Stephen Carpenter

Researching Stephen Carpenter has been difficult.  He seemed to marry a lot of women and have a lot of children, but there aren't very many divorce or death records available to help make sense of these various relationships.  I need to thank Ted Carpenter and Iva Baker among others for their extensive work on the Carpenter family.  According to Iva Baker of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Stephen Carpenter was born about 1803 in Hawkins County, Tennessee and was the son of Fielding Carpenter and his wife Delphia.  Stephen married or had significant relationships with at least six women.  A record of what is most likely his first marriage is recorded in the Annals of Floyd County, Kentucky, p. 270:

Bond dated 2 April 1822 by Stephen Carpender and Hiram Prewitt for a marriage shortly to be had between Stephen Carpender and Nancy Walker.

This is to surtify that Felden Carpender and his wife is consentable for his son Stephen Carpender to give in matramony with Nancy Walker.

30 March 1822, This is to certify that Jacob Coburn is willing for Stephen Carpenter to have his daughter Nancy. 

Nancy Walker was the daughter of Betty Walker who married Jacob Coburn on the 18th of April 1816, in Floyd County.  Jacob Coburn would have been Nancy's stepfather at the time of her marriage to Stephen Carpenter.  I don't know anything about Betty Walker, I assume she had previously been married to a Walker, but it is possible that Walker was her maiden name.  On the 1830 census of Floyd County, Stephen was listed as a male between 20 and 30 and Nancy was listed as a female between 20 and 30.  The household also included a daughter between the age of 5 and 10 and three sons under 5.  Nancy most likely died sometime after the 1830 census was taken.

Stephen married a second time in 1833 to Sally Gabbard in Estill County:

This is to certify that on the 23rd of this month, I joined together in the Holy state of Marriage, Stephen Carpenter and Sally Gabbard.  In witness whereof, I hereunto set my hand.  --Abraham Thomas, 24 January 1833.

The bondsmen for the marriage were Stephen Carpenter and Edward Gabbard.

I haven't found Stephen Carpenter on the 1840 census in Kentucky.  But on 7 March 1838 he bought 40 acres in Laurel County from William and Rachel Sears, for $40.00.  I don't know if Sally Gabbard died or she and Stephen were divorced, but their children, Emiline, William, Amanda and John C. appear on the 1850 census of Rockcastle County with Stephen Carpenter and Nancy, age 36.  This was most likely Nancy Howard of Breathitt County .   I haven't found a marriage record for them, but their first child was born about 1844.  Their son Stephen Paul Carpenter applied for funds appropriated by the Act of Congress in favor of the Eastern Cherokees in 1907.  Stephen P. claimed that his great grandfather Thomas Howard had married a Cherokee Indian.  Stephen's claim was rejected.  On the application he listed his father as Stephen Carpenter and his mother as Nancy Howard.  He listed his paternal grandparents as Fielding and Delpha Carpenter.  I haven't found a divorce for Stephen Carpenter and Nancy Howard, since Stephen married again in 1852, I assume they were divorced or they were never legally married.   

Stephen Carpenter married Amanda Lakes Brock, (listed as a widow), on 18 November 1852.  The marriage was recorded in both Rockcastle and Laurel counties.

Rockcastle County - 18 November 1852:  Stephen Carpenter of Rockcastle County, 45 years, widower, to Mandy Lax, Rockcastle County, 32 years, widow, place of birth, Madison County, Kentucky.

Laurel County - 18 November 1852:  Stephen Carpenter of Rockcastle County, age 50, widower, born Hawkins Co., Tenn. married Manda Brock of Rockcastle County, age 32, widow, born Madison County. Kentucky

Stephen was listed as a widower on both of these records.  His first wife, Nancy Walker was most likely deceased and his second wife, Sally Gabbard was most likely deceased as well.  However Nancy Howard was very much alive in 1852, and appeared on the 1860 census of Jackson County as Nancy Howard. I haven't found Nancy Howard Carpenter on the 1870 census, but she appeared on the 1880 census of Breathitt County.  Sometime before 1880 Nancy married John McDaniel, and the two of them are living in the household of Nancy's daughter Polly Jenkins.  

