John Stagner J12/13 (1794-1866) of Dent County, Missouri – Son of George Stagner G2-5

This discussion is for anyone who claims to be a descendant of John Stagner (1794-1866) last found in Dent County, Missouri. Below are shown those who are known to be direct descendants of John:


In my review of family trees on-line, I have come to the conclusion that there is no consensus regarding the father of this John Stagner, who is the ancestor of many Stagners who live in Missouri and subsequently spread out elsewhere. I have not seen any published information on this family line, except for extraneous information found in family trees and in the Ozark Heritage Book Series of Dent County found in various locations.

It is for this reason that I undertake to explain where I believe this John Stagner came from. Additionally, I have had two yDNA matches to men who originated from this line and that adds to the curiosity because I did not believe that I was related to this line.

I have labelled this John Stagner J12/13 because I found him in two states, Simpson County, KY and Crawford and Dent County, MO.

I found the best way to determine where he came from was to work backwards fromJ12 final “absolute” information. In this case we know J12/13 died in 1866 in Dent County. It was also documented that he was a Justice of the Peace. He appeared in the 1860 Dent County Census living with son William Roland, as Ann had died in 1856. The 1850 Crawford County census is kind of cryptic in that it only listed first name initials, but this most assuredly was John and Ann, with 3 sons James, William, and John. Sarah Jane was a niece as described in the WILL of J12/13. PJ Hendrick is not known for sure, but probably was a nephew on the Hendricks (Ann Hendricks) side. This is all summarized in the census transcriptions shown above. [Note: In 1851 Dent County was formed from Crawford County, so J12/13 was likely in the same place in 1850 and 1860.]

Both the 1850 and 1860 censuses indicate that J12/13 was born in North Carolina. TheyJ12-1840 also indicate that his three sons shown on the 1850 census were born in Kentucky from 1825 to 1833. So searching Kentucky census records for 1840, we find there was a 40-49 year old John Stagner in Simpson County. This fits nicely with J12/13’s known birth year of 1794. The transcribed census is shown above. Since the 1840 census and earlier have no names other than the head of household, I have added in red who I believe each of the individuals could have been. The “??” cannot be determined but may have brothers or nieces or nephews.

In 1830 there was a Simpson County census where the name was translated as Johnj12-1830 Stayna, but this most assuredly was John Stagner J12/13, his spouse, his children still at home, and other possible near family members. They are shown in the census transcription above. Again, the age of 30-39 is consistent with what was known.

From the above censuses we know that J12/13’s 1st child was probably born between 1816 and 1820.j12-1820So we, in fact, find an 1820 Simpson County census showing a young John Stagner (age consistent with the above), apparent spouse, and young son born 1811 to 1820. See above.

We know from Warren County, KY records that a John Stagner married Ann Hendricks in 1818. This, again, is consistent with all the above, as Simpson County was formed from Warren County in 1819.

So back to this point in 1818 it seems like a pretty good estimation that J12/13 spent his early adulthood in Simpson County, KY and sometime in the 1840s the entire family moved to Crawford County, MO.

But we know that J12/13 was born in North Carolina, so who was his father? In 1810, he would have been about 16 years old, so in the 1810 census he was very likely living withJ12-1810 his father in either Kentucky or North Carolina. Reviewing censuses for 1810, the only appropriate Stagners identified were two John Stagners in Warren County, KY. These two censuses are shown above and again, I have entered who I believe the unnamed individuals may have been.

I have discussed these two Johns elsewhere, but J3 is believed to be a son of Barney Stagner BA1. J5 is believed to be a son of J3. Both J3 and J5 lived on the Gasper River in the northern part of Warren County. The make-up of the family of J5 is totally consistent with his known off-spring from which I descend.

Those listed in the 1810 census for J3 are not so easily discerned, but I believe that the 26-44 year old was J3’s son George (G2-5), which is age-consistent with J3’s son J5 being the same approximate age. I believe that the 16-25 year old male was J12/13, which is consistent because it matches his projected age. The 16-25 year old female shownmust have been the spouse of G2-5, where she was probably on the high side of the 16-25 year old range. More on that in a minute.

[I want to make it absolutely clear that there was no direct recorded link between G2-5 and J3 and J5, but this is what is hypothesized and makes the most sense based on the limited availability with men named Stagner. ]

So one might ask where did the name George Stagner come from? Well, the 1820 Simpson County, KY census shows a George Stagner. This George’s age in 1820 is consistent with the person suspected of being George in the 1810 J3 census. In addition,g2-1820-50 the likely spouse shown in 1820 is indicated at being 26-44 years old. This is consistent with the person believed to be his spouse in the 1810 J3 census. His spouse being 15-20 years younger.

Unfortunately, no 1830 Simpson County census for G2-5 has been identified. However, in 1840 there was a census for an age-appropriate Catherine Stagner. Catherine was assumed to be the wife of George. George appeared in Simpson County tax lists through 1837, so he most likely died between 1837 and 1840, also supported by another Simpson County court case. In 1850 this Catherine Stagner was found with two possible sons in Hempstead County, Arkansas. No further census listings for Catherine were found.

So last we have J12/13 in Simpson County, KY in 1810, but we know from the 1850 and 1860 censuses that he was born in North Carolina and that his father may have been George (G2-5) Stagner.

