A Stoutner by any other surname variant

Sepia Saturday 507. First in a new series my maternal German ancestors of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y. — starting with the Stoutner family.

The 1926 birth of my mother Margaret Antoinette Laurence linked four immigrant families in Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.  Shown are my grandparents proudly holding my mom, their firstborn child — who went by Peggy in her youth, shortened to Peg as an adult.

Proud parents. My grandfather Tony Laurence and grandmother Liz (Stoutner) Laurence proudly pose outside their Gloversville, N.Y., home with their firstborn, my mom Peggy, shortly after her 1926 birth. Their marriage brought together four immigrant family lines — Laurence [DiLorenzo], Curcio, Mimm and Stoutner — and opened the door to some interesting genealogy research for their descendants. Photo scan by Molly Charboneau
My mom’s father Anthony W. “Tony” Laurence was Italian-American. His father Peter Laurence [nee DiLorenzo] arrived from Italy’s Campania region circa 1895 and married U.S.-born Mary “Mamie” Curcio, whose parents had immigrated earlier from the same area.

My mom’s mother Elizabeth Christina “Liz” Stoutner was German-American. The parents of her mother Celia Mimm had immigrated from Baden-Württemburg, and the forebears of her dad Andrew J. “Pete” Stoutner hailed from Prussia.

Ah, those surname variants

Thus begins the journey to unpack my maternal ancestry one family at a time — starting with the Stoutners. And as with many immigrants, right away there is the challenge of surname variants.

My grandmother and her siblings went by Stoutner — spelled just that way — and her dad’s generation seems to have done the same, judging by census and other records.

But was that the original surname of my immigrant great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner? Maybe not.

While pursuing city directories for Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y., I found the spelling of “Stoutner” had changed over the years — with at least two possible surname variants emerging, as shown below

Gloversville, Kingsboro and Johnstown City Directories – Fulton Couty, N.Y. – Various Listings for Andrew Stoutner – 1875-1890
Year Name Occupation Residence
1875 Stautner Andrew brickmaker house 1 Wells
1879-80 Stoudner Andrew brick maker 1 Wells
1880-81 Stoudner Andrew brickmaker 1 Wells
1882 Stautner Andrew Brick mnfr., off . Fulton, out corp. 4 Wells
1885-1890 Stoutner Andrew Brick mnfr., off . Fulton, out corp. 4 Wells

In addition to Stautner and Stoudner, I have found several other variations during online searches — including Staudtner, Staudner, Stettner, Steudner, and Statner. So what’s a descendant to do? Take it step by step, name by name, and see what turns up!

Fortunately, Stoutner appears to have eventually become the preferred surname spelling of my ancestors in Gloversville city directories, census enumerations and newspaper articles. So at least for U.S. research, this surname should yield results.

A new Stoutner address?

One other discovery in my preliminary Stoutner sleuthing was a new address — 1 Wells St. — for Andrew and his family from 1875-1881.

My mother was familiar with the brick home he built across the street at 4 Well St.  She and I visited and photographed that house on a 1992 genealogy road trip to her Gloversville hometown.

So what more can I find out about these homes? Quite a bit, it turns out — thanks to the Internet and various real estate and other online sites. Stay tuned for new house-hunting discoveries in the next post.

Up Next: The Stoutner homes on Wells Street –– second in a new series about my maternal ancestors. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Daniel Chapman: A new fifth great-grandfather?

Sepia Saturday 506. Sixth and final in a series about recent research discoveries at the NYS Archives & Library: Could Daniel Chapman be a new fifth great-grandfather?

Genealogy research trips offer uninterrupted time to ponder possibilities while perusing the records. At home, day-to-day concerns crop up — but at a repository, especially a distant one, there is a total focus on the research. And that’s when new ideas percolate — as they did for me at the New York State Archives.

In search of my Chapman heritage

While researching the tax records of my fourth great-grandfather Waples Hance in Chenango, Tioga Co., N.Y. (now Conklin, Broome Co.), I started wondering about the heritage of his wife Rachel Chapman. Who were her parents? What was her history? How to find out more about my fourth great-grandmother?

July 2019: A Conklin, N.Y. farm. J.H. French’s 1860 Gazetteer of New York State mentions Daniel Chapman as an early resident of Conklin, Broome Co., N.Y. (formerly Chenango, Tioga Co.). He is the only Chapman in the area’s early nineteenth century tax records — occupation:  farmer. Was Daniel the father of my fourth great-grandmother Rachel (Chapman) Hance — and thus my fifth great-grandfather? Photo by Molly Charboneau

Waples and Rachel’s oldest child Isaac Hance [older brother of my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee] was born 5 June 1802 — so they likely married circa 1800-1801.

The 1800 U.S. census for Chenango, Tioga Co., New York 1 shows Daniel Chapman with one female in his household aged 10-15. She was presumably his daughter, and her age coincides with the circa 1784 birth year of Rachel (Chapman) Hance. The same census return shows Waples Hance — enumerated as Waples Haner — single and living nearby.

Daniel Chapman’s tax records

J.H. French’s 1860 Gazetteer of New York State, in a footnote on Conklin, N.Y., also mentions Daniel Chapman as an early resident. Could he be the father of Rachel (Chapman) Hance? Then he might be my fifth great-grandfather.

