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Gaillard and Hurtel families papers

Identifier: W-0090

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a commonplace book, letters, and other items compiled by the extended Gaillard and Hurtel families of Claiborne and Mobile, Alabama.

The commonplace book, written by Alphonse Hurtel, contains images and approximately thirty-five pages of handwritten quotations. Two obituaries are handwritten on pages 220 to 226: a biography of John Hurtel written by members of Mobile's Get-Away Club and an obituary for Thomas Noel.

The collection contains approximately twenty letters, all written or received by members of the extended Gaillard and Hurtel families and dated between 1838 and 1885. Frequent correspondents include Thomas Gaillard and his wife Marianne Gendron Palmer and their children Edmund Gaillard and Martha Rebecca Gaillard (referred to as Bec or Becca in the letters). The letters report family news, describe outbreaks of disease, the purchase or rent of new homes, and the birth and death of family members. In one interesting letter addressed to Bec Gaillard, a friend named Mollie outlined her reasons for breaking off her engagement with her fiance and asked for Gaillard's advice.

The collection also contains miscellaneous documents and items compiled by family members, including genealogical materials, a typescript biography of Thomas Gaillard, a lock of Catherine Gaillard's hair, and an 1879 abstinence pledge written by Gordon Hurtel.


  • 1838-1885


Physical Description

Letters are very fragile; many have split or are in danger of splitting along folds.

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

Author and historian, Thomas Gaillard was born on April 25, 1793, in St. Stephens Parish, South Carolina. On May 12, 1812, Gaillard married Marianne Gendron Palmer in Pineville, South Carolina. The couple had thirteen children: Thomas Palmer, John, Catherine, Edmund, Charles, Richebourg, Samuel Septimus, Elizabeth Octavia, Harriett Porcher, Franklin, Lydia Henrietta, Marianne Gendron, and Peter James.

Their son John married Caroline Rachel Gordon. The couple had eight children: Catherine Marianne, Henrietta Porcher, Thomas, Sara Blakely, William McConnell, Elizabeth Richebourg, John, and Lydia Hamilton.

Thomas and Marianne's daughter Catherine married Alphonse Hurtel in 1855. The couple had five children: Octavia Richebourg, Gordon Noel, Odalie Leclaire, Feliz Gage, and Katherine Marianne.


0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Commonplace book, letters, and other documents and items collected by these Mobile and Claiborne, Alabama, families.

Physical Location

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama


Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Physical Description

Letters are very fragile; many have split or are in danger of splitting along folds.


Title on Spine: Papers of Thomas Gaillard and his Hurtel Descendants of Claiborne and Mobile, 1838-1908

Processed by

Haley Aaron, 2013



Guide to the Gaillard and Hurtel families papers
December 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266