Trying to Tree Climb

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 ( : 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 ( : 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.

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