So I took a look at the tax records — and, as summarized below, Daniel Chapman was the only Chapman I found in the 1799-1804 tax assessments for Chenango, Tioga County.

Town of Chenango, Tioga County, N.Y – Tax Assessment Rolls 1799-1804 Sources: New York State Archives and Ancestry.com
Year Name of Possessor Description: Real Estate Value of Real Estate Value of Personal Estate Tax to be paid
1799 Chapman, Daniel House & Farm $425 $30 $0.45
1800 Chapman, Danl House & Farm $425 $30 $1.12
1802 Daniel Chapman House & Farm $425 $40 $0.93
1803 Daniel Chapman House & Farm $425 $70 $0.82

Not only that, but the unalphabetized tax list for 1802 shows Daniel just three names away from Waples Hance — echoing their 1800 U.S. census2 enumerations and implying they were near neighbors. Could that be how Waples and Rachel met?

These preliminary clues indicate that I may have discovered a fifth great-grandfather — and an entirely new Chapman family line to research. What a nice surprise! And a great conclusion to my research trip.

Archival research: a worthwhile journey

Like the Gloversville city directories, early New York State tax rolls are also available online. Yet microfilm scrolling of the directories and tax records let me look at the big ancestral picture in a short period of time and place forbears in context.

That, along with the GAR research on my Union Army ancestor, made my trip to the the New York State Archives and Library a unique and worthwhile experience — one I highly recommend.

Up next: A Stoutner by any other name — launching a new series about my maternal ancestors. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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NYS Archives: My ancestor Waples Hance in early tax rolls

Sepia Saturday 505. Fifth in a series based on recent research discoveries at the NYS Archives & Library: New details for my paternal ancestor Waples Hance.

Rounding out my recent research trip to the New York State Library and Archives, I was able to access some early tax records for my paternal fourth great-grandfather Waples Hance — who moved in the late 1700s from his childhood home in New Jersey to New York’s southern tier.

Finding evidence of Waples’ arrival in the Binghamton, N.Y., area — and the possible name of his wife Rachel Chapman’s father– were among my research goals.

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-f27b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
1841 Atlas of New York State Counties and Senatorial Districts. Click to enlarge. This map shows the various homes of my fourth great-grandfather Waples Hance — from his childhood in New Jersey and adult years in Broome County, N.Y. (at lower right in district 6) to his senior years in Susquehanna Co., Penna. (south of Broome County). Image: NYPL Digital Collections

Waples and Rachel were the parents of Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee — whose 1866 divorce I wrote about last year. And I can’t help but wonder whether her decision to leave her husband Zebulon in 1858 might have been inspired, in part, by the example of her father — who picked up stakes to start a new life with a new wife far from his New Jersey home.

Waples’ story in brief

I have not yet written in detail about my fourth great-grandfather Waples Hance (born circa 1760) because I am still documenting his story — particularly his early life in Shrewsbury Township, Monmouth County, N.J.

However, numerous written sources, including J.H. French’s Gazetteer of the State of New York, indicate that as an adult he lived in Conklin in Broome County, N.Y. — arriving there circa 1788, when he would have been about 28 years old.

https://www.loc.gov/item/91680390/
Bird’s eye view of Binghamton, N.Y. (circa 1882). My ancestor Waples Hance lived in this area from circa 1788. Before any bridges spanned the Chenango and Susquehanna rivers, he purportedly operated a ferry near where the two rivers meet. I am still documenting this and other details of my fourth great-grandfather’s life. Image: Library of Congress

Tioga County tax rolls

So in the New York State Archives, I looked at tax records for that period — when Conklin was in Town of Chenango (from which Binghamton was formed in 1855) in Tioga County (half of which became Broome County in 1806).

Tax assessment rolls on microfilm for Tioga County, from 1799 to 1804, covered the period I was interested in — and I found several entries for Waples Hance that firmly place him in Chenango, Tioga County, N.Y. during that time.

Town of Chenango, Tioga County, N.Y – Tax Assessment Rolls 1799-1804 – Source: New York State Archives 
Year Names of Possesors Description of Real Estate Value of Real Estate Value of Personal Estate Tax to be paid
1799 Hance, Waples House & farm $340 $30 $0.36
1800 Hance, Waples House & farm $340 $40 $0.94
1801 Hance, Waples House & farm $200 $56 $0.66
1802 Waples Hance House & farm $200 $30 $0.46
1803 Hanse, Waples Land $360 $40 $0.65

Like Gloversville city directories, some early tax assessment rolls for Tioga County have been digitized. Yet, I found more entries for my ancestor Waples Hance by scrolling the microfilm than through online searching — plus I was able to see other entries on the rolls and place my ancestor’s house and farm in a broader context.

A Chapman family mystery

The tax rolls also allowed me to delve into one more family mystery: Who was the father of Waples’ wife, Rachel Chapman?

French’s Gazetteer, in a footnote on Conklin, N.Y., mentions Daniel Chapman as an early resident. Could he be the father of Rachel (Chapman) Hance? If so, he might be my fifth great-grandfather — and judging by the tax rolls, he certainly appears to be a good candidate! More on what I discovered in the next post.

Up next: Finding a new fifth great-grandfather. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Growing family trees one leaf at a time