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

Monday, November 19, 2012

Penelope's Scar

In his 1916 book Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, Early Settlers of New Jersey and their Descendants, John Stillwell quotes Therese Walling Seabrook as follows:

"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."

The Monmouth County Historical Library in Freehold NJ has a large file of Seabrook family documents donated by Vera Conover, granddaughter of Therese Walling Seabrook. Here are two-a genealogy and a story—discovered by Kathleen Mirabella of Clarksburg, NJ.

According to Mrs. Seabrook, her genealogy is as follows [with some dates and spouses added by me for clarification]:

John Stout
Richard Stout of Nottingham, Eng. + Penelope van Prince of Holland
John Stout [-1724] + [Elizabeth Crawford]
Richard Stout [1678-1749/50] + [Ester Tilton]
John Stout [1701-1782] + Margaret [Taylor]
Helena Stout [1734- ] + John William Hoff
Helena Hoff (1771-1849) + Daniel I. Walling
Leonard Walling (1793- ) + Catherine Aumack
Therese Walling (1821-1899] + Henry Seabrook
Annie Longstreet Seabrook (1852-1943] + William Hubbard Conover
Vera Conover [1896-1977]

Before I begin the story, let me explain that Ethel Stout, mentioned below, was born in 1882, started a temperance newspaper, The Midget, when she was eight years old in Delaware, Ohio but lived in Melbourne, Florida in 1892. Her father, a newspaperman, agreed to print her journal if she set the type. Therefore, Mrs. Seabrook, a strong supporter of the The Women's Christian Temperance Union, wrote this account in 1890-92.

Also of note, this is the earliest record I have found of Kent or Lent as a last name for Penelope. However, Mrs. Seabrook offers the maiden name as Penelope van Prince with the last name of Kent or Lent belonging to her first husband, not to her father. [Personally I think these should be flip-flopped to agree with the Gravesend Town Records of 1648.]

Vera Conover typed her grandmother’s story (which differs somewhat from the account published 20 or so years later by Stillwell), ending with “This was copied from a very yellowed, single sheet of printing. 7-1-1961-vc”  With more clues from Kathleen Mirabella, I tracked down a copy of the original printed sheet, which appears to be Ethel Stout’s newspaper, at the Leatherby Libraries of Chapman University, in Orange, CA (thanks to Rand Boyd, librarian, for a copy)

Mrs. Therese W. Seabrook, of Keyport, New Jersey, prepared the following historical sketch for Ethel Stout, wee editor of THE MIDGET, of Delaware, Ohio. Mrs. Seabrook is doubtless the best authority on the continent for the early history of the Stout family, which she estimates now numbers 10,000, in America. The narrative, so full of interest to those who bear the name, is published by, and sent out with the compliments of the little editor and her parents.

    Penelope Van Prince was a native of Holland
married there and sailed for the “New World” with her husband, whose name was Kent or Lent, I have really forgotten the husband’s name, and as he was nothing to us, it matters little. As they approached the end of their voyage, a storm arose which cast the vessel upon the beach somewhere between Long Branch and Sandy Hook, I think it was at the Highlands as she was taken to Middletown, or near it and that is the nearest those points. The passengers and crew who were not drowned were said to have been murdered by the Indians, at least Penelope was the only one known to have survived. An Indian who went to the shore in the early morning after the storm, was attracted by the barking of his dog, to a “clump of bushes,” under which he discovered a naked woman, apparently dead.

    He walked backward to her side [for modesty?] and threw his blanket over her, and discovering that there was life still there, carried her to his wigwam.

    Her abdomen was cut open so that the bowels protruded. “He washed and sewed up the wound, using for thread the inside bark ‘withes,’ of a tree, and fishbones for needles.” She remained here until she was entirely recovered, the only white person, so far as is known in this (Monmouth) Co.perhaps many months. The Indian then took her in his canoe to New Amsterdam (now New York city) and sold her to the Dutch. She met Richard, son of John Stout, of Nottinghamshire, England, whom she afterwards married. He had wished to marry some girl in Eng. whom his father did not consider his equal, and in anger had enlisted on a man-of-war ship, and the seven years of service expiring while the vessel was in New Amsterdam he remained there. After his marriage to Penelope, they went to Gravesend, L. Island, to live, but Mrs. Stout sighed for a return to the Indian home in New Jersey, but not until she had two or three children was she able to come. Then she induced four other heads of families to come with her to this place. Their names were Hartshorne, Browne [sic Bowne], Lawrence and Groves. These five families purchased of the Indians immense tracts of land. Bartown is built on a part of the land owned by Andrew Browne [sic].

