HISTORY OF THE WHITAKER NAME (Source www.surnamedb.com)

This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from any of the various places so called in England, though the derivations of the place names are slightly different. Whitacre in Warwickshire and High Whitaker in Lancashire are derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "whit" meaning "white", and "acer" meaning cultivated land; hence, "white field"; while both Whiteacre in Kent and Wheatacre in Norfolk derive their first element from the Olde English "hwaete", wheat, and therefore mean "wheat field".

Locational surnames were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of the birthplace. An interesting name bearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography" was Joseph Whitaker (1820 - 1895), who founded the magazine, "the Book Seller", and started the annual publication of "Whitakers Almanac" in 1868.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Wetacre, which was dated 1177, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Our Whitaker family
including Silk, Robottom & Pickford

Small numbers by a name refer to personal number in listing eg WILLIAM LANGDON 2 PICKFORD ~ see 2


1.      ~ ~ ~ GEORGE WHITAKER was born in 1770, possibly in Devonshire, England. His occupation was listed as a Linen Draper. George married JANE LANGDON. Jane was born in 1780 and was the second daughter of WILLIAM LANGDON and JANE BULLOCK. She was baptized on 18 July 1781.

Children of GEORGE WHITAKER and JANE LANGDON included:

*              ISABELLA WHITAKER, born 1807.

*              GEORGE WHITAKER, born 1808; died 1813 in St Columb, Cornwall, England.

*              EMMA WHITAKER, born 1811 Mawgan, Cornwall, England; died January 1874 in Rotherhithe, Surrey, England.

*              GEORGE WHITAKER, born 1813 Mawgan, Cornwall, England; died 1814 Mawgan, Cornwall.

*              MARY WHITAKER, born 1818 and baptized 20 July 1818 in Mawgan, Cornwall, England.

*              WILLIAM LANGDON 2 WHITAKER, born around 1821 St Columb, Cornwall, England.

George died in 1837. Jane died in 1861 in Rotherhithe, Surrey.


2. ~ ~ ~ WILLIAM LANGDON WHITAKER (GEORGE) was born around 1821 in St Columb, Cornwall and was the youngest son of GEORGE WHITAKER and JANE LANGDON. William was baptized on 14 December 1821. William married MARIA SILK on 30 November 1845 in Ramsgate, Kent. Maria was born around April 1826 in Ramsgate and was the fifth daughter of WILLIAM SILK and ANN PEALL.

> Refer to the SILK family for more details about the family of Maria.

In 1846 William's occupation was listed as a Ships Steward and he was living at 5 Traflgar Place, Ramsgate. In the 1861 Census William and Maria are living in Rotherhithe, Southwark in Surrey and William is listed as a Mariner. In 1881 they are living in Epping, Essex, and by 1891 in Lambeth, London.


*              WILLIAM SILK 3 WHITAKER, born 22 February 1846 in Ramsgate, Kent, England.

*              GEORGE 4 WHITAKER, born 1848; died 26 January 1898 at Cambridge Road, Wellington.

*              MARIA WHITAKER, born 1850 Rotherhithe, Southwark, Surrey, England. Maria married WILLAIM BEAULAH in 1878 in Lambeth, London. William was born around 1850 and died prior to 1900. In 1893 Maria is recorded at living at 67 Whitbread Road, Brockley.

*              ALISE (ALICE) AMELIA WHITAKER, born 1853 Rotherhithe, Kent, England. Alise married WILLIAM DUCKETT in 1879 in St Olave, London. William was born around 1850.

*              CHARLES WHITAKER, born 1855 Wapping, London, England; died 1858 Wapping, London.

*              SARAH ANN WHITAKER, born 1857 Wapping, London, England.

*              CHARLES NAPIER WHITAKER, born 1860, Rotherhithe, Surrey, England; died 1861, Rotherhithe, Surrey.

*              IDA JANE WHITAKER, born 1861, Rotherhithe, Surrey, England. Ida married FREDERICK DUCKETT in 1885 in St Olave, London. Frederick was born around 1860.

*              FRANK HERBERT 5 WHITAKER, born 1863, Rotherhithe, Surrey, England.

*              AMY HARRIET WHITAKER, born 1864, Rotherhithe, Surrey, England.

