Continuing the Stoutner family saga

Sepia Saturday 553. Fifth in a series on my maternal German ancestors, the Stoutners, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y. — continued from March 2020.

When New York City went into an initial coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, I had just begun writing about my maternal Stoutner ancestors who lived in Gloversville, Fulton County, N.Y.
Main Street, Gloversville, N.Y. (circa 1930-45). This post returns to the saga of my mother’s German Stoutner ancestors who lived in Gloversville, Fulton County, N.Y.  At right is the Carnegie Library, where my mother and I researched her family during a 1992 genealogy road trip to her hometown. Image: Digital Commonwealth – Massachusetts Collections Online

Alas, the Stoutner family saga was abruptly cut short by a scramble to find masks, stock up on groceries, hunker down to flatten the contagion curve and learn how to live safely during the global pandemic.

The unfolding Covid crisis then drew me to the life of my father’s Uncle Albert Barney Charboneau, who died in the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 — a story I had long wanted to tell, with many parallels to our own 100-year pandemic experience.

Returning to the Stoutner story

The Stoutner family of Gloversville, N.Y., circa 1908. My great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner, center, holds my grandmother Elizabeth on his lap. To his left is my great-great grandmother Christina Albeitz, his third wife. They are surrounded by their extended family in a photo most likely taken outside their 4 Wells Street home in Gloversville. N.Y. Click here for fuller caption and details. Photo scan by Molly Charboneau

Now, with the New Year, I am returning to the saga of my mother’s German Stoutner ancestors — starting with a brief recap of earlier posts in this series.

1865: Enter Christina Albeitz

Which brings us to 1865, when Andrew Stoutner Sr. was a twice-widowed father of two — with a live-in housekeeper to help with his young children, as shown below.

Andrew Stoutner Sr.  Family – 1865 New York State Census – Source: FamilySearch
Census Name Age Occupation Born
1865 NYS Census Andrew Stoutner (as Stouten) 34 Brickmaker, widowed, married twice Germany
William Stoutner (as Stouten) 4 Child Fulton County
Mary Stoutner (as Stouten) 1 Child Fulton County
Margaret Baker 35 Housekeeper, widow, married once, mother of 4 Fulton County

Fortunately for Andrew and his children, a young woman arrived from Germany circa 1865 who would change all of their lives — my great-great grandmother Christina Albeitz.

When and how she and Andrew met is a mystery — but Christina agreed to marry the handsome widower, who was 12 years her senior, and became a loving stepmother to his children. Her story begins with the next post.

Up next: Introducing Christina (Albeitz) StoutnerPlease stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Winter 2020: A season of hope

Sepia Saturday 551: The holiday season is upon us — and that’s when Molly’s Canopy traditionally takes a break in December so I can relax, kick back and recharge.

Whispering Chimnneys (December 1954). That’s me on the porch of my first childhood home gazing in awe at the majesty of the snow. Photo by Norman J. Charboneau (converted to sketch)

This year I was grateful for the sustaining power of my ancestors as I told their stories, and my own, during New York City’s terrifying coronavirus lockdown in March-April — then through the months of reemergence as we learned how to stem contagion with masks, distance, outdoor activity and good hand hygiene.

The sustaining power of ancestors

When I began the year blogging about my fall 2019 research Albany — then continued with stories about my maternal German Stoutner ancestors — I had no idea what lay ahead. Then I stopped blogging altogether for a couple of weeks in March.

But the April A-Z Challenge drew me back to the page with Endwell: My Elementary Years fond memories about my early childhood there in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

And as the coronavirus swept the world, I turned to a series I had long wanted to write about my dad’s Uncle Albert Barney Charboneau who died in the last great global contagion — the 1918 influenza pandemic — and its parallels with our own viral outbreak.

Heartfelt thanks

Heartfelt thanks to my readers and relatives who followed along and shared valuable observations each week (among them the Sepia Saturday regulars).

Your visits, comments and solidarity helped me continue blogging on Molly’s Canopy through a difficult year for us all — and renewed my hope that the New Year will be just as fulfilling as new vaccines roll out to end our long quarantine.

