"One who came from Whitacre (white field) in Warwickshire; dweller at the white field."
History researchers have examined reproductions of such ancient manuscripts as the Domesday Book (1086), the Ragman Rolls (1291-1296), the Curia Regis Rolls, the Pipe Rolls, the Hearth Rolls, parish registers, baptismals, and tax records. They found the first record of the name "Whitacre" in Warwickshire where they had been seated at Wheatacre from ancient times before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066.
Throughout the centuries the name "Whitacre" has occured in many records, manuscripts and documents, but not always with that exact spelling. From time to time the surname was spelt Whittaker, Whittakers, or Whitaker, and these varions in spelling frequently occurred even between father and son. Scribes and church officials frequently spelt the names phonetically. As a result the same person would be recorded differently on birth, baptismal, marriage and death certificates.
Members of the family name "Whitacre" sailed aboard the huge armada of three masted sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships such as the Hector, the Dove, and the Rambler were pestilence ridden, sometimes 30% to 40% of the passenger list never reaching their destination.
Amongst the first settlers in North America, which could be considered a kinsman of the surname "Whitacre", or a variable spelling of that family name was Ann Whitacre settling in Virginia in 1636; followed by John, Anne, and Robert Whitacre in 1700. Elizabeth Whitakers settled in Virginia in 1623; George Whittaker settled in Virginia in 1635; George Whitaker settled in Virginia in 1638; David Whitaker landed in America in 1766; George, Henry, James, John, Josiah, Samuel and William Whittaker, all settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1817-1864.
Contemporary notables of this "Whitacre" surname include many distinguished contributors such as: Benjamin Whitaker, Author; Charles Whitaker, Newcastle Dept. of Health; Sir James Whitaker; Sir Meredith Whittaker; John Whittaker, Vice Chancellor Sheffield University.