Thanksgiving and the Mayflower Part II: From Ira Stoddard to Elanthropy Stoddard to Rhoda Chase

In my last blog post, I shared an announcement from FamilySearch, American Ancestors (New England Genealogical Society) and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants that they are working together to make available records for descendants of Mayflower passengers. In exploring the website for this collaboration, I found that I purportedly descend from John Alden and Priscilla Mullins through my grandmother, Fern Laurine Stoddard. In the last post, I proved the generational linkage between my grandmother, Fern, and her father Ira Stoddard. in this post, I will continue my efforts to prove (according to the genealogical proof standard), the generational linkages between Ira Stoddard and his proposed ancestors John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.

Generation 2: Ira Stoddard to Elanthropy Stoddard

The state of Utah did not require registration of births until between 1898 and 1905.[1] Depending on the record analyzed, Ira Stoddard was reportedly born between 1891 and 1893, a few years before widespread birth recording. Therefore, no state-issued certificate of his birth was created. While Ira’s birth may have been recorded in church records from the same time period, those records are currently only available on microfilm at the Family History Library and inaccessible due to the pandemic. Later records report and support competing possibilities for the timing of his birth. The 1900 U.S. Census, 1910 U.S. Census, Ira’s application for Social Security, and his death record support a birthdate of 25 February 1891.[2] Ira’s World War I Draft registration, marriage record, and World War II draft registration report or support a birthdate of 25 February 1892.[3] The 1920 and 1930 census records for Ira suggest a birthdate sometime in 1893.[4] The birth record of Ira’s daughter, Fern, discussed in the previous blog post suggests a birthdate of 1870 – by far the biggest outlier discovered thus far in documents relating to his life.

Ira Stoddard’s World War I Draft Registration Card
Excerpt from Ira’s Death Certificate

So, which record is correct? In genealogical research, we strive to rely on the most reliable records – those that were recorded at or near an event and which are based on information from reliable witnesses. By one measure, the 1900 U.S. census would be the record closest to Ira’s birth out of the records mentioned above, but it is not clear who provided the information for that record. The informant could have been Ira’s mother, one of his siblings or even a neighbor. Perhaps the most reliable records based on the identity of the informant would be Ira’s draft registration cards, marriage record and social security application all of which would have been based on information he himself provided. However, those records are in conflict one with another regarding Ira’s birth year with the majority suggesting 1892 rather than 1891. To prove the date of birth, additional information and context was needed. One clue provided in the 1900 U.S. Census is the fact that both Ira and his sister Iva were reported to have been born in February 1891. Ira had a twin sister. Historically (and even to some extent today) births of twins were considered to be a notable event and often received significant attention. Baptismal records from various European countries show that twins often had more witnesses and godparents at christening than other children. The birth of Elanthropy “Thump” Stoddard’s twins likewise was considered newsworthy and was announced in a newspaper article in March 1891 suggesting that Ira was indeed born 25 February 1891 rather than any other year.[5]

Newspaper Announcement: Birth of Twins

While Ira’s father was not living with his family in 1900 at the time of the census enumeration, several other records clearly identify Ira as Elanthropy’s son including the 1910 census, Elanthropy’s obituary (where Ira is identified by his nickname, Bud), Ira’s application for social security, Ira’s death certificate and the newspaper announcement described above.[6] It seems that Elanthropy’s absence from the household in 1900 was due to his working in Idaho managing the Nipper ranch.[7]  

On 11 May 1920, Ira Stoddard married Opal Gay Coumerilh in Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho.[8] They had six children together and were later divorced on 13 May 1938.[9] Ira later married Mattie Scott on 16 June 1938 in Cache County, Utah.[10] Ira Stoddard died 29 January 1950 in Kelly, Caribou, Idaho.[11]

In addition to this document evidence, genetic genealogy supports Ira’s descent from Elanthropy. These results will be explored in a future post. Next up: documenting and proving the connection between Elanthropy Stoddard and Rhoda Chase.

