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Whitley Family History

NOTE: The following accounts of the Whitley family timeline are speculated assumptions based on very limited data available. Using what archives are available; United States Census Bureau reports, military records, and personal family verbal information, the following family story was constructed using educated conclusions of this limited data to form the relationships and life paths herein.

1670
Ten Generations Ago
Over ten generations ago before the United States was even a country, Samuel Francis Whitley was born in Somerset, England in 1670. Records also have him listed as Samuel Francis Wheatley for which Whitley is an alternative spelling. If this is the case, it is possible the spelling was changed when he arrived in America due to the verbal exchange of records when foreigners arrived. That being said, both Wheatley and Whitley originate from Anglo-Saxon, an old English surname given out to farmers at the end of the Norman Conquest in England. They very well could be one in the same. United States Census’ also demonstrates a fluctuation between the two names with matching first names, giving possible evidence that Wheatley is a misspelling.
1670
1700’s
Samuel Francis Whitley
Samuel Francis would spend his younger life focusing on his education. In the early 1700’s, He set sail for the America’s where Samuel Francis landed in North Carolina and stayed with his great uncle Solomon until he could establish a residence of his own. The Reverend Solomon Whitley was an Anglican minister with the Bruton Parish Church. After settling in, Samuel Francis got a job as a land surveyor. He married Mary Shirley who would pass away some years later after she bore him two daughters and a son. In 1721 Samuel Francis remarried to Mary Grimes who gave birth to Lydia and Thomas Whitley. He passed in 1739.
1700’s
1700's
Thomas Whitley & North Carolina
Thomas Whitley was born in 1721 in Bertie, North Carolina. He would take over his father’s work managing land. In his youth, he married Mary Gainer who gave him three sons: Samuel, Alexander, and William. Records indicate that Thomas sold his land and all its contents to his youngest son William, “in exchange for his agreeing to take care of them in their old age,” suggesting that his oldest son Samuel died at a younger age than himself since there is no record of when he died. Only that Samuel passed after the 1783 census. Thomas Whitley would pass away in 1789.
1700's
1700's
Samuel Whitley & North Carolina
Samuel Whitley was born in 1740. The only record written of Samuel was by his father in the Tyrrell Co., NC, County Court Minutes on June 1st, 1761. It was recorded, “Samuel Wheatley proper mark, a crop in the right ear and under sloop in left ear.” Possibly an injury he received while working on his father’s land. As we approach the Revolutionary War 15 years later, we can only make assumptions about what Samuel’s life was like given the records about his siblings.
1700's
1700's
The Whitley's & North Carolina
Samuel’s brother Alexander Hamilton Whitley, not to be confused with George Washington's military aid and first Secretary of the Treasury, was born in 1753. Alexander Hamilton Whitley/Wheatley fought in the U.S. Revolutionary War as an Orderly Sergeant. He was drafted in 1775 in Martin County North Carolina, where he was born, but his father sent someone else in his place. This “someone,” very well could have been his older brother Samuel who would have been 35 years old. He later volunteered anyway and worked his way up the ranks where he was involved in battles against the British in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

Samuel Whitley had a son, Samuel Whitley II in 1780 and then passed away in roughly 1783. The very same year the Revolutionary War came to a victorious conclusion. It could be said that Samuel Whitley Sr continued fighting in an eight-year-long military career and fell as a soldier in those final moments in our war for liberty. His son being named after him could have been received or even changed to, at the age of three, for his father’s bravery and sacrifice. Samuel Whitley II was born in Martin county North Carolina in 1780. He married Catherine Anglin and moved to Pitt county North Carolina. They would have at least one son, Hardy Whitley in 1807. Hardy would later marry Winny who gave birth to Joseph Josiah Whitley in 1838. Joseph Josiah would get married to Mary Adline Windham.
1700's
1800's
South and Farther South
Likely to avoid the conflict of the Civil War and because of health reasons for Winny, Joseph Josiah and Hardy Whitley moved their families to Jefferson, Florida. Unfortunately, Joseph Josiah’s mother passed away shortly after the move. While in Florida, Joseph Josiah began working as a painter to support his wife and two new sons. Hardy Whitley got remarried to Sally Ann Whitley before the whole family unit moved to Llano County, Texas where Hardy and Sally would pass away. Joseph Josiah and Mary moved around Texas a bit and eventually had another son and daughter. Joseph Johnson Whitley was born in Kaufman, Texas in 1874. He married Lilly H. Henderson and moved to Brownfield Texas where he started a cotton farm. He and Lilly had three sons and four daughters.
1800's
1910's-1940's
Texas to California
Born a cotton farmer on the Whitley family farm in Brownfield Texas on August 8th 1910, Joe Baily considered himself a competitive cotton picker and could out pick anyone. He had a sense of pride in working with his hands. His wife to be Tressie Kelly grew up in Brownfield Texas, arm in arm with her identical twin Lessie. Believe it or not, they had an older sister named Bessie. But names weren't important for Tressie and Lessie. They were simply known as The Twins.

