Notes for Samuel Whitsett of Ireland and his son William, ancestorss of those who came from Ireland and first settled in Lancaster (now Dauphin) County, Pennsylvania

THE IMMIGRANT WHITSETT FAMILIES OF PENNSYLVANIA

February 2008
Ronald N. Wall

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Genealogy Charts for Samuel Whitsett and his son William of Ireland

In the late summer of 2007, William R. Whiteside, historian for the Whiteside Family Association (WFA) asked me to join with him in trying to identify all of the Whiteside and Whitsett families in early Pennsylvania.  After months of work, we are pulling together an unprecedented collection of primary source documentation of these families from the time of William Penn's Grant to the beginning of the nineteen century.  During the coming months of this year I intend to publish here the results of our findings related to the early Whitsett immigrants.  This is just a preview of what to expect.  For now, I have not included sources.  Be assured that when I have completed this project, as it relates to the Whitsett families, I will include all of my proof.

Please note:  For the purpose of this preview I have used the "Whitsett" version of the name since that is the version my family uses.  However, the documents clearly show the use of Whiteside, Whitesides, Whitside, Whitsett, Whitsitt and other minor variations.

The following family tree will be updated and corrected as this project moves forward. 

Descendants of Samuel Whitsett of Ireland

The first two generations below are not a proven fact.  Their names come from Dr. William Heth Whitsitt's family history, "Annals of a Scotch-Irish Family."  Of his sources he says, "The best records of these have been kept by the Blakey family, of Russellville, Ky. They rest upon the industry and authority of three persons, namely, Mrs. Margaret (Whitsitt) Blakey; her son, Doctor George Douglas Blakey, and her grandson, Honorable Churchill H. Blakey, all of whom are now deceased. They were industrious chroniclers, and the family owes them a debt of gratitude."  

He goes on to say, "William Whitsitt, the son of William Whitsitt, the son of Samuel Whitsitt (all of Ireland), married Elizabeth Dawson, of Ireland." 

I am inclined to accept this statement at face value.  Mrs. Blakey was the granddaughter of William and Elizabeth Dawson Whitsitt, and she was probably in a position to have gotten this information from her grandfather.  Having said this, I realize that this information must still be considered hypothetical, because we have not found any independent documentation to support it.  For now, you should consider this as only one clue to the origins of the Pennsylvania Whitsett family.

NOTE ABOUT ESTIMATED DATES:  Purists will probably object to my use of estimated dates.  Why even use guesses for dates?  For one, I think it is important to give a frame work to the lives of people.  A date that is within 10-15 years, plus or minus, of an event gives us at a glance a feel for the historical background of an individual.  All dates prefixed with "about," "probably," "possible" or "Est" (estimated) are simply estimates usually based on several factors: birth dates or estimated birth dates of children; actual or estimated date of marriage;  actual date of death; documented dates that seem to reflect that the individual had reached his or her majority; any other documented date that gives an indication of age.  I used 25 years as the length of one generation.  I assume that brides are at least 18 years of age at time of their first marriage or birth of the first child, and 21 as the age of a groom at the time of his first marriage, taking into consideration probable ages of siblings.  If I lack any indication of age at time of death or the death seems to be natural, I use 70 years as an average life span.  In most cases it was a few years less or a decade or more longer, but 70 years will keep us in the ball park.  This does not take into account accidental or other unnatural deaths.  Of course, the longer the succession of estimated dates, the more inaccurate the estimate becomes.  Remember, these are always guesses subject to change if new information emerges.  If the use of estimated dates bothers you, simply note the date as "Unknown."

Generation No. 1

1. SAMUEL1 WHITSETT was born possibly about 1660 in County Antrim, Ireland, and died in County Antrim, Ireland.

Child of SAMUEL WHITSETT is:

2. i. WILLIAM2 WHITSETT, b. about 1680, County Antrim, Ireland; d. about 1770, in Ireland.

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Generation No. 2

2. WILLIAM2 WHITSETT (SAMUEL1) was born about 1680 in County Antrim, Ireland, and died about 1770, in Ireland.

Children of WILLIAM WHITSETT are: (NOTE: remember, dates of birth are rough estimates, not fact)

3. i. WILLIAM3 WHITSETT, b. Probably between. 1709 - 1710, County Antrim, Ireland; 1710 is the date given by William Heth Whitsitt; m. Elizabeth Dawson

4. ii. JOHN WHITSETT, b. Est. 1712, County Antrim, Ireland; d. 1788, Orange Co., North Carolina.

5. iii. RALPH WHITSETT, b. Est. 1713, Probably Ireland; d. Aft. 1765, Probably Pennsylvania.

6. iv. JAMES WHITESIDE, b. Bef. 1715, Probably Ireland; d. 1761, probably Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

v. ELIZABETH WHITESIDE, b. Est. 1717, Probably Ireland; d. Est. 1742; m. JOHN WELSH , February 6, 1738, Quittapahilla, Lebanon Twp., Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania (probably in Rev. Stoever's Hill Church, also known as the Gravel Hill church) near the north boundary of Rev. Stoever's and south boundary of John Welsh's land.

Even after the death of Elizabeth There seems to be a bond between the family of John Welsh and the Whiteside/Whitsett family, particularly the family of Ralph.  On June 9, 1742 John married a second time to Anna Sharp.  Three years later in November 1745 Welsh obtained a warrant for his land north of Casper Stoever's tract.    On March 6, 1761 John Welsh patented a town lot in Carlisle, Cumberland County.  This is about the same time we also find Ralph, William Sr. and William Jr., and probably James in Cumberland County.  In 1762 the list of taxable's in Carlisle contains the names of John Welsh and Widow Welsh.  In 1767 John Welsh applied for a warrant for land in Newbury Township, York County.  The register of warrant applications for that year lists both Samuel Whitsitt (son of Ralph) and John Welsh in York County.  The timing and location of John Welsh (possibly sr. and Jr.) in relation to the Whitsitt family seems to me to be more than simple coincidence.  It is likely that Elizabeth bore John at least one child before her death.  Could it be that child was John Welsh, Jr.?  A child by Elizabeth would explain why a bond existed between the two families long after Elizabeth had died.

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Genealogy Charts for Samuel Whitsett and his son William of Ireland

Ronald N. Wall
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.
Modified:  14 June 2011