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