Michael & Elizabeth (Baker) Stufflebean – Not One, but TWO Misfiled Estate Administrations!

At the risk of repeating myself, I have to say it is always worthwhile to revisit old resources and take a new look at records.

Michael and Elizabeth Stufflebean are my husband’s 3X great grandparents. Both were born in Kentucky, but migrated first to Indiana and then to Linn County, Missouri.

Michael, born no earlier than 1797 as his father gave permission for him to marry on Christmas Day in 1817. He and Elizabeth both died quite young. They were in their 40s and left a family of minor children.

Michael died by November of 1848, I suspect of cholera, and Elizabeth died in the fall of 1850. While I have names for children and a number of family vital record dates, I hoped to learn more about them through wills or probate records.

Linn County, Missouri was formed in 1837. The Stufflebeans were there by 1840 and probate records exist from around 1848-1849. Michael died right on the cusp of that date range and no probate was found for him when I made a written request years ago.

I don’t know the cause of Elizabeth’s death, but she was alive and living with her daughter’s family for the 1850 census, which was taken in October in that neighborhood. I hadn’t originally found any probate record for her, either, but didn’t think much of it as she wasn’t living on her own and may have distributed her estate before she died.

However, recently, I was looking at the probate estate files for Linn County on FamilySearch.

Notice the description of the collection says 1853 to 1925. Because I knew that the family lived there as late as 1908, I decided to browse through the files. It was a bit of a clunky process since there was no way to predetermine the size of any given file, but I discovered over 200 images related to various Stufflebean probates.

The first file I encountered was labeled Elizabeth J. and Daniel B. Stufflebean. These were children of John Stufflebean who died in the Civil War in 1864 and grandchildren of Michael and Elizabeth (Baker) Stufflebean.

Elizabeth and Daniel had their own probate file, apart from John’s other children I think, because they were children of his first wife, Gulielma Beals. John’s other children were with second wife, Matilda Jane Peavler.

Imagine my surprise as I browsed and came across:

Probate File of Elizabeth J. and Daniel B. Stufflebean, Image 1194
Linn County, Missouri Probate Estate Files
Source: FamilySearch

The top of the paper says: The following is a sale bill of the property of MICHAEL STUFFLEBEAN deciest (sic) taken by Bill Baker on the 4th day of December AD 1848.

Bought by Elizabeth Stufflebean one sickle, 25 cents
Bought by Daniel Beals two sickles, 50 cents
Bought by Bille Baker one bee hive 1.50
Bought by Wm McCollum one bee hive 1.25
Bought by Wm Humphres one bee hive 3.05
Bought by Wm McCollum one bee hive 2.00
Bought by Daniel Beals one bee hive 1.45
Bought by George Stufflebean one bee hive 2.00
Bought by Wm McCollum one bee hive 2.00
Bought by Elizabeth Stufflebean six bee hives 6.00
Bought by John R. Baker one yoke of oxen 46.50 1/4
Bought by George Stufflebean one heifer 7.00
Bought by John R. Baker one four year old steer 5.00
Bought by Wm McCollum one bull 10.75
Bought by Hiram Stufflebean one saddle 5.25
Bought by Daniel Beals one broad ax 1.62 1/2
Bought by W. McCollum one iron wedge 94 cents(? ink blot)
Bought by Bill Baker two pork hogs (ink blot)
Bought by John R. Baker 13 stock hogs 17.75
Bought by John R. Baker 11 stock hogs 16.10 (?ink blot)
Bought by Elizabeth Stufflebean one (?maybe boul or bowl) 75 cents (?ink blot)

Attested Henry A. Livingston, $139.68 3/4

Why would this paper be in the file pertaining to two of the heirs of John Stufflebean AND, of even more interest, were there any other papers that actually belonged to the estate administration of MICHAEL Stufflebean? Quick answer: The documents seem to be misfiled, as Michael and Elizabeth should have their own probate packets.

HOWEVER, there were documents in this file for both Michael and Elizabeth Stufflebean.

Given that they have hundreds of descendants, I’d like to share them in this post.

Here are the pages that should be in Michael’s probate file:

Sale Bill of the Estate of Michael Stufflebean Decd
Filed 13th day of Decr A.D. 1848

Recived (sic) and filed this 1st January AD 1849
William B. Woodruff P.L.C.C.

