Tag Archives: John Stufflebean

1890 Census Record for Matilda Stufflebean

Although the 1890 census burned and only a couple of fragments from it survive today, that census did have a special schedule to record Civil War veterans and their widows. The official name was “Special Schedule. Surviving Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, and Widows, Etc.”

I have no ancestors with Civil War service. Either they weren’t living in the United States at the time or they were too old/too young to serve. However, Dave’s 2x great grandfather, John Stufflebean, served in the Union Army and died while in service in Nashville, Tennessee on 10 June 1864, three weeks before his 43rd birthday.

I decided to check out the 1890 special schedule and was thrilled to find this in Linn County, Missouri, where the family lived:

1890 Civil War Veterans’ Schedule

House number 69, family number 70 lists Matilda M. Stufflebean, widow of John Stufflebean. It includes the information that he served as a private in Company E, 25th MO Infantry. It also gives 5 May 1863 as his enlistment date. There is no end date for his service filled in and Matilda may not have been able to remember on exactly which day he died.

This is a small treasure to add to the family history. If you have Civil War veterans or their widows who were living in 1890, be sure to check out this special schedule. Free access to this database is available on FamilySearch and it is indexed.

Matilda M. Peavler Stufflebean

Matilda M. Peavler’s life was turned upside down by the Civil War.

Matilda was born in December about 1835 or 1836 in Knox County, Kentucky, the fourth of nine children born to Lewis Peavler and Catherine Head. The Peavlers were still living in Knox County for the 1850 census, so it wasn’t long after they moved to Linn County, Missouri that Matilda met and married John Stufflebean. They are the 2x great grandparents of my husband, Dave.

John was born 30 June 1821 in Estill County, Kentucky, the son of Michael Stufflebean and Elizabeth Baker. His family moved to Linn County by 1840 and were some of the first settlers in the area.

John married (1) Gulielma Beals on Christmas Day 1845 in Linn County. She was born about 1830 in Morgan County, Indiana and John may have known her from the time in the 1830’s when his own family lived there. By 1850, they were the parents of two children:

1. Elizabeth Jane, born 28 December 1846
2. Daniel Boone, born 11 March 1849

Gulielma died in the early 1850’s, possibly giving birth to another child who also didn’t survive. In any case, John married Matilda M. Peavler on 9 June 1853. The officiating minister was his cousin, Balaam M. Baker, also his 1850 neighbor.

John and Matilda soon settled into their new life together. Besides raising Elizabeth Jane and Daniel Boone, Matilda’s step-children, she gave birth to five children of her own:

1. Mary Docia, born 24 August 1855; died 31 January 1912, Linn Co., MO and married Charles Hannon on 26 January 1874, Linn Co., MO
2. Lewis Michael, born 22 August 1857; died 14 March 1937, Linn Co. , MO and married Elizabeth Cornett on 24 March 1883, Linn Co., MO
3. Thomas James, born 22 December 1858; died 8 May 1942, Noble, Cleveland Co., OK and married Docia (Dolly) Standifer on 5 May 1881 in Linn Co., MO
4. Matilda Sarah Catherine, born 26 October 1860; died 23 March 1937, Linn Co., MO and married Josiah Cordray on 7 April 1876, Linn Co., MO
5. John Henry Peavler, born 5 November 1863; died 3 February 1939, Noble, Cleveland Co., OK and married (1) Mary Elizabeth Hollon on 27 June 1886 in Linn Co., MO and (2) Addie Lucinda Belcher on 21 May 1905, also in Linn Co., MO

The 1860 census is the only census where they were all together as a family:

John Stufflebean 1860, Linn Co., MO
3rd Household from bottom of page

The census taker seemed to have had trouble with the names of the children. What looks like “Mordecai” is actually Mary Docia and the following child’s name has been written over, but it is Lewis.

The threat of the Civil War was looming and, although the family seemed a bit insulated from battles that would rage throughout the South, many Missouri men enlisted for the cause. John Stufflebean was one of those men who enlisted and never came home.

One month before his 41st birthday, on 2 May 1862, John enlisted in Co. F, 25th MO Infantry. Little is known about his actual service except that the regiment was building fortifications at Corinth, Mississippi until March 1863. It then moved to Iron Mountain, St. Joseph and northwest Missouri fighting guerillas until February 17, 1864. They then merged with Bissell’s Engineers at Nashville, TN and became the 1st Regiment MO Volunteer Engineers. It seems like their greatest foe wasn’t the Confederate Army. Sadly, they lost 16 men killed in action, but one officer and 146 enlisted men to disease.

John Stufflebean died on 10 June 1864 in a Nashville hospital of chronic diarrhea, likely from an outbreak of dysentery.  The next few years were difficult for Matilda, as she had seven children aged 17 and under in her care and things didn’t seem to go very well for the family.

