The Stoutners’ brick house at 4 Wells Street, Gloversville, NY

Sepia Saturday 508. Second in a new series my maternal German ancestors the Stoutners of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.

In August 1992, I went with my mom Peg (Laurence) Charboneau on a genealogy road trip to Gloversville, N.Y., so she could show me around her childhood home town. In particular I wanted to see the many ancestral homes that appeared in census and other records.

One of the houses we visited and photographed was the home of her German immigrant great-grandparents Andrew and Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner at 4 Wells St. near East Fulton — a house my mom knew well.

The Stoutner home in 1992. My great, great grandfather Andrew Stoutner, Sr. built this house circa 1882 with bricks from his brick works. Home to three generations of Stoutners, the house was 110 years old when I snapped this photo during a  genealogy road trip with my mom. Photo by Molly Charboneau

The Stoutner home is one of my favorites because it was built with brick from Andrew Stoutner’s brick works in Berkshire, on the outskirts of Gloversville. On the summer day when Mom and I visited, the house looked lovely — dappled with sun and surrounded by mature trees.

Pride of place

My Stoutner immigrant ancestors were clearly proud of this house. They even had photo cards made of their 4 Wells St. home — perhaps to send to family back in Prussia as a symbol of their successful new life.

Photo card of Stoutner home at 4 Wells. St. (circa 1908). The woman at the left is my German immigrant great-great grandmother Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner. One of the men may be my German immigrant great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner Sr. but the men’s faces are unclear. I don’t recognize the younger man. Scan by Molly Charboneau

In his will, Andrew Stoutner Sr. left the house to his wife Christina and — after she no longer had use of it — to their son Andrew J. “Pete” Stoutner, Jr.

That’s how my  maternal grandmother Elizabeth (Stoutner) Laurence — Pete’s oldest child — came to grow up in the house at 4 Wells St., and why my mom was so familiar with this ancestral home.

My grandmother’s details

My grandmother Liz was a meticulous record keeper. She ran an antique shop when I was growing up — and I remember seeing record books in which she carefully logged purchase price, sale price and other details about her vintage business.

Fortunately, she was also meticulous about labeling her family photos. So she wrote details on the back of the Stoutner house photo about their home at 4 Wells St. — including that it was constructed with Stoutner bricks.

In my maternal grandmother’s words. My maternal grandmother Liz (Stoutner) Laurence grew up at 4 Wells St. Shown are the details she wrote on the back of the house photo about the Stoutner home — including its construction with Stoutner bricks. Scan by Molly Charboneau

In her description, Andrew Sr. is our German immigrant ancestor, and Andrew Jr. is his son (her father Pete). Of special note is her closing sentence, “Birthplace of Andrew Jr. and his family.”

In the days before hospital delivery, women gave birth at home. So my great-grandfather Pete Stoutner and his siblings John and Gertrude were born at 4 Wells Street, as were my grandmother Liz and her younger siblings Andy and Margaret. Making this house special indeed!

Still standing strong

Naturally, I wanted to see if the 4 Wells St. home is still standing, so I did an Internet search of the address.

Happily, the house is still there — although it has undergone some aesthetic and structural changes since the Stoutners’ time. I was also pleased to discover that a real estate site included interior views of this ancestral home, which I have never been inside of.

Contemporary photo of 4 Wells St. The bricks have been painted green, the original front porch has been removed, and a second story was added to the side room. But the basic brick structure erected by my German great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner circa 1882 has stood the test of time. Photo: Zillow.com

Best of all, the brick house was obviously well-constructed circa 1882 by my German immigrant great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner — because it is still standing strong more than 130 years later!

Up next: Andrew Stoutner Sr. poses for a photoPlease stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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A Stoutner by any other surname variant

Sepia Saturday 507. First in a new series my maternal German ancestors of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y. — starting with the Stoutner family.

The 1926 birth of my mother Margaret Antoinette Laurence linked four immigrant families in Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.  Shown are my grandparents proudly holding my mom, their firstborn child — who went by Peggy in her youth, shortened to Peg as an adult.

Proud parents. My maternal grandparents Tony and  Liz (Stoutner) Laurence proudly pose outside their Gloversville, N.Y., home with my mom Peggy shortly after her 1926 birth. Their marriage brought together four immigrant family lines — Laurence [DiLorenzo], Curcio, Mimm and Stoutner — and opened the door to some interesting genealogy research for descendants like me. Photo scan by Molly Charboneau
My mom’s father Anthony W. “Tony” Laurence was Italian-American. His father Peter Laurence [nee DiLorenzo] arrived from Italy’s Campania region circa 1895 and married U.S.-born Mary “Mamie” Curcio, whose parents had immigrated earlier from the same area.

My mom’s mother Elizabeth Christina “Liz” Stoutner was German-American. The parents of her mother Celia Mimm had immigrated from Baden-Württemburg, and the forebears of her dad Andrew J. “Pete” Stoutner hailed from Prussia.

Ah, those surname variants

Thus begins the journey to unpack my maternal ancestry one family at a time — starting with the Stoutners. And as with many immigrants, right away there is the challenge of surname variants.

My grandmother and her siblings went by Stoutner — spelled just that way — and her dad’s generation seems to have done the same, judging by census and other records.