Stephen and Amanda had three children before Amanda filed for divorce in 1859.  The divorce records of Amanda and Stephen Carpenter can be found in the Jackson County Circuit Court records:

November term, 1859, 3rd day

p. 77 Amanda Carpenter, Plaintiff against Stephen Carpenter, Defendant    


This day this cause was heard and the court advised adjudges that the plaintiff Amanda Carpenter be and she is hereby divorced from the defendant Stephen Carpenter and is hereby restated to all the rights and privileges of an unmarried woman and the defendant Stephen Carpenter is hereby restored to all the rights and privileges of an unmarried man after the expiration of one year from this date and it is further ordered that the plaintiff recover of the defendant the cost in this cause and it is stricken from the docket.

During the same November term, 1859, but on the 5th day, Stephen Carpenter was indicted for adultery and his bail was set at $50.00.  This case came to court one year later during the November term, 1860, 2nd day, p. 156:

November Term, 1860, 2nd day, p.156 -- Commonwealth, plaintiff against Stephen Carpenter - adultery

This day came the attorney and the defendant pleads not guilty and there upon came a jury to wit: ........who being elected tried and sworn to try the issue returned into court the following verdict, "We of the jury find the defendant not guilty of the within. J.H. Durham foreman and the defendant to go hence without delay.

According to Laura Altevers, who has a very good Lakes Web Page at  Amanda Lakes was something of an enigma. Laura Altevers states:

Amanda Lakes was the daughter of John and Mary (Abrams) Lakes. John Lakes was born 1795/1796 in NC and died 10 June 1859 in Jackson County. He was buried under a cliff near the Lewis Lakes Cemetery in Jackson County. Mary was born about 1792 in PA and died sometime after 1870. 


There is something of a mystery about Amanda's relationships. Prior to 1849, Amanda may have been married to or had a relationship with an unknown Brock, as she had possibly three children by him according to the 1860 Jackson County census. She was listed as Amanda Lakes on the 1860 census.  She was also listed as Amanda Lakes on the 1860 land grant. However on the 1870 census, she was listed as Amanda Carpenter, with no husband in the household. 

The Kentucky Land Grants, Volume 1, Part 2. Chapter X, Grants in the County Court Orders (1836-1924), The counties of Kentucky: 


Grantee: Amanda Lakes 

County: Jackson 

Acres: 30 

Survey Date: 3-7-1860 

Watercourse: Indian Creek

Book 59, page 394 

On the 1860 census of Jackson County Stephen Carpenter was living with several of his children. Nancy Howard and Amanda Lakes were both living in Jackson County as well, but in separate households.  Nancy's older children were living with their father, but her youngest, Stephen Paul was living with her.  Amanda's children were all living with her.  In addition to Nancy's older children, Stephen also had Sally Gabbard's youngest child, John C. living with him, (presumably Sally's older children were on their own by this time),  and also a two year old Stephen Duncan Carpenter, whose mother is unknown.  There is more discussion of these children below.


In 1870, Stephen Carpenter was living in Breathitt County with Rebecca Davis. Although she was listed as Rebecca Carpenter on the census, I haven't found a copy of a marriage certificate.  Rebecca's mother, Elizabeth Proffitt Davis, was also living with Stephen and Rebecca, however she was mistakenly listed on the census as Elizabeth Carpenter.  Rebecca was the daughter of John Evan Davis and Elizabeth Proffitt.  Rebecca was also the sister in law of Stephen Carpenter since her brother William Davis had married Sarah Carpenter, Stephen's sister.  Stephen's son Stephen (age 12)  and Manervy Carpenter age (19) were also enumerated with Stephen and Rebecca on the 1870 census.  I am not sure who Minervy Carpenter was but she might have been the daughter of Stephen's brother Samuel Carpenter and his wife Katherine Allen.  


