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 Costive Case of Gilman D Gove

The Costive Case of Gilman D Gove

I was entering data on Acting Midshipman Gilman D. Gove for his stay at the US Naval Academy hospital from December eleventh through fourteenth in 1855, and there it was, another term that I needed to look up. Though I had a sense what it might mean from a root word with which I was familiar, I was puzzled as to what medical connotation it might carry. The word was “costiveness.” Its root word “costive” had conveyed a sense to me that something was being held back, as in that someone who was costive, was not speaking, was holding back his opinion.

I was surprised to learn that its first meaning was the medical condition – constipation, and the secondary meanings were what I thought were its first. (And it also shed some new light on my original understanding). The word constipation had been used in every case up to this one, and why the records keeper for the case of Midshipman Gove chose to use the word “costiveness” remains a mystery to me. Perhaps it was a different record keeper than whoever kept the former entries and it was his vocabulary of choice.

There are some unsettled facts about Gilman. I found a birth record from the state of New Hampshire that states he was born on May 12, 1837 in Kensington (the town in which his grandparents lived and from which there are many Goves). Yet the naval academy records, the 1870 and 1880 Federal censuses, and the government hospitals in which he was a patient, all list Louisiana as his birth state. Indeed, they were transplants to that area from New England. His father, Asa Dearborn Gove had moved the family from his wife’s home in Boston, Massachusetts to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1832. In Boston he had been in the fruit business with his brother Amos. He continued in that line in their new home, trading in fruit around the Caribbean. So, though Louisiana would seem the most likely birthplace for him, Kensington can not be ruled out.

Some time in the 1850s his father moved the family and business to New York, and it is from that state that Gilman was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1852. Gilman graduated from the academy in 1856 and served only two years before resigning in 1858.  I do not know the reason for his resignation. His father passed away in 1860, so he might have resigned to help an ailing parent. Asa had sold the business in New York and bought a farm in Windsor, Illinois. Gilman’s name does appear on the 1860 probate papers as administrator.

With the coming of the Civil War, Gilman entered the navy once again. He traveled to the nearby town of Neoga, Illinois in March 1862 and enlisted in the volunteer navy. He served as an Acting Ensign in the Mississippi Squadron, on at least two gunboats, the USS Black-Hawk and the USS Benton. He was serving on the later when he again resigned in February 1863. Again I do not know the reason for the resignation.

He most likely returned to Illinois. The IRS records for 1865 list him with his brother Howard in Charleston, Illinois, which put them close to their mother in Windsor. The 1870 census places their mother in Kansas City, Missouri, living with her daughter’s family.  The boys are also listed in this residence and working as clerks for their brother-in-law. Their sister’s husband, William Beecher Stone owned an agricultural warehouse which dealt in farm implements. The next census (1880) indicates that Gilman and Howard followed  Mr. Stone to Galena, Kansas. A huge lead strike was discovered in Galena in 1877, setting off a rush, and Stone got in on the ground floor. Gilman is listed as a clerk in the district court, and living with Howard’s family. Howard was working in Stone’s lead mining company, and within a few years Gilman was also.

In December 1891, Gilman was diagnosed with nervous prostration, and admitted to the Government hospital in Leavenworth Kansas on 5/5/1892. He was discharged after a four year stay, but only to be transferred to the Government Insane Asylum in D. C., where he died two months later; the cause – general paralysis and insane with dementia. Was lead responsible? Another unanswered question.

So, this is my summation of the life of Gilman D. Gove, full of facts and connections but with some dangling questions, big and small. Nowhere in all these records did I find his middle name recorded. Two family names are possible candidates: Dearborn (his father’s middle name) or Donnell (his mother’s middle name).

As they say, “The answer is out there.” Somewhere in the costive universe there are answers to all these little questions about Gilman D. Gove.