About George Stebbing
There is a high likelihood that our relative, George Stebbing, (my 4th great grandfather) in the early months of 1834, was charged and tried for murder. Talk about interesting skeletons in the family closet!
Press reports from January 14, 1834 indicate his arrest for the 1825 murder of a Miss Cunningham. I've got several press clippings from Port Deposit, Maryland area where he lived with his family about the circumstances involving the murder, trail and jury verdict. Was he guilty or innocent? More info to follow...but if your really interested email me and I'll share what info I currently have about this fascinating event in our family history.
--Randy Stebbing (Note added 2008)
Christening on 15 Oct 1798 at Saint Mary's, Portsea, Hampshire, England, FHL Film 883887.
Name: George Stebbings
Township: District 4
Name: George Stubbens
Residence: Cecil, Maryland
Age: 50 years
Estimated birth year: 1800
Birth place: England
Film number: 443521
Image number: 00310
Reference number: 6
Household id: 1015
Marital status: Married
Collection: 1850 United States Census
Name: George Stubbins
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1800
Birth Place: England
Home in 1850(City,County,State): Port Deposit, Cecil, Maryland
Angelina Stubbins 19
Elizabeth Stubbins 50
Elizabeth Stubbins 10
Frederick A Stubbins 14
George Stubbins 50
George M Stubbins 16
Justice Stubbins 12
Possible match in 1870 Census: STEBBINGS, GEORGE
Age: 70 Sex: M Race: W
Film No.: M7248 Page: 278 MSA S 1615- 7211
Methodist Church records of Cecil County, Md.
Cecil County Court House Records.
RESIDENCE: Charleston and Port Deposit, both in Cecil County, MD
RESIDENCE: From an e-mail from Warren Beaven April 2002. "What I do know is that the earlier generations of the family were situated in Charleston, Cecil County, near the modern village of Northeast. Charleston was one of the port of entries established by the colonial Maryland legislature, but it never grew to be a significant place. Instead Elkton, Maryland at the head of the Elk River became the dominant shipping point until the Elk River silted in after the American Revolution. Charleston remained a struggling, small place that even today has some nicely laid out square blocks. This is where George Stebbing and Elizabeth Grant settled.
The big treasure I have to add to your information is the family of the Elizabeth Grant. I have a friend and colleague here in New York who ties in with the Grants (and their relatives the Nothermans). One of the members of this family --the Nothermans--was a Jewish rabbi.
OCCUPATION: Indenture issued at Southampton, Eng. to George Stebbing signed by Henry Stebbing. This record is in the possession of Arther Beaven.
DEATH: Cemetery record Hopewell Cemetery.
“Father was a shoemaker by trade, which he extensively followed throughout his life, at times employing several of the same trde. He also was a huckster, which business he also ran on a large scale raising his own produce, and at times running several wagons in towns throughout his section of the county (Cecil Co., MD), the principal town being Port Deposit. He was drafted several times during the Civil War, but succeeded each time in purchasing a substitute. He was a Methodist and very religious, generous and good citizen, loved by all who knew him, and known to them as “Uncle Josie.” After Emma, his youngest daughter married, he made his home with her, where he died of paralysis.
SOURCE: Book of unknown title with quote by Arthur Beaven, son-in-law of Francina Kerr and Joseph Stebbing wrote about their family:
Lived at Charleston, Cecil Co., MD. Came to America abt 1820, proved by an indenture issued at Southhampton, ENG, 11 July,1815, by William Beavis, a shoemaker. For the purpose of learning art of Shoemaking for (5) five years form July 11, 1813. The agreement was signed by Henry Stebbing, his father who deeded him over. Released by Mr. Arthur Beavin of Baltimore, Maryland. Came to America and settled at Charlestown, Maryland on Sept 25, 1820. Date 29 Jul 1841.
I hold quite a lot of correspondence between George, the parent of this family, and Margaret, his sister, whileMargaret was in London, regarding land in England known as 'EppingForest'. It seems that Margaret's husband, while in service, saw an advertisement endeavoring to locate the next heir to this property, and told his father-in-law Henry Stebbing and Henry's brother George. It would appear from the correspondence that George, the son of Henry, and parent of this family, was the 'next heir', but that his uncle, being of the same Christian name and living in England, secured possession of the property; but there is also mention of it reverting to the 'Crown' due to its not have been claimed for so long. The papers in connection with this matter were given to Henry by his brother George before he died, and by Henry to his daughter before he died with the request that she deliver them in person to her brother George in America. Since it was not possible for her to come to America for quite a while, she held them until her daughter Emma came in 1856, when she sent them with her. The papers were given to a lawyer by the children of this family, whom they employed to go to England and investigate the matter. The lawyer disappeared and was never heard of afterwards.
