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Our Story of Meredith and Rachel Whitaker

Pioneer Settlers of Houston County, Texas

Whitaker family in front of the original Whitaker home

Click on the picture to view a larger Image.

Whitaker family taken in front of the original Whitaker home in San Pedro Community, Houston Co., TX
Back Row: Adaline Lavenia Thomas Whitaker (wife of Isaac), Elizabeth Denson Whitaker (wife of Richard, Georgina Thomas Whitaker (wife of Tom), Walter Stowe, Julie Whitaker Stowe (wife of Walter Stowe), Emmaline Denson Whitaker (wife of Lewis, Jr.), Elizabeth "Betty" Whitaker Denson (wife of George).
Front Row: Whitaker men; Isaac Newton, Richard, Tom, Lewis Wilson (father), Alex, Lewis Jr., and George Denson (son-in-law).

Complied by:

Sandra Bertram Meier and Janet Sue Bertram.


Link To:  WHITAKER FAMILY PHOTO ALBUM

Submitted by: Sandra Meier


 This history is about Meredith and Rachel Whitaker and one branch of their family tree.  Our story begins with the few documented facts of Meredith and Rachel.  We continue with their son Lewis Wilson Whitaker and his wife Eleanor Lively Whitaker, their grandson Isaac Newton Whitaker and his wife Adaline Lavenia Thomas Whitaker and great-granddaughter Robbie Mae Whitaker Davidson and her husband Eric Magrill Davidson and their families.  Please go with us as we travel through time from 1837 to present. 

Our records of Meredith Whitaker in Texas contain a land grant in Washington County, Texas issued in 1839.   The land was sold in 1849 to Mr. William B. Softon as shown on Second Class Headright #398 recorded in Houston County.  The deed of sale states that Meredith arrived in Texas in 1837.   His residency in Texas is further documented by the Poll Tax List of 1846 where Meredith and two sons, Lewis Wilson and George, are found on the tax rolls.  

The family appears on the 1850 census in Houston County.  Here it states that he was born in Kentucky but other census list Tennessee.  Rachel’s birth place is also Kentucky and Tennessee on others. 

Meredith and Rachel have not been located on census records before 1850 in Tennessee or Kentucky.  They appear on the 1870 census records but can not be located on 1880 or later.  He is buried in San Pedro Cemetery near the back middle section in a grave with a broken, weathered sandstone marker.   We assume that Rachel is also buried at San Pedro in an unmarked grave.

Known children of Meredith and Rachel are Lewis Wilson, George B., James, Margaret, Marcie, Martha and the baby Meredith, Jr. (spelled Meriday in some records).  All the children were born in Tennessee as shown on census records except Meredith, Jr.  whose birthplace is listed as Texas.

Lewis Wilson was born 18 November 1825, in Tennessee and died 7 January 1898.  He married Eleanor Lively before 1853 in Texas.  She was the daughter of Thomas and Betty Bowen Lively.  Eleanor was born in South Carolina and died 4 February 1892, in Houston County, Texas. 

Lewis and Eleanor were the parents of nine children.  We are privileged to have information on most of these children.  Our family is blessed with pictures of all these children.  Isaac Newton, their fourth child, was a photographer as well as a jeweler and left many great photos.  These photos were in the possession of Robbie Whitaker Davidson, his granddaughter and are now preserved by Sandra and Janet, great-great-great granddaughters of Meredith.  Most of the photos have been scanned and can be found in the photo section of this Houston County GenWeb site.

Their oldest was Mark born about 1853 in Texas.  Nothing else is known about Mark.

Lewis Wilson, Jr. was the second son.  He was born 23 September 1858, in Texas and died 29 June 1936, in Houston County, Texas.  He married Emmaline Denson who was born 25 Nov 1856.  She died 20 February 1937.  Both are buried in Denson Cemetery, Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.

Next was Thomas Whitaker who was born in 1859 in Houston County, Texas and died in 1943 in Houston County, Texas.  He married Georgina Thomas* who was born in 1861, in Texas and died in 1934 in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  Her parents are John Thomas and Amanda Moore Thomas.  Both are buried in San Pedro Cemetery.

Isaac “Ike” Newton was born 13 August 1861, in Houston County, Texas and died 8 February 1943, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  He married Adaline Lavenia Thomas* before 1881.  She was the daughter of John Thomas and Amanda Moore Thomas.  Adaline was born 16 September 1863, in Texas and died 16 January 1922, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  Both are buried in San Pedro Cemetery.  We have located Isaac Newton and Adaline on all census records available for their lifetime.  After the death of Adaline, Isaac married Daisy Gee who was born in 1871.

* Georgina Thomas and Adaline Lavenia Thomas were sisters who married brothers.  This would make all the children of these couples’s double first cousins.

