Whitaker, b. 1740, d. 1791; m. Mary Pearce
8. Martha Whitaker, b. -?-, d. -?-; m. Thomas Cary, Jr.

All the sons of John Whitaker and Martha Gough left Virginia and settled in Halifax and nearby counties in North Carolina. James and William later went to Kershaw Co, SC. Robert died in Halifax Co, and his sons went to Wake Co, NC (a county which was later aligned out of existence). Descendants of John Whitaker and Olive Taylor are said to have settled in Georgia.

 Col. Richard Whitaker's 600-acre VA Patent in Warwick Co., 1676 (Book 6, p. 610)


William Whitaker's VA Patent in James City Co., 1650


My ancestor was Richard's brother, Capt. William Whitaker, a merchant in James City and York Cos. who owned 2000+ acres of land, including a 400 acre patent in 1680 shown below:

 William Whitaker (Jr.)'s 400-acre VA Patent in James City Co., April 1680 (Book 7, p. 25)


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