Barnes Bunch


At a Glance


Thomas Barnes 1360-1440- 15th great-grandfather of Linda

John Bowsey Barnes 1416-1465

John Barnes 1448-1486

William Barnes 1486-1558

Richard Barnes-  Bishop of Nottingham 1532-1589

Richard Barnes 1549-1605

George Barnes 1591-1650

Thomas Barnes 1636-1679

John “Deacon” Barnes Sr 1666-1752

Jonathan Barnes 1703-1783

William Barnes 1753-1773

William Barnes 1773-1860

Nathan Parker Barnes 1801-1870

John Benton Barnes 1846-1922

Ida May Barnes 1870-1936

Edith Eugenia Whitaker 1900-1990

Paul Burton Meeker 1922-

Linda Lee Meeker 1952-


The earliest we can find is Thomas Barnes who was born in 1360 and died in 1440 but we have no other information on him except he had a son John 


John Bowsey Barnes was born 1416 Writtle, Chelmsford Borough, Essex, England and married Margaret Deol (1424-June 1, 1470) in 1442. They are the parents of Sir John Barnes, Baron; Sir William Barnes and Margaret Bowley. He died in 1465


When John Barnes was born in 1448 in Writtle, Essex, England and died in 1486 in his hometown. When born, his mother Lady Margaret, was 24 and his father was 32. He had one son (William) with Constance Pakenham (1464-1530) in 1480. 


William Barnes was born in 1486 in Essex, England. His father, John, was 38 and his mother, Constance, was 22. He married Dorothy Hansard (1496-1548) in Eastwood, Herefordshire, England. They had six children in 28 years. George Barnes 1504–1590, Alice Ales Barnes 1507–1557 Thomas Barnes I 1524–1574, Sir William Alderly 1532–1559 Richard 1532–1589, Geoffrey Edward Barnes

William died on February 24, 1558, in his hometown at the age of 72.


Richard Barnes was born in 1532 at All Hallows, Honey Lane, London, England. He married Jona Lee on February 3, 1547 in Kirkham, Lancashire, England. She died in 1549 after having son Richard Jr. 

He married Fredesmund Gifford in the 1560s and then was appointed as Bishop of Nottingham in 1567 and later, in 1570, was appointed Bishop of Carlisle. He died on August 24, 1587 at Honey Lane, London, England.


Richard Barnes (1549-1605) Born November 10, 1549 at Kirkham, Lancashire, England and died abt 1605 Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire, England

He was baptized in Lancashire: Kirkham – Parish Register on November 10, 1549 and married Elizabeth Battersby (1564-1604) on September 8, 1589 in  Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire, England. 

Their children included: George Thomas (1591-1650) Margery (1592-) 

Elizabeth (1593-) Richard (1600-1632) George (1604-1650)


George Barnes was born in 1591 in Manchester, Lancashire, England and died in 1650 at Bridekirk, Isle of Man, England. He married Jeneta Key on December 1,1629 in Bridekirk,Cumberland,England.

They had two children which were: Thomas Berance (1636-1679) and Anna (1641-)




Thomas Barence Barnes who was born on October 18, 1636 in Barking, Essex, England. He came to the United States in 1656 on the Speedwell ship. 

On July 21, 1662 he married Abigail Goodenow in Marlborough, MA.

They had the following children:

  1. Thomas Barnes, born on March 23, 1662 and he married Mary Howe in Marlborough on April 14, 1685
  2. Dorothy Barnes born on February 6. 1664
  3. John Barnes born in Marlborough on December 25, 1666
  4. William Barnes born on April 3,  1669
  5. Abigail Barnes, born on June 14, 1671
  6. Theophilus Barnes, born on February 10, 1673 died in February 1675
  7. Susanna Barnes- she married Supply Weeks in Marlborough on June 4, 1699 She died in Marlborough on January 15, 1711


He died on July 2, 1679 in Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA.

More on Thomas B. Barnes: 


Thomas Barnes came to America on the Speedwell, sailing from Gravesend about 20 May 1656 and landing in Boston, MA on 27 Jun 1656 in company with Shadrack Hapgood, John Fay, Nathaniel Goodnow and Thomas Goodnow, whose daughter Abigail he married.  He bought land (8 acres) from Johnathan Johnson in 1663. His house and goods were burned by Indians during the destruction of Marlborough, Massachusetts in 1676 in King Philip’s War. He temporarily moved to Concord, Massachusetts. This is where his youngest child Susanna was born.  Upon returning to Marlborough, he bought land in the old Indian Plantation, Ockoocangansett. Thomas was active in community affairs, as evidenced by his name on numerous petitions and public documents. He first bought land in the then newly formed town, Marlborough in 1662 and received additional land grants later.

He enlisted in the Pequot War in Capt. Mason’s Unit #1635 at Hartford, Hartford County, CT.


John “Deacon” Barnes was born on December 25, 1666 in Marlboro, Middlesex, Massachusetts and died on April 5, 1752 in his hometown. 

He married Hannah Howe in 1695 in Marlboro, MA and they had the following children:  Abigail (1695-1741) Dorothy (1698-1734) 

Daniel (1701-1775) Jonathan (1703-1783) 

Hannah (1712-1789) John (1716-)


Jonathan Barnes was born in Marlboro,Massachusettsand died there on November 26, 1703. He married Rachel Hosmer on January 21, 1735, in Massachusetts. They had nine children in 18 years. 

  1. Silas was born on January 21, 1735
  2. Elisha was born on October 28, 1736- died June 7, 1740
  3. Fortunatus was born on September 25, 1738
  4. Rachel was born on July 13, 1740
  5. Lucy was born on July 7, 1742
  6. Dorothy was born on December 18, 1747
  7. Jonathan was born on November 6, 1749
  8. David was born on September 2, 1751- died January 28, 1756
  9. William was born on March 21, 1753


William Barnes was born on March 21, 1753, in Marlborough, Massachusetts. His father, Jonathan, was 49 and his mother, Rachel, was 39. He married Sarah Merriam on March 22, 1773. In almost three months of marriage they conceived one child (William, Jr.)

William Sr. died as a young father on June 18, 1773, in his hometown.


William Barnes Jr. was born in November 1773 at Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He married Abigail Parker in 1795 and their son Nathan was born in 1801. Abigail died October 19, 1809.

William married Mary Kimball in 1839. He died January 11, 1860 in Hillsboro, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, USA


Nathaniel Parker Barnes was born in Hillsborough, NH on June 13, 1801 and died in Bunker Hill, Illinois on November 20, 1870. 

He married Sarah E “Sally” Evans on November 29, 1827. They had one child, John Benton Barnes,  during their marriage. Nathaniel died on November 20, 1870, in Bunker Hill, Illinois, at the age of 69.


John Benton Barnes was born on October 3, 1846, in Greenfield, New Hampshire. His father Nathan was 45 and his mother Sally was 40 at his birth. He was married three times and had one daughter. 

He married Pauline Amelia Goehring (1838–1917) on November 21, 1859 in Bunker Hill, Illinois and had no children. John married Matilda Lancaster in St Louis, Missouri, on April 15, 1869.

Then he married 19 year-old Mary Lucetta Smith in 1870 and they had one daughter, Ida May Barnes, on March 30, 1870. JB Barnes died on March 23, 1922, in Forest City, Illinois, at the age of 75, and was buried there.


Ida May Barnes was born on March 30, 1870, in Forest City, Illinois, her father, John, was 23, and her mother, Mary, was 18. She married James Buchanan Whitaker on January 1, 1893, in Mason County, Illinois. They had four children: John Floyd, Nelda E.,Edith Eugenia, James Leslie

Ida Mary (Barnes) Whitaker died on October 2, 1936, in Forest City, Illinois at the age of 66.


Edith Eugenia Meeker (1900-1990) married Sam Meeker (can be found in Meeker Family article) They had four sons: Paul, Clyde, Loren, Lyle


Paul Meeker (born 1922) married Donna Callaway (see Callaway article) and they had seven children: Linda, Jan, Carl, Ruth, Ross, Roger, Cari


This bring us to the current present day Linda (Meeker) Knuppel- She married Thomas Lee Knuppel on October 6, 1973.

