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.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|
|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 appears to have eventually become 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 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.
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