The following is a bill of appraisement of the personal estate of Michael Stufflebean desiest (sic) the 10th day of November AD. 1848

one buro [bureau]$10.00
one Clock 6.00
one cross cut saw 4.00
one lot of cupboard ware 1.00
one lot of castings? 3.00
one lot of kitchen chairs} six .50
one Coffe mill .10
two buckets and two pails .40
two rifle guns 10.00
one pair of sheep shears .25
three (?neck) hooks 1.00
one sythe blade .50
one wheat fan 5.00
one honey stand .50
one grey Mare 13.00
thirteen bee hives 13.00
one red yoke of oxen 25.00
one (?) 30.00
three Cows 18.00
one three year old heifer 7.00
two heifers 9.00
one 4 year old stear, lame? 3.00
three Calvs 3.00
one bull 6.00
twenty three head of sheep 20.00
three sows and pigs 4.50
one lot of yearling hogs 315, 15.00
one lot Do – stock hogs 316, 8.00
one side saddle 7.00
one man saddle 3.50
one Do saddle, old .50
two (long?) ploughs 4.50
one (?) .25

one log chain 1.50
one broad axe 1.00
two choping axes 1.50
two weeding hoes .25
one mat (ib?) .75
one spade 12 1/2 cents
one drawing knife .25
three dagers 1.50
one hand saw .75
one Waggone 13.00
one half bushel measure .12 1/2
ten geese 1.75
two pork hogs barrels 2.00
two pork hogs 5.00
one lot of stock hogs 8.00

Total $262.00

Thomas C. Packman
L.S. Nevins
Wm. Putmon

November the 10th 1848
We the under signed apprazers do solomly swear that we ar not interest nor of kin to any person interested in the estate of Michael Stufflebean desest as heir or devisee and that we will to the best of our ability view and appraze the personal estate to us produced.

Wm. Putmon
L.S. Nevins
Thomas C. Packman

subscribed and sworn to before me the day and year above written
John R. Baker JRB

The following is an inventory of the estate of Michael Stufflebean desiest both real and personal taken on the 10th day of November AD. 1848 by Bill Baker administrator

one deed the pattentee George m. Baker, viz the east half of the S E qtr – of s No fourteen (14) in T – No – sixty (60) of range No nineteen (19) containing 80 acres

one certifycate Michael Stuffle bean pattentee viz, the (?) qtr of the NE qr of section twenty Three (23) in T – No sixty (60) of range No nineteen (19) containing 40 acres and on hand twelve dollars and ninty (sic) five cents

one buro
one clock
one croscut saw
one lot of cupboard wear
one lot of (castings?)
one lot of kitchen chairs, 6
one Coffe mill
two buckets and two pails
two rifle guns
one pair of sheep shears
three (?neck) hooks
one sythe blade
one wheat fan
one honey stand
one grey Mare
thirteen bee hives
one red yoke of oxen
Do one – ?pideel
three Cows
one three year old heifer
two heifers
one 4 year old stear, lame?
three Calvs
one bull
twenty three head of sheep
three sows and pigs

one lot of year lin (sic) hogs
one lot Do – stock hogs
one side saddle
one mans saddle
mans saddle
two (long?) ploughs
one (?)
one log chain
one broad axe
two choping axes
two weeding hoes
one mat (ib?)
one spade
one drawing knife
three dagers
one hand saw
one Waggone
one half bushel measure
ten geese
two pork hogs barrels
two pork hogs
one lot of stock hogs

Attest Wm Putmon
L.S. Nevins

I do certify the above to be a treue (sic) inventory of the money papers and evidences of debt and all the property real and personal belonging to the estate of Michael Stufflebean deceast (sic) so far as has Came to my knowledge Bill Baker Administrator

sub scribed and sworn to this 4th day of December 1848
John R Baker JR

March the 4th — — 1850

the first anuel settlement of Bill Baker Admr of Michael Stufflebean deciest the following is a list of indebtedness as per account

Money inventoried 6.00
Amount of sale bill 134.68 3/4
Total 145.68 3/4
Minus 23.05
Remainder 122.63

Receipt Daniel Beals No 5, 2.00
George Stufflebean receipt No 2, 9.00
Hiram Stufflebean receipt No 3, 5.25
Elisabeth Stufflebean receipt No 4, 7.00
Total 23.5 [Note: I added to $23.25.]

Stufflebean Michael

Balam M. Baker
1 anuel settlement
Received and filed
4th March AD 1851
William B. Woodruff

Second anual Settlement of Michael Stufflebean Decd this day of February 1851 B.M. Baker Admr

Indebtedness as per settlement first March the 4th 1850
122.43 3/4
Total 128.54 3/4 minus 17.75
Balance Deue 110.74 3/4

Credit by voucher to Elizabeth Stufflebean 7.00

No 1 as per (?) allowed to Bill Baker 8.00
by voucher No 3 tax receipt 2.95
by voucher No 4 tax receipt 2.30
Total 13.75

Given under my hand this 3rd day of February 1851
Bill Baker Admr

Second Settlement on Michael Stufflebean Decd.
ordered to be filed this 3d day of Feby 1851

