Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Whitaker Bible As A Source, Of Course

Collaboration on family history research is a time saver. It is also a way to work together to determine the facts. If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints you should know that many serious non Mormon genealogists avoid working with us. They often find we just copy what someone else said, or even worse just jump to a conclusion, and publish that conclusion, without verifying if that conclusion is factual. As more and more of us catch the spirit of genealogy we need to be more interested in what is accurate than a green arrow.

By the way, the church family history department estimates that up to 80% of research is duplicate research. YUK! We only have so much time in our lives, let's not waste it with duplications. Let's also not be selfish with our research. I have to say, I find most genealogy buffs to be kind, courteous, and unselfish. What a great group of people to be aligned with. On the other side, it amazes me how many trees in are private. What's the deal with that?

OK now, to the point of the Whitaker Bible: It's an historic treasure passed down since about 1600. We don't know when it became a Whitaker possession. We do know that it has been handed down for hundreds of years. It got out of the family and then back into it.

A challenge for those of us who are a descendent of William Whitaker Sr (1701 - 1789), who we know had possession of this Bible is to document the link between him and Lord John and Lady Alicia Lisle. Websites throughout the internet have Lord Lisle as our ancestor. If true, it is possible that is where this Bible became our heritage. Lord Lisle was part of Oliver Cromwells Court that sentenced King Charles I to death for murderous and treasonous acts. Lord Lisle was later shot by a bounty hunter and Lady Lisle was later beheaded by Charles son, after Cromwell died, and when Charles II took back the throne.

If you want to be a pioneer of facts, go to family tree and start proving what is there connecting William Whitaker to Lord Lisle.

T"he earliest known Whitaker ancestors were Joshua Whitaker and his wife, Jane Parker. They were born in the 1670s. They were forced to flee England around 1710 and went to the Isle of Man, which is located between England and Ireland. They almost certainly possessed the Whitaker Geneva Bible at this time. The Geneva Bible was over 100 years old when it left England. The Whitakers were Quakers and Joshua Whitaker was killed in some minor religious skirmish around 1715. Joshua Whitaker's wife, Jane, and their four children, William, Robert, Catherine, and Peter, fled the Isle of Man and went to Ireland. They and the Bible went first to Timahoe, Ireland. Jane Whitaker and her children lived there several years. They then requested a certificate of removal from the Quaker Church allowing them to move to Dublin, Ireland. William Whitaker, born in 1701, the oldest child of Joshua and Jane Whitaker, requested a certificate of removal in 1719 from the Quaker Church in Dublin to go to Pennsylvania. It is not known exactly when William Whitaker arrived in America, but he presented his certificate of removal to the Newark Monthly Meeting (a short time later called the Kennett Square Monthly meeting) on December 2, 1721. William's mother Jane, brothers Peter and Robert, and sister Catherine, as well as the Whitaker Bible soon moved to Chester County, Pennsylvania. William Whitaker married Elizabeth Carleton on February 13, 1722. William Whitaker being the oldest child got the Geneva Bible. William and Elizabeth Whitaker lived in Kennett Square from 1722 - 1734. They then moved to Bradford a few miles from Kennett Square. It was located in Chester County. William and Elizabeth Whitaker decided to moved back to Kennett Square in the winter of 1739. In December 1739 William and Elizabeth were all packed up to move back to Kennett Square when their house was destroyed by a fire. The Whitaker's lost almost everything they had in the fire, even their seed for next year's garden. They were able to save the Geneva Bible. You can still see where the fire melted and cracked on the leather outside of the Bible. The fire damage is also visible on the edges of the Bible's pages. The Bible shows water damage as well." This paragraph is from the writings and research of C Bruce Whitaker.

The above pages illustrate the value of an old Bible in our research. It also illustrates the generosity of others in sharing what they know or have. These photos were provided me by a newly met online distant cousin, Ray Isbell. 

Family Tree had people debating over facts regarding William Whitaker's vital statistics which were cleared up by the entry in the red box.  Now those debating the issue can move on to better things. 

This was often the only source of writing their history for families of old. 

 Yes, the Whitaker Bible as a source? Of course.

It gets a little gruesome, but this video re-enacts the trail and death of king Charles I. Our believed ancestors Lord Lisle is on this jury, and it is said he was the member of Parliament that delivered the summons to King Charles: thus the revenge on Lord and Lady Lisle by Charles II.

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