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 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.
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 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.
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 photo. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.
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