Name : George Stebbing
Record place : Cecil, Maryland, United States
Event date : 1874
File number : 1874-39
First image : 313
Last image : 361
Number of Images : 49. Page 23 of the 49 pages lists several children and his spouse.
Digital GS number : 4109626
Collection : Maryland, Cecil County Probate Estate Files 1851 -1940
DEATH: His probate records refer to him as deceased before July 10 1874. The family group sheet shows a date of 28 Jun 1875. Perhaps additional research will show that he actually died 28 Jun 1874.
TO-DO: Check Death date. Other family group sheet lists death date of 20 Jun 1975.
Family History Library Ancestral #AFN: 1HLS-V5Q.
Submitter:ELSIE C. CARLILE
303 MANGROVE RD
SEVERNA PARK MD 21146
On Monday, April 4, 1825, Evelina Cunningham, a young woman who lived near Charlestown, Cecil County, Maryland, left her home to visit a relative not to far distant. With her was a 4 year old girl who was the child of a relative. She was on the road leading from Havre-de-Grace to Elkton and at 11 am stopped at the house of Mr. and Mrs. George Stebbing where she was invited to wait for a while and told that they were soon planning on going the same way and would accompany her. Evelina said that the child walked very slow and that she would start immediately and she was sure that George Stebbing and woman relative named Mrs. Peters would soon catch up with her. The George Stebbing and Mrs. Peters were delayed and didn't leave their house until 1pm. While on their way they met a "strange" man who came out of the wood near where Evelina was afterwords found. The man who was carrying a bundle asked them how far it was to the Havre-de-Grace ferry and the Stebbings answered and thought nothing more of it.
The Stebbings assumed that Miss Cunningham had long since arrived at the relative that she had intended to visit. 4 days later (as the newspaper reports it) a famished child was discovered by a neighbor woman who asked who the child came the child replied "with aunty". "Where is your aunty?". The child pointing to the woods and said "up there."
Soon after the child led them to where they found the lifeless body of Miss Cunningham. She had been stabbed 11 times about her body, hands and neck and it looked as if she had been dragged to where her body was found. The only description that the child could give that it was a "big, ugly man cut aunty with a knife." Since that time the girl had stayed with the body crying and trying to get her "aunty" to wake up.
In the days after the murder several men who loosely fit the description of the man carrying a bundle were questioned and then released.
3 months after the murder a Canadian named John Connors was arrested in Virginia and in November 1825 was tried for the murder in but found innocent when it was proved that he was in Kentucky at the time of the murder.
The Governor of Maryland authorized a $200 reward for help in solving the case. And reports of the murder were published in both local and east coast newspapers.
As the murderer couldn't be identified the public eventually lost interest. Almost 9 years later, in the January 3rd Edition of the Baltimore Gazette and Daily Advertizer there appeared a news story that they had arrested a new person for the murder. And who was the newly accused individual? None other than our ancestor George Stebbing. From the newspaper accounts the George Stebbing put on trial for the nine year old murder of Miss Cunningham was originally from England had lived in the area of Port Deposit Maryland for the last 16-18 years. He was a shoemaker and fisherman, married and had several children. All of these facts match our ancestor George Stebbing. Port Deposit is at the northern tip of the Chesapeake Bay and is situated on the north side of the Susquehanna river where it joins the Bay.
Although the testimony was conflicting, there were reports that there was a ring missing from Miss Cunningham after she was murdered. A Port Deposit resident testified that 6 months after the murder he was talking to George Stebbing who showed him a ring and handkerchief. Apparently some resident's remembered that Miss Cunningham might have had her ring and hankerchief stolen as part of her murder. Stebbing claimed that he originally bought the ring from a woman named Rebecca Jennings who had sold it to him for $1.25.
So in April of 1834 the Grand Jury conducted a trail in which George Stebbing was charged with Miss Cunningham's murder. Apparently the whole case rested on who's ring it was, and how George Stebbing could have acquired it.
