Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stuart, Stewart, Steward, Stuard, & Sterit

In my compilation I "intermingle" names. This means that, for instance, I put all names that sound alike together as opposed to listing folks under the individual & diverse spellings.
I make a notation following an entry of how the name was spelled in the document cited (if there are different spelling patterns).
There are many names that call for this treatment in the studied area. Some are Brackenridge/Breckenridge, Smith/Smythe, Haynes/Hanes/Hains/Heyns/Hayns, Strother/Strothers, Boone/Boon, Swope/Swopes, Gillbreath/Killbreath, Littleton/Lyttleton, Payne/Pain/Pane, and Sweeney/Swinney/Swiney/Swiney, Straughter/Strawder .
Since I'm not a "genealogist" and have merely been collecting and transcribing the names of folks, in a small geographical area, for over a decade, I don't follow anyone else's rules. I have tried to make my compilation user friendly. I've tried to compile information in a manner in which I would have wanted to find the information or in a manner in which I would have thought would have been helpful. Finding family members can be difficult and I wanted to discard any rules in favor of helping the searcher to be successful.
I've noticed that folks names can vary (in terms of spelling) from document to document. My family, for instance, shows up as Hughes/Hues/Huse in different documents.
To complicate matters, in the area that I study, folks are often known by their middle names or their nicknames. (This often happens when they are named after a family member who lives in the same househhold - So the grandmother is Martha & the granddaughter is Mattie, for instance. Or Christopher Columbus will be the patriarch & the offspring are Columbus or "C.C.") I list each individual with their proper names but I make a notation at their "known" names which refers the user to the proper name.
As for the Stewarts:
There were Stuarts who enslaved individuals in Greenbrier County. Lewis Stuart, son of Col. John Stuart & Elizabeth Stuart enslaved individuals. See the book GREENBRIER COUNTY PIONEERS. My ancestors (following emancipation) worked as domestic servants for a Stuart who married Lt. Gov. Samuel Price. They may have been formerly enslaved by Stuarts but this connection has yet to be made.
Most of the Stewarts in my compilation lived in Greenbrier or Pocahontas counties.
See the magazine GOLDENSEAL, Vol 22, #4, Winter, 1996, which is published by the WV Division of Culture and History and which contains an article entitled "Getting Along Together - Black Life in Pocahontas County", by Maureen Crockett which talks about the Stewarts in PC.
The Stewart spelling is "all over the place" in the WV records so it is important to check all possibilities.
For Stewart also see:
African American Records by Mary Frances Bodemuller (available from the Greenbrier Historical Society in Lewisburg, WV)
Larry Shuck's Records (available from the GHS)
Helen Stinson's court records (book out of print but available at the GHS)
WV Death Certificates (see WV Division of Culture and History death certificate cite - d.c.'s on line from 1914 -1955)
Greenbrier County Cemetery Books
Marsh's 1880 WV Census Records - Will of Elizabeth Stuart (divesting Maria)
BLACK RESIDENTS OF GREENBRIER, MONROE, POCAHONTAS & SUMMERS COUNTIES, WEST VIRGINIA by Haynes (newer editions available at the GHS & the WV Division of Culture and History) (older editions available at the Amistad Research Center & WV State University at Institute)

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