Thursday, September 19, 2013

Just some thoughts on the Pyburns and the Stapletons

I have some thoughts about the families, I would like to share.

Jacob Pyburn and his wife Diadema had a large family. It is evident that Mary Diadema Pyburn is named for her mother, but I assumed that she is also named for her grandmother, until this week. So now I am left, once again with the question, who is Diadema Stapleton's mother? They also named a daughter Frances (Fanny) after Jacob's grandmother, a son Benjamin Jacob, presumably after Jacob Pyburn's father and Uncle, Archibald, presumably after Archibald Rials (was he a cousin or a friend?), Terry, presumably after Teresa Innerarrity, and A. William. That one's the bugger. What is the A for? The ages of Archibald and A William are 10 years apart, which is significant. A is not for Archibald, but is it Abraham, Alonzo or Antonio? I don't think we will ever know. I am sure that the William is for William Stapleton. Milly may be named for Amelia (also seen as Emelie) Stapleton. I am not sure, but it does seem that they had some significance, even if it isn't the typical naming pattern.

The children of Jacob and Diadema tend to name their children after their siblings, that much is easy to see. When I started out, I really had nothing much on the girls. I saw a few posts, and was able to track the girls, before we had access to the marriage records and the marvelous things you can find online now. We were lucky. There is still one daughter unaccounted for. I think she may be the first wife of Nicey's husband James W. Miller, as his kids from that wife are so close in names to the Pyburn family.

I found an article from 1818 (during the siege of Pensacola by Andrew Jackson) that talks about Mr. Collins and Mr. Pyburn (separate articles) from Pensacola arriving at Mobile and giving news. So evidently, after the War of 1812, Jacob Pyburn did move to Pensacola. Whether he lived with his Aunt Mary Collins, Phoebe Turvin or his Uncle Benjamin Pyburn I have no idea, but he was still a teenager. We know he was living with his grandmother Frances in 1810, and that in 1813 his father witnessed the will of Joseph Stiggins. But there are no more records for either Frances (after 1810) or Jacob (the second) after 1813.

Whether they were killed at Fort Mims, died because they lived near enough they could be victims, or died of natural causes, Jacob was an orphan. Later in 1813 he enlisted (along with Archibald Rials) and served in the Mississippi Volunteers. In the mid 1820's he enlisted again for the Florida Indian Wars, and he received bounty land for both services. Interestingly enough, the land was sold and he never lived on either parcel. He and his family lived in Baldwin from 1819-about 1826 when they move to what is now Santa Rosa County. Based on the census of neighbors and their known land locations, I estimate he lived east of Coon Hill Cemetery. Most likely he was somewhere near where Munson Lake is today, to the west towards Coon Hill, but possibly east towards the border of Okaloosa County.

For those of you who have never been up that way, it's a good hour by car. You have to cross rivers, or the bay to get there. So in 1830 the trip to Pensacola would have been difficult. Antonio Collins land was north of Pensacola near present day Molino, and Phoebe's land was south and a little east of that (near Gonzalez area I think). You can google Antoine Collins and Phoebe Turvin and you will get the "tract" locations. I know from notes someone sent me on Phoebe that Antoine bought her land in 1828.

The Stapleton's, at least Diadema's family moved to Florida and the Dale/Coffee/Geneva area (county formations) likely about the same time. They weren't far by today's standards, but in 1830 they wouldn't have been close. From newspaper articles, and some criminal dockets in Colorado, Texas, the men of the Stapleton and Townsend clans were, to say the least, colorful. Stephen Stapleton, and then his nephews, John, Seaborn, Zeno and Zenathaun were all accused of assisting escaped slaves. Alexander Shannon was accused of assault with intent to kill on more than one occasion, and his brother John assisted him, and also was accused of theft. Stapleton Townsend was murdered when a posse came to arrest him (he died not long after being shot), and the Townsend boys were often accused of assault and gaming.

We have no such luck on the Pyburn's, they don't "appear" in papers that I can find.. Benjamin Jacob was a wheelwright. A. William was an overseer. Archibald, was accused of desertion in the Civil War, but since he disappears, he probably died in the attempt to desert or in the war. Diane Snowden, William's wife, disappears from records for 50 years. The burials at Coon Hill Cemetery are the only thing that lets us know she never left the area. The girls all move to Escambia County, and live between Gonzalez and Molino area.

As for the Stapleton's, I am not sure Morris is the son of Maurice, Stephen or an yet unnamed Stapleton. I only know he is a relative. If Catherine is the wife Stephen abandoned, then he isn't Stephen's son. If the Mary in Butler is that wife, or the widow of Maurice, I don't know. It's possible, but at this point, not provable. Solomon can just as easily be a brother to Morris. If Morris is Stephen's son, then that means we don't know who Catherine's husband was, or if she's just a sister with an illegitimate child. There are a lot of questions on this family. I hope one day we get the answer.


  1. Sandra Harrison VaskoMarch 29, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    I am a descendant of Nancy Ann Stapleton Franklin. My DNS has matched with a descendant of Morris Stapleton and Joice Kilcrease Stapleton (graves are on The descendant I am matched with is an African American whose ancestor was Fannie Johnson a slave in the household of Morris Stapleton in Baldwin County, Alabama. It was told to me that she and a son (Edwin Maurice Stapleton) had an "affair" and from that a son Tommy Johnson was born. The young lady that told me this story is descended from Tommy. Another Stapleton researcher told me that he has Nancy as a sister to Morris/Maurice Stapleton. I am on kit number M932740 and on 23andMe