Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas Benton Stout

Believe it or not, there were at least 3 men named Thomas Benton Stout in the United States in the 1800s. We know this is 'ours' because of a hand written ledger copied from James Alexander Stout's records in 1952, in which the birth and death dates match this stone.

This grave is found in the Hollene Cemetery, near Clovis, New Mexico.

Thomas was the son of John Lewis Stout and Amanda C. Carroll. At the time of this writing, it is believed that John is the only man in our ancestry who was a Union soldier in the Civil War. He seems to have died shortly after the start of the war, from illness, on Oct 16, 1861. In most wars before 1900, illness WAS the most common cause of death! He died when Thomas was 11 years old. I hope to have more about John and Amanda and their family in another article.

The first record of Thomas is the 1850 census when he was 3 months old. He had three grandparents nearby. His maternal grandmother, Dorothy Carroll, was living with John and Amanda. His father's parents were living next door, listed as Jude and Delila Stout. These families were in Moniteau County, Missouri. In 1860 he was 10 years old, with his parents and 7 siblings. In the 1870 census we are not sure where he was, but he married Mary Jane Kelsey in 1873 in Morgan County Missouri. Mary Jane was the daughter of Samuel and Rose Ann Kelsey (sometimes spelled Kelsay). Samuel had apparently died when Mary Jane was young, as her and her mother had weddings just 3 days apart - her mother's second marriage and Mary Jane's first:

Rose Ann Kelsay m. Alexander Hamilton (not the famous one) June 5, 1873

Mary Jane Kelsay m. Thomas B. Stout June 8, 1873

Thomas and Mary Jane had their first child, named Rosa Jane, in Missouri. The rest of their 16 children were born in Texas. That's right SIXTEEN. This is the largest in our known family, all born to Mary Jane Kelsey Stout! The first child born in 1874, and the last in 1897. We know that Thomas and Mary Jane lived in Collin and Denton County Texas. They are found in Greer County Oklahoma in 1900, so they must have moved there about the same time as son James.

As was true of almost all of our ancestors, Thomas is listed as a 'farmer' in all census records. We have not researched how much land he had, but the 1910 census does tell us he owned his home.

Our 'Grandpa Stout' - James Alexander Stout was the 4th child and the oldest son in this family.

As the children of Thomas and Mary Jane grew up, some of them moved to New Mexico. Mary Jane died in 1915. Thomas is not found in the 1920 census, but he must have either gone to visit family, or moved to be near them in New Mexico, where he died in 1925.

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