I am not sure whether I am barking up the wrong family tree but I am wondering about a possible connection with the John Whitear to whom you have referred. My great-grandmother's name was Margaret Whitear, who married my great grandfather, Egerton Philbrick, in 1899. On the marriage record, Margaret's father is noted as Jack Whitear (deceased). My family knows nothing of Margaret - my grandfather could/did not shed any light during his life. I have wondered whether Margaret may, in fact, have been Mary Ann Whitear. Her parents were John (I think born 1842) and Elizabeth (Payne), who were married in 1866 in or around Williton.