Whittle Family Tree

Well – I’m so far behind it’s insane, but I need to wrap this up in some way. There are a lot of loose ends when it comes to the Whittle line. It seems that there are no smoking guns and some names in the line are just not meant to be known. So lets recap!

This project started in Oct 2008 and the focus was looking for information on the Samuel Whittle Family interred in Govanstown Presbyterian Cemetery in Baltimore. It began simply enough with trying to confirm who might be in the Whittle plot. Never say a project is “simple” – you doom it from the very beginning! While the basic information for who was in the plot was not that difficult to locate – there was nothing simple about the Whittle line. Never have so many MEN remained so elusive!

Samuel N. Whittle died 7 Oct 1892 in Allegheny City (Pittsburg) PA when he fell from a window. Using news articles and census records, I was able to establish that he was a married to Georgeanne Higle, (c. 1846 – c. 1875), who died of tuberculosis, and he had two daughters, Clara May (1866-1946) and Maggie S. (c.1869-1897). He was the son of an Unknown Whittle and Eliza [Unknown] Whittle (c.1815-1896). Samuel had an older brother Charles Nicholas Whittle (1838-1916) and both brothers had served in the Civil War. Charles went by his middle name of Nicholas, which has often left me wondering if his father might not have been a Charles also.

While I have had no success in providing the name of Samuel’s father, I was more successful with the sibling lines of the Unknown Whittle. There were at least five children born to Jeremiah Whittle and Nancy Best between 1805 and 1815, three males and two females, all of whom remain unknown by name. Samuel’s father was the youngest of that group, born c. 1915. After the death of Nancy Best, Jeremiah married Elizabeth Eyle and four more children Thomas (c.1826 – c. 1863), Susan A. (1822 – 1916), Jeremiah Amos (1824 – 1902), and John R. (c. 1829 – unk). These lines were a great deal of fun to explore and provided lots of juicy information.

Sadly, with the Whittle men there are always more questions than answers. With help from family member Ruth I was able to establish a few more facts and chase a few more leads. I actually had more fun following up on the information about Thomas Whittle – uncle to Samuel N. Whittle. It was a great exercise in “debunking” family lore and published accounts concerning his Civil War service. While we will probably never know what happened to Thomas – we know that he could not have died at Shiloh.

I have provided links below to the previous posts on the Whittle family if you need to refresh and then we’ll move on to all the loose material that I have located, but can’t attach.

The Great Obituary Hunt 1 Oct 2008
The Lowest Branch of the Family Tree 5 Oct 2008
Trying to Tree Climb 6 Oct 2008
A Footnote to History 8 Oct 2008
Dangling from a Tree Limb 9 Oct 2008
Odds and Ends 14 Oct 2008
GOOGLING for Dead People 15 Oct 2008
The Family Comes Through19 Oct 2008
Clara May Whittle 20 Oct 2008
Elizabeth (am I an Eyle or a Hall) Whittle 9 Nov 2008
Wrapping up the Whittle Plot 10 Nov 2008
Barking up the Wrong Family Tree 20 Nov 2008
Oh Susannah! 1 Dec 2008
I’m a Doubting Thomas – About Thomas (Part 1) 12 Dec 2008
Doubting Thomas – Part 2 13 Dec 2008
Doubting Thomas – Part 3 16 Dec 2008
Thomas Whittle’s Service Record 29 Dec 2008
Playing Catch Up 5 Jun 2009
The Last Two Brothers with Names 10 Jun 2009


The Whittle Family Tree

Sorry I have been gone so long – sometimes you don’t get to do all the fun things you like to do in life. If I am lucky, I’m following a hot lead on another family line, but usually it is just the mundane events in life that proves to be the big distraction. Arwen has been much more faithful in keeping up with her posting then I am, so I will need to catch up.

Since I have been away so long I think it might be wise to recap – for my benefit as well as yours. I began the research on the family of Samuel N. Whittle (1842-1892) of Baltimore, Maryland. We quickly established his family group and we know that Samuel, his wife Georgeanne, and two daughters, Clara and Maggie, are all in the family plot at Govanstown Cemetery in Baltimore. His line ended with his two daughters as neither married or had children. The family consisted of:

Samuel N. Whittle (1842-1892) son of Unknown 1 Whittle & Eliza Unknown
Georgeanne Higle (1842- ) dau. of Joseph Higle & Leah Shealey
Clara May Whittle (1866–1946) dau. of Samuel N. Whittle & Georgeanne Higle
Maggie S. Whittle (1869-1897) dau. of Samuel N. Whittle & Georgeanne Higle

We were able to establish that Samuel had been a Lt. in F Company, 7th Maryland during the Civil War. This of course led to research on his brother Charles Nicholas Whittle and his Civil War service. Much of this was done in hopes of figuring out the name of the father of Samuel and Charles and their mother’s maiden name. There was no such luck, although we were able to discover the names of our Unknown Whittle’s parents.