Happy Holidays to you and yours from Molly’s Canopy! Please stop back in January 2021 when regular blogging resumes. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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The widowhood of Annie E. (Miller) Charboneau (1885-1968)

Sepia Saturday 549. Postscript to the series about Albert Barney Charboneau — my paternal grandfather’s brother who died in the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918.

Annie E. (Miller) Charboneau circa 1912. Scan by Molly Charboneau

The death of my dad’s Uncle Albert Barney Charboneau in the 1918 influenza pandemic was a blow to the Dolgeville, N.Y., Charboneau family — and particularly to his wife, Annie E. (Miller) Charboneau.

She and Albert had only been married six years when he passed, leaving her a widow at age 33 — and I assumed she went on alone, since she is buried beside him in the Dolgeville Cemetery.

An online clue

Yet genealogy research is full of surprises — and one was the discovery that Annie married a second time! The clue to her second marriage came from a note left by a nephew on the Find-a-Grave listing I created for her.

She was a daughter of Charles and Mary Gray Miller. She was twice married. She married Albert B. Charbonneau in 1912. He died in 1918. She was married to Frank Gleason in 1930. He died in 1938. She leaves a nephew, Richard George, Camp Hill, PA

I was happy he left the note, because I hated the idea of Annie having a long, lone widowhood after the traumatic loss of Albert.

Annie (Miller) Charboneau in Dolgeville, N.Y. (circa 1916). Annie is shown here with her younger brother Arthur in a photo that may have been taken by her first husband Albert Barney Charboneau. Scan by Molly Charboneau

Second marriage and widowhood

I checked the New York State Marriage Index for 1930 online, and sure enough — the second marriage of Annie Charboneau (indexed as Charbonean) took place on 3 April 1930 in Dolgeville, N.Y., with the same certificate number as Frank Gleason.

I found only one WWI draft registration card for a Frank Gleason in the Little Falls-Dolgeville area. If this was Annie’s second husband, he could not have been more different from tall, robust, dark-haired Uncle Albert. Frank, a china moulder, was described as short, of medium build, with brown eyes and light hair.

Unfortunately, Annie’s second marriage did not last much longer than her first — she lost Frank on 14 April 1938, as confirmed by the New York State Death Index for that year.

A working woman

Annie did not have children with either of her husbands — and she appears to have continued working outside the home throughout both of her marriages and beyond.

She was mainly employed by the Dolgeville shoe factory once owned by Alfred Dolge, and later by Daniel Green Co. However, federal and state census entries indicate that Annie also worked as an Auxiliary Clerk at the Dolgeville post office (in 1920) and supervisor of a school cafeteria (in 1925).

Albert B. and Annie E. (Miller) Charboneau circa 1912. Cruelly parted by the 1918 influenza pandemic, they are buried together in Dolgeville Cemetery. Scan by Molly Charboneau

When Uncle Albert died in 1918, Annie remained in their home at 42 State Street in Dolgeville. She was enumerated there as Annie Gleason, 54, along with her widowed father Charles in the 1940 U.S. census.[1]FamilySearch requires free sign in to view records.She was then working as a sole closer.

Annie’s immediate family appears to have been a tremendous support after Albert’s death — her parents moving in with her at the State Street home in 1920 and living with her until the end of each their lives.

Their support likely enabled her to keep her longtime home. In 1953, she appears as Anna Gleason, widow of Frank, at the same State Street address in the Little Falls-Dolgeville City Directory.

Reunited in the end

Annie lived another fifty years after the untimely death of her first husband, my dad’s Uncle Albert. She passed on Christmas Day (25 Dec. 1968) in her Dolgeville, N.Y., hometown.

Dolgeville Cemetery graves of Albert and Annie (Miller) Charboneau before a central Charboneau stone, Dolgeville, Herkimer Co., N.Y. (2015). Photo: Molly Charboneau

And in the end, she was buried next to Uncle Albert on the Charboneau plot in the Dolgeville Cemetery — where they remain reunited to this day.

Up next: A holiday break for Molly’s Canopy. Regular blogging will resume in January 2021. Meanwhile, during December, please visit the blogs of the intrepid Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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1 FamilySearch requires free sign in to view records.

Growing family trees one leaf at a time