Ancestral Clues and Lessons: Probably Margaret (maybe Stephens), probably born Canada around 1825,

There are qualifiers with this probable ancestor of mine: Margaret. 

She is enumerated in the 1850 census with Benjamin Butler in Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, as the oldest female in the household. She is twenty-five years of age and shown as having been born in Canada and it is assumed she is Benjamin’s wife and the mother of the children living in his household in 1850. She’s probably the mother of Benjamin’s daughter Ellen (Butler) Sargent who married William Ira Sargent in Union County, Iowa, in 1870 where Benjamin is enumerated with his second wife, Nancy Wolf. Some things I’ve learned about research from researching Margaret:

  • Females are more difficult to research. This is especially true when their husbands do not have much money and move frequently.
  • Sometimes “probably” is all you have. Given the family’s constant movement, the areas where they lived (that did not have great vital records), and the fact that they weren’t flush with cash, I may never find documents that explicitly states things. Sometimes we only are left with records that are suggestive and point in a general direction.
  • The entire family is extremely important. The few additional details I know about Margaret and the leads that I am following on her almost all stem from researching all the children of her husband, including those with both his wives.

Note: There is addition speculation I have regarding Margaret. As it’s really speculative, I’ve chosen not to include it in this blog post.

Probable Margaret is probably my 3rd great-grandmother. Probably. My entire ahnentafel chart can be viewed here.



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