Casefile Clues

04 May 2014

A Meander Towards Leander

One has to be careful using names as hard evidence of a family connection.

But it certainly is tempting and it can give a researcher encouragement.

My elusive Benjamin Butler (born in New York State about 1819, died in Vernon County, Missouri after 1880) had children with probably two wives. One of the sons was named Landon or Leander. The name is not the most common of names during the time period when Benjamin's children were born.

I'm trying to determine the "family of origin" for Benjamin's first wife Margaret Stephens. The man who possibly is her father is a Rufus D. Stephens. This Rufus D. Stephens (born in 1773 in Connecticut) had several siblings, including a Leander [Marjean Holmes Workman, "Joshua Stephens/Stevens and Christiana Dutcher of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 142, No. 2, April 2011, p. 95].

The fact that the Rufus had a brother Leander and that a man who may be Rufus's daughter had a son named Leander may be coincidental and nothing more.

Benjamin Butler cannot be found in the 1860 census and a better way to work through this possible Stephens connection would be to look at locations where Rufus's siblings (named in the article referenced above) were living in 1860 and look closely for Benjmain Butler there. Families tended to migrate in groups and since attempts to locate Benjamin near probable Butler relatives has not been successful it may be time to look and see if he migrated with possible relatives of his wife.

And that may even help me to tie into her family of origin.