Their children: Ryan, Rodney, Rhett, Randy


This is the direct line for Linda as we start with her mother and is the most current ancestor to the furthest. 


This interesting and unusual medieval English surname is of Norman French origin, and is locational from a place called “Caillovet-Orgeville” in Eure, France, and is derived from the Old Norman French “cail(ou)” for a pebble.


When Donna Lee Callaway was born on January 9, 1935, her father, Elmor Clyde, was 45, and her mother, Bertha, was 30. She married Paul B. Meeker on January 11, 1952.    Their children: Linda Lee, Jan Louise, Carl Burton, Ruth Ann, Ross Alan, Roger Alan, Cari Beth


When Elmore Clyde Callaway was born on January 10, 1890, in Tazewell, Illinois and his father, Louis, was 18 and his mother, Sarah, was 18. He married Bertha Hughes on August 4, 1923. 

   Children: Glen, Shirley, Jean, Donna, Clyde, Judy, Gary

  • He died on April 4, 1949 in Spring Lake, Illinois, at the age of 59. (GF)


Louis “Frank” Franklin Callaway was born in 1862, his father, William, was 36 and his mother, Ruth, was 28. He married Sarah Emmons and their children were Henry Melvin (1872-1954), Birdie (1881-), Clara (1884-) , Roy Blaire (1888-1953) , Elmor Clyde (1890-1949)

  • He died on July 24, 1932, in Tazewell, Illinois, at the age of 70. (GGF)


When William Ira Callaway was born on February 2, 1826, in Campbell, Virginia, his father, Josiah, was 19 and his mother, Lettice, was 18. He married Ruth Ann Lowry in 1852 (1834-1879).

Their children: Sirrilda Sinthealy (1854-1881) , Sarah Isabell (1856-1921) , Rhoda Jane (1858-1940), Lucetta (1860-1932) , Lewis Frank (1862-1932) , William Ira (1866-1866) , Fannie (1868-1889) , Henry Melvin (1872-1954)

  • He died on September 19, 1879, in Spring Lake, Illinois, at the age of 53.  (2GGF)


When Josiah Isaiah Callaway was born on December 5, 1806, in Giles, Virginia, his father, Elijah, was 26 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 22. He married Lettice Blankenship In 1825.

Children: William Ira (1826-1879) , Benjamin Franklin (1827-) ,Washington Elijah (1829-1897), Nancy Jane (1833-1880) , Josiah D (1836-1857) 

Children with Susannah Quick:  Charles W (1840-). Mary Isabel (1840-), Moses (1844-), Catherine (1845-) , Elizabeth (1847-1872)

  • He died on April 12, 1849, in Clark, Illinois, at the age of 42. (3GGF)


Elijah Washington Callaway was born in 1780 in Lewes, Delaware, his father, Isaiah, was 26 and his mother, Sarah, was 21. He married Elizabeth Whitford.

Children: Jeremiah (1805-1806), Josiah Isaiah (1806-1849), Male (1807-1808), Jeremiah (1809-) George Washington (1810-1893), Sarah (1813-1874), Nancy (1815-1850), Christopher (1816-1860), Esquire (1819-), Susan (1820-), William Burl (1824-1894), Elizabeth (1828-1850) Nancy (1828-1850), Archibald (1830-1901), Jeremiah C (1831-1883)

  • He died in 1832 in Edgar, Illinois, at the age of 52. (4GGF)


When Isaiah Callaway was born in 1754 in Lewes, Delaware, his father, William, was 42 and his mother, Margaret, was 39. He married Sarah Saunders on September 30, 1775, in his hometown. They had one child during their marriage. 

  • He died in 1813 in Giles, Virginia, at the age of 59, and was buried in Summers, West Virginia. (5GGF)


When William Callaway was born in 1712, his father, William, Sr. was 25 and his mother, Given, was 22. He married Margaret Moore/Moor on December 1, 1734, in Somerset, Maryland. Later, in 1752, he married Elizabeth Crawley. 

Children with Margaret: Mary, Martha (1730-1782), Jane (1735-1750), Margaret (1737-1791) 

Matthew (1737-1790), William (1739-1754), Zachariah (1745-1816),Elizabeth (1745-1787) 

Isaiah (1754-1815), Jonathan (1760-1834), Obediah (1762-1800), Peggy (1763-1791) 

Elizabeth (1767-1840), Abraham (1773-), William S. (1776-1860)

Children with Elizabeth Crawley: Amelia (1753-1773), Charles (1754-1827)

  • He died in 1758 in Maryland at the age of 46. (6GGF)


When Col.William Callaway was born on March 14, 1688, in Somerset, Maryland, his father, Peter, was 48 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 56. He married Given Caldwell in 1708 in his hometown. Children: John (1710-1781), William (1715-1784), Jane (1716-1747), Daughter (1722-1722), Elizabeth (1724-1758), Moses (1725-1759), Benjamin (1728-1783), Matthew (1732-1790)

  • He died on January 20, 1758, in Somerset, Maryland, at the age of 70. (7GGF)


When Peter Callaway was born in 1639 in Yorkshire, England, his father, Edmund, was 19 and his mother, Catherine, was 15. He married Elizabeth Ann Mamie Johnson on March 26, 1667, in Somerset, Maryland. Children included: Sarah (1676-1732), 

Anne (1678-), Peter (1681-1739), John (1685-1770), Jane (1685-1769) 

William (1688-1758)

 Some researchers believe his home was in Yorkshire. He sold himself into bondage in 1649 to William Pressley in order to pay for his passage to the new world. Peter Callaway arrived in Northumberland County, Virginia in 1649 and served out his seven years as a bonded servant. There is plenty more to write on this young man!

  • He died in 1719 in Somerset, Maryland, having lived a long life of 80 years. (8GGF)


When Edmund Callaway was born in 1620 in Cornwall, England, his father, Joshua, was 25 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 21. He married Catherine Elizabeth Windley in 1631 in England. 

He was a tobacco farmer. Children: Francis (1647-1700), Peter (1649-1719), Joseph (1650-1735) 

William (1650-)

  • He died in May 1719 in Somerset, Maryland, at the impressive age of 99. (9GGF)


“Henry” (Joshua William) Callaway was born on March 10, 1595, in Cornwall, England, the son of Monjoy and Patrick. He married Elizabeth Stepney (1599-1642) in 1618 and their children were: Thomas (1618-1687), Edmund (1620-1719), Mary Milner (1627-)

  • He died in 1642 in Charles City, Virginia, at the age of 47. (10GGF)


When Patrick Call-Calloway was born in 1570 in Scotland, his father, Richardius, was 36 and his mother, Mary, was 31. He had one son (Joshua William) with Monjoy Curror in 1595. 

  • He died in 1627 in Amherst, Virginia, at the age of 57. (11GGF)


Richardius Call-Calloway was born in 1534 in Westbury, Wiltshire, England. He had two sons with Mary Carlton which were  Joshua (1558-1627), Patrick (1570-1627)

  • He died in 1611 in Scotland having lived a long life of 77 years. (12GGF)

Whitaker Brood


The surname Whiteaker belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname Whiteaker was first found in Warwickshire where the first record of the name was Johias Whitacre (1042-1066), who died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Despite the fact he was on the losing side of the battle, his family were permitted to keep their estates there. The place names Whitacre, Over Whitacre and Nether Whitacre were listed in the Domesday Book as Witacre and literally meant “white cultivated land.” One of the earliest rolls was the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Those rolls listed: Alan Witacur in Oxfordshire; and Richard de Whitacre in Northamptonshire. Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Henricus Wyteacre; Willelmus de Wetaker; and Rogerus Whitteacres. “The Whittakers or Whitakers are numerous in Lancashire. From the 14th to the 16th century a gentle family of this name lived at High Whitaker or Whitacre in the vills of Simonstone and Padiham, in the parish of Whalley: the Whitakers of Holme and those of Henthorn branched off in the 15th century and those of Healy about 1620.

