I have just found in the 1880 census of Mecklenburg County, NC a listing for Sophia Dulin. The household consists of Sopia, age 49, Catherine, a sister in law, age 60, and Nancy, a daughter, age 17. Also in the household is "Amsly Starnes," age 20, whose relationship to the family is given as a cousin. Amsly Starnes is doubtless my great grandfather's brother, Emslie Valentine Stearns, born 1860, who later married Nancy Dulin.
On the same page of the census are listed David A. King, age 25, his wife Mary, age 20, and their daughter Leola E. King, age 2. Mary was another daughter of Milton and Sophia Dulin. David King was Emslie Stearns' uncle.
What I am trying to figure out is an earlier connection between the Dulin and Stearns families. I have long suspected it as Emslie Stearns' father was named Dulin Stearns (1836-1863). This listing, stating that Emslie was a cosusin of the Dulin family, proves that there was a connection, and I am hoping you or someone else might be able to tell me what it was.
Dulin Stearns (1836-1863) was the son of Valentine Stearns (c. 1800-c. 1880) and his wife Olivia Ritch, who were married at the Morning Star Lutheran Church near Mint Hill in 1824. Valentine was probably the son of Jacob Starns (1775-1848) and his wife Esther Wentz (c. 1780-1853). Olivia Ritch was the daughter of John Ritch who died in 1837. Could Olivia Ritch's mother have been a Dulin?
The children of Valentine Stearns (Starnes, Starns) and Olivia Ritch were Adam W. (Wolf?) born c. 1827, John L. (Leander?) b. 1829, killed in the War, Esther (Easter) b. 1834, Dulin (1836-1863) killed in the War, Jane, born 1837, Jacob M. (1839-1863) killed in the War, and Brown (1843-1863) killed in the War.
Dulin Stearns married Rusha Elizabeth King (1837-1893) a daughter of Reverend Harmon Daniel King (c. 1805-1906)and his first wife Mary V. Starnes (1814-1865). Harmon King was the son of Harmon D. King, Sr., a soldier of the Revolution and his wife Elizabeth Flye, both of South Carolina. Mary V. Starnes was probably the daughter of either Nathaniel Starnes (1784-1860) and his wife Susannah Bost, or of Valentine Starnes (another Valentine, distant cousin to the first Valentine mentioned, 1782-1880) and his wife Elizabeth Richardson.
I don't think it is possible for Emslie to have been a cousin of the Dulins through his mother's family, so I am looking to a connection through the Ritch or Stearns families, especially since his father's given name was Dulin.
I would be most obliged for any information you, or anyone else, could give me.