Amanda Lakes Brock Carpenter was living in Jackson County in 1870 with her daughter Marinda Brock (listed Carpenter), and her three children with Stephen Carpenter.  I haven't been able to find Nancy Howard Carpenter on the 1870 census.


In 1880 Stephen was living in Menifee County and listed as Caleb Carpenter on the census.  He was 77 years old and living with a woman named Nancy and his son Stephen who was born in 1858.  Stephen Caleb Carpenter left a will in Menifee County that was probated in 1884.


Know all men by these presents that I Stephen Carpenter in the county of Menifee and State of Kentucky considering the uncertainty of this life and being of sound mind and memory do make , declare and publish this my last will and testament - First I give and bequeath unto my son Stephen W. Carpenter all my land containing forty-two acres where I now live, I also give him my Blacksmith tools and my Rifle Gun and my farming tools at my death--


Second I give and bequeath to my wife Nancy all the household and kitchen furniture that belongs to me also my horses and cattle and hogs and sheep at my death--


Third I give and bequeath to the rest of my heirs one dollar a peas [sic] to be paid out of my wife Nancy's above named legacy.


In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal and publish and declare this to be my last will and testament in presence of the witnesses named below:


This September the 14th 1880

Stephen Carpenter (his mark)


Signed sealed declared and published by the said Stephen Carpenter as and for his last will and testament in presence of us who at his request and in his presence and in presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses hereto

John Wells

Benjamin Back

Benjamin Back was listed next door to Stephen Carpenter on the 1880 census.  I have been told  by David Schimka,  a descendant of Benjamin Back's, that John Wells was most likely Benjamin Back's father in law.  I assume that Benjamin Back and John Wells witnessed the will because they were neighbors.  At this point I have not found any other relationship they might have had with Stephen Carpenter.  I don't have any additional information about this Nancy.


In 1880, Amanda Lakes Brock Carpenter was living in Rockcastle County with her daughter Marinda and her grandchildren.  Nancy Howard Carpenter was living in Breathitt County with her daughter Polly Jenkins (Junkims on the census), and Nancy's new husband John McDaniel.  Nancy married John McDaniel in about 1878.  Polly/Mary was a daughter Nancy had after her relationship with Stephen Carpenter.


Children of Stephen Carpenter and Nancy Walker


1. Lucinda Carpenter was born about 1824 in Floyd County, Kentucky.  She married Andrew Isaacs on 28 September 1841 in Laurel County.  Andrew was the son of Godfrey Isaacs and Keziah Johnson.  Lucinda died  25 April 1873 in Jackson County.


2. Sylvester Carpenter was born 6 March 1826 in Floyd County, Kentucky.  He married Hannah Gabbard in about 1851 probably in Laurel County.  Hannah was the daughter of Phillip Gabbard and Jane Carpenter.  Since Stephen Carpenter and Jane Carpenter were siblings, Sylvester and Hannah were first cousins. Sylvester died 11 October 1868 in Princeton, Mercer County, Missouri.  Hannah died 24 April 1908 in Harris, Sullivan County, Missouri.  


The 1830 census also listed two males under five living in the home, but I haven't been able to identify them.


Children of Stephen Carpenter and Sally Gabbard


1. Emiline Carpenter was born about August 1836.  She was living with her father and Nancy Howard in Rockcastle County in 1850.  She married Job Morris 19 March 1860 (bond), in Jackson County.  Job Morris filed for a divorce during the October term of of the Jackson County Court, 1874,  p. 146. The divorce was granted on the 7th of October 1875, and listed in the Circuit Court Order Book 3, p. 299:  


Job Morris vs. Emaline Morris:   Judgement 

  The court being advised on the pleadings, proof, adjudges that the parties be divorced from each other and to them restored to all rights and privileges of single and unmarried persons. The plaintiff is adjudged to pay the costs of this suit and this cause is stricken from the docket