In fact there was an 1800 census in Rowan County, NC for a George Stagner, although the written interpretation was Stagnor. This census shows a spouse of similar age, a boy age-appropriate to be J12/13 and two young girls. It is not known what happened to the girls as they were gone before the 1810 census. So this seems to fit the information described above.G21800

There were other Stagners shown elsewhere in the 1790 and 1800 censuses:

  1. John, George, Benjamin were in Montgomery County, NC. I believe they were Stogners, not Stagners and from a different family. I have seen where some researchers believe differently, but following the evidence leads to my conclusion.
  2. Records were also found in Rowan County for a Henry Stagner H2a and Henry Stagner H2b. There is some chance of a relationship to G2-5, J5, and J3, but if there is it is not obvious!

We know a few more things about George Stagner that are summarized in the table below.early g2

Importantly we know from Rowan County records he married Sarah Hillard in 1793. This is consistent with the spouse shown on G2-5’s 1800 Rowan County census, but in 1805 we see that he remarried to Catherine Hendricks in Rowan County. This again supports the spouse name of Catherine found in the 1840 Simpson County Census. It seems that Sarah Hillard may have passed away sometime between about 1800 and 1805.

We can see from the data above that G2 bought property on Fourth Creek in Rowan County in 1801 and sold it in 1805. The were other associations with the Hillard family. After 1805 no George Stagner was found in Rowan County, but George Stagner appeared on tax lists in Simpson County, KY in 1807 and 1808 and on the 1810 census as shown above.

[Note: J3 was first shown on the Warren County tax with with 200 acres on the Gasper River in 1803. G2-5 first appeared in 1807 and 1808 and was shown with no property, 1 white male and two horses that he was taxed on. The next time G2-5 was found on a tax list was in 1812. It was not until 1819 that he first appeared on a tax list with 120 acres that was probably on the Lower Fork Drake’s Creek. This is solid evidence that George was in the area and could have been living with J3 and appeared in the 1810 Warren County census.

[Why do I call this guy G2-5? G2 represents his time in Rowan County. G3 represents his time in Warren County. G5 represents his time in Simpson County after it formation in 1819. G4 has not been discussed, but represents a possible two year stint in Stewart County, TN in 1810-1811, when he was not found on a Warren County list. This raises some questions about whether G4 is a different person from G2,G3, & G5, but no other George Stagner has been identified in the area. It is possible to come up with scenarios that could make them the same person, even with a possible appearance in the 1810 census with J3.]

So now it seems that we have adequate explanation for the origin of J12/13 and his father George, although nowhere do the names exist together on the same piece of paper. The circumstantial evidence appears to prove the hypothesis.

There is one other area of discussion that is important regarding G2 and J12/13. This may be controversial, but I believe that father and son married sisters, Catherine the older sister and Ann the younger sister!

The following court case, abstracted from Simpson County, KY records is very informative:


It shows that James Hendricks of Simpson County has passed and listed his off-spring, particularly:

  1. Catherine Stagner, late Catherine Hendrick and Geo Stagner her husband
  2. John Stagner & Ann his wife (obviously Ann Hendricks, otherwise why would she be mentioned)
  3. Wm Stagner & Mary Stagner his wife (obviously Mary Hendricks, otherwise why would she be mentioned)

This data suggests that, as I proposed above, the Catherine and Ann Hendricks were sisters married to Stagners. This can be supported by looking at the following census data for James Hendricks found in Rowan County from 1790 to 1810:James HendricksUsing all the male and female offspring listed in the court case, I have logically assigned names to the unnamed individuals in all three censuses and this supports the theory that Catherine and Ann were sisters and that Catherine was older and born between 1774 and 1784 with Ann born 1785 to 1794, a difference of 10 to 20 years.

I have not been able to identify where James Hendricks lived in Rowan County, but it must have been near George, somewhere near Fourth Creek. This was also not far from where Barney (BA1) and presumably John (J1) had lived. The exact whereabouts of this family  from 1775 to their appearance in Kentucky just before 1800 is a puzzle that has not been unravelled.Map g2 ba1

I will add that the William (W7/8) mentioned in the Simpson County court case shown above, appears to have been the oldest son of J5 of Warren County. W7/8 was married to a Mary, assumed to be Mary Hendricks as defined in that court case. W7/8 is believed to be my 3rd great grandfather.

So, I am not trying to make waves with other Stagner researchers, but I see issues with some of the trees I have examined. I hope that anyone viewing this that has a different opinion will share those opinions.

One of the relationships I typically see is that J12/13 was shown as a son of John Barney Stagner married to Sarah Prather. I believe this is not the case because Rowan County records shown Sarah Prather married to Barnet Stagner (BA2). Now this is a subtle distinction, but if you go by Barney BA1’s WILL alone, where he names his sons as John and Barnet, the Barnet (BA2) – Sarah Prather union makes sense. Additionally, BA2 and Sarah spent Barnet’s last years in Madison County, KY – a fair distance from Simpson and Warren County. After BA2 died in 1821 Sarah relocated with some of her family to Howard County, MO where she died about 1836. For whatever reason, no interaction has been found between the families of J3 and BA2.

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