After the trail was concluded the Grand Jury met to discuss their findings. The outcome of the trial was that George Stebbing was found not guilty and released based partly on the testimony from Rebecca Jennings who said that she had found the ring and sold it to Stebbing. But George wasn't free for long. Interestingly enough, an hour after George Stebbing was freed, he was again arrested by the Sheriff and charged with stealing lumber and the last mention of him that I could find in the newspapers is that his trail on the new charge of lumber theft would probably take place latter that year in October.
So that is the story as told through the newspapers. The story was covered in papers as far north as Rhode Island and New Hamphhire and as far south as South Carolina. Undoubtedly there probably exists actual court documents about the trail that will give more information and a search of the newspapers doesn't reveal what ever happened on the lumber teft charges.
Descendants of George Stebbing
George Stebbing, son of Henry Stebbing and Charlotte Ashley, was born about 1797 in Hampshire, England, was christened on 15 Oct 1798 in St. Mary's, Portsea, Hampshire, England, died on 28 Jun 1875 in Port Deposit, Cecil, Maryland, USA about age 78, and was buried in Jun 1875 in Hopewell Cemetery, Port Deposit, Cecil, Maryland.
George came to America as an indentured servant learning to be a shoemaker.
George married Elizabeth Grant on 25 Sep 1820 in Charleston, Cecil, Maryland, daughter of Joseph Grant and Unknown. Elizabeth was born on 25 Apr 1799 in Baltimore, Baltimore (city), Maryland, USA, died on 5 Feb 1886 in Baltimore, Baltimore (city), Maryland, USA at age 86, and was buried in Hopewell Cemetery, Port Deposit, Cecil, Maryland. They had 13 children: Charlotte, Mary Jane, Joseph, William James, Angelina Sophia, George Thomas, George Henry, Frederick Augustus, Jesse Justice, Elizabeth, Indianna, Sarah, and Charlotte.
Joseph Stebbing was born on 25 Dec 1823 in Baltimore, Baltimore (city), Maryland, USA, died on 23 Mar 1901 in Port Deposit, Cecil, Maryland, USA at age 77, and was buried in Mar 1901 in West Nottingham Presbyterian Cemetery, West Nottingham, Cecil, Maryland. Another name for Joseph was "Uncle Josie."
Joseph married Francina Kerr on 18 Nov 1847 in Baltimore, Baltimore (city), Maryland, USA, daughter of William Patten and Sarah Patten. Francina was born on 15 Feb 1828 in Harford, Maryland, USA, died on 25 Nov 1885 in Baltimore, Baltimore (city), Maryland, USA at age 57, and was buried in West Nottingham Presbyterian Cemetery, West Nottingham, Cecil, Maryland. They had seven children: Sarah Patten, James Andrew, Joseph Francis, (No Given Name), Martha Indianna, Georgia H., and Emma Elizabeth.
Joseph Francis Stebbing was born on 7 Sep 1852 in Port Deposit, Cecil, Maryland, USA, died on 24 May 1899 in Vineland, Cumberland, New Jersey, USA at age 46, and was buried in May 1899 in Oakhill Cemetery, Vineland, Cumberland, New Jersey. Another name for Joseph was Frank.
Joseph married Georgeanna Poplar on 30 Apr 1872 in Havre de Grace, Harford, Maryland, USA, daughter of James Poplar and Mary Euphemia Peters. Georgeanna was born on 9 May 1856 in Havre de Grace, Harford, Maryland, USA, died on 23 Jan 1935 in Baltimore, Baltimore (city), Maryland, USA at age 78, and was buried in Louden Park Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland. Other names for Georgeanna were Anna Stebbing Ross, and Georgia Ann. They had nine children: Emma Mary, Mary Lacountis, Leon Davis, John Noel, Wanda, Elwin, Pearl, Living, and Living.
Leon Davis Stebbing is the father of Elwynne Lincoln Stebbing.
George Stebbing's Timeline
September 25, 1820
Charleston, Cecil, Maryland, United States
March 4, 1821
Port Deposit, Cecil, Maryland, USA
Port Deposit, Cecil, Maryland, USA
December 25, 1823
Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, USA
December 16, 1825
Port Deposit, Cecil, Maryland, USA
May 6, 1828
March 1, 1835
Baltimore, MD, USA
June 26, 1838
Baltimore, MD, USA