Thursday, July 14, 2011

Searching For Joseph Stout's Parents, Part One - What I Know So Far

Earlier this week I promised to write a post about my speculations on who were Joseph Stout's parents. At the moment, I do not have any documentation to link my ancestor to the couple, but I hope that by writing this post, I might receive some advice or help in linking my ancestor to the suspected couple. The best way to start this post is to list what I know about Joseph Stout. So, here is what I know about my ancestor:

  • Joseph Stout was born sometime between 1803 and 1806, most likely in 1805, in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. (Joseph's son Reuben stated, in his biography, that Joseph was born in 1800 in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, but census records suggest a later date. His death records states that he was about 70 years old at his age of death.)
  • Joseph Stout married Susan Kelley in Northampton County, Pennsylvania on 3 March 1829. (See here for my post on their marriage information.)
  • Joseph and Susan would have seven children. Six of their children would outlive them.
  • By 1850, Joseph Stout had moved his family to Saint Joseph County, Michigan. Reuben claims in his biography that the family moved to Michigan around 1846, but I have yet to confirm or disprove Reuben's claim. An examination of tax records for Saint Joseph County, Michigan should indicate when the Stouts moved to the county.
  • In 1858, Joseph Stout bought a farm in Florence Township, Saint Joseph County, Michigan. Two years later, in the 1860 census, Joseph Stout and his family are listed as living in Florence Township. (This census as puts a letter G in front of Joseph's name. This is the only time I have come across the G in primary sources so far in my research.)
  • In 1864, Joseph Stout sold the farm to his son, Peter.
  • In 1865, Joseph Stout was taxed by the federal government for the amount of peppermint oil he produced or sold. (The tax suggests he was still in charge of the farm even though he had sold it to his son.)
  • In the 1870 census, Joseph Stout is still living in Florence Township, but now, he is listed as a retired farmer. His household is directly below Peter's household on the census, and that suggests to me that he lived nearby Peter's family.)
  • Joseph Stout died on 11 February 1875 in Florence Township, and is buried in Calhoun Cemetery in Florence Township. Susan dies later that month, on the 25th, and is buried near him. (Reuben incorrectly states in his biography that they died in February of 1872, but contemporary records, such as their death records and Joseph's probate packet, give their death year as 1875. Joseph and Susan share a tombstone since they died the same month. The tombstone gives his death date as the 9th of February, but I eventually found his death record in the Saint Joseph County death records which listed the date as the 11th. I had difficulty finding his and Susan's deaths since they were incorrectly indexed in the county and state indexes. A look at the actual county death records clearly showed the last name to be Stout and not Stant or Stent as was listed in the indexes.)
As you can see, I do not know a lot about Joseph Stout. I know when he died, where he lived in Michigan, who he married, and that he came from Northampton County, Pennsylvania. I know that he was engaged in farming (at least in Michigan), but outside of these facts, I do not know much more about Joseph other than what is in Reuben's biography. Reuben claims that he father worked as a gunsmith in Northampton County, but I do not have any proof yet outside of Reuben's biography. Reuben also claims that Joseph and his family lived in Centre County, Pennsylvania, but I have not been able to confirm Reuben's statement. I have been unable to locate Joseph Stout and his family in the 1840 census. (I should also state that I am slightly wary of the information in Reuben's biography because Reuben was incorrect on some of the dates of deaths he gave for his parents and wife.)

So, who do I suspect are Joseph's parents? I believe his parents may be Peter Stout/Staut and Eva Hoch. Why? Well, besides knowing that my ancestor, Joseph Stout, came from Northampton County, Pennsylvania where Peter and Eva Stout resided in the earlier 1800s, a couple of published genealogies and online family trees list a Joseph Stout born in 1805 to Peter and Eva. (As I stated earlier, my ancestor was born close to that time period of Peter and Eva's son.) Unfortunately, none of the books or online trees actually provide any primary sources, so I am still speculating. According to these genealogies the Stout that lived in Northampton County originated from the Palatinate region of what is now Germany. Interestingly, oral traditions passed down in my family claim that my Stout ancestors were German, and although, an oral tradition is not enough proof to link my ancestor to Peter and Eva.