Matilda married widower John B. Hall on 22 March 1869 in Linn County and I expect she was hoping for some stability for herself and her family. That wasn’t to be. It appears that perhaps her new husband didn’t want the care of her children because just a month later, George W. Stephens, no relation known to the family, but a wealthy lawyer who lived in Locust Creek in 1870, was appointed guardian of the five minor children of John Stufflebean, deceased – Mary D., Louis M., Thomas J.L., John H. and Matilda S.C. Stufflebean. Elizabeth Jane, daughter of John and Gulielma, had married the year before. Daniel Boone, her brother, was twenty years old and living on his own.

The 1870 census shows a continued strain on the family. This is the only time I have ever seen separate people in the same family enumerated twice in the same censuses, living together and then apart.

First, on 17 June 1870, Matilda Hall is enumerated living alone in Sullivan County, MO next door to her brother Lewis Peavler’s family. Mary Docia is a domestic in her uncle’s household, but there is no sign of the four younger Stufflebean children:

Matilda Hall & Mary Docia, 1870 in Sullivan Co., MO

Matilda apparently separated from John Hall not long after their marriage. Could the legal proceedings concerning guardianship of her children have had anything to do with that? I don’t think we’ll ever have an answer to that question.

Next, on 16 August 1870, two months later, we find John and Matilda Hall and his children living in one household back in Linn County and, very oddly, next door in a separate household is Mary Docia, aged 15, head of a household consisting of herself and her four younger siblings!

Note that the census taker was Fielding Lewis and that John Hall’s neighbor was Harrison Bailey. This census list gets even stranger now because one day later, on 17 August 1870, the same Fielding Lewis came by a second time. Harrison Bailey is still John Hall’s neighbor, so John didn’t move. Overnight, John had aged by six years, but this is the same family as his children are there. However, Matilda is gone and in her place is Nona Hall, aged 75 – likely John’s mother.

Nona must have walked in the door soon after the census taker walked out! Perhaps that was the last straw for Matilda. I have no documentation to show that John and Matilda divorced. However, some distant cousins state that they had divorced by 1872.

By 1880, it was evident that John Stufflebean’s children were scattered to the wind. Matilda was living with her now married daughter, Matilda Cordray and her husband, Josiah. Elizabeth Jane had married back in 1868 and had her own family living in Saline County, MO. Daniel was nearby, having married in 1874 and settled in Linn County. Mary Docia had also married in 1874 and lived in Linn County. Lewis Michael went to California to live with his uncle James Peavler, and his family in Colusa County. He was a registered as a California voter as late as 1882 before he returned to Linn County in 1883 to marry and settle down. Thomas was living with his uncle and aunt, Thomas and Mary Standifer, while John Henry was living with Mary Docia and her husband, Charles Hannon. Both families were in Linn County.

For whatever reason, Matilda was unable to care for her children. She is listed in the 1890 veterans’ census schedule with a notation about John Stufflebean’s death:

John & Matilda Stufflebean, 1890 Census

By 1900, Matilda’s health was failing her. She was still living with Matilda and Josiah Cordray on 6 June, but it was noted that she was an invalid.

There is no death certificate marking Matilda’s death. However, a descendant has a family Bible that notes “Matilda Hall died August 6, 1900” and was buried at North Salem Cemetery in Linn County, Missouri. Her grave is unmarked.

The Civil War and death of John Stufflebean had a tremendous, long lasting effect on his wife and children. Life would never be the same for them again.

Elsee Larrison Ketchum Stufflebean

Elsee Larrison Ketchum Stufflebean is worthy of a fresh look in my research. She was born about 1762, likely in New Jersey or Pennsylvania since that was the home of most colonial Larrison families. She married Joseph Ketchum and likely had a son, also Joseph, born about 1794. Joseph Ketchum Sr. probably died in Bourbon County, Kentucky and Elsee declared that she married John Stufflebean as her second husband in the fall of 1792 or 1793, according to John’s Revolutionary War pension file. Few facts about her have sources cited and almost nothing has been posted about her life before marrying John. Here is a transcription of her widow’s pension declaration made on 30 Apr 1845:

