Section 8 – The Whitfield Family Revisited

Written by Sandy Kinter, from Waterford Genealogical Society E-Newsletter Volume 18 Number 5

The eastern boundary of Section 8 is mostly followed by Airport Road until the road has to go around the western point of Huntoon Lake. Airport Road then makes one of those quirky dog leg maneuvers popular in the lakes area, but totally confusing for nonresidents, and, with a little jaunt to the east, continues north to Waterford Village. Hatchery Road makes up the southeastern corner of the section and now makes its way along the southern shore of Williams Lake to connect with Williams Lake Road.

In 1872 much of Section 8 is owned by the Whitfield family, Waterman P. Grow, and Emily Huntoon. Waterman P. Grow resided in Waterford Village and he is reported with other village residents.The Huntoon family has a large presence in Sections 5 and 8. All of the family is reported on in Section 8 with a two-part series.

Today the farmlands of Section 8 are covered by homes with some small businesses along Williams Lake and Airport Roads

The Whitfield Family Revisited

William Whitfield and his wife, Sarah Wigg, resided in Section 17, Waterford Township and they were included in the family reports of that section. Their son, Thomas Wigg Whitfield, resided in Section 8, the next section north of Section 17. Research into Thomas W. Whitfield has revealed new information about the Whitfield family and their close ties to the Windiate family. The Windiate family will be reported on in a future biography.

The first Whitfield family member to arrive in Oakland County, Michigan, was James Whitfield, father of William Whitfield. (1)(2) James Whitfield settled in Section 6, Bloomfield Township, where he purchased land on 3 July 1835. (3) He appears in the 1840 census, page 85, Bloomfield Township, Oakland County. James Whitfield married Jane Windiate, 12 May 1806, Monk Sherborne, Hampshire, England. (4) The Whitfield’s will reside in Bloomfield Township where James died 12 February 1848. (5) Jane Whitfield died 22 March 1863. (5) Both are buried in the Drayton Plains Cemetery, Waterford Township. (5) Online family trees report that Jane is the daughter of William Windiate and Jane Winter. This is the first of multiple connections to William and
Jane (Winter) Windiate.

William Whitfield was born on 8 June 1810, in Hampshire, England. (5) He married Sarah Wigg, 2 October 1834, in Monk Sherborne, Hampshire, England. (4) An Oakland County history (6) and William’s obituary, (7) both say that William Whitfield and family arrived in Waterford Township in 1835. But the passenger list for the ship Caroline, tells a different story. (9) The list is headed by Richard Windiate, followed by a large group of Windiate family members. This is followed further down by William and Sarah Whitfield, with daughter Ellen recorded on the next page. The Caroline arrived in New York City on 31 May 1836. Richard Windiate is William’s uncle, brother of his mother, Jane Windate. He too will settle in Waterford Township. The Whitfield family must have wasted no time in traveling to Michigan. The first deed for William Whitfield is dated 21 June 1836 and he is purchasing the property located in Section 17. (8) William Whitfield died in Waterford Township on 27 November 1888. (7)(10) He is buried in the Drayton Plains Cemetery, Waterford Township. (5)

Sarah Wigg was born 25 August 1805 in Hannington, Hampshire, England, the daughter of Thomas Wigg and Deborah Downs. (4)(5)(11) She was baptized on 6 October 1805 in Hannington, Hampshire. (11) Marriage records show that Thomas Wigg married Deborah Downs, 11 July 1801, in Wooton, Saint Lawrence, Hampshire, England. (4) Sarah (Wigg) Whitfield died 14 December 1891, in Waterford Township. (5)(10) She and William share a zinc metal grave marker in the Drayton Plains Cemetery, Waterford Township. (5)

The family of Thomas W. Whitfield is found in the 1870 census on page 596: Thos W. Whitfield, age 31, farmer, born in Michigan; wife Sarah J., age 28, born in Michigan; children, Walter W., age 2 and Harry O., age 6/12, born in December, both sons born in Michigan. Also with the family is Matilda Milmay, age 15, domestic servant, born in Michigan. For some unknown reason the census taker has recorded Thomas’ wife as Sarah J. when her name is actually Cornelia J. The 1872 plat map shows that Thomas’ farm was on both sides of Williams Lake Road with Maceday Lake the western border and Williams Lake on the south. Thomas acquired the property from his father, William, with a deed dated 30 April 1859. (14) The Whitfield home is still standing on the western side of Williams Lake Road, painted dark blue with pale yellow trim.

Thomas Wigg Whitfield, the son of William and Sarah (Wigg) Whitfield, was born 25 November 1837, in Waterford Township. (12) He married a cousin, Cornelia Jane Windiate, 23 November 1865, in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan. (13) Thomas died 31 May 1919, in Highland Park, Wayne County, Michigan. (12) e is buried with his wife in the Drayton Plains Cemetery, Waterford Township. (5)

Cornelia Jane Windiate was born 23 July 1841, in Michigan. (15) She was the daughter of Henry Hobbs Windiate and Hannah Windiate. (15) Online family trees report that both of Cornelia’s parents were greatgrandchildren of William Windiate and Jane Winter. Cornelia died 23 February 1911, in Waterford Township. (15) She is buried in the Drayton Plains Cemetery. (5)



  1. Biographical Record, Oakland County, Michigan, Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, IL,
    1903, page 91, Hathitrust Digital Library,
  2. Probate Records, Oakland County, Michigan, Volume 10, 1845-1849, FHL #0973904,
    pages 381-387, Images 439-441, James Whitfield Estate #516, FamilySearch,
  3. Deed Records, Oakland County, Michigan, Volume 9, 1835, page 383, Image 203,
    FHL #0975564, FamilySearch,
  4. FamilySearch Historical Records, England, Marriages, 1538-1973, FamilySearch,
  5. Drayton Plains Cemetery, Waterford Township, Oakland County, Michigan,
    Find A Grave,
  6. History of Oakland County, Michigan, L.H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia, 1877, page 308,
    Hathitrust Digital Library,
  7. Obituary, William Whitfield, Pontiac Gazette, Pontiac, Michigan, Friday, 30 November 1888,
    page 1, Michigan Digital Newspapers, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University,
  8. Deed Records, Oakland County, Michigan, Volume 12, 1836, pages 87-88, Images 49-50,
    FHL #0975565, FamilySearch,
  9. New York, Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Gardens and Ellis Island),
    1820-1857; Ship Caroline, 31 May 1836, Ancestry,
  10. Records of Deaths, Oakland County, Michigan, Volume 2, 1887-1898, FHL #0973983,
    William Whitfield, page 20, Image 408, Sarah Whitfield, page 92, Image 483,
  11. FamilySearch Historical Records, England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,
  12. Death Certificate, Thomas W. Whitfield, #179, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952,
    Washtenaw-Wexford, 1919, Ancestry,
  13. Record of Marriages, Oakland County, Michigan, Volume F, 1859-1865, page 511,
    Image 784 and page 537, Image 797, FHL #0973980, FamilySearch,
  14. Deed Records, Oakland County, Michigan, Volume 66, 1858-1859, page 75, Image 43,
    FHL #0975437, FamilySearch,
  15. Death Certificate, Mrs. Cornelia Jane Whitfield, #3, Michig