    The properties owned by the Stouts had the old village of Middletown on it and an extensive farming country known as Pleasant Valley. It was all known as Middletown for many years.

    Some say that these five white families came here in 1648 but I am inclined to think it was 1648 when the wreck occurred. Two or three years ago the Baptist Church of Middletown celebrated its bicentennial, and as Richard Sr. and Richard Jr. were among its constituent members, I think they made their permanent settlement in the latter part of the decade 1650 nearly 1660. What I give here is tradition history begins in 1667 when twelve men obtained a grant from Gov. Nichols. My tradition has come through only two persons from Penelope, herself, and I think it more correct than much that is told. The second son, Richard, had a son, John, who was therefore grandson of Penelope. When his grandmother was about 85 years old, he took her on his horse to visit one of her children and when he helped her to alight she insisted upon his putting his hand through the pocket hole of her garment to feel the seam which the Indian sewed up--he was young and bashful but she said, “Johnny, you can tell it to your grandchildren because you will know it’s true, and they can tell it to their grandchildren.” My grandmother was one of the grandchildren to whom he told the story, and when she told it to me, she would say “and so I tell it to you just as she said”; with an air of having descended from a prophetess. I am telling it to you in the language, chiefly, in which I heard it.
                                                                                                    Therese W. Seabrook

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More Records from Rev. Oliver Hart's Journals

