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.


The Whittle Family Tree

As I mentioned previously, I received some information from Ruth the day after I drafted the Doubting Thomas post. I had also done a little more research and was trying to decide how to incorporate it into the post when the package from Ruth arrived. Finally, I decided to just handle the information in the next couple of posts. This post will deal with all the vital statistic things concerning Thomas and Sarah’s family, and the next post will deal with the family story of Thomas’ leaving and his military service.

Ruth Brooks has been researching the Whittle Family for years and Thomas is her husband’s great grandfather. She told me that she no longer actively researches and has been wonderful in sharing her research with me in hopes that putting it out here may lead us to some answers. She was quick to tell me that she is an amateur, but I will tell you that there is nothing amateur about her skills and her accomplishment in tracking down paperwork on this family is outstanding. Ruth is an accomplished genealogist and family historian, and I am grateful for all her help.

In the package Ruth sent me there were a couple of really important things that apply to the last post. First up is the marriage of Thomas Whittle and Sarah Flayhart in 1842. Ruth provided the following information. A marriage license was granted in Baltimore County 15 Oct 1842, and they were married at the 1st Methodist Episcopal Church on Light Street near Redwood by Isaac P. Cook, a prominent local Methodist preacher, on 20 Oct 1842.1 The online date is off by a couple of months.

Also in question was the date of death of Thomas and Sarah’s son Robert, shown on line with the unsourced date of 23 Apr 1864. Ruth offered this documentation from the Baltimore County Advocate dated 23 Apr 1864:2

In Towsontown, on the 29th ult. Robert Spencer Vinton Whittle died, 3 years, 11 months & 8 days old.

So the unsourced date is in error as it used the date of the article. The correct date of death for young Robert is actually 29 March 1864. Using the Tombstone Birthday Calculator we find his actual date of birth is 21 Apr 1860.

Ruth had told me that she had a news article about Sarah’s passing that gave a lot more information. The package included a copy of that uncredited and undated news article which provided some interesting family data.3

blockquoteDeath of a Former Resident of Towsontown. – Mrs. Sarah Whittle died at the residence of her daughter, in Baltimore, on Saturday evening last after a long illness in her 68th year of age. She was the eldest daughter of the late John Flayhart and sister of Mr. Edward Flayhart, of Towsontown. She was born in a house that formerly stood on the hill just below the residence of Judge M. C. Burke, and lived here until about twenty years ago, when she removed to Baltimore. Her husband was the late Thomas Whittle, who was a brother of Jeremiah Whittle of Long Green Valley. In the early part of the late war he left Towsontown for Pittsburg and the last heard of him was that he had left that city and had enlisted in a Kentucky regiment of the Federal Army and took part in the battle of Shiloh. A letter afterwards received from his captain stated that he was seen before entering the battle, but that his regiment had met with great loss and it was not known whether Mr. Whittle was killed, captured, or had deserted. As nothing more was ever heard of him there is no doubt that he was among the unknown dead. The deceased [unreadable] three children – E. Dorsey, Joshua T. and Mrs. William H Hoffman. Joshua T. Whittle is the well known ice-cream manufacturer in Glyndon. W.M.R.R.”

The article appears to have been published within a couple weeks of her 24 May 1890 death and is probably from a newspaper from Towsontown, based on the statement “…and lived here until about twenty years ….”.

I searched GenealogyBank and found this from The Sun, dated 15 Mar 1873, a news Article on Local Matters, page 1:4

Property Sale – Mrs. Sarah Whittle has sold her stone house and lot, 49 feet front, with a depth of 210 feet, in Towsontown, to Mr. Alfred Phipps, for $1,100 cash.

Using the article that Ruth sent we now have confirmed Sarah’s maiden name is Flayhart, daughter of John, and her brother Edward Flayhart is still alive in Towsontown. She was born in 1822 in Towsontown and the house is no longer standing. Thomas and Jeremiah of Long Green Valley are brothers. Three of her six children are deceased by 1890. Andrew Jamison Whittle, Robert Spencer Vinton died 1864, and Sarah.

