Meredith Whitaker Family History
Our earliest record of Meredith Whitaker is the application he made to receive 1280 acres of land in Washington Co., Texas. Witnesses G.B. Loftin and Wade Allsobrook (for whom Meredith returned the favor) verified Meredith’s residence in Texas in September, 1837, as “a man of family” and by the order dated July 4, 1839, his land certificate was granted by the state as a second class land grant. According to the provisions of the 2nd class grant, Meredith would have had to fulfill 3 years of “responsible citizenship” before an unconditional land title would be granted him and he could not sell the land in the meantime. Meredith is listed in ‘First Settlers of the Republic of Texas’ and in ‘1840 Citizens of Texas’. By 1843-44, Meredith, his wife Rachael, their sons George, B., Lewis, James L., and Meredith R. and daughter, Martha, were living in Houston County. The 1850 census of Houston Co. shows Meredith Jr., aged 6, the first of their living children born in Houston Co. Both Meredith and Rachael listed their birthplaces as Tennessee on this census, and they appear in “Tennesseans in Texas” (Marsh), although subsequent censuses give their birthplaces as Kentucky, both in about 1801; both died in Houston County. They appear for the last time on the 1870 census, both aged 69. Lewis Wilson, (b. 18 Nov., 1827 in Tennessee) came to Texas with his parents, Meredith and Rachael, at about the age of 12. He married Eliener E. (Nellie) Lively, daughter of Thomas Lively and his first wife, Betty Bolen, who were married in South Carolinain 1832. Thomas’s family came to Texas from Georgia (?) after his marriage to his third wife, Jane Dotson. Lewis and Nellie had at least 9 children, all born in Texas (birth years are approximate): Mark, 1854; Wilson W. (or W. Wilson), 1856; Thomas M., 1859; Isaac Newton (Ike), 1861; Rachel E., 1864; Richard E.L., 1866; Julia Ann, 1869; Alexandra A., 1872; and William T., 1876. There may have been no other children since Nellie was 45 at the 1880 census, but the 1890 census was destroyed and no other records have been found with information on this family group. Both Nellie and Lewis had died by the time of the 1900 census; Nellie in 1892 and Lewis in 1898. Wilson was appointed as a road supervisor for a portion of the county for 1890 and both he and his brother Tom served on the petit jury for district court in 1895. Ike, Lewis and Nellie’s fourth son, married Adeline Lavenia (Addle) Thomas (b. 1863 in Texas), daughter of John Edward and Amanda Moore Thomas. They married between the June 1880 census and the winter of 1881, and by June 1900, had nine children. By 1910, they had 11, and according to the census, all their children were living: they were Amanda Ella, 1881-1953; Daniel, 1884(?)-1932; Olive, 1885-1961; Malcolm Wallace, 1887-1958; Desdimona Abigail, 1890-1978; Thomas 1892-1972; Marshall Norman, 1894-1951; Harmon Willis, 1896-1967; Carl, 1898-1962; Robbie Mae, 1900-1981; Hansford Raymond, 1903-1980. In the elections of 1892, I.N. and L.W. (Ike and Lewis) were among democrats of Houston Co. surveyed as to their preference for governor; both farmers, they responded, “Don’t want any more Hogg”, although Hogg had been a favorite with farmers and directed most of his appeal to them. In 1983, Ike and barber W.W. Stowe had plans to open a jewelry store and photograph gallery, according to the Crockett news. Ike was a photographer and listed his occupation on the 1910 census as a watchmaker. Ike made many photos of his children dressed in lacey, pleated clothing, and even the boys wore long curls and dresses for these photo sessions until they were past toddlerhood. In June, 1894, Ike was elected delegate to the Democratic County convention for Grapeland. The home of Ike and Addle was located on the property owned for many years by Tom Whitaker, Ike’s son, and his wife Ella Wyche Whitaker. Ike and Addie’s home was located on a site between the present house and the road. The boys in the family used to practice shooting into a huge oak tree that still stands at the front of the property using flint-lock rifles. Family tradition is that the Meredith Whitaker place was located on the next hill toward Grapeland behind Ike’s and Tom’s place. Whitaker Creek, where five generations of Whitaker children played, runs through the back of the property owned by Ike and later by Tom, his son. The family believes that Meredith and Rachael are probably buried at this property. Most of Ike and Addie’s children lived in the area or bought farms or property there. Addle died in 1922 of an infection. Ike remarried (Miss Daisy Gee) and lived until 1943. He and Addle are buried in the San Pedro (Lockout) Cemetery as are many other Whitaker and Thomas relatives.