Guess I will be revising this before long, though I have mostly got it right. Distant cousin Bob Starling has just sent me the result of his extensive researches on CD-ROM and hard copy. He has really gone back:
The earliest Whitfields that can be identified commence with the following:
Born 1695 in Stangmore County Tyrone
Married 4 March 1723 in Ballyhagen/Grange County Tyrone
Born 16 January 1701 in Mullaletry County Armagh
And we have a cool family crest too.
There are hundreds of pics. The one below is William Joseph John Whitfield, my great-grandfather (1836-1925) the grandson of the convict Jacob. Fortunately there is no pic of me.
Fascinating stuff. And here’s a coincidence for you: “William (the son of the convict and father of the above) and Caroline lived in Elizabeth Street Strawberry Hills (now Surry Hills) early in their marriage, and their first child William Joseph John Whitfield was baptized in the Parish of St James County of Cumberland on 19 September 1836.” Pretty well exactly where I live today!