William & Mary Lakin, Ruddington, England – Quadruple Descent!

William Lakin and wife Mary of Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, England have thousands and thousands of descendants. William Lakin was born about 1595 and was buried on 22 April 1633 in Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, England. His widow, Mary (MNU) remarried on 22 July 1637 at St. Nicholas, Nottingham to William Martin. William and Mary Martin then immigrated to New England along with Mary’s sons, William and John Lakin, about 1644.

It happens that both William and John Lakin are my ancestors and I descend not once, but twice, from each of them. My comment about William and Mary Lakin having not just “thousands,” but “thousands and thousands” of descendants is partly borne out by the fact that Ancestry has 2934 public member trees just for John Lakin and about the same number for William Lakin, although it is likely that the two mostly overlap as William and John were brothers.

The sad thing is that very few of these trees have the correct place of birth for the Lakins even though the family has been well researched and documented both in the New England Historic Genealogical Register (48:444-446) by Dr. Samuel A. Green and by Douglas Richardson in The American Genealogist, July 1995, pages 142-148. It is a reminder to myself once again about how few people even fact check before importing information from others.

Dr. Green gave the clue that Lt. William Lakin, born 1623, received a legacy from his deceased father, also William Lakin, of “Reding   tn in England.” Douglas Richardson took the important next step of eliminating Reading, Berkshire, England as the family home and instead discovered the marriage of Mary Lakyn to William Martin in 1637 in Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, England. Further research proved the theory that this was the same couple who migrated to New England in the 1640’s.

If you are one of the many Lakin descendants and haven’t read those two articles, I strongly encourage you to seek them out, as the information is fully documented and sourced.

Now, back to my quadruple descent story. William and Mary Lakin, parents of William and John, are my ten times great grandparents. I started to sketch out on paper how to best demonstrate the tangled lines of descent through four Lakins. The clearest method seemed to be a chart documenting the lines up to the generation where they converged.

By the way, the Lakins had no bias against intermarrying with cousins and widows/widowers in the family. It happened multiple times.

Here are the first six generations of descent from William and Mary:


William and Mary Lakin, Ruddington, England

William of Ruddington died in England and left a will. His widow, Mary emigrated to Massachusetts with her second husband and Lakin children. By 1655, the new town of Groton was settled and the Lakins spent the remainder of their lives there. The following two Lakin generations (my generations 3 and 4 from William of Ruddington) were also born and raised, married and died in Groton.

By the fifth generation, though, some of the family began to move away. Oliver Shepley and wife Mary Lakin (both great great grandchildren of William of Ruddington) moved to nearby Pepperell. Both died young of a pestilence in 1755, leaving only one child, a daughter, Sibbel. Sibbel married James Scripture, also of an early Groton family. James Scripture was also descended from William of Ruddington, who was, for both James and Sibbel, their great great great grandfather.

James and Sibbel Shepley, in turn, are my five times great grandparents. The Shepleys removed to Mason, Hillsboro, New Hampshire. My line of descent continues as:

6. James Scripture = Sibbel Shepley
1749-1810                1755-1834

7. Oliver Scripture = Mary Goddard Bucknam
1796-1862                1801-1879

Oliver and Mary Scripture removed to Glenburn, Penobscot, Maine.

8. George Rogers Tarbox = Mary Elizabeth Scripture
1818-1895                              1827-1866

George and Mary Tarbox removed to Calais, Washington, Maine. The remainder of my line were born in Calais, down to my mother, Doris Priscilla Adams.

9. Calvin Segee Adams = Nellie F. Tarbox
1843-1921                         1856-1927

10. Charles Edward Adams = Annie Maude Stuart
1877-1922                               1874-1940

11. Vernon Tarbox Adams = Hazel Ethel Coleman
1899-1968                              1901-1995

12. George Michael Sabo = Doris Priscilla Adams
1926-1985                            1923-2008

13. Linda Anne Sabo – me!

Vernon Adams worked for Western Union so the family moved up and down the East Coast between New Jersey and Maine. My parents met and married while my mother was living in New Jersey. Vernon and Hazel eventually moved to Massachusetts, where they lived out their lives.

Have many overlapping lines of descent have you found in your own family tree?


