Stables Family

Linton Stables and Katherine Gray Stables
History of the Stables Family


These are the recollections of Alfred Gray Stables, son of Linton D. Stables, Sr., and Katherine Gray Stables, written in June 2010. These thoughts were initiated by the discovery of a historical report on the establishment of the Gloucester Courthouse (Virginia) Boy Scout troop, in which Linton D. Stables, Sr., was instrumental. The relevant portion of that report is reprinted here:

Rev. Stables was born on February 5, 1883, in Lunenburg County, Virginia, to Alfred Stables and Jane Linton, both born in England. He was married to Florence Elsie Kersey of Hanover County, and they had five children. She died on October 21, 1918, one year before Troop 111 was chartered. On November 29, 1919, his son, Francis Howard Stables, died one month following the charter. In the 1920 Gloucester census, he is listed alone in his residence as a widow and a “doctor of divinity.” His remaining children were listed with their Kersey grandparents in Hanover County. His fortunes improved with his marriage on February 11, 1920, to Katherine Bunch Gray of Gloucester County. She was the daughter of Rosewell Park Gray and Ella Louise Jones. In the 1930 census, he was ministering in Norfolk, Virginia, and he was listed with his second wife and two additional children.


Daddy WAS instrumental in starting up the Gloucester Courthouse Boy Scout troop. I really don't know the details. It must have been around 1919. He moved there in 1918. Here's my understanding of that part of our family history:
Daddy and Florence Kersey were married in 1907. A year later they had a child, Linton, Jr., who died at the age of 1 month. Then they had Paul (1910), Elsie (1911), William and Francis (twins in 1912), and Jessie (1916). It was late in 1917 or early 1918 that Daddy's wife became quite ill and was staying with her sisters in Richmond. Daddy would fulfill his Sunday duties on the Mathews Methodist Charge, and on Sunday evening would get on a Chesapeake Bay boat down to Hampton/Newport News, and then catch another boat up the James River to Richmond, arriving on Monday morning. He would take the trip back to Mathews on Thursday.


One of his five ( or six!) churches was Gwenn's Island, a tiny community on the Chesapeake. He preached there only on "fifth Sundays," but because he was there so seldom he held three services there each fifth Sunday--morning, afternoon, and evening. On this particular occasion he did the morning service and went home with church members to Sunday dinner. During the afternoon service he began to feel bad, but managed to preach and get through the service. Then he went home to supper with another church family. After supper they went back to church and he did the evening service and preached again...feeling sicker. After the service he went down to the boat dock to catch the passenger steamer down the Bay to Norfolk, but learned that it had already left. An old fisherman was on the wharf, and when he saw Daddy's plight he said, "I'll take ye", and delivered him down to Hampton in his motorized fishing boat. Daddy caught the streetcar across the peninsula to the boat pier on the James River in Newport News....he said it took lots of nickels, even back in those days! He managed to arrive at the pier just as the boat from Norfolk to Richmond was pulling in. He got on it, went to a bedroom, and he says he had his case of the 1918 flu over that night during his ride up the James River to Richmond. Aunt Mable's brother Uncle Roy (?) met him at the boat dock and took him to her home where he spent about a week recuperating.


I'm surprised he didn't give the flu to Florence, but she seems to have lived another six or eight months....the Gloucester historian is probably correct on the date of her death. Florence Kersey died in August or September or October of 1918. She and Daddy had been living in Mathews County, Virginia.


Daddy apparently farmed the children out.  In November of that year the Conference moved Daddy to Bellamy's Circuit in Gloucester. On moving day (probably the week before Thanksgiving - late November), Daddy collected his children, and drove with them over to Gloucester. The very next morning Francis died at age 6.


I believe Daddy farmed the children out again, some with church members and others with Florence Kersey's sisters in Richmond. My brother Paul told us once that he had stayed with three different families between 1918 and 1920. It would have been during this time that Daddy participated in the Boy Scout start-up. Also he began courting my mother, Katherine Gray, whom he married in February, 1920.. It is hard for me to see him as a Boy Scout starter-upper...he was VERY stern and strict and rigid. Looking back on it from my own experience, he had very low tolerance for children - especially BOYS. I suppose he did it as a community concern...but he MUST have done it, because he is certainly given credit for it, and he must have done it at a time when his own boys (Paul and William) were being kept by someone else, and were too young for Scouthood anyway!


But, as you can see, he served Bellamy only two years, from November 1918 to November 1920...and Mother said they moved because the church authorities didn't think it would be good for him to stay after marrying one of the members of the charge...Actually I think Mother's family belonged to Memorial Methodist Church on the Bellamy Charge. It was right there at Signpine, and tiny--probably closed down in the 1920's. I know their wedding took place there.


After Daddy and Mother were married, they moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia for four years. Katherine Gray was born at Oak Hall, Eastern Shore in 1922, and Linton was born there in April, 1923. They then moved to South Norfolk for six years - where I was born in July, 1930. Katherine Gray died in South Norfolk in 1928, and is buried at Bellamy Church cemetery. In October, 1930, we moved to Hull Street in South Richmond.

More about Florence Kersey Stables


In 1907 Linton D. Stables, Sr., married Florence Kersey. She was the mother of Linton, Jr., Paul, Elsie, Jessie, William, and Francis. Linton, Jr., died at the age of one month, and Francis died as a child. Florence herself died in 1918 in the Great Influenza Epidemic. Here are more photographs of Florence.


After the 2011 reunion a number of family members visited the gravesite of Florence and other Kerseys. The small cemetary is on private land not normally accessible to the public, but special arrangements were made with the owners (still Kerseys!) to trek into the woods about 200 yards to the small family graveyard.






Links to other resources

Stables History

Information is mostly about the Stables in England.

Warneke Family

This link is directly to the page for the grandparents of Linton D. Stables, Sr.  This site is being updated with information for the Stables in America. See below.