I became interested in the Genealogy of the Whitman name about fifteen years ago. It all started with my obtaining the old Family Bible which had been passed to me, upon the death of my father, James Leslie Whitman. The Bible belonged to my father's paternal grandparents, Philip and Sophia Hawbolt Whitman. It is a three-volume Bible, bound in two very large books, and published in the early 1800's. There is a section in the Bible used for recording marriages, births, deaths, etc. Someone had carefully recorded some of these events of the Whitman family, dating back to the mid 1800's, with the last notation being my father's birth on December 29, 1898.

A few months ago it occurred to me there was upcoming, a hundredth year anniversary of my father's birth. It was also becoming clear that my daughters Leslie and Jennifer would probably be the last generation in a line going back 150 years, to have the Whitman surname. With these things in mind, I thought the time was right to start my research in earnest and to develop a Whitman Family History to share with my extended family and, hopefully some day the descendants of my daughters. I chose a loose-leaf binder for this document so that new pages can be added, and the charts can be removed and assembled for viewing.

To my amazement, I was able to trace the Whitman (also spelled Witteman and Wittman) family back to 1733 Germany. In fact, I have traced almost every generation's paternal and maternal ancestors back to Europe, some as early as 1600, and to the time when their families immigrated. In doing so, I have amassed the Genealogy record of nearly a hundred of my ancestors and nearly 1,500 descendants of the first Whitman in our family to arrive in North America. The use of specialized computer software and the vast resources of the Internet have made this possible. Still, the record is far from being complete.

I have learned that Genealogy can be an activity that is addictive, rewarding and is never finished. I have talked to my wife Jo Ann, my sister and brothers, and corresponded through the Internet with several people, all of whom have been very generous with their information, advice, and support. To all of them, I say "thank you".

This then is a very brief History of the Whitman Family.

Robert Leslie Whitman

-December 1998

Proceed to "Whitman History" by Robert Whitman