Looking for Mrs Bayard Hand

Looking for Mrs Bayard Hand

After reading the article about Lieutenant Bayard E Hand in the History of Rome and Floyd County, I confess I was dissatisfied that his wife’s name was not included. I was curious to find out who she was and what had happened to her.

At the first it was difficult to come up with her name, mainly because of the incorrect details in the article. Searches beginning with his name, tied to the state of Virginia as the place of marriage, coupled with an 1853 date (his Academy graduation date) proved fruitless. When I eliminated those secondary datums and concentrated on Bayard Hand I got several hits with marriage data for him – indexes, posted bonds and licenses – all with the 1858 date. And the name of his bride was Alice Whitfield.

To learn more about her it would be crucial to find her parents, and with that knowledge locate her in the federal censuses – 1850 the one before their marriage and 1860 the one after Bayard’s death. A family tree revealed that Alice’s father was William Thomas Whitfield (1819-1909) and her mother was Mary Elizabeth Crump Squiggins (1812-1880). The extra names listed for her mother proved very helpful in verifying the correct William Whitfield, for there was more than one possibility in each of those census years. Crump was her maiden name and Squiggins was the name of her first husband. So, the innkeeper “Wm. Whitfield” and his wife “Mary” in the 1850 census for Halifax County, NC are the correct ones – besides the three younger Whitfield children, four older “Squigings” children are noted.  But an “Alice” is not listed. Since she was born in 1842 she would have been eight years old at this census. There is an eight year old Whitfield daughter in this household, however her name is listed as “Temp.” I suspected they were one and the same, and was able to confirm it when a search on the Squiggins name turned up a family Bible in which her name is listed as T. Allice Whitfield. (Her marriage to Hand is also recorded in this same Bible, so a double confirmation). This coupled with the knowledge that her paternal grandmother’s name was Temperance, led me to conclude that her full given name was Temperance Allice Whitfield. From her marriage records forward she must have dropped Temperance and in some cases the second “L” from Allice.

All of this information made it easy to isolate the correct 1860 census record. Her father W T Whitfield was still a Hotel Keeper in Halifax County NC. Her mother M E Whitfield is there with her brother and sister; and Alice herself is listed as Allice Hand. Of note, Allice had a personal estate of 4000 dollars, forty times what her father possessed. I know from probate records that Bayard died intestate, and that Bayard’s stepfather must have seen to it that she was cared for out of her husband’s holdings.

So, what then happened to her after this?

The only record for Alice Hand after this date is the marriage bond that lists Alice W Hand marrying Julius Burton Timberlake in Halifax County, NC on November 5th 1863. Together they had five children, a son and four daughters. They named the first daughter Annie Bayard Timberlake, a touching tribute to her first husband. And Alice’s grandson Julian Burton Timberlake Sr. attended the Naval Academy and served in the First World War, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander by the time of his retirement in 1934.

One other search result led to a Facebook page and a surprising discovery. The family of Alice Whitfield Hand has donated her letters to the University of the South in Sewanee TN. They posted a scan of a letter that she had received from Bayard’s brother-in-law the Rev. Charles Todd Quintard, (later the first vice-chancellor of this same college). This letter from November 1858 is a warm “welcome to the family” to Alice and a humorous attempt to press her for news about the “scamp” naval lieutenant Bayard E Hand.

[Aside – I have ordered scans of some of her letters to hopefully answer some other questions I have, like did they meet at her father’s inn when he traveled between Rome GA and either Norfolk VA or Annapolis MD. Or was it at Beaufort at a later time. I will follow up with a post at a later date with what I learn.]

The Sad Tale of Lieutenant Bayard E Hand Part Two

The Sad Tale of Lt Bayard E Hand Part Two

When I was researching Bayard E Hand via Google an interesting article was listed high in the results. It was entitled “A Sailor’s Odd ‘Cruise.’” Someone had copied the entry to their family history from the book, A History of Rome and Floyd County by George Magruder Battey, Jr.

In summary, it relates that Bayard fell in love with a young Virginian girl just after graduating from the academy. They were joined in marriage but only had a short time together before he shipped out to South America. She then went to live with his mother and stepfather in Rome GA to await his return. The length of time of his absence is not noted, just that his ship put in to Wilmington NC, from whence he went on another 30 day leave to visit his wife and his parents. He returned to Wilmington, somehow contracted pneumonia and died on July 16, 1855 (a glaring error as will be seen below). His stepfather had him buried in Rome GA and placed a tombstone over him that referenced his career in the USN. This led to an unforeseen problem much later, when Sherman’s forces occupied the area in 1864. Someone took it into their head to remove Bayard from “traitorous” soil and had him shipped north to be reburied in a more friendly land. His stepfather was understandably outraged, but could do nothing about it until sometime after the war, when he successfully retrieved his step son’s body.

Though the historian was most likely well versed in the history of the disposition of the lieutenant’s body, the case is somewhat different when it comes to the details he relates about Bayard when he was alive.

Carrying forward from where I left off in last week’s post, Bayard left on a cruise on August 9, 1853 to the Brazil station shortly after graduating from the naval academy. There was no mention of him being married at this time. He was promoted twice in the time he was gone, coming back a lieutenant in November of 1855. (It can be seen by this date that the historian was in error as to Bayard’s death date, though to be fair his may have been a printer’s typo).

Throughout 1856 up until September 1858, Bayard was attached to vessels serving in the Coast Survey. This was a service run by the Treasury Department which had as its mission to map rivers, creeks, bays, harbors, etc. along the coastline to promote and protect the nation’s water borne trade and commerce. Often they were called on to rescue merchant vessels in dire straits. Bayard was awarded a gold chronometer for his part in one such rescue.

I have records that indicate that Bayard served in the Coast Survey from as far north as New York to as far south as Florida. And my guess is that he spent a good deal of his time in the Carolinas, and in North Carolina in particular. For on September 27, 1858, Bayard married Alice Whitfield in Carteret County, NC, most likely in or near the county seat – Beaufort. Further research revealed that she was not a Virginian, but a North Carolinian.

The rest of my chronology for Bayard follows the order, if not the time period put forward by the historian. After his honeymoon with his sixteen year old wife, Bayard reported for naval duty in the Paraguay Expedition. This expedition was a punitive action triggered by an insult to the flag, when forces of the Paraguayan government fired on a US vessel in 1855, killing a US seaman.  I have differing records as to which vessel he served on. Both were steamers that were especially chartered for the expedition. One possibility was the steamer Fulton under John Jay Almy, the other (my money is on this one) was the steamer Southern Star under Alexander M. Pennock. Both returned to the US in May of 1859, which lines up with the rest of his story. Bayard would have had one more one month’s leave with his wife before his death at Wilmington NC on July 16, 1859.

The poignant inscription at the bottom of Bayard E Hand’s tombstone reads:

The anchor of his soul was Faith in Christ.