*              HARRY CLIFTON WHITAKER, born 1865, Rotherhithe, Surrey, England.

*              WILLIAM WHITAKER, born around 1872, Rotherhithe, Surrey, England.

*              JOSEPH WHITAKER, born around 1877, Rotherhithe, Surrey, England.

William died on 20 May 1900 in Lambeth, London. Maria died on 23 March 1893 also in Lambeth, London.


3. ~ ~ ~ WILLIAM SILK WHITAKER (GEORGE > WILLIAM) was born on 22 February 1846 in Ramsgate Kent, the first child of WILLIAM LANGDON WHITAKER and MARIA SILK.

William married SARAH ELIZABETH DOBBS on 11 March 1871 in Surrey. At the time of his marriage William was living in Rotherhithe. Southwark, Surrey and was employed as a Mariner. William and Sarah had fourteen children, all but one living in 1911 (per 1911 Census)

William died on 25 June 1901 in Essex (the informant was his son Joseph George Whitaker) and was buried on 27 June 1901 in Matching, Essex in England.

4. ~ ~ ~ GEORGE WHITAKER (GEORGE > WILLIAM) was born in the last quarter of 1848 (Oct-Dec) in Rotherhithe, Surrey, England and was the second son of WILLIAM LANGDON WHITAKER and MARIA SILK. George emigrated to New Zealand when he was around 18 years old and arrived at Port Chalmers near Dunedin on 14 July 1864 on the ship Queen of India. On 19 February 1870 his occupation was listed as Mariner.

George married (1) GERALDINE ELIZA GARDINER on 19 February 1870 at St Lukes Church in Christchurch.


*              GEORGE GERALD WHITAKER, born 18 March 1870; died 29 March 1870.

Geraldine died aged 22 years on 20 March 1870 following the birth of their son. Baby George and Geraldine were buried at Barbadoes Street Cemetery, Christchurch.

George married (2) ELIZABETH HANNAH ROBOTTOM on 12 May 1871 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Elizabeth was born on 2 August 1845 in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia and was the eldest daughter of JOHN ROBOTTOM and CATHERINE BRITTAIN.

> Refer to the ROBOTTOM family for information about the family of Elizabeth.


*             KATHERINE ELIZABETH 6 WHITAKER, born 17 September 1871 in Lyttleton, Christchurch, NZ.

*             WILLIAM CHARLES 7 WHITAKER, born 20 June 1873 Kaipoi, Canterbury, NZ.

*             GEORGE HERBERT 8 WHITAKER, born 10 December 1874 Kaipoi, Canterbury, NZ.

*             FRANK SILK WHITAKER, born 23 February 1876 Kaipoi, Canterbury, NZ. Frank married AGNES HARRIET (surname unknown)
Frank was a Rifleman with the third Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade during World War One. Frank was killed in action in Paschendale, France on 12 October 1917. (Refer to my Roll of Honour for more information)

*             WALTER HENRY WHITAKER, born 10 February 1878 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Walter married ANNIE HARRIS HODGETTS in 1898.

*             JOHN FREDICK WHITAKER, born 20 January 1880 in Greytown, Wairarapa, NZ. John married LILLIAN (surname unknown) John died around 1968.

*             JESSIE MARIA WHITAKER, born 23 July 1882. Jessie married ROBERT (BOB) FAIRBURN. She died aged 95 years in Wellington, NZ.

*             IDA EMILY WHITAKER, born 15 December 1883 Palmerston North, NZ. Ida married WILLIAM ALEX AYERS in 1905.

*             LENA MAY WHITAKER, born 17 December 1885 in Wanganui, NZ. Lena married GEORGE McMILLAN. She died around 1977.

*             FREDICK WHITAKER, born 15 December 1888 in Napier, NZ.

*             ROSE AMY WHITAKER, born 25 March 1892 in Wellington, NZ. Rose married ALBERT WESLEY JAMES in 1914.

George died on 26 January 1898 in Wellington. Elizabeth died on 21 August 1929 also in Wellington. They were both buried at Karori Cemetery, Wellington.

5. ~ ~ ~ FRANK HERBERT WHITAKER (GEORGE > WILLIAM) was born in 1863 in Rotherhithe, Surrey, England and was the fifth son of WILLIAM LANGDON WHITAKER and MARIA SILK. In 1881 Frank is living in Deptford, London and his occupation is listed as a Carpenter and Builder.

