The Whittle Family Tree

I spent a couple of days looking at Susan Whittle Barber. This is the sister of our Unknown Whittle that we first found living with her mother Elizabeth Whittle in 1850. In 1850 the household consisted of:1

Elizabeth Wittle age 65
Susannah Barber age 27
Lucretia Barber age 9
Amanda E. Barber age 5

A quick search of Ancestry brings us more information including the marriage record of Susan A. Whittle to Benjamin Barber 28 Nov 1839 2 in Baltimore, Maryland and they appear on the 1840 Census in District 2, Baltimore.3 Benjamin is between 20 and 30 and Susan is between 15 and 20. Of course by 1850 Benjamin is not listed and Susan is living with her mother and her two daughters, Lucretia born about 1841 and Amanda E. born about 1845. This is yet another male in the Whittle family that goes missing in the late 1840s. I started out thinking that this is some kind of male Whittle issue, but now I’m wondering what the women did that all these men go missing!!

In 1860 there is a census record for a Susan E. Barber is in District 9, Baltimore City and is the head of household, but her 19 year old daughter Lucretia has married William J. Thompson, a 31 year old carpenter from Pennsylvania and Amanda has been erroneously enumerated as Amanda Thompson rather than Barber.4 Susan is working as a Toll Gate keeper. The middle initial at this point did not concern me.

Next up is Susan Barber (no middle initial) in 1870 and this census located her in Ward 12 of Baltimore City as a member of the household of Charles Abell.5 It appears that her younger daughter Amanda has now married Charles Abell, a printer. Also included in the household, are their two young daughters, Virginia born about 1866, and Grace born about 1869.

This is where it gets a little different. The 1870 census is the last time I find Susan Whittle as a “Barber”. An extensive search failed to turn her up with that name in the Census records. However, while searching for information on the Whittles, I had happened across a plot in Govans Presbyterian Church Cemetery for Mrs. Susan E. Barbour, born 24 Mar 1822, and interred 9 Dec 1916. The cemetery records have a note stating “nee Whittle”.6 She shares lot 97 with Mrs. Benjamin Barbour, born 16 Apr 1817, interred 29 Apr 1848. HUH? Susan A. Whittle married Benjamin Barber in 1839, but Susan E. Barbour, nee Whittle, is sharing a plot with an unknown Mrs. Benjamin Barbour in Govans who died in 1848? My first thought was that this was Benjamin’s mother, but this woman was only five years older than Susan. A quick search of my usual sites did not bring me any news or obituaries. With names and interment dates, I have contacted Ruth and asked her to do a more extensive local search for obituaries.

Susan E. Barbour first appears in the 1880 Census.7 Her age is 56 and she is born in Maryland. Her parents match up with Jeremiah and Elizabeth Whittle as her father is born in Maryland and her mother is born in Pennsylvania. She is widowed, boarding with the Bull family, and working as a Tailoress. There is an 1890 Baltimore City Directory that provides an address of 229 N. Gilmore for Mrs. Susan E. Barbour.8

The 1900 Census places Susan E. Barbour as a boarder in the household of Alpheus Smith.9 This record gives us the birth date of March 1822, which matches our cemetery record. The new information is that she is the mother of three, with two children living. At 78 years of age, she has no occupation. The last time I locate Susan is on the 1910 census when she is 87 years of age and living in the Methodist Home for the Aged in Baltimore.10

In summary, what little I know at this moment is that Susan Whittle Barber/Barbour was born 24 Mar 1822. Susan A. Whittle married Benjamin Barber/Barbour 28 Nov 1939. Whether her real name is Susan A. or Susannah is not known, and without a family bible or baptismal records it will remain so. It is entirely possible the clerk that filled out paperwork for the marriage heard Susannah and wrote Susan A. If there is anyone in Baltimore that would like to find that original document and send me a copy, I would be happy to update the site. The first time the word widow appears is on the 1880 Census. Up until this time it has been an assumption on our part that she was widowed. She is interred as of 9 Dec 1916 in lot 97 of Govans Cemetery. Her mother Elizabeth is in lot 88 at Govans Cemetery with her grandson Samuel N. Whittle. Until other information becomes available this is where we stand with Susan.

1. See post dated 9 Oct 2008.
2. Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, “Maryland Marriages, 1655-1850,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Nov 2008), Marriage of Benjamin Barber and Susan A. Whittle 28 Nov 1839; citing maryland Marriage, 1655-1680.
3. 1840 U.S. census, Baltimore County, Maryland, District 2, p. 65, Benjamin Barber Household; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 162.
4. 1860 U.S. census, Baltimore, Maryland, population schedule, 9th District, dwelling 630, family 614, Susan Barber Household; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 468. 5. 1870 U.S. census, Baltimore County, Maryland, population schedule, 12th Ward, p. 172, dwelling 234, family 232, Household of Charles Abell; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 28 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 576.
6. “Govans Interment Records” (typescript, 2007, Govans Presbyterian Church, Baltimore), p. 2.
7. 1880 U.S. census, Baltimore County, Maryland, population schedule, District 12, enumeration district (ED) 105, p. 22, dwelling 97, family 112, Susan E. Barbour in Household of Chas. Bull; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 28 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 501.
8. “Baltimore, Maryland Directories, 1890,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Nov 2008), Mrs. Susan E. Barbour; citing Baltimore City directory, 1890, Baltimore, MD, USA: R. L. Polk and Co., 1890.
9. 1900 U.S. census, Baltimore City, Maryland, population schedule, Ward 20, p. 6B, dwelling 95, family 124, Susan E. Barbour in Household of Alpheus L. Smith; digital image, Ancestry.com (http//:www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 617.
10. 1910 U.S. census, Baltimore City, Maryland, population schedule, Ward 20, enumeration district (ED) 339, p. 4A, Susan Barbour in Methodist Home for the Aged; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Nov 2008); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 560

3 Responses to “Oh Susannah!”


  1. Arwen says:

    Umm, Sharon, are you looking at this list of people? http://i.b5z.net/i/u/1627491/f/CemetaryByInterred.pdf

    The Mrs. in the third column is the first part of the owner’s name — Mrs. Barbor. So, her husband died, and she bought the plot that they were buried in.

    Benjamin was present on the 1840 Census but not on the 1850 — making 1848 a plausible death year.

    (And, yes, people, sometimes all it takes is a fresh set of eyes. 8) )


  2. Sharon says:

    Why does it always have to be a mundane boring error on my part? I want it to be the crazy first wife that was locked away in the attic after the anulment! You know the one that starts the house on fire and dies tragically. Damn it! I was building a tree for this tragic unnamed woman and was getting ready to attach it to the family in Ancestry. You are such a spoil sport!!!! This is why I have Arwen – I have no idea why Arwen keeps me (besides the basic entertainment value). Thanks kiddo.


  3. Arwen says:

    Sometimes it is even more fun than reading Jane Eyre!

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