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 (http://www.Ancestry.com : 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 (http://www.ancestry.com : 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 (http://www.Ancestry.com : 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 (http://www.Ancestry.com : 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 (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Nov 2008).
7. “Mortuary Notice,” The Sun, 26 May 1890, p. 2; digital images, GenealogyBank (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 29 Nov 2008), Historical Newspapers.

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