Who were the Henry Stagners in early records?

Henry Stagner, another Stagner name to add to the confusion about where the early Stagners came from!

Henry Stagners were well dispersed throughout the expanding United States. The list below summarizes all the Henry Stagners found in early America, and especially those who were born before 1800. It can be seen that there were 23 names, all in different places at different times, or different ages. Some are the same person. Some appear to be father and son. Some just pop up out of nowhere.

Death location and dates for most are unknown, so it is difficult to know how many distinct individuals can be identified in this group. It seems unrealistic to expect that all of these Henrys were distinct people. There just simply could not have been that many different Henry Stagners in America during this time period given that there appeared to be only 5 different Stagner family groups and then that only three of them seem to be in play in this analysis.

What is being covered here is a period of about 2 generations, considering a generation is about 25 years. This researcher was led to the conclusion that these 23 individuals could consolidate down to maybe 8 distinct persons. Others may come to different conclusions, but without definitive data this turns out to be a best guess, although an informed guess.

all Henry
Figure 1 – List of  Early Henry Stagners

This analysis was made difficult because there was very little information available, for example the location and date of birth are only known for one individual. The rest can only be assumed. It is also based on the assumption, that every one of these guys had a father named Stagner and there were only four Stagner families. The fifth mentioned above was Stogner and there appeared to be no Henry in that family.

The map below shows where each of these guys were found. The analysis involved the evaluation of geography to determine what might have been a reasonable path of migration, since all of these Henrys lived during a time of great change in America – from the German immigration in early to middle 1700s in Pennsylvania to the south and westward expansion that followed. It was believed that the path of migration was generally south to North Carolina and South Carolina, then west to Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas or directly west to western Pennsylvania and Ohio:

Figure 2 – Location of the First Henry Stagner

In the Figure 3 below, I show what I believe were the relationships of the 18 earliest born Henrys in the list of Figure 1.

Best estimate
Figure 3 – Hypothesized Henry Relationships

Henry Families 1-4, 11, 12

H16/H15 and H9/H14

Using the “red” numbers shown in Figure 3, the families identified as ‘red” 1 and “red” 2 were known and documented in Wills or Censuses.


This Henry appeared in Augusta County, Virginia in 1787 as a delinquent tax payer having left the county. Nothing has been found to relate him to any other Henry Stagner, but he is suspected to be the man identified in Family 5-10.


Honeul (maybe Henry) Stagner was only shown once. His origin is not known, but is also discussed in page: Where did John Barnet (Barney BA1) Stagner come from?


H11 was found in Christian County, KY where he was a land owner between 1799 and 1802. After this date, no mention of him was found.

H21 was found one time in Sumner County, TN in 1798. This was the same time when other Stagners, J2 and W2, were also in Sumner County. So one would think there might be a relationship. The most likely one is that he was related to J2, maybe a son, as there is anecdotal family stories suggesting three brothers John and William and Henry settled in Kentucky. Other than H11, mentioned above, no other Henry Stagner has been found in Kentucky records in this time frame.

It is hypothesized that H11 and H21 could have been the same person.

Henry Families 5-10, 13

H7a and H7ef

The first discussion concerns the families 5-10 that consist of H7a, H2a, H2b, H3, H4, H17, and H7ef. The reason this is first is because this is the only one where I definitely know his birth name and location and his approximate age when he died. This person I call H7 has been split in H7a ( born in PA) and H7ef (found in Sabine and Fayette County TX). He was identified from the 1850 census shown below:

Figure 4 – All Events for Henry H7aef

H7aef was born in PA in 1756 and ended up in Texas. He was 94 years old in the 1850 Sabine County, TX Federal Census. He is said to have died at 109 in Fayette County, Texas about 1865. What was this man doing and where was he between the time he was born and the time he died? He was obviously quite an adventurer having settled in Texas before it became a state and when it was still governed by Mexico. It appears that he was living with a relative in 1850, that being Sophia Jewell married to David Jewell, where the name was confirmed by looking at her 1860 census enumeration and other information to be discussed. Sophia Stagner could have been either a daughter or granddaughter.

Sophia Jewell was listed in the 1860 Federal Census in nearby Fayette County, Texas. She was living without a spouse. Her state of birth was not mentioned in 1860, but was noted as Tennessee in 1850.

Sophia Jewell and David Jewell show up in documents as “having known Henry Stagner, old and infirmed”, who was applying for a land grant in Sabine County, Texas in 1853[1] and 1854.  In these documents Henry stated that he had emigrated to Texas in 1838. So the task was to determine where Henry emigrated from.


