While doing the deep dive research attempting to unravel some of the Larrison family history, I realized that I had a few loose Stufflebean ends, too. Given that John Stufflebean married Elsee Larrison, the Stufflebeans most definitely became part of the Larrison FAN club.
As I went looking for possible ties between the two families, aside from the marriage, I realized there are a few holes in the lifetime of John Stufflebean, who began life as Johannes Stoppelbein when he was baptized on 28 February 1756 in Kinderhook, Columbia, New York, the son of Johannes Stoppelbein and Eva Dingman.
John’s Revolutionary War pension file filled in quite a bit of data, too, and then Kentucky tax records added still more. The Stufflebeans must have all followed a trade, as not one of them was taxed for land in spite of living in Estill County for at least 20 years.
The easiest way to view it all in an organized way is with a timeline. The timeline also quickly points out the gaps in years of John’s life.
Timeline of John Stufflebean’s Life
1756, 28 Feb – baptized in Kinderhook, Columbia, New York
1775, June – Johan Stufflebane and Johan Stufflebane Jr. took oath of allegiance at Mamakating, Ulster, New York (today part of Deerpark, Orange County, New York)
1775/76 – lived on Neversink Creek in New York about 8-10 miles from the PA-NJ state lines
1778 – captured by Colonel Brant’s Indians on Delaware River in New York; crossed the Susquehanna River to Mohawk settlement. Prisoner for 8 months and held about 18 miles below Niagara Falls. Sold to British man, Col. Brittain, and taken to Detroit for 2+ years.
1780?, 26 April – He and five other men ran away, down the “Lake of Water” (Lake Erie?) for over 100 miles through wilderness to the Muskingum River and then to the Ohio River. They fell in with James Garrard’s company headed to Kentucky. John Stufflebean stated that he has lived in Kentucky ever since.
1783 – The Niagara Historical Society (Canada) Publication No 27, (Not Dated), Names Only But Much More, by Janet Carnochan. Page 4 of the Muster Roll of Butlers Rangers, signed by Jacob Ball, 1st Lt, 1783 includes “John Stufflebem, On command to Detroit.” After two or more years as a prisoner, John may have seen an offer to serve with the British as his only chance for escape. Being German speaking, he may have been seen as a safer bet as a soldier than English speaking colonists.
1790 – Bourbon County, KY tax list includes John Stouffilbeen, one white tithe and 2 horses/mules; 14 July – married Prissy Ross in Bourbon County.
1791 – Bourbon County, KY tax list, John Stufflebean, one white tithe, 1 horse
1792 – Bourbon County, KY tax list, John Stufflebean, 1 male 16+, 6 cattle
1795 – Bourbon County, KY – married Elsee Larrison Ketchum about 14 August, when the bond was filed
1816, 6 Aug – Estill County, KY – John Stoflebeen signed a rental agreement with Thomas Duckam for 200acres of land in Estill County.
1820 – Franklin County, KY census, indexed as “Lee” Stufflebean, but should be “Jno.” Household: Male 45+, Female 45+, Male 16-25, Male 16-25 (16-18), Female 16-25, Male 10-15, Male -10
1821 – Franklin County, KY tax list, John Stufflebean
1822 – Estill County, KY tax list
1824 – Estill County, KY tax list
1825 – Estill County, KY tax list
1826 – Estill County, KY tax list
1827 – Estill County, KY tax list
1828 – Illinois, probably Vermillion County – John stated he went to visit his brother, Michael, in his pension application.
1830 – Estill County, KY census, John Stufflebeen and wife enumerated
1831 – Estill County, KY tax list
1836 – Estill County, KY tax list – John Stufflebean, exempt
1840 – Estill County, KY census – living in home of David Snowden, listed by name as a Rev. War veteran
1842, 4 March – Estill County, KT – John Stufflebean appeared and gave reasons for removing to Randolph County, IL
1842, 5 Sept – Randolph County, IL – John Stufflebean appears and stated that he intended to live in the county with wife and son Jacob.
1844, 16 Jan – John Stufflebean died at Kaskaskia, Randolph, Illinois
Kaskaskia (Illinois) Republican
March 16, 1844, Page 2, Column 3
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 [Note: This obituary claims that John was 110 when he died – definitely not true – and, as he was only 19 when he took the oath of allegiance, I tend to doubt that he was married and left a wife and two children in New York, never to see them again.I have found no evidence of their existence], 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 wanderers 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.
Although this timeline has well illustrated the life of John Stufflebean, it hasn’t added anything to my knowledge of the Larrison family and I haven’t been able to locate John in any tax records between 1795 and 1816, even though he should appear as a male over 21.
Clark County, Kentucky was formed in 1793 from portions of Bourbon and Fayette Counties. John Stufflebean lived in the area that became Estill County and, much later, Lee County. Clark County would have been the county of record in the late 1700s and early 1800s, but while John Ross and David Snowden, both of whom were part of John Stufflebean’s life, are indeed listed on the Clark County tax rolls, John himself is nowhere to be found. Tax lists for Fayette and Madison Counties were also read, with no success.
Two more posts in the near future will complete the ancestral line of John Stufflebean.