25 March 2015

Christopher Whitteberry: Patriot & Pioneer

Famous painting of the Battle of Brandywine Creek
I don't know that I can claim any larger number of Revolutionary War ancestors than the next guy, I just happen to be interested in family history and it seems that the stories bubble-up when I least suspect them.  Such was the case when I was trying to make some connection for a branch of the family little is known about.  My ancestor, George Laramore, whom I've written about before, was the only child born to Thomas and Mary Laramore after their marriage in Muskingum County, Ohio.  The history we had on Mary indicated her name was Whittlebury and her husband died before George had turned a year old.  But it wasn't Whittlebury, as I learned from spending probably too much time searching, it was Whitteberry.  And after Thomas' death, Mary brought her infant son to Indiana.

By the time Indiana was being settled in large numbers, the age of Revolutionaries was approaching eighty years old which is why the Hoosier state became home, and the final resting place, to very few Patriots engaged in fighting the British.  But in following Mary and her son, George, I found that she moved on to Indiana to live with her aging parents who came in about 1829 to Tippecanoe County.  Her father, Christopher, and mother, Elizabeth Packer Whitteberry had made a homestead in their 70s.  Recently I found their humble grave sites in rural southeastern Tippecanoe County.  And I learned that Christopher Whitteberry, at the age of 17, fought in the Revolution.

Patriot Christopher Whitteberry's gravestone in Tippecanoe County, IN
Christopher was born October 11, 1760, in either Pennsylvania or Virginia, and in his youth made shoes for the Colonial Army.  In 1777, Christopher participated in the Battle of Brandywine Creek which was one of the culminating battles of the Revolution in which both sides suffered tremendous losses and the Colonial Army, under George Washington, was held at bay away from the fledgling nation's capital at Philadelphia.  After the war, Christopher Whitteberry married Elizabeth Packer and moved to Muskingum County, Ohio.  The parents, with their younger children, continued westward to Indiana on horseback and purchased 80 acres.  Mary was born in 1803, according to an entry in a family Bible.  Elizabeth died in 1835 and Christopher, in 1843.  They were buried on a corner of their farmstead in what later became known as the McDole Cemetery, named for the family that included a granddaughter of Christopher which later farmed the land.  Christopher Whittebury, as far as I know, is my only Revolutionary War ancestor buried in Hoosier soil.

2 comments:

Martha said...

Christopher Whitteberry is my 5th great-grandfather on my mother's side, his Daughter Elcy is my 4th great-grandmother. I haven't been able to find much/any more information on him than what you have so I don't have much to add to your story. I only wanted to say hello cousin. If I find any additional information I'm happy to share.
Laura

hoosier reborn said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks for reaching out. I had gone down the wrong path for years because of the confusion on the name that has appeared in county histories, so you can imagine I was pretty happy to figure out the wrong spelling and get at least a little further along. Given that the name is uncommon, I would think that we should be able to make another connection further back-or surely someone has!