Early Fulton County, Illinois Marriage Records[2] show a Sophia Stagner marrying a David Jewell in 1828 and a Ruth Stagner marrying a William Jewell in 1829.  In the 1830 Fulton County census there was listed a Henry Stagner, age 50-59:

Figure 5 – H8 1830 Fulton County Census

So we have a Henry Stagner and David/Sophia Jewel in a different place at a different time. This Henry was designated H8 and he could not have been the same person as H7aef because of age. He was much younger. Based on this it would seem that there was some relationship between H8 and H7aef and that most likely relationship would have been father and son. So Sophia and Ruth were likely the daughters of H8, after all how many Stagner families could have been living in Fulton County, IL in 1830.  It should be noted that Fulton County, Illinois became a destination for pioneers beginning in the early 1820s, as the Indians were driven west of the Mississippi River.

This is just speculation, but perhaps Henry Sr. H7aef was in the first wave of settlers to Fulton County and later his son Henry Jr. followed him there and was still there for the 1830 census. Since Henry Sr. was not shown in the 1830 census, where was he, on his way to Texas already – the Illinois winters being too much for him? This might make sense when one looks at the 1830 census in Figure 5 and sees the 90-99 year old female listed. Was this Henry Jr.’s mother and Henry Sr.’s wife, who may have been too old and feeble to make another trip with her husband? It’s possible, but Henry Sr.’s wife would be expected to be in the 75 year old range, so maybe it was someone else or else he married an older woman, or maybe it was a parent of H7aef or his wife. If both H7aef and H8 were in Fulton County at the same time, that might be some support to proving Sophia and Ruth being the daughters of H7aef, not H8.

Also found in the Fulton County 1830 census was a Mary Ann Jewell listed next to Henry Stagner. This is thought to be another daughter of Henry Sr., or maybe Henry Jr., who married another Jewell. But, no record of any marriage was found for a Mary Ann Stagner either in Tennessee or Illinois. Mary Ann was 20-29 years old with 5 young children and no husband. If Mary Ann was a daughter she was likely married in Tennessee before 1820. She was probably born around 1801. She is not found again, probably because she remarried. [There are many Jewell families spread throughout Kentucky and Tennessee during this time frame, supporting this thesis, but no intensive research was done.] There may be other possibilities for this Mary Ann that have not been explored.

In 1840 a Sarah Ann Stagner married a Patrick Wilson in Fulton County[3]. Sarah and Patrick took the Oregon Trail to Oregon and were found in the Multnomah County census from 1860-1880. Sarah was shown as born between 1817 and 1819 in TN or SC.  It is most likely that Sarah is the 5-9 year old female shown in the 1830 Fulton County census, see Figure 5. So, Sarah could have been a daughter of H8.

No further records were located for this individual called Henry (H8). It was thought that he must have died after the 1830 census, perhaps in transition with his family because no Stagners were enumerated in Fulton County, IL beyond 1830.

So if H7aef and H8 were somehow related, where were they before they arrived in Fulton County, Illinois? H8 would have been 40-49 years old and his father in the 60s for the previous census in 1820.

As mentioned above, Sophia was listed as born in TN in 1806. Ruth Stagner Jewell eventually appeared in the Butler County, OH 1850 census, where she was also shown as born in Tennessee in 1808. Ruth would have been 21 years old in 1829, also a good marrying age and she too probably was the daughter of H8 or H7aef.

So it would seem that since Sophia and Ruth were definitely indicated as being born in Tennessee in 1806 and 1808, and that Sarah also could have been born in Tennessee, that their father was living in Tennessee during that time period.

H5 and H17

So based on the above hints that children were born in Tennessee, that was the next obvious place to look for Henry Stagner again. There are limited Tennessee records of the 1800 to 1820 time frame, but there were tax lists available. The 1809 tax list[4] in Sumner County, TN shows a “Henery” Stagner in Captain Montgomery’s District. The 1812 tax list[5] shows a Henry Sr. (H17) and Henry Jr. (H5) in Captain D. Green’s company. If this interpretation is correct, then they were probably related and likely father and son. The only other record of a Henry in TN shows a greater than 45 year old Henry in the 1820 Sumner County Federal Census. The census listing is shown in Figure 6

Figure 6 – H5 1820 Sumner County, TN Census

and indicated he was married with 4 young children and since the spouse’s age was shown as 26-44, he probably tended toward the age of 45, rather than much older. This would fall in line with a 50-59 year old Henry H8 and spouse shown in Figure 5 in Fulton County, Illinois in 1830.  It was suspected that the Henry that appeared in 1809 was most likely H5 for reasons to be discussed shortly, i.e. that the senior Henry may have been in North or South Carolina at the time. So it looks like H5 = H8. This consolidated person will be designated as Hβ. It also looks like H7aef = H17, who will be designated as Hα.

