Tag Archives: Andrew Stoutner

1855-65: The first two wives of Andrew Stoutner Sr.

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.

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-e1fe-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Women and bonnets (1860). My German immigrant great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner Sr. married three times. Sadly, his first two wives Catherine and Elizabeth died young. I am descended from his third wife, Christina. Image: NYPL Digital Collection

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 information I have about Andrew’s first wife, Catherine, is an unsourced note in my files that says:

Catherine A. Stoutner – Nov. 4, 1839 – Mar. 25, 1858, at age 19 – died in childbirth – came with him from Germany?

I believe my mother spoke with an aunt and a cousin on the Stoutner line and may have gotten the information from them. But how to verify the details?

A tragic first marriage

Andrew immigrated to the U.S. circa 1855 at about age 22. So I checked the 1855 NYS Census1and 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 Catherine 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 I have not found a grave for her and there was no New York statewide register of deaths at that time — so I know no more about Catherine than what is contained in my file note.

Andrew’s second wife Elizabeth

My files contain a similar unsourced 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).

I have also not found a grave or death certificate for Elizabeth. However, there is a record of Elizabeth living with Andrew in the 1860 U.S. census of Johnstown, Fulton County, N.Y.2

Her children William and Mary also appear with Andrew, a widower, in the 1865 NYS census of Johnstown3 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
Census Name Age Occupation Born
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.

https://pixabay.com/photos/roses-plants-flowers-nature-woman-316749/
Muted rose. My German immigrant great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner Sr. was a wide widowed father of two toddlers when he met and married his third wife — my great-great grandmother Christina Albeitz, also from Germany. She brought love to help heal their loss, and became the matriarch of the blended Stoutner family. Photo: pixabay/PublicDomainPictures

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) StoutnerPlease 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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1890: Andrew Stoutner Sr. poses for a photo

Sepia Saturday 509. Third in a new series on my maternal German ancestors — the Stoutners of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.

My maternal German immigrant great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner Sr. became the patriarch a large extended family in Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.

Born on 29 Dec. 1832, Andrew immigrated circa 1855 when he was just 22.  He joined the wave of immigrants who left Germany seeking a better life in the years after the liberal 1848 revolution was defeated by conservative aristocracies.

Portrait from my family files of Andrew Stoutner Sr. (circa 1890). My great-great grandfather would have been about 58 years old when he sat for this photograph at the William H. Kibbe Photographic Studio in Johnstown, Fulton County, N.Y. Scan by Molly Charboneau

Andrew appears to have brought a technical skill set with him, since his occupation is listed as “mechanic – brick maker” in the 1860 federal census4of Johnstown, Fulton Co., N.Y. — and he continued as a brick maker in Berkshire, outside Gloversville, for the rest of his life.

Andrew poses for a photo

Somewhere around 1890, the advent of portrait photography and his success in his new home apparently prompted Andrew, 58, to have his photo taken at the William H. Kibbe Photographic Studio in Johnstown, N.Y.

Shown above is cabinet card photo of a handsome looking Andrew from my family collection. Below is the back of the photo, labeled “Andrew Sr.” in ink by his granddaughter — my maternal grandmother Elizabeth “Liz” (Stoutner) Laurence.

The other penciled notation “Stoutner 4 Wells St. Gloversville” was apparently made by the photo studio — and that’s where this story gets interesting.

Back of the portrait from my family files of Andrew Stoutner Sr. (circa 1890). Scan by Molly Charboneau

A tale of two Andrews

Inspired by Mister Mike, a fellow blogger and musical photo enthusiast, I decided to see what I could learn about the photographer.

William H. Kibbe, born in 1846, was a noted cabinet photographer who opened his studio in Johnstown, Fulton Co., N.Y. in 1871. He was so successful that he ended up owning the rather substantial Kibbe Building — alas, no longer standing — which is depicted on the back of the photo (above).

Kibbe’s photo, obituary and a brief biography appear on the Cabinet Card Photographers blog — and not only that. At the bottom of the page, as an example of his work, is a pristine rendition from Visual Studies Workshop (below) of the same photo of my great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner Sr.

Wow — what are the chances?

Visual Studies Workshop photo of Andrew Stoutner Sr. circa 1890. (front)
Visual Studies Workshop photo of Andrew Stoutner Sr. circa 1890, (back)

Setting the record straight

Of interest on the Visual Studies Workshop photo is the inserted “Wm.” above “Mr. Stoutner of Gloversville” on the back, implying that this is a picture of Andrew’s oldest son, William Stoutner. In fact, the VSW web page identifies the photo’s subject as “William Stoutnew.” So who is correct here?

My photo was labeled by my grandmother — who knew her grandfather well, having lived in the same house with him as a child — so I believe this is definitely a portrait of Andrew Stoutner Sr.

Moreover, if the photo was taken circa 1890, William Stoutner (b. 1862) would have been 28, while this is clearly the portrait of a much older man — and Andrew was 58 that year.

Perhaps Andrew had copies of the photo made for his children, and this was William’s copy. Or maybe it was mislabeled by the photographer. Or possibly one of William’s descendants made a “best guess” as to the subject of the photo — and that’s the copy that ended with the Visual Studies Workshop.

There’s no way to know for sure, but my takeaway is this: When researching family history, you need to look in the unlikeliest places. Had I not investigated the photographer, I would never have discovered a second digitized portrait of my great-great grandfather Andrew Stoutner Sr.

So, many thanks Mister Mike!

Up next: Andrew Stoutner’s first two wivesPlease 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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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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