Sunday, January 17, 2016

Photo of the Week: Lisbon Staggers Home, Whiteley Township, Greene Co., PA

(By Candice Buchanan, Greene Connections Archivist)

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Lisbon Leander Staggers [1820-1909] is pictured here, with several of his children, in front of his home in Whiteley Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania.
Lisbon Leander Staggers family home, Whiteley Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania. Pictured [Left-Right]: Ida (Staggers) Roberts [1871-1938], Lisbon Leander Staggers [1820-1909], Elva Staggers [1880-1965], Unidentified woman, Unidentified man.
This photograph was preserved by his daughter Catherine Miranda (Staggers) Bowlby [1855-1941]. The Bowlby family left Greene County, Pennsylvania, to reside in Kansas. Away from home, Catherine maintained her photos in loving condition as reminders of family, friends, and even clearly labeled "beaus" from her youth. Her collection passed to her son Ralph Bowlby [1889-1988] and after his passing family friends saved the pictures from destruction. They charitably scanned and shared all images with the Greene Connections project and recently provided many of the originals to be archived and studied in more detail. These images include the one above, We are very grateful to them for seeing the value in history that was not their own and taking the time to share it with us. Click this link to see the entire Catherine Miranda (Staggers) Bowlby Collection.

Lisbon Staggers property, Caldwell's Atlas (1876)
Lisbon Leander Staggers is profiled in Samuel P. Bates’ History of Greene County, Pennsylvania (1888), where he is noted as “a retired farmer and stock-dealer” in Kirby, Pennsylvania.[1] We see Lisbon first buying property in Whiteley Township in 1857[2] and his family appearing there in the Census accordingly in 1860.[3] Lisbon added to his property over the years, expanding his farm. He appears in a number of transactions in the Greene County Deed Books. In 1876, Caldwell’s Atlas credits him with 200 acres and shows a house on the property[4]. In 1888 Bates credits him with “300 acres of good land where he and his family now live.”[5] 

Lisbon was twice a widower and raised a large family of children with each wife. Many descendants would consider this an ancestral homeplace.

Itinerant photographers often visited rural areas to take photos like this of families in front of their homes. These pictures can be a rich addition to your genealogy and provide interesting details about the life and times of our ancestors. Sometimes identifying the house may be easier than identifying the people. If so, conduct a title search to follow the deeds and reveal the property owners of the featured house. Match the picture to the right time period and you may identify your candidate family.

See more pictures like this in Greene County, Pennsylvania, by visiting the Photo Archives section and clicking Keywords then looking for such terms as House and Property. is a free local history archival project. Sponsored by LOLA Energy.

[1] Samuel P. Bates, History of Greene County, Pennsylvania (1888; reprint, Mt. Vernon, Indiana: Windmill Publications, Inc., 1998), 895-896, biographical sketch of Lisbon Staggers.
[2] Greene County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book, 15: 358, Grantor: Otho Spragg and Lydia his wife of Greene County, Pennsylvania; Grantee: Lisbon Staggers and Archibald Gump of Greene County, Pennsylvania, Date of instrument: 4 August 1856; Date of Record: 1 September 1857; Office of the Register & Recorder, Courthouse, Waynesburg.
[3] Lisbon Staggers household, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Whiteley Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania, Newtown post office, page 850 (stamped)/263 (written), dwelling 1830, family 1865; National Archives microfilm publication M653, roll 1114.
[4] J. A. Caldwell, Caldwell's Illustrated Combination Centennial Atlas of Greene Co. Pennsylvania (1876; reprint, Mt. Vernon, Indiana: Windmill Publications, Inc., 1995), 100, Whiteley Township map showing Lisbon Staggers property and house.
[5] Bates, History of Greene County, Pennsylvania, 895-896, biographical sketch of Lisbon Staggers.

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