........ Conjecture, noun, the formation of judgments or opinions on the basis of incomplete or inconclusive information. Source: Encarta Dictionary

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Hopewell Church Records of Rev. Oliver Hart

This post was updated Thursday, Nov 1 after I went to the South Caroliniana library on the USC campus in Columbia, SC to view the papers of Rev. Oliver Hart. What does he have to do with Penelope? Hart was the minister of Hopewell Baptist Church when Morgan Edwards published his book Materials Toward a History of the Baptists, the second printed account of Penelope's ordeal and the first to claim 502 descendants and an age of 110 years. I had assumed that Hart provided the data to Edwards but the journals recorded that Rev. Morgan Edwards preached in Rev. Hart's church in Hopewell on Feb 14, 21 and 28 of 1790, about the time that Edwards was supposedly collecting his data from various towns in New Jersey.

Why are the records in South Carolina. Rev. Hart was a Baptist minister in Charleston for 30 years before he was chased away by the British because he was an active patriot. He was originally from Bucks County, PA, just across the Delaware River from Hopewell, NJ  but his older children remained in Charleston and his widow returned there (presumably with his journals and papers).

Here from Rev. Hart's journals is the list of the 216 members of the Hopewell Baptist Church on Dec.  1, 1780, when Rev. Hart became the pastor. Typos may be embedded due to Rev. Hart's tiny but neat handwriting, 200 years of fading, the person who oiginally transcribed his journal, and my typing. This list makes it much easier to believe that Penelope had 502 descendants when she died.

Note: Later I will update this page with additional information in [brackets] from the journals.

86 male members--John Stout, Elder; David Stout, Elder; ??Stout, Deacon; Nathaniel Stout, Deacon; Nathan Stout, Deacon; Zebulun Stout, Jacob Stout, David Stout, Hezekiah Stout, Benjamin Stout, Andrew Stout, James Stout, David Stout, John Stout, Zebulun Stout, Richard Stout, Samuel Stout, Benjamin Stout, Richard Stout, Samuel Stout, Benjamin Stout, Jedidiak Stout, David Stout, Levi Stout, Zehania [Zephaniah] Stout, Benjamin Stout, Thomas Drake, James Drake, John Drake, Ralph Drake, Enoch Drake, Timothy Titus Senr., Timothy Titus, Junr., Stephen Barton, Deacon; Zebulun Barton, John Hunt, James Hunt, Wilson Hunt, Nathaniel Hixon, Andrew Hixon, Bonham Runyan, John Corwine, John Corwine, Joseph Reed, James Wicoff, David Labaw, Francis Labaw, Moses Labaw, Ichabod Lee, Joseph Lee, Elijah Lee, Henry Vankirk, David Snowden, John Jewel, Jacob Huff, James Osborne, Uriah Osborne, William Osborne, Abraham Servie, Joseph Merrell, Samuel Merrel, John Matthew, Benjamin Matthews, Jedidiah Higgins, Geshome Herren, Samuel Hill, Thomas Craven, James Hill, Alexander Buchanan, William Parks, John Manners, Joseph Higgins, John Disberry, John Hixon, Gideon Lyan, Jerrer’d Saxton, Nathaniel Foster, Ephraim Smith, Abm. Runkle, Rev. John Blackwell, Rev. Benjamin Coles.

122 female members--
Rachel Stout, Sarah Stout, Mary Stout, ?? Stout, Esther Stout, Grace Stout, Marcy Stout, Eppenetus Stout, Martha Stout, Catharine Stout, Charity Stout, Mebal Stout, Penelope Stout, Hannah Stout, Ann Stout, Rhoda Stout, Rachel Stout junr., Rachel Stout, Dorothy Drake, Jemima Hunt, Jemima Laban, Jerusha Lee, Charity Lee, Mary Jewel, Lidya Huff, Lidya Servie, Leah Merrell, Elizabeth Matthews, Frances Higgins, Sarah Higgins, Barsheba Hill, Rachel Buchanan, Rachel Parks, Rachel Shannon, Jemima Hixon, Martha Smith, Sarah Blackwell, Mary Coles, Sarah Runkle, Ann Wilkins, Martha Hogland, Alice Runyan, Sarah Vankirk, Sussannah Gano, Sarah Park, Rebekah Eaton, Eleanor Merrell, Jane Vannelt, Hannah Saxton, Elizabeth Hise, Lucretia Chamberlain, Elizabeth Knowles, Mary Carbines, Tabitha Brush, Phoebe More, Anne Manners, Penelope Stout, Elizabeth Roberts, Anne Sherd, Mary Silvers, Marcy Runyan, Catherine Nanpelt [Vanpelt?], Abigal Vannoy, Anne Warford, Martha Dollos, Thamar Drake, Elizabeth Hart, Amy Olivant, Sarah Stout, Anne Brinson, Sarah Matthews, Sarah Randolph, Lucina Stout,  Anne Craven, Lucina Park, Miriam Younk, Penelope Hart, Elizabeth Cochran, Martha Reed, Elizabeth Drake, Margaret Sherrard, Hephziba Stout, Mable Cannuel, Hosa Vankirk, Catherine Saxton, Mary Barton, Margaret Vankirk, Elizabeth Lefever, Mary Hise, Jane Hutchefon, Mary Prawl, Pamelia Hunt, Sarah Goflin, Sarah Wildgoose, Elizabeth ??, Mary Runayn, Elizabeth Stout, Naomi Osborne, Pencina Osborn, Frances Laryson, Hannah Merrell, Sarah Listsen, Sarah Runkle, Elizabeth Hill, Sarah Hunt, Sarah Brush, Jane Stout, Mary Biggs, Sarah Roberts, Mary Stout, Elizabeth Stout, Rachel Snowden, Sussannah Allen, Elizabeth Hixon, Margaret Wilson, Sarah Hilsy, Mary Vanpelt, Rebekah Chetester.
7 Negroes--Bonto, Cate, Dinah, Weld, Cate, Sor, Frank
I think the pattern of names is a grouping by families. Unfortunately, I see no distinction between groups. A listing of "Jemima Hunt, Jemima Laban" suggests Jemima Laban is the daughter of Jemima Hunt.
More details next week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Summary of What's Known about Penelope

Last week I listed the major sources of the stories about Penelope. Combining all threads produces the following summary of what we know about Penelope:

Penelope (whose maiden name was possibly Kent or Lent or Thompson or Thomson or vanPrincis or vanPrinces or vanPrincen or vanPrincess or van Prince or van Printzen) was born probably in the 1620s in either England or Holland to unknown parents who were either English or Dutch. Rumors suggest her father was a minister. In the 1640s at approximately 20 years of age, Penelope married either an Englishman or a Dutchman (whose name was probably Kent or Prince or vanPrince or vanPrincis or vanPrinces or vanPrincess or van Prince or van Printzen) probably in Amsterdam. Soon thereafter they sailed on a ship (name unknown) from Amsterdam to the Dutch West Indies colony of New Amsterdam possibly by way of the Caribbean island of Curacao.

Sometime in the 1640s somewhere in the Sandy Hook area of Raritan Bay (in what is now Monmouth County, NJ), Penelope’s ship (which might have the Kath/Kat/Cat/Cath which sank in 1648, returning from Curacao with a cargo of salt) ran aground or capsized in a storm or sank. Everyone except Penelope perished in the incident or else everyone except Penelope was killed by Indians after surviving the wreck or else everyone safely made it to shore except Penelope’s husband who was either injured in the wreck or had been sick on the voyage. If other passengers and crew survived the incident, they hiked to New Amsterdam, but Penelope refused to abandon her husband, who was too sick or injured to travel.

After the wreck, Indians attacked whoever was still there on the beach. If Penelope’s husband survived the wreck, the Indians killed him. The Indians mutilated Penelope (head injury and/or shoulder injury and/or partially disemboweled and/or scalped), and left her for dead. She managed to crawl into a hollow log or tree for protection and survived on the fungus growing on the rotten wood.

Later (perhaps a week), one or two Indians possibly with a dog were on the beach. Possibly they wounded a deer, which ran by Penelope’s log/tree with an arrow sticking out of it. Penelope called to the Indians to put her out of her misery. The young Indian (assuming there were two) was anxious to do so, but the older one prevailed. The older Indian carried the wounded white woman to his village near where the town of Middletown now stands. She recovered from her injuries.

Either Penelope lived with the Indians for many years, or else she escaped in a canoe, or else white men heard of her presence and rescued her, or else the old Indian delivered her to New Amsterdam for a ransom.

On 12 Sep 1648 (our only reliable date) in Gravesend, Long Island, colony of New Netherland, Pennellopy Prince testified in a slander trial about one woman milking another woman’s cow.

Penelope married Richard Stout, an early settler of Gravesend (on Long Island near Coney Island), who may have been 40 years old when they married in the 1640s (probably between 1642 and 1648). Richard was likely from Nottinghamshire, England, likely left home after an argument with his father possibly about a woman his father deemed unsuitable, and served in the English navy (possibly involuntarily) for probably seven years before being discharged in America (probably in New Amsterdam) about 1642.  "Octoberr 13th, 1643, Richard Aestin, Ambrose Love [London?] and Richard Stout made declarations that the crew of the Seven Stars and of the privateer landed at the farm of Anthony Jansen, of Salee, in the Bay, and took off 200 pumpkins, and would have carried away a lot of hogs from Coney Island had they not learned that they belonged to Lady Moody."
Penelope and Richard Stout had 10 children who lived to maturity and populated New Jersey.

At some point after marriage and by 1666 at the latest, Penelope and Richard left Gravesend and (with other settlers) founded the town of Middletown, NJ, near where the old Indian’s village was. At some point while she had young children (probably near Middletown but possibly in Gravesend), the old Indian warned Penelope that other Indians planned to attack her settlement. She could not persuade her husband of the truth, so she took the children away in a canoe (possibly provided by the old Indian). At her departure, her husband decided to be prudent, gathered the other settlers, and thwarted the attack before it occurred. Thereafter, the Indians and settlers lived in peace.

Richard Stout died as an old man (probably around age 90), his will being probated in 1705. Penelope died probably between 1712 and 1732 at an old age, which some claim was 110 years, at which time she had 502 descendants. She was buried somewhere in the Middletown area. Her numerous descendants recounted her adventures to their numerous descendants.

Penelope told her great grandson John Stout to reach into her apron pocket and feel her abdominal scar. John told this story to his granddaughter Helena Hoff, who told her granddaughter Therese Walling.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Conjecture # 6: The different stories of Penelope all derive from a common source.

Technorati claim code # UF6CS44PUDMR

The story of Penelope had to have been shared among the family for generations or else it would never have been printed so often. The Stout family was large and dispersed in many directions. Among the different branches of the family, and over the centuries, some of the details were lost or "improved." But there should be a solid core of truth that all these legends developed from. By comparing the versions, perhaps we can derive the core or at least separate the plausible from the inplausible.

First let me enumerate the various threads. There are 7 historical: Burlington, Hopewell, Amwell, Sangamon, Seabrook, Ocean Grove, and Monmouth and three fictional threads: Crawford, Phillips and McFarlane. If anyone else has another original source, please let me know. I don’t have time now but I would like to compare the similarities and differences between these versions.
1. Burlington: Samuel Smith (author of The History of the Colony of Nova Caesaria or New Jersey to Year 1721, pub. 1765) was born in Burlington (near Trenton), was a merchant in Philadelphia, returned to Burlington where he served as mayor, treasurer of the colony of West Jersey from 1750 to 1775 and on the New Jersey Council. Even though he was from the western part of the state and Middleton is in the eastern part, he was a Quaker (as were many of the Stouts) and likely knew people from everywhere. Therefore, we don’t know where Smith heard the story of Penelope that he used to illustrate the relative absence of Indian wars in New Jersey, compared to New York and New England.

2. Hopewell: Morgan Edwards (author of Materials Toward A History of the Baptists in New Jersey, pub 1792 and expanded by Benedict, David. A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America, and Other Parts of the World. London: Lincoln & Edmands, 1813) was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia from 1761 to 1771, then moved to Delaware, and was the first Baptist historian. His information about Penelope came from Rev. Oliver Hart, Baptist pastor at Charleston, SC (1751 to 1780) and Hopewell, NJ from Dec 1780 to 1795. [Note: Hart’s papers reside in the South Caroliniana Library in Columbia, SC (only 100 miles from me; I’ll have to research that. What if Edwards only published a summary of Hart’s report?)]

3. Amwell: Nathan Stout of Amwell, NJ wrote The History of the Stout Family,1823. His great grandson, Simpson Stout, erected a monument with a long, detailed genealogy. This is the first published account by a direct descendant of Penelope.

4. Sangamon: Stout descendants of Sangamon County, Illinois, related the family history to a local historian, John Carroll Power, who wrote Early Settlers of Sangamon County [IL] – 1876. Springfield, IL: Edwin Wilson & Co., 1876, pp 690-2. No offense to my Illinois cousins, but this sounds like a poorly remembered and slightly garbled account of the New Jersey versions with a unique twist, namely, the earliest mention of Penelope being scalped.

5. Seabrook: In his 1916 analysis [Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, Early Settlers of New Jersey and their Descendants] of the Penelope saga, John Stillwell, M.D., recounts an incident that was passed down through the generations to Mrs. T. W. Seabrook: “My grandmother, Helena Huff, told me how her grandfather, John Stout, had felt the wounds of Penelope Stout, and that he blushed like a school boy. She wished the knowledge of the Indian assault transmitted to her posterity and it has been done, for there are but two hands between Penelope and me.”

6. Ocean Grove. William Montgomery Clemens (1860-1931), a genealogist, newspaperman and author, published American Marriages Before 1699 in the year 1926. This book is mostly New England data plus a few mid-Atlantic entries.  In 1931, he died in Ocean Grove, NJ, which is in Monmouth County. Therefore, I conjectured that he discussed genealogy with Stout descendants in the area.

7. Monmouth County: Both the Monmouth County Historical Association Library in Freehold and the Spy House Museum Complex in Port Monmouth have local newspaper articles, which are most likely based upon local family legend. I haven’t seen them but many people refer to them on the Internet.


8. Crawford: The young adult book Four Women in a Violent Time (Crawford, 1970) purports to be historical yet her only listed source that links to Penelope is Samuel Smith’s 1765 account. However, most of the details in Crawford’s book are found in no source. Therefore, I conclude the portion of Crawford’s book about Penelope is 99% fictional, basically a novel. But it’s important to point out her fictions, such as a maiden name of Thompson.

9. Schott: In the narrative poem Penelope: The Story of the Half-Scalped Woman, the author writes in the forward, "Where little is known, much is invented." Penelope marries vanPrincis, miscarries on the beach after the Indian attack, is rescued by an Indian named Machk, marries John Richard Stout, is Applegate's niece, and dies in 1712.

10. Phillips: The novel As Good As Dead: The Penelope Stout Story is also an interesting work of fiction. Her fictional genealogy is that Rev. Thomson forces his daughter Penelope to marry Baron Kent Van Princis.

11. McFarlane: In my novel Penelope: A Novel of New Amsterdam the fictional genealogy is that Penelope Kent, born 13 Aug 1626, marries Matthew Prince in order to search for her missing father, John Kent, an English merchant. The novel includes the documented history of the ship Kath and conjectures that Penelope was a passenger when it wrecked.

If anyone knows of other original sources that draw on different family memories, please let me know.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Voyages to New Amsterdam and Curacao

Here are voyages (and related events) to and from New Amsterdam and Curacao from Sept 1646 to Dec 1648. Note that Kath is also spelled de Kath, Kat, Kadt, Cath, or Cat in the various accounts:
14 Sep 1646, Curaçao: Ship Wapen van Nieu Nederlandt arrives in Curaçao and will depart for New Amsterdam.

1647, Amsterdam: Ship Witte Doffer sails to New Amsterdam.
11 May 1647, New Amsterdam: With a fleet of 4 ships, new Director-General Peter Stuyvesant arrives in New Amsterdam by way of the Caribbean island Curaçao (also a part of New Netherland and which he formerly commanded). The Princess Amelia (also called Princess) sailed from Texel (near Amsterdam) on 25 Dec 1646. The Groote Gerrit [Great Crow] under command of Paulus Leendertzen van der Grift likely accompanied the Princess Amelia. Kath [Cat] and Swol [Swallow] probably sailed later and rendezvoused at Curaçao.
1647 May 31. Bill of sale of the ship Amandare, by Peter Stuyvesant, director of
New Netherland, to Thomas Broughton, and charter of the same,
to go to Boston, Isaac Allerton of New Amsterdam and Thomas
Willett of New Plymouth, being securities

5 Jun 1647, New Amsterdam: Ship Wapen van Nieu Nederlandt is in port and will sail for Amsterdam. June 6. Power of attorney. William de Key, merchant, and Jan Claesen
Snial, skipper of the Arms of New Netherland, to Isaac Allerton,
to sell horses on their account in Virginia.

6 Jun 1647, New Amsterdam: The council orders the  West India Company ships Groote Gerrit, De Kath and De Liefde [Love] to be made ready to go to sea as privateers against the Spanish.
Unknown dates, New Amsterdam. Groote Gerrit sails to “…Boston in the English Virginia with a load of salt…”. A frigate from Medenblick arrives. Hercules, with skipper Cornelis Claessen Snoo, arrives. Ship Tamarande is sold.

24 Jun 1647, New Amsterdam: ship de Princes is in port. [probably Pincess Amelia]

5 Jul 1647, New Amsterdam: Thomas Broughton buys ship ‘T Amandaree (“arrived here from Brazil”) from the West India Company and will sail to Boston. He borrows some crew and will return them to Groote Gerrit in Boston.

26 Jul 1647, New Amsterdam: Liefde is in port.

2 Aug 1647, New Amsterdam: Prins Willem is in port.

10 Aug, 1647, New Amsterdam: The ship St. Beninjo, under master Cornelis Claessen Snoo, is charged with smuggling.

14 Aug 1647, New Amsterdam: Valckenier is in port.

16 Aug 1647, New Amsterdam:  Princess Amelia departs New Amsterdam and sinks in the Bristol Channel on 27 Sep 1647.

21 Sept 1647: Stuyvesant sells Swol to the vice-governor of New Haven. 

Before 6 Oct 1647: Valckenier [Falconer] leaves for Amsterdam.

1647: The yacht Siruen when seized by the Swedes on the South River in 1647 was carrying six guns and 60 lbs. of powder.

Oct 1648: When the Dutch crew delivers Swol to New Haven on a Sunday, they execute a plan to seize the disputed Dutch ship St. Beninjo and sail it back to New Amsterdam to answer the charge of smuggling.

19 Feb 1648, Curaçao: Vice_Director Roodenborch writes Stuyvesant that Groote Gerrit was damaged by a storm and sickness has rendered the crews of Cath and Liefde unfit for duty. The letter goes by way of Boston [presumably on an English ship].

7 Apr 1648, Amsterdam: The company officials in Amsterdam write a letter to Stuyvesant . Included are these passages: “The bearer hereof, Wm. Thomassen, skipper of the ‘Valckenier’ [Falconer] and Peter Cornelissen, master of the ‘Pynappel’ [or Pijnappel, Pineapple], who takes out the duplicate of this letter… We send you a list of all the free men, whom we have given permission to go over on each ship…”

14 Apr 1648, New Amsterdam: The council receives Rodenborch’s  letter of 19 Feb.
15 Apr 1648: Kath captures a Spanish ship in the Caribbean.

17 Apr 1648, New Amsterdam: Nieu Swol [New Swallow] arrives from Amsterdam.

20 Apr 1648, New Amsterdam: The council dispatches Nieu Swol to Curaçao.
23 Apr 1648, New Amsterdam: Kath arrives in New Amsterdam with captured Spanish ship.

10 May 1648, Boston: John Winthrop’s Journal records that three ships arrived from London in a single day.

22 May 1648, Boston: John Winthrop’s Journal: “This year corn was very scarce, and so it was in all Europe. Our scarcity came by occasion of our transporting much to the West Indies, and the Portugal and Spanish islands.” Implies frequent trade with the Caribbean.
4 Jun 1648, Boston: John Winthrop’s Journal: “At this court one Margaret Jones of Charlestown was indicted and found guilty of witchcraft, and hanged for it....The same day and hour she was executed, there was a very great tempest at Connecticut, which blew down many tress, etc....A vessel [under command of Master Bull] of Connecticut being the last winter at Quorasoe [Curacao]...”
23 Jun 1648, New Amsterdam: “…they detained Verbrugge’s ship ‘den Valckenier’ (The Falconer) as it arrived from the Netherlands and searched it for contraband or smuggled goods.”
2 Jul 1648, New Amsterdam: The council gives 30-day public notice of the auction of the Spanish bark Nostra Singnora (Sic) Rosario, “…laden with hides, captured in the Caribbean by Hans Wyer, the honorable company’s captain on the yacht de Cat…”

2 Jul 1648, New Amsterdam: Fiscaal  [sheriff] Hendrick van Dyck charges the “…crew of Kat who captured the prize below Margarita…” with finding some pieces of eight and pearls and dividing them among themselves instead of reporting the discovery to the company. Because of the scarcity of crew and the immediate need for salt, the company pardoned the crew yet confiscated their share of the prize money if they would sail to the West Indies.
Before 18 Jul 1648, New Amsterdam: Pijnappel [Pynappel, Pineapple] arrives from Amsterdam.

20 Jul 1648, New Amsterdam: Council orders the captured ship to be made ready to sail to Curaçao for a load of salt.

Before 5 Aug 1648, New Amsterdam: Prins Willem arrives from Amsterdam. [Editor’s Note: A plausible scenario is that Penelope sailed from Amsterdam to Curaçao on either Valckenier, Pijnappel or Prins Willem and then changed ships at Curaçao. Perhaps her husband was sick.]

After 31 Aug 1648, New Amsterdam: Valckenier departs for Amsterdam.
12 Sep 1648, Gravesend, Long Island: Penelloppey Prince testifies in a slander trial.
After 23 Sep 1648, New Amsterdam: Pijnappel departs for Amsterdam.

9 Nov 1648, New Amsterdam: Council receives a report, “Whereas the yacht De Cath, of which Jeuryaen Andries was master, arrived here from Curaçao with a cargo inside Sandy Hook, otherwise called Godyn Point, in a safe port and, the wind being contrary, tried to tack to before Fort Amsterdam, said yacht, in tacking, stranded on a sand bank with such force that notwithstanding all effort it could not be brought off, except the effects which were in and on her, inclusive of the masts; only, by the splitting of the ship, a quantity of salt was dissolved.” The council notes that the value of the salvage was sufficient to pay the crew. [Editor’s note: How long does it take to salvage the wreck and account for the money? The council minutes often report on things that happened much earlier.]
in 1648 the ship de Liefde of something just over 100 tons burden carried [a crew of ]16 on a
voyage to Barbados. 

The point I'm trying to make is that there was a lot of shipping other than just direct routes between Amsterdam and New Amsterdam. Not to mention ships to and from Virginia and New England.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Who was Alice Stout, daughter of Richard and Penelope, named after?

I found an Internet site that claims Alice was very popular in medieval times (See Chaucer), was scarce for several centuries, then returned to popularity in the Victorian era in time for Alice in Wonderland. Futher checking revealed an Internet site (http://victoria.tc.ca/~tgodwin/duncanweb/documents/names.html) that extracted names for babies born in England in 1620-1629 from a reliable source. (The author was interested in adults in the English Civil War, but names from 1650-1659 England would be skewed by the Puritan success in the Civil War. Thus 1620-1629 is fine for our purposes. A sampling of WorldConnect entries for people born in England in 1620-30 confirmed these were popular names.)
The ranking of the popularity of the names of the seven sons of Richard and Penelope are:
#1 John
#4 Richard
#7 James
#21 Peter
#30 Benjamin
#39 Jonathan
#45 David
Likewise for the daughters:
#2 Mary
#5 Alice
#12 Sarah

All ten are common names from the 17th as well as the 20th century. All except Richard and Alice are found in the Bible. Interestingly, none are Puritan-like names, such as Eli, Caleb, Hope, and Charity.

The English naming practices for several centuries was to often name the first two babies of each sex after the grandparents and then parents. I just disproved my own theory that Alice was a rare clue to Penelope’s ancestry.

But the question still remains: Who was Alice Stout named after?

And Mary? And Sarah? Why no Elizabeth if Richard’s mother was Elizabeth Bee?