Thursday, March 21, 2019
A Sideways Maneuver
Sometimes, I just need to take my own advice. Lately, I've been feeling like I'm chasing myself in circles, as far as researching the Stockton family goes. I'm already working on the lines of each of King and Louvenia Stockton's children—and seeing how different the result from actual documents is turning out to be, compared to my reference points from King Stockton's biography. But in a way, I'm still stuck. Perhaps the best thing to do now is see if I can make an end run around the brick wall of 1865 by searching for details on any of King Stockton's possible siblings.
There is one candidate I can spot right away, taken from the 1870 census: another family on the same page as King Stockton in Wellborn, Florida. Much too old to be a child of King and Louvenia—unlike Albert Stockton, who also appeared on the same page of that enumeration—this man could possibly be a brother. But I don't know yet.
It makes sense to follow what I can find on this other Stockton entry for a few reasons. First is the proximity to King Stockton's house. Second, though not necessarily as strong a factor, is the detail that this Stockton man, one year younger than King, was not born in Georgia as King was, but in Florida; this would have been the case for any possible younger siblings of King, as he and his mother were moved from Georgia within the year after his birth.
More intriguing, though, is the fact that this Stockton man happened to name one of his daughters Hester—the name of King's mother.
This Stockton man's name—at least according to the 1870 census—was listed as Francis Stockton. His age, given in the census, was thirty nine, putting his year of birth at approximately 1831. If, in the thinking of the antebellum South, Francis was born to King's mother Hester, then he, too, would likely have been a slave on the McClellan property. Yet in the probate records found after Sidney McClellan's death—providing the listing that included both King and his mother Hester—there was no Francis mentioned.
But there was a Frank. Could Frank have been Francis Stockton? Could he have been another son of Hester and perhaps a brother—or at least half-brother—of King Stockton? I had to take a look to see what I could find about this other possible branch of the Stockton family.