Contributed by Gordon F. Stuart
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Quest for Lemuel Stuart
One might think that the birthplace of Peter Stuart would be a good place to start. So his birthplace is needed. But where is it? Various documents, including his death certificate Give Cattskill, NY in Greene Co. This is on the far western part of the county along the Hudson River. ( Rip Van Winkle country) Other records give Prattsville, NY, located in the far eastern part of Greene Co.
A search of the 1840 Fed. Census index for NY lists:
Samuel Stuart Greene Co. Cairo p238
1 male 20-30
1 female 30-40
1 female 5-10
2 female under 5
This is prior to the known? birthdates of Peter and sister Mary. Unfortunately this family does not seem to appear in subsequent Census years. A search for all Samuel/Lemuel Stuart/Stewart/Steward in NY (all counties) produced many names in the years 1850-1860-1870 but none surface anything positive. This could indicate that some natural disaster befel the family. Death of mother-employment-epidemic?
Peter and Mary were born in the mid 1840's. If the mother died prior to 1850 they were infants, 5 yrs. old or less. This could explain why neither of the children appears to have known the name of their mother. The name Carlyle Neil is given for the mother on the marriage document for Peter and Cora. This could well be a fabrication just to fill the blank. Note that the minister was Thomas CARLYLE and another in attendance was a NEIL.
Indications are that the family dispersed and relocated to Beach Lake, Wayne Co., PA., the young children going to live with some family or distant relative. Trying to find the children in 1850 is thus complicated. In all likelihood, if recorded at all, they could be recorded under the surname of the family with whom they were living. Who are these relatives and how does Lemuel know them?
Since the family was not intact this accounts for the difficulty in finding any trace of the parents.
Peter and family appear in 1870 as do Mary and family, now Mrs. Thos. J. Holbert. What happened in between?
Peter appears in the 1870 Fed. Census for Wayne Co., PA with wife Angenette and daughter Ada a. 11 mos. Possibly married around 1868. Other documents indicate that 5 children (Ada, Robert, Fredrick, Myrtle and Edna) were born in Beach Lake, PA before the family moved to Scranton, PA in the
early 1880's. Frank was born, 1885, in Scranton, PA .
Ada Married Charles Weidow and had several children. A son, Kenneth Montgomery survived, his son Kenneth M. II, and his son Kenneth M. III. Kenneth M. III is a lawyer in the Pittsburgh, PA area. The name was probably inadvertently changed to Weidaw with the 1st Kenneth. Montgomery is the maiden name of Peter's first wife.
Fredrick Milton married Amy Taylor in Elmira, NY and lived there prior to moving to Asheville, NC. They had one son, Albert Smiley Stuart who lived to be four. No other children.
Myrtle a. 17 is found living with sister Ada's family in 1900. From there? Is supposed to have moved to the Philladelphia area (Ardmore Park) and married NILAND?
Frank died in 1908 a. 23. Appears he may have attended fathers wedding in 1904.
Ellie died as a child in Scranton, PA.
Have yet to find some trace of Robert. He was supposed to have been a telegraph operator. Some railroad in the Scranton, PA area? Remember hearing that he died in a train wreck. What train and where?
--- Gordon F. Stuart