Thank you so very much for your reply! Since I wrote that message on the forum I did quite a bit of research on Martha Stage (Stone > Saunders > Crooker) and John Stockbridge Crooker. I was aware of all that you found EXCEPT the divorce between John S. Crooker and Catherine A. and the property in Geyserville. Very helpful. Please note that in the 1870 census it only lists her as Catherine (not Catherine A). I wonder if there would be more information on the divorce record than what that link provided.
---Any idea how to find that out?
Also, note that the Interment.net listing for John S. Crooker was transcribed incorrectly off the headstone. He was not from Missouri, but Maine. ME must have been transcribed as MO. I was in touch with the person who did that cemetery reading, but the Interment.net cemetery reading hasn't been updated to reflect that. I maintain his Find A Grave memorial and was able to hunt down a photo of his headstone which took quite some time, but a kind volunteer finally located it for me.
Mrs. J.S. Crooker in the 1910 obit for her son Zachary T Stone is Martha Stage (maiden name). Since my original message was written here, I found out her maiden name. It is very likely that my Martha migrated to California before she married "J.S. Crooker" that was mentioned in the obit. Her previous husband Thomas Saunders' son Lafayette Saunders and wife Sarah Montgomery lived in Los Nietos in 1880 and then in 1900 were enumerated in Long Beach, CA. Thomas Saunders was visiting his son and was enumerated in the 1880 census with them. His marital status was not listed. A death notice in a local DuQuoin IL paper dated Nov 17, 1881 said that he had just returned from CA that summer and had died a few months later.
Martha Stage's daughter Ada (Stone) married for a second time to William E. Higgins in Anaheim in 1877 then appears to have married in Santa Cruz in 1883 to Samuel Bruce Wells (have not located marriage record yet - just familysearch.org IGI record). It appears that Ada (Stone) Wells and her husband lived in Sonoma County since about 1884 based on her residency listed on her death cert. 1900 has her in Santa Rosa and beyond. So as I said there is compelling evidence that Martha may have moved to CA after her daughter.
I am curious why John S. Crooker and Catherine A. divorced in San Francisco (perhaps she moved there when they separted?) and whether there is record of Catherine A. residing in San Francisco before or after the divorce. She was born in England, but perhaps she had a sibling living in SF. Her three children that I'm aware of seemed to remain in the Watsonville, Firebaugh, and Salmon Falls/White Oak, El Dorado County areas. Back to my direct line... easy to get sidetracked!
Regarding the estate and property in Geyersville, Sonoma, CA. He did have a son John Thomas Crooker b. abt 1869 CA, but from my research he resided in Santa Cruz at least up until 1914 which is the last source I have for him (voter's registration). His mother was Catherine (2nd wife). John Stockbridge Crooker died in Valley Ford, Sonoma, CA which is about 40 miles from Geyersville where this property is located.
---Do you know how I would go about finding out more about this property to determine ownership? It would be helpful if estate records could be located for John Stockbridge Crooker to see if Martha was listed. That would officially link her up to him. I wonder if there was another person named J. Crooker in the area to try to rule out John Stockbridge Crooker as the owner.
I greatly appreciate your efforts and help! How are you related to John Stockbridge Crooker? If you are related and would like to keep in touch regarding this line, please let me know.
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