A Gift from Marcellus Brasher to Niece Pearl, 1900

Family heirlooms tell a piece of each family’s stories because they leave a tangible item behind that was important to them and their own lives.

Most family heirlooms aren’t valuable in terms of dollars, but they a priceless in maintaining memories of those who have gone before us.

Last year, I told the stories of Emsley Harrison and Mary Woosley Perkins Brasher’s three sons, Marcellus, Andrew and Joseph Henry. Joe is my husband’s great grandfather through his paternal grandmother, Pearl Brasher.

Pearl save many mementos from her long life. She was born on 9 February 1898 and passed away on 18 December 1989 in Norman, Oklahoma. Before she died, my father-in-law (her son, Ed) apparently sat down with her and asked her about some of the old items that she had had for many years.

One of the oldest items that belonged to her was a cup that she received when she was a baby, but it certainly wasn’t a traditional baby cup.

Front of Pearl’s Cup

The cup is ornate, dating from the very end of the Victorian era. It is white ceramic. There are delicate, raised 3D leaves, flowers and stems on the cup. There was a gold band along the inside rim, but as you can see, some of the gold has worn away. Paint used on the leaves is still intact. One flower petal has chipped off over the years, but it remains in very good condition.

Where did Pearl get this cup? Ed wrote a short note and stored it inside the cup. I found it as we were cleaning things out of my in-laws’ apartment.

Ed’s Note

Mothes (sic) dad’s brother
Marcellus Brasher gave her
this in 1901 (1900)

It clearly looks as if Ed wrote 1901 at first and then wrote over the “1” to say “1900.” Pearl would have turned two years old in February 1900. Joe and Minnie Brasher with daughter Pearl lived outside of Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, Texas. Marcellus had a teaching career by that time and he lived in Abilene, 260 miles away. That was a pretty good length trip to make in 1900.

My thinking is that Marcellus came back to visit family still in Hopkins County, probably during the summer as travel would be easier and school would be out for vacation. It also may well have been the first time he met his little niece, Pearl, and he brought her a gift to remember him by when she was older.

The Brashers’ other brother, Andrew, had no children and Marcellus’s own son, Charles, wasn’t born until 1908. For ten years, Pearl was the only child of the next generation.

For its time, this little cup would have been considered a “nice” gift, not over the top expensive, but definitely more special than a cup for every day use.

Pearl must have treasured it for many years. Marcellus died in 1948, but she still had the cup he gave her when she was a baby.



12 Stories in 12 Months: Birth & Death of John Stufflebean

It is only fitting to end the series about Revolutionary War soldier John Stufflebean on this date, as he was baptized on 28 February 1756 – 260 years ago today. Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York church records have been transcribed, probably due to the fragile state of the originals.
This record is important because it most definitely contradicts John’s age, given in the obituary below. He was elderly when he died – just about 88 years old – but he was no where near 110!
Both of these documents were found in Public Member Trees on Ancestry. Thank you to member judysands9, who shared her research.
Obituary of John Stufflebean
Kaskaskia Republican
Randolph County, Illinois
Page 2, Column 3
16 March 1844

Departed this life, in the vicinity of this place, on the 16th of January, 1844, JOHN STUFFLEBEAN, a Revolutionary soldier, at the advanced age of 110 years, 11 months and one day. This ancient man was born, on the banks of the Hudson river, twelve miles from Albany, in the state of N. York, Feb 15, 1733.There, he married his first wife, whom he left with two children, when he listed, as a private, in the Revolutionary Army, in which he served, almost to the close of the war, when he was taken captive by the Indians, who disposed of him, to the British, for a barrel of rum.

Having remained a prisoner at Detroit, a few months; while employed, one day chopping wood, he and five of his fellow prisoners effected their escape.

On account of the difficulty, experienced in procuring subsistence, these fugitives separated into two parties, and took separate routes to the Ohio River.

The subject of this notice and his two companions, guided by the sun, in fair weather and lying bye, when it was cloudy, aiming for some point, high up, on the river, made the best of their way through the desolate and gloomy forest, then inhabited, only by the hostile Indians; but now is the territory constituting the States of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

Three long months were spent in concealment and wandering about, in the performance of this lonesome and hazardous journey, beset as it was on all sides, by insidious foes, then the sole tenants of those savage wilds; in perils and dangers, daily; and at times nearly reduced to starvation. At one time for four successive days they were without nourishment, save that afforded by a half-dozen pheasant eggs.