Job Morris married Mary Lakes, daughter of John Lakes sometime after he divorced Emiline.  Job and Mary Lakes were listed on the 1880 census of Jackson County with four children, the older two being Joel 8, and William 6.  I am not sure if these two older children were the sons of Emiline Carpenter Morris or Mary Lakes Morris.  Emiline Carpenter was listed on the 1880 census with her son Lewis, 14.  Job Morris and Mary Lakes Morris were divorced on 7 October 1891 in Jackson County.

In 1874 Job Morris and James R. Isaacs each had to sign a peace bond (Jackson County Circuit Court Order Bk. 3), agreeing  not to comment an offense against each other.  I am not sure what the nature of their difficulties were.

2. William P. Carpenter was born about 1839.  He married Allie Stevens on 28 December 1862 in Jackson County.   Allie was the daughter of Solomon Stephens and Margaret Seaborn. William Carpenter was a Sgt in Co. E., 47th KY Infantry.  He was listed in Madison County, Arkansas in the 1870 and 1880 censuses and in Franklin County, Arkansas in the 1900 census. On the 1900 census Allie listed that she was the mother of 15 children and 14 of them were still living.  William died 16 June 1906 in Franklin County, Arkansas and is buried in Cass Cemetery in Franklin County, Arkansas.


3. Amanda Carpenter was born about 1840.  


4. John C. Carpenter was born in March 1842.  


Children of Stephen Carpenter and Nancy Howard


1. Samuel Carpenter was born about 1844.  He married Martha McIntosh.


2. Green Riley Carpenter was born 11 June 1845 probably in Breathitt County.  He married Permelia Calhoun.  He died 16 April 1933.


3. Mary Ann Carpenter was born about 1846, probably in Breathitt County.  She married Jackson Howard, son of Samuel Howard and Ann Carpenter.  


4. Rhoda Jane Carpenter was born 26 November 1847 in Rockcastle County.  She married Lawson Noble in about 1867.  She died 23 October 1927.


5. Stephen Paul Carpenter was born 10 March 1852 in Rockcastle County.  He married Amanda Conley on 17 July 1873 in Magoffin County, Kentucky.  


This Stephen Carpenter filed an application "for a share of the money appropriated for the Eastern Cherokee Indians by the Act of Congress approved June 30, 1906."  The name on the front of the application was Stephen C. Carpenter, but on the inside he identified himself as Stephen P. Carpenter.  The application read as follows:


Special Commissioner of the Court of Claims,

601 Ouray Building, Washington, D.C.



    I hereby make application for such share as may be due me of the fund appropriated by the Act of Congress, approved June 30, 1906, in accordance with the decrees of the Court of claims of May 18, 1905, and May 28, 1906, in favor of the Eastern Cherokees.  The evidence of identity is herewith subjoined.



 1. State full name:

    English name:  Stephen P. Carpenter

    Indian name: no Indian name

2. Residence and post office:  Lambric

3. County: Breathitt

4. State: Kentucky

5. How old are you?  55 years past  Born: March 10, 1852.

6. Where were you born? Jackson County, Kentucky

7. Are you married? I am.

8 Name and age of wife or husband: wife, Amanda Carpenter

9. To what tribe of Indians does he or she belong?  She has no Indian Blood.  I am of the Cherokee Tribe.

10. Name all your children who are living on May 28, 1906, giving their ages:



Age Born
Parrott Craft 32 years past April 4, 1875
Adam Carpenter 25 years past August 18, 1882
Willis A. Carpenter * 30 nearly August __ 1877
Wise Carpenter 20 years past September 20, 1886
Mollie Craft 19 years past January 24, 1888
Susan Carpenter 17 years past March 13, 1890
Todd Carpenter 12 years past May 2nd 1895
Dudley Carpenter 10 years past June 1st, 1897
Densey Carpenter 7 years past September 18, 1899


*Willy Ann (daughter) on the 1880 census. 