Unknown 1 Whittle (died before 1850) son of Jeremiah Whittle & Nancy Best
Eliza Unknown (abt 1815-1896) dau. of unknown parents
Samuel N. Whittle (1842-1892)
Charles Nicholas Whittle (1838-1916)

The most recent work was in Jeremiah Whittle’s family group. The family group based on all the currently documented research is:

Jeremiah Whittle (abt 1775- ) son of unknown parents
Nancy Best (abt 1775-abt 1817) dau. of unknown parents – married 16 Jun 1804
Male Unknown 2 Whittle (bef. 1810- )
Male Unknown 3 Whittle (bef 1810- )
Female Unknown 1 Whittle (bef. 1815- )
Female Unknown 2 Whittle (bef. 1820- )
Unknown 1 Whittle (bef. 1820-bef. 1850) – father of Samuel

Jeremiah then married Elizabeth Eyle (1785-1877) on 5 Dec 1818 in Baltimore
Thomas Whittle (abt 1820- )
Susan Ann Whittle (1822-1916)
Jeremiah Amos Whittle (1824-1902)
John R. Whittle (1829- )
With the lack of information for my Unknown 1 Whittle, I began research on the known children in hopes of finding something more. I began with Susan Ann Whittle aka Susannah and was able to establish her marriage to Benjamin Barber 28 Nov 1839 in Baltimore. This family group detailed in the 1 Dec 2008 post Oh Susannah! is:

Susan Ann Whittle Barber (1822-1916) buried in Govanstown near her mother Elizabeth.
Benjamin Barber/Barbour ( – bef 1850)
Lucretia Barber (1841- ) m. William I. Thompson
Amanda E. Barber (1845-1920) m. Charles T. Abell

My next child to research was Thomas (abt. 1820 – ). As you may recall Thomas was the subject of a series of posts due to his unique story. Was he killed in the Civil War or did he simply desert as suggested? The family is well covered due to extensive research by Ruth Brooks. Thomas Whittle married Sarah Flayhart on 30 Oct 1842 in Baltimore, Maryland. The family group is:

Thomas Whittle (abt 1820- ) assumed dead Civil War
Sarah Flayhart (1822-1890) dau. of John Flayhart & Mary Unknown
Andrew Jameson (1844-1852)
Edward Dorsey (1847-1937) m. Alice Ellen McDonald
Sarah Rebecca (1849-1880) m. William H. Greenfield
Ann Ellen (1852-1933) m. William W. Hoffman
Joshua Talbott (1856-1909) m. Mary Elizabeth Schoal
Robert Spencer Vinton (1860-1864)

Phew – we are now caught up!! So the next couple of posts will deal with the other known children of Jeremiah and Elizabeth to wrap up that family group. After that is complete we’ll decide where to go next.


Govans Cemetery Project

The Whittle Plot

My primary function was to find out who is in the Whittle plot at Govans Presbyterian Cemetery and be able to positively tie those people to the plot itself. I received the final piece of information to do that job from family member Ruth via mail. Ruth was kind enough to go to her local library and get the obituary for Clara May Whittle. As Clara May died in 1946, her obituary is not available through my usual websites. Clara May Whittle obituary from the Baltimore Sun, Tuesday, 11 Dec 1946.1

blockquoteWHITTLE – On December 10, 1946, at 33 Alleghany Avenue, Towson, CLARA MAY, beloved daughter of the late Samuel N. and Georgianna Higle Whittle.
Services at the Burns Funeral Home, 610 York Road, Towson, on Thursday at 2:30 P.M. Interment in Govans Presbyterian Cemetery.

I can now positively supply the cemetery with five names and dates of people that are buried in the Samuel N. Whittle plot and when they were buried there. I will also supply them the sixth name of Georgianna, wife of Samuel, based on the probability that she is the first occupant of the plot – although I have not completed an exhaustive search of every other possibility.

Samuel N. Whittle, 2nd Lt USA
Born about 1843, Died 7 Oct 1892, Buried 10 Oct 1892
Accidental Death in a fall from a window in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania.

