Tilghman Family Papers, 1493-1940

Finding Aid to the Tilghman Family Papers, MS 2600

H. Furlong Baldwin Library,
Maryland Historical Society

Collection summary
Title Tilghman Family Papers, 1493-1940
Creator Richard Tilghman Family
Call number MS 2600
Inclusive dates 1493-1940
Bulk dates 1684-1918
Extent 3 boxes and 6 oversize items
Abstract This collection spans five generations of the Richard Tilghman family of Grosses, Talbot Co. MD. It is divided into subgroups of land papers, papers of the four principal family members, and miscellaneous papers of the family. Although mostly correspondence, the collection contains land documents, wills, a ledger from Grosses, genealogical material, and a draft of MD: A GUIDE TO THE OLD LINE STATE. The correspondence includes a variety of subjects such as life in 19th c. Baltimore and the Eastern Shore, Grosses, The Navy, the Mexican War, death, family, farming, London, English society, travels across Europe, the Franco-Prussian War, sentiments after the Civil War, WW I and its training camps.
Administrative summary
Repository H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
[email protected]
Access restrictions Public use restricted to microfilm: Manuscripts Dept. microfilm MS 2001; 2 reels.
Use restrictions Permission to quote must be received in writing from the Special Collections Librarian.
Provenance Gift of the estate of James Donnell Tilghman
Accession number 000325
Processing note The contents of this collection and some other collections related to the Lloyd and Tilghman families have been indexed in detail in the Library's online catalog under a grant from the Tilghman family. This enables researchers to identify potential primary materials at both the collection and the item level through a single search. Researchers are advised that broad searches may produce an extensive list of results. A search by specific terms, such as name of individual or property, is recommended. See the online Guide to Searching the Tilghman-Lloyd Collections.
Related Collections The following collections also relate to the Lloyd and Tilghman families and are searchable in detail as described in the Guide to Searching the Tilghman-Lloyd Collections.

MS 2001 Lloyd Papers, 1658-1910
MS 2001.1 Edward Lloyd V Collection, 1796-1817
PP 242 Lloyd Family Photograph Collection, 1860-1930

Biographical Note

The Tilghman's of America descend from Dr. Richard Tilghman who, with his wife, Mary, came to America in 1660 and settled at the Hermitage in Queen Ann's County, MD. His older son Richard Tilghman II married Anna Maria Lloyd of the same county. Their son, William, married his cousin Margaret Lloyd and came into possession of Gross Coat, which remained the family seat for generations to come. Succeeding generations continued to add to the original parcel of land located on the Wye River in Talbot County.

Captain William Gibson Tilghman was born and raised at Gross Coat. In 1808, he married Anna Polk by which he had seven children. He died in June 1844 leaving his estate to be divided up equally among his six remaining children but giving Grosses itself to his son Richard Lloyd Tilghman.

Born at Grosses in 1811, as a second son, Richard followed the life his father believed best for him and joined the Navy as a midshipmen at the age of 19. For the next thirty years, he remained in the Navy, moving up to a Lieutenant and participating in the Mexican War. During one of his leaves in 1843, he married Agnes Riddell Owen, the daughter of Kennedy and Agnes (Riddell) Owen. She was born on November 24, 1814. For the next ten years, their relationship consisted mainly of correspondence and a few visits home, as Richard was stationed around Mexico and the Pacific Coast. During this time he was assigned to several ships; the U.S. Cyane, the U.S. Congress, and his own vessel, the Perry.

While Richard was on deployment with the navy, Agnes managed their home, splitting her time between Baltimore and Grosses. She was family oriented and kept in close contact with both her own as well as Richard's side of the family. She often visited relatives and even helped raise her sister's children after the death of her sister. While Richard was stationed away from home, she capably managed domestic issues, such as housekeeping and overseeing the harvest. Agnes also dealt with financial matters, such as buying and selling property and allocating resources. Richard and Agnes had eight children and she raised all of them. The love and admiration between Agnes and Richard can be seen in every letter. Richard Lloyd Tilghman died in September of 1867 leaving Agnes and seven remaining children. She later died on March 18, 1897.

Charles Henry Tilghman, the second child and eldest boy of Richard and Agnes, was born in January of 1846 while his father was at sea. After studying medicine in the U.S., twenty-two year old Charles left to study abroad. In England, he discovered he admired the English way of life and enjoyed London's social whirl. A year later, he reluctantly decided it was time to move on and traveled to Paris. He did not like it as much and began to travel around Europe. In 1870, he joined the Franco-Prussian War on the French side. Sometime after 1871, Charles returned home and continued his profession as a doctor. He married Elizabeth Donnell in November of 1881 with whom he had nine children. Charles Tilghman died at home in 1906.