Here we go. The early entries have little or no information. the words in parentheses (25GGF) designates what relationship they are to Linda (Meeker) Knuppel.


(25GGF) Johias Whitaker (1042 – 1066)

(24GGF). Edwinus Whitaker (1060 – 1087)

(23GGF)  Sir Simon Whitaker (1080 – 1135) Knighted in 1100

(22GGF) Alanus Whitaker (1133 -1227)

(21GGF) Sir Jordan Whitaker (1200 – 1275) Knighted; married Phillipa Astleymil

(20GGF) Sir John Whitaker (1240-1331) Knighted in 1262; MAGNA CARTA confirmer

(19GGF) Sir John Whitaker (1275 -1330) married in 1316 to Amica Marmion

(18GGF) Sir Richard Whitaker (1300 -1375) Knighted by Edward III in 1327;  married Joan Culi

Notes on Sir Richard- Sir Richard de Whitacre (circa 1300-1375) was the Lord of the Manors of Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Elmdon, and Freasley. He was the son of Sir John de Whitacre and Amica de Marmion and grandson of Sir John de Whitacre, a confirmer of the Magna Carta. His principal seat was at Whitacre Hall, a Medieval fortified manor house in Nether Whitacre.His family, being of Anglo-Saxon descent, were of the very few who were allowed to keep their lands after the Norman Conquest. In fact, his ancestor Johias Whitacre (1042-1066) died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Nevertheless, this family was allowed to keep their lands in Warwickshire and continued to rise to prominence throughout the Medieval period.Sir Richard was knighted by King Edward III in 1327. He fought in the King’s personal retinue during the English victories at Calais and Crecy during the Hundred Years’ War. For this, it is believed that he received lands in Padiham, Lancashire, where his descendants would eventually move to, settling at The Holme. He was a vassal of the Baron Tamworth, then in the Marmion family of which his mother was a part, who were lords of Tamworth Castle where Sir Richard is known to have fulfilled many of his Knight-services. It is also likely that he at times served the Earl of Warwick, although no records of this are in existence.Sir Richard is documented as having a few legal issues. In one case, after banding together with a group of about six relatives, he assaulted a rival family member from a nearby parish and caused him physical harm. When the lawyer who would be representing the prosecution traveled through Nether Whitacre, he was imprisoned, supposedly at Whitacre Hall, until after the trial was over. In another case, Sir Richard sued, successfully, a church for lands he felt he was entitled to. After marrying Joan Culi, he produced a few heirs, one of which, Sir Simon de Whitacre, would succeed him. He is thought to have died around 1375. It is not known where his final resting place is; however, the local church of St. Giles is the most likely place.


(17GGF) Sir Richard Whitaker (1380–1434) born and died at Symonston Hall, Lancashire, England.

(16GGF) Thomas Henry Whitaker (1405-1448) born and died at Symonstone Hall, Clivinger Burnley, Lancashire, England. He married Lady Elizabeth of Burnley in 1430. They had one son, Robert, born in 1440.

(15GGF) Robert Whitaker was born in 1440 in Lancashire, England and died abt 1531 in Yorkshire, England. He married Mary Greenwood (1440-1531) in 1458 and they had one child, Thomas Cromwell Whitaker, born in 1458. 

(14GGF) Thomas Cromwell Whitaker was born 1458 Simonstone Hall, Lancashire, England and died in 1529 at Simonstone Hall, Lancashire, England. He married Joanna Pritchard in 1480 and they had 13 children. He then married Mary Greenwood and they had one son in 1523. 

(13GGF) Richard Thomas Whitaker was born in 1480 in Burnley England and died in 1540. He married Margaret N. Wellascotts (1480-1545) in 1503 and they had four children: Thomas (1504-1598) ,Sir Henry (1506-1599). Margaret (1525-1567) and Sir Thomas Laurence lll (1528-1582).

(12GGF) When Thomas Whitaker was born on September 22, 1504, in Holme, Lancashire, England, his father, Richard, was 24 and his mother, Margaret, was 24. He married Elizabeth Nowell and they had eight children together: Richard Whitaker 1545–1597 Robert Whitaker Of Holme 1545–1581 William Whitaker 1548–1595   William A. “Rev Doctor Divinity” (Whittekers) (1548-1595) Frances Whitaker 1594–1687 Joseph Whitaker –1726 Willm. Whitaker –1738 Thos Dobson –1799

(11GGF) William A. “Rev Doctor Divinity” Whitaker was born in December 1548 in Lancashire, Lancashire, England. He married Susan Culverwell and they had 15 children together. He then married Lady Joane Paronite Fenner and they had one son together. He died on December 4, 1595, in Whalley, Lancashire, England, at the age of 47.

He was a prominent Protestant Calvinistic Anglican churchman, academic, and theologian. He was Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and a leading divine in the university in the latter half of the sixteenth century. His uncle was Alexander Nowell, the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral and catechist. He wrote over 20 theology books. 

NOTES: Robert Whitaker, an uncle, left an annuity of 40 lbs to his nephew, William Whitaker, then A.B., scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge. The will was attested by William Cecil, later Lord
Burleigh. The master of Trinity College was the Rev. Whitgift (afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury), who singled William out for special favors, because of William’s indefatigable study of scriptures, the commentators, and the schoolmen. William was regarded as an authority in both Latin and Greek. He took his B.A. in 1567-8, was made a Fellow of Trinity in 1569, and took his
B.D. at Trinity in 1578. He was ordained priest and deacon at Lincoln, 21 Dec 1576; was appointed University Preacher in 1577; and invested with the Prebendary of Norwich in 1578, in which year he was also “incorporated” at Oxford University.
In 1580, through the influence of the Nowells and Lord Burleigh, Queen Elizabeth appointed William A. Whitaker “Regius Professor of Divinity” at Cambridge University. At the time, there were only three Regius Professors in all of England, and only one in Divinity. Shortly afterwards, the Queen also made William A. Whitaker Chancellor of St. Paul’s Cathedral, 1580-1587. In 1587, also, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
In 1586, Queen Elizabeth appointed him Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, over the protests of some of the Fellows who objected to William’s Calvinistic Puritanism. William had gained his position through influence and patronage, but his administration was based wholly upon merit, scholarship, ability. His judgements were regarded as fair, just, and impartial, which soon made him one of the most loved of Masters. In his History of the College of St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge (1869), Thomas Baker is almost unbounded in his praise for William Whitaker as one of the greatest Masters of all time. William held the post for eight years, until his death in December, 1595.
In 1573, 1574, 1578, and again in 1583, William published Greek translations of Latin verses by his uncle, Alexander Nowell, who was for some forty years Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. These translations were widely regarded for their grace and beauty. William published several major works of theology in his lifetime and leftnseveral others in manuscript. His works are all extremely Puritan in argument and tone, he being an ardent follower of Calvin and Deza. Still, he came to be respected as the foremost theologian in the time of Queen Elizabeth.
In 1581, he published a bi-lingual (Latin and Greek) “Ten Answers to Edmund Campion, the Jesuit.” An English translation (?with the Latin on
facing pages) was published in London in 1606, by Richard Stock. His works are strongly anti-Catholic, for he regarded the church in Rome as the devil’s work, so to speak. In 1582, William published “The Pope of Rome is the Antichrist.” Over the years, he published learned disputes over scriptures with John Durei, the Scottish Jesuit (1583), Robert Bellarmine (1588), and Thomas Stapleton (1588).
In all these arguments, William was said to have stated the opposition’s position fairly, with clarity, and then offered his counter-arguments with such logic and force, that even his opponents respected his abilities and arguments. Some of his opponents are said to have hung his portrait on their walls as a gesture of admiration and honor. In November and December of 1595, he was working with others in London on the so-called Lambeth Articles. In drafty carriages, in inclement weather, he caught a cold, which worsened with exhaustion, and he died 4 Dec 1595.


