Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Link Field Forehand (1877-1916)

   Possessing a name that's guaranteed to give you a chuckle, Florida legislator Link Field Forehand's life is examined today, and I'm proud to relate that the following biography on this obscure Floridian marks the first time a picture of him is available online. A lifelong resident of the Sunshine State, the mysterious Link Forehand has scant information on himself available online, but a 1915 Florida Blue Book (where the above portrait was located) came to my rescue in this regard, helping to furnish many of the facts on Forehand contained herein.
  Link Field Forehand was born in Liberty County, Florida on Independence Day 1877, one of six children born to Jeremiah M. and Mary Parish Forehand. Forehand inherited his rather odd name from his paternal grandfather, also named Link Field Forehand. A few variations in spelling have also been found for Forehand's name, among them "Link Fields", "Linkfield" and the abbreviation "L.F. Forehand."
  Link Forehand's father Jerry died when his son was just eleven years old, and the young boy received his education in the public schools of Liberty County. Following his graduation Forehand, "by persistent efforts and self sacrificing", went on to enroll at the Florida State College in the late 1890s. He is mentioned as being involved in local merchandising after leaving school and had "good success in his business." Forehand married around 1905 to a Ms. Cassey Stokes who eventually gave birth to four children, Calum (born October 1909), Selma (born 1910), Onis (born December 1913) and Cecil C. (later known as Cary Cecil, born in April 1915).
  In November 1914 Forehand was elected by the citizens of Liberty County as their representative in the Florida State House of Representatives, taking his seat at the beginning of the 1915 term. He served as chairman of the legislative committee on Forestry during this term and also held a seat on the committees on Indian Affairs, Insurance, Live Stock, and Privileges and Elections. Busy as a first-term legislator, Forehand received a write up in the 1915 Florida Blue Book, which noted that during his service he "performed the great trust nobly and well. He was a man of forceful type, one who believed firmly and honestly. He showed utter lack of fear and appeared not in the least tender, or backward in his views, whether right or wrong." The below snippets denoting Forehand's service were featured in the aforementioned book.

  Link F. Forehand's tenure in the legislature lasted but a short time, being terminated by his unexpected death a little over a year after taking his seat. He died on March 6, 1916, aged only 38 and was interred at the Bristol Cemetery in Bristol, Liberty County, Florida. His untimely death is recorded by a notice on the Rootsweb genealogical website as being the result of "pelegra" (pellagra), a vitamin deficiency disease brought about by the lack of vitamin B3 in one's diet. Following her husband's untimely death, Cassie Stokes Forehand remarried in North Carolina in April 1919 to Gustave Stigwalt, and it is unknown at this time if any children were born to this union. Originally the names of the Forehand children and Cassie Stokes couldn't be found, and a hearty thank goes out to SNIAPH site friend Greg Spadoni for locating those interesting historical tidbits. Greg received an extensive mention in two previous articles on Washington state politician and judge Govnor Teats, which can be viewed here and here. Many thanks again for your help!

 You Can Help!!

  It's time once again for one of those "You Can Help" segments, and in the case of Mr. Link Field Forehand, it is sorely needed! If any regular readers, Facebook fans, amateur historians or possible relatives have any time on their hands and want an interesting project to fill your time with, see what you can find in terms of information on this man! I'd appreciate anything you might be able to dig up on this uniquely named Florida legislator. As there is next to nothing on the world wide web about this interestingly named man, maybe someone out there knows more about him than what is already mentioned in his article here! I look forward to possibly hearing from you!


  1. He was my grandfather. My grandmother
    had 2 children by her 2nd marriage.(Rutth&Paul)

    Cary Forehand

  2. Link was my Great-Grandfather. Cassie Stokes Forehand remarried to Gustave Sigwalt (not Stigwalt). Ruth Sigwalt was my Great Aunt and lived in St.Augustine. Paul Sigwalt was my Great Uncle and lived in Tallahassee until his passing with My Grandfather (Pop) Onis Field Forehand (I show he was born Dec. 23, 1912) and Grandmother (TeenTeen) Tennie (Huggins) Forehand. Many of the Forehand clan lived in the Tallahassee area. My Great Aunt Selma (Link's daughter) lived in Tallahassee and was caretaker for the Tallahassee Garden Center for many years.