State of Illinois, On the twenty thirtieth day of April in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty five personally appeared before the Circuit Court in and for the county of Randolph in the State of Illinois, judicially sitting Elsee Stufflebean, a resident in the county of Randolph aforesaid, aged eighty three years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on her oath, make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the Act of Congress passed July 7, 1838 entitled “An Act granting half pay and pensions to certain widows.” That she is the widow of John Stufflebean who was a private in the Army of the Revolution, in which, as she has always understood and verily believes he enlisted in the State of New York during the war, and in which he served until he was taken a prisoner by the Indians in the service of the British, – This fact however she knows not of her own knowledge, but only as she has always heard and understood from her said husband John Stufflebean in his life time and sincerely believes to be true, but she knows of her own knowledge that the said John Stufflebean in his life time was, from the twenty ninth day of March I the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty three until the time of his death, a pensioner under the laws of the United States and regularly drew his pension as such pensioner, and that during all that time and at the tim of his death he the said John Stufflebean had in his possession an original pension certificate of which the following is a true copy: to wit: “War Department Revolutionary claim, I do certify that in conformity to the law of the United States of the 7th June 1832 John Stufflebean of the State of Kentucky, who was a private in the Army of the Revolution is entitled to receive eighty dollars and cents per annum during his natural life, commencing on the 4th of March 1831, and payable semi-annually on the 4th of March and 4th of September in every year. Given at the War Office of the United States this twenty ninth day of March one thousand eight hundred and thirty eight. Lew Cass Secretary of War” Examined and countersigned J.L Edwards, commissioner of pensions. Recorded in the pension office in Book E. Vol. 7 page 27 by Daniel Boyd clerk” which original certificates she the said Elsee Stufflebean surrendered to the pension Agent at Springfield in the State of Illinois upon her receiving the arrears of pension due to said John Stufflebean at the time of his death but retained a copy of the same as above written. Said John Stufflebean was transferred from the Roll of Kentucky to that of Illinois on the 5th of October 1842 and resided in Illinois until the time of his death She further declares that she was married to the said John Stufflebean in the fall season and to the best of her recollection and belief in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety two or one thousand seven hundred and ninety three. She is unable to state the month or year of her marriage to said John Stufflebean with any greater certainty than she had done above. It took place in or near the town of Paris now called, in Bourbon County in the state of Kentucky more than fifty one years ago, and of this fact she is certain and that she and the said John Stufflebean lived harmoniously and uninterruptedly together as husband and wife from the time of their marriage until the time of his death; this is to say for upwards of fifty one years immediately preceding his death, during which space of time she had by the said John Stufflebean ten children, the said John Stufflebean was illiterate and could not write even his own name, nor can any of this children write and no family record of the marriage of herself and and the said John Stufflebean has ever been made or kept. Nor does any such record exist at this time to her knowledge; nor does she know of any person now living who was present at the time of her marriage with the said John Stufflebean. The marriage ceremony was performed by one John Todd who to her best recollection an belief was a preacher of the Gospel but she has no reason to believe that the said John Todd is now alive and if he is alive she knows not where he lives, nor does she know that any record of said marriage was ever made. She was at the time of her marriage to the said John Stufflebean the widow of Joseph Ketchum deceased and her maiden name before her marriage to the said Joseph Ketchum was Elsee Larrison. She further declares that he last husband, the said John Stufflebean died on the sixteenth day of January in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty four near to the town of Kaskaskia, in the county of Randolph in the State of Illinois, at the advanced age of one hundred and ten years eleven months and one day; that she was not married to him prior to his leaving the service, but the marriage took place previous to the first of January in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety four, viz at the time or rather in the year seventeen hundred and ninety two, or seventeen hundred and ninety three above stated.

Sworn and subscribed on her
the day and year above written Elsee X Stufflebean
in open Court before the Judge mark
thereof Gustavus Koerner
Judicially sitting
Gustavus Koerner

John A. Langlois, clk.
of said circuit court

I’ve made a few previous attempts at finding her family and identifying her first husband, Joseph Ketchum, without success.

Today’s fresh look has already paid off in one way, as a quick check for Ketchums in Kentucky in the 1790’s immediately produced an image of the marriage bond filed by John Stufflebean on 12 August 1795 in support of his marriage to “Alice” Ketchum. Elsee , in her senior years, was off by a couple of years when she said declared that married John in the fall of 1792 or 1793 and it wasn’t quite fall, but close.

Marriage bond of John Stufflebean and Alice Ketchum,
Bourbon County, Kentucky, 12 August 1795

It is important to know a little county history here because most Stufflebean records are found in Estill County, not Bourbon. The top half of Estill County formerly sat in Bourbon until the county was set off in 1808. In 1870, Lee County was formed, in part, from Estill County, with the new Lee County seat being Beattyville. The Stufflebeans lived in the area of Bourbon County that eventually became Estill and Lee Counties.

Next, the Ketchum name isn’t common in Kentucky in the late 1790’s and early 1800’s so looking at Elsee’s FAN club (family and neighbors) only yields one result, but it is a promising one. There is a marriage record for a Joseph Ketchum who married Sarah King on 5 April 1818. This is likely a child of Joseph Ketchum and Elsee Larrison because (1) one of the marriage bond signatures is that of Hiram Stufflebean, who would have been his half brother and (2) in the 1820 census, Joseph “Kitchum” is living near James Stufflebean, his step brother.

The Ketchum family is on my Family History Library “to do” list when I am there next month. I am sure there is more out there to be found somewhere and I’m hoping to chip away at another brick wall. I will post an update after the FGS-RootsTech 2015 conference.