Category Archives: Stoutner

1869: Baby John brightens the Stoutner household

Sepia Saturday 558. Tenth in a series on my maternal German ancestors, the Stoutners, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.

Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner (1844-1924). Scan by Molly Charboneau

The marriage of my German immigrant great-great grandparents Andrew and Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner got off to a difficult start with the tragic October 1868 death of 7-month-old baby Rose — their first child together.

The couple was already co-parenting William, 6, and Mary Elizabeth, 4 — Andrew’s children with his second wife Elizabeth, who died in 1865. Now, the blended Stoutner family had to begin a new period of mourning for a lost child/sibling.

Fortunately, Rose’s passing came at a time when mourning rituals were changing in the wake of the U.S. Civil War. Mourning periods grew shorter and there was more focus on looking to the future – with cemeteries designed like parks to encourage family visits.

https://www.facebook.com/Pictorial-History-of-Gloversville-148220148548697
Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gloversville, N.Y. (1898) After the U.S. Civil War, cemeteries were designed like parks to encourage family visits. Prospect Hill Cemetery, where Rose is buried, was one of these garden cemeteries — with softly winding paths, trees and foliage that must must have been a healing balm to the Stoutners. Photo: Pictorial History of Gloversville

Prospect Hill Cemetery in Gloversville, N.Y., where Rose is buried, was one of these garden cemeteries, with softly winding paths, trees and foliage – which must have been a healing balm to the Stoutners.

Baby John is born

Yet perhaps the surest sign that my great-great grandparents were looking forward was the October 1969 birth of their first son together – John Stoutner, who would survive into adulthood.

How relieved the family must have been to have a new addition to brighten the household and distract them from past losses.

When the census taker called on 7 July 1870, baby John was nine months old — enumerated for the first time, along with his step siblings and parents, as excerpted below.

Andrew Stoutner Household in the 1870 U.S. census, Johnstown, Fulton County, N.Y. – Source: FamilySearch
Person No. Name Age Born Occupation/School
20 Stoutner, Andrew 38 Prussia Brick Maker; U.S. Citizen
21 Stoutner, Christina 26 Prussia Keeping House; cannot read/write
22 Stoutner, Wm. 8 N.Y. Attended School; Can’t write
23 Stoutner, Mary E. 6 N.Y. Attended School; Can’t read or write
24 Stoutner, John H. 9/12 N.Y. Month if born within one year: Oct.

A gem of a census

Sometimes family history research turns up a gem of a census return, packed with helpful details and clues — and the 1870 enumeration of the Andrew Stoutner household is one such example.

Andrew Stoutner (1832-1910). Scan by Molly Charboneau

Through this census, I learned that Andrew and Christina were from Prussia in northern Germany. And while Andrew, a brick maker, could read and write, Christina could not — at least not in English, although the census does not stipulate a specific language.

Birth, schooling, citizenship details

Because John was born during the previous year, the census return provides his birth month “Oct.” in column 13 — which is headed “If born within one year, state month (Jan, Feb, &c.).”

The 1870 census also reveals that Andrew was a U.S. citizen through a tick mark in column 19 — which is headed “Male Citizen of the U.S. 21 years of age and upwards.”

Even William and Mary’s enumerations offer telling details. William could read, but could not yet write — while his younger sister Mary, no doubt new to school, could not yet read or write.

In short, an informative 1870 snapshot of a family with shared experience of both sorrow and happiness moving into the future together.

Up next: Andrew Stoutner’s Brick Works. 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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Circa 1866: The Blended Stoutner Family of Gloversville, N.Y.

Sepia Saturday 557. Ninth in a series on my maternal German ancestors, the Stoutners, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.

Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner (1844-1924). Scan by Molly Charboneau

When they marriage, around 1866, my maternal German immigrant great-great grandparents Andrew Stoutner, 34, and Christina Albeitz, 22, created the blended Stoutner family of Gloversville, N.Y.

They began their life together as co-parents of Mary E. Stoutner, 5, and William Stoutner, 2 – Andrew’s children with his second wife Elizabeth D. Stoutner, who died in 1865.

Andrew Stoutner (1832-1910). Scan by Molly Charboneau

And by 1867, Christina was pregnant with their first child together – a daughter Rose, born 20 Feb. 1868.

A promising beginning

I try to imagine my great-great grandparents’ first two married years. Presumably, it was a time of healing and renewal for widower Andrew and his children with Christina joining the household as a new wife and stepmother.

For recently-arrived Christina, Andrew and the children likely provided her with a sense of belonging as she adjusted to her new life in the U.S. And soon she and Andrew were expecting a new addition to their blended family — a promising beginning.

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:2v23vv82c
Rose Garden, Melchior Park, Gloversville, N.Y. (c. 1930-1945). Andrew and Christina (Albeitz) named their first daughter Rose (b. 1868). Yet life was precarious for infants and children in the nineteenth century, and Rose only lived seven months. Image: Digitalcommonwealth.org

Illness casts a shadow

Yet life was precarious for infants and children in the nineteenth century. There were no vaccines for infectious diseases — and pre- and post-natal care were not what they are today. According to one source[1]Field MJ, Behrman RE, editors. When Children Die: Improving Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Children and Their Families. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Palliative and End-of-Life Care … Continue reading:

In 1900, 30 percent of all deaths in the United States occurred in children less than 5 years of age…pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, and enteritis with diarrhea were the three leading causes of death in the United States, and children under 5 accounted for 40 percent of all deaths from these infections.

Tragedy in the Stoutner household

Nor were illnesses tracked in the 1800s they way they are today by state departments of health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

Every birth in the 1800s came with hidden dangers — both for the mother during her pregnancy and before/after delivery, and for the child in its first years of life.

