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 — who are buried side-by-side in Gloversville’s Prospect Hill Cemetery.
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 written information I have about Andrew’s first wife, Catharine, is an unsourced, undated note in my files that says:
Catharine A. Stoutner – Nov. 4, 1839 – Mar. 25, 1858, at age 19 – died in childbirth – came with him from Germany?
Catharine’s dates of birth and death appear on her tombstone — and I believe my mother may have gotten the other information from an aunt or a cousin on the Stoutner. But how to verify those details?
A tragic first marriage
Andrew immigrated to the U.S. circa 1855 at about age 22. So I checked the 1855 New York State Census1855 N.Y.S. census: FamilySearch requires free login to view records. and 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 Catharine 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 there was no New York statewide register of deaths at that time. So aside from the dates on her grave marker, I have found no more information about Catharine than what is contained in my file note — nor about the child she may have been carrying when she died.
Andrew’s second wife Elizabeth
My files contain a similar unsourced, undated 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).
Elizabeth’s dates of birth and death are also engraved on her tombstone. And there is a record of Elizabeth living with Andrew in the 1860 U.S. census of Johnstown, Fulton County, N.Y.1860 U.S. census: FamilySearch requires free login to view records.
Her children William and Mary also appear with Andrew, a widower, in the 1865 N.Y..S census of Johnstown1865 N.Y.S. census: FamilySearch requires free login to view records. 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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