Category Archives: Stoutner

Introducing Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner

Sepia Saturday 554. Sixth in a series on my maternal German ancestors, the Stoutners, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.

My maternal great-great grandmother Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner — the third wife of Andrew Stoutner Sr.  —  is shown here in an undated studio photo wearing a stunning beaded outfit.

She was born in the mid 1800s in Germany — but as with many of my other immigrant ancestors, there is some mystery about the details.

Undated photo of Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner by Frey Photography of Syracuse, N.Y. My maternal great-great grandmother Christina was born in the mid 1800s in Germany, but as with many of my immigrant ancestors, there is some mystery about the details. Scan by Molly Charboneau

When was Christina born?

Sources below place her birth between 1842 and 1845. While most indicate Christina was born in Germany, the earliest source says she was born in Prussia — the portion of Germany located south of the Baltic Sea.

To find the most accurate birth date, the obvious solution is to locate Christina’s birth or baptismal registration in Germany/Prussia. Ah, if only it were so easy!

With so many family lines to research, I decided years ago that I would focus on tracing each immigrant ancestor from their arrival in the U.S. — so I have not yet researched Christina’s early life. Which leaves me with the sources shown here.

Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner’s Date of Birth – Sources: FamilySearch (census entries) and family records (death certificate and tombstone photo)
Source Location Name Age Born Birthplace
1870 US census Johnstown, Fulton Co., New York Christina Stoutner 26 1844 (estimated) Prussia
1875 NYS census Johnstown, New York Christina Stoutner 30 1845 (estimated) Germany
1880 US census Gloversville, Fulton Co., New York Cristine Stoutner 35 1845 (estimated) Germany
1900 US census Gloversville, New York Christina Stoutner 56 June 1843 (penned) Germany
1905 NYS census Gloversville, New York Christine Stoutner 61 1844 (estimated) Germany
1910 US census Gloversville, New York Christina Stoutner 65 1845 (estimated) Germany
1915 NYS census Gloversville, New York Christina Stoutner 71 1844 (estimated) Germany
1920 US census Gloversville, New York Christina Stoutner 75 1845 (estimated) Germany
1924 NYS Death Certif. Gloversville, New York Christina Stoutner 81 yrs, 9 mos, 17 days Aug. 1, 1842 (penned) Germany
Tombstone: Prospect Hill Cemetery Gloversville, New York Christina Stoutner, wife of Andrew Stoutner 80 (calculated from engraved date of death: May 17, 1924) Aug. 1, 1844 (engraved)

Estimated, penned and engraved dates

The census is an imprecise genealogical tool, since it was designed to collect demographic data rather than link us to our ancestors. Nevertheless, it does offer clues to point us in the right direction.

At census time, Christina (or a household member) gave her age to the census taker — and her year of birth was later estimated by indexers. As she appears to have a summer birthday (in either June or August) a different birth year — either 1844 or 1845 — might be estimated from her age depending on the month the census was taken.

The 1900 federal census is the only one with a specific month and year for Christina penned in by the census taker (June 1843) — and it varies from the other census returns.

I believe this is a census-taker error, because the same household enumeration in 1900 shows an inaccurate birth year (1863) for Andrew and Christina’s son Andrew Jr., 26. He was actually born in 1875.

Tombstone of Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner, Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gloversville, N.Y. (1992) My best guess is that Christina’s date of birth as engraved on her tombstone — Aug. 1, 1844 — is probably accurate. Photo: Molly Charboneau

Settling for a best guess

The details on Christina’s death certificate were supplied by a funeral director, rather than a family member, so that date-of-birth information is also suspect.

My best guess, until I find additional sources, is that Christina’s date of birth as engraved on her tombstone — Aug.1, 1844 — is probably more accurate. Her children likely supplied the information for the stone at the time of her death/burial — possibly from family records and/or their own knowledge.

Clearly, more research is needed on my great-great grandmother Christina’s birth and early years. For now, on to her life after immigration.

Up next: Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner’s mysterious U.S. arrival. Please 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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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.

https://ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/2v23vv902
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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Vacations and Visiting Relatives #AtoZChallenge

V is for Vacations and Visiting Relatives. Twenty-second of twenty-six posts in the April 2020 Blogging From A to Z Challenge on the theme “Endwell: My Elementary Years”— where my genealogy journey germinated. Wish me luck!

