Sepia Saturday 555. Seventh in a series on my maternal German ancestors, the Stoutners, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.
My immigrant great-great grandmother Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner appears to have arrived in the U.S. from Germany circa 1865 — at the end of the U.S. Civil War.
Based on her 1 Aug. 1844 birth date, she would have been 21 at the time.
Alas, I have thus far been unable to locate a ship record that would give me her exact year of immigration — so that research continues.
However, in various censuses Christina or a household member gave her immigration year as 1864 or 1865 — and her obituary supports her arrival around that time.
|Discovering Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner’s Immigration Year – Sources: FamilySearch (censuses) and research files (obituary)|
|1900||U.S. Census||Christine Stoutner||Number of Years in the U.S. – 35||1864 (penned) 1865 (estimated from years in the U.S.)|
|1910||U.S. Census||Christina Stoutner||—||1865 (penned)|
|1920||U.S. Census||Christina Stoutner||Naturalized in 1866 (Penned)||1865 (penned)|
|1924||Obituary – Gloversville Morning Herald, 17 May 1924||Mrs. Christina Stoutner||“a resident here for about sixty years”||circa 1864 (estimated)|
An intriguing immigration story
Yet perhaps the most intriguing information about Christina’s arrival in the U.S. comes from an oral history interview that my mom Peg (Laurence) Charboneau did with her Aunt Margaret (Stoutner) Rothbell — my maternal grandmother’s younger sister — in the mid 1990s.
Below Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner’s name is a notation that says “landed in the U.S. the day Lincoln was shot.”
Mom sat down with her aunt, took out a blank sheet of paper and sketched a family tree of the Stoutner line based on what Aunt Margaret told her — a hand-drawn chart I have copied, consulted and annotated over the years.
And below Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner’s name Mom made a notation that says “landed in the U.S. the day Lincoln was shot.” Well, how about that!
Remembering a landmark arrival
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on the evening of 14 April 1865 and died in the early hours of 15 April — a cataclysmic event at the end of the U.S. Civil War.
New York City was undoubtedly preoccupied with news of the unfolding tragedy — as historic newspaper headlines testify. And into this whirlwind of shock and sorrow stepped my great-great grandmother Christina, fresh off the boat from Germany. At least according to my mother’s notes.
Yet because Lincoln’s assassination was so momentous, and the young immigrant Christina would likely have registered every nuance about her arrival in a new country — and because her story was passed down the generations, perhaps from her retelling of it — I find this story about her believable.
All that remains is to find the ships that came into the Port of New York on 14 -15 April 1865 — and locate a record from one of those ships that contains Christina’s name. But that is research for another day.
Up next: Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner heads for Gloversville, N.Y. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.
© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.