Rev. Oliver Hart (minister of Hopewell, NJ, Baptist Church from 1780 to 1795) kept a chronological journal of sermon titles he preached plus an index of the Biblical text plus notes in his diary—a triple set of overlapping  information. Below is the list of sermon dates where people’s names (a dozen marriages and 80 funerals) were mentioned [plus other details from his diary in brackets]. I think in every case where he enters both the death and the funeral, the funeral was always the day after the death. Note: Most of these events are apparently mentioned in the Town Records of Hopewell, NJ, a book I haven’t seen, but another independent source is always good.
I find two other things of interest. In February 1790, Rev. Morgan Edwards preached on three consecutive Sundays in Hopewell Baptist Church. Edwards was the author of Materials Towards a History of the Baptists in Jersey, its preface dated May 1, 1790. This book, published in 1792, contains the famous passage about Penelope Stout: “The mother lived to the age of 110, and saw her offspring multiplied into 502 in about 88 years.”
Referring to the death of Benjamin Stout in Feb 1782 at the age of 86, Rev. Hart (then 58 himself) remarked, “older than oldest of Stout family, now living.” Obviously the Stout family noted such things.
[Oct 15 Zephaniah Stout’s child’s funeral]
[Dec 11 Zebulun Stout is brother of Capt. David Stout]
[Dec 21 Hart calls Zebulun Stout his uncle, likely by marriage not blood]
Feb 4 preached at John Stout’s house [in Amwell]
[Feb 12 John Stout of Hopewell gave Hart $100]
[Feb 14 Miss Rachel Stout is sister of Richard Stout; she gave Hart $22]
[Mar 8 mentioned that Anne Stout is a widow]
Mar 12 Preached at Richard Stout’s house
[Aug 16 saw Miss Eunice Evans and Miss Margaret Parks]
[Sep 16 Married Asa Osborne to Orpha Hart; witnesses  Levi Stout, Ann Wall, and Phoebe Gillmore]
Oct 5 Mr. David’s Stout funeral [at Amwell, age 86]
Oct 11 Mr. Zephania Stout’s funeral [was buried at Col. Stout’s Burying Ground on the Hill; left widow and 2 young children]
Oct 15 Zeph. Stout’s child’s funeral
[Nov 2 Married Andrew Higgins to Sarah Applegate]
[Jan 13 Married John Ford to Anna Vanhess]
Feb 9 Old Mr. Benj. Stout’s funeral [died Feb 8 at age 86, “older than oldest of Stout family , now living”]
[Feb 18 Mary-Ann Little was very ill]
Feb 23 Mrs. Baldwin’s funeral
[May 26 Rev. Hart’s diary ends here; next several diaries are missing]
Oct 4 Old Mrs. Runyan’s funeral
Nov 20 preached at Mr. Jacob Stout’s
Nov 24 at Capt. David’s house for funeral of child [Mr. Saxton’s child]
Dec 11 preached at Benj. Stout’s house
Jun 4 Benj. Reader’s funeral
July 22 old Mrs. Hixon’s funeral
Aug 31 baptized Polly Gillmore
Oct 30 Mr. Saml. Hunt’s funeral
Dec 8 William Stiniman’s funeral
Feb 13 Sarah Hunt’s funeral
Feb 15 Benj. Stout’s son’s funeral
Feb 21 Mrs. Bryant’s funeral
Feb 25 preached at Jacob Stout’s
May 24 Mr. Jos. Green’s funeral
Sep 20 Mrs. Merrell’s funeral
Sep 28 Effy Merrell’s funeral
Oct 6 Mrs. Simmons’s funeral
Oct 8 Ambrose Barracraft’s funeral
Nov 2 Mr. Harris’s son’s funeral
Jan 3 Old Mrs. Sarah Vankirk’s fun.
Feb 6 Penelope Stout’s funeral
Apr 6 John Senteny’s funeral
Jun 4 Joshua Higgins’s wife’s funeral
Aug 28 at Southampton Jos. Dungan’s funeral
Sep 8 Sally Merrell’s funeral
Sep 13 Sarah Fano’s [Gano] funeral
Sep 22 Mr. Jacob Stout’s funeral
Sep 25 [Squire] Jared Saxton Esq’s funeral
Dec 23 Barbara Antony’s funeral
Jan 12 Benjamin Merrell’s funeral
Feb 24 Catharine Vanpelt’s funeral
Mar 14 Francis Quick’s funeral
Apr 16 Mr. Isaac Hough’s funeral
May 29 Mary Armstrong’s funeral
Jun 7 John Hart’s funeral
Jun 27 Mrs. Vanpelt’s funeral
Dec 18 [Absalom Houghton’s funeral]
Apr 3 Mrs. Jewel’s funeral
Apr 7 David Stout’s funeral
Apr 30 N. Drake’s wife’s funeral