There is a discrepancy here in that there are no 14 and 12 year old girls (Sophia and Ruth) listed in the 1820 census. So does that mean H5 ≠ H8? Not necessarily because the whereabouts of the older Henry Sr. (H17), if this is being interpreted correctly, is not known in 1820. This might point to the fact that Sophia and Ruth may have been the daughters of Henry Sr. (H17) and not Henry Jr. (H5). It certainly is possible if Henry Sr. (H17) is Henry (7a). He was about 45 in 1800, he certainly could still be having children as he must have been an energetic and adventurous person to do what he was doing and a real stud. Since these were the only Henry Stagners in Tennessee in the 1800-1820 time frame it was very difficult not to come to the conclusion that there was a relationship between H7aef/H17 and H5/H8.

Figure 7 re-displays the information just discussed and shows the combined senior Henry as Hα and the combined junior Henry as Hβ.

Figure 7 – Summary of possible Relationship from 1809 to 1860 data

Figure 8 shows the actual timelines for these 4 Henrys. It can be seen that the birth range of Hβ = H5+H8 falls within the child producing range of H17, but slightly out of range of H7ef. If Hα = H7a+H17+H7ef, then this could be explained by some of the assumptions made with regard to age, marriage age, and years children born. The red rectangle represents the approximate 5 year period of discrepancy. Given the time and estimates and other information, the relationship seems possible.

Figure 8 – Timelines for both Henrys

H3, H4 and H12

Continuing to look backwards in time, where were H5 and H17 before Sumner County Tennessee? Most obviously that would have been somewhere east, so looking at the records, three Henry Stagners were found: H3 and H12 in Greenville County, SC and H4 in Buncombe County, NC. The event data for these individuals is shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9 – Henry Stagner in North and South Carolina 1800-1810

What was interesting was that there was a Snr. and Jr. in Sumner County, TN and an older and younger Henry in Greenville, SC, so Greenville could easily have been their previous stop. Note the Greenville County census does not indicate them as Sr. and Jr., but just the fact that they are mentioned and remain in Greenville County for a short time leads one to believe they could be the same men found in Sumner County. The timeline comparisons tend to confirm this. See Figure 10.

Figure 10 – Timeline Comparison

H3 and H12 were listed in the 1800 Greenville County Federal Census. In 1792 and 1796 Henry Stagner (H3) was listed as a witness in two different deed transactions.[6] In 1797 a deed transaction for a Peter Niece and a Stagner was mentioned as bordering the property of Stagner.[7]  This must have been Henry Sr. (H3). All must have been Henry Sr. (H3) to witness the deed transactions as Jr. (H12) would only have been about 16 in 1792. It should be noted that no deed was found transacting anything to him or from him in the Greenville County records. In fact, no other records have been found for any Henry Stagner in Greenville County after this time nor before this time.

H4, who was listed in the 1810 Buncombe County Census, appeared to be the same person as H3 because in the summer of 1801 there was an entry in Deed Book A saying “Henry Stagner of South Carolina”[8] procuring property from John Craig. He was to pay over time the sum of “one hundred & twenty five dollars or one hundred weight of cotton” beginning the 15 Nov 1801. He made successive payments in November through 1805, then the 200 acres was considered his. This was indicated in records in 1806 as buying property near what is now Asheville, NC. He sold this property in 1810. He was also shown in the 1810 Buncombe County Census. Buncombe County is less than 100 miles north of Greenville County.

So when all this information is blended into the timeline in Figure 10, the age and sequence of events still point to these two individual Henrys being related.

So it seems that Henry (H3) moved north to Buncombe County to become (H4). H4 was listed as greater than 45 year old in 1810 and H3 was listed as greater than 45 in 1800, so they could have been the same person, by birth and age. H12 was a young man, so he will not have likely shown up again in earlier records. Where did they go after 1800? It seems very likely that it was them that appeared in Sumner County, Jr. around 1809 and Sr. after 1810.

So where did H3=H4 come from before 1792?

H1, H2a and H2b

Looking east again, three Henry Stagners were found listed in Rowan County, NC records from 1761 – 1809.

Honeul (Henry?) (H1) was shown on the Rowan County tax list in 1761. [see other discussion: Where did John Barnet (Barney BA1) Stagner come from?] 

