Isaac Stimmell

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Isaac Stimmell
Isaac 1842 Franklin.jpg
Earliest known record of Isaac c. 1842

Early Life

Isaac was born c. 1816 presumably in Westmoreland or Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The identity of his parents still remain a mystery and the first known record of Isaac isn't until 1842, where at the age of around 26 he is seen living in Franklin Township in Fayette County.

Surname spelling

Depending on the record, the surname is either spelled Stimmel or Stimmell. Census, newspaper, and tax records all appear to use both spellings. However, the gravestone records of Isaac's descendants consistently use Stimmell with two l's as the spelling.

There are other families that did spell the surname as Stimmel, and there are many gravestones spelled this way. Therefore, it is probable that there are other branches of the Stimmell family who spelled the surname as Stimmell. It is also possible that Stimmel was the original spelling and that Stimmell is altered one.

Who were his parents?

In order to determine his parents, it is necessary to pinpoint an accurate birth date. Unfortunately, there are only two known sources for his birth: the 1850 and 1860 census, which list his birth years as 1816 and 1815, respectively. Therefore, when looking for his father in the 1820, 1830, and 1840 census, it will be necessary to analyze the age brackets for a son matching Isaac's age. One concern is that the two birth date sources do not yield an accurate value, especially considering that being born in 1815 is at the boundary for the age brackets in the 1820 and 1830 census. However, the 1850 census appears to lean his birth date towards the other direction, so it can be assumed that he will be in the younger age bracket of the two. For simplicity, the spelling of Stimmell will be used below even though the other families might have spelled it Stimmel.

Potential Fathers
Name Residence
Philip Stimmell Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA
John Stimmell South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, PA
John Stimmell Dunbar Township, Fayette County, PA
Henry Stimmell Tyrone Township, Fayette County, PA

This list covers every Stimmell in Westmoreland and Fayette County that had a son around Isaac's age, and it can be assumed that his true father is one of these individuals.

Henry Stimmell

Henry Stimmell cannot be his father as he had another son named Isaac according to the 1850 census. This Isaac was also born around the same time as our Isaac, and there could be some confusion between the two, but this Isaac lived past the 1870 and 1880 census unlike our Isaac.

As an aside, Henry is known to have died in 1857 intestate, as given by a deed record of his eldest son, John Stimmell (c. 1807).

John Stimmell (South Huntingdon Township)

This John Stimmell is the son of Isaac Stimmell of Revolutionary War fame. In 1830, grandfather Isaac is still listed as the head of household in South Huntingdon, but by 1840, John is then listed. In 1830, there is one son 10-14 years and one son 15-19 years, either of which could be our Isaac. There is a good chance that this is the true father as Isaac's first wife, Susan Logsden, is known to have contacts in South Huntingdon (her suspected father Archibald Logsden was seen living adjacent in 1820). Also, there is a known record that mentions both grandfather Isaac and Archibald Logsden, but it is not a traditional land deed record and the original has not been seen. The only reason this record is known is because a (partial?) transcript of the record has been published online.

By 1850, John is then seen living in Tyrone Township with a wife Ellen Stimmell born c. 1800 and a son James born c. 1836. No will has been found.

At one point, it was considered whether grandfather Isaac could actually be the father of our Isaac, but the elder had another known son named Isaac that was born in the 1780s.

John Stimmell (Dunbar Township)

In 1830, John Stimmell of Dunbar Township is seen with one son aged 10-14 years. Tax records show his occupation to be consistently a laborer. Based on tax records, one known son is Henry Stimmell (c. 1811) who lived in Dunbar and Connellsville. In the 1830 census, only one son is shown for any age, but the 1820 census shows two sons under the age of 10. Therefore, it is likely that Henry was living somewhere else by 1830, especially considering he would have been around 19 years old.

In the 1850 census, an Anne Stimmell is seen living adjacent to the known son, Henry, with daughters Clarissa (c. 1836) and Elizabeth (c. 1841). Clarissa was married in 1853 in Connellsville to a Thomas Hood, and the marriage record states her parents were Analisia and Peter Stimmell. The mother, along with one of the daughters, left for Indiana sometime after the 1860 census and the mother later remarried. The mother and Clarissa are said to have been born in Delaware and Elizabeth in Virginia, so Peter would not be found in Fayette tax records. However, an 1840 census record appears to show a Peter Stimmell with a wife corresponding to the mother's age and a single daughter under the age of 5. Most notably, they are found in Monongalia County, which is immediately south of Fayette County. Unfortunately, Peter is listed as 30-39 years old, making him to old to be the 10-14 year old child in John's 1830 census. It should be noted that John's 1820 census does show 2 sons aged 10-15 years old, thus making Peter one of these sons.