Jun 26 Michal Blew’s funeral
Aug 15 Daniel Gano’s funeral
Sep 21 [young Mr.] Golden’s funeral
Dec 1 Higgin’s child’s funeral
Dec 10 Anthony Stout’s wife’s funeral
Dec 15 Mr. Fisher’s funeral
Dec 21 George Corvine’s funeral
Jan 31 Rebeka Drake’s funeral
Feb 11 Thos. Drake’s child’s funeral
Feb 13 Lucina Park’s funeral
Mar 7 Nc. Drake’s grandchild’s funeral
Apr 13 funeral for Mrs. [R.] Drake’s son
May 6 Mrs. Blackwell’s funeral
Jun 5 Mr. Thomson’s fun N.Y.
Jul 8 Naomi Lot’s funeral
Aug 11 Jas. Swallow’s funeral
Aug 12 John Snook’s funeral
Aug 24 Alice Cone baptis’d
Aug 25 Young Blew’s funeral [son of Abr’m Blue]
Aug 28 Zebulun Stout Senr.’s funeral
Aug 31 Temperance Hixon baptized
Sep 1 preached at widow Golden’s
[another diary begins]
Nov 25 Caty Stout’s funeral [“died of a decline”]
[Dec 3 Married Mr. Daniel Drake to Miss Frances Golden at home of her father Jacob Golden]
Dec 8 Capt. Dd. Stout’s funeral [David Stout died y’day, age 83 years; left 4 sons, 5 daughters, many great and great grand children]
[Dec 8 William Simmon’s funeral]
[Dec 28 Married Capt. Jacob Sckanek to Miss Anne Law]
[Dec 31 Married Mr. William Barrey to Miss Ruth Golden at home of her father Jacob Golden in Hopewell]
[Jan 1 Married Mr. Nicholas Drake to Miss Hannah Bryant at home of her father Valentine Bryant in Hopewell]
[Jan 11 Married his daughter Polly Hart to Mr. Benj. Merrell]
[Feb 4 Married Mr. Bemjamin Randolph to Miss Mary Stout at her uncle Zebulun Stout’s house]
[Feb 5 Married Mr. Jonathan Stout (son of Daniel) to Miss Hannah Horval at home of her father Mr. Stephen Horvel in Somerset County]
[Feb 15 baptized Amy Blue (wife of Isaac)]
Mar 26 Jno. Runyan’s wife’s funeral
[Apr 4 Married Mr. Reuben Anderson to Miss Sarah Runyan at home of John Stout]
Apr 8 at Elder Jno. Stout’s
Apr 9 at Mr. B. Stout’s
Apr 10 funeral of old Mrs. Golden [aged 90]
Apr 24 funeral of old Mrs. Sarah Stout [at John Merrell’s]
Apr 25 Ichabod Leigh [Lee]  Esqr.’s funeral
Apr 26 Baptized Sarah Smith
[Apr 30 old Mr. Benj. Stout in Amwell was dangerously ill]
May 6 Rachel Hill’s funeral [in Amwell, wife of James]
[May 16 “R. Stout was cut off, for which I am sorry.”]
May 25 Benjamin Stout Senr.’s funeral [in Amwell]
Jun 21 baptized Mary Blue
Jul 29 Natl. Hixon’s
[Aug 11 Married Mr. Joab Stout to Miss Elizabeth Bryant at her father William Bryant house in Hopewell]
[Aug 15 new deacons Saml. Stout and Jediah Stout; James Stout is Elder]
[end of this diary]
Oct 1 Jesse Christopher’s child’s funeral
Nov 5 Jos. Harris’s child’s funeral
Nov 14 Mrs. Harris’s funeral
Jan 6 at Thomas Drake’s
Jan 22 Andrew Nannoy’s funeral
Jan 25 Nancy Hunt’s funeral
Feb 14 Rev. Morgan Edwards preached
 Feb 21 and 28 Rev. Morgan Edwards preached
Mar 8 Ury Osborn’s daught.s fun.
Mar 9 Sally Drake’s funeral
Mar 22 Old Mrs. Gulick’s funeral
Apr 10 old Mr. Slack’s funeral [possibly Mrs. Slack]
May 5 Francis Blackwell’s child’s funeral
Jan 12 Mr. Hull’s funeral
Jan 14 at Ezek. Anderson’s for his son
Mar 13 funeral for Mr. Aaron Runyan
Apr 1 funeral for Mrs. Blackwell
Apr 14 Mr. Larson’s funeral
Apr 19 Mrs. Hunt’s funeral
July 24 mentioned following names: Mr. Ewing, Mr. Ustick, Deacon Natl. Stout, Dr. Rogers, Mr. Allison, Dr. Jones, Mr. Wilson, Thos. Drake
Aug 12 Sally Blackwell’s funeral
Aug 21 Eph. Carle’s son’s funeral
Sep 24 Hannah Brush baptized
Nov 12 old Mr. Blacwell’s funeral
Nov 28 Elias Golden’s funeral
Dec 10 Fun. The Drake’s child
Dec 14 Mrs. Drake’s funeral
Jan 20 Jemmy Gordon’s funeral
Mar 11 Thos. Drake’s funeral
May 22 in room of Moses Hadley
Sep 14 Mrs. Merrell’s funeral
Jul 3 John Ketcham’s funeral
Jul 26 at Mr. James Parine’s
Jan 10 Mrs. Pettitt’s funeral
Jan 28 Idin Post’s funeral
May 1 Gideon Lion’s son’s funeral
Jun 13 Polly Furman’s funeral
{Editor's Note: Rev. Hart died Dec 31, 1795}