Tag Archives: Rose Stoutner

1869: Baby John brightens the Stoutner household

Sepia Saturday 558. Tenth in a series on my maternal German ancestors, the Stoutners, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.

Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner (1844-1924). Scan by Molly Charboneau

The marriage of my German immigrant great-great grandparents Andrew and Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner got off to a difficult start with the tragic October 1868 death of 7-month-old baby Rose — their first child together.

The couple was already co-parenting William, 6, and Mary Elizabeth, 4 — Andrew’s children with his second wife Elizabeth, who died in 1865. Now, the blended Stoutner family had to begin a new period of mourning for a lost child/sibling.

Fortunately, Rose’s passing came at a time when mourning rituals were changing in the wake of the U.S. Civil War. Mourning periods grew shorter and there was more focus on looking to the future – with cemeteries designed like parks to encourage family visits.

https://www.facebook.com/Pictorial-History-of-Gloversville-148220148548697
Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gloversville, N.Y. (1898) After the U.S. Civil War, cemeteries were designed like parks to encourage family visits. Prospect Hill Cemetery, where Rose is buried, was one of these garden cemeteries — with softly winding paths, trees and foliage that must must have been a healing balm to the Stoutners. Photo: Pictorial History of Gloversville

Prospect Hill Cemetery in Gloversville, N.Y., where Rose is buried, was one of these garden cemeteries, with softly winding paths, trees and foliage – which must have been a healing balm to the Stoutners.

Baby John is born

Yet perhaps the surest sign that my great-great grandparents were looking forward was the October 1969 birth of their first son together – John Stoutner, who would survive into adulthood.

How relieved the family must have been to have a new addition to brighten the household and distract them from past losses.

When the census taker called on 7 July 1870, baby John was nine months old — enumerated for the first time, along with his step siblings and parents, as excerpted below.

Andrew Stoutner Household in the 1870 U.S. census, Johnstown, Fulton County, N.Y. – Source: FamilySearch
Person No. Name Age Born Occupation/School
20 Stoutner, Andrew 38 Prussia Brick Maker; U.S. Citizen
21 Stoutner, Christina 26 Prussia Keeping House; cannot read/write
22 Stoutner, Wm. 8 N.Y. Attended School; Can’t write
23 Stoutner, Mary E. 6 N.Y. Attended School; Can’t read or write
24 Stoutner, John H. 9/12 N.Y. Month if born within one year: Oct.

A gem of a census

Sometimes family history research turns up a gem of a census return, packed with helpful details and clues — and the 1870 enumeration of the Andrew Stoutner household is one such example.

Andrew Stoutner (1832-1910). Scan by Molly Charboneau

Through this census, I learned that Andrew and Christina were from Prussia in northern Germany. And while Andrew, a brick maker, could read and write, Christina could not — at least not in English, although the census does not stipulate a specific language.

Birth, schooling, citizenship details

Because John was born during the previous year, the census return provides his birth month “Oct.” in column 13 — which is headed “If born within one year, state month (Jan, Feb, &c.).”

The 1870 census also reveals that Andrew was a U.S. citizen through a tick mark in column 19 — which is headed “Male Citizen of the U.S. 21 years of age and upwards.”

Even William and Mary’s enumerations offer telling details. William could read, but could not yet write — while his younger sister Mary, no doubt new to school, could not yet read or write.

In short, an informative 1870 snapshot of a family with shared experience of both sorrow and happiness moving into the future together.

Up next: Andrew Stoutner’s Brick Works. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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Circa 1866: The Blended Stoutner Family of Gloversville, N.Y.

Sepia Saturday 557. Ninth in a series on my maternal German ancestors, the Stoutners, of Gloversville, Fulton Co., N.Y.

Christina (Albeitz) Stoutner (1844-1924). Scan by Molly Charboneau

When they marriage, around 1866, my maternal German immigrant great-great grandparents Andrew Stoutner, 34, and Christina Albeitz, 22, created the blended Stoutner family of Gloversville, N.Y.

They began their life together as co-parents of Mary E. Stoutner, 5, and William Stoutner, 2 – Andrew’s children with his second wife Elizabeth D. Stoutner, who died in 1865.

Andrew Stoutner (1832-1910). Scan by Molly Charboneau

And by 1867, Christina was pregnant with their first child together – a daughter Rose, born 20 Feb. 1868.

A promising beginning

I try to imagine my great-great grandparents’ first two married years. Presumably, it was a time of healing and renewal for widower Andrew and his children with Christina joining the household as a new wife and stepmother.

For recently-arrived Christina, Andrew and the children likely provided her with a sense of belonging as she adjusted to her new life in the U.S. And soon she and Andrew were expecting a new addition to their blended family — a promising beginning.

https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:2v23vv82c
Rose Garden, Melchior Park, Gloversville, N.Y. (c. 1930-1945). Andrew and Christina (Albeitz) named their first daughter Rose (b. 1868). Yet life was precarious for infants and children in the nineteenth century, and Rose only lived seven months. Image: Digitalcommonwealth.org

Illness casts a shadow

Yet life was precarious for infants and children in the nineteenth century. There were no vaccines for infectious diseases — and pre- and post-natal care were not what they are today. According to one source[1]Field MJ, Behrman RE, editors. When Children Die: Improving Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Children and Their Families. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Palliative and End-of-Life Care … Continue reading:

In 1900, 30 percent of all deaths in the United States occurred in children less than 5 years of age…pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, and enteritis with diarrhea were the three leading causes of death in the United States, and children under 5 accounted for 40 percent of all deaths from these infections.

Tragedy in the Stoutner household

Nor were illnesses tracked in the 1800s they way they are today by state departments of health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

Every birth in the 1800s came with hidden dangers — both for the mother during her pregnancy and before/after delivery, and for the child in its first years of life.

Sadly, the Stoutner family was not immune to these risks. On 18 October 1868, little Rose Stoutner died at 7 months of age — her dates engraved on her tombstone in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gloversville, N.Y.

Rose Stoutner tombstone, Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gloversville, N.Y. (1992). Rose’s exact cause of death is unknown. She may have succumbed to one of the illnesses that claimed so many infants at the time — or she may simply have started out poorly and failed to thrive. Photo: Molly Charboneau

New York State did not begin compiling death records until June 1880, so Rose’s exact cause of death is unknown. She may have succumbed to one of the illnesses that claimed so many infants at the time — or she may simply have started out poorly and failed to thrive.

Whatever the cause, Rose’s death undoubtedly cast a pall over the  Stoutner family — and Christina joined Andrew and the children in mourning the heartbreaking loss.

Up next: Happier days with baby John Stoutner. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2021 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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References

References
1 Field MJ, Behrman RE, editors. When Children Die: Improving Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Children and Their Families. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Children and Their Families;  Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2003.