As I identify people who are related to me, I try to determine who are the parents of a person who became a relative through marriage. One such person is John M. Stoutenburg who was born in New York in 1833. In 1850, John is living with his parents in the Town of Hurley, New York. By 1860, John is head of his own household in Hurley and is married to "Lany".
According to the 1860 Census, "Lany" was born in New York. However, the 1870 Census records her place of birth as Ohio and she is identified as Lena. John and Lena are also found in Hurley in 1880. The 1880 Census indicates that John's parents were born in New York and that Lena's father was born in Ohio, as was she, and that her mother was born in New York.
According to John's obituary, he married Lena Hull in 1856 Although I learned of her maiden name through John Stoutenburg's obituary, I had no idea who her parents were. The first clue was in her obituary. Her parents were not identified other than they were native of New York and that her mother died when she was five years old, about 1843 or 1844.
Lena's obituary stated that she was born December 30, 1838 in Ohio and that her parents returned to New York with her when she was about two years old. It also claimed she was brought up by her grandfather, Conrad Elmendorf. Further, the obituary indicated that she spent the early part of her life in Olive Branch, New York.
The first US census that listed all members of a household was taken in 1850. Since Lena would be about 12 years old in 1850, I assumed that she would be living in Ulster County with her grandfather who allegedly raised her. I did find Conrad J. Elmendorf, age 68, residing in the Town of Olive along with his 71-year-old wife, Sally. The household consisted of just the two. The next household in the enumeration was that of Elias Elmendorf and his family. Elias is 42 years old and appears to be a close relative of Conrad Elmendorf. However, Lena was not enumerated in that household either.
Next I looked for any male with the surname Hull living in Ulster County who was born in New York about 1810 plus or minus 2 years. I found a 38-year-old Samuel Hull living in the Town of Hurley. The family consisted of 27-year-old Mary, his wife, and six children ranging in age from 3 to 19 years. The oldest four children could not be the children of Mary Hull as she was only eight when the eldest of the four was born and 15 when the youngest of the four was born. So it would appear that Mary Hull was not Samuel Hull's first wife.
Since Conrad Elmendorf was the name of Lena's grandfather, I found it significant that there was a 17-year-old male, Coenradt, included in the household. Further the family included a 12-year-old girl, Hellen. Lena was often a shortened version of Helena or Magdalena. But according to the census record, Hellen was born in New York.
I then found Samuel Hull and his family living in Olive, Ulster County in the 1855 New York State Census. The three older children in the 1850 Census were not included in the household but Hellen was. She appears as the eldest child in the family. Her name is recorded as Helena, age 16 born in Ohio. Both Helena and Samuel had resided in the community for 15 years.
In 1856, Lena Hull and John Stoutenburg were married. I found the couple in Hurley, Ulster County, New York in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 US Census. In 1900, Lena and John were living in Sioux Valley Township in Union County, South Dakota. Based on her obituaries and the various censuses in which I found Lena and John, she was born in Ohio.
Given the information from the 1850 and 1855 censuses of the Samuel Hull household, I believe that Samuel Hull is Lena's father and that her birth name was Helena Hull. The next step was to identify her mother's given name. I did come across a couple of family trees that included a Mary Elmendorf who was born in 1811 in Kingston, Ulster County, died in 1843 in Hurley and was married to Samuel Bostick Hull. The trees indicate that she was baptized in 1811 at the Shokan Reformed Church in Olive.
Lena and her parents moved to Ulster County from Ohio about 1840. I found a Samuel Hull in the 1840 Census in Olive. The household consisted of two adults, Samuel as head, a male between 20 and 29 (1811-1820), a female between 20 and 29, presumably Mary Elmendorf Hull. There were 4 children; a male between 5 and 9 (1831-1835), a female between 5 and 9 and two females under 5 (1836-1840). The age ranges of the children correspond to Conraedt (about 1833), Catherine (about 1831), Matilda (about 1835) and Helena (1838).
In 1850, John Hull was 8-years-old and a member of the Samuel Hull household. Mary Hull could have been his mother as she was about 19 when John was born. But, in the 1855 Census, Mary Hull resided in the community for 9 years whereas 12-year-old John Hull resided in the community 12 years, meaning he was born between 1841 and 1842. Since Lena's mother died between 1843 and 1844 when Lena was five, John Hull's mother and Lena's mother was one and the same person. Samuel Hull married his second wife a year or so after his first wife's death.
Lena's obituary says that she was raised by her maternal grandfather, Conrad Elmendorf. That details outlined about does not provide any evidence that Lena Hull was living with her grandfather.
Locating a copy of the Arthur Kelly book of baptisms at the Shokan church is the next step to connect Mary Elmendorf to both Samuel Hull and Conrad Elmendorf.