11. Give names of your father and mother, and your mother's name before marriage:

    Father     -- English name:  Stephen Carpenter

                   -- Indian name:  no Indian names

    Mother    -- English name:  Nancy Carpenter

                    -- Indian name:  no Indian names    

                    -- Maiden name: Nancy Howard


12. Where were they born?

        Father: Knott county, Kentucky    

        Mother:  Magoffin County Kentucky



13. Where did they reside in 1851, if living at that time?

        Father: Jackson county, Kentucky

        Mother: Jackson county, Kentucky


14. Date of death of your father and mother:

        Father: In year 1889 or 1890 about, have no record

        Mother: November 28th, 1892


15: Were they ever enrolled for money, annuities, land or other benefits? if so, state when and where, and with what tribe of Indians:  Never


16. Name all your brothers and sister, giving ages, and residence if possible:


Name Born Died
Green R. Carpenter Don't know Living near Ford, Kentucky
Mary A. Miller Don't know Living - Irvington, Kentucky [Breckinridge]
Jane Noble Don't know Living - Ca___y, Kentucky
Polly Jenkins Don't know 1902 or 1903
Samuel Carpenter Don't know Died in youth


17. State English and Indian names of your grandparents on both father's and mother's side, if possible:


Father's side

Fielding Carpenter, no Indian Blood

Delpha Carpenter, no Indian Blood


Mother's side

William Howard, no Indian name

Molly (Salyer) Howard, no Indian name


18. Where were they born?  William Howard, North Carolina, Don't know as to Molly Salyer Howard


19. Where did they reside in 1851, if living at that time?  Breathitt County, Kentucky


20. Give names of all their children, and residence, if possible:  


William and Molly Howard's children are as follows -


1. Sally -first married Carpenter then Morgan, Dead

2. Rhoda Mann, Dead

3. Benjamin Howard, Dead

4. Linda Allen, Dead

5. Elizabeth Marshall, Dead

6. John Howard, Dead

7. George Howard, Dead

8. Nancy, first married Carpenter then McDaniel, Dead

9. Jenissa? Carpenter

10. Riley Howard,  Lambric, Ky  [Breathitt]

11. Andrew Howard, Swampton, Ky


21. Have you ever been enrolled for money, annuities, land or other benefits?  If so, state when and where, and with what tribe of Indians:  Never


22. To assist in identification, claimant should give the full English and Indian names, if possible, or their parents and grandparents back to 1835:  Thomas Howard was father of grandfather William Howard, Thomas Howard's wife was a Cherokee Indian and William Howard was their son.


    I solemnly swear that the foregoing statements made by me are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.        


(Signature) Stephen P. Carpenter

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 22 day of August 1907.  Ed. M. Odean, Notary Public



    Personally appeared before me Jackson Howard and Sanford Brown, who being duly sworn, on oath depose and say that they are well acquainted with Stephen P. Carpenter who makes the foregoing application and statements, and have know him for 40 years and 20 years, respectively, and know him to be the identical person he represents himself to be, and that the statements made by him are true, to the best of their knowledge and belief, and they have no interest whatever in his claim.


Children of Stephen Carpenter and Amanda Lake        


1. Susan L. Carpenter was born 4 June 1853, in Rockcastle County.  The birth was recorded in the vital records of Rockcastle County, "L. S. Carpenter (female) was born to Stephen Carpenter and Manda Lax in May 1853, parents live in Laurel."  The March term, 1871 Jackson County Circuit Court records listed a  bastardy bond against Elisha Harrison for a child of Suzin Carpenter's --   Elisha Harrison had to pay $30.00 immediately, $10 one month from the date and $10.00 per year for 2 years.  The child is never named, but Sophia Carpenter, age 1 is living with Amanda Carpenter, her daughters Miranda (Brock) and Susan, as well as Amanda's two sons, Doctor John Thomas and Andrew John in 1870.  However, in 1880, Sophia 10, John C. 8, Thomas J. 4 and Matt H. 2 are all listed as grandchildren living with Amanda.  Amanda's daughter Marinda who is listed as Miranda Brock on the 1860 census was also living in the household but her daughter Susan wasn't living with them.  Sophia could be the child of either daughter.