Generation 3: Elanthropy Stoddard to Rhoda Chase

According to the death certificate of Elanthropy Stoddard, he was born 3 October 1856 in Centerville, Davis County, Utah and was the son of Judson L. Stoddard and Rhoda Chase of Canada and New York respectively.[12] The information for the record was provided by Elanthropy’s spouse, Sarah A. Stoddard. However, it seems that his reported birthdate may have been off by a year. The earliest record yet found for Elanthropy, the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, shows him enumerated in the household of his father, Judson L. Stoddard in Centerville, Davis County, Utah Territory.[13] At the time of the census in June 1860, Elanthropy was reported to be four years old. If he was, indeed, born in October then this would suggest he was born in October 1855 rather than 1856. Also enumerated in the household were Judson’s two wives (Sylvia and Rhoda), and eight children: Joseph, Judson L. Jr., Mariam, Horace, Elanthropy, Ophelia, Willard and Charles. In 1870, Elanthropy was enumerated in the household of his older brother, Judson Stoddard Jr., in Box Elder, Box Elder County, Utah.[14] At the time of the enumeration in July 1870, Elanthropy was fourteen years old suggesting once again a birthdate of 1855 rather than 1856. By June 1880, Elanthropy was married and had two children of his own. They were enumerated in the 1880 Census in Farmington, Davis County, Utah in June of that year and Elanthropy was reported to be twenty-four years old suggesting once again that he was born in October 1855 rather than 1856.[15] Though Elanthropy’s death certificate reported a birthyear of 1856, his tombstone reported that he was born 3 October 1855.[16] Finally, an image from Rhoda’s family bible confirms that Elanthropy was born 3 October 1855 in Centerville, though it is unclear when this date may have been recorded. All of these earlier records, many of which were based on information of individuals who witnessed his birth and several of which were made closer to the time of his birth suggest that he was born 3 October 1855 rather than 1856.

Civil marriage records were not kept in Utah at the county level until 1887. As such, no civil marriage record was created for Elanthropy Stoddard and Sarah Ann Steed. While many marriages during this time period were performed in temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of sealing ordinances, other couples were first married civilly and then were sealed at a later date. Elanthropy and Sarah Ann Stoddard were sealed 25 June 1913 in the Salt Lake Temple.[17] At that time, they reported that they had originally been married 3 October 1875 in Farmington, Utah. However, this reported marriage date is at odds with information reported in earlier records. Though Elanthropy was not enumerated with his family in the 1900 U.S. Census, this record created in June 1900 reported that his wife, Sarah Stoddard had been married for twenty-three years suggesting a marriage date sometime between June 1876 and June 1877.[18] In the 1930 U.S. Census taken in April of that year, Sarah Stoddard reported that she had first married at age 18. This same record reported that she was 72 years old suggesting that she was born in about 1857 or 1858. Therefore, she would have been married in about 1875 or 1876. At this point, it is still not yet clear exactly when Elanthropy Stoddard and Sarah Ann Steed were married, but there is ample evidence supporting their spousal relationship.

Elanthropy Stoddard died 21 July 1913 in Farmington, Davis County, Utah. His genealogical connection to his parents, Judson Lyman Stoddard and Rhoda Ogden Chase, is well supported not only by his death certificate, but also by the 1860 U.S. Census, his connections to his siblings in later records, his mention in the family bible maintained by his mother, and his obituary (which names his mother as a survivor). Additionally, later in life, Rhoda Chase Stoddard Hinman kept detailed diaries which frequently make mention of her son “Tump.”[19]

Death Certificate of Elamthrofy [sic] Stoddard.

I conclude that Elanthropy Stoddard was born 3 October 1855 in Centerville, Davis, Utah and was the son of Judson Lyman Stoddard and Rhoda Chase. He married Sarah Ann Steed sometime between 1875 and 1877 in Farmington, Davis, Utah. They were sealed to each other on 25 June 1913 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. Elanthropy died 21 July 1913 in Farmington, Davis, Utah.

While documentary evidence supports these family relationships and generational linkages, it is important to note that biological relationships can differ from documented genealogies because of adoptions, cases of misattributed parentage, or other reasons. In this case, there is genetic evidence to support Elanthropy’s descent from Rhoda Chase. This evidence will be explored in a future blog post. Next up: to prove the parentage of Rhoda Chase.