Recorded in Book (?) Page 91

Enoch (Kimbrel?) Clerk
by T.T. Woodruff DO

Recieved of John G. Flournoy sherif of Linn Co – on the 25 day of April 1851. . . . .ten dollars Bill Baker Admr of the estate of Michael stufflebean, decd

A final Settlement of the Estate of Michael Stufflebean Dect By Bill Baker Admr July the 3rd 1854


one last settlement $ (?) term 1853-54 7.77
interest 11.82
1 additional inventory Money Recd of John G. Flournoy 4.00
interest .02

2nd additional inventory Rent Corn sold
March the 7 1852 11.00
interest .80

3rd additional inventory Money rect of John McCollough Feb. 8th 1854 8.50
interest .21

total 184.28

Deducts 22.00
on account of error in additional inventory 182.10


voucher No. (1?) a claim allowed Joel Dewit for doctoring aloued at the Nov term 1850 term of the County Cort of Linn Co. MO $28.75
interest 4.63
voucher No. 2 a Claim alowd Samuel and John R. Baker Admrs of the estate of George W. Baker (?) against the estate of Michael Stufflebean September 4th 1850 $28.25
interest 5.25
voucher No 3 Cash paid John R Baker on Clame for smith work 4.63
interest 1.60
voucher No 4 Tax rect 1.20
in terest .25
voucher No 5 Cash paid John Stufflebean 7.70

interest 1.20
Total 82.97

voucher No 6
Cash paid to T. T. Woodrough Clerk $1.25
voucer No 7 Cash paid to J.H. Sarlington? 2.00
interest .12voucher No 8 Cash paid to Bill Baker 2.14
interst .16
voucher No 9 Cash paid to W.S. Hide 2.75
voucher No 10 Clame alloued Admr 8.42
Voucher No 10 Clame allowed Adm-11.48
Total 19.89
Total 101.86?

I leave it to the reader to determine the amounts in red here written and scribbled over in the original record.

This final page was received and filed July the 3d 1852, Jacob Smith P.B.J.

Know all men by these by these presents that I John Stufflebean, as principal and Samuel Stufflebean, as security, are held and firmly bound unto the state of Missouri for the use and benefit of William Henry Stufflebean & Elizabeth Jane Stufflebean minor heirs of Michael Stufflebean Deceased in the sum of one hundred dollars for the payment of which will and truly to be made we do severly & jointly bind our selves, our heirs Executors & Administrators firmly by these presents sealed with our seals and date this 7th day of March AD 1853.

The condition of the above bond is such that whereas the above found John Stufflebean was on this 7th day of March 1853 duly appointed Guardian and curator of persons of any property of William Henry Stufflebean and Elizabeth Jane Stufflebean Minor heirs of Michael Stufflebean Decd.

Now there if the said John Stufflebean shall faithfully discharge the duties of Guardian & curator as aforesaid, according to Law, than (sic) the above bond to be void other wise to remain in full fource and virtue at Law. Given under our hands & seals this 7th day of March AD 1853
John Stufflebean Seal
Samuel Stufflebean Seal
Witness: ? Hoyle?

John Stufflebean to {Bon Guardian Minor heirs M Stufflebean approved by the Court & ordered to be (?) March 7th 1853
Filed 7 March AD 1853
Recorded in Book H Page 90 T.T. Woodruff Clerk

Here ends the papers pertaining to the estate of Michael Stufflebean. What I found most interesting was the sale of thirteen bee hives! Apparently, Michael was a bee keeper and probably selling the honey.

There was a cholera outbreak in Linn County in the summer of 1848, but I have to wonder if Michael died from disease or if there is a chance he was stung in a bee attack and died from that?

It’s a question that probably will never be answered.

On Monday, I will post the documents pertaining to the estate of Elizabeth (Baker) Stufflebean, who died in the summer of 1850.


3 thoughts on “Michael & Elizabeth (Baker) Stufflebean – Not One, but TWO Misfiled Estate Administrations!”

  1. It’s wonderful news when persistence and chance pay off. This is why Tom Jones says to check records for 150 years after a death.

    Many of these papers were difficult to read and transcribe – good job on that!

    I am always intrigued by the value that were assigned in an inventory and the price people paid when they were sold at auction. That must be Elizabeth the wife buying certain things for some reason – did she have a pet hog? Livestock is always valued high, probably because it was food and potential food.

    This must have taken hours to find and to transcribe. Well done!

  2. That is so cool! So glad you happened upon these documents that were misfiled. It’s always so interesting to see what people owned back then…I didn’t realize women were still riding sidesaddle at this point, especially in the US.

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