Holidays and summertime still evoke memories of vacations and visiting relatives during my elementary years. My family often took to the road in our Pontiac station wagon — and I well remember our seating arrangement inside the car.

https://pixabay.com/photos/dunes-sand-dunes-sunset-boat-352593/
Beach and dunes on Cape Cod. For two weeks every summer General Electric, where my dad worked, closed down — and that’s when we made our annual family trip to Dennisport, Mass. on Cape Cod. Photo: Pixabay

My dad was a road warrior and generally in the driver’s seat. On long trips, my mom sat in the back seat behind him. Why? So she could be in reach of all of us kids if we needed something — or if we got out of line and required a firm hand. Also, she could tap Dad’s head as a wake-up call if he  seemed to be nodding off.

Up front, I rode shotgun with my brother Mark in the middle, Jeff and Amy were in back next to Mom — and Carol, alas, had to sit in a cleared spot in the station wagon’s trunk. And thus we traveled from Endwell, N.Y. to our various destinations.

Vacations

General Electric, where my dad worked, closed down for two weeks every summer — and that’s when we made our annual family trip to Dennisport, Mass. on Cape Cod. We rented a family-friendly wood-frame house withing walking distance to the beach — and it became our home away from home for a fortnight.

https://www.historicnewengland.org/explore/collections-access/capobject/?refd=MS028.01.012.019
Cape Cod souvenir matches. During college, my mom broke up with my dad before her family’s annual trip to Cape Cod. Then she thought it over and sent Dad some souvenir matches — and that’s how they got back together. Talk about serendipity! Photo: historicnewengland.org

I associate Cape Cod with my childhood — but later learned of an important family history connection, too. Mom told me she used to go there with her parents (aka Boom and Gramps) — and during college before one of those vacations she had broken up with Dad, who she was dating at the time.

“But while I was at the cape, I thought it over and sent your father a box of Cape Cod souvenir matches,” she said. “And that’s how we got back together. Can you believe it?” Wow, talk about serendipity!

The cape was a great place to vacation as a child: hot, salty days on the beach and cool, foggy sweatshirt nights; weekly auctions of little trinkets outside the camp rental office, followed by fireworks; eating fried clams at noisy Kream ‘N Kone — and one time even boiling a lobster for my sister Carol’s birthday.

Plus there were tons of other children — some also from hometown GE families — to hang out and play with. My siblings and I all still love Cape Cod based on our fun childhood vacations there.

Visiting relatives

Other trips — usually for weekends or holidays — involved visiting relatives and gave me a larger sense of family.

Family buggy ride (1956). A visit to my grandparents’ farm was always fun. Here, we ride in an antique carriage that my grandmother was likely planning to sell through her antique business. I am sporting ringlet curls my grandmother created with tied rags. Out of sight is my grandfather, who acted as the “horse” to pull us down the driveway. Photo: Elizabeth (Stoutner) Laurence

Visits to my maternal grandparents Tony and Liz (Stoutner) Laurence on the farm were always fun — and sometimes surprising, as illustrated by our brief carriage ride above.

We kids loved running around in the fields, splashing in the small nearby creeks, skipping stones on the pond and feeding grass to the cows next door. But there were family gatherings, too.

A summer gathering of my maternal Italian- and German-American relatives. Boom and Gramps, my maternal grandparents, often invited their families over from Gloversville, N.Y. for family picnics at their Altamont, N.Y. farm — giving me a chance to meet everyone during my elementary years. Photo: Elizabeth (Stoutner) Laurence

My grandmother was big on keeping family connected, so she would invite her German-American and my grandfather’s Italian-American family over from Gloversville, N.Y. for big family picnics on their Altamont, N.Y. farm — giving me a chance to meet everyone during my elementary years.

Dad’s North Country family

On separate trips, we drove north of Utica, N.Y. to visit my dad’s family — his three brothers, their wives and children and the paternal family patriarch Grandpa Charboneau. And sometimes, in the summer, we visited their camps in the Adirondacks.

Dinner with Dad’s family in New York’s North Country (circa 1962). I’m on the left in a red blouse in this photo of a dinner with some of Dad’s brothers, their families and Grandpa Charboneau. Photo: Peg (Laurence) Charboneau

That’s how — little by little, through these regular visits to faraway relatives — I became acquainted with my extended family during my elementary years.

Up next: W is for Weeping Willow: Our backyard tree. Please stop back! 

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