Another Lead?

Whittle Family Tree

As I try to wrap up the Whittles so I can move on to something else, I find myself left with a “pile” of information concerning the Whittles in Maryland. Sadly, I have no context for the material. We’ve all been in this position. “I know they’re related. I just don’t know how.” While I might be willing to take a couple of leaps of faith on my personal genealogy – I am unwilling to do so with another persons family. My best efforts have not allowed me to connect the dots from here, but that doesn’t mean that others won’t make those connections – it just means that I can’t.

When I was reviewing all the materials last week, I found a tree posted on Ancestry that listed the parents of Jeremiah Whittle (born c. 1775-1785) as Richard Whittle and Elizabeth Burling – it did not reveal any sources. There is a marriage record dated 7 Jan 1784, for Richard Whittell and Elizabeth Burling from the First German Reformed Church in Baltimore. I have requested the source information for tying Richard and Jeremiah together from the tree owner, but haven’t yet heard back. As with anything found on Ancestry it is wise to check all the information for yourself and in general I consider the family trees to be nothing more than leads in my research.

I went in search of more information concerning the potential relationship between Jeremiah and Richard, and in the results of my Google search (“richard whittle” baltimore genealogy) I found The Burling Books Ancestors and Descendants of Edward and Grace Burling, Quakers (1600-2000) Volume 1 by Jane Thompson-Stahr1, which appears to be well sourced. Page 328 – 333 are about Elizabeth Burling and it does discusses Richard Whittell and Elizabeth Burlings marriage. Page 329 states that Richard is the son of Anna Maria Curzon and Thomas Whittel and that Richard and Elizabeth had one child, Anna Maria Whittell, born in 1784. A good portion of this research is based on the extant letters of Elizabeth Burling and her family.

Elizabeth moved to Mississippi, but Richard (according to Ms Thompson- Stahr’s research) does not appear to go with Elizabeth and no other Whittle children are mentioned. On pg 331 Ms Thompson-Stahr discusses what may have become of Richard, including the fact, “On 15 Dec 1794, an Elizabeth Baldwin married a Richard Whittle in the same church in Baltimore where Elizabeth Burling had been married to Richard Whittell in 1784.” The 1794 marriage is a little outside the range for Jeremiah, but as we all know, census records are not really all that reliable for age.

You have to love an author that follows through and provides the documentation of not only what is known, but what is clearly not known. Ms. Thompson-Stahr provides possibilities in an unbiased manner and also lets us know what she has checked so we are clear on how thorough the research was. She obviously gets the whole concept of the Genealogical Proof Standard and has tried to resolve the conflict of what becomes of Richard.

Unfortunately, I am no closer now to discovering the parentage of Jeremiah Whittle then I was a week ago. Unless there is some clear evidence from the tree owner which ties Jeremiah to Richard, I am considering this lead to be another dead end. I’m telling you – those Whittle men just want to remain anonymous!

Over the next several days I will post all the extraneous facts that I have acquired in a chronological manner. Perhaps someone else can use them, or as more things become available perhaps I will be able to make the connections.

Jane Thompson-Stahr, The Burling Books Ancestors and Descendants of Edward and Grace Burling, Quakers 91600-2000) Volume 1 (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, Inc., 2001), p. 328 – 333

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