Ruth’s documentation also provided the following information on Andrew Jamison Whittle. From the Batimore County Advocate dated 10 Apr 1852:5

In Towsontown, on the 29th, Andrew Jamison Whittle died in the 8th year of his age.

With that information I was able to locate this from The Sun, dated 2 Apr 1852, which specifically links this Andrew to Thomas and Sarah:6

At Towsontown, on the 29th ultimo, ANDREW JAMESON, in the 8th year of his age, eldest child of Thomas and Sarah Whittle.

In looking for Sarah, I started trying to track down Sarah R. Hunt (the name from the 1870 census), but there were at least two on the 1880 census that could have fit. Flipping through the information from Ruth, I found that she had Sarah married to William H. Greenfield, but she had no death date. I went back to genealogybank with the new information and brought up the following obituary in The Sun from 22 Jan 1880, Mortuary Notice, pg 2:7

GREENFIELD – On January 21, after a long and painful illnesss, SARAH REBECCA, aged 30 years, 6 months and 12 days, beloved wife of Wm. H. Greenfiled, and eldest daughter of Thos. and Sarah Whittle.

Above the blest and pearly gates,
Where Jesus, loving Saviou, waits;
Where all is peaceful, bright and fair,
My home is there, my home is there,

Heaven retaineth now our treasure,
Earth the lonely casket keeps;
And the sunbeams love to linger
Where our living Sallie sleeps.

Her funeral will take place from her late residence, No. 403 McHenry street, on to-morrow (Friday) afternoon, at three o’clock. Relatives and friends are invited to attend.

So we now have the last child missing from Sarah Flayhart Whittle’s news article; Sarah Rebecca Whittle Greenfield, born 9 Jul 1849 in Towsontown, Baltimore, Maryland, died 21 Jan 1880, Baltimore City, Maryland. I have not figured out when she was married or the confusion of the 1870 census where she is listed as Sarah R. Hunt. Obviously, I won’t find an 1880 census as she died in January, but we have the basics for now and can move on.

1. Marriage Record Information of Thomas Whittle; privately held by Ruth Brooks Wilmington, Delaware.
2. “Mortuary Notice,” (Baltimore) The Baltimore County Advocate, 23 Apr 1864.
3. News Article – Sarah Flayhart Whittle; privately held by Ruth Brooks Wilmington, Delaware.
4. “Local Matters,” The Sun, 15 Mar 1873, p. 1; digital images, ( : accessed 12 Dec 2008), Historical Papers.
5. “Mortuary Notice,” (Baltimore) The Baltimore County Advocate, 10 Apr 1852.
6. “Mortuary Notice,” The Sun, 2 Apr 1852, p. 2; digital images, ( : accessed 12 Dec 2008), Historical Papers.
7. “Mortuary Notice,” The Sun, 22 Jan 1880, p. 2; digital images, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 12 Dec 2008), Historical Newspapers.


The Whittle Family Tree

I wrote this post and it has set in draft for a couple of weeks while I tried to decide if I wanted to approach the documentation of the search in this manner. It’s a lot of information and this post is what I had on 1 Dec 2008. On 2 Dec 2008 I received a package from Ruth with more information and that’s why I stopped this draft. I’ve decided to let this post stand and cover the information provided by the family in the next post.

The Whittles remain a family that have many more questions than answers and such is the case with Thomas Whittle, born about 1820 in Baltimore County, Maryland. Thomas appears to have married Sarah Flayhart of Towsontown, Maryland in 1842. There is at least one family tree on line with a marriage date of 20 Dec 1842, but I have not seen the documentation to confirm that. Thomas and Sarah first appeared together by name on the 1850 census in Towsontown, Baltimore, Maryland.1

Information previously supplied by Ruth in an email indicates the family is in possession of paperwork showing that in 1853 a piece of property in Towson was put in the name of Mary Flayhart in trust for her daughter Sarah Whittle. In Sept. 1856 The Baltimore County Advocate reported that a small dwelling was in the course of erection by Thomas Whittle in the northeastern part of the village of Towson. The small news piece was picked up by The Sun.2 The Thomas Whittle family appears together again on the 1860 Census just before the Civil War.3 The family consists of Thomas 39, Sarah 37, and their six children; Edward 13, Sarah R. 10, Ann E. 8, Joshua T. 4, and Robert aged 2 months (born May 1860).

