Was my John Whitaker a son of Samuel Taylor Whitaker?
by Nova A. Lemons
13 Dec 2000
In order to determine if my John Whitaker is the same person as John, son of Samuel Taylor Whitaker and his wife Elizabeth Williams, one needs to follow John's life through the records then compare it against the information on Samuel Taylor Whitaker's family.
The only source found so far at this time that indicates a connection between Samuel T. Whitaker and John Whitaker as father and son is this book, Our Children's Ancestry by Sarah Cantry Whitaker Allen (1935). Mrs. Allen identified John T. Whitaker as son of Samuel Taylor Whitaker and did not give a name for John's wife. She then mentioned that a letter from Mrs. Clyde F. Hunt of Thomson, GA stated "Pleasant Holoway Whitaker had two brothers, Thomas and Berry, and, other brothers and sisters" [p. 105]. In a letter written by Mary (Whitaker) Hardegree, known daughter of John, with assistance of her son, Hiram Lee Hardegree, to her sister back in GA in 1855, "brothers" were mentioned, but not named. Research and sources show that the brothers (sons of John) are likely John Jr., Daniel, Littleberry (Berry), and Pleasant H.
With a grandson, John F. Culpepper, Sr., providing his maternal grandparents' names as John Whitaker and Polly Holliway, and with Pleasant H. Whitaker's middle name being Holoway, it seems to fit together nicely with Pleasant's middle name being his mother's maiden name.
Now moving backwards we find John Whitaker with land in Baldwin Co. as early as 1809 (tax digest). The same property was also listed on 1808 Morgan Co. tax digest. Baldwin Co. was created in 1803 from Indian lands and Morgan Co. in 1807 from portions of Baldwin and Jasper counties. Several sons of Hudson Whitaker (son of John Whitaker and Olive Taylor) lived in Baldwin Co. (Simon, William and Edwin). Hudson Whitaker lived in Wilkes Co., GA and died 1817 in Washington Co., GA. He was the brother of Samuel Taylor Whitaker who also lived in Wilkes Co. then moved to Washington Co. Samuel was deceased by 1813 when his brother Thomas Whitaker was an administrator of his properties in Putnam Co. and Washington Co. on 1813 Putnam Co., GA tax list. His widow Elizabeth Whitaker died circa 1818-19 probably in Putnam Co. and was listed as a widow from Washington Co.
My research focused on the GA counties of Baldwin, Carroll, Coweta, Early, Habersham, Heard, Irwin, Morgan, Newton and Walton from the earliest to the year 1860 with hopes of finding record(s) that would suggest or prove the parents of John and/or Polly. Unfortunately I was not able to find any so far although I did find many other Whitaker families in these counties.
John Whitaker and his family were apparently the only ones who lived in Morgan Co. If he was indeed son of Samuel T. Whitaker who was said to have moved to Wilkes Co., GA as early as 1786, one wonders why John's two daughters were born in NC (c1796 and c1798) and also a possible son Daniel in SC (c1796) rather than in GA. We can't be too certain about Daniel's birthplace since only one source, 1850 census, provided it. His wife was born in SC and one might have thought Daniel was also born in SC when he could have been born in NC. He might have been a bit older than Mary, unless they were twins. The names "Daniel" and "Daniel Whitaker" have been given to several of Mary's descendants. Did John, when of age, return to NC to marry Polly Holloway? Or did he stay behind in NC while his father and family moved to GA then he later joined them with his young family in tow?
I have not been able to find records on our John Whitaker in NC or SC, although there were several of them. Each record needs to be examined closely to determine if he is the same one who married Polly Holloway and moved to GA. Further research into early Wilkes Co., GA records as well as Halifax Co., NC records need to be continued.
As for Polly Holloway's parents, I have not had any luck for there are a lot of Pollys and Marys that it is difficult to sort them out. Early records on females are usually scarce. By finding her marriage record, we might be able to find her parents, too.
I welcome any suggestions and proof in identifying the parents of John Whitaker and/or Polly Holloway and also their children and descendants.