2. Doctor John Thomas Carpenter was born 6 April 1854 in Rockcastle County.  He married Mary Louisa Noble 6 April 1874 in Breathitt County.  In 1880 Louisa Carpenter was listed in Breathitt County, p. 649C, with sons John Carpenter 1 and Thomas Carpenter 8 months.  J. T. Carpenter 24, was listed in Jackson County living with Elizabeth Lamb and Caldona Lamb 3 months old.  Elizabeth was listed as a servant, and no relationship was given for Caldona.  During the September term 1881, Jackson County Court charged Doc Carpenter with adultery.  Doctor J. T. and Elizabeth/Betty Carpenter appear on the 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses.  Doctor J. T. died in about 1941 and is buried at Three Links, Jackson County Kentucky.  The tombstone reads D.J. and Betty Carpenter.


3. Andrew John Carpenter was born 28 March 1857 in Laurel County.  His birth was recorded in the vital records of Laurel County, "Andrew J. Carpenter born 28 March 1857 in Laurel County to Stephen Carpenter and Amanda Lax.  Parents live in Laurel."  Andrew married Molly Phillips.



Stephen Carpenter's other children and marriages


1.  Mary/Polly Howard was born about 1856.  She was listed in the 1860 household of Nancy Howard along with Nancy's son Stephen who was 8.  Both children were listed with the surname Howard.  Stephen listed Mary as his sister on his Eastern Cherokee application.  He listed Mary as Mary Jenkins who had died in 1902 or 1903.  I am sure Mary was the daughter of Nancy Howard, but I don't think Stephen Carpenter was her father.  Stephen Carpenter was married to Amanda Lake Brock in 1856 the year Mary Howard was born.  On the 1880 census, Mary Howard was listed as Polly Jenkins, and she listed her father as having been born in Ireland.  She was also listed as "single" rather than as divorced or widowed.  


2. Stephen Duncan Carpenter appeared as a two year old on the 1860 census with his father Stephen Carpenter. Some people assume that he was a child of Stephen Carpenter and Amanda Lakes, since he was born during the time Stephen and Amanda were legally married.  But on the 1860 census, Amanda's children were living with her rather than Stephen.  It doesn't seem logical that she would keep the 7, 5 and 4 year old, but have the 2 year old stay with his father. This Stephen Duncan/ or Stephen W. (see below) might have been partly responsible for the adultery charges that were brought against Stephen in November 1859, although he was found not guilty a year later.


3. Stephen W. Carpenter was born in March, 1858.  He married Margaret McIntosh. He was most likely the same person as  Stephen Duncan Carpenter who appeared as a two year old on the 1860 census with Stephen Carpenter.  According to Ted Carpenter, "Duncan" was a surname.  He explained the Stephen Duncan/Stephen W. problem this way


About 1861-1862,  Stephen Caleb moved his family back to Breathitt County.  Nancy Howard and her children, including Stephen Paul Carpenter were also there.  With a Stephen Paul, born 10 March 1852 and a Stephen Duncan, born May 1858 in the same county, people started calling Stephen Paul "Black Steve" because he had a dark complexion and Stephen Duncan "White Steve" because of his fair complexion.  Stephen Duncan changed his middle initial to "W."  


Stephen W. was the only child specifically named in his father's will.  

It doesn't seem that Stephen Carpenter had additional children with his last two wives.  The family lore is that he was married seven times and had 48 children.  Although I imagine those numbers are exaggerated, it is certainly possible that I have missed a wife and a child or two.