In 1928, Tressie married Joe Bailey Whitley in Texas and began a long life together that would lead to a family legacy. The Whitley's left the life of being Texas farmers in 1933 and moved to the beautiful sunny town of Tustin California. When Joe Bailey moved to Orange County California, he stuck to his roots and worked in the famous Orange groves; picking, fumigating, and boxing the oranges to be shipped out. He eventually moved into skilled work and found himself as a welder for the Navy shipping yards in Long Beach. While supporting his wife and kids, Joe Bailey started his own landscaping company in order to work closer to home. In addition to homes, his primary clients were local churches who needed help maintaining their property. Tres and Joe Bailey joined the local Church of Christ and became a big part of their church community.

Tressie opened her first salon on one side of the house and they lived in the other. It was on what was D Street then (it's El Camino now) and was the main highway through Tustin. In the mid-'40s, Tressie went to work in a salon above the old Tustin Drugstore (which is now the Tustin Museum) and ended up buying the shop. Over the years she would move her shop twice, each time to a larger, more elegant facility.
1910's-1940's
1960's
Tres & Joe Bailey Whitley's California Enterprise
On March 6th, 1961 in a brand new shopping center within Jamestown Village in Tustin, Tressie Whitley opened Tres' Beauty Salon, using her own name as a play on words for her business. The salon quickly became the most popular place in town and was even featured at community events such as the Orange County Fair. One would think that this Texas transplant, one of 10 children who grew up milking cows and picking crops on the family farm, would have brought to a beauty salon little more than piled-high beehives and bouncy bouffant in her hairdressing heydays during the '50s and '60s. But not Tressie. When others were spraying and ratting the life out of hair, she was studying the latest continental 'dos, featuring sculpted cuts and gentle waves that represented the highest fashion of the time. Women waited weeks for an appointment. Tress' was the salon to go to.

Later on Joe Bailey opened a used washer and dryer shop in the city of Orange off Orange Olive Road where he would purchase old or broken washers and dryers to repair or restore, and then sell them in his shop. His grandson Darren loved to come and help for the day because Joe Bailey would send Darren to the local small deli to get tamales for lunch. Darren remembers them being the best tamales in the world.

You could be sure of two things when you pulled up to Tressie Whitley's dinner table: she would first enumerate apologetically all the reasons the food probably wouldn't be very good, then you would be astonished by how utterly delectable it was. It was a curious and persistent form of modesty from a woman who lived well ahead of her time and knew considerable personal, professional, and financial success within her life.

Tres became the director of the California Hair Fashion Committee, which, in the '60's, set trends, planned seminars and contests, and reviewed laws pertaining to hairdressers. She developed hairstyles that were then featured in European style magazines and won first place in a statewide hairstyling contest. She took pride in her professional success at a time when working moms were the exception, not the norm. Carrying for her kids; Reginald, JoAnn, and Donald, you wouldn't know the wiser that Tressie was a working mom as she cooked extensive meals, stayed up late to sow their cloths, and take care of the household. Even in the years before she passed at the age of 85, she was always going, exhausting those around her.

1960's
1960's
Don Whitley's California Enterprise
Following in his parent's entrepreneurial footsteps, Donald Whitley would start several different companies over the course of his life. After marrying his high-school sweetheart, Miriam (Joan) Whitley, he began his career as a milkman at Todd's Dairy back when you could buy a home on a milkman's salary. As a part of their salesman contract, Don was to visit 10 homes a day. He only visited 3 or 4, but got each one as a client. Management confronted him about this, but Don simply asked if they wanted more sales or more home visits? For him, they made an exception and he quickly became the youngest manager at Todd's Dairy. When the dairy was sold to Knudsen Dairy, Don became a supervisor and helped to run the Orange County plant. Unfortunately, he was asked to transfer to the Los Angeles branch in order to run it, so he put in his notice, not having any interest in moving his family out of Orange County.

Taking on his sudden change in career, Don started a lawn and landscaping company having learned the trade from his father. After some time of this, he sold the company and trained to become a hairdresser like his mother, opening his very own shop. Building up a client base, he sold his business and moved on to his next venture to fulfill his entrepreneurial drive.