(10GGF) William Whitaker was born in 1582 in Holme, Lancashire, England. He had two sons and two daughters with Katherine Deane. He then married Mary Liversidge and they had five children together: Robert, Maria, Isabell, Jeremiah and Jane.

He died in 1638 in Holme, Huntingdonshire, England, at the age of 56.

(9GGF) Jeremiah Whitaker was born in 1599 in Wakefield, England and died in 1654 in London. He married Chephizibah Peachy in 1629 and they had five children: William, Mary, Jeremiah, Richard and John.

He was an English Puritan clergyman, and an important member of the Westminster Assembly. After being educated at the grammar school there under the Rev. Philip Jack, he entered Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, as a sizar in 1615, two years before Oliver Cromwell. In 1619 he graduated in arts, and for a time was a schoolmaster at Oakham, Rutland.

In 1630 he was made rector of Stretton, Rutland; and on the ejection of Thomas Paske from the rectory of St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, in 1644, Whitaker was chosen in his stead. He was an oriental scholar, and preached, when in London, four times a week. When the Westminster Assembly was convened in June 1643, he was one of the first members elected, and in 1647 was appointed its moderator. In the same year he was chosen by the House of Lords, along with Thomas Goodwin, to examine and superintend the assembly’s publications

Whitaker died on 1 June 1654, and was buried in the chancel of St Mary Magdalen. 




(8GGF) Richard Whitaker was born in London in 1644 and came to the United States where he died in 1710 in Fairfield, New Jersey. He married Elizabeth Adkins Provoe in 1680 and they had six children. Abigail (1680-1718) Richard (1680-1720) Nathaniel (1681-1753) Peter (1683-) James (1689-1720) Katharine (1694-1718).

(7GGF) Richard Whitaker II (1680-1720) was born in 1680 in Fairfield, New Jersey. He married Abigail Hammond in 1700 in his hometown.They had four children: Nathaniel (1696-1752) Richard (1700-1759) Thomas (1702-1779)  Catherine (1704-) Elizabeth (1704-) James (1708-) Richard Whitaker II died on January 12, 1720, in Fairfield, New Jersey, at the age of 40.

(6GGF) Nathaniel Whitaker was born in 1694 in Fairfield, New Jersey when his father, Richard, was 14 and his mother, Abigail, was 18. He married Mary Ann Abbott Dixon on 18 Nov 1729 in Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey, United States. He then married Ruth Buck (1719-1752) on September 13, 1738, in New Jersey.  He died on December 13, 1752, in his hometown at the age of 58.

(5GGF) Lewis W Whitaker was born in 1734 and married Anna Thompson (1737-1810) in 1753. They had three children: Lydia (1760-1830) Lewis (1764-1830)  Lemuel (1772-1849) Lewis died in 1773 at the age of 39. Anna Thompson was born on April 27, 1737, in Fairfield, New Jersey. She died in 1810 in her hometown at the age of 73.

(4GGF) Lemuel Whitaker was born on June 21, 1772, in Fairfield, New Jersey when his father, Lewis, was 38 and his mother, Anna, was 35. He married Ruth Barker on April 12, 1791, in his hometown. According to the 1810 Ohio Census, his first name was Leminnie. In subsequent Ohio census (1820, 1830,1840), he was listed as Lemuel. In 1805 he married Jannette Buchanan.

  • Children with Ruth: Harriet (1798-1881) Reuben Barker (1800-1868)
  • Children with Janette: Fanny A. (1806-1813)  Israel (1808-1880) Samuel P (1810-1886) Ruth J (1812-1880)  James Buchanan (1813-1893) Neri (1816-1890) Sarah (1818-1890) William B (1818-1890)  Lewis (1820-1890) 

 He died on January 13, 1849, in Brush Creek, Ohio, having lived a long life of 76 years.


Reuben W (3GGF) Reuben Barker Whitaker was born in New Jersey on 8 Jan 1800. He married Frances (Fanny) Martin and their children were: David (1823-1850)  Lemuel (1824-1895) John Buchanan (1826-1872) Milton (1828-1863) Annis (1834-1913) Lewis (1838-1890) 

He married Margaret Hannah Smith (1813-1881) in 1853 and their children were: Adelia Mary (1854-1929)  Beth Ann (1858-1941) Ruth A (1858-) Seth (1868-)

He passed away on April 11, 1868 in Jefferson, Coshocton, Ohio, United States.


The Move to Illinois


(2GGF) John Buchanan Whitaker was born on May 13, 1826, in Muskingum, Ohio. He married Louisa Catherine Cheek. Their children: Henry Edward (1858-1923) Mary Ella Ellen (1861-1936) James Buchanan (1864-1952) William (1864-) Reuben S (1871-) He died on June 8, 1872, in Forest City, Illinois, at the age of 46.

(GGF) James Buchanan Whitaker was born July 16, 1864 in Forest City, Illinois. He married Ida May Barnes on January 1, 1893, in Mason, Illinois. Their four children were (John) Floyd (1894-1977) Nelda E (1897-1987) Edith Eugenia (1900-1990) (James) Leslie (1904-1962)  James B died in 1952 in his hometown at the age of 88.

(GM) Edith Eugenia (Whitaker) Meeker was born in 1900 and attended school in the Manito/Forest City area. She married Sam Meeker October 6, 1920. She supported her husband in his farming endeavor and was a loving and devoted wife and mother. They had four children.  (Paul, Clyde, Loren, Lyle) . Edith died of natural causes in 1990 and her husband Sam died a few hours later of the same thing (broken heart?).


In a Nutshell:


Johias Whitacre 1042-1066   (25th great-grandfather of Linda)

Edwinus Whitaker 1060-1087

Simon Whitaker 1080-1135

Alanus Whitaker 1133-1227

Jordan Whitaker 1200-1275

Sir John Whitaker 1240-1278

John Whitaker 1275-1330

Richard Simon Whitaker 1300-1380

Sir Richard Whitaker 1380-1434

Thomas Henry Whitaker 1405-1448

Robert Whitaker 1440-1531

Sir Thomas Cromwell Whitaker 1458-1529

Richard Thomas Whitaker 1480-1540

Thomas Whitaker 1504-1598

William A. “Rev” Whitaker 1548-1595

William Whitaker DR 1582-1638

Jeremiah Whitaker 1599-1654

Richard Whitaker 1644-1710

Richard Whitaker, II 1680-1720

Nathaniel Whitaker 1694-1752

Lewis W Whitaker 1734-1773

Lemuel Whitaker 1772-1849

Reuben Barker Whitaker 1800-1868

John Buchanan Whitaker 1826-1872

James Buchanan Whitaker 1864-1952

Edith Eugenia Whitaker 1900-1990

Paul Burton Meeker 1922-

Linda Lee Meeker 1952-



Did you find mistakes? Would you like to add something?

Feel free to contact:

Tom Knuppel Husband of Linda (Meeker) Knuppel


We’re All Family: Trader John Hughes,The Big Cornstalk and Pocahontas

  First White Man Trading Post

Vol 2


Trudging along on this genealogy adventure of 2020 for my family and that of my wife, I have stumbled upon some really interesting stories. Here is one of those. 

This takes place in Linda’s maternal side of her family. Her parents are Paul and Donna (Callaway) Meeker and living in Manito, Illinois. Grandma on her mother’s side was Bertha (Hughes) Callaway. This is all the current information you will get for now as we jump many, many generations for our story of Trader John Hughes and his life. 


John Rice (Rees) Hughes was born in 1615 in Anglesey, Wales. Historical records have not been able to locate his parents names. John cme over to the United States at a young age and loved to hunt, fish and trap. His first real job was as a ship captain that brought immigrants from other countries to the United States. He would get the government to deed land to him and then when he got to the US, that land was divided among the parties on the ship. 

In the mid-1600s, Captain John Rice Hughes, a Welshman known in the area simply as “Trader” Hughes, established a trading post at Jamestown, Virginia, in order to trade primarily with the Powhatan Indians in the area.  It has been said that if the Jamestown colony had not been trading with the Native Americans in the area, they would not have survived their first winter.  

