Stoy Family of Virginia

Charles Stoy resided in Loudoun County in March 1870 but moved to Fairfax County after his purchase of a 137-acre tract on Georgetown Pike in Fairfax County. He resided in the small village of Springvale, close to the Loudoun/Fairfax county line, where he was Commissioner of the Revenue for a number of years and where he died in 1905 at age 86. It may be that he had first lived in Guilford (now Sterling) in Loudoun County based on the marriage certificate of his son Charles who stated he was born in Guilford in April 1869 and based on Charles's obituary. Charles had married for a second time in 1868 at age 49 after raising five children in New Jersey and Philadelphia; he and second wife Phebe then proceeded to have eight more children over the next 20 years.

The location of his home in Springvale appeared on an 1879 map of Northern Virginia (see map in sidebar). Springvale is in the northwest corner of the county, close to the Loudoun county line. Today, the community is suburban and the old homes as well as the Post Office in the center of the village are gone, replaced by MacMansions.

Phebe knew quite a bit of her family history and left a letter that she wrote to a friend or a teacher of daughter Susie in which she laid out a number of names that have helped to understand her ancestors.3 In the letter she said ". . . I have often heard, when small, my Grandfather and when older, my mother and aunt tell of conversations they had had with their Grandfather Sayre and his wife who was a Simpson of the 'Simpson' family of New Jersey. He and his wife were engaged to be married when the war broke out but postponed it until the war was over when he went home with seven bullets in his person." Phebe provided further support for the story of General George Washington naming the triplets born of Samuel Sayre: "Some of his old comrades knowing of his service in the N.J. and N.Y. campaigns and knowing how Washington regarded him, wrote Washington, he then being President, and requested him to name the boys, when Washington gave them the names of three of his Generals." The names of both of Phebe's grandmothers were used as middle names of two of her children, Charles Winget and Florella Hampton.

There are photos of only three of their eight children currently available: Clifford Metzger, Margaret Aminda and Elmer Curry.

Elmer Curry Stoy

Elmer Curry, youngest son of Charles and Phebe, was always an unknown figure in the family because he left the home he and Maria built in McLean in 1911, six years after they married and two years after the birth of his youngest son - divorce came about a year later. None of his children (except perhaps Elmer Dutton) or grandchildren knew him - he was not at all a part of his children's lives from that time forward - my father never wanted to talk about him (not that there was much he personally knew except what his mother might have told him), although he did say that his father had been in the armed services. Also, Dad had a collection of old coins from the Far East that he said his father had collected in his travels (my brother still has this collection) and these were exotic and interesting to a ten-year old. Almost all of the information on Elmer his granddaughter Ann has collected from various public records and an interview of his widow - very little (other than the photographs) has come from personal family records.

Elmer enlisted in the Marines 4 May 1898 at the Marine Barracks (Navy Yard, Washington, DC), four months before his 15th birthday. Why leave home so young? At this time he had mostly females living with him (the older brothers were gone) along with his father who was 80 - perhaps the home life just wasn't to his liking and, with the Spanish-American War starting (the Battle of Manila Bay was 1 May 1898), he may have seen adventure if he enlisted.

Recently, posted the US Marine Corps Muster Roll records and entries for Elmer are listed in the sidebar - this provides a great picture of his month-by-month experiences in the Marines.4 He certainly didn't see any action on his enlistment; he was attached to the band as an apprentice from May 1898 to February 1899, at which point he became a fifer/trumpeter for the rest of his Marine service. In March 1899 he was transferred to the Marine Guard at the Naval Academy in Annapolis where he appeared in the population census on 1 Jun 1900, and where he remained until July 1900. By this time the Spanish-American War had ended (August 1898), but the Philippine-American War had begun in February 1899 (ending July 1902) and the Boxer Rebellion in China had started November 1899 (ending September 1901) - there was enough fighting to go around and Elmer was going to participate despite being in the band.

