Richard and Catharine Brobeker Stafford had two "middle" sons--John and James--who have eluded my exhaustive search for Stafford descendants.
John Fletcher Stafford was born 07 July 1786 and James Bruce Stafford was born 11 October 1788, the fourth and fifth children of Richard and Catharine, as recorded in the Family Bible. Since the records show Richard Stafford's business dealings exclusively in Hampshire County, Virginia, for that time frame, we suppose John and James were both born there. John was named for the English theologian of early Methodism John Fletcher.
When their father's estate was appraised on 27 October 1808, it was noted that John Stafford had in his possession a bay horse belonging to his father, valued at $55. From the estate, James purchased one horse valued at $51, one colt valued at $31, 1/2 of his father's wheat valued at $117, 250 bushels of corn valued at $71, two stacks of hay valued at $17.02, and fourteen bushels of buckwheat valued at $3.92.
On 15 October 1809, John Fletcher Stafford married Hannah Cresap in Allegany County, Maryland, and since he is recorded in the 1810 Census for Allegany County and never appears on the Hampshire County tax rolls, it can be assumed they never lived in Hampshire County. Though the Cresap family of Allegany County, Maryland, is fairly well documented in various genealogies, Hannah's place within that family is not known at this time. The 1810 Census shows John Stafford with a wife and an unidentified male age 16-26 in his household, near the families of James B., Thomas, Edward, Hannah, and Joseph Cresap. The unidentified male could be his brother James Bruce Stafford.
John Fletcher Stafford witnessed the will of his mother Catharine Stafford on 23 July 1810.
A U.S. Seaman's Certificate was issued in Philadelphia to a James Stafford in 1804. The applicant was eighteen years of age, five-feet-four-and-a-half-inches tall, with brown complexion, dark hazel eyes, and light brown hair. He had a large round scar on his left leg, a scar on his right leg near the knee, and had the letters J.C. tattooed on the back of his right hand. He said he was born in Baltimore. James Bruce Stafford would have been only fifteen at the time, and there is no evidence that Richard and Catharine Stafford ever resided in Baltimore. Nevertheless, this is a possibility.
James Bruce Stafford appears on the tax rolls for Hampshire County, Virginia, in 1809, 1812, 1813, & 1814. According to the research of Feliciano Gamez Duarte, he was sailing with his brother William Josephus Stafford, the Baltimore privateer, during the period of 1818-1819. One of the prizes they took was placed under his command with instructions on how to unload the booty in Baltimore and Savannah. Itis possible he is the unidentified male in William J. Stafford's Baltimore household in 1820.
In 1823, their brother Joseph Stone Stafford filed a law suit over the estate of their youngest brother Washington Stafford who died in 1810. In a sworn statement, Joseph named John and James among the other siblings and stated they did not live in the state of Virginia.