Cracks Are Finally Beginning to Appear in the Larrison Brick Wall!

I’ve pretty much been blogging by the seat of my pants as I’ve gotten more and more excited about pieces of information that indicate the Larrison family brick wall is beginning to show definite cracks in multiple places. 🙂

After the three long posts this week, it’s time for a Stufflebean-Larrison recap to put some order to the rambling.

Here are the facts and just the facts:

1. John Stufflebean married Elsee Larrison Ketcham, a widow, in August 1795 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. His Revolutionary War pension file gives her maiden name.
2. It is likely that Joseph Ketcham, who first appears on Estill County tax rolls in 1821, is the son of Elsee and Mr. Ketcham, about whom nothing else is known. Joseph Ketcham was born about 1794, based on his mother’s marriage date and later census records.
3. George Larrison appears on Madison County, Kentucky tax rolls from 1800-1808. He purchased 200 acres of land and moved to Estill County, Kentucky in 1809. He is the only Larrison found in Kentucky pre-1810. Census records indicate he was born 1760-1770, the same decade in which Elsee Larrison was born. My hypothesis is that they were brother and sister.
4. George Larrison’s son, George Jr., married Nancy Dunaway on 26 June 1817 in Estill County.
5. Two of Elsee’s and John Stufflebean’s sons also married Dunaways. Andrew Stufflebean married Susanna Dunaway on 4 August 1818 and James Stufflebean married Mary Dunaway on 13 October 1819, again in Estill County.
6. George Larrison’s daughter ELSEE married David Stewart on 31 May 1807 in Madison County, Kentucky. The Stewart family migrated from NEW JERSEY to Kentucky in the 1790s.
7. The Larrison family name is mostly found in NEW JERSEY before 1800.
8. One common thread found for the Larrison and Ketcham families is Washington County, Pennsylvania. John Larrison and Philip “Catchum” both lived in Washington County at the time of the 1790 census. In addition, John Larrison’s sister, Keziah, married one William Maple. William Maple also lived in Washington County in 1790.
9. Elsee Larrison Stufflebean’s child living in 1880 reported his mother was born in Pennsylvania and his father in New York. John Stufflebean was born in New York. Whether Elsee was born in New Jersey (which I think is likely) or Pennsylvania, some Larrisons obvously lived for a time in Pennsylvania.
10. The genealogy of John Larrison, the immigrant in the 1600s, traces part of his descendants down to James Larrison who married Kesiah Parke. They were reportedly the parents of John, Andrew, William, Rachel, Catherine, Roger, Elizabeth, Achsah, Elijah and David. Although little seems to be documented, it mentions that one or more Larrisons  went “to Pennsylvania.” Some believe that Elsee was the daughter of this Andrew Larrison, given that one of her sons was named Andrew, but more work is needed to prove that idea.
11. One Joseph Ketcham moved from New York to the area of New Jersey around Mercer and Hunterdon Counties, the same area where the Larrisons were living in the mid-1700s.

I think my hypothesis that Elsee Larrison is the sister of George Larrison might be right on target. However, at the moment, I have no evidence contradicting that theory and only preponderance of evidence supporting it, given that the Larrison and Ketcham surnames are not super common and the major players seem to be in the same geographical area at the same time.

However, there were more stones to be turned over, so I went to it. Here is what I’ve now uncovered:

After discovering that David Stewart married ELSEE Larrison, daughter of George, I researched the Stewart family. A new surprise awaited me. David Stewart’s parents were Ezekiel Stewart who married in Cape May, New Jersey on 4 May 1773 to — Rachel Larrison, daughter of James Larrison and Keziah Parke!!!

The Ezekiel Stewart family left New Jersey to settle in the wilds of Kentucky – Estill County to be exact!

Yet another surprise was in the wings. George Larrison’s son, David, married Sally Barnes in Estill County on 19 September 1822. Two of George’s grandchildren, Manerva and Mariah, married James Barnes in 1830 and Elisha Barnes in 1833, both in Estill County.

What is the Barnes connection? Benjamin Barnes, likely a cousin or brother of James and Elisha,  married RACHEL LARRISON, daughter of John Larrison and (reportedly) Rachel Stewart, on 23 April 1835 in Estill County. Her father, John Larrison, was reportedly born in New Jersey! 

John Larrison, like George, is of an age to be a brother to Elsee Larrison Stufflebean. The early Madison and Estill Counties marriage records don’t include any marriage for a John Larrison. Could the John Larrison who first appears in 1814 with George on the Estill County rolls be George’s brother and not his son???  This John Larrison never owned land, but appears to have had a tavern license for some years. This sibling relationship is a possibility.

Next, another of George Larrison’s children, son William, married Nancy Park/Parks in 1822 in Estill County. I suspect that perhaps she is part of the extended family of Kesiah Parke who married James Larrison c1735 back in New Jersey.

I’ve said this before, but I have to repeat myself – it is always a good thing to take new looks at old research. John Stufflebean, the Revolutionary War pensioner adds perhaps another piece to this puzzle. I knew he was enumerated in the 1840 census as a soldier of the old war, but never paid much attention to the page he was on.

1840 Census, Estill County, Kentucky
Source: Ancestry

John Stufflebean’s name is written on the second page of this listing, entered on the 13th line. Hiram Stufflebean, one of his sons, is on LINE 10. Another son, Richard Stufflebean, is on LINE 15.

John isn’t living with his children. He and Elsee are living in the home of David Snowden, whose father David Sr., also a Revolutionary War pensioner, had died in 1839. No Larrison or Stufflebean connection was immediately evident. However, and this a big however, given all the other clues so far uncovered, David Snowden Sr. gave his war service in WASHINGTON COUNTY,  PENNSYLVANIA! And he is living there in 1790, at the same time as Philip “Catchum” and John Larrison! David Snowden’s pension file gives his birth year as 1759 and place of birth as Amboy, NEW JERSEY, so a contemporary of Elsee and John Stufflebean and George Larrison.

The number of “coincidences” here is getting to be staggering. I don’t know that I will ever find a document proving Elsee’s or George’s parentage, but I am quite convinced that they are siblings and a large group of Larrisons, Ketchams, Snowdens, Parkes, Stewarts and Barnes made their way from New Jersey to a new life in Kentucky after the American Revolution.

I also feel quite certain that Elsee and George were somehow connected to James Larrison and Kesiah Parke, although a history of Old Hopewell accounts for their children and their marriages. On the other hand, James Larrison had a brother, William, born c1672 and who died in 1749 leaving a will. He named five children – Elizabeth (wife of David Stout) and sons James, William, John and George.

It’s time to take an in-depth look at the family tree of John (the Dane) Larrison, the immigrant ancestor.




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