Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Four little Stevens boys....but where are their parents?

During our work in America Cemetery we came across the stones for four little boys, all sons of Elijah and Permelia Stevens.

William H. Stevens
b: 23 June 1845
d: 5 Nov 1848
3 years, 4 months, 13 days

Abner Stevens
b: 23 Jan 1848
d: 7 Nov 1848
9 months, 15 days

John Stevens
b: 8 Aug 1852
d: 12 Oct 1856
4 years, 2 months, 4 days

Wabeen Stevens
b: 13 Feb 1859
d: 26 Mar 1861
2 years, 1 month, 13 days

William and Abner died just 2 days apart.  None of the boys lived to the age of 5.  None of their other siblings or parents were buried in the cemetery with them.  So where did the rest of the family go?  Where are their parents buried?

At first I thought finding them would be easy.  Permelia is not a common name and Wabash County was still a small farming community.  I thought a quick search on Find A Grave, Ancestry and Family Search would tell me the story.  Sadly, that is not the case.  The only Permelia Stevens I found on Find A Grave was too young to be the mother of these boys.

So, I'm looking for descendants of Elijah, Permelia, William, Abner, John and Wabeen Stevens.  I want to reunite these little boys with the family.  Can anyone tell me what happened to them?


  1. The first three missed the census. Wabeen is listed as Warren on the 1860 census. I didn't find the family on the 1870 census.

    Elijah was still in Liberty in 1880 and widowed. With him were Sarah and Charles. They were living in the Haskins household and my best guess is the Phoebe Haskins was Elijah's sister.

    So if he was still in Liberty when Permelia died where was she buried? I suspect she is there near her children but either her stone is gone or perhaps was never purchased.

  2. Apple:
    Thank you for your quick reply! I did see the census record for Elijah in 1880. I'm stumped for a couple of reasons. 1. Almost all of the Wabash County cemetery records are posted on FAG and Elijah and Permelia are not among them. There is a Permelia Stevens but it is not the correct one. 2. Permelia's maiden name was Gwinnup. There is only one Gwinup buried in Wabash county. His name is Calvin Gwinup and he is buried along with the boys in America cemetery. I don't know how Calvin is related to Permelia. 3. I did manage to find a person with the boys in her family tree but it was a collateral line and she stated that she can't find Elijah and Permelia either.
    You may be right about her being buried in America with no stone or missing stone. We did find 3 stones there that were not listed in the cemetery records.
    In a strange twist of fate, when I received the Abstract of Title for my g-g-g grandfathers farm last week it turned out the the land for the farm was deeded to him by Elijah and Permelia! It was such a small farming community that I may turn out to be related to the Stevens family yet!

  3. Permelia and Elijah Stevens were my 2nd great grandparents. I just found their graves on listed under Elijah Stephens and Emelia Stephens at the Old LaFontaine Cemetery. Their last name was spelled Stephens on the death certificate of their daughter, Alice also. On a whim, I searched on the alternate spelling and couldn't believe I actually found them.