But was that the original surname of my immigrant great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner? Maybe not.

While pursuing city directories for Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y., I found the spelling of “Stoutner” had changed over the years — with at least two possible surname variants emerging, as shown below

Gloversville, Kingsboro and Johnstown City Directories – Fulton Couty, N.Y. – Various Listings for Andrew Stoutner – 1875-1890
Year Name Occupation Residence
1875 Stautner Andrew brickmaker house 1 Wells
1879-80 Stoudner Andrew brick maker 1 Wells
1880-81 Stoudner Andrew brickmaker 1 Wells
1882 Stautner Andrew Brick mnfr., off . Fulton, out corp. 4 Wells
1885-1890 Stoutner Andrew Brick mnfr., off . Fulton, out corp. 4 Wells

In addition to Stautner and Stoudner, I have found several other variations during online searches — including Staudtner, Staudner, Stettner, Steudner, and Statner. So what’s a descendant to do? Take it step by step, name by name, and see what turns up!

Fortunately, Stoutner eventually became the preferred surname spelling of my ancestors in Gloversville city directories, census enumerations and newspaper articles. So at least for U.S. research, this surname spelling should yield results.

A new Stoutner address?

One other discovery in my preliminary Stoutner sleuthing was a new address — 1 Wells St. — for Andrew and his family from 1875-1881.

My mother was familiar with the brick home he built across the street at 4 Well St.  She and I visited and photographed that house on a 1992 genealogy road trip to her Gloversville hometown.

So what more can I find out about these homes? Quite a bit, it turns out — thanks to the Internet and various real estate and other online sites. Stay tuned for new house-hunting discoveries in the next post.

Up Next: The Stoutner homes on Wells Street –– second in a new series about my maternal ancestors. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Daniel Chapman: A new fifth great-grandfather?

Sepia Saturday 506. Sixth and final in a series about recent research discoveries at the NYS Archives & Library: Could Daniel Chapman be a new fifth great-grandfather?

Genealogy research trips offer uninterrupted time to ponder possibilities while perusing the records. At home, day-to-day concerns crop up — but at a repository, especially a distant one, there is a total focus on the research. And that’s when new ideas percolate — as they did for me at the New York State Archives.

In search of my Chapman heritage

While researching the tax records of my fourth great-grandfather Waples Hance in Chenango, Tioga Co., N.Y. (now Conklin, Broome Co.), I started wondering about the heritage of his wife Rachel Chapman. Who were her parents? What was her history? How to find out more about my fourth great-grandmother?

July 2019: A Conklin, N.Y. farm. J.H. French’s 1860 Gazetteer of New York State mentions Daniel Chapman as an early resident of Conklin, Broome Co., N.Y. (formerly Chenango, Tioga Co.). He is the only Chapman in the area’s early nineteenth century tax records — occupation:  farmer. Was Daniel the father of my fourth great-grandmother Rachel (Chapman) Hance — and thus my fifth great-grandfather? Photo by Molly Charboneau

Waples and Rachel’s oldest child Isaac Hance [older brother of my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee] was born 5 June 1802 — so they likely married circa 1800-1801.

The 1800 U.S. census for Chenango, Tioga Co., New York 1 shows Daniel Chapman with one female in his household aged 10-15. She was presumably his daughter, and her age coincides with the circa 1784 birth year of Rachel (Chapman) Hance. The same census return shows Waples Hance — enumerated as Waples Haner — single and living nearby.

Daniel Chapman’s tax records

J.H. French’s 1860 Gazetteer of New York State, in a footnote on Conklin, N.Y., also mentions Daniel Chapman as an early resident. Could he be the father of Rachel (Chapman) Hance? Then he might be my fifth great-grandfather.

So I took a look at the tax records — and, as summarized below, Daniel Chapman was the only Chapman I found in the 1799-1804 tax assessments for Chenango, Tioga County.

Town of Chenango, Tioga County, N.Y – Tax Assessment Rolls 1799-1804 Sources: New York State Archives and Ancestry.com
Year Name of Possessor Description: Real Estate Value of Real Estate Value of Personal Estate Tax to be paid
1799 Chapman, Daniel House & Farm $425 $30 $0.45
1800 Chapman, Danl House & Farm $425 $30 $1.12
1802 Daniel Chapman House & Farm $425 $40 $0.93
1803 Daniel Chapman House & Farm $425 $70 $0.82

Not only that, but the unalphabetized tax list for 1802 shows Daniel just three names away from Waples Hance — echoing their 1800 U.S. census2 enumerations and implying they were near neighbors. Could that be how Waples and Rachel met?

These preliminary clues indicate that I may have discovered a fifth great-grandfather — and an entirely new Chapman family line to research. What a nice surprise! And a great conclusion to my research trip.

Archival research: a worthwhile journey

Like the Gloversville city directories, early New York State tax rolls are also available online. Yet microfilm scrolling of the directories and tax records let me look at the big ancestral picture in a short period of time and place forbears in context.

That, along with the GAR research on my Union Army ancestor, made my trip to the the New York State Archives and Library a unique and worthwhile experience — one I highly recommend.

Up next: A Stoutner by any other name — launching a new series about my maternal ancestors. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Growing family trees one leaf at a time