Georgianna Higle Whittle, wife of Samuel N.
Born about 1846, Died between 1874 and 1876
Died of Consumption

Clara May Whittle, daughter of Samuel N.
Born June 1866, Died 10 Dec 1946, Buried 12 Dec 1946
Cause of Death Unknown, age 80.

Margaret (Maggie) Sevilla Whittle, daughter of Samuel N.
Born 1869, Died 3 Oct 1897, Buried 5 Oct 1897
Died of Consumption

Eliza Whittle, mother of Samuel N.
Born about 1815, Died 11 Sep 1896, Buried 13 Sep 1896
Cause of Death Unknown, age 80

Elizabeth Whittle, grandmother of Samuel N.
Born 12 Oct 1785, Died 19 Jun 1877, Buried 21 Jun 1877
Cause of Death Unknown, age 91

One of the things that hopefully occurs when you work a family is that you begin to wonder about their lives. What is it with the Whittle family and missing men – is it just bad luck? Even though I now know that Elizabeth was married to Jeremiah Whittle, I still don’t know the name of Eliza’s husband. Somewhere in a dusty pile of paper there is something with his name on it. I hate that his identity is currently lost to time.

Why does one branch of a family tree come to a complete stop? Samuel goes to war, returns home, marries and starts a family. He has a wife and two daughters and appears to have a successful business. Georgianna dies young, his grandmother dies shortly thereafter, and Samuel’s mother Eliza lives with him and helps raise the girls. Their life appears to be quiet for about 15 years and then Samuel dies in the fall from the window and everything changes. Within five short years of Samuel’s death, Eliza dies and young Maggie dies at the home of her father’s brother Charles Nicholas. Clara never marries and remains with her unmarried cousins on her mother’s side of the family until her death in 1946.

So at this point I will wrap up the Govans Cemetery Project concerning the Whittle Plot, but I am hardly done with the Whittle family. As happens in genealogy and family history, you become attached to families and you form a connection with the people that are researching them. Ruth and I have shared quite a bit of correspondence and I have a lot of documentation that I would still like to do with the Whittle family. There is a lot of research left to be done and I’ll keep working on it, but without the Govans Cemetery Project tag. There are other names in the cemetery to work and I’ll have to get started on them while I continue with the Whittles.

1. “Death Notices,” The Sun, 11 Dec 1946


Govanstown Cemetery Project

The Whittle Plot

So what about Samuel N. Whittle’s older daughter Clara May Whittle? According to Ruth, Clara died 10 Dec 1946 and is buried in the family plot in Govans. She was interred there 12 Dec 1946. The interment records for this time period exist, so we have no doubt on this information. Ruth is going to look for an obituary for us.

On the 1900 Census, Clara was residing as a niece in the household of Joseph and Margaret Hampson in Baltimore City. I almost dismissed this record as they have her listed as age 83, however, the image reveals a birth date of Jun 1866 with an age of 33. Margaret (Higle) Hampson was the older sister of Georgeanna Higle. The household as indexed is:1
Joseph Hampson, age 70, head
Margaret, age 69, wife,
William W., age 35, son
Edward S., age 33, son
Emma B., age 32, son
Oliva S., age 29, son
Clara Whittle, age 83 [33], niece

In 1910 she is still living with the Hampson family and the household consists of:2
Margaret L. Hampson, age 79
Emma B., age 40
Olivia S., age 38
William W., age 38
Clara Whittle, age 35
The ages are not of any real issue – this is obviously the same family. Clara is listed has having her “Own income” under occupation.

In 1920 she is with her cousins and the household consists of:3
Emma Hampson, age 60
Olivia, age 57
Clara Whitte, age 56 [the image is Whittle]

In 1930, on the last available census, she is with her last cousin and the household consists of:4
Olivia S. Hampson, age 70
Clara M. Whittle, age 63

From The Sun 23 Sep 1896 on page 7 is a news item about the will of her grandmother Mrs. Eliza Whittle:

blockquoteThe will of Mrs. Eliza Whittle was admitted to probate yesteray. All her property is given to her granddaughters, Clara May Whittle and Maggie Savilla Whittle, who are named executors and have taken out lets testamentary.