His namesake and sixth child, Charles Henry, Jr., was born in 1890. At the beginning of World War I, he entered the army and was sent to Fort Niagara and Fort Meade for training. On graduating from these camps, he was appointed a captain in the National Army and in charge of a regiment on the front line. Here he was wounded in action, when he was hit in the eye, and thus received the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery. At the end of the war, he served as a liaison officer in Poland and Germany. Upon returning home, Charles, Jr. married Carolyn Ward. He died in April of 1954.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of the papers of the Richard Tilghman family, spanning five generations and including three major wars. The papers, mostly correspondence, are divided into subgroups of land papers, papers of the four principal family members, and finally miscellaneous papers.

  1. Wills and Land Papers (1493; 1658-1821)-This section consists of the documents concerning the Tilghman estate Grosses (or Gross Coat as it was earlier known). Among them are deeds and surveys showing the additions to and the ownership of the plantation throughout the generations. Documents include surveys, deeds, wills, and indentures for such parcels of land as Gross Coat, the Adventure, Grosses Addition, Sawyer's Forest, Court Road and Dundee. Also included is a typed copy of the will of William Tilghman of London, dated 1493. (See also oversize.)
  2. Captain William Gibson Tilghman (1831-1850)-His papers deal mainly with the division of his estate upon his death. They include correspondence between family and lawyers concerning the division, property lists for both Grosses and the Dundee farm, and a list of all his slaves including their age and value. Also included are the receipts and agreements of the final division showing the extent of each family member's acquisition. A letter from his son, Richard, describes Navy life in Norfolk, Virginia.
  3. Lieutenant Richard Lloyd Tilghman (1830-1904)-The bulk of the collection falls into this section and consists of correspondence. The decade of correspondence between the Lieutenant and his wife, Agnes, gives a rich view of life for a young married women. Agnes writes of everyday life; her health; her children, including their illnesses; town life; the farm; his family and the death of his brother, Charles; and the hardships of being alone. Richard, in return, discusses his life on ship and his different duty-stations during the Mexican War. He talks of news from home and his views on the management of Grosses. Mixed in these letters are correspondence from other naval officers commending Richard on his service. Also included are his will and Agnes' widow pension records.
  4. Doctor Charles Henry Tilghman (1868-1887)-This entire section includes correspondence from Charles to his mother, Agnes, while he is in Europe. The letters begin in London where he has gone to study medicine and give a lively account of a variety of interests in nineteenth century London and America such as English society and fashions, English servants versus American blacks, farming techniques, hospitals, the condition of the United States after the war, Yankee prejudice, and the expenses of living in London. A year later Charles moves to Paris where he continues to write home. Here he writes about the language, the differences of society, medical techniques, and his growing uncertainty about his profession. Probably because of this, he begins to travel writing of Germany, Baden-Baden, and his desire to go to Switzerland. Charles then joins the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1871, describing in his letters the horrors of the war from the French side.
  5. Captain Charles Henry Tilghman, Jr. (1917-1919)-The correspondence in this section deals with World War I and training of men before they were assigned to duty on the front line. Stationed in Fort Niagara, Charles describes life in an army camp: the daily routines, recreation, and the study of such techniques as handling hand grenades and learning trench warfare. His letters from Fort Meade give an adequate account of the building of this camp into an army training base. Later correspondence comes directly from the front live in Europe and from Base Hospital #18, in France, after he was wounded. At the end of the war, Charles writes of the hardships of bringing his regiment back across Europe and later, of his duties as liaison officer in Germany and Poland.
  6. Miscellaneous (1753-1916, n.d.)-The remainder of the collection consists of miscellaneous items dated throughout the time span. Richard Tilghman's ledger (1790-1806) lists interesting and everyday expenses including documentation of family portraits by Charles Willson Peale (these portraits are owned by MHS). This section also includes the Tilghman family genealogy dating back to the Richard Tilghman of Henry IV's reign (see also oversize). More recent genealogical notes describe the ascendancy of Halloway Court, the Tilghman's estate in Kent, England. It also details the branch that moves to America as the descendants of this family. Another noteworthy item is the draft to James Donnell Tilghman's Maryland: A Guide to the Old Line State. These notes include descriptions of places and events in Maryland history. They discuss colonial and Maryland architecture, a history of the National Pike and other interesting tidbits of Maryland history. James gives a description of places of interest on two Maryland tours.