Looking back on his milkman experience, Don acquired a Silver Springs bottled water route that he had to build up from scratch, essentially running his own company and acquiring his own clients. Don's son Darren would help build his client base by accompanying him as they split up in neighborhoods, going door to door collecting clients. Somewhat simultaneously, he became a Shaklee Distributor, eventually selling both companies.
1960's
1978
The Carpet Beaters Inc.
In 1978, Don bought a truck and some carpet cleaning equipment to begin in on his next venture with what would become The Carpet Beaters Inc. Named by his loving wife Joan. With the help of his family and kids, starting out with not a single customer, Don quickly grew a client base that is still with the company today. He simply bought some equipment and started with the “idea” that he would become the best carpet cleaner in Orange County. Like a sponge, he learned everything he could about carpets and eventually joined the industry's IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) and became a certified carpet cleaner. He would later be requested to help in developing a product for the cleaning of Haitian cotton and other delicate fibers with safe controlled testing in the field. He was even called in to testify as a carpet cleaning expert on a criminal case for an orange county judge.
1978
1986
Don & Darren
In 1986 Don's son Darren came aboard, and together, with their team of employees, they became experts in the carpet cleaning industry, adding additional services such as carpet protection, carpet inspection, pet accident odor reduction treatments, upholstery cleaning, area rug cleaning, and tile and grout floor cleaning and sealing. Over the many years of operation, Don and Darren perfected the carpet cleaning method for the most effective results and quickest drying times. The team still uses this unique technique to this day. Becoming more experienced and getting more involved with the industries IICRC, educational services became the focus for the company where the technicians teach the clients how to get out easy spots on their own.
1986
2010
Voted Best
In 2010 The Carpet Beaters Inc. was honored with the annual Orange County Register’s "People’s Choice Award" for Best Carpet Cleaning Company in Orange County, beating out Home Depot and other major carpet installers and cleaners. Darren would later join one of the industry’s top influencers, a carpet cleaner and business owner, Howard Partridge in his exclusive Knights of the Round Table program for carpet cleaners nationwide. Howard was both a mentor and a friend to Darren, spending several years together learning from each other. After assisting Howard at many events, Darren focused his new education on The Carpet Beaters for further growth. He involved his family with his work as his son Jacob and daughter Jessa would come to help on large jobs over the years as they grew up.

Darren offered tremendous support to his family at home, raising his kids and spending timeless moments with his wife Diane. His support went as far as helping his son fund his dream of having a film career with his first feature film right out of high school. Jacob would go on to produce and direct many more projects while he attended film classes at Cal State Fullerton and lived only a county away from infamous Hollywood. After several years of running around in Los Angeles, filming commercials, and helping on Hollywood films such as the Academy Award nominee La La Land, Jacob took a break from the motion picture industry and got a full-time job as an audio-visual manager at the Resort at Pelican Hill in order line up a more financially sustainable income for his future family plans. He married his wife Jaqui shortly after.
2010
2017
Darren & Jacob
In 2017, Jacob came to his father and asked if he could join the team, wanting to switch to normal working hours to spend more time with his new wife. He thought that The Carpet Beaters would only be a temporary solution before going back to film. Jacob fell in love with the carpet cleaning industry and quickly began to execute his graphic design skills from his film background and enhanced The Carpet Beaters' marketing program, creating a new logo design, company apparel, and designing a fresh website. Darren made Jacob a partner in 2018 and they began to develop new operational procedures to help the company expand.
2017
2023
First Independence Carpet Care
In 2023, Jacob and Jaqui made the decision to provide a more wholesome life for their children and moved their family back across the Oregon Trail to the east coast where they settled into a small little town south of Raleigh called Fuquay Varina. Returning to where the Whitleys all started, Jacob rebranded as First Independence Carpet Care in honor of North Carolina being the first of the 13 original states to declare their independence in the founding of this great nation. Jacob’s mother and father, sister and brother-in-law soon joined them in North Carolina. Bringing his son and daughter to North Carolina, Jacob and his wife Jaqui later had their third child, the first Whitley of this line to be born in North Carolina in over 7 generations.

Jacob still works on his film projects from time to time, but mostly focuses on documentaries because of the time flexibility it allows for him. Together, Jacob and Darren began to acquire their instructor status with the IICRC with the intention of starting their own cleaning school.
2023
2023
Raleigh's Best
First Independence Carpet Care, new to Raleigh, quickly won Raleigh's Best for carpet cleaning in their first year. This award reflects the community's trust and the Whitleys' dedication to quality service and client education. Their rapid success in Raleigh showcases their standout approach to carpet care.
2023

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