Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Name's The Same--But Is There Another Rufus Stephens?

I'm wrapping up the article on the War of 1812 Pension Application of Rufus D. Stephens from Kendall County, Illinois.

The Rufus D. Stephens I'm working on appears on a 1850 census in St. Joseph County, Michigan--next door to the Benjamin Butler we've mentioned before. Benjamin's wife Margaret was supposedly a Stephens and this Rufus was the right age to have been her father. Their living next door in 1850 was a major factor in deciding to research him. The 1850 Rufus was from New York State, which is where the Butlers were from, so the families had that background in common. Of course that's really nothing more than coincidence.

The fact remains that there are not many Rufus D. Stephens born in the late 1700s in New York as the one in the 1850 census was.

The Bounty Land Application Rufus D. Stephens indicates he served from New York State in the War of 1812. His age is off somewhat from the 1850 census Rufus Stephens.

In the next issue, we'll summarize the information in the Bounty Land Application and see what our next steps are and also discuss how likely it is that these are the same Rufus D. Stephens. The problem at this point is that there is nothing to concretely connect the 1850 Rufus D. with the War of 1812 Rufus D.

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