Recommended Reads

Here are my favorite posts for the week:

Are Your Ancestors the Average of 5 Records? by Amy Johnson Crow on No Story Too Small

Awaiting Untold Stories From Recently Opened Ukrainian Secret Service’s Archives by Lost Russian Family on Find Lost Russian and Ukrainian Family

Thank You, Grandpa, for the Gift of My New Cousins by Amy Cohen on Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

The Hammer by Susan Messler on Genealogycorner

Genealogy and Special Keyboard Characters by Pat Burns on Pat Burns

Where Did Your Ancestors Live? An Introduction to City Directories by James Tanner on Genealogy’s Start

Smash and Grab Genealogy, or Deciding Whether to Post an Online Tree by Debbie Mieszala on The Advancing Genealogist

Did the Entire Family Disappear? by Joanne Cowden on Researching Relatives

Read How a Family History Fib Spread in 1889, and is Still Spreading Today by Heather Wilkinson Rojo on Nutfield Genealogy

Score Another One for Genetic Genealogy by Jacqi Stevens on A Family Tapestry

20 Rules for Genealogy by Melissa Wiseheart on A Wise Heart’s Journey

This one is just plain fun. Some families have some strong genes:

Seeing Double: Family Photos by Emma on MyHeritage

Because it is almost time for FGS-RootsTech 2015, Paula Stuart-Warren has suggested a great packing list. There are three items on it that I also pack, but I always hear others wishing they had them – business cards to share contact information (even if you don’t have a business!), pre-printed address labels with email and phone number for door prizes and a water bottle that doesn’t leak. Read her other suggestions here:

All Packed for the Combined FGS and RootsTech Conferences? by Paula Stuart-Warren on Genealogy by Paula




Matilda M. Peavler Stufflebean

Matilda M. Peavler’s life was turned upside down by the Civil War.

Matilda was born in December about 1835 or 1836 in Knox County, Kentucky, the fourth of nine children born to Lewis Peavler and Catherine Head. The Peavlers were still living in Knox County for the 1850 census, so it wasn’t long after they moved to Linn County, Missouri that Matilda met and married John Stufflebean. They are the 2x great grandparents of my husband, Dave.

John was born 30 June 1821 in Estill County, Kentucky, the son of Michael Stufflebean and Elizabeth Baker. His family moved to Linn County by 1840 and were some of the first settlers in the area.

John married (1) Gulielma Beals on Christmas Day 1845 in Linn County. She was born about 1830 in Morgan County, Indiana and John may have known her from the time in the 1830’s when his own family lived there. By 1850, they were the parents of two children:

1. Elizabeth Jane, born 28 December 1846
2. Daniel Boone, born 11 March 1849

Gulielma died in the early 1850’s, possibly giving birth to another child who also didn’t survive. In any case, John married Matilda M. Peavler on 9 June 1853. The officiating minister was his cousin, Balaam M. Baker, also his 1850 neighbor.

John and Matilda soon settled into their new life together. Besides raising Elizabeth Jane and Daniel Boone, Matilda’s step-children, she gave birth to five children of her own:

1. Mary Docia, born 24 August 1855; died 31 January 1912, Linn Co., MO and married Charles Hannon on 26 January 1874, Linn Co., MO
2. Lewis Michael, born 22 August 1857; died 14 March 1937, Linn Co. , MO and married Elizabeth Cornett on 24 March 1883, Linn Co., MO
3. Thomas James, born 22 December 1858; died 8 May 1942, Noble, Cleveland Co., OK and married Docia (Dolly) Standifer on 5 May 1881 in Linn Co., MO
4. Matilda Sarah Catherine, born 26 October 1860; died 23 March 1937, Linn Co., MO and married Josiah Cordray on 7 April 1876, Linn Co., MO
5. John Henry Peavler, born 5 November 1863; died 3 February 1939, Noble, Cleveland Co., OK and married (1) Mary Elizabeth Hollon on 27 June 1886 in Linn Co., MO and (2) Addie Lucinda Belcher on 21 May 1905, also in Linn Co., MO

The 1860 census is the only census where they were all together as a family:

John Stufflebean 1860, Linn Co., MO
3rd Household from bottom of page

The census taker seemed to have had trouble with the names of the children. What looks like “Mordecai” is actually Mary Docia and the following child’s name has been written over, but it is Lewis.

The threat of the Civil War was looming and, although the family seemed a bit insulated from battles that would rage throughout the South, many Missouri men enlisted for the cause. John Stufflebean was one of those men who enlisted and never came home.

