Joseph, born in 1798, was the son of Joseph Lawrence Stephens, a Revolutionary War soldier in the Virginia Militia, and Lucy Garrard. Lawrence moved to Bourbon County in 1784, one of the earliest settlers of the county. He and wife Lucy are buried in the Old Cynthiana Cemetery, but although Ritchey and I have taken photos of the stones there, I could not find their burial site. It is highly possible the stone was long ago destroyed.
Joseph married Hannah Loyall March 27, 1819, in Fayette County, Kentucky. In the 1850 Census of Bourbon County Joseph is listed as 52, a clerk; Hannah, 50; Martha M., 20; Louise, 18; Caroline, 14: Charles, 10; and Josephine, 4. There are seven children not listed in this census record. Five had died previous to this date, Thomas, an infant, died in 1822. Elizabeth, a grown daughter, died in 1845. William Edward, at the age of 10, died in 1847; And Hannah, an infant, died in 1845. And Maria M., 19 years of age, died in 1846. Mary and Joseph Lawrence had married by 1850.
Elizabeth Stephens married George Gilman and had at least two children with him. 1845 was a terrible year for this family. Between June 18 and August 1 of that year Joseph and Hannah lost two daughters and and two grandsons.
By 1860 there were a few changes within the Stephens household. Joseph, 62, was a grocer; Hannah, 60; Martha Varden, 30, their married daughter, lived with them along with her husband, George Varden, 30, Baptist minister. Children Carrie, 21; Charles, 19; and Josephine, 13, were living with their parents.
The first Martha Varden listed on this stone, I believe to be the daughter of George Stephens Varden, son of Martha M. Stephens and George Varden, and granddaughter of Joseph and Hannah Stephens.
In the 1870 Census of Bourbon County, Joseph is listed as 72;, Hannah, 70; Josephine, 21; and grandsons Carlton, 14; and Edward Clark, 12. Carlton and Edward are the sons of Ella Louise Stephens who married Elijah Clark.
Lizzie is a daughter of Martha and George Varden, making her daughter Elizabeth a great-grandchild of Joseph and Hannah Stephens.
December 31, 1872, Hannah, wife of Joseph Stephens for 53 years, passed away. In the 1880 Census, Joseph, at age 82, is listed as a retired grocer. His youngest daughter, Josephine, 30, stills live with him. Joseph lived another five years, passing away on April 2, 1885, at the grand age of 87 years.
What a long life! What an extended family! A great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Bishop, an infant of Lizzie Ray and Elias B. Bishop, is listed at the bottom of his gravestone.