Some times falling in among the Indians and representing themselves, as sent from the British Army, in pursuit of deserters, they obtained food from them and their sufferings were mitigated by the kindness, thus elicited, as well as themselves protected from the effects of the savage enemy then so strong against the Colonists.

These forlorn wanders struck the waters of the Muskingum, near its source, and following the stream down to where, it was found to be of depth, sufficient to float a bark canoe, they constructed one, and made their way in it to the Ohio. After their arrival at this river, they were rejoiced at the sight of a float boat, floating down the stream.

Although their applications to be permitted to come on board, often repeated, for several days, were, as often, refused, from the fear of their being enemies, finally, the owner, John Lyon, being satisfied of their friendly disposition, yielded to their solicitations.

With this gentleman Mr. Stufflebean continued, after their arrival at Limestone now Maysville, working for him. Here he married his second wife, who, after a few years, died, leaving three children.

After his bereavement, he settled in Bourbon county in Kentucky and there married his third wife, who has survived him and is now living, at the advanced age of 82 years, and was able to attend the remains of her deceased husband to the grave.

In the state of his adoption, to which he had fled, as to a place of refuge; he passed the residue of his long life, except the last two years, which were spent, with his son Jacob Stufflebean, in this county, where he died.

He was, during the Indian troubles, in Kentucky, engaged with occasional intermissions, three years in the ranging service and, while so employed, as at all other times, when his country called, he always heard her voice, where dangers were greatest and thickest, there he was in their midst, prepared to face them.

He was one of the first settlers in Bourbon county and assisted in sawing with a whipsaw, the planks, used in constructing the first permanent framed building, there erected. This county he left, not long after his third marriage, and settled, high up, on the Kentucky river.

Among the incidents of his eventful life, may be mentioned his presence of Crawford’s defeat, where he was one of Crawford’s party.

With him, hunting was a favorite pursuit, and the sight of the bears and buffaloes, in those days, so numerous, where he lived, was the delight of his eyes, and, not infrequently was he gratified with the discovery of the former, among his own domestic cattle, as they came home, out of the woods.

He was blessed with a fine flow of animal spirits and, was generally cheerful. His eye sight was unimpaired, almost to the last, and he never had occasion for the use of spectacles.

He never took a dose of medicine and, with the exception of the four days illness, immediately preceding his death, he was never sick. At least, not seriously so. In his last and only sickness, he could not be prevailed upon, to call in a physician.

So long as he was able to procure a livelihood by the labor of his own hands, or possessed the means of support, he utterly refused to apply for a pension, declaring, he “did not fight, when in his country’s service, for money, but for Liberty. At last, however, finding himself unable to work and in poverty, he was forced to make application for a pension, and was placed upon the Pension Roll of the United States.

This patriarch died as he had ever lived, opposed to the enemies of his country.



New Hampshire Genealogical Records Online

I have some Massachusetts and Maine roots that crossed over into New Hampshire for short periods of time. As I started to research New Hampshire records, I discovered that there are few free resources, even though New Hampshire records are plentiful for the family genealogist.

The main paid sites offering New Hampshire records are Ancestry.com and AmericanAncestors.org, the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

There are only a handful of websites offering free access to New Hampshire records online.

  1. New Hampshire Genealogy and History at Search Roots

2. University of New Hampshire Library Digital Collections- The New Hampshire Genealogical Record. This collection has scattered issues digitized dating between 1904-1909.

By far, the best free site for New Hampshire records is FamilySearch.org. If I were beginning my research today, it would definitely be my first stop. FamilySearch includes links to its own databases, but also to other sites, some of which are subscription sites. However, there are enough records housed on FamilySearch – birth, death, marriage, probate, cemetery, town histories and military records back to the Revolutionary War that provide a healthy start for an ancestor who lived in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Records

That is about it. I wish the list were more extensive and I was actually a bit surprised that so few sites offer anything online, paid or free.