Family Tree - William Stoker

The records for the Stoker family are fragmented, but between census records, letters, family bibles, and the work of some diligent genealogists, we can piece together a fair picture of William Stoker’s family life. Credit: MyHeritage.com

Parents - Arnold and Rebecca Stoker

William Stoker’s father, Arnold, died when he was about three years old. This estate notice appeared in the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser in June 1840. Stoker’s mother Rebecca soon remarried to Thomas “T. J.” McKissack and relocated the family to Georgia. However, according to family tradition, she and her second husband separated, although the children remained with her. Credit: 19th Century U. S. Newspapers

William Stoker

We have no photograph yet of William E. Stoker, but he does seem to appear in this 1850 census record from Troup County, Georgia, as Elisha W. Stoker, age 13. His step-brothers did refer to William as “Brother Elisha.” Credit: Ancestry.com

Step-Brother - Thomas McKissack

The 1850 census record from Georgia shows a mixed Stoker – McKissack household headed by Rebecca McKissack, then age 40. William Stoker’s step-brother Thomas McKissack later served in the Confederate army with him and was the person who reported on Stoker’s mortal wounds following the Battle of Jenkins Ferry. Credit: Ancestry.com

Georgia to East Texas

The extended Stoker – McKissack family relocated once again sometime in the 1850s to east Texas, settling in a small farming community called Coffeeville in Upshur County. Credit: House Divided Project

Wife - Elizabeth Stoker

We have over thirty intimate letters from William Stoker to his wife Elizabeth, or “Betty” as he called her, from the period when he served in the Confederate army. Yet we have no photograph of Betty and do not even know her maiden name, nor her date of death. Credit: National Civil War Museum

Daughter - Priscilla Stoker

Stoker’s little daughter Priscilla was the subject of many of his letters. He missed her dearly during the war. She survived his death in 1864 but then died herself three years later of an unknown cause at the age of six. Credit: Etta Withers & Elaine Martin

Son - Enoch Stoker

William and Elizabeth Stoker also may have had a son named Enoch who was born in 1861 and died as an infant the next year. The family records are unclear. Credit: Etta Withers & Elaine Martin

Slaves - Alf & Het

The Stokers did have at least two slaves, a man named Alf and a woman named Het. William Stoker occasionally asked about Alf and Het in his letters home, sometimes telling his wife to say “Howdee” to them. But he also once instructed Betty to whip Alf “as long as he can bare it” when the male slave disobeyed her. Credit: Library of Congress