Also in The Sun, there are several mentions of Clara in connection with the surname name of Ruby. These appear in the Society or News About Town sections.
16 Jul 1898 Clara was at the Descendents of Joseph and Henry Ruby Reunion. P.L. Ruby, wife and daughter were also present.
16 Dec 1903 Clara is the guest of Mrs. P. L. Ruby
At this point it is just information with no context, but we might eventually find a connection.

1. 1900 U.S. census, Baltimore City, Maryland, population schedule, Ward 15, enumeration district (ED) 191, sheet 4B, p., dwelling 67, family 69, Clara Whittle; digital image, Ancestry.com (http//:www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Oct 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 614.
2. 1910 U.S. census, Baltimore City, Maryland, population schedule, Ward 13, enumeration district (ED) 198, sheet 4A, dwelling 60, family 63, Clara Whittle; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Oct 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 557.
3. 1920 U.S. census, Baltimore City, Maryland, population schedule, Ward 13, enumeration district (ED) 202, sheet 10A, dwelling 143, family 211, Clara Whittle; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Oct 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 658.
4. 1930 U.S. census, Baltimore City, Maryland, population schedule, Ward 13, enumeration district (ED) 192, sheet 5B, dwelling 53, family 66, Clara Whittle; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Oct 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 856.
5. “Will of Mrs. Eliza Whittle,” The Sun, 23 Sep 1896, p. 7; digital images, GenealogyBank (http://GenealogyBank.com : accessed 18 Oct 2008), Historic Newspapers.


Govanstown Cemetery Project

The Whittle Plot

I have a few loose ends out there that I should tell you about. The hard part of writing this blog is keeping up with telling you about where my search goes. I may write about a census search on a certain day and the Footnote search on another day, but usually I’m doing them at the same time. I may have several tabs open and as I find something on one site, I bounce into another to do a quick check. I may bounce through 5-6 things in less than five minutes and then save the couple of applicable items and work them more slowly. I may just follow a lead that interests me and then have to come back to where I was and try to document the search.

The result of all this is that there are things that I have done that I haven’t shared yet. They are small things, but they matter in keeping track of where I am in the research and why I’m going one way or the other. So I’ll make a quick pass through on where I’m at.

Once I was sure that I had found Samuel Whittle, I continued searching for him through my favorite newspaper subscription sites of GenealogyBank and NewspaperArchives. I searched for him under all the combinations of names that I could think of and through combinations of words. I also searched for news of his fall by utilizing the keywords “window fall Allegheny City” and all the location combinations such as Baltimore, Maryland, Towson, etc. in case an article might have said something like “Baltimore man falls from window”. I found no other stories about the fall.

After I established his tree on Ancestry, I began searching that site for things other than census and military records. The first thing I checked was the Family Tree tab to see if there might be a tree for Samuel or for any of the other names I had at that point. There are a lot of Whittles, but with my limited name list I had no direct connections.

I also checked the often overlooked Community section. I entered the keyword search “Samuel Whittle Maryland” and found one thread where he was directly mentioned. In fact that particular thread listed his wife as Georgeanna Hible. It also mentioned a 1916 death date for Samuel’s brother Charles Nicholas. I replied to the thread with a request to share information and now it’s wait and see.

I bounced onto Rootsweb and searched the World Family Tree Project with no real luck. I checked for Samuel, Georgeanna Hible, Charles, Maggie S. and Clara M. I searched for a Whittle with a spouse of Eliza and found nothing with enough information to work with.

It was at this point that I recalled there was a Kate Higle listed on the 1870 census in the same household. Perhaps it was Georgeanna Higle, not Hible. I searched Ancestry and found an 1850 Census (indexed as Hegle) with sisters Catherine, age 8, and Georgeana, age 5.1 The household consists of:
Joseph Hegle 42, M, Laborer, Md
Leah , 45, F, Pa
Margaret 16, F, Md
Sophia, 14, F, Md
Josephine, 10, F, Md
Catharine, 8, F, Md
Georgeana, 5, F. Mc
John Umpshire, 38, M, Laborer, Pa
Edward Smith, 28, M, Laborer, Md

A check on the Family Tree page of Ancestry is no help, however, on the Community pages there is a thread that discusses the Higle family. In the thread there is a reference to an obituary for Leah (Shealey) Higle from the Baltimore County Advocate and Advertiser giving her death date as 20 Oct 1859, and listing her as the widow of Joseph Higle, and the daughter of “the late George Shealey of this place”.

1. 1850 U.S. census, Baltimore, Maryland, population schedule, Baltimore, p. 11(stamped) 21 (handwritten), dwelling 120, family 126, Georgeanna Higle; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 11 Oct 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 279.