Sadly, the Stoutner family was not immune to these risks. On 18 October 1868, little Rose Stoutner died at 7 months of age — her dates engraved on her tombstone in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gloversville, N.Y.

Rose Stoutner tombstone, Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gloversville, N.Y. (1992). Rose’s exact cause of death is unknown. She may have succumbed to one of the illnesses that claimed so many infants at the time — or she may simply have started out poorly and failed to thrive. Photo: Molly Charboneau

New York State did not begin compiling death records until June 1880, so Rose’s exact cause of death is unknown. She may have succumbed to one of the illnesses that claimed so many infants at the time — or she may simply have started out poorly and failed to thrive.

Whatever the cause, Rose’s death undoubtedly cast a pall over the  Stoutner family — and Christina joined Andrew and the children in mourning the heartbreaking loss.

Up next: Happier days with baby John Stoutner. 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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References

References
1 Field MJ, Behrman RE, editors. When Children Die: Improving Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Children and Their Families. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Children and Their Families;  Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2003.

By 1868: Christina Albeitz weds Andrew Stoutner

Sepia Saturday 556. Eighth in a series on my maternal German ancestors, the Stoutners, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.

Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner (1844-1924). Scan by Molly Charboneau

After her 1865 arrival of in New York City from Germany, my maternal great-great grandmother Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner appears to have headed upstate to the Gloversville-Johnstown area of Fulton County.

The natural beauty of the Mohawk Valley region south of the Adirondack mountains– with its many lakes, rivers and forests — may have reminded Christina of her former Prussian home.

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:2v23vv86g
Bird’s-Eye View of Gloversville, N.Y. from Meyers Park (c. 1930-45). New York’s Mohawk Valley region south of the Adirondack mountains — with its lakes, rivers and forests — may have reminded Christina of her home in the  Prussian region of Germany. Image: Digitalcommonwealth.org

When did Christina wed Andrew Stoutner?

In these new surroundings, my great-great grandmother soon married the twice-widowed Andrew Stoutner, who had immigrated from Germany in the 1850s — and she became a stepmother to his two young children William and Mary.

As with much else about Christina, the exact date of her marriage to Andrew is still a mystery waiting to be solved — but there are nevertheless some preliminary clues. Sadly, one of them is the death of their first child together — Rose Stoutner, at age 7 months, on 18 Oct. 1868.

When did Christina Albeitz marry Andrew Stoutner of Johnstown/Gloversville, Fulton County, NY? Sources: FamilySearch (censuses); Find-a-Grave (stone inscription)
Year Source Details Marriage Year
1868 Tombstone inscription , Propect Hill Cem., Gloversville, NY Death of daughter Rose Stoutner (age 7 months)  – 10 Feb. 1868-18 Oct. 1868 By 1867 (estimated)
1870 US Census (taken 7 July 1870) Oldest son John is 9 mos. old (est. DOB Oct. 1869) By 1868 (estimated)
1900 US Census Married 25 years 1875 (estimated)
1910 US Census Married 45 years 1865 (estimated)
1920 US Census Christina was naturalized in 1866 1866 (estimated)

What do these sources tell us? 

The year of their infant Rose’s birth and death point to a marriage during or before 1867. This is supported by 1870 census details about their oldest surviving child, John, who was 9 months old at census time — thus born in 1869. His tombstone inscription also gives an 1869 birth year.

The 1900 federal census appears to be an anomaly. An 1875 marriage doesn’t fit the birth years of any of Christina and Andrew’s children — from Rose in 1868 and John in 1869 to the birth years, from other sources, of their other surviving children Gertrude (ca. 1871 ) and son Andrew  (ca. 1874).

Fast forward to the 1910 federal census, when Andrew and Christina were enumerated as married 45 years. This again fits with a marriage before 1867 — possibly as early as 1865, shortly after Christina’s arrival.

https://pixabay.com/photos/bouquet-roses-flowers-floral-691862/
Bridal bouquet. In 1855, a new U.S. law allowed immigrant women to become naturalized citizens upon marrying a U.S citizen. So if Christina’s year of naturalization was 1866, that was also likely the year when she wed Andrew Stoutner, a naturalized citizen. Image: Pixabay

A valuable citizenship clue

Yet perhaps the best clue is from the 1920 census, when Christina’s year of naturalization is given as 1866 — the year after her arrival.

In 1855, a new U.S. law allowed immigrant women to become naturalized citizens upon marrying a U.S citizen. According to an article by Marian L. Smith in Prologue Magazine:[1]Smith, Marian L. “‘Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married…’ Women and Naturalization ca. 1802-1940.” Prologue Magazine 30, 2  (Summer 1998). Electronic … Continue reading

The act of February 10, 1855, was designed to benefit immigrant women. Under that act, “[a]ny woman who is now or may hereafter be married to a citizen of the United States, and who might herself be lawfully naturalized, shall be deemed a citizen.” Thus alien women generally became U.S. citizens by marriage to a U.S. citizen or through an alien husband’s naturalization.

Andrew Stoutner was a naturalized citizen when he and Christina married. So her naturalization — stated as 1866 on the 1920 US census — would likely date from when they wed.

Again, more research to do — but with valuable clues to help point the way.

Up next: The blended Stoutner family in Gloversville, New York. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

References

References
1 Smith, Marian L. “‘Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married…’ Women and Naturalization ca. 1802-1940.” Prologue Magazine 30, 2  (Summer 1998). Electronic edition. National Archives https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1998/summer/women-and-naturalization-1.html : 2021.