It is here that Hughes met a beautiful woman of the Powhatan tribe known as Nicketti or ‘She-Sweeps-the-Dew-from-the-Flowers” as she is known by her tribe members. There is contention about whether John Hughes married her or not. According to historians, white men didn’t marry Indian girls as a rule. It was forbidden in the white world. Whatever. More on that later. 


Nicketti and Her Family

Everyone has heard of Pocahontas of course. our ancestor was a niece of Pocahantas. In English she was called Nicketti. But because of her great beauty she was called ‘She Who Sweeps Dew From Flowers’ in the Algonquin tongue. She was the daughter of Cleopatra (so named as the suggestion of John Smith whom Pocohantas has saved from death earlier), a younger sister of Pocahontis.

Pocahontas was the princess daughter of Powhatan the powerful chieftain whom was the first Indian leader in America to deal with the Europeans. Cleopatra was married to Opechancanough, the brother of Powhatan. Opechancanough succeeded Powhatan as chief or their tribe and a large coalition of neighboring tribes. Opechancanough was much more warlike than his brother. In 1640 he initiated a sustained war against the whites. Although almost half the whites died, Opechancanough was finally forced to give it up.

Nicketti, his daughter even married an Englishman in the end. The first of many unions of Europeans and Native Americans began with Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Our ancestors must have certainly been amongst the very earliest.

He was Capt John Rice “Trader” Hughes. He sailed a supply ship to the Jamestown settlement. After he sold the ship, he found and married the princess Nicketti, moved them up into the mountains as yet never entered by the whites, built a cabin which served as a home and trading center. There they had their children and raised them amongst the Indians. Even during the big uprising of 1640 when half the whites were killed, the Capt. & Nicketti lived without troubles.


We start with Chief Morning Ripple of the Powhatan Tribe who was born in 1410 in Werowocomoco, Powhatan/Orapax Nation, Pre-Colonial Jamestown, Virginia. He died in 1495 in Powhatan, Virginia, having lived a long life of 85 years.

His son, also known as Morning Ripple was born in 1389. He married Ripple on an unknown date. He died in 1470 before his father. 

In 1440, they had a daughter, Murmuring Stream who was born in 1440 in Virginia, her father, Chief, was 51, and her mother, Ripple, was 28. She had one son with Chief Dashing Stream–Great Chief Powhatan (father of Emperior Wahunsonacock Powhatan) in 1517. She died in 1525 in her hometown, having lived a long life of 85 years.

Their son, Great Chief Running Stream Mamanatowick Ensenore Don Luis Velasco of the Iroquois Powhatan was born on June 3, 1517, in Staunton River, Virginia, his father, Chief, was 43 and his mother, Murmuring, was 77. He married Amopotuskee Nonoma Scent Flower Amonsoquath Winanske of the Algonkian in 1547 in Powhatan, Virginia. He died in April 1570 in Jamestown, Virginia, at the age of 52.

Next in line is Chief Running Stream Wahunsonacock Kocoum Powhatan of the Patawomeck Tribe and he was born on June 17, 1545, in Village, Virginia, his father, Great, was 28 and his mother, Amopotuskee, was 28. He had one child with Matatishe Winanuske Nonoma Powhatan and children with Matatishe Pocahon Morning Flower Nonoma Powhatan. He died in April 1618 in King William, Virginia, at the age of 72.

They had a daughter Scent Flower Powhatan Cornstalk was born on June 3, 1517, in Staunton, Virginia. She married Running Stream in 1520. She died in 1600 in Virginia having lived a long life of 83 years.

OK, here we go. 

The Great Cornstalk enters the family. Chief Opechan Stream Cornstalk (Opechancanough) Powhatan was born on June 17, 1545, in Virginia, He married Cleopatra Shawano Powhatan in his hometown. He died on October 5, 1644, in Jamestown, Virginia, at the impressive age of 99.

Here is where we find that Cleopatra was younger sister (by 17 years) to Pocahontas. Yes, that one. The John Smith one that eventually married John Rolfe. Pocahontas was only 27 when she died in the arms of her husband as she was leaving Britain to return to Virginia.  They had just sailed away and were leaving the Thames estuary when she became very sick and the ship pulled to shore where she died. Some people claim she was killed or poisoned. There are many stories about Pocahontas, many of the popular stories that everyone assumes are true are not.  The real story is much darker.

Previous to her marriage to Rolfe, Pocahontas had been married (very, very young) to Kocoum, a Patawomeck chief (the English called him a “private captaine”) who was killed by the Jamestown settlers when they captured Pocahontas in 1613. They had a daughter, Ka-Okee, who was left behind to be raised by the tribe. Ka-Okee was regarded as Native American royalty and she married the high-born Englishman, Thomas Pettus. 

Now back on track.

Cleopatra had several children but for our purpose we focus on Nicketti that was mentioned above. He married Trader John Hughes and built a cabin deep in the woods on the Indian territory. 

Hughes was the first permanent settler in Amherst Co. Va. He and his Indian wife established a trading post on the north side of the James River, west of the Tobacco Row Mountains (circa late 1600’s). His wife was a niece to Pocahontas.

Traders began to move their goods along the upper James River around 1720. According to Alexander Brown in his 1895 book, …”Cabells and Their Kin”…, Hughes was the first known white man to open a post for Indian trade above …the falls…. He built his cabin deep in the silent forests along the Blue Ridge. Hughes traded with the local Monacan Indians and was accepted by them because of his wife’s heritage

Tracing back quickly we find Mathias Hughes-Samuel Hughes-Aram Hughes-John Taylor Hughes Sr.-John Taylor and now I slow down as the family moves to Illinois.

2nd Great Grandfather of my wife

When John Demoss Hughes was born on October 9, 1819, in Holmes, Ohio, his father, Taylor, was 27 and his mother, Mary, was 21. He married Minerva Jane Snodgrass. He died on January 29, 1905, in Fulton, Illinois, having lived a long life of 85 years.

When Benjamin Scott Hughes was born on August 31, 1855, in Fulton, Illinois, his father, John, was 35 and his mother, Minerva, was 35. He had one daughter with Jennie Bailey in 1905. He died on October 21, 1928, in Pekin, Illinois, at the age of 73.

Linda’s Grandmother

When Bertha Hughes was born on January 22, 1904, in Easton, Illinois, her father, Benjamin, was 48, and her mother, Jennie, was 31. She married Elmor Clyde Callaway on August 4, 1923. She died on August 30, 1979, in Pekin, Illinois, at the age of 75.

One of Elmor (which everyone called him Clyde) and Bertha’s daughters is Donna Lee Callaway and she married Paul Meeker which are my wife’s parents.


Now we can apply for minority scholarships with Indian blood. 

We are back to where we began!


Hope you enjoyed the trek.


Please feel free to share! 

Volume 1- The Covingtons


This is an installment into my search of the genealogy of my family and that of my wife. There will be tons of stories that I will write about after searching. Keep in mind I have tried to get all correct information but I can guarantee you there will be mistake and they are unintentional. Enjoy these and please let others know about my search.

It is my goal to keep the Knuppel search and the Sawrey search ongoing. Those are from my dads side and my moms side. Along with that, I will be looking into my wifes family with searches of the Meeker family and the Callaway family.

But these on this website are just a Fork in the Road. What that means is I have gone off the beaten path a bit, but still a direct descendant and looked for stories. As an example, it might be the 5th great-grandfathers wife side that I found something interesting. After all, it is the family of my 5th great-grandmother!


The Covingtons

my 9th great-grandfather



The Covington family can be traced back in Harrold, England to Elizabethan times when William Covington was born in the village in around 1593. There were Covingtons in other parts of North Bedfordshire, including Bedford and nearby Turvey and, of course, in the village of Covington just across the county border in the Kimbolton part of Huntingdonshire.

Where is Harrold?

Harrold is a civil parish and electoral ward in the Borough of Bedford within Bedfordshire, England, around nine miles north-west of Bedford. The village is on the north bank of the River Great Ouse, and is the site of an ancient bridge, linking the village with Carlton with Chellington on the south bank.