    Charles Forehand

  3. Forehand Family Researcher (17 Years)
    Linkfield Forehand is a descendant of Cornelius Forehand born County Cork, Ireland 1680 and died July 26, 1728 South Mills Pasquotank N.C.
    Linkfield Forehand Name Mystery Follow Up:
    Family Tree:
    The founding member of Linkfield Forehand’s family line and the possible source for his unusual name is “linked” to Jeremiah Forehand born c. 1795 Sumter District, South Carolina and died July 19, 1854 (probate records Pulaski, GA). Jeremiah was married to Letty Forehand, born c. 1800 North Carolina and died 1870 Pulaski, GA. The Following information is part of what I am contributing to a website (currently under construction):
    1827 Jeremiah Forehand won land in a GA Land Lottery in Pulaski County G.A. (Gilstrap District)
    Mystery behind the name "Linkfield"

    John Linkfield Forehand (son of Jeremiah Forehand born 1792) had the unique name "Linkfield" that only occurred twice within the entire Forehand family line. The other occurrence of this name was Linkfield Forehand born July 4, 1877. It was a very common practice to incorporate family surnames from maternal lines into first and middle family lines to honor and preserve the maiden surname beyond marriage. Therefore while researching thousands of names there was several Linkfield surnames found in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. There were also some other family lines that incorporated this English Surname into a first or middle name.

    • John Linkfield was born 1827 Pulaski County GA and lived in the neighboring county away from Linkfield Perkins, a resident of Wilkinson County, GA.
    • Linkfield Perkins was born between 1761-1770 in North Carolina. He enrolled in the War of 1812 (2 REG'T -Tisdale's- North Carolina Mil. and served as a corporal.
    • Linkfield Perkins married Mary Allen that was a native of Pulaski County GA.
    • Linkfield Perkins shows up in many Pulaski , GA Probate records.

    There was a connection between Jeremiah Forehand and Linkfield Perkins (Possible War of 1812 history). This relationship possibly explains the origin of John Linkfield of Pulaski, GA.

    Letty Forehand, Jeremiah's Wife was born in N.C. Linkfield Perkins is also from N.C. It is quite possible that Letty's maiden name was Perkins and she named her first child after her father. Both Linkfield Perkins and Jeremiah Forehand moved to G.A. where they won land in the GA land lotteries.

    Linkfield Perkins
    Born: between 1761-1770
    Died in Wilkinson Co. GA 1833

    History of Linkfield Perkins of Wilkinson County, GA (Neighboring County to Pulaski County, GA)
    • Linkfield Perkins shows up in a probate record (Appraisements 1817-1847 vol. B, Image 270/560). Estate of Ephraim Phillips –Auction Date: November 15, 1821.

    • Linkfield Perkins shows up in a probate record (Appraisements 1817-1847 vol. B, Image 393/627). Perkins shows up in a probate record Jan. 5, 1830 for Olive Philips (Orphan of Burnwell Philips Dec’d)

    • Linkfield Perkins: Pulaski, GA Returns 1817-1841. A return of John Irwin Hodges on Estate of Robert Hodges on Estate of Robert Hodges Dec’d (1830).

    • War of 1812 Service Record for Linkfield Perkins / Jeremiah Forehand also enrolled in this war and can be found in the National Archives War Records.

    • Linkfield Perkins: 1830 USFC Wilkinson, GA Age: Born 1761-1770

    The dates, location, and documentation support that Linkfield Forehand was named after Linkfield Perkins. Letty Forehand named her son after this man, possibly her father, both from N.C.

  4. I have created a website that explores the Forehand Surname. This site goes into detail about Linkfield's family. Please review for more details: