The 1644 Argument
The argument for a marriage date of 1644 was introduced by Dr. John Stillwell in 1916 and relies on A) the documented fact that the two eldest sons of Richard Stout (namely, John and Richard, Jr.) were awarded full land grants of 120 acres based upon residence in New Jersey before 1 Jan 1665 as adults, not minors, and assumption B) that the sons were thus eighteen years of age in 1664. Because no one suggests that Richard had sons from a prior marriage, assumption C) is that the first son was born about one year after the marriage date of Richard and Penelope and the second son between two and three years after the marriage date.
Before 1 Jan 1647 = second son’s birth
1645 = first son’s birth
1644 = Marriage date
1. They encouraged rapid settlement by reducing the size of the land grants in later years.
2. They required settlers to physically occupy the land to eliminate speculators.
3. They gave the largest grants to heads of household, wives, and able-bodied men ready and able to defend the colony against Indian attack and half-grants to “weaker” servants.
According to Wikipedia the English legal year began on March 25 until the conversion from the Julian to Gregorian calendar nearly a century later in 1752. Therefore the legal date of 1 Jan 1665 is the day after 31 Dec 1665, or 1 Jan 1666 as we would think of it. To reduce confusion, a date between 1 Jan and 24 Mar was often written in the format of 1 Jan 1665/66 but not in legal documents.
10 Feb 1664/65 – Lords Proprietors of New Jersey, John Lord Berkley and Sir George Carteret (both of whom were also among the proprietors of the Carolinas), signed the Concession and Agreements document with the 1 Jan 1665/66 deadline.
29 Jul 1665—the new governor Philip Carteret (relative of Sir George Carteret) arrived in New York with the documents, the first English ship since the conquest.
Aug 1665—Governor Philip Carteret accompanied the first settlers to found Elizabethtown, the capital of New Jersey. These able-bodied settlers accompanying the governor received 150 acres.
1 Jan 1665/66—deadline for other settlers to receive maximum land grants of 120 acres.
Challenge #2: Able Man Servant or Weaker Servant
1650 = first son’s birth
After 12 Sep 1648 and before mid-1649 = Marriage date