Who is the father of the two John Stagners (J5 & J8-11) born about 1766-1771 in North Carolina?

I made comments about the following suggested line of descent. This describes one of the major problems I have with Stagner genealogy.

Anne List

I am in agreement with what is shown highlighted in green, but above that point is where I have one of my Stagner problems. To aid in discussion I have added what I have been using as ID for the men I believe you have indicated.

The John Stagner J8-11 we all agree was the head of this line and many others below him. However, his father is not clear to me. You show a John Barnet Stagner 1758-1842 as his father. That is only 13 years difference in birth. I believe that the man you are referring to is the one that I call J5. I presume he was born in North Carolina as was J8-11, but there is no reference indicating that, since he did not live to the 1850 census. This J5 guy was found in Warren County, KY from about 1800 to his death in 1842. This J5 is the man that I believe is my 4th great grandfather. He had a documented son John W. Stagner born 1802. He  was a Warren county lifer. I cannot be sure of the birth of this J5, but I have always used and seen 1766 although there is no proof of that.

So the problem that I have and that started my comprehensive look at Stagners is because of this. J8-11 (1771-1850) and J5 (1758-66 to 1842) has presented a dilemma. Two Johns born around the same time with the same name! And everyone claiming them to be descended from old Barney BA1. There are some possible explanations that could make this true, but will discuss in bit.

I will allude to this in a new blog post, but for a minute lets look at the other two. It is fact that can be proven that there was a John Barnet Stagner in Rowan County, NC. I first found him referred to in 1753 with the last reference being in 1777 after his death in Kentucky. However, there is nothing, but someone’s interpretation of immigration records that the Johann Bernd Steigner who landed in Philadelphia in 1738 was the same man as John Barnet Stagner in Rowan County. Yes, the names are similar, and there is a German church record that alludes to Johan Bernd Stegner being the same person, but that is all that I can find. To my knowledge no one knows, if this was him, where he was between 1738 and 1753. Then if this was not him then how did he get here, as BA1 was certainly a German immigrant. There is simply nothing to tie these guys together except for a “guess”. I believe that others allude to this also.

Fortunately, we know  that BA1 is well documented and lived in Rowan County, NC and died at Fort Harrod in Kentucky in 1777. We do not know for sure when he was born. The other fortunate piece of information we have is the WILL of BA1 that shows two sons John and Barnet. This John I have designated as J1. Son Barnet is designated as BA2-some refer to him as James Barney, but I have found no such reference as he always seemed to be referred to as Barney or Barnet.

This J1 should be the same person as you show in the list above. His birth is a guess, but is probably somewhere in the 1740-1745 area as far as I can tell. There are a few references to this J1 in Rowan County. The first positive one references  J1 on a bill of sale where it mentions adjacent to Barney Stagners place.  This tends to show that J1 and BA1 lived near each other in 1767. There were only a few other references to a John Stagner from 1767 to the WILL in 1775 and it cannot be sure whether these references were to J1 or BA1. The last final reference to a John Stagner in NC was in Guilford County, along with a William Stagner (W1) who were carrying chain for property survey in 1783.  It cannot be known for sure who this John and William were, but I suspect they were sons of J1, but have nothing to prove that. J1 was the only Stagner that could have been in the area at the time these guys were probably born in the 1760s.

[I should point out that there was a John Stagner in Montgomery County, NC in 1790 and 1800, but this cannot be the same guy that showed up in Warren County in 1800. I believe this man was actually John Stogner, as there were other Stogners in the same county at that time. This group seemed to migrate from Southern Virginia.]

Importantly after 1783, there was no record found for a John or William Stagner in Rowan County. There were records for a Henry Stagner through 1809 and a George Stagner through 1805. So after 1809 there was no mention of a Stagner in NC.

The next appearance of a John Stagner in records was 1798, when both a John Stagner (J2) and William Stagner (W2) were found in Sumner County, TN. Neither were there very long because a John Stagner (J3) appeared on the tax list in adjacent Warren Count, KY in 1799. William Stagner (W3) was on the same Warren County tax list in 1799. From this it is assumed that J2 and J3 were the person as was W2 and W3. It seems likely that since a John and William Stagner disappears from NC after 1783 and a John and William Stagner appeared in Sumner, then Warren that these could have been the same person, such that J1=J2=J3 and W1=W2=W3.