One month before his 41st birthday, on 2 May 1862, John enlisted in Co. F, 25th MO Infantry. Little is known about his actual service except that the regiment was building fortifications at Corinth, Mississippi until March 1863. It then moved to Iron Mountain, St. Joseph and northwest Missouri fighting guerillas until February 17, 1864. They then merged with Bissell’s Engineers at Nashville, TN and became the 1st Regiment MO Volunteer Engineers. It seems like their greatest foe wasn’t the Confederate Army. Sadly, they lost 16 men killed in action, but one officer and 146 enlisted men to disease.

John Stufflebean died on 10 June 1864 in a Nashville hospital of chronic diarrhea, likely from an outbreak of dysentery.  The next few years were difficult for Matilda, as she had seven children aged 17 and under in her care and things didn’t seem to go very well for the family.

Matilda married widower John B. Hall on 22 March 1869 in Linn County and I expect she was hoping for some stability for herself and her family. That wasn’t to be. It appears that perhaps her new husband didn’t want the care of her children because just a month later, George W. Stephens, no relation known to the family, but a wealthy lawyer who lived in Locust Creek in 1870, was appointed guardian of the five minor children of John Stufflebean, deceased – Mary D., Louis M., Thomas J.L., John H. and Matilda S.C. Stufflebean. Elizabeth Jane, daughter of John and Gulielma, had married the year before. Daniel Boone, her brother, was twenty years old and living on his own.

The 1870 census shows a continued strain on the family. This is the only time I have ever seen separate people in the same family enumerated twice in the same censuses, living together and then apart.

First, on 17 June 1870, Matilda Hall is enumerated living alone in Sullivan County, MO next door to her brother Lewis Peavler’s family. Mary Docia is a domestic in her uncle’s household, but there is no sign of the four younger Stufflebean children:

Matilda Hall & Mary Docia, 1870 in Sullivan Co., MO

Matilda apparently separated from John Hall not long after their marriage. Could the legal proceedings concerning guardianship of her children have had anything to do with that? I don’t think we’ll ever have an answer to that question.

Next, on 16 August 1870, two months later, we find John and Matilda Hall and his children living in one household back in Linn County and, very oddly, next door in a separate household is Mary Docia, aged 15, head of a household consisting of herself and her four younger siblings!

Note that the census taker was Fielding Lewis and that John Hall’s neighbor was Harrison Bailey. This census list gets even stranger now because one day later, on 17 August 1870, the same Fielding Lewis came by a second time. Harrison Bailey is still John Hall’s neighbor, so John didn’t move. Overnight, John had aged by six years, but this is the same family as his children are there. However, Matilda is gone and in her place is Nona Hall, aged 75 – likely John’s mother.

Nona must have walked in the door soon after the census taker walked out! Perhaps that was the last straw for Matilda. I have no documentation to show that John and Matilda divorced. However, some distant cousins state that they had divorced by 1872.

By 1880, it was evident that John Stufflebean’s children were scattered to the wind. Matilda was living with her now married daughter, Matilda Cordray and her husband, Josiah. Elizabeth Jane had married back in 1868 and had her own family living in Saline County, MO. Daniel was nearby, having married in 1874 and settled in Linn County. Mary Docia had also married in 1874 and lived in Linn County. Lewis Michael went to California to live with his uncle James Peavler, and his family in Colusa County. He was a registered as a California voter as late as 1882 before he returned to Linn County in 1883 to marry and settle down. Thomas was living with his uncle and aunt, Thomas and Mary Standifer, while John Henry was living with Mary Docia and her husband, Charles Hannon. Both families were in Linn County.

For whatever reason, Matilda was unable to care for her children. She is listed in the 1890 veterans’ census schedule with a notation about John Stufflebean’s death:

John & Matilda Stufflebean, 1890 Census

By 1900, Matilda’s health was failing her. She was still living with Matilda and Josiah Cordray on 6 June, but it was noted that she was an invalid.

There is no death certificate marking Matilda’s death. However, a descendant has a family Bible that notes “Matilda Hall died August 6, 1900” and was buried at North Salem Cemetery in Linn County, Missouri. Her grave is unmarked.

The Civil War and death of John Stufflebean had a tremendous, long lasting effect on his wife and children. Life would never be the same for them again.