Merging, but issues with father prevent merge

+5 votes

I am trying to merge Rice W Whiteaker (Whiteaker-49) and Rice Whitaker (Whitaker-1290) . They are the same person, but I can't merge them because of the issue with Giles Whiteacre (Whiteacre-8) and Giles Whiteaker (Whiteaker-50). Which is a worms nest of various names and evidently two men with the same name and similar vital stats, etc. Whiteacre or Whitacre seems to be the best LNAB but this is hard to confirm. Chris Hamilton gave the permission to merge, and then I got default permission, but am stuck again.

WikiTree profile: Rice Whitaker
in Genealogy Help by Katrina Whitaker G2G6 Mach 4 (41.5k points)
It looks like it's time for you to roll up your sleeves and do some serious research!

There are three generations of this family with multiple conflicting profiles, and nearly all of these profiles seem to be based (mostly or entirely) on unsourced family trees found somewhere on the Internet. It's likely that records for multiple people with similar names have been schmushed together into one or more of these profiles. The confusion and conflicts aren't going to be resolved until there are solid sources for the various bits of information about these people.

The profile cites some credible-looking sources for Rice Whitaker, but it's not clear to me which bits of information come from which source. Focus only on the primary sources and other highly reliable sources, and use the biography text and inline citations (i.e. footnotes) to show which bits of information about him come from each source. At this point, I can't see what makes people think that Giles was his father...

And do the same for Giles and Giles' wife and father (James)...

After assembling the bits of information that come from primary sources, you are likely to have a much clearer picture of the family, which will provide a good basis for either (or both) merging profiles or distinguishing different people with similar names and life details.
The biggest problem is that there doesn't seem to be much in the way of records. Weldon Whitaker is the researcher that discovered the will of Giles Whitacre that named Rice Whitaker as the executor. Doesn't name Rice's relation. So Weldon said that Rice would logically have been the son of Giles to have been named the executor. I have always pushed for more proof, but everyone wants to follow Weldon's research (which is excellent and supported with original documents, etc) and claim Giles as Rice's father and go from there. The only thing I know is that our Whitaker line does NOT descend from Jabez Whitaker. I'll have to start digging my old research out to prove what I know, and then get Weldon's book and proceed from there.
That will sounds like an excellent source, but it's not mentioned in any of the profiles for Giles or Rice. Sources like that need to be cited, described (or quoted) and discussed in the profiles.
I'm going to look for that will. It also appears my transcription of the Duley letter has been removed by someone. I'll see if I can track it through the changes.

Also, I went back to the old Ancestry board that I could access for free. I found this conversation between Weldon and me and my mother:

Dear Weldon:

Is there documentation somewhere that Giles Whiteaker is the father of Rice?

Thank you,

Fern Whitaker


Is there documentation of any kind that says he is not?

REPLY: (my mom)

Three guesses gives you a 50% chance of being right.

I have been trying to find Rice's father for over 30 years. I was seriously hoping you had found something that could indicate Giles was correct.


I feel that I have enough information to indicate that Giles is correct.

REPLY (next email from Weldon, no one replied to the above comment)

Go to item #2411 on the Whitaker forum on GenForum. Make your own conclusions.

(End conversation)

So, I started looking for that post on GenForum, found it and now I'm going to see if I can find the information it references or if it is behind a pay wall.
Time to abandon the notion that a good genealogist presents a pedigree as Authoritative Revealed Truth. Good genealogists know better! Use the WikiTree profile text to provide a nuanced discussion of the uncertainties (e.g., no birth records), the available evidence and what it could mean, how the evidence been interpreted by various authors (if relevant), any theories that are contradicted by other evidence, etc.

If I understand what you are saying, the evidence is that the executor for the will of Giles Whiteaker was Rice Whiteaker. To this suggests that they were related, and Rice could be a son, but that's not definite. What else does the will say?

1 Answer

+4 votes

New fun Katrina. 

Took a look at he Find A Grave notation on Whitaker-1290,  The memorial says it is for Rice Witaker, b. 1798  d. 1846.  If you look at the grave stone the inscription is: Rice W. Whiteacher  CO. D. 32 MO INF. The 32nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry appears to be have served in the Civil War.

So I am unsure where they got the data for this memorial as I am sure the Union Army would not accept zombies.

Got this off Ancestry Com

Name: Rice W. Whiteaker
Side: Union
Regiment State/Origin: Missouri
Regiment: 32nd Regiment, Missouri Infantry
Company: D
Rank In: Corporal
Rank Out: Sergeant

Also found this for Rice W Whiteaker  Verifies above Ancestry info,

So that Find A Grave is apparently incorrect for birth and death data. Also it states the burial place is unknown.  I just love Find A Grave data. LOL 

A little more digging shows this Rice W Whiteaker as married to a Nancy Smith June 1st in Dent Missouri and an 1890 Veterans schedule had him living in Dent Co. Missouri as well.  Lots more stuff in Ancestry too.  Appears to have been born in Tennessee in the 1830's.

Hope this helps a little.



by LJ Russell G2G6 Pilot (222k points)
Little more digging.  Might want to take a look at this Find A Grave which really represents the Rice Whiteaker the other does so badly.

It appears from this that there were two different men named Rice W. Whiteaker. The man that Katrina is focused on is recorded with military service in the War of 1812, so he's not the same man who served in the Civil War and was living in Missouri in 1890.
Sorry if I didn't make myself clear.  Was not trying to say the Rice Whiteaker data I supplied was her Rice Whitaker/Whiteaker/Whatever., I was trying to disprove the noted memorial in Whitaker-1290 and that it should not be used as a source.

However, families do have tendency to name children for parents, uncles, aunts, etc.  A backward search on the data I supplied my be of help.

Sorry for any confusion.

A little more digging.  Could this be your Rice W. Whiteaker Katrina?

Different birth place, but death place is spot on. Though date of death differ by a few days.  And the bio states his wife was Nancy Hunter Whitaker. And except for Joseph and 2 instances of Matthew, children are iffy.  Possibly contact the Memorial Manager as to where they got their data.

Thank you for the correct FAG link!

The Rice Whitaker I am currently researching did marry Nancy Hunter. And had sons Joseph and Matthew. And Joseph named one of his sons Rice. This Rice (Rice #2) is the Union Soldier noted on the incorrect FAG reference. And Rice #2 had a son he named Joseph, and a son Rice Jr. There are also a multitude of James floating around. So you see why it stuck out to my mother as a red flag that not a single child or nephew of Rice #1 was named Giles. Or middle name of Giles. There are also at least 3 men named Pleasant.
Sounds like my Cypher tree.  Seems like everybody had a James, Matthias, Philip, John, Elizabeth, Kaziah, ad infinatum.  LOL  And of course they all lived in the same county for 100 years and tried to name their kids the same name within a few years of each other.

I only delve into that part of the family when I want to beat myself up.  LOL

All the best Katrina,     LJ

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