Henry (H2a) owned 300 acres on Abbott’s Creek and was shown there from 1778 – 1780. Henry (H2b) was shown as paying taxes on 100 acres on Swan Creek in 1786 and shown as probably owning the property from at least 1784 to 1809 when he was last mentioned. No evidence was found for either of them having disposed of their property and left the county. It should be noted that this interim period from disappearance on Hamby’s Creek to reappearance on Swan Creek was during the Revolutionary War and it was a time when General Cornwallis and Nathaniel Green were chasing each other through Rowan County (1781). In fact a history note shows that in early 1781 Nathaniel Greene rested his troops at the Abbotts Creek Meeting House[9], where they spent 2 or 3 days and he stayed at the home of Colonel Spurgen, a noted Tory, who was out, but his spouse Mary, a Whig, was in. This region must have been quite divided in their allegiances to George III and the new country rebelling against him. What influence may this have had on where people lived? Maybe Henry had to move a bit because of this.

It was interesting to note that a review of other land grants in the North Carolina State Archives Database, showed that the name Emler (Embler) and Dininger (Decinger) mentioned in H2a’s 1778 Deed, were the only two that were mentioned in 1792 when their grants were patented. Maybe Henry Stagner was not mentioned in their patents, because he was gone by that time.

Was it possible that H1, H2a & H2b were the same person or could they have been distinct individuals or some combination?  A look at the timelines shown in Figure 11 may help to clarify this.

h1and H2
Figure 11 – H1, H2a & H2b Timelines

It is informative to look at what the possible combinations would look like for H1, H2a and H2b. In Figure 11 I compare these various combination, which are shown in “orange”. What we are trying to determine is can the individual H7a, who was born in 1756, be one or a combination of these guys. In fact, an exaggerated birth range for H7a is shown by the transparent red rectangle in Figure 11. If the estimated birth ranges are correct, then any combination that includes H1, would mean that H1 and H7a could not have been the same person because he was older than H7a by at least 10 years. I know this is a tentative conclusion, but it is all I have:

  1. H1 must be a standalone individual. What his origin was is not known at this time.
  2. H2a and H2b could have been the same person, as their ages overlap and their events fall sequentially. They could also have been the same person as H7a, which can be seen in the combined timeline below:
Figure 12 – Combined Timeline for H(alpha)

Summary for Hα & Hβ

Figure 13 below summarizes what has been just discussed showing Hα and Hβ as two distinct individuals. The remaining Henrys will be discussed shortly.

Best estimate
Figure 13 – Overall Relationship Summary

Who was the father of Hα? That is the big QUESTION!

So, given all this who could have been Henry’s father? Looking at the 5 known immigrants in this chart:

5 familes
Figure 14 the 5 Families

There is only one strong candidate for the father of Hα and that was Daniel Stagner. It is obvious that the others were not:

  1. John Barnet did not list a Henry in his Will, when they usually listed all children, so it probably wasn’t him.
  2. John Stogner was Stogner and their was no indication of the name Henry in his family. He was in Brunswick County, VA in 1756, so could not have been him.
  3. Ludwig Stagner was about the same age, so it wasn’t him.
  4. Nicolas already had a son Henry, who seemed to be  born well before 1756, so it wasn’t him either.
  5. So that left Daniel Stagner, who was known to have been in the military in Albany, NY in 1760, but who actually landed in America in 1754 in Philadelphia. It is unknown if he was married when he arrived or married after arrival, but definite references were found to Daniel and Barbara Stagner birthing and baptizing two daughters (Catherine Elizabeth and Anna Catherina) in Philadelphia in 1764 and 1766. No reference was found for an earlier birth, but it certainly is possible that Henry could have been born in PA in 1756 as a son of Daniel, since Daniel was there around that time. There was reference to Daniel and his wife having a daughter Anna Barbara in Charleston, SC in 1768, so he certainly could have been married in NY or PA before landing in Charleston. This is a point for further research either in PA and/or SC.
  6. We do not know who were the George (G1) and Honeul (H1) Stagner found with Barnet Stagner (BA1) in the 1761 Rowan County Tax List. Could it have been one of them?

