Joshua Cecil Whitaker was born in 1841 at Bratton, Wiltshire, England the second son of Joshua Whitaker and Jane Saffery. His father was a prominent local farmer, having some 950 acres and employing 36 men. His mother was the daughter of Baptist minister John Saffrey of Salisbury, Wiltshire and his hymn writing wife Maria Grace Andrews.
Station Hill Baptist Church at Chippenham in his home county of Wiltshire was to be his first ministry. In November 1864 he succeeded the Rev J.J. Joplin had been called to work in Nova Scotia. A letter from the Church at Bratton, signed by the Rev Anderson and Robert Reeves, Deacon, was received by the Church wishing the Rev Joshua Cecil Whitaker and the Church much blessing. Joshua relinquished the Pastorate on 30 January 1867.
At Chippenham in 1870, Joshua married Margaret Anne Brinkworth the daughter of James H. and Sarah Brinkworth. Joshua’s elder brother, John had married married Margaret’s elder sister Mary at Chippenham in 1867. It should also be noted that a Mr Edwin Brinkworth of Chippenham, was one of the Officers at Station Hill at the time of Joshua’s Ministry.
The freshly married couple set up home at 23 Church Road, Coseley, Sedgley, Staffordshire where Joshua was the Baptist Minster at Zion Church, Princes End. It was here that their two sons were born, Alfred Paul Whitaker (1872) and James Edgar Whitaker (1878) . Following the birth of James the family made the short move to 1 Tibbington Road, Tipton, Staffordshire and the birth of three daughters, Margaret Jane Whitaker (1881), Agnes Lilian Whitaker(1883) and Evelyn Mary Whitaker (1888). The family can be found at Tibbington Road in both the 1881 and 1891 census.
By the time of the 1901 census the family have move to the Birmingham suburb of Aston where the family can be found at 101 Anderton Road. Joshua however is not at home on census night, but visiting members of his Sedgley congregration at Coleshill. Alfred has also left home and appears to have found employment as a grammar school teacher at Horsham, Sussex.
I currently have no information on what became of this family after the 1901 census and would be grateful for any updates.