Sepia Saturday 510. Fourth in a series on my maternal German ancestors, the Stoutners, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.
My maternal great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner Sr. was successful in business after immigrating from Germany and establishing a brick works near Gloversville, Fulton County, N.Y.
Yet his personal life was punctuated by unimaginable loss — making him a widower twice over before the age of 35. This post will chronicle what little I know about his first two wives.
Andrew’s first wife Catherine
When I started researching my family, I was focused on accumulating as much information as I could — but I was not so careful about citing my sources. So the only information I have about Andrew’s first wife, Catherine, is an unsourced note in my files that says:
Catherine A. Stoutner – Nov. 4, 1839 – Mar. 25, 1858, at age 19 – died in childbirth – came with him from Germany?
I believe my mother spoke with an aunt and a cousin on the Stoutner line and may have gotten the information from them. But how to verify the details?
A tragic first marriage
Andrew immigrated to the U.S. circa 1855 at about age 22. So I checked the 1855 NYS Census1and found an Andrew Stoutner, 22, in Johnstown, Fulton County, N.Y. He had lived in town for two months when the census-taker called in June, according the census image.
Andrew, a laborer born in Germany, was the “head” of a household of seven other male German immigrant “boarders” around the same age, who had also been in town two months. If this is my Andrew, then he did not have a wife with him — so he either met Catherine in the U.S. or sent for her to join him.
The family story of her tragic 1858 death in childbirth also supports their marrying after 1855. Yet I have not found a grave for her and there was no New York statewide register of deaths at that time — so I know no more about Catherine than what is contained in my file note.
Andrew’s second wife Elizabeth
My files contain a similar unsourced note about Andrew’s second wife Elizabeth that reads:
Elizabeth D. Stoutner – April 20, 1844 – June 15, 1865 at age 21 – mother of William Stoutner (b. 1862) and Mary Stoutner (b. 1864).
I have also not found a grave or death certificate for Elizabeth. However, there is a record of Elizabeth living with Andrew in the 1860 U.S. census of Johnstown, Fulton County, N.Y.2
Her children William and Mary also appear with Andrew, a widower, in the 1865 NYS census of Johnstown3 enumerated on the nineteenth of June — just four days after Elizabeth’s death (if my dates are accurate).
|Andrew Stoutner Sr. Family – Census Enumerations – Source: FamilySearch
|1860 US Census||Andrew Stoutner||26||Mechanic – Brick Maker||Germany|
|Elizabeth Stoutner||19||—||New York|
|1865 NYS Census||Andrew Stoutner (as Stouten)||34||Brickmaker, widowed, married twice||Germany|
|William Stoutner (as Stouten)||4||Child||Fulton|
|Mary Stoutner (as Stouten)||1||Child||Fulton|
|Margaret Baker||35||Housekeeper, widow, married once, mother of 4||Fulton|
A heartbreaking second marriage
The 1865 census implies that Elizabeth may have been ill for a while — perhaps since the birth of her daughter Mary the year before — because the family already had a live-in housekeeper, Margaret Baker, at the time of Elizabeth’s death.
It’s hard to imagine how devastated Andrew must have been after the heartbreaking loss of his second wife Elizabeth — leaving him a twice-widowed father of two young, grieving children. Yet he was not alone at a time when many had lost loved ones during the U.S. Civil War.
Love heals the loss
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 become a loving stepmother to his children. Her story begins with the next post.
Up next: Introducing Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.
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