Further confirmation of Henry and Peter, sons of this John, was later found in the tax records of Saltlick Township. In 1818, John could not afford to provide schooling for his children, and they were mentioned at the end of the tax list. It only mentions two children: a Peter born in 1808 and a Henry born in 1811.

Interestingly, a tax record for Isaac was found in 1849 in Connellsville by accident, thus making him closer to John than previously thought. Further searching revealed that he also listed in the 1845 tax list for Connellsville.

Philip Stimmell

In the 1830 census, Philip has 2 sons aged 15-19 and one son aged 10-14. Most likely, Philip died before the 1850 census as he cannot be found. A known son, Henry, is seen living in Mount Pleasant in 1840, who is one of the three aforementioned individuals in the 1830 census.

Philip's wife, Nancy, was the name of Isaac's second born daughter. Philip is also the name of Isaac's second to last born son. Notably, this Nancy died in 1885 at the ripe age of 101.

For many years, Philip was thought to be one of the more likely candidates for Isaac's father. Philip had lived in Mount Pleasant Township, Westmoreland County, which was directly adjacent to Bullskin Township in Fayette County, where Isaac had lived for many years. Also, Isaac had children named after Philip and Nancy, his wife. However, a key discovery in the deed records of Westmoreland County proved otherwise.

The progenitor of the Stimmell family in Westmoreland County was Isaac Stimmell (of Revolutionary War fame), and thus many of his grandsons were named Isaac. In total, there were 3 known Isaac Stimmell's that were born around the same time period: one being our Isaac, one being the known son of Henry Stimmell (above), and an unknown third Isaac. This Isaac, whose birth date ranges from 1817 to 1822, married a Harriet sometime in the 1840s and had several children. He is seen living in Jefferson Township, Fayette County in 1850 directly adjacent to a Henry Stimmell (c. 1825), so it seemed reasonable that they could be brothers. However, for this township in 1850, the census enumerator chose to ask the county of birth too, not just the state of birth. Isaac said he was born in Westmoreland County, and Henry said he was born in Fayette County. Bizarrely, this Isaac Stimmell was noteworthy for voluntarily man-slaughtering his son in the 1880s. There are newspaper mentions and criminal records that further describe this case.

For years, this Isaac's identity could not be determined. Depending on the individual records and perspective, the evidence pointed him in different directions. However, a key deed record comparing the estate of Nancy Stimmell, widow of Philip, with John Freeman clearly states that this Isaac, who married Harriet, was an heir of Philip and Nancy. Note that heir doesn't always mean "descendant," but Philip and Nancy had at least 6 children based on their census records, so for this Isaac to be an heir and not be son, all of their children must have passed away.

Therefore, because Philip had another son named Isaac, he is NOT the father of our Isaac.

Current Conclusion

Ultimately, Isaac is the son of either aforementioned John Stimmell. The South Huntingdon John had contacts with the Logsden family, but the Dunbar John was physically closer to where our Isaac settled in Bullskin Township. Also, this John had a son named Henry that lived in Connellsville, where Isaac was occasionally seen in the tax records. As of now, there is no known way to differentiate between their children. Collectively, there are 3 unknown Stimmells that are children of these Johns that cannot be located and thus ruled out. Until future church records or unseen tax records appear, the identity of Isaac's parents will remain a mystery.


Strangely, by the 1840 census, Isaac was already around 24 years old yet not found as a head of household anywhere in Westmoreland or fayette. Presumably, it is likely that he was still living with his parents, as he was not married until around 1843. This fact can be useful in making an argument for his parents' identity.

Isaac Stimmell Census
Year Residence Occupation
1840 *not found* *not found*
1850 Bullskin Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania Tanner
1860 Union Borough, Fayette County, Pennsylvania Tanner


Based on the tax records in Fayette County, Isaac spent his first known years in Franklin Township. By around 1845, he is then seen living in Bullskin Township where he lived until at least 1855. As of writing, the tax microfilm for Union Township has not been released. Strangely, Isaac is listed twice in the 1845 and 1849 tax records: once in Bullskin Township and once in Connellsville, which are both adjacent to each other.

Land and Deed Records

After searching in both Westmoreland and Fayette Counties, no land records has been found pertaining to Isaac. Based on the above tax and census records, it does not appear that Isaac ever owned land. Also, his known occupation as a tanner would not require one to own any land.


Sometime between the 1860 and 1870 census, Isaac had passed away. It is not known when specifically he died, what he died of, or even where he is buried. To this day, no gravestone has been found. All that is known is that Susan listed herself as "widowed" by the 1870 census. Also, no further record of Isaac living past the 1860 census has been found.

In addition, no wills, letters of administration, or orphans court records have been found.