Next is Richard born 2 May 1864, Houston County, Texas and died 19 October 1901, Houston County, Texas.  He married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Denson** who was born 12 September 1867, and died 8 June 1935, Houston County, Texas.  Both are buried in the Denson Cemetery, Grapeland, Houston County, Texas. 

Their first daughter was Elizabeth (Betty) who was born in 1866, in Texas.  She married George Denson** on 9 January 1883. 

** Elizabeth (Lizzy) Denson and George Denson were brother and sister, again making their children double first cousins.

Julia Ann was born in 1869, in Texas. She married Walter W. Stowe.  He was born 11 May 1867, and died 5 September 1935, in Houston County, Texas.   He is buried in San Pedro Cemetery.

Alexander J. was born 14 July 1872, and died in 1927, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  He married to Lillie Colkins 26 December 1895, Houston County, Texas.

The last child was William Whitaker born in 1876, in Texas

Our line continues with Isaac Newton and Adaline Lavenia Thomas Whitaker.  Photos of their children can be found in the photo section of this TXGenWeb site.

Amanda Ella was born 22 October 1881, Houston County, Texas and died 20 July 1953, in Houston County, Texas.  She married William Sampson Tyer.  (A great photo of their wedding day in included in the photo section.)  He was born 5 September 1879, and died 30 January 1967, in Houston County, Texas.  They are the parents of three children:  Elmer Lee “Rika”, Truman Whitaker and Malcolm Isaac.  They are all buried in San Pedro Cemetery.

Daniel Lee was born 29 July 1883, in Houston County, Texas and died 27 April 1932, in Houston County, Texas.  Dan was killed in an ambush of his wagon while coming home from town.  He married Maude Graham 6 January 1907, in Houston County, Texas.  Maude was born in 1888 and died Feb. 24, 1976  in Houston County, Texas.  Daniel and Maude had three daughters:  Evelyn, Beryl and Carla.  Dan and Maude are buried in San Pedro Cemetery.

Minnie Olive (Ollie) was born 29 August 1885, in Houston County, Texas and died 21 October 1961, in Houston, Harris County, Texas.  She married Eli Whitney Willis.  He was born 1884 in Mississippi and died 1 February 1969, in Houston, Harris County, Texas.  Both Ollie and Eli are buried in South Park Cemetery in Houston, Harris County, Texas.  They had one daughter, Nellie. 

Malcolm Wallace was born 19 August 1887, in Houston County, Texas and died 13 January 1958, in Conroe, Montgomery County, Texas.  He married Mary Frances Fulton on 31 December 1912, in Houston County, Texas.  She was the daughter of John Fulton and Jerdie Herod.  She was born 24 June 1893, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas and died 31 May 1933, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  They are the parents of Jack Doris, Ella Laverne, Malcolm Willis and Carlton Fields. 

Desdimona Abigail (Des) was born 6 January 1890, in Houston County, Texas and died 9 October 1978 in Jefferson County, Texas and was buried in Simmons Cemetery, Avenger, Cass County, Texas.  Her tombstone reads “Dessie A. Ayers”.  She was first married to Joe Henry Hollis.   Joe was born 12 May 1879, and died 28 May 1951, in Avenger, Cass County, Texas.  She later married L. C. Ayers.  He was born 7 December 1889, and died 9 April 1970, in Avenger, Cass County, Texas.  Joe Hollis and L. C. Ayers are both buried in Simmons Cemetery, Avenger, Cass County, Texas.   Des and Joe Hollis are the parents of three sons:  Joe Earl, Thomas Ed and Norman Ray. 

Thomas Isaac was born 22 April 1892, in Houston County, Texas and died 25 March 1972, in Alvin, Brazoria County, Texas.  He married Ella Wyche who was born 17 November 1893, and died 16 December 1977, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  Both are buried in San Pedro Cemetery.   When walking through the cemetery you will notice that Tom and Ella are not buried side-by-side.  Ella wanted to donate her body to science for research.  When Tom died he was buried beside his mother.  Some years passed and Ella changed her mind about the donation.  When she died, the only space available on the Whitaker Family row was beside her father-in-law, Isaac Newton.  This is the reason for the separation at burial.   Tom and Ella are the parents of two children:  Thomas Norman and Adaline Edwina.

Norman Marshall Whitaker was born 3 May 1894, Houston County, Texas and died 3 September 1951, in Navasota, Grimes County, Texas.  He married Edith Steward who was born 6 July 1905, and died 1985 in Navasota, Grimes County, Texas.  Both are buried in Grimes County.  They are the parents of:  Norma Marie, Mary Jack, Norman Marion “Happy” and Harry Willis. 

