STARKWEATHER-L ArchivesArchiver > STARKWEATHER > 1999-11 > 0941652186
Subject: Robert Starkweather - his parents and place of origin?
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999 13:03:06 -0500
I have been trying to solve a very old family puzzle and mystery for a
long time. Our surname is Starkweather.
Although our family history is very well documented and researched in
America, and all of the Starkweather family members can supposedly trace
our roots all the way back to Roxbury (Boston) in 1640, the Starkweather
family members in America know very little about the origins of Robert
Starkweather, the supposed original US Starkweather from whom we are
supposedly all descended.
What we do know (or think - or thought we knew) is the following.
Robert Starkweather, the first US Starkweather, settled in Roxbury, MA,
in 1640. He was born in approximately 1618 or 1620, supposedly in
either Wales or Scotland, and to have come to America from (or born on)
the isle of man. This is according to our family geneaology book,
"Robert Starkweather and his Descendants" by C L Starkweather, 1904.
I have reason to believe due to recent research that Robert Starkweather
is from Gloucestershire. Also, I recently had an e-mail conversation
with Mr. Frances Coakley, of the University of Surrey - Guilford, and
he said - "None of the names you mention are Manx - if he was Manx born
but of English descent then it is almost certain that he would in some
way be connected with the Earls of Derby - their estates were mostly
around Liverpool but they did have a few outlying estates." So now I am
wondering if it is possible that the Starkweathers were originally from
Derbyshire or Gloucester, and then moved to the Isle of Man, to an
estate had by the Earl(s) of Derbyshire, or just came from Gloucester
through one of the English or Welch ports of the day.
The first American information we have of Robert Starkweather is that he
owned land in Roxbury MA, and also in Boston, MA (USA) in an area which
was known as "Cornhill". He married Jennet Roberts, daughter of John
and Elizabeth Roberts, of Roxbury, in 1642. John Roberts came to
America in 1636 with his wife, 7 or 9 children (the book is
contradictory), and his over 90 year old mother. The Roberts family
supposedly came from Wales, although I have not researched this
extensively yet. The old mother Roberts lived to 103 years of age, and
was hence born in Wales in 1543. To my knowledge, no one has been able
to trace who Robert Starkweathers parents were, or anything about his
family in the British Isles (or Scotland, or Wales, or the Isle of Man).
The only surname of Starkweather that I could locate on UK websites, was
on the Gloucestershire Surname website. So the only hard evidence
that I have from Robert so far is from the internet - from the English
County surname list - Starkweather is listed for Gloucestershire. I
currently have a snail mail inquiry to people in Gloucester who are
apparently researching the Starkweather surname, but have not heard back
from them yet. I think they do not have acess to the internet, so I
mailed them a letter. I thought that maybe since Gloucester is on the
border of Wales, and that the Starkweather Surname is on their list,
this would be a possibility. I have found no trace of Starkweather on
Welsh Surnames yet.
There is a slight possiblity that Robert Starkweather changed his name
when he came to America, as our family genealogy book suggests.
I have which may be a clue, if Robert did change his name upon coming to
America. This may be a dead end. Court records of Massachusetts
indicate the possibility that a Robert Starke and Robert Starkweather
were one and the same person. I was wondering if this could be true,
and if our family name is actually Starke, or a variation of the
spelling Starky, Starkey, or Starkie (surnames I have seen of UK
families), or something like that.
There is also a line on that first page that indicates that John
Starkweather is called John Stark. John was Roberts son (if this
refers to the same person).
I was also wondering if there was a possibility that the names of
Starey, Starie, or Stary could possibly be our family name. I think
this may be a remote possibility, because these are pre 1750 English
names, I believe sourced from Shropshire, just outside of Wales. This
is a very wild guess however. I have also even been made aware of one
variation of the name - Starkneather - from a person in America.
I suppose it could also be possible that Robert came over with his
parents who had a different name, and they changed it. Or it is
possible that Starkweather is not even an English name? Maybe they
migrated from the Europe Mainland to England and lived there for not
long, and then came to America? I remember family talk of speculation
that Starkweather or Stark were of German Origin? These are also wild
guesses, though. I believe that it could be possible that Robert
changed his name, because the name is fairly unique, and I believe that
all of us US Starkweathers can trace our roots back to Robert of
I have tried to trace Robert Startkweathers name by researching ship
passenger lists of English ships arriving in America. These lists I
researched were posted on the internet. I have found no Starkweather
name on any of the lists, but that does not necessarily mean that such a
list does not exist in the UK somewhere, possibly in some library.
There are six ships that I am curious about however. All these ships
arrived between 1639 and 1640 in Boston (New England). They are the
Desire, the Neptune, the William and George, The Confidence, the Bevis
and the Fellowship. I think one of these ships could be a possibility,
because although these particular passenger lists were not available on
the internet, the ship manifests were, and many of these ships carried
tools for making barrels and staves, which Robert did when he first
arrived in America - contracted in production of barrel making. These
ships also all arrived at about the time that Robert is believed to have
come to America. I did not do a thorough search for the other above
name variations however. I was also wondering if any ships departed to
America from other areas - the above ships departed from London,
Bristol, etc. Possibly Robert took a direct ship from Wales or Scotland
or the Isle of Man?
If anyone has any ideas, or has any clues or information as to the
origins of Robert Starkweather, or any information as to who his parents
were, or his siblings, where he was born, where his family came from,
what his profession was, his family history, I would appreciate it
I wish you good health and happiness, and thank you for your time, if
you got this far in reading this!
Daniel B. Starkweather-Sabo