|My great great grandmother Ruth Ann Stolebarger Travis|
Here is what I know:
Ruth Ann Stolebarger Travis was sixty-one when this photo was taken in 1893. She was born on June 3, 1832 in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania and was a redhead.
The first trace I find of her family is in Union, Huntingdon County, PA in the 1830 Federal Census, though her eldest brother Ephraim is said to have been born there in 1823. Ruth's other siblings were Thomas (1825), Almira (1842) and Martha (1843).
In 1843, Ruth moved with her parents and siblings to Jefferson County, Iowa. Her father John Stoalabarger passed away soon thereafter and her mother married Samuel Berry in 1846 and had one more son, William (1849).
Ruth Ann married Abraham Travis on March 20, 1852 in Fairfield, Iowa. On May 6, 1852, the newlyweds moved to Sidney, Iowa and, by all accounts, lived a wonderful life there as one of the town's pioneer families. Ruth Ann was extraordinarily lucky in that all twelve of her children lived into adulthood and none predeceased her.
To the town's great sadness, she passed away on June 23, 1901 at the age of 69. Her obituary stated that her funeral was so well attended that townspeople were forced to stand outside in the hot street, straining to hear the eulogy.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding Ruth Ann's parents. Her father John is said to have been born in the Upper Rhine area of Germany c.1800, but, to my knowledge, no one has ever found any documentation of this. Additionally, her mother Sarah's maiden name is unknown.
One of the biggest problems in researching this family is the name "Stolebarger." It is a very difficult name that was spelled differently on virtually every record. The most common spelling seems to be Stoalabarger, but I have also seen it as Stolebarger, Stolabarger, Stulebarger, Stuhlberger, Stuleberger, Stulabarger, Stella Barger and more! Furthermore, I have not been able to find a record of anyone with a similar name on any passenger records at all! I sometimes theorize that the name was originally something more traditionally German, like Stahlberger. Unfortunately, that hasn't led me anywhere either.
For now, I am just very happy to have such a good photo of her from so long ago.