Govanstown Cemetery Project

The Whittle Plot

Searching for Samuel Whittle has been a challenge in spelling and creativity. I found him on Ancestry in 1870 by using a Wildcard Search for Sam* Whit*. This picks up all the variations for the end of the names. Still, the only record I found was the 1870 census with Samuel mis-indexed as Samuel N. White. He is clearly enumerated as Samuel N. Whittle and the household consists of:1

Whittle, Samuel N. 27 M W Plasterer
–, Georgeanna 24 F W Keeping House
–, Clara 3 F W
–, Maggie 1 F W
–, Eliza 55 F W
–, Elizabeth 85 F W
Higle, Kate 26 F W
Phipps, Joseph 18 M W Apprentice to Plasterer

With no relationships listed we are left guessing as to some of the people in the household. However, we know that Eliza is Samuel’s mother based on the obits and the 1880 census. Elizabeth is most probably, Samuel’s grandmother, but not Eliza’s mother, as her last name is also Whittle. Kate Higle is possibly a sister to Georgeanna. If she was anything other than a relative, she would probably be listed with a job such as a servant, nurse, or boarder.

Ancestry can be quirky – that’s a really nice way of saying it can be a pain in the butt! When you do a basic search it brings up the census records first and it doesn’t matter what you put in for a year of death (in this case 1892) it still loads you up with 1930 census records. For some reason it will give you 4 pages records that occurred after the death of your person while ignoring a record for an “unpopular” census or collection of records. As a result you will sometimes need to search by a specific census, collection, or by a geographical area.

I knew that he had been in the military so while I was in the census records I selected the 1890 Veterans Schedule, which has him indexed as Samuel W. Whittle. His service was listed as: First Lieutenant, F Company, 7th Maryland, 14 Oct 1862 to 31 May 1865, Length of Service 2 years 9 months 17 days. The corresponding line below indicates his residence is Towson, Baltimore County, and that he was shot in the left shoulder, but does not tell us in what engagement.2

Samuel Whittle 1890 Veterans Schedule

Samuel Whittle 1890 Veterans Schedule

The other things I found were on the first page of results in the Military section of the search. My favorite selection of the multiple Civil War items listed was the American Civil War Soldiers entry for Samuel Whittle that had the basics of his service record:3

Enlisted as a Sergeant on 14 August 1862 at the age of 19.
Enlisted in Company D, 7th Infantry Regiment Maryland on 14 Aug 1862.
Promoted to Full Sergeant Major on 10 Sep 1862.
Promoted to Full 2nd Lieutenant (As of Co. F) on 9 Nov 1863.
Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on 12 Dec 1864.
Mustered Out Company D, 7th Infantry Regiment Maryland on 31 May 1865 at Washington, DC.

Receiving a Commission from the Enlisted ranks was not uncommon during the Civil War. I also found several entries for his brother Charles N. Whittle who fought with the 2nd Maryland Infantry, Company C. He entered as a Second Lieutenant and left as a First Lieutenant. According to the 1890 Veterans Schedule, Charles enlisted 14 Jun 1862, but has no departure date or length of service. His corresponding line below gives 1320 Bond as his address with no further information. There is a curious shortage of information on this form.4

The problem with this type of research is that my focus is Samuel and who might be in the Govanstown Cemetery plot, but my curiosity is also about Charles and his odd service record Maybe, I’ll just take a quick peek at Footnote. I should look there for Samuel and it would only take a minute to check for Charles too.

Future Research
  • Kate Higle (possibly Higgle) in 1860
  • Elizabeth Whittle in 1860
  • Samuel 1850 & 1860

1. 1870 U.S. census, Baltimore County, Maryland, population schedule, District 9, p. 447, dwelling 6, family 6, Samuel Whittle; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 29 Sep 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 570.
2. 1890 U.S. census, Baltimore, Maryland, “Special Schedule: Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, and Widows,” Towson, enumeration district (ED) 439, p. 1, Samuel N. Whittle; NARA microfilm publication M123, roll 8.
3. Historical Data Systems, Inc., “American Civil War Soldiers,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Oct 2008), entry for Samuel Whittle, enlisted 14 Aug 1862, Maryland.
4. 1890 U.S. census, Baltimore, Maryland, “Special Schedule: Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, and Widows,” Baltimore, enumeration district (ED) 125, p. 1, Charles N. Whittle; NARA microfilm publication M123, roll 8.