Harman Willis was born 17 May 1896, in Houston County, Texas and died 17 April 1967, Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  He first married Rosa Branch.  Rosa was born 2 December 1900, and died 18 March 1949, in Port Arthur, Jefferson County, Texas.  He later married Vitah Campbell.  Willis and Rosa are buried in Percilla Cemetery, Houston County, Texas.  Willis and Rosa did not have any children.  They adopted and raised Rosa’s niece and nephew:  Mildred and Wilfred Branch.  They also adopted a son:  Billy Whitaker born in 1926.

Carl Whitaker was born 13 October 1898, in Houston County, Texas and died 24 June 1962, in Mexia, Limestone County, Texas.  He married Lottie Walton, born about 1904 and died 16 July 1994, in Palestine, Anderson County, Texas.  Their only daughter was Nell Sue.

Robbie Mae was born 22 November, 1900, Houston County, Texas and died 1 March 1981, in Houston, Harris County, Texas. She married Eric Magrill Davidson on 6 September 1919, in Groveton, Trinity County, Texas.  He was the son of Wade Hampton and Mattie Magrill Davidson and was born 28 May 1898, in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas and died 15 December 1895, in La Feria, Cameron County, Texas.  Both are buried in San Pedro Cemetery.  Robbie and Eric are the parents of: Wade Donald, Norma Lavenia and Charles Robert.

The baby of the family is Hansford Raymond.  He was born 17 December 1903, Houston County, Texas and died 1 May 1980, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  He married Ozell Davis who was born 1908 and died in 1982, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  Both are buried in San Pedro Cemetery.  They are the parents of Wanda Joy and Hansford Gerald “Jerry”.  The Whitaker Christmas Tree Farm near Grapeland is part of the old Whitaker family property and is operated by Jerry Whitaker.

Since this history leads from Meredith to our grandmother Robbie Mae Whitaker Davidson, we will share her family with you. 

Wade Donald Davidson was born 12 February 1922, in Grapeland, Houston County, Texas.  He met Irene Sandra Lewis while serving in WWII and they married on 6 February 1946.  She was born in Worchester, Massachusetts.  They are the parents of two daughters:  Pamela Lewis and Deborah Ann.  Pamela is the mother of Jeffery Donald and Brian Wade King.   Deborah has no children.

Norma Lavenia Davidson was born 12 May 1924, in Whitewright, Grayson County, Texas. She married Raymond Cecil Bertram on 3 October 1942, in Houston, Harris County, Texas. Raymond was born 10 January 1922, in Waelder, Gonzales County, Texas.  They are the parents of Sandra Raye and Janet Sue.  Sandra is the mother of Raymond Glen and Ramona Lynn Hall.  She is the proud grandmother of Peyton, Hayden, Zachary and Abigail.  Janet is the mother of Wendy Michelle Roberts and proud grandmother of Raymond Luke.  Norma and Raymond recently celebrated 64 years of marriage at their home in Jasper County.

Baby Charles Robert was born 15 July 1927, in Port Arthur, Jefferson County, Texas.  He married Mamie Lee Smith 1 November 1947, in Houston, Harris County, Texas.  She was born 15 July 1927, in Pettaway, Robertson County, Texas.  She died 19 February 1992, in Weimer, Colorado County, Texas and was buried in Pettaway Cemetery. Charles and Mamie have two daughters:  Deena Elaine and Desiree’ Elizabeth.  Deena is the mother of Angela and Vickey Richter.  Desiree’ is the mother of Amanda and Amy Hazelwood.

This brings us to today.  If you have a connection to this Whitaker Family and would like to know more about the family history as we know it, please contact us at Sandra and Janet at Meier6103@yahoo.com. 


1.

Lewis W. WHITAKER (s/o MEREDITH WHITAKER) was born 18 Nov 1825 in Tennessee, and died 7 Jan 1898 in Houston County, Texas. He married Eleanor LIVELY, daughter of Thomas LIVELY and Betty BOWEN. She was born 1836, and died 4 Feb 1892 in Houston County, Texas.

Children of Lewis W. WHITAKER and Eleanor LIVELY are:
2   i. Mark WHITAKER was born 1853 TX.
3   ii. Lewis Wilson WHITAKER, Jr. was born 1858 TX.
4   iii. Thomas M. WHITAKER was born 1859 TX.
5   iv. Isaac Newton WHITAKER was born 1861 TX.
6   v. Richard WHITAKER was born 1864 TX.
7   vi. Betty WHITAKER was born 1867 TX.
8   vii. Julia Ann WHITAKER was born 1869 TX.
9   viii. Alexander J. WHITAKER was born 14 Jul 1872 TX.
10   ix. William WHITAKER was born 1876 TX.

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