Last month, I began a multi-part series about the children of Revolutionary War soldier John Stufflebean and his two wives, Priscilla Ross and Elsee Larrison. Little had been written about several of his children, including son William, who I am 99% sure was Priscilla’s son and the first born of all his children, and son Jacob, for whom nothing was known except his enumeration in pre-1850 censuses.
During my limited time at the Family History Library last week, I devoted some of my energy towards unearthing some kind of records that would shed more light on his children’s lives. Most of my searches were the negative type – I can’t tell you how many resources I crossed off the list with the notation that nothing was found.
I did find two little gems, though – a will for Jacob and both a will and probate file for William. Let’s start first with William.
Here is the gist of what I previously had on William:
William Stufflebean, probably born about 1791. He married Mary Elizabeth Miller on 23 February 1812 in Estill County, Kentucky.
The 1820 census of Estill County shows William and his family, but they removed to Fulton County, Illinois shortly before 1830. This branch of the family took an “m” at the end of their surname and became “Stufflebeam.”
Note that exact dates of birth and death were found online, but no sources were given and I haven’t found headstones.
1. Female, born 1810-1815, likely Priscilla Stufflebeam (15 Aug 1815-27 June 1854), who married Jesse Wilcoxsen on 30 September 1832 in Fulton County, IL.
2. Male, born 1810-1815 – died young
3. Female, born 1815-1820, likely Elsie (Ailcy) Stufflebeam (5 Aug 1816-9 Aug 1863) who married (1) Harvey Lee Fitzgerald on 8 June 1834 in Jackson County, Missouri and (2) William R. Clark on 17 February 1849 in Fulton County, Illinois.
UPDATE: I wasn’t sure that Elsie who married in Missouri in 1834 really married there if she was William’s daughter. I did find her marriage record, but could not find any documentation that William and his family lived there for any length of time so I don’t know whether they left Illinois for Missouri, but soon returned to Illinois or if they were visiting when Ailcy met her husband-to-be.
4. Female, born 1815-1820, likely Lucinda Stufflebeam (20 June 1819-11 Aug 1906), who married Mason Eveland on 5 February 1835 in Fulton County, Illlinois.
5. Male, born 1820-1825, likely Joshua Stufflebeam (10 Oct 1822-June 1912), who married Mary Alsbury, 24 December 1840, Fulton County, Illinois
6. Male, born 1820-1825, likely John Stufflebeam, (4 Dec 1823-10 Aug 1888), who married (1) Rachel Alsbury, 18 January 1844 and (2) Sarah Ellers, 4 May 1848, both in Fulton County, Illinois
7. Male, born 1825-1830, likely Jacob Stufflebeam (24 Jan 1830-18 Aug 1904), who married Rachel Willey, 26 December 1852, McDonough County, Illinois
I also posed the question as to whether Hiram or Christopher Columbus Stufflebeam could also be his sons. William’s will answered that question.
11 or 19 August 1836
In the name of god amen I William Stuffelbean
of the County of Fulton and State of Illinois being
Sick and weak of body but of Sound mind and
Memmory thank god to make and dine (deem?) this my
Last will and testament revoken all others first of all
Is that all my Just debts be Paid All so I give
And bequeath unto my beloved wife Elezabeth
the farm which I now live on during her life or
widow hood that is to Say lot no Seven acordon to
the plat of Section Sixten in town Ship five
North in range four East all So all my Stock hous
hould and farming tools and that on the 15 day
of September there (crossed out) Shal be one Sorel hors
and Cart and all my Cattle Except three head
to be Chosen by my wife all so one fur(?) hat
to be Sold on a credit of Six months and the money
a riSen from the Sale to go to pay for the land and
my just debts all So I give and be queath unto my
two oldest Sons to wit Joshua and Jon forty acres
of land being Lot no Six acorden to plat of Section
Sixteen in township five North four East all so
my will is that Jacob and Christopher Columbus
is to have the forty acres that my wife livs on at
her death or when She Shall mary if She ever dos
then the profets risen from the Same to go to my two
Sall (?) Sons to wit Jacob and Christopher Columbus
And lastly I here by Constitue and a point my
beloved wife Elezabeth and Jacob Miller to be the Executors for this my last will and testament in witness
where unto I have Set my hand and Seal this 11 (or 19)
day of August A.D. 1836. William (X) Stuffelbean (his mark)
Sined in the presents of us
Jesse B. Willcockson
Rhuben (X) Elelon (his mark)
The downside of this will is that William only named his four sons. However, as the witnesses included Jesse Willcoxen and Eveland and a buyer at the estate sale was Thomas Alsbury, I would say that supports the idea that Priscilla and Lucinda, at the very least, were his daughters. It looks like Ailcy and Harvey Fitzgerald were living in Buchanan County, Missouri in 1840, which would explain why Harvey wasn’t at the estate sale if they were in Missouri from their 1834 marriage into the 1840s.
However, we can add child #8, Christopher Columbus Stufflebean:
8. Christopher Columbus, 16 April 1836 – 5 March 1894; he married Mary Willey, 26 June 1856, Fulton County, Illinois
One additional interesting document was found in William’s probate packet – a bill for medical services from 11 August 1836 – 22 August 1836.
To Visit Med & Blisters
The cause of William’s final illness isn’t stated, but his care included medicine for blisters and an overnight stay on 20 August. This was a very expensive illness – the equivalent of about $1,000 in today’s money. I would say that William probably died on 22 August 1836; his will was probated two weeks later on 7 September 1836.