Hello Loletta! I searched deeply for your family, and have a few pages of information compiled now. I primarily tracked Mary Emeline (STEP) Emberton's mother, from 1860 in Walker Co., GA (married to her 2nd husband James BRUCE, Jr.), then to Monroe Co., KY (1870/1880), while she was married to William Robert STEWART (husband #3).
Here's what I have discovered, through records ... but also, do you have the Ohio death record of Mary Emeline (STEP) Emberton?
I believe this is she, from the OHIO Death Index:
Ohio Death Index
Name: Mary E. Emberton
State File Number: Volume 4295 - Certificate 63335
Death Date: Month: 10 (October) - Day: 05 - Year: 1923
Hopefully, this death record would confirm her mother's name: Sidney Ella Thomas – which I found (Ella Thomas, without the Sidney) on a half-sister's death record.
William Robert Stewart (husband #3 of Sidney Ella THOMAS, mother of Mary Emeline STEP who m. Robert Hampton Emberton).
Birth: 3 Mar 1830, NC (Census) Or GA (Death Record)
Death: 27 Dec 1912, East Tompkinsville Precinct, Monroe Co., Kentucky
Burial: 28 Dec 1912, Yokley Graveyard, Monroe Co., KY
Father: Austin Stewart
Mother: Susan Bridges
WIFE #1: Sarah Rebecca Baswell (Boswell, Bazwell)
Children: Ellen; Andrew; Asberry; Amanda; Sarah - I have no further info./proof of these children.
WIFE #2: Sidney Ellen / Ella THOMAS, b. 1832 NC = 3 husbands, William Robert Stewart was #3.
This was the mother of Mary Emeline STEP married Robert Hampton Emberton.
One child’s death record states her name as Ella THOMAS.
She married: 1) Mr. _____ STEP (STEPP); children James M. Step (later called BRUCE; and Mary Emaline / Emma Step m. Robert Hampton Emberton. She married; 2) James BRUCE, Jr.; children: John W. b. 1858, Nancy J. b. 1859 and Jordan D. born 1862. She married 3) William Robert Stewart (b. 3 Mar 1830 NC, d. 27 Dec 1912, East Tompkinsville Pct., Monroe Co., KY); children: Susan F. b. 1868, Joseph N. b. 1869, and Ruth Ella b. 2 Mar 1871 Monroe Co., KY, d. 25 July 1943 Louisville, Jefferson Co., KY, married 19 Oct 1892 Monroe Co., KY to Horace E. Peck (son of Lewis and Rhoda G. Peck).
Sidney “Ella” is found in 1860 Walker Co., GA (Sydna E. Bruce), in 1870 Monroe Co., KY (Sidney E. Stewart); 1880 Monroe Co., KY (Ellen Stewart).
I have not found her with her husband Mr. Step, nor found any trace of her in any 1850 Census!
WIFE #3: Elizabeth Jane MAYTON (MATON) – source: her death record, Monroe Co., KY.
I suspect Elizabeth Jane Mayton married William Robert Stewart ca. 1883 – after the death of Sidney Ella (Thomas) (Step) (Bruce) Stewart. Children of William Stewart & Elizabeth Jane Mayton: Dora B., Margaret A., John B.H., William B., Della M., Ocea C., and Henry. Her daughter’s death record also confirms her name: Margaret “Maggie” (Stewart) Copass (b. 5 Apr 1887, d. 23 Jun 1928, Monroe Co., KY), husband Avery Copass (James Avery Copass); father Bill Stewart, mother: Jane Mayton. She was Elizabeth J. in Census, and her death record was Jane Mayton Stewart; father Harrison Maton b. East TN; mother unknown also b. East TN.
I have found nothing substantive re. Reuben Step. Who suggested him as a possible father of Mary Emeline Step? Also, do you have Robert Hampton Emberton's death date/place? I lost him after the 1920 Census, in Radnor Twp., Delaware Co., OH.
I knew nothing about this family until I started seriously researching them -- a very challenging problem, right? I pulled Census records for many children in several states. Let me know how I might get a file sent to you?
Best regards, your (distant) cousin, Christie (descendant of David Emberton & Alice "Ally" Waldrop).