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The 411 on Richard Whitaker, Jr. from Halifax County, NC

March 18, 2012

The following material comes from Dr. Melton P. Meek’s book the Descendants of Thomas Whitaker etc. mentioned in my previous post and James Jones Descendants and Intermarriages 1612-1996 unless otherwise noted.

Richard Whitaker, Jr. was the son of Richard Whitaker, Sr. and Elizabeth Cary. He was born in Halifax County, NC (previously part of Edgecombe Co.) around 1762 and died in Lincoln County, TN the 20th of August, 1833. He is mentioned in his father’s will in 1789 and was left the home plantation of 350 acres. He was co-executor of the will along with his brother Cary. [Meek, Whitaker, p. 160] Court records indicate he migrated to Lincoln Co. TN after 1816. [Meek, Whitaker, p. 174] Dr. Meek then provides the court record examples as proof.

Richard, Jr. married Nancy Ann Peete,  the daughter of Dr. Samuel Peete on 1 Nov. 1787. They had three daughters, Mary, Nancy, and Rebecca. Nancy Ann is mentioned in the will of her brother, Dr. William Peete who died in 1788.

The majority of his life was lived in Halifax and Northampton County North Carolina. Richard, Jr. was active in the spread of Methodism. His father, Richard, Sr., built  Whitaker’s Chapel, an Anglican Church, in 1740. It was abandoned by the Anglican clergy during the Revolutionary War, and the Methodists took it over.

Methodist Advocate

Richard, Jr. organized Rehoboth, the second Methodist church in Northampton County NC in 1798. Bishop Francis Asbury ordained him as a deacon on March 4, 1804.  Asbury also preached at Whitaker’s Chapel at least three times, in 1786, 1789, and 1804.  In fact, Bishop Asbury mentions visiting Richard, Jr. and his wife in his journal.  “December 4, 1786:  Thence to Northampton County [North Carolina] …. I rode to see Richard Whitaker and his wife after several years absence. I felt truly solemn when I found myself at the old house where the father and mother died.  I remember well what passed when I was there past – the distress of the doctor [Dr. William Peete] and his kindness to me in the year 1785.” [Source: Journal of Rev. Francis Asbury: bishop of the Methodist Episcopal …, Volume 2  By Francis Asbury, Eaton and Mains, pp 323-324]

“We do know from Asbury’s journal that he also preached several times at Rehoboth Chapel in Northampton County. While the building itself was not erected until 1798, the church or society had its beginning in the home of Richard Whitaker, probably as early as 1785. Asbury visited in his home several times.” [Source: Our church, Then and Now:  A History of Seaboard Methodist Church, 1880-1958, The Committee on Church History, Seaboard Methodist Church, p.13]

On the other hand, his father-in-law, Dr.  Samuel Peete, was a staunch supporter of the Anglican Church (Church of England).  He supported St. George’s Parish in Northampton County based on information contained in the Vestry Books and letters from Rev. Charles Edward Taylor who began serving in 1773. “The thanks of the vestry be given Dr. Samuel Peete of this county for his Generous present of a chalice and salver for the use of the parish.” Dr. Peete also donated prayer books. [Source: Northampton Parishes, Henry Wilkins Lewis, Jackson, NC 1951]

Revolutionary War Service

Richard was a Revolutionary War veteran, Pension application  S3596. “State of Tennessee Lincoln County: On this 16th day of October in the year of our Lord 1832 personally appeared in open Court …Richard Whitaker a resident of the County of Lincoln and State of Tennessee aged he believes seventy years …  He volunteered in Halifax County State of North Carolina…for the term of three years his Captain was Richard Kerney his Lieutenant was Robert Brantley.  They were sent to several little towns in North Carolina as spies to watch and see if they could learn the movement of the British and also as guards to keep the British from taken [taking] possession of said towns. Applicant says that he was born in Halifax County North Carolina he believes from the best information it was in the year 1762 he has no record of his age. After the war he moved to Rowan County North Carolina [This is were the confusion with Richard Whitaker-Rachel Bentley begins]  where he lived until he moved to Lincoln County Tennessee where he now lives. George W. Jones an acting Justice of the peace for the County and State …  deposeth and saith that he [Richard] volunteered in Halifax North Carolina for the term of three years in the latter part of the month of March 1781 it was a few weeks after the great battle that was fought at Guilford N.C. Sworn to & subscribed before me this 27th of March 1833
S/ G. W. Jones, JP     S/ Richard Whitaker, X his mark

[Veteran was pensioned at the rate of $80 per annum commencing March 4th, 1831, for 2 years
service as a private in the North Carolina militia.] ”

Richard and Nancy Ann (Peete) Whitaker’s Children

Mary Whitaker ( (10 Aug 1788-8 Dec 1880) married Rev./Col. Carter Jones, the great-great-grandparents of Dr. Melton P. Meek, the noted Whitaker genealogist. Rev. Jones was a Methodist minister. They are both buried in unmarked graves at Oak Ridge Methodist Church in Warren County, MS where Rev. Jones was the first minister.

September 8, 1853

Rev. CARTER JONES, “familiarly known as Col. Carter Jones,” died Warren Co., Miss., July 31, 1853 in his 66th year; born Northampton Co., N.C., but moved to Miss. in 1837; fought in struggle for Texas independence; joined MEC 1820; was a local MECS preacher. [Methodist Episcopal Church South] [Source: GENEALOGICAL ABSTRACTS FROM REPORTED DEATHS THE LOUISVILLE AND NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE AND THE NASHVILLE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE 1852-1856, Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith, ©Jonathan K. T. Smith, 1997, p. 44]

Nancy Whitaker, born 16 Mar 1790 in North Carolina, married James B. Grant.

Rebecca Whitaker born around 1794, first married Dr. William Goosley and than Charlton Yellowly

I urge you to consult Dr. Melton P. Meek’s books to get the 411 on the Richard Whitaker, Jr. of Halifax County, NC.  There is no reason to confuse him with the Richard Whitaker who married Rachel Bentley. I wish I had. It would have saved me two years of wasted research.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. John Weldon Whiteaker permalink
    November 13, 2015 11:12 pm

    There are some who have claimed that Richard Whiteaker of Washington County, Virginia was a son of Richard Whitaker, Sr. (1720 -1794) and Elizabeth Cary of Halifax County, North Carolina and have written about him as Richard, Jr. Richard, Sr. had a son Richard but Theodore Lucian Whitaker states in a letter written in 1912 that his great uncle Richard, Jr. married Nancy Peets, moved to Northampton County, North Carolina (Northampton County adjoins Halifax County) and had three daughters: Mary married Carter Jones, Nancy married James B. Grant and Rebecca married #1 William Goosely #2 Charlton Yellowley. If this Richard Whitaker had no sons then he had no Whitaker ancestors.

    • November 14, 2015 10:19 pm

      John, I appreciate your comment. DNA testing is showing links from the Richard Whiteaker of Washington Co. to Mark Whiteaker of Baltimore, MD, immigrant from Yorkshire, England. So I’m putting the Whitaker-Cary line to rest on further research. I’m getting too old to devote more time to it, plus I have a tangle of Tate’s to work on. They named all of their sons John, Robert, and James and they all married women named Mary. The sound you hear is my head banging against several brick walls.

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