The name Starkweather wasn't chosen at random. It is my middle name, Lee Starkweather Anderson. It was suggested by James Robson Anderson Jr, my paternal grandfather, that the name be used for the brand. With a focus on outerwear, our relationship to climate and weather, and the powerfully whimsical impression of the name, I immediately knew it was a perfect fit. How had I not thought of it myself? It will forever represent a touching moment between grandfather and granddaughter. I believe that without understanding fashion, without understanding branding, he knew what my intentions were and that this name could carry that dream into fruition. So, thank you, Popsie.
There is a lot of history behind the name
and the family that carries it
Starkweather is a family name dating back to the first Puritan settlers in America. Some quick ancestry.com style research reveals the story begins with the first Starkweather to arrive in America: Robert Starkweather, likely coming from Wales in 1639-1640. He began his life in America as a barrel maker in Massachusetts shortly after which he met and married Jeanette Roberts.
While not much is known about Robert Starkweather's origins, and the genealogical story gets richer thanks to more records of their son, John, born in 1646. John Starkweather married Ann Phillips in Connecticut in 1677. Their relationship is quite remarkable considering that Ann Phillips was the daughter of Metacom Pokanoket and Wootonckuaske. Metacom, also known as "King Philip" was the sachem, or "King" of the Wampanoag Indians. He was also the instigator of the terrible King Philip's War. It was the most fatal per capita battle between the Native Americans and the Settlers, and led to much poverty on the part of the Settlers and enslavement on the part of the Native Americans.
This brutal war came after years of peace, although relations were contentious. But it is one of those moments in history where you can see clearly there is no turning back.
John and Ann went on to have seven children, who themselves extended the Starkweather family line.
So there you have a brief history of the Starkweather name. Hopefully this much forgotten piece of history can remind us of where we came from, and what an amazing land it is we have under our feet.
the origin story ties back to the brand
Because so much of the inspiration for the aesthetic comes from Native American design, and the philosophy from a pre-colonial way of life, learning the genealogy of the Starkweather name further impresses the direct link to the Starkweather brand and the name it bears. I hope that we do the rest of the Starkweather descendants honor by carrying the name, and that all our customers can take part in this rich history, inasmuch as Starkweather represents one common thread in the narratives and lives that built America.
And moving forward, I hope we can make some history of our own. Thank you for being part of that story.
Lee Anderson, Founder and Designer