Container List

Contents Date span Box Folder Reel
William Tilghman--Will (typed copy) 1493 1 1 1
Land Surveys 1658-1685 1 2 1
Christopher St. Lee--Will 1702-1-16 1 3 1
William Tilghman--Will 1761-12-20 1 4 1
Alice Lloyd-Will 1739-4-6 1 5 1
Tilghman Family--Land Papers Concerning Gross Coat 1675-1740 1 6 1
Tilghman Family--Land-quit Rents 1744-1758 1 7 1
The Adventure--Land Papers 1745, 1746, 1759; undated 1 8 1
Sawyer's Forest--Land Surveying 1818-1875 1 9 1
Miscellaneous Land Papers undated 1 10 1
William G. Tilghman--List of Negroes and their Distribution ca. 1849-1850 1 11 1
William G. Tilghman--Estate Papers: Correspondence about Division of Estate ca. 1849-50 1 12 1
William G. Tilghman--Estate Papers: Receipts and Agreements of Division of Estate ca. 1849-1850 1 13 1
William G. Tilghman--Estate Papers: Property Lists of Grosses and Dundee ca. 1849-1850 1 14 1
James Biddle to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1830-5-19 1 15 1
Richard L. Tilghman to William G. Tilghman 1831-4-1 1 16 1
John D. Nicolson to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1833-4-5 1 17 1
Philip Falkerson Voorhees to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1833-9-10 1 18 1
William G. Tilghman to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1839-1-5 1 19 1
Richard Lloyd Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman 1842-1843 1 20 1
Richard Lloyd Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman 1844 1 21 1
Agnes R.O. Tilghman to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1842-1844; undated 1 22 1
Richard Lloyd Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman 1845 1 23 1
N.I. Gibson to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1845-10-28 1 24 11
Agnes R.O. Tilghman to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1845, 1846 1 25 1
Richard Lloyd Tilghman to Mary and Charles Tilghman ca. 1846-1850 1 26 1
Richard Lloyd Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman 1846 1 27 1
Richard Lloyd Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman 1847 1 28 1
Frederick Chatard to Mrs. Richard L. Tilghman--Correspondence Concerning her Husband 1847-2-13 1 29 1
Agnes R.O. Tilghman to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1847-49; undated 1 30 1
William Hrease to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1847-2-19 1 31 1
Richard Lloyd Tilghman--Correspondence Concerning the Navy and the Vessels Perry & Fulton 1847-1861 2 1 1
Richard Lloyd Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman from the Garrison of Mazatlan 1848 2 2 1
Kennedy Owen to Richard Lloyd Tilghman 1849-2-26 to 1850-9-24 2 3 1
S.W. Polk to Richard L. Tilghman 1849-3-31 and 1849-7-8 2 4 1
Richard L. Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman ca. 1850 and undated 2 5 1
Richard L. Tilghman to Unspecified Recipient 1858 2 6 1
William Logan to Richard L. Tilghman 1861-5-8 2 7 1
Richard Lloyd Tilghman--Will 1861-6-23 2 8 1
Mrs. Richard L. Tilghman (Agnes R.O.) Widow's Pension Records 1887-1904 2 9 1
Richard L. Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman 1836 and undated 2 10 1
Miscellaneous Letters, Richard L. Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman undated 2 11 1
Agnes R.O. Tilghman to Richard Lloyd Tilghman undated 2 12 1
S.F. DuPont to Richard Lloyd Tilghman undated 2 13 1
Charles H. Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman 1868 Oct.-Dec. 2 14 1
Charles H. Tilghman to Sallie Tilghman 1869-2-18 & 1869-6-10 2 15 1
Charles H. Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman, from Paris 1869 2 16 1
Charles H. Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman, from London 1869 2 17 1
Connie [DcW] Throbald to Agnes R.O. Tilghman concerning Charles 1870-11-3 2 18 1
Charles H. Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman 1870 2 19 1
_____ Tilghman to Charles H. Tilghman undated 2 20 1
Charles H. Tilghman to Agnes R.O. Tilghman 1871 2 21 1
Agnes R.O. Tilghman to Charles H. Tilghman 1887 2 22 1
Charles H. Tilghman Jr. to Elizabeth Donnell Tilghman 1917-1918 2 23 1
Charles H. Tilghman Jr. to Elizabeth Donnell Tilghman 1918 2 24 1
Charles H. Tilghman Jr. to Elizabeth Donnell Tilghman 1919 2 25 1
Elizabeth Donnell Tilghman--Correspondence concerning Charles 1918-12-23; undated 2 26 1
List of Negroes Inoculated 1753 3 1 2
Richard Tilghman--Invoices for Goods 1786, 1787 3 2 2
Richard Tilghman--Bill 1783 3 3 2
James Tilghman to Tom [Tilghman] (copy) 1787 3 4 2
Miscellaneous Correspondence 1834, 1870, 1888 3 5 2
Albert Baer to Mr. [William] DeCourcy 1893-9-26 3 6 2
Williams Family Correspondence 1821-1829 3 7 2
H. Boyle to Kennedy Owen 1838-10-31 3 8 2
Tilghman Family Genealogy 1916-9-14; undated 3 9 2
Richard Tilghman--Ledger 1790-1806 3 10 2
James Donnell Tilghman Drafts--MD: Guide to Old Line State undated 3 11 2
James Donnell Tilghman Drafts--MD: Guide to Old Line State undated 3 12 2
Directions for Knitting Thread Gloves undated 3 13 2
Envelopes undated 3 14 2
Indenture of Land 1738 OS 1 --
Survey of the Adventure 1759 OS 1 --
Harvard Degree of Charles H. Tilghman 1831-8-3 OS 1 --
Genealogy undated OS 1 --
Genealogy undated OS 1 --
Miscellaneous undated OS 1 --