The family story (as supplied by Ruth) is that Thomas Whittle left Towson for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and eventually went to Kentucky. This is where he enlisted as a Private in Co. F, 18th Regiment, Kentucky Infantry, in February 1862, when he would have been about 42 yrs. old, leaving a wife and 6 children. The family story also says that he had been killed either at the battle of Shiloh or Gettysburg. When Ruth sent for his military records, she found that the records of Thomas Whittle of the 18th Regiment Kentucky Infantry listed him as deserted in 1863.

In 1870 Sarah and five children (Edward, Sarah R. Hunt, Ann Hoffman, Alice, and Joshua) are still together in Towsontown, but son Robert, born May 1860 and husband Thomas Whittle are missing from this census.4 One tree posted online has young Robert Whittle with a death date of 23 Apr 1864. His absence from the 1870 census leads to the probability that he is deceased. Also in 1870, it appears that Anne and Sarah R. have married, but their men are missing from this record– big shock – they are after all Whittle women!!!

By 1880 however, Sarah is living with her daughter Annie and her husband William Hoffman.5 This is also the first census that documents a social status and Sarah is enumerated as a widow, which is an answer of sorts about Thomas.

There is a public tree up on Ancestry with a copy of Sarah Whittle’s death certificate. Her date of death is 24 May 1890 and lists her cause of death as Cancer Uteri with a secondary cause as Exhaustion, and her place of Burial as Mount Olivet on 27 May 1890.6 This record does not however, list her maiden name or relationship to any family member, but it does list her as a widow. There is a short obituary in The Sun which supports this death certificate as being our Sarah Whittle:7

blockquoteWHITTLE – On the evening of May 24, SARAH WHITTLE, widow of the late Thomas Whittle, formerly of Towsontown. (Towsontown papers please copy.) Her funeral will take place Tuesday afternoon at two o’clock, from the residence of her daughter, No 1811 Wilhelm Street, near Fulton street.

There are many questions to be answered:
  • How does the family know he went to Pittsburgh?
  • What was he doing in Pittsburgh?
  • Why would he go all the way to Kentucky (via Pittsburgh) to enlist in the Union army when his cousins were enlisting in the Maryland units?
  • How do they know this Kentucky Thomas Whittle is the right Thomas Whittle?

1. 1850 U.S. census, Baltimore, Maryland, population schedule, District 2, p. 66, dwelling 880, family 887, Thomas Whittle Household; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 29 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 279.
2. “Things in Baltimore County,” The Sun, 13 Sep 1856, p. 2; digital images.
3. 1860 U.S. census, Baltimore, Maryland, population schedule, District 9, dwelling 444, family 437, Thomas Whittle Household; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 29 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 468.
4. 1870 U.S. census, Baltimore County, Maryland, population schedule, District 9, p. 455, dwelling 115, family 115, Sarah Whittle Household; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 29 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 570.
5. 1880 U.S. census, Baltimore County, Maryland, population schedule, Baltimore, enumeration district (ED) 176, p. 586, dwelling 188, family 226, Sarah Whittle in Household of William Hoffman; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 29 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 504.
6. Baltimore City, Maryland, death certificate no. 27261 (1890), Sarah Whittle; digital image, “Ancestry Public Member Photos,” Ancestry ( : accessed 29 Nov 2008).
7. “Mortuary Notice,” The Sun, 26 May 1890, p. 2; digital images, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 29 Nov 2008), Historical Newspapers.