We know little of the early life of William in Harrold or of his wife, but a son George was born in 1617 and sadly died that same year. In November 1618 a second son William was born and eventually there were three more children, Joan, Hannah and Robert. The family all grew up in Harrold and in 1639 William was married in nearby Pavenham to Ann. Within the first few years of this marriage Ann died and, sometime in the 1640s, William emigrated to America (this coincided with The English Civil War).

We know that he was transported to Virginia as an indentured emigrant and that his transportation had been arranged by brothers John and George Mott. He arrived in Old Rappahannock County of the colony of Virginia (now known as Essex County). The Mott brothers were agents in recruiting and shipping colonists for Virginia and for this service they received a patent for 15,564 acres of land on waters draining into the Rappahannock River on 17 October, 1670.

This was for 313 indentured workers known as “headrights”. William’s name was on that list and so too was the name of Thomas Howerton (born in England around 1640 and shipped to Virginia in the 1660s. Thomas and William became partners and William subsequently married Dorothy Howerton who was probably Thomas’s sister.

William and Dorothy Covington raised a family. Thomas and William were obviously involved in the tobacco trade because in 1670 they purchased a small part of the Mott plantation for 3,000 pounds of tobacco. Originally this was for 300 acres, but by 1683 the partners had together acquired 1000 acres and they then divided this up by an “Agreement between Howerton and Covington to divide land from Mr. Mott. Howerton to have land on the south side and Covington to have land on the north side of Dragon Swamp”( 4th April 1683).

The Dragon Swamp is also Known as the Dragon Run; it is a stream which flows into a tidal tributary of Chesapeake Bay. In 1607 it was first explored by Captain John Smith and became a popular area for settlement in the 1640s by what are still referred to in Virginia as the Cavaliers.

William Covington’s will was made in 1696 and proved the next year when he died at the age of 77. He left the plantation, which by then included a mill known as Covington’s Mill, to his three sons. A daughter and a grand-daughter each received a cow.

William Covington was probably the first person from Harrold to set foot in the New World. His arrival in the 1640s was just over 20 years after the Pilgrim Fathers had made their epic journey to New England and when settlement in Virginia was in its infancy. Other members of the Covington family later came from England. Nehemiah Covington from the Huntingdonshire village of that name arrived in the 1660s.

Today there are more than a thousand names of the direct descendants of the Harrold branch stemming from “William Covington the Immigrant”.

Genealogical records based on primary sources such as wills, land registration, state and county records and family bibles, etc. show the spread of these Covingtons through the states of the USA over 13 generations. A random sample of 62 of these Harrold descendants (all those named William Covington) have revealed that they were born in 12 states of the USA:

Within this single branch of a family is the story of the making of America – early settlements in Virginia and the Carolinas, wagon train migration to Tennessee and to Missouri, and military involvement in the Revolutionary War the Mexican War, the American Civil War (on both sides) and two world wars. Between these major events ordinary people were involved in farming, setting up businesses, missionary involvement in the churches, public service, academic life and, even, rocket science. The Harrold branch of the Covingtons certainly played its part in the foundation of modern America.




The Year 2020 is here. I made a decision to deep dive into the genealogy of my predecessors and those of my wife Linda. So here is my plan. I will trace back four families in our history. The Knuppel’s, the Meeker’s, The Callaway’s and the Sawrey’s are the sources of my work. However, those will be done on and family search. It is my hope to make that into a book that I can write. What about the other stuff not included in the book?

From there I will feature side stories on different family members or there spouse on this website. From there I will venture off the path and delve into some historical context as to what I have found. Let me tell you now that what I have found spans many centuries spread among different several continents. In fact, my son Randy and I have been able to go back as far as 30 AD in some cases.

The stories as amazing. It is fun to go back and find references to slave trading, war heroics, settlers and traders of the early days of this continent along with the fact the some of the bloodlines are directly linked to famous historical figures.

Look for this to begin soon RIGHT HERE.



“You Want to Ride the Ball…..”

(originally written in March 2017)



I heard some version of that sentence at least three times. It still haunts me a bit from time to time. Allow me to work up to giving you more information at the end of the blog.

During the summer of 1978, I began working as a Union Laborer. School was out and I wanted to earn some extra money. One of my brothers knew the Union Steward and he had no problem getting me a union card. That is, he had no problem after I paid $500 for “dues” which was interesting since the union only charged $350. It is called “greasing the wheel” and I was set. I had no issue with paying the money because a union worker made a good wage. I was set to work from June 1- August 10.

Grab a Broom

I was assigned to work at the new power station they were building just outside of Havana. The first day they took all my information and assigned a foreman to me. I was to grab a broom and clean all day. They had part of the plant up and union men of all trades were working on it. I was to clean an area that was the outside perimeter of the plant. I was told NOT to clean the inner circle. It was open to the sky in that area and workers were working high and they wanted to keep people out of the area on the ground level. They told me that was to prevent injury and things could be accidentally dropped from high. They assured me nothing had every fallen but it could. By 9AM I am cleaning and sweeping and leaning on my broom like any good union laborer when about 10:30AM I heard a whizzing sound and then workers yelling. One of the groups above had allowed a roll of cable to slip out of their grasp and it can down to the ground with a whizz. Whiping around and it would have decapitated any one in its path. So much for nothing every dropping.

Geniuses at Work

A couple of interesting things happened that I want to share that didn’t directly affect me but is related to the power plant construction. The first one deals with a railroad. There was a crew that was to build a railroad track from one end of the site to the other. Rails were mounted on five foot planks and then they were placed together (linked) to form the tracks. Problem was… they started with a crew on one end and another crew on the other end and they miss meeting each other by a good 50 feet. They had to go back and remove some of them and re-do the linking so they could complete the project. This took about 3 days to get it back on track.

Another day here was a horrible thing happen. Every day new pieces of steel were lifted up and beams were placed in the building of the plant. One particular day I happened to notice them swinging in the beam and a guy standing on the adjacent beam slowly signalling the beam into the correct place. He got to the last part and told the operator to set it down. Just as he did it moved about 3-4 inches and it was set down on the feet of the guy doing the signalling. Long story short he was taken to hospital and had three toes on each foot gone. The beam had crushed them. Ugh.

Sitting Idly

Another thing was I was working in the back lot of the site and I came across a guy sitting in a crane. He was just sitting there. He sat there for about 4 hours and then when I came back past him I struck up a conversation. I asked him why his crane was not running and why he just sat there. He said several days before he was sent out there to work and when he was done they instructed him to leave his crane and they would have him bring it up the next day. Problem was… in between that time they had unloaded a very large load of lumber in the path of his return. They couldn’t get him back. He was told to go to his machine and just sit there until the path was clear for him to return. It was 6 days later that they finally got him back. He was paid the entire time to just sit there.

What to Do With Lazy Workers

One oddity happened. I had worked there for about 3 weeks with a guy named “Butch”. He didn’t work hard and he showed up about three days per week. The supervisors called a short meeting one morning and informed all of the workers that Butch had been promoted and was to become a supervisor immediately. Wait, this is the guy that doesn’t work hard and only 3 days per week? Yep. About 3-4 weeks later we got the scoop. They put him in that job to make him show up. It worked. Butch was there everyday and didn’t have to work, only supervise. I guess somebody was a genius to think of that.


I had a horrible couple of weeks when I was assigned, daily, to run a jackhammer. They needed concrete taken out of a 80’x60′ area that was 14 inches deep. It was a mistake and they neeed to rectify it. So for about 10 working days I ran that hammer. It was hard work, slow work and when I got home I was shaking a bit like a jackhammer. Then they rewarded me for four days ( I never complained to them about the jackhammer) and was given a job “spotting.”

Making Sure Nobody Gets Covered Up

This job is on the ground as the backhoes are working. The holes are about 40 feet deep they have a laborer in the hole doing some digging to make it a clean dig. So I stood on top of the hole and watched the laborer work as the backhoe also worked in the same hole….. if the laborer should get covered by the backhoe I was to signal the operator to stop and then I was to alert others that he had been covered up. Then three of us were to go into the hole and dig him out. It never happened.

