Sunday, November 18, 2007

Proof That Archibald was David (& Anne's) Son?

Those of us researching our Buckingham Stinsons are challenged at every turn. The courthouse fire in 1869 makes genealogy research difficult, sometimes impossible, for all Buckingham families, but I think it's extra hard for us Stinsons. It's not fair! I envy my genealogy friends who breeze through proving their generations like picking goodies from a cruise ship buffet.

Like me, many of this blog's readers descend from Archibald Stinson, Alexander, Sr.'s grandson. Proving Archibald's kids has been a multi-year project. (Scroll down to see the Sept 29 blog, "John Cunningham Proves Archibald's Kids!") And now our proof is being challenged by my local DAR chapter's registrar.

But what about Archibald's father? I came into the Stinson research hobby (Sten would say "obsession") believing that it was David, but I knew of no proof. Some researchers hold the theory that his father was Cary. It matters little to me as long as we can claim lineage to Alexander, Sr.

But a tiny bit of proof linking Archibald to David Stinson does exist . It's from Buckingham County's personal property tax record of 1769. There, in faded script, is the name "Archer Stinson" listed as a second tithe in the household of David Stinson. (I've posted an image of the whole page on the Buckingham Stinsons Website. ) At that time in Virginia a young man had to be at least 16 years old to be listed as a tithe, in other words, taxable. It's not an exact science as many families would postpone their sons' 16th birthdays a year or so to delay the tax. But we can assume that Archer Stinson was born about 1753 to David Stinson.

When I showed this proof to my local DAR chapter registrar she immediately asked if I knew if there was another Archer or Archibald Stinson in the county at that time. Indeed, there was another Archibald who was a grandson of Alexander, Sr. Archibald Baker Stinson was the son of Alexander Stinson, Jr., but he wasn't born until 1773 so couldn't be the Archer listed on David's tax record in 1769. I believe our Archibald Stinson was the only one by that name in Buckingham. By the way, my reference for the info on Archibald Baker comes from the book "Alexander Stinson, Sr. of Buckingham County, Virginia (With Some Descendants)" by Frances L. Stinson (deceased) of Dallas, Texas. This self-published book is available at the Library of Virginia and is short enough to be copied.

The registrar told me that I was right to be concerned about the proof for both Archibald's father and his children, implying that she didn't think either generation would stand up to a review at the National level. However, this is not the last word and I'm determined to continue the research on this line. I truly think that our case for Archibald's children can hold up under full review.

In the meantime, a distant Stinson cousin, Edna of Northern Virginia, a long-time DAR member, has recently submitted a supplemental application based on her lineage through Archibald to David to Alexander, Sr. Her submission is still under review at the National DAR, but she's confident it will be approved. I'm really rooting for her! If Edna's application is approved, we'll be able to use her documentation to prove our own lineage for those three generations.

Even if you're not interested in joining a historical society like the DAR, it's nice to have the documentation for your family's lineage. I'll keep you posted on Cousin Edna's application.

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