Frank married MARY ANN PATMAN (or SEARS) in 1884 in Greenwich, London, England. Mary was born around 1860.

Children of FRANK WHITAKER and MARY PATMAN (or SEARS) included:

*              FRANK H WHITAKER, born 1886.

*              AMY M WHITAKER, born 1888.


6. ~ ~ ~ KATHERINE ELIZABETH WHITAKER (GEORGE > WILLIAM > GEORGE) was born on 17 September 1871 in Lyttleton, Christchurch, New Zealand and was the eldest child of GEORGE WHITAKER and ELIZABETH HANNAH ROBOTTOM.

Katherine married EMANUEL PICKFORD on 28 December 1887 in the Registrars Office, Hastings. Emanuel was born on 9 August 1863 in Frome, Somerset, England and was the son of JOB PICKFORD and SARAH DAVIDGE. Emanuel had arrived in New Zealand in 1884 on the ship Ionic.

> Refer to the PICKFORD family for more information about the family of Emanuel.

> Refer to the family of Emanuel Pickford for information about the descendants of Katherine and Emanuel.

Katherine died on 21 July 1952 in Wanganui. Emanuel died on 14 October 1937 also in Wanganui. They were both buried at Marton Anglican Cemetery (Block H, Plots 36 and 37).

7. ~ ~ ~ WILLIAM CHARLES WHITAKER (GEORGE > WILLIAM > GEORGE) was born in Kaipoi, Canterbury, New Zealand on 20 June 1873 and was the eldest son of GEORGE WHITAKER and ELIZABETH ROBOTTOM. William married (1) FRANCIS MARY BALDWIN in 1897. Francis was born in 1870.


*              MABEL MARY WHITAKER, born 1898. Mary married EDWIN LOWRY WILSON in 1916.

*              FRANCIS CAROLINE WHITAKER, born 1901. Francis married FRANK PERCIVAL JOLL in 1925.

*              IDA FLORENCE WHITAKER, born 1903; died 1905.

*              LILIAN MAY WHITAKER, born 1904.

*              WILLIAM CLAUDE WHITAKER, born 1907; died 1938.

*              GEORGE BALDWIN WHITAKER, born 1908.

*              KATHLEEN LYDIA WHITAKER, born 1910. Kathleen married RAYMOND STAMER WILLIAMS in 1930.

Francis died on 26 April 1924 and William married (2) ADA MAUD WATSON in 1925. Ada was born in 1888.

Children of WILLIAM WHITAKER and ADA WATSON included:



William died on 26 May 1931 aged 58 years.

8. ~ ~ ~ GEORGE HERBERT (GEORGE > WILLIAM > GEORGE) was born on 10 December 1874 in Kaipoi, Canterbury, New Zealand and was the second son of GEORGE WHITAKER and ELIZABETH ROBOTTOM. George married TUIHANA WILLIAMS on 17 January 1900 in Bay of Plenty, NZ. Tuihana was born in 1884.


*              MARY ANN WHITAKER, born 1901. Mary Ann married GEORGE TAKARI GARDINER in 1920.

*              ROSE MAY WHITAKER, born 1902. Rose married JAMES CHARLES HICKS in 1921.

*              IDA ELIZABETH WHITAKER, born 1904. Ida married GEORGE RANGIHIROA STANLEY in 1923.

*              GEORGE HERBERT WHITAKER, born 1905.

*              WILLIAM CHARLES WHITAKER, born 1907.

*              BESSIE WILHELMINA WHITAKER, born 1908. Bessie married FREDERICK CHARLES WOODS in 1926.

*              WALTER HENRY WHITAKER, born 1909.

*              DULCIE LENA WHITAKER, born 1911. Dulcie married COLIN RANGI CASTLETON in 1930.

George died in 1951 aged 76 years. Tuihana died in 1913.

Please note that in keeping to genealogy publishing protocol I have not included information about later generations including living persons.
If you have a family connection please contact me for further information.

> Home ~ ~ ~ > Emanuel Pickford ~ ~ ~> Pickford ~ ~ ~ > Robottom ~ ~ ~ > Silk

Gather ye the fragments that remain that nothing be lost