Joseph Stockford

I hope you are starting to notice a pattern with female ancestors. Unless their maiden name is known, you just can’t proceed to learn anything more about them. There are so many of our female ancestors in my records whose only information I have is “Mary ____, born about 18##.” I was tickled to confirm not only Mary’s maiden name of Stockford, but her mother’s maiden name of Newell. Mary’s maiden name was confirmed through a process of elimination described in my blog entry for Mary. Eleanor Newell’s was conveniently provided by her sons Joseph and Charles…read on.

Now to recap, I found Mary Pohlman named as a child and heir of Joseph Stockford of Ridgeville Township in Henry County, Ohio (near Napoleon). If only all wills were as clear as his. Joseph’s will was written on 24 February 1885 and submitted for probate on 23 March 1885. It names every living member of his immediate family and clues to extended family members:

  • Eleanor Jane Stockford, wife
  • Mary Pohlman, daughter
  • Joseph A. Stockford, son (probate records locate him in La Porte, Lorain County, Ohio)
  • Charles H. Stockford, son
  • Hattie Stockford, daughter
  • Witnessed by Mary Jane Newell, Joseph Newell, Thomas Holmes and Jane Holmes.

Two obituaries are located in the Democratic Northwest published on 12 March 1885, both on the same page, different columns.

Clipping from
Clipping from

According to the newspapers, Joseph was active in the local Democratic Party, serving on committees and attending meetings. He also served on various township and county committees.

Switching to census records, Joseph and Eleanor Stockford are traced as far back as 1860 in Ridgeville, Henry County, Ohio.

  • In 1860 he is a well digger, born in England, and owns real estate valued at $125. Eleanore is born in New York and three children are living in his household, J.A. (Joseph A.) born in New York, Hellen born in Michigan and Mary M. born in Ohio (aged 2, born abt. 1858).
  • In 1870, he is a farmer with property valued at $1500 and living in his household is Helena (Eleanor), Joseph, Hellen A, Mary M., Argee, Charles, and Hariet.
  • 1880 his occupation and financial status has not changed and living in his household are Eleanor J, Argie, Charles H. and Harriet Elm.

Tax records from 1855 through 1875 show Joseph and Eleanor slowly and steadily gaining in financial prominence. Despite being in the farming industry, they are recorded as not owning horses or cattle. Makes you wonder how he plowed his fields!

Henry County has an excellent online database where all the historical tax records, court records, and vital records can be found.  It is at this site where I find an index showing Joseph Stockford petitioned for naturalization. The census are all consistent with his place of birth as England, and both Eleanor and Joseph (son) are born in New York, so I cast a broader net and find Joseph Stockford born around the right time traveling from Liverpool England to New York on the ship Sea. The ship arrived in New York on 16 May 1844 and traveling with Joseph are:

  • Wm Stockford, aged 55
  • Mary, 54
  • Richard, 25
  • Joseph, 21 (this would be our Joseph if this is the right family)
  • Elizabeth, 19
  • Jonathan, 17
  • David, 15

NOTE: I am not 100% certain this is the correct Stockford family. The only connection is the timing, Joseph’s name, his age (calculated birth year), and his origination. Nothing in Ohio names his parents or siblings.

Regardless, this is where I end my research on the Stockford line. My current goal is to trace our lines to our immigrant ancestors and Joseph is it for the Stockford’s. Maybe someday I will continue to search across the pond.

Joseph’s genealogical summary:

Joseph Stockford, b. bet. 1823-1825 in England. Probably arrived from England via Liverpool to New York on the ship Sea on 16 May 1844. His parents may have been William b. abt. 1789 and Mary (_) Stockford b. abt 1790. Siblings may have been Richard b. abt. 1819, Elizabeth b. abt. 1925, Jonathan b. abt. 1827, and David b. abt 1829.

He married probably in New York state before November 1850 (based on birth of first child) to Eleanor Jane Newell b. bet. 1829-1831 in New York. He and Eleanor re-located to Ridgeville, Henry County, OH (near Napoleon, OH) sometime in the early 1850’s where Joseph filed for his U.S. Naturalization and purchased 3 acres of land in Section/Lot number 22 and started a farm. Here they raised their family of 6 children. They prospered and seemed to do well.

Moving with them to Henry County, Ohio is Eleanor’s probable brother, Joseph Newell, and his family (witnesses to Joseph Stockford’s will and buried near the Stockfords.)

From Henry County Cemetery Transcriptions found at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, Ohio.

Joseph died from illness on 5 March 1885 in Ridgeville, Henry Co., OH. He faithfully left behind a will in which the probate records name his next of kin as his wife and surviving children. While his obituary counts three surviving daughters and two surviving sons, nothing in the probate records mentions Hellen A. Stockford. Joseph is buried in the Locust Grove Cemetery at Ridgeville Corners, Henry County, Ohio.

Children of Joseph and Eleanor Stockford are:

  1. Joseph A Stockford, b. November 1850 in New York. By the time his father passed away, he was living in La Porte, Ohio in Lorain County. He married Lizzie __ about 1873. He was a stock broker (broker of meat not Wall Street stockbroker 😏). A 1905 City Directory has him in Lorain City living next to his brother Charles (a clerk). It appears as though they are working together. All residences and the businesses are located at 1020 Broadway. The business is Stockford & Co, a wholesale meat retailer owned by J.A. Stockford and E.P. Denman.
  2. Hellen A. Stockford, b. abt. 1852 in either Michigan or Ohio.  Hellen may have died before 1880 as she is not in the family household in 1880 and is not named in Joseph’s will in 1885. BUT Joseph (the younger) has a mysterious sister named Mrs. Bird that is mentioned in a couple of newspaper articles after 1885.
  3. Mary M. Stockford, b. bet. 1858-1859 in Ohio (likely Ridgeville, Henry County), d. 1902 in Paulding County, Ohio. She married 1) Charles Pohlman b. abt. 1860 in Ohio (the Pohlman’s were in the stock/meat business also). She married 2) Emmet R. Cobe on November 28, 1894 in Paulding County, Ohio. Together they had three children, one appears to have died in infancy, the remaining two survived to old age.
  4. Argee Stockford, b. 4 July 1861 in Ohio (likely Ridgeville, Henry County) and d. 23 February 1883 (age of 21) of illness in Ridgeville, Henry County, Ohio.  He had been ill for one week and the cause of death was under conflict; one doctor said inflammatory rheumatism and another said spinal affection – a disease that afflicted the whole nervous system.
  5. Charles H. Stockford, b. 7 November 1864 in Ohio (likely Ridgeville, Henry County).  He died on 20 October 1911 in Elyria, Lorain County, Ohio and is buried in LaPorte Cemetery, Grafton, Lorain County, Ohio. Brother Joseph is the informant on Charles’ death certification and he records their mother’s maiden name as Newell.
  6. Hattie Stockford, b. abt. 1865 or 1866 in Ohio (likely Ridgeville, Henry County) and d. 17 September 1907 in Harbor Springs, Michigan of influenza. She married her former brother-in-law, Charles Pohlman b. abt. 1860 in Ohio. She is buried in Harbor Springs next to Emmet Cobe.