In June 1900 the Boxers seized control of Tienjin and in July the Eight Nation United Army (Russian, British, Japanese, German, French, American, Austro-Hungarian, and Italian forces) attacked and retook the city. A direct result of this activity in China was that on 22 Jul 1900 Elmer was transferred to B Company, 5th Battalion and boarded the US Army Transport Ship Hancock (see photos in sidebar). One month later, on 22 Aug 1900, the Hancock arrived in Tientsin/Tianjin, China. During this time in the Far East, Elmer's commanding officer was Capt R M Dutton, clearly the source of the middle name of Elmer's oldest son.

By October 1900, until May 1901, Elmer was at the US Naval Station in Cavite, Philippine Islands (near Manila city as well as Bataan and Corregidor Islands in Manila Bay). On 11 Jun 1901 he was transferred to duty on the USS Monadnock (see photo above) where the ship put in at the ports of Shanghai, Canton and Hong Kong until February 1903 - imagine 18 months service on this ship! By 5 Feb 1903 Elmer was on the USAT Sheridan en route to the US, arriving at the Brooklyn Navy Yard March 12. By March 20 he was back at the Marine Barracks in Annapolis and received a furlough for the month of April 1903 (to marry Maria) and by June 24 was at the Navy Yard in Washington - still a trumpeter. Either Elmer and Maria had less than one month to get acquainted and then marry or they had known one another before Elmer left for the Far East - if the latter, then they carried on a long distance relationship for three years and likely knew very little about each other. Consider also that Elmer was only 17 when he shipped out I would say that none of these events were good harbingers of a happy and long marriage.

Elmer remained at the Marine Barracks in Washington until he was discharged July 1904, 15 months after his marriage. After leaving the service, he worked as a conductor (probably for the trolley) in Washington and lived in Georgetown. In mid-1908 he and Maria bought the property in McLean and moved there by 1909 - Dad was born in the new home in August of that year - and Maria lived in her house until she died in 1941 and it became the property of her youngest child, Robert.

From 1908-1913 Elmer served as a sanitary and food inspector for the District of Columbia Health Department.3 In February 1910 he testified at a Congressional hearing by the Subcommittee on Investigation of Food Storage and Prices (House Committee on the District of Columbia) in his role as sanitary food inspector.7 The testimony of Elmer gives an insight into his work during these early years and into the career he had during the rest of his working life.


1. Griffith M Hopkins, Atlas of Fifteen Miles around Washington including the Counties of Fairfax and Alexandria, Virginia (Philadelphia: G M Hopkins, 1879); in Richard W Stephenson, The Cartography of Northern Virginia: Facsimile Reproductions of Maps Dating From 1608 to 1915 (Fairfax County, Virginia: Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, 1981), 94

2. Griffith M Hopkins, Map of the Vicinity of Washington, D.C. (Philadelphia: Griffith M Hopkins, c. 1894); in Richard W Stephenson, The Cartography of Northern Virginia: Facsimile Reproductions of Maps Dating From 1608 to 1915 (Fairfax County, Virginia: Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, 1981), 97.

3. Ann Arnold Hennings, "Stoy Family Genealogy Manuscript", (MS, Falls Church, Virginia, 25 Dec 1981). Copy of manuscript owned by R Stoy.

4. "US Marine Corps Muster Rolls 1798-1940," database, ( : accessed 12 Dec 2007), entry for Elmer Stoy (various spellings). Original data: Muster Rolls of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1798-1892; (National Archives Microfilm Publication T1118, 123 rolls); Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, Record Group 127; National Archives, Washington, D.C. U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1893-1940; (National Archives Microfilm Publication T977, 460 rolls); Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, Record Group 127; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Ann (Arnold) Hennings compiled the first version of this muster roll listing and I've modified and corrected some of her entries in this listing.

5. Photo of USAT Hancock (built 1879), digital image, Naval Historical Center ( : accessed 26 Jan 2008).

6. Photo of USS Monadnock (built 1874-1896), digital image, Naval Historical Center ( : accessed 26 Jan 2008).

7. House Committee on the District of Columbia, "Report of Hearings on H. R. 16925 to Regulate the Storage of Food Products in the Disrict of Columbia," (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1910), digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 1 Dec 2010).