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Making a Statement: Francis E. Stout During the American Civil War

Genealogy is more than collecting names and dates. Done right, it involves the discovery of the stories of your ancestors. Very often, I wonder my ancestors would have been thinking as historically important events were unfolding around them.

My third great grandfather, Francis E. Stout, was born in North Carolina in 1828. He married Mary E. Pugh in Alamance County in 1852, where their first 5 children were born. By 1860, they were living in Maury County, Tennessee, where Martha Isabelle Stout, my second great grandmother was born. They had another son, Nathan, in 1861, and in 1866, just two years after the end of the American Civil War, they named their 8th child Ulysses Grant Stout.

What a bold statement! Like many others, Francis and Mary Stout had the courage to support the Union while living in a Confederate state. The couple went even farther, however, and made their feelings known in a lasting way by naming their son after a Union general. Not just any Union, general, though. They named their son after the Union general who accepted the surrender of the Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy, ending the Civil War. That took guts!

I don't know much about "Grant" Stout, as he called himself in later U.S. censuses. He grew up in Obion County, Tennessee after the family moved there in 1870. He ended up in Jackson County, Arkansas. My branch of the family ended up in Southeast Missouri. Francis and Mary Stout likely died in Obion County, Tennessee. Although they have proven to be a bit elusive, I admire them for standing up for their beliefs.


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