Earl Marcus Stufflebean (1894-1946)

I’ve been adding regularly to the Ancestor Sketches on the tabs just below the photo at the top of this blog. One thing I love about the sketches is that the missing live links tell me right away if I’ve missed sharing an ancestor’s story.

I’ve written about the Stufflebeans quite a few times and I know I have mentioned Earl, but I’ve never written a post centered around his life, so I decided that it is time.

Earl is my husband’s grandfather, but neither Dave nor his brother ever got the chance to know him because Earl died quite young and before they were born.

Earl Stufflebean, c1910

Earl Marcus Stufflebean was the fifth of nine children born to John Henry Stufflebean and his first wife, Mary Elizabeth Hollen, arriving on 23 January 1894 in Linn County, Missouri.

Linn County had been the home of the Stufflebeans since Earl’s great grandfather, Michael Stufflebean, had settled there before 1840. By the early 1900s, the family was getting ready for another big move. Within several short years, Earl’s mother died, his dad remarried to Addie Lucinda Belcher and the family left Baker Township, Linn County, Missouri for new opportunities in Oklahoma.

Earl attended high school in Noble, Oklahoma. He didn’t have the opportunity to finish high school, but completed 10th grade.

In Missouri, the Stufflebeans had been farmers, but Earl’s dad, John Henry, decided to try his hand as a store proprietor. With six healthy sons, he had plenty of help.

Earl went to work as a clerk in the Stufflebean General Store and worked there through all the years in which his father was in business. The store closed during the Depression and John Henry died in 1938.

However, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself in this story, so we will need to backtrack a bit.

Sometime between 1910 and 1915, Pearl Lillian Brasher caught the eye of young Earl.

Pearl Lillian Brasher

Pearl graduated from Noble High School in June 1916, but had been “seeing” Earl at least during her senior year and perhaps the year before. Earl didn’t waste any time asking the pretty Lillian to marry him and she accepted. On 10 August 1916, they married in the nearby “big city” of Norman.

Their first child, son Edward Earl, arrived in June 1917.

Pearl and Ed, c1918

Sister Wanda Lucille was born not quite three years later in April 1920.

Sometime between the 1920 and 1930 censuses, Earl, Pearl, Ed and Wanda moved from Noble about seven miles north to Norman, Oklahoma. The university was there and there were more job opportunities.

Stufflebean Home in Norman, Oklahoma

The country was in the throes of the Great Depression. John Henry was getting up in years and decided to close his store. For the first time since he was a young boy, Earl was out of work. Wanda had been an at-home wife and mother so, all of a sudden, this family of four had no income.

Earl found a job at the Central State Hospital as an attendant. It wasn’t an easy job, as the hospital served patients with mental health issues. Pearl found work as a cook in one of the university sorority houses. Ed and Wanda were entering their teen years.

Times were tough, particularly in Oklahoma, which endured the Dust Bowl in addition to the Depression.

Ed wasn’t able to find a job, so he joined the U.S. Army.

Wanda, Ed and Earl

By 1940, Ed and Wanda were both married and in their own households, so Earl and Pearl were empty nesters.

Wanda and her husband, Jess, were living in Norman, but Ed decided to try life in southern California. One month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ed, Ruby and daughter Pat moved away from Oklahoma.

Ed and the family made the trip back to Oklahoma about every other year, so they saw Earl and Pearl infrequently. Earl made one trip out to Compton, California, where the family was living in the 1940s and early 1950s.

I don’t know the last time Ed and family visited or saw Earl, but in January 1946, Pearl sent Ed a letter, dated 3 January 1946, telling Ed that his dad had had a slight stroke about 3:30 that morning. Earl’s health continued to deteriorate until he died on 11 January 1946, twelve days before his 52nd birthday.

Earl in the 1940s

He was buried at the IOOF Cemetery in Norman, Oklahoma.

Pearl survived Earl by many years, passing away on 18 December 1989. She was laid to rest beside him.

Will of Elisha Parker: Releasing Violett, Jeruba and Savina, Middlesex County, NJ 1717

The will of Elisha Parker of Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey was written on 8 September 1709, but it was not probated until 30 June 1717. It is unusual, at least to me, in two respects.

First, Elisha owned three slaves. It was much less common for slaves to be owned in northern states, so I was a bit taken aback reading his will since he was a resident of New Jersey and his parents had migrated there from Massachusetts. The second, even bigger surprise, was that while one of his slaves, Violett, is described as “my negro woman”, the second slave is “my Indian boy named Jeruba” and the third is “my Indian girl named Savina.” I don’t think I’ve ever read a will before where the slaves were identified as Native American, although I know there were some.

A transcribed version of this will was found online.

In the name of God Amen I Elisha Parker of Woodbridge in the County of Middlesex, Province of Nova Casarva or New Jersey (?) being in perfect health in sound disposing mind and memory, believing that soon it may please God to remove me from this transitory life, I think fit to ascertain my mind in the site of all that God of his infinite Goodness hath placed and bestowed on me, by this, my last will and Testament which I make in Truth and form following:

First, I commit and bequeath my soul to God and give it hoping for Salvation in and through the merits and motivation of our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and my body to be devotedly interred by my hereafter named, sure to remain in love and certain hope of a Glorious Resurrection.