To complicate this, beginning in 1801 in the Warren County tax lists there was listed a John Stagner Sr. and John Stagner Jr. These would appear to have been father and son. In this case I believe that John Sr. was the man referred to above as J2/J3 and John Jr. as his son J5. This makes sense because both of these men lived in the same area of Warren County. J3 disappeared before the 1820 census and was not mentioned again. Both J3 and J5 were shown on the Warren County 1810 census. So the assumption is that J3 probably died or left the area before 1820; if he was born around 1740 he would have been 80 years old assuming he was the same person as J1. J5 was shown on the 1830 census for sure, but the 1840 is unknown. He died in 1842 in Warren County and fortunately a court document was found listing is off-spring, of which my 3rd great grandfather William Stagner appeared to be one.

Now, back to J1 (and/orJ2 and J3). No document has been found listing either his spouse or his offspring. Family rumors seem to have him married to a Fannie Hendricks, but I can find no proof of that. There is nothing to indicate his children other the names of other Stagners who may have been born in North Carolina in the 1760-1780 time period. I have already mentioned the possibility of John and William. Other names suggested but not proven are George, Henry, Nathan, Barnabus, Thomas, Mary Frances and Sarah. George Stagner (G2)  was found living in the same area in Rowan County as BA1 and J1, so the assumption seems good that he was a son of J1. Henry was in a different area of Rowan County, but seemed to old to be a son of J1, so his source is unknown.

Now importantly consider geography. Beginning in Tennessee in the late 1790s to about 1808 were found J2, W2, J8-11, Nathan (N1),Thomas (D1), and Barnabus (C1). In Warren Co., Kentucky we had J3, W3, J5 J8-11, and Henry (H11) in Christian.

J2/J3 and W2/W3 and J5 and G2 were all found in Warren County, KY before 1806.

J8, N1, C1, Thomas (D1) all made their  way to Stewart County, TN. C1 and D1 appeared to remain in Stewart County. N1 and his family made their way west to Benton County, TN. J8-11 next made his way to Montgomery County, TN, then Trigg and Calloway County, KY where he finished out his life.

The Henry H1 was found in Christian County, KY around 1800 and after that is unknown.

It should also be pointed out that BA2 (brother to J1) ended up in Madison County, KY, another separate locale, and there seemed to be no interaction between this group and any of the others described.

It would seem like if these guys were all Stagners and all came from North Carolina that they were probably related in some way. But one has to ask himself why was there a group in Warren County and a group in 3 nearby northern TN counties and another staying separate in Montgomery/Trigg/Calloway  and another in Christian County. Essentially 4 different groups. If they were all related, wouldn’t they have stayed together. I have found no positive interaction between any of the 4 groups.Stagner Locs

A=Sumner County

B=Warren County (Simpson in 1819)

C= Warren County

1=Christian County

2&7=Stewart County

3= Montgomery County

4=Trigg County

5=Calloway County

6=Benton County

The only possible interaction was there was a George Stagner who disappeared from Warren County around 1809-10, when a George Stagner appeared in Stewart County. They could have been the same person.

So where does this leave us? After Sumner County, we have a group in Warren County and another group in Stewart County, where each group had a man named John Stagner born and died within a few years of each other. What could this mean?

  1. It could mean that the two groups had different fathers, i.e. that J1 was not the father of all of these boys and that is said just because of the two named John. If so who was the father of who? This is the question!
  2. Another possibility is that they were all sons of J1 and either J5 or J8-11 changed their name. Germans sometime named their sons like Johann George and Johann Jacob or whatever. Perhaps this was the case and both J5 and J8-11 were sons of J1 as many seem to assume and had adjusted their commonly used first name over time.

There may be other possibilities, but unless other evidence surfaces, this will be very difficult to positively sort out. Perhaps one day Y-DNA evidence will lead us to an answer. I am hoping that someday we can reach a valid conclusion and put this to rest. If anyone who reads this has any information please advise for discussion.