The Ball

One day my foreman’s boss approach me and ask me if I wanted to work high. I asked him what he meant and he pointed to the top of the building. I stood there for a long while and then I began to talk.

Me: “You want me to work up there?”

Boss: “Yes, it’s an easy job. All you do all day is make sure everyone has water. You check the water jugs.”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Boss: ” It’s easy. They have flooring and railings up there and besides you make a $1 more per hour.”

Me: ” Ok, I guess I can.”

Boss: ” Good. You want to ride the ball up?”

Me: “huh?”

Boss: “The ball. The ball on the crane. just grab ahold and ride it to the top.”

Me: “Nah, I don’t think so.”

Boss: “Ok, there are steps that go up there. ”

So off I went. I found the stairs and headed up. Oh but wait! The stairs ended at the fifth floor and there are eight stories to the building. What am I looking at? Oh my. There was a straight up ladder that extended to the sixth, seventh and eighth story. Straight up. I stood there for a few seconds when some random guy came by and asked me if there was a problem. I told him I was unsure about climbing the ladder to the top. He responded with, ” do you want to ride the ball up?” I declined and grab the rungs of the ladder. White knuckling my way one at a time. I reached the top level. What am I going to do now? I had to swing my legs over to get on the flooring of the work area. I froze for a bit. Some guy asked me if I was ok and I shook my head affirmatively and slowly swung my leg over and crawl over to reach the top.

I was at the top and not feeling very well.  My new supervisor approached me and asked me if I was ok.

New Boss: ” hey buddy, you ok, you don’t look so good.”

Me: ” I guess I am ok.”

New Boss: “Great, let me get you started and you now that you make a $1 more per hour working high, don’t you? (I nodded) You have five areas up here to make sure they have adequate water supply. If a water jug gets almost empty you need to signal the guy down there running the ball. Tell him and he will send a new one up.”

So he pointed to my first area and I started over there…but one thing didn’t look good. They told me there was flooring a railings up here. Technically, they were correct. BUT it was boards running from beam to beam with a rope railing around the edge. GULP. So I started over. Slowly I inched my way over, holding on to the railing. The boards were bowing in the middle and I felt really uncomfortable. I reached the water and it was fine. I told myself I couldn’t do this job. I inched my way back and got to some solid footing when another random guy stopped me.

Random Guy: “Hey buddy, you ok?”

Me: “No I don’t think so. I don’t feel real good working high.”

Random Guy: “But you get a $1 more per hour working up here.”

(I thought that $1 more isn’t going to help me when I die up here)

Me: ” I think I need to go back down.”

Random Guy: “Ok, you want to ride the ball down?”

Me: “No thanks.”

So I decided to forego the dollar more and head back down. I walked over and then it struck me that I need to go back down a straight ladder and I froze. I had to swing my leg over and grab the rungs of the ladder at the same time. I stood there. Another guy asked me if I was ok and repeated the same offer to have me grab the big ball on the crane and ride it down. I mustered the courage to climb down. I finally, reached the ground, and my legs were shaking and I felt ill.

Once on ground,  the first supervisor came to me and I told him I couldn’t work high. He said it should be worth it for a $1 more. I made some comment about being at the top and seeing Canton from there and how I wanted to live to have a family and the dollar meant nothing to me. I told him I was sick and was going home.

That night, laying in bed, I could visualize everything I saw from the time starting up to getting back on the ground. I passed up the extra money but that didn’t bother me. The next day back to work, the supervior told me that less than 20% were cut out to work high.

I wonder if things would have been different if I would have ridden the ball.



Previous Blog Posts:

Sunday Fight Behind the Root Beer Stand

Remembering My Time Around Easton

“Oh Well, I Will Strike Her Out Anyway”

What Were Our Parents Thinking?

Call the Sheriff

Kilbourne Condom

I’m Still Paying For It

My First School Basketball Team

The History of Me- My Birthday


Is Retirement Biblical?

In broad terms, retirement is withdrawing from your work and seeking the ability to live life to the fullest without obligation, worry or commitment. Retirement allows for the mentality to do what you want when you feel like doing it. It is a reward for hard work.

There are those that will tell you that retirement is not biblical? That is not so. The only mention of retirement found in the Bible is stated in Numbers 8:23-26 where God tells Moses that the Levites (who are the priests that are in charge of serving God but doing lots of work around the Tabernacle) would be allowed to begin work at age 25 and then work until mandatory retirement at age 50.

However, these priests were not expected to bag their bags and go the nearest beach in Tel Aviv but were “expected” to begin assisting the younger men in their work. It was a new work now. It was the mentoring of younger men by providing wisdom from their 25 years of experience in serving the Lord.

Now if you go to a Bible Commentary, you are likely to find that the elders are under no obligation to do any work that requires labor but are to become counselors which in turn allows the younger men to assume more responsibilities.

The Bible is full of men that work long into their life such as John the Apostle was still writing while he was in his 90’s. Moses was 80 when he asked for freedom of the Israelites slaves. He worked until he dies at age 120 years old.

Retirement should mean you are no longer doing the work of old but now have increased time and opportunity to do God’s work. This is God’s design. Everyone has the opportunity to use the time given to them after their working retirement. What is important now is we must decide how to use and redeem the time that God has given us. We must take every chance we have to serve the Lord.

One particular job of labor is to be pursued as long as possible and as productive for as long as we can. However, God calls us to labor in his vineyard until he calls us home. Be faithful, glorify God, serve the common good and do all you can to further his kingdom.





The Fight. Let’s get one thing straight right now. I wasn’t involved in The Fight. I was an accessory I guess, though.  More on that later on.

Sandy VanOrman and I hung out together the last couple years of high school from time to time. We had some interesting things that happened to us together. Here are a few recollections of those times. I remember we used to make tapes together with music and our own broadcast. Such as a newscast that would stop and then a current song was stuck in there to fill in the words we wanted to say. An example might be…. ” Here we are on Michigan Avenue in Chicago” (then the song Walkin’ Down the Street singing do-wah-diddy-diddy-dum-diddy do) and “look there is a man with a gun coming towards us” first would be athe song…(there’s man with a go over there) and followed by (song We Gotta Get Out of This Place, if it’s the Last Thing we ever Do”) We thought they were hilarious.

We both enjoyed music. In fact on February 9, 1964 we went on a youth group trip on the train to Chicago to see a play that was chaperoned by Carol Kreiling. We got home about ten minutes until seven to my house and no one was home. On the TV that night was The Beatles making their first visit to the Ed Sullivan Show. We got two badminton rackets and played along with them in my living room. That was for every song they played and we knew all the words to it. We loved the British Invasion.

Some Sunday Football

Sunday afternoons were spent playing football. We would sometimes play behind the Lutheran Church in Manito with Kirk Hilst, Nello Rossi and a host of others. We would play tackle and it got brutal but we never  broke any bones. On occasion we played on the side yard of Sandy’s house (the one he stills lives in). That lasted for a pure two hours as we started at 1pm and ended at 3pm. This gave me plenty of time to still get to Linda’s house.

Algebra 2 Test

There was only one time I remember doing a bad thing while in high school. I worked the last three years in the principal’s office running errand and doing the leg work instead of going to study hall. During my junior year it was around Christmas time and final exams were upon us. I had ONE teacher in high school in my four years that I didn’t like. I didn’t like him at all. He taught Algebra classes and Geometry. He always had a smart alec thing to say to me. So this Christmas he ran off copies of his Algebra II test and put it in his mailbox. I wasn’t in that class as it was some of the upperclassmen. I swiped one of the tests the day before and decided to give it to Sandy. Lo and behold what did he do? He had a study party somewhere and invited many classmates over to “review” for the test. I was stunned and expecting the word got out. Nope. Sandy never told them where it came from and they all did very well on that test. I dodged a bullet and knew at that moment Sandy had my back.

