Friday, November 25, 2011

Priscilla and Aquila

I don't know about other folks but we had a difficult time naming our children. We had all the name your baby books and got advise from friends and family but they didn't help much. I think we came up with good names, reflecting both our southern heritage and wanting our girls to be independent of encumbrances.

You have to admit, it would take a preacher to name his kids Priscilla and Aquila. But that is what James Hamilton Wentworth did on January 11, 1889. Wentworth was married to Elizabeth Green the sister of my great grandfather when they had twins in Bilowry, now part of the Eglin Air Force base in present day Santa Rosa County Florida.

Wentworth was working as a Baptist preacher and missionary in this remote area after a diverse career as an Lieutenant in the CSA, school teacher, Superintendent of Taylor County Florida Schools, Judge, Census Taker and Lawyer. There isn't much there in Bilowry now other than mosquitoes and sand gnats so you can only imagine what it was like in 1889.

Priscilla and Aquila were first century missionaries who went with the Apostle Paul on his travels and risked their lives for him. James and Elizabeth Wentworth were probably thinking of their remote home and difficult life in 1889 when they decided on the names.

Elizabeth apparently had a hard pregnancy and subsequent delivery. The twins, Aquilla Edgar Wentworth and Priscilla Elizabeth Wentworth lived only two and three days. Elizabeth never fully recovered and died herself in September of that year.

I wouldn't know anything about the twins except for two letters that were found in my great grandfather's bible. He kept the letter James Wentworth wrote on February 7, 1889 telling about the birth and death of the twins and another one on September 28, 1889 telling about Elizabeth's death.

The first letter says the twins were born two months early and he thought they were well but Elizabeth was too sick to nurse or care for them and they did not survive.

I think they were buried with their mother, in the Holley Point Cemetery in Santa Rosa County but there is not a marker for any of them. There are a couple graves there that would fit the time period, with only a concrete cover. One is an adult and the other a child size grave.

My great grandparents named their next son after Aquilla but spelled it with an E. Marian Equilla Green was born on February 22, 1891.

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