Retracing Our Family Legacy

Penelope Stout
(c1622 - 1732)

(Personal note: From the various stories and information I have read there are differences of opinion on Penelope's date of birth, if her last name Pricness is "Princess or Van Princes" and I see in the bottom note on this page this author puts her marriage date at 1622. Inspite of this confusion, the fact remains that Penelope did exist, she did suffer the Indian attack and survived and she lived to the old age of 110. Her life played a huge inpact in Early American History being the emmigrant ancestor of many. I find her story very interesting.)

See excerpt of
Richard and Penelope Stout
A Critical Analysis of an Important
Period of American History



The Story of Penelope Stout

Penelope's father's name (or this may have been her first husband's name), was VanPrinces or Princis, a Dutchman. Her birth occurred at Amsterdam, Holland, about 1602, or more probably 1622. She and her first husband, whom she married in Holland, and whose name we do not have, (unless it was VanPrinces or Princis), sailed for New Amsterdam about 1620? (or 1640) in a vessel that was stranded at Sandy Hook. The passengers and crew of the vessel, however, all got safely ashore, although Penelope's husband was hurt in the wreck, and was so sick after landing that he was helpless. The rest, except his wife, on account of the hostile Indians in the vicinity, did not feel like remaining with the sick man, but made him and his faithful spouse as comfortable as they could, and started at once overland to the place of their destination, promising to send for their companions in the voyage, as soon as they arrived and could make arrangements.

But Penelope and her husband had not been in the woods very long before the Indians came upon them, and, as they supposed, killed them both, stripping them to the skin. However, as it turned out, the woman was not killed,--only stunned. She was horribly cut and mangled, of course, her skull being fractured, her left shoulder so hacked that she could never afterwards use that arm like the other, while a great cut across the abdomen, which caused her bowels to protrude, left her in such a situation, that there was practically little hope of her ever recovering. Nevertheless, with all her injuries, she did really survive, or the history of New Jersey in subsequent times would have been very different from what it is, to say nothing of the existence of multitudes who otherwise would never have lived.

Penelope, after the Indians had gone, coming to, kept her bowels in place with her hand, and managed to crawl for shelter into a hollow log or tree near by, eating the excrescence of it for nourishment, and remaining there in that condition until the seventh day; when she saw a deer pass with arrows sticking in it, and soon after two Indians came along, one a young man and the other an old man, whom she was glad to see, hoping they would put her out of her misery. The young man indeed made toward her to knock her on the head and would have done this, had not the elderly man prevented him, who, throwing his match coat about her, carried her to his wigwam, where he dressed her wounds and soon cured her. After this the old Indian took the woman to New Amsterdam, and made a present of her to her countrymen,--an Indian thus, when making a present, expecting a large reward.

It was in New Amsterdam, somewhat later, that one Richard Stout, formerly of Long Island, an Englishman, born in Nottinghamshire, the son of John Stout, who was of excellent family, married Penelope. She was now in her 22nd year, and her husband was in his 40th. The newly married couple eventually settled in Middletown, N. J., and, in our usual way of speaking, were prosperous. The family in due time increased to seven sons and three daughters. Penelope, said to be the mother of all the Stouts, lived to the age of 110, and saw her offspring in about 88 years at the time of her death, either in 1712 or 1732 or thereabouts, multiplied into 502 persons,--surely a multitude, who, along with all their descendants, would never have lived had she not recovered from her wounds.

The uncertainty in regard to dates as given above is due to the author's having seen an article entitled "The History of Penelope Stout," by Thomas Hale Streets, surgeon U. S. N., who believes the time of the shipwreck was in 1640 and not in 1620, as the whites and Indians were at war at the latter date, and until 1644 (Pequod War), while they were at peace in 1620. The Pequod War in New England somehow seems to have stirred up the Indians in the Dutch colony in New Jersey at the same time.

As we have said, when Penelope married Richard Stout, she was in her 22nd year, and he in his 40th. This was about 1644. In about a year they went to Graves End., L. I., where Richard Stout was a prominent land owner as late as 1657. In 1667 they moved across the Lower Bay into Monmouth Co., N. J., at which time two of their children were of age, and three were yet unborn, viz.: Jonathan, David and Benjamin. The career of the family, after the above date, has had very much to do with the settlement of Monmouth Co. They settled there among Dutch families where Penelope especially


A Genealogy of the
Warne Family in America

Principally the Descendants of Thomas Warne, born 1652, died 1722, one of the Twenty-four Proprietors of East New Jersey, one of the 24 proprietors of East New Jersey.


Frank Allaben Genealogical Company
Three West Forty-Second Street, New York

Copyright, 1911, by

Page 591 - 592

STOUT.--Richard Stout, of Nottinghamshire, England (son of John Stout), settled on L. I. about 1645, in which year he was one of the 39 original patentees of Gravesend. He m., about 1622, Penelope van Princes, a widow, and a Holland lady, who, as Penelope Stout, became noted for her escape from the Indians, after great mutilation, and for living, it is said, to the great age of 110. Richard Stout is said to have been the first English settler of New Jersey, locating at Middletown, Monmouth co., about 1665; d. in 1703. Sons were John, Richard, James, Peter, Benjamin and David, and all Somerset Stouts descend from one of these sons.


Somerset County Historical Quarterly
Vol. VI.--1917

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