So, far I haven't been able to find any primary sources in Michigan to link my Joseph with the Joseph of Peter and Eva (Hoch) Stout. All I have to connect them are online family trees. As for sources in Pennsylvania, I haven't had very much time to order microfilms to further my research or find the original marriage record for Joseph and Susan (Kelley) Stout. Does anyone have an documentation linking my Joseph to Peter and Eva Stout, or any suggestions as to where I should direct my research? Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.


DearMYRTLE said...

I hope you make some headway in this research project.

My suggestion would be to look at the probate packet of the suspected parents to see if your ancestor and his children are mentioned as receiving a portion of the estate.

You've done an incredible job of explaining what your broad research has uncovered thus far. You are also spot on to question Rueben's biography since it has so many errors, and you are only partway into your research on this family.

I wonder if the old man contributed patriotic service during the Civil War?

Thanks for sharing. This blog post is a prime example of how genealogists can use the Internet to spotligght ancestors, include scanned images of source docs and pose research challenges with the hopes of collaborating with a new found distant cousin.

Karl Stout said...

I enjoyed reading your interesting and informative blog.

My ancestor was also named Joseph Stout and lived in the Northampton area during the same time frame.

I am wondering if in your research you came across any information that might help me identify the parents of "my" Joseph Stout.

Beginning with me: Karl Stout (b 1961), David Stout, Karl (often listed as Carl) stout, Halsey Stout, Oliver Stout (born about 1844 Luzerne Co, PA), Joseph and Mary Stout (Joseph born about 1811). "My" Joseph and Mary Stout are listed in the 1850 census in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne, PA as being 39 and 29 years of age, and having Peter (11), John (10), Daniel (8), Oliver (6), and Adeline (1). In 1860 the family is still in PA (I believe) and have additional children: Henry, Stephen, Mary, Charles and Emma.

I've been able to find a good amount of information on family members back to and including Oliver, but am at a roadblock with Oliver's listed parents, Joseph and Mary Stout. Perhaps the birthdates and/or names are wrong (?) Following numerous Stout family lines has only yielded a few remote possibilities(including the Northampton family you discuss). I did ask this question in a Stout forum several years ago, but did not get any responses.

Thanks, Karl Stout

Jessica's thoughts said...

Hi Karl,

I haven't worked on my Stout ancestors in awhile due to being busy, and I haven't been able to prove or disprove who my Joseph Stout's parents were.

My Joseph Stout was already living in Michigan by 1850, but before that census, I have not been able to find where he and his family were living. According to his son, Reuben,'s biography they were living in central Pennsylvania at the time, but Reuben's biography, as I noted, is unreliable when it comes to some of the facts. To make matters more difficult, there are a few Joseph Stouts listed in the 1840 Census living in Pennsylvania, so I haven't been able to determine which Joseph is my ancestor.

As for Joseph's children, the names I have have come from his probate packet, the 1850 and 1860 Censuses and Reuben's biography. I should note that Joseph did not have a daughter named Rebecca, but one named Margaret, and I suspect that Margaret's name was incorrectly put down as Rebecca since Margaret's age was the same as the Rebecca listed. Of course, I could be wrong about the Rebecca/Margaret, but the only time I've come across the name Rebecca is in the 1850 census.

Unfortunately, I do not have any information on any other Joseph Stout's at this time, and I haven't had a chance to go through the probate records from Eastern Pennsylvania. I don't know if we have a connection somewhere before our Joseph Stout ancestors, but there is a possibility.

I wish I could tell you more at this point, but I hope this helps.



Jim Gioiosa said...


Do you live in Michigan? Have you been to the Calhoun Cemetary?

Why the disparity in death dates? Especially on the actual tombstones? Was it common in the 1870's to list burial (vs actual "died" dates on the headstone?)

I'm sure you backwards searched the other Stouts buried near Joseph and Susan
Joseph Stout
Feb 9 1875 72

Susan Stout
Feb 21 1875 67

Edward Stout
May 17 1875
Age 4

Melinda Stout
Jan 3, 1874 27
(Wife of R Stout)

(Wife of Peter Stout)
May 16, 1876

I can't read the headstone for Peter's Wife's name?

The family seems like it was decimated all within the 28 month period of Jan '74 to May '76 where nearly all died.


Do you know what Joseph & Susan passed from?