Thereby I would appreciate all debts I owe to be justly and full paid with all convenient speed by my executors.

3rdly – I do give, divest and bequeath to my dearly beloved wife, Ursula, in Law and full of her right and claim to the third part of my Estate, and not otherwise, as follows – first my Dwelling or Manor house in Woodbridge, with the land thereunto adjoining and the Orchard, Gardens, Houses and appurtenances. All of my pasture containing thirty-five acres surrounded by land of Sam Smith, Seven and Henry Freeman to Henry Freeman Jr. by the highway. Also my three acres of Meadow lying upon the waterfront of Pasaick Creek, to have, hold and enjoy, Houses, Meadow and Furniture during the term of her natural life. I do give unto her also my negro woman named Violett. . . . I also do bequeath unto her the sum of Two Hundred pounds and one equal majority or half part of all my household goods or furniture, excepting certain particulars hereafter mentioned bequeathed to my daughters.

All the remaining part of my household goods or furniture I first give to the care of my said wife to be carefully preserved for the use of son John until he arrives at the full age of twenty years. Then I give and devise unto my beloved son Elisha all those Farm Lands, attachments and appurtenances to the same belonging, which I purchased from Benjamin Hull, John Worth, Jamiel Clemence Jr. and Sr., and being in the towns of Woodbridge and Piscataway in the south County of Middlesex to have and to hold to him and his heirs forever. I do give unto him also my Indian boy named Jeruba and one hundred pounds to be payed when he arrive at the age of twenty-one years.

5th Item I do give and bequeath to my well-beloved daughter, Elizabeth, my Indian girl named Savina and the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds to be payed unto her when she arrives at the age of twenty-one years but in case she should marry before she arrives at that age, she is to be payed at the time of her marriage.

6th Item I do give and bequeath to my well-beloved daughter Ursula, the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds to be paid when she arrives at the age of twenty-one years, or at the time of her marriage should it happen before.

7th Item I do give and bequeath unto my well-beloved daughter Mary, the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds to be payed unto her after the manner as I have appointed to her other two sisters. I then do give unto her also my silver Jam Pots and a bed, comfortably furnished.

8th Item I do give and bequeath to that child unborn which my beloved wife is now big of, be it son or daughter when it comes to the age of twenty-one years, the sum of two hundred pounds.

9th Item I do order and appoint all my children to be maintained out of my efforts until the age of eighteen years, and no longer.

Elisha’s son John was to be sole executor, when he comes of age, until then his wife, Adam Hude and John Kinsey were to oversee his estate.

Witnesses – Tho: Farmer, Miles Forster, George Willocks.

Elisha Parker’s will was recorded in Liber A: 78.


Help Needed: Otto Scherp & Margaretha Kech/Kerb, Laubenheim, Germany 1666

Otto Scherp and his wife Margaretha are the 8X great grandparents of my husband. While I have their names, I know little else about them.

Otto Scherp was born no later than 1645, based on his marriage date if he was 21 years old at that time. He married Margaretha Kech or Kerb on 20 November 1666 in Laubenheim, Germany, which is in the Palatinate. He supposedly died in 1690 or 1691, but I find no record of that event either unless the marriage record of daughter Engel to Hans Peter Stoppelbein (below) notes that her father is deceased.

There is some information online about this couple and their family, but it is undocumented and I can’t find records for some of the people these trees and pages have listed as children.

German church records are on FHL film #493,274 and I will be reading it myself when I get to Salt Lake this summer.

Children who appear in the church records of Laubenheim, Germany are:

  1. Susanna, probably born c1668; married Daniel Sterri, 15 June 1688, Laubenheim, Germany
  2. Johan Ludwig, baptized 8 May 1670
  3. Engel, baptized 24 February 1672; married Hans Peter Stoppelbein, 14 January 1691, Laubenheim, Germany.

That’s it – the sum total of actual records I have been able to find, from home anyway.

Supposedly, Otto was born c1628 and had a first wife, who gave birth to a son, Peter. That is certainly possible, but again, there isn’t a record I’ve found documenting these happenings.

Johan Ludwig supposedly died in 1734 in Livingston Manor, Columbia County, New York, but — yep — not a single record cited. I have found mention of a Jacob Scherp and wife Anna Maria in 1720 in New York, but no Johan Ludwig.

My husband’s line:

  1. Otto Scherp=Margaretha Kech/Kerb
  2. Hans Peter Stoppelbein = Engel Scherp
  3. Johan Jacob Stoppelbein = Anna Margaretha Enck
  4. Johannes Stoppelbein = Eva Dingman
  5. Johannes Stoppelbein (aka John Stufflebean) = Elsie Larrison
  6. Michael Stufflebean = Elizabeth Baker
  7. John Stufflebean = Matilda Peavler
  8. John Henry Stufflebean = Mary Elizabeth Hollen
  9. Earl Marcus Stufflebean = Pearl Lillian Brasher
  10. Edward Earl Stufflebean = Ruby Jewel Sturgell
  11. David Lee Stufflebean

If you are descended from Otto Scherp and have actually researched this family, I would love to make contact with you. I think I will at least be able to  clear up Margaretha’s maiden name when I read the church record for myself in Salt Lake. I so appreciate the top notch help on the Family History Library staff.

Past that, though, I am not sure what other records are accessible here in the United States. We shall see.