However, we could never find any documentation to prove our assumption. We came across a 1900 Federal census with a James Stapleton and wife Catherine and two children James and Ellen. There were a few problems with this census. First one child was missing Maggie, the last child born. Secondly, the dates on the census for the marriage of James and Catherine does not line up with the date of the death of his first wife. So, although this census sure looked like our family we had more to do to be sure.
When we received this tombstone picture most of our answers were revealed. Now the fact that this tombstone proves the existence of James' second wife it does not answer why they lied on the census. I suspect to protect the children who may not have known that Catherine was not their biological mother. However, another mystery still remained, where was the youngest child, Maggie? Well that mystery, I will share with you in my next post.
Although difficult to see in this picture, this tombstone reveals both of James Stapleton's wives on the same same tombstone. Maggie Stapleton in 1888 and Catherine Stapleton in 1901.