How This Site Came to Be

For decades during the 20th century, many Westneat relatives in both Australia, New Zealand and the United States were under the impression that there were no Westneats left anywhere in the world outside their own Country. We in the US were all told that there were indeed non-US descendants still living in Australia and New Zealand, supposedly none of these descendants still carried the Westneat surname. This impression was reinforced during the 1070s with contact with Molly Westneat Albright in Californa and again in the 1980s, when Mr. Frank Carrig, a Westneat descendant, visited the US and confirmed that there were no Westneats left in Australia or New Zealand. While indeed curious, there was no ability to reach out to relatives one did not even knew existed on the other side of the world.

That was the situation until 1993. That year, while investigating the possibilities of the Internet, Clark Westneat, of North Carolina, USA, found himself on an Australian website that had a search engine for Australia's Telstra telephone books. On a lark, he put the name "Westneat" into the search engine and 6 names came back. Clark's reaction combined shock, excitement and disbelief. Two days later he placed a call to one of the Westneats listed and talked to John Westneat for about an hour. The search for family was on!!

In 1996, David F. Westneat, Clark's uncle, hired a genealogist to delve into much of the basic framework of the lineage. With that help, David was able to put together a rather comprehensive book detailing the family's roots. Since that time, much of this information has been updated.

Our Goals

It is our aim, as this website is developed, to put together as nearly complete a picture of the family as we can. We also hope to attract other Westneats to help us paint the picture of this family and to fill in spots we are missing.

We chose to place photos of the four Westneat brothers on the home page, for we felt that they represented a good place to start. From here, members of the family can click on the photo and trace their own line or that of their many cousins around the world.

A Cautionary Note

A caveat to the following pages must be provided here. We believe it is important for every genealogist and family member providing information to see that the information is as accurate as possible. Modern records are easily verified as recordkeeping has moved from the church parish to the town hall. But as we go back in time, we discover that positive, indisputable evidence is not always there. We have tried to guard against making the evidence we have fit what we would like to believe. There are differences in opinions among providers -- that is to be expected. We have noted areas where there is no concrete evidence to back up family tradition. Take it for what it is worth.

In addition to the weak links with generations of long ago, we have a much more modern problem on these pages -- how to deal with today's changed society. Some of the facts included in these pages highlight generation-to-generation differences in lifestyles and relationships. For instance, how do we deal with those that have been divorced? Certainly all the mothers and grandmothers, the fathers and grandfathers of future generations need to be viewed as part of the family and treated with all due respect. To a lesser degree (or greater, depending upon your point of view) we must also deal with partners of family members who never got married. In some cases, there are children involved, and in others there are not. We have tried to deal with these relationships with sincere respect. We hope we have succeeded.


Thanks must go to David Westneat for his continual research and writings on the Westneats, as well as to Sheila Bateson of Canada for her work in researching the English roots and to Lorraine Shuttlesworth (and her entire family) for their never-ending diligence and legwork in tracking down tidbits of information in the Melbourne, Australia, area.

If you have information or you would like to get information, please contact Clark Westneat.