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A. S. Williams III Americana Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Gaillard and Hurtel families papers W.0090


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

December 2013


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-12-17T11:30-0600

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Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

Gaillard and Hurtel families papers

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


0.2 Linear feet




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

General Physical Description note

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


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


Gaillard, Catherine, 1816-1821


Hurtel, Alphonse John, 1825-1877


Hurtel, Gordon Noel, 1858-1921


Williams, A. S., III

Acquisition Information:

Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Preferred Citation:

Gaillard and Hurtel families papers, A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Scope and Contents note

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.

Access Restrictions:


Biographical/Historical note

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.

General note

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

Processing Information:

Processed by

Haley Aaron, 2013


Gaillard, Edmund, 1818-1894 (local)

Gaillard, Henrietta Porcher, 1837-1930 (local)

Gaillard, John, 1814-1860 (local)

Gaillard, Marianne Gendron Palmer, 1793-1860 (local)

Gaillard, Martha Rebecca, 1839-1910 (local)

Gaillard, Thomas, 1790-1864 (local)

Hurtel, Odaline Leclaire, 1859-1918 (local)

Williams, A. S., III (local)

Commonplace books (aat)

Correspondence (aat)

Daily Life and Family (localbroad)

Mobile (Ala.) (lcsh)

Monroe County (Ala.) (lcsh)

Commonplace book Item 1 Box W0090.01

Gaillard family letters Box W0090.01 Folder 2