Roberta Whitnah Family Notes

The following notes on the Whitnah family were compiled by Roberta Whitnah, daughter of Robert V. and Elizabeth Whitnah.

Johannes Whitenaught was born in Bommel, Holland-- came to New Jersey in 1736(1). Married a Van Meter, of the family who came to this country in 1663(2).

Henry Whitenaught fought in the Revolution in New Jersey.

John G. Whitenah, born Sept 20, 1787, died November 23, 1854.
Married Mary Ann Carroll Sept. 18, 1823.
Mary Ann Carrell, born Feb. 24, 1804, died Oct. 28, 1856.
(These are the ones in our large pictures)

Their children:

Margaret Anne Whitenah, born Oct. 15, 1824
Married Vincent Van Metre March 6. (this must be the Aunt Annie that Robert V. often spoke of)
John Davis Whitenah, born Jan 31, 1827--died Feb. 15, 1829
Eli Carrell Whitenah, born April 13, 1830 in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Died May 28, 1902.
Married Sophia Evans on Dec. 1, 1854, born Dec. 14, 1828 of a Quaker family probably near Lima Ohio. Died Feb. 1864.
Married Elizabeth Martin in August 1865 of Weston Ohio. Died 1912.
John Summerfield, born Feb. 1832. Death date can be found in Cuba cemetary as John Whitney. John Summerfield Whitnah married Amelia M. Morgan Oct. 18, 1860. (She was the Aunt Amelia I knew as a child) John was later known as Whitney because his discharge papers from the Civil war had that name.)
(Grandpa [Eli Carroll] told our parents that there were two Irish women, one Anne Littlen, and the other Mary Ann Carrell-- so Henry must have married Ann(3). Mother always said Grandpa was a regular Irishman.)
Sarah Campbell born June 14, 1834, died April 20, 1873. Her marriage name is written Whitnah, the first time this spelling had been used(4).
She married Throderick R. Smith Sept. 6, 1854
Married Francis Cuisen Dec. 25, 1866.
Eliza Russell Whitenah born Dec. 22, 1836, died Oct. 7, 1856.
Mary V. Whitenah born May 30, 1840, died Oct 23, 1858
David Henry Collins Whitenah, born May 11, 1843, died about 1820 [1920] (can be checked in graveyard. He was Uncle Dave who lived south of Cuba.)
Married Elizabeth Pollock Feb. 4, 1869--no children.
Children of Eli Carrel Whitnah by Sophia Evans:
Adah, born Jan. 24, 1850
Carrie born Nov. 30, 1860
Charley born July 7, 1862
Robert, born July 23, 1863 near Toledo, Ohio. Died August 20, 1941.
by Elizabeth Martin:
R. later know as A.R. born July 26, 1866, died 1952.
married Alice Taylor who died at 95 1/2 in 1968.
Their children, Raymont T., Verne, Arna, and Erwin.
Adah Whitnah married James Slonecker: their children:
Chester. His children-Pauline and Raymond
Mae married Henry Figard-their children- Amy and Edith.

Carrie Whitnah married Emory Pendall.
Their children, Ethel, Charley, Dean, Belle, Earle, and Don.

Charley Whitnah married May Richmond from Vermont.
Their children- Carrell, Mark, Scott, Evalyn (deceased).

Robert V. Whitnah married Elizabeth DeBolt Dec. 10, 1890
Their children--Leon Arthur (deceased) Nellie Roberta, Marcella Elizabeth.
Leon Arthur born March 1893 in Waco, Neb., Nellie Roberta born Dec. 5, 1899 in Surprise Nebr., Marcella Elizabeth, born Jan. 21, 1907 in Cuba, Ill.

[... Additional informaton on living persons omitted ...]

Children of Sarah Campbell Whitnah
by Throderick Smith, Ben Smith--no children.
by Francis Cruisen--Amy Cuisen--married Ross Smith:
Their children--Vivian, Frances Korta, Lyle, Margaret, and Dean.

The following additional information comes from a letter written by Roberta a nephew:

My deductions: Wm. Burns and John G. were sons of Henry Whitnaugh. Bill [a neighbor] found Henry Whitenaugh listed in the 1810 census of Berkley Co. Va. Then he also found the marriage of John G. to Mary Anne Carrell in a church record. Since tradition says that Henry's wife was Anne Littlen (spelling uncertain)-- that is what Grandfather Whitnah told my folks. However, since Grandpa was only interested in the father of John G., it might well be that a Burns was the mother(5) of Wm. Burns and Joseph C(6). I remember hearing "Uncle Joe"(7) call Grandpa his cousin. I also found in Mother's writing that Johannes W. was born in 1696, came to this country in 1736 and married a Van Meter.


Some more from my knowledge. Mrs. Campbell had a son she named Whitnah Campbell. He was in my class when I taught in the naval unit. Chester is the one Leon knew in Canton, and my recollection is that he was the son of the Jack Whitnah, son of A.J. I remember tales about him--that he took his favorite grand daughter on a trip, and embarrased her by removing his shoes and socks and paddling his feet in water he poured on the floor. Alice (called Allie) was of this line too, and married Dad's half brother, R. His children then have a double line. Jack was very well to do--some connection with a brewery in Peoria as well as a farm. He was Mrs. Taylor's brother. I knew her and her daughters Annie and Evelyne, and I think I met him when I was a little girl.


  1. The date 1736 of Johannes arriving in America is quite common in both the Whitnah and Whitenack family traditions. In fact, the only other date mentioned is 1663--the date the VanMeters came to America.
  2. Roberta is the only family member to mention that Johannes married a Van Meter. She obtained this information from notes compiled by her mother. If true, this could explain why Henry left New Jersey and went to Virginia (where the VanMeter's lived). However, this statement by Roberta could be incorrect. The Whitnahs are related to the VanMeter's by marriage. Henry Whitenah married Margaret Burns. But it was her father who married a Van Meter (Joanna VanMeter). The arrival of the Van Meter family in America has been widely documented as 1663.
  3. This statement is incorrect. Henry married Margaret Burns (from Scotland). Ann Littlen was the wife of John Carroll, Mary Ann Carroll's father.
  4. This statement is also incorrect. The name Whitnah appears in some early Virginia tax records, although the name was written by the tax collector and not the family. Additionally, John G.'s name appears in some documents as Whitnah as early as 1846. Henry's son Joseph used Whitnah beginning in 1832 and after.
  5. Margaret Burns was the only known wife of Henry Whitenah. Her name appears on a deed in 1789. Subsequent documents identify her as the daughter of William Burns.
  6. Roberta likely means Joseph Henry, brother of William Burns and John G.
  7. This "Uncle Joe" is likely Joseph C. Whitnah, son of Andrew Jackson Whitnah, and grandson of William Burns Whitnah. This Joseph C. was a cousin to Eli Carroll Whitnah and living in Illinois. Joseph Henry had a grandson named Joseph C. but he died before Roberta was born.