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WIDLAKE from England to Texas

Updated June 24, 2008

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The Family Name Widlake came from the isle of Britain, origanating from the Scottish Surname of "WeoLock" (Mind the Spelling). The Surname Widlake could have been put together from Wide-Lake, I have even heard Widow-Of-The-Lake, but "A Wide Lake" Seems to be the safe bet. The Herald spoke of the name Widlake coming from Cornwall England, where there was a Lord Widlake of the land of Widelake... I have not been able to find this on any map of Cornwall. But it's a good story to sell a coat of arms...
John Edwin Widlake and was born in 1853 in England, came to America with his Sister Jennie Lee Widlake, who desided to stay in Boston. John Widlake, came to north Central Texas by Train, why he chose this part of the country, we will never know, I tried putting myself in his shoes. I having been to England this last year finally understood. In England there was no open range. Just think about it, you grow up around buildings, trees, and cold weather. John Must of liked the Flat Wide open Range, where he could see the Sun Rise and Set, or... He ran out of funds and jumped... But He landed on his feet and started his Life in America as a Texan. He had a Son Named Thomas Lazarus Widlake, and he had a Son named Arthur Parrish Widlake also went by (A.P.) or (Paddy), and he had a Son named Ken Widlake and he had a Son named Drake Widlake. John was my Great Great Grandfather. I hope someone could help me fill some holes... Of course there is more history about the Widlakes Which includes WWII, Family AutoParts store, Music, Television News and Drake's current job with Blue Man Group in New York City.

New information has been introduced to me by Theresa Wood & William Hartley, to Whom I thank very much.
John Edwin Widlake when settling in Texas stayed with another British Family the "Vastine's"... His Sister Jennie who stayed around the Boston Area, her Birthday has been recovered, which was Sometime in March 1845 Bristol, Gloucester, England.
Her Death was also discovered October 1922.
It seems from looking at birth records my Family Migrated from Gloucester, Devon to Coventry, Warwickshire between the years 1840-1855. An older brother of John's was also located in Coventry, his name was Thomas Widlake, he was also born in Glocester. he had a wife named Eliza & she was also born in Coventry.

UPDATE: (August 2004) My Father was going through a room in his house and came across this letter below.
"John Edwin Widlake came to America in 1874 from the port in Bristol England. He came with his Sister Jenny to see another sister in Boston named Annie. Annie had married a wealthy man named Mr. Biddle. John E. & Jenny didn't stay long in Boston because Biddle didn't like them. It was said that Biddle would come home from work and went straight upstairs & wouldn't acknowledge them at all. Before leaving Boston John E. taught himself to be a brick mason. He took old used brick & learned how to lay them. He tried to get a job, but couldn't because he couldn't lay a corner. He went back & learned how to lay a corner & got a job, stayed in Boston a while, earned some money, & got enough to buy a train ticket. So John & Jennie got on a train to Texas, they stopped in Belcherville, TX. John saw people whittleing wood. he said: "If people can whittle to make a living, this is where we get off." Somehow John ended up in Sunset, TX as a merchant, mathmetician, casket maker, tinner (one who makes tea pots, bath tubs, ect... from tin). In Sunset, John met Hettie Dobkins & they married in 1890. John became a Topper (nipper). He became ill from TB, went to Colorado & Died. His body lays to rest in Bowie, TX. He was a big gusty man, 6ft. 2in. & defied any man to choke him.

Family Trees (viewing trees requires 4.0 or later browser)
Family Photos
  • 1 of 3 Widlake Coat of Arms Found (83 KB)
    This is a Coat of Arms found for Widlake. Red: Warrior or martyr; Military strength and magnanimity. The Lions: Bravery, strength, ferocity, and valour. the Crown: lordship. The family Mottoe is "The Strong Arm of God."
  • Five Widlake Generations (78 KB)
    Photo of 5 Widlake Men 1874-2004... 130 Years In America.
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