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Henry Whitaker owned a mill in Rochdale, Lancashire. In 1807 he made an exploratory trip to the USA, and then returned before emigrating in 1809 with his entire family (wife Sarah (nee Stott), 11 children, 3 sons-in-law, and a granddaughter) to New York. They spent some time in the New York area producing velveteens, before buying land and settling at Cedar Grove on Frankford Creek in 1813, where Henry built a mill for cotton spinning. Weaving was added later. In 1831 Henry sold the business to his son William. Henry died in 1849. For much more information, see article by Mary McConaghy