Johan Jacob Stoppelbein is the immigrant ancestor of most of the Stufflebean descendants that I have come across today, having arrived in New York in 1741 with his brother, Johann Valentine, on the ship St. Mark.
Johann Jacob Stoppelbein was born 13 January 1696/97 in Laubenheim, Rheinland, Germany. He married twice, with his first wife being Anna Maria Pries. They were married 8 August 1624 in Laubenheim.
I have found a reference to one son born to them, Johan Jacob, who was christened on 19 January 1731 in Stromberg, Huensrueck, Rheinland, which is about 7 1/2 miles from Laubenheim. However, I haven’t found a birth record, so we have two possible scenarios here.
If Anna Maria is the mother of Johan Jacob, then she likely died giving birth and Johan Jacob needed a mother for a newborn child.
The other scenario is that Anna Maria died some time before 1731 and perhaps had no surviving children. This would mean that Anna Margaretha could have been the mother of Johan Jacob who was baptized the day after she and Johan Jacob Sr. were married. It is a bit suspicious that the baptism took place one day after they married.
There is a third possibility, too, that this Johan Jacob was a different man. There is a Jacob Stoppelbeen born 17 December 1676 in Laubenheim. He is a bit old (57) to be having a child born in 1731, but if it was a second or later marriage to a younger woman, it is certainly possible.
However, a visit to the Family History Library uncovered the answer, I think. First, I want to note that Germany has severely restricted access to their early church records, apparently wanting everyone to subscribe (pay) to one of their sites. Even in the FHL, viewing the digitized German church records is restricted to LDS members. That means it is necessary to pull out the microfilm, which I was able to do, being in Salt Lake City. Because microfilm can no longer be ordered and sent to a local FHC, accessing images of those records is about impossible without paying in some manner.
Here is the baptismal record for Johannes Jacob Stoppelbein on 19 January 1731 in Stromberg, Germany:
There are two important things to note here. First, the mother of the child is not mentioned in this record. second, I was given an oral translation of this record, and although I didn’t write it down word for word, look at the third row of writing. See “geboren” right before “Copulation”? Geboren is birth and copulation refers to marriage. The minister noted that the parents had married but two days before the child’s birth!
Given that Johann Jacob reportedly married Anna Margaretha on 18 January, I’d say it is quite certain that she was the mother of little Johann Jacob.
Perhaps the baptism was in a church 7 miles away to deflect attention from the fact that the parents had just married.
Also, given that I have not found any other children attributed to Johann Jacob and Anna Maria Priess, I suspect that she might have died giving birth to her first child, who also didn’t survive.
In any case, I think the mystery has been solved and online trees stating that Anna Maria Priess is the mother are incorrect!
Johann Jacob married (2) Anna Margaretha Enck on 18 January 1731 in Laubenheim.
Children of Johann Jacob and Anna Margaretha:
1. Johann Jacob, baptized 19 January 1731, Stromberg, Rheinland, Germany
2. Johannes, born 30 December 1732, Laubenheim, Rheinland, Germany; married Eva Dingman, c1755, probably Columbia County, New York
3. Catharina Elisabetha, born 23 October 1735, Laubenheim, Rheinland, Germany
4. Johann Valentine, born 25 June 1739, Laubenheim, Rheinland, Germany; died c1794, Columbia County, New York; married (1) Maria Ersely (2) Magdalena Philips
5. Michael, born 16 August 1743, probably Albany County, New York