It could have been some other unidentified person, but Daniel seems most likely. In fact being related to Daniel may help to explain a couple of issues described above:

  1. Why was H2a/H2b in Rowan County, NC? Perhaps he was living with his father and struck out on his own from his fathers farm in South Carolina.
  2. Why did H2a appear to relocate from one part of the county to another between 1780 and 1784? A possible explanation is that when Daniel decided to leave the country after the REVOLUTIONARY WAR in 1783, that Henry went with him, all or part of the way, but decided to return. When he returned Rowan County, he settled in perhaps a more friendly area. There is no proof, but since his father was loyal to the King, he may have been also, which may have caused him problems in Rowan County. There is evidential support from Daniel given in 1784 that he traveled to Nova Scotia with 6 members of his family. Henry could have been one of those.
  3. Why did H2b appear to move to Greenville County, SC, then Buncombe County, NC? There is one reason why this makes sense and that is that Henry Stagner in Buncombe County was associated with a Peter Borders as they bought land together, indicating that they were pretty close. In fact, Peter Borders was found near Henry in Newberry County, SC, when Henry was in Greenville County. Also, evidence indicates that Peter Borders came from Rowan County also, where they may have been in close proximity there. Henry and Peter were likely lifelong friends.

Summary of Proof for Hα and Hβ


1. H3 and H12 were listed together on 1800 Greenville County, SC Census. Assume father and son.

2. H17 Henry Sr. and H5 Henry Jr. were shown together in 1812 Sumner County, TN tax lists. Again assume father and son.

3. Since a young and older Henry Stagner was found in Greenville and later in Sumner County, it suggest they might be the same person, at least tentatively proving the connection H3 and H17.

4. A Peter Borders was found in Newberry County in 1790, Greenville County in 1800 and Buncombe County in 1810. Henry Stagner was found in Greenville County in 1800 and Buncombe County in 1810. In addition Peter and Henry together sold  property in Buncombe County that Henry bought in 1806. This proves the Henry and Peter were connected in Greenville and Buncombe County and since proof 3 tied H3 to H17 in Sumner County, this would tend to prove the connections  D and E and G./

5. In the 1830 census a Henry Stagner was found in Fulton County, IL. A Sophia and Ruth Stagner married David and William Jewell in Fulton County, IL in 1829. It is assumed that Sophia and Ruth were related to Henry, and probably were his daughters. This Henry was not old enough to be H17, it indicated he was 50 -59, where as H17 would probably have been at 20 years older or about 75. So this Henry would have likely been the one called H5.

6. The next time one of these individuals was found was when  David and Sophia Jewell along with a 94 year old Henry Stagner H7ef were listed in the 1850 Sabine County, Texas Census.  This would seem to confirm the connections F and H. The Sophia was indicated as born in TN in 1809.  Looking at the data, we can see that H17 and H5 were both in Sumner County, TN around that time. So it would seem that the senior Henry in Sumner County in this time frame could , based on these facts, prove both connections F and H. It is also pointed out that H7ef birth was indicated as 1756 and this is linked back to the top of list as H7a and born in Pennsylvania.

7. In the pension application of Peter Borders, a deposition by Samuel Sears, indicated that he knew Peter Borders and his father John Borders in Rowan Co., NC. Samuel Sears must have been a son of John Sears in Rowan County. There was a John Sears listed in the  1790 Rowan County Census with 3 boys under 16, so this could have been him. In land records John Sears was shown as living very near Henry Stagner, William Embler (Emler) and Samuel Baker on Hambys Creek. So  it would seem that John and Samuel Sears, John and Peter Borders and Henry Stagner all new each other. This then would tend to prove the connection B and C.

8. Finally if connection B, C, D, E, F are true then A is also true and its seems like there are logical connections between all of these Henrys indicating they were all the same person and the one I have consolidated as Hα. If the connections G and H are true, then they also connect to Hα as his son I consolidated as Hβ.

9. While here, I want to point out one additional Henry H13ab. He was born in 1801 in NC and emigrated to Texas in 1829. Perhaps this is why H7aef eventually went to Texas, too. In any event, it appears that the only Stagner who was likely in NC in 1801 was either H2b or his son H12. So I strongly believe that H13ab was likely the son of H12.


[1] Texas Memorials and Petitions, 1834 to 1929.

[2] Marriages, Fulton County, IllinoisMarion Johnson, Publisher [Canton, Ill.] : Fulton County Historical and Genealogical Society, ©1989-<©1993>

[3]http://www.ilsos.gov/isavital/marriageSearch.do, search Stagner in Fulton County.

[4] Index to Sumner County Tax List 1795-1811, page 555, Sumner County Archives, Gallatin, TN

[5] Index to Sumner County Tax List 1812-1816, page 812, Sumner County Archives, Gallatin, TN

[6] Abstracts of Deeds Greenville, SC Books D & E, 1795 -1799, items 1005, 1006, 1085, Dr. A.B. Pruitt.

[7] Ibid. item 1311.

[8] Buncombe County Deed Book 10, p341. FHC film 7551936 frame 346

[9] “A History of Rowan County North Carolina”, Rev Jethro Rumple, archives.org, page 213.

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