As stated this morning, I’m trying to gather all Stephens information that I can for Ripley County, Missouri between 1850 and 1860 in order to try to discover the roots for Andrew Stephens’ wife – Lucy Stephens.  I did find an additional marriage resource for Andrew and Lucy which I’d never found before because the index on Ancestry has the marriage listed as 1881 instead of 1858, so that was a pleasant surprise.  But I found no other clues at all in Ripley Co.  Here’s a list of what I did find.  These are notes as I typed them to myself, so citations are not “proper”.

Since this was a one day project, I concentrated on available records through Ancestry.  I’m grateful to Randy Seaver for posting a list of unindexed databased on Ancestry. The very first database he listed was for Missouri – which inspired me to start this search.  I found a few items on there by searching Ripley County.   I also used federal census records and looked at birth, marriage and death records for Ripley County.  Only marriage records were available for the 1850-1860 time period.  I did a Google search for a list of the Justice of the Peace names because some of the records were very difficult to read.  That web site was and I also read there:

Ripley county was formed in 1833. Book “B” [1833-1852], the oldest book of marriage to be found in court house in Doniphan, Missouri  is in poor condition. The index is missing and the book is crumbling away. Book “C” beginning in 1853 has the following notation on the inside cover “The wreckage of this old marriage record has been collected and restored in so far as possible. Rebound and the last pages replaced and restored from the books own table of contents….”

According to her gravestone, Lucy was born 16 Dec. 1842.  At the time of the 1850 census, she would have been about 8 years old and should show up in the census.  I tried to find as much information as possible on each family that appears in the 1850 census through the 1860 census.  Ripley County is on the border of Missouri and Arkansas.  Quite a few people list below were from Arkansas.  (I did a quick search for Lucy Stephens in 1850 in Arkansas, but didn’t see anything that jumped out at me.)

Family 1:

1850       Ripley Co. Census

Washington Stephens – age 73, born in Virginia
Juda Stephens – age 65, born in NC
Jackson Stephens – age 24, Tenn
Marshal Stephens – age 22, Tenn
George Stephens – age 17, Tenn

1851 “I do certify that I did solemnize the rights of marriage between Jackson Stephens and Elizabeth York on the 22th day of June 1851 Griffin Eldridge JP (the images do NOT look like Eldridge, but web site has a list of JPs and ministers) Recorded this 1 day of July  (Ancestry, Missouri Marriage Records, Ripley Co, Image 1)

1851 Martial Stephens and Samantha Smelser married 1851, returned Oct. 1851. “I do certify that I did celebrate the rights of matrimony between Martiel Stephens and Samantha Smelser in year 1851 Griffin Eldridge Recorded this October 1851 A. Dearmon JP Clerk. (Ancestry, Missouri Marriage Records, Ripley Co, Image 1)

1852 George Stephens and Sarian Kinsy – 10 Sept. 1852 “Be it remembered that I have this day solemnized the rights of matrimony between George Stephens and Sarian Kinsy the the 7th day of Sept. A.D. 1852.  Recorded this
the 10th Sept. 1852. (Psonn?) W. Pennington minister the gospel. (Image 4)

1853 George Washington Stephens died intestate.  Marshal Stephens named administrator.  George Stephsns mentioned, but difficult to read.  (Missouri Still Birth & Miscellaneous Records, 1805-2002 Image 534)

1853 William Stephens died intestate.  Marshal Stephens named administrator. (Missouri Still Birth & Miscellaneous Records, 1805-2002 Image 535)

1860       Ripley Co, Census

Marshal Stephens – age 30, Tenn
S. Stephens – age 25, Ark (Samantha Smelser)
S. Stephens – age 7, Missouri (m)
E. Stephens – age 3, Missouri (f)
Isaac Stephens – age 8/12, Missouri
Newton Smelser – age 18, Ark
M. Williams – age 12, Missouri (f)

Family 2:

1850       Ripley Co, Census

ZW Stephens – age 24, born in Missouri  (Zebedee – son of George Washington and  Juda?)
Malissa M Stephens – age 25, Tenn
Wm T Stephens – age 3, Missouri
Selianne Stephens – age 1, Missouri
James C Stephens – age 2/12, Missouri

1860       Ripley Co, Census

Z.W. Stephens – age 35, Missouri
M.M. Stephens – age 36, Tenn (Mary Melissa Wood)
W.J. Stephens – age 13, Missouri (male)
S.A. Stephens – age 12, Missouri (f)
J.C. Stephens – age 11, Missouri (m)
S.T. Stephens – age 10, Missouri (f)
M.J. Stephens – age 6, Missouri (f)
M.E. Stephens – age 4, Missouri (f)
N.E. Stephens – age 2, Missouri (f)
(living near Pyburn family)

Family 3:

1850       Ripley Co, Census

Robert Stephens – age 43, born in Tenn
Susan Stephens – age 41, Virginia
James Stephens – age 16, Tenn
Eliza Stephens – age 12, Georgia
George W.F. Stephens – age 6, Missouri
Wm L Russell – age 28, Tenn
Emaline Stephens – age 21, Tenn
John B Patterson – age 23, Tenn
John A York – age 21, Tenn

1856 I Joseph (Thomaseh?) a justice of the peace do certify that I did solemnize the rights of matrimony between James M Stephens and Lena Buckaloo on the 17th day of January A.D. 1856 (Image 6)

1860       Ripley Co, Census

Susan Stephens – age 46, born in Va
J. M. Stephens – age 25, Tenn (head)
Emerline Stephens – age 25, Tenn
G.W. Stephens – age 17, Missouri
Robert Stephens – age 6, Texas
E Piburn – age 13, Missouri (female)

Family 4:

1850       Ripley Co, Census

Benjamin Stephens – age 40, born in Tenn
Elizabeth Stephens – age 40, Tenn
Emaline Stephens – age 20, Tenn
Lucresa Stephens – age 16, Tenn
Orlena Stephens – age 14, Georgia
George W Stephens – age 9, Georgia
Wm L Stephens – age 7, Alabama
Basil Stephens – age 5, Missouri
Marshal Stephens – age 4, Missouri

Family 5:

1860       Ripley Co, Census

Wm Stephens – age 28, born in Tenn
Marinda Stephens – age 23, Tenn
George W Stephens – age 3, Missouri
Cintha Stephens – age 1, Missouri

My family:

1858 This is to certify that I the undersigned a Justice of the Peace within and for the county of Ripley in the state of Missouri did in and at said county of Ripley solemnize the rites of matrimony between Andrew J Stephens and Lucy Stephens on the 25th day of April 1858.  Given under my hand on the 27th day of May AD 1858.  Paulsen M Smelser Justice of the Peace.  (Book C pg 56) NOTE:  Ancestry has this indexed as 1881, which is why I had never found it before.  (Image 8 )

I wish I had a great list of research ideas to follow up on, but I’m at the proverbial brick wall.  When did Andrew arrive in Missouri? Why did Andrew go to Missouri where he married Lucy?  Was she related in some way?  To do a generic search for a Lucy Stephens of this age turns up a few listings in 1850, but without some clue to follow up, it’s just a list of names.  Perhaps it’s time to start another Excel file to keep track of possibilities, but I’d really prefer to find a cousin to work together with on this!