[1] “How to Find Utah Birth Records,” https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/How_to_Find_Utah_Birth_Records, accessed November 2020.  

[2] 1900 U.S. Census (population schedule), Farmington, Davis, Utah, ED 91, sheet 7A, Sarah Stoddard household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020; and,

1910 U.S. Census (population schedule), Chesterfield, Bannock, Idaho, ED 26, sheet 4B, Elanthropy Stoddard household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020; and,

U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (transcription), Ira Stoddard, born 25 February 1891, SSN 519054046, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020; and,

Idaho, U.S., Death Records, 1890-1967 (index and images), death of Ira Stoddard, 29 January 1950, Kelly, Caribou, Idaho, certificate no. 557, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[3] U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (image and transcription), serial no. 1425, registration board Chesterfield, Bannock, Idaho, card for Ira Stoddard, born 25 February 1892, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020; and,

Idaho, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1864-1967 (index and images), marriage of Ira Stoddard and Opal Coumerilh, 11 May 1920, Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho, license no. 77211, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020; and,

U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (index and images) U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, Young Men, 1940-1947 (image and transcription), serial no. U191, registration board Local Board No. 1, Bannock County, Idaho, card for Ira Stoddard, born 25 February 1892, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[4] 1920 U.S. Census (population schedule), Chesterfield, Bannock, Idaho, ED 37, sheet 3A, Ira Stoddard household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020; and,

1930 U.S. Census (population schedule), Kelly, bannock, Idaho, ED 51, sheet 2A, Ira Stoddard household, https://www.ancestry.com/, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[5] Brigham City Bugler (Brigham City, Utah), 7 March 1891, p.1, https://newspapers.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[6] “Elanthropy Stoddard Passed Away Monday,” Davis County Clipper (Bountiful, Utah), 25 July 1913, p. 5, https://newspapers.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[7] Fern Woodbury, Bob Stoddard, Jack Stoddard, and Barbara Rose, Stoddard Family Reminisces, 1983, p.8.

[8] Idaho, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1864-1967 (index and images), marriage of Ira Stoddard and Opal Coumerilh, 11 May 1920, Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho, license no. 77211, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[9]Bannock County (Idaho), County Recorder, Decree of Divorce, Ira Stoddard vs. Opal Gay Stoddard, 13 May 1938, Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho, case 11390.

[10] Utah, County Marriages, 1887-1940 (index), marriage of Ira Stoddard and Mattie Scott, 16 June 1938, Cache, Utah, no. 627, https://familysearch.org, accessed April 2020.

[11] Idaho, U.S., Death Records, 1890-1967 (index and images), death of Ira Stoddard, 29 January 1950, Kelly, Caribou, Idaho, certificate no. 557, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[12] Utah, U.S., Death and Military Death Certificates, 1904-1961 (index and images), death of Elamthrofy Stoddard, 21 July 1913, Farmington, Davis, Utah, certificate no. 336, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[13] 1860 U.S. Census (population schedule), Centerville, Davis, Utah Territory, sheet 366, Judson L. Stoddard household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[14] 1870 U.S. Census (population schedule), Box Elder, Box Elder, Utah Territory, sheet 88B, Judson Stoddard household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[15] 1880 U.S. Census (population schedule), Farmington, Davis, Utah, ED 15, sheet 286A, Elanthropy Stoddard household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[16] Find A Grave (image and transcription), Farmington City Cemetery, Farmington, Davis, Utah, headstone and memorial for Elanthropy, Stoddard, memorial no. 40177, https://findagrave.com, accessed November 2020.

[17] Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake Temple, Signatures of previously married, 1893-1930, “Vol. B 9 Nov 1910-10 Jul 1919” reported marriage of Elanthropy Stoddard and Sarah Ann Steed, 3 October 1875, Farmington, Davis, Utah, recorded 25 June 1913, Family History Library microfilm 851127.

[18] 1900 U.S. Census (population schedule), Farmington, Davis, Utah, ED 91, sheet 7A, Sarah Stoddard household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed November 2020.

[19] Rhoda Chase Hinman, Rhoda C. Hinman diaries, 1896-1919, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/, accessed November 2020.

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