Drag Race Nationals

I knew nothing about cars. Let me repeat that. Nothing. One day Sandy got tickets to the National Drag Finals in Indianapolis and made plans for us to go. His plans we no lodging, no plans, just go. That first day he was in heaven as we wandered the pit area and he knew every engine and stuff around. I just followed. He talked to everybody and everybody talked to him. About 6pm it was time to get some food and park his car in a bank lot and sleep. Sandy wanders over to me and says, “I got us a room tonight.” Whoa, we were staying in a hotel? Then he says that one of the crew members (4 of them) had offered us their floor to sleep on and he accepted. Did we know these guys? Well, at least I didn’t. Sandy was unfazed and we went to their hotel and slept ( I think my eyes were open all night) on the floor. It was a nice gesture but I had visions of being chopped up while I attempted to sleep. Nothing happened and they invited us to stay close to them all day down in the pit. I can say I went to a Nationals Drag Race but I can’t say I learned much. But Sandy Ford ( he loved his middle name) had a blast and we came home in one piece.

ACT Test Day

Sandy’s mom was a really nice lady but she worried all the time where he was and what he was doing. One particular night we had been out hanging around with Kirk Hilst and wandered back to his house. They had a ping-pong table in the basement and we played and played. It was also the night before Sandy was to take the ACT test. He didn’t tell Kirk or I about that. It was almost 2 AM when we heard footsteps coming down the steps and there was Sandy’s mom, in her housecoat, looking for her son. She saw him playing and stopped in her tracks and exclaimed, “Sandy, you know what time it is? You need to get home, you are taking the ACT test tomorrow.” He told her he woud be home right away. She left and the three of us stood there staring at each other when Sandy exclaimed, “Bup, I think I better go home.”


Forest City Church

This is a short story as several youth went to FCCC on Sunday and youth group. It was the boys duty to take the church collection every Sunday. Several times I decided not to go and I always would get a call about 15 minutes before the collection was to be received. They urged me to come and help as there wasn’t enough help. On some occasions Sandy and John Eubanks would stand up front with the money as the preacher gave a prayer for the offering.  They would try to see who could blow out the candles on the alter table (our backs were to a praying congregation)without anyone knowing they were trying to do that.

The Fight

SandyFordVO I think it was a Fall Sunday when this happened. It was likely late September or early October as the weather was pretty decent. This day it was planned. I don’t what started it or anything but today Sandy was schedule to fight Jim Avery behind the root beer stand in the alley in Manito at 2pm. I was going with him. Sandy wasn’t a person that just looked for fights but he didn’t mind sticking up for himself. (my parents asked me later if I know this was going to happen and then they weren’t very pleased with me).

It was 2pm and about 20 teenagers were hanging around in a circle waiting for the main event. Sure enough it started. They danced around and smacked each other with some hard blows but no winner. The crowd was cheering almost non-stop. We were not paying much attention to anything else when the Manito Police car came down the alley and some scattered while others stayed put. The police chief, George DeCanter, got out of the car and asked who was fighting and both of them spoke up and admitted their particiapation. George put them in the police car and told the rest of us to leave or be arrested.

I had one problem. I was 15 and didn’t have my license. You see, I could get several places I wanted to go to without being on the main road. Just take the backway and you can be there. My parents didn’t mind.  Just before they left for the police station, Sandy had George give me his keys and told me to pick him up at the station when things were over. I drove around Manito without a license for a good 80-90 minutes. I probably drove by the police station 10 times waiting for his release. Finally, Sandy got out and he took the wheel. I was feeling like a big shot criminal but never got caught.

We headed out of town and Sandy drove to Havana. He was still talking a mile a minute about the fight, the arrest, the stuff that when on at the station. He drove down to the river to clear his head. We got out and looked away from the car and then we heard the sound. His Ford was rolling down the hill and heading for the river. Luckily, when Sandy got out he didn’t shut his door. We both ran after the car and Sandy jumped in and slammed the brakes about 3 feet from the edge of the water. That would have been something to explain.


We had some good times together!



Previous Blog Posts:

Remembering My Time Around Easton

“Oh Well, I Will Strike Her Out Anyway”

What Were Our Parents Thinking?

Call the Sheriff

Kilbourne Condom

I’m Still Paying For It

My First School Basketball Team

The History of Me- My Birthday

I spent my first 7-8 years growing up in the Easton School District and around their activities. There are numberous things I remember from that time that I will give some recollections about.

Grade School

EastonILEaston Grade School did not have kindergarten so I entered the first grade with Miss Corbin as my teacher. She was a disciplinarian and the principal of the school. You had to tow the line with her. My classroom was up the stairs and to the left. Everyday before school, if the weather was decent, we played bombardment on the concrete just in front of the school. It was 1st grade through 6th grade playing together. I don’t know how it started but everyday this 6th grade girl tried to get me out. I could always manage to catch her thrown ball. All I remember was she was a minister’s daughter. That would have been in the 58-59 school year.

The only time I remember EVER getting in trouble in school was in the 2nd grade. I had Jane Pottorf as my teacher and the room was up the stairs and to the right. This particular day we were practicing for our Christmas program at the high school on the stage. Our class was backstage and Randy Phelps and I were horsing around and I pushed him. He fell into the backdrop and it almost feel over. Miss Corbin marched over and asked what happened and I told her. She proceeded to give me two swats on my butt and that was the end of things. Boy, that could have been a real issue if I knocked the scenery over.

I made myself very aggravagted one day which was Halloween. I didn’t want anyone to know who I was in costume and kids wore them to school. This day I was able to get to school without many knowing it was me. Classmates kept asking who I was so Ben Walters started chasing me. I was the only one in that class that was faster than he was. He didn’t catch me and quickly announced, “that’s is Tom Knuppel because I can’t catch him.” I was irritated at myself for not thinking about that first.


This is not a big story but I can remember something that would not “fly” in today’s world. Riding the school bus after school was not a fun experience as we were the last ones to get off. We lived on a farm about 2.5 miles from Easton and about a mile from Knuppel’s station. so what we did was get off the bus at the corner of Rt. 10 and Lowers’ Road and walked home. Four of us did that. right down the side of Rt 10 to our house which was about a mile and a half from our house. We got home a good 20 minutes before the bus would have let us off. I was about 7 yrs old, Lyle was 12, John was 14 and Jane was probably 17 years old. We did that everyday. Sometimes we would get a ride home from Carol Kreiling who was drive home from her teaching job in Mason City. Try getting off the bus anywhere but your stop nowadays!

Easton Merchants Softball

My brother Bill played summer softball for the Easton Merchants. They played in Peoria once a week at the Proctor Center. I would try to find a way to the game as many times as possible. Once I was at Knuppel’s station (I had walked there) when I remembered they played that night. I went to the stop sign at the corner of Rt 10 and Rt 136 and waited for them to pull up to the stop. When the car came to the stop (with six large adults in it) Bill told me they didn’t have any room for me as the car was full but somebody said let him go, We’ll make room. I felt special. Some of the players I recollect are Ron Trimpe as pitcher, Zeke Pottorf was the catcher, Jim Trimpe at first, dont recall second base, Tub Pottorf at shortstop and Bill Trimpe at third base. I know my borther, Bill Knuppel played center field but the rest of the outfield escapes me. Bim Estes was on the team and also pitched and was, in my recollection, the most fun of the team (he hailed from Canton). Some of the tougher teams in this league were the She-Kat Club and Palmer House. In the area they had a little general store on the corner about a block away and…. here I was about 6-7-8 years old walking down there by myself getting a sno-cone. Life appeared simpler in this days and very little reason to be afraid.

Living on the Farm

I have several stories from the farm that I think I will leave for another time. Along with that will be a story or two about going to Easton High School basketball games in 1957 and a mention or two of the local restaurant called Kep’s. Also, Kenneth Kramer and Dr. Yero get a mention in the next part.



“Oh Well, I Will Strike Her Out Anyway”

What Were Our Parents Thinking?

Call the Sheriff

Kilbourne Condom

I’m Still Paying For It

My First School Basketball Team

The History of Me- My Birthday