The Stout family was huge in early Monmouth County. Richard Stout was one of the original handful of settlers: This short history was taken from the booklet published by John H. West in 1876:
In the year 1790 some of the stout family published a small pamphlet which contained a very interesting account of the family, from which I have made the following extracts:
"Penelope Vanprinces was born in Amsterdam about the year 1602. She and her first husband, whose name is not known sailed for New York (then New Amsterdam) about the year 1620. The vessel was stranded at Sandy Hook and the crew got ashore and went towards New York, but the husband of Penelope, being hurt in the wreck, could not travel with them, and they both tarried in the woods. They had not been long left before the Indians came upon them and killed them, as they thought, and stripped them of their garments. However, Penelope revived, although her skull was fractured and her left shoulder so injured that she was never able to use it like the other ; besides she was so cut across the body that her bowels protruded, and she was obliged to keep her hand upon the wound. In this situation she continued for seven days, taking shelter in a hollow tree and living on what she picked from off the trees. On the seventh day she saw a deer pass with arrows sticking in it, and soon after appeared two indians, whom she was glad to see, hoping that they would put her out of her misery. Accordingly, one made towards her to knock her in the head, but the other, who was an eldery man, prevented him, and throwing his watchcoat her, took her to his wigwam and cured her of her wounds. Afterwards he took her to New York and presented her to her countrymen, expecting no doubt, a present in return. It was in New York that Richard Stout married her, in her twenty-second year. He was an Englishman, of a good family, and in his fortieth year. They had several children, and Mrs. Stout lived to a remarkable age of one hundred and ten years, and saw her offspring multiplied to five hundered and two in about eighty eight years."
A hundred years ago the history of Penelope Stout was as familiar to her decendants as the history of Robin Hood is to an Englishman, and to preserve the account of her remarkable sufferings, they had it published in 1790.
For interesting accounts of the Stouts, the reader may consult Smith's History of New Jersey, published at Burlington in 1765; also, Benedict's History of the Bapists, Barber's New Jersey, Raum's History of Trenton, and collections of New Jersey Historical society.
The Stouts first setteled on Long Island, and about the year 1664, or perhaps a little later, they, with a number of other families moved to New Jersey, and began a settlement which took the name of Middletown.
In 1704, three families of Stouts and others moved from Middletown to what is now known as the northern part of Hopewell township, Mercer County.They stated that the locality was then a wildernessand full of Indians. Jonathan Stout, a son of Richard and Penelope, was the head of one of these families, and he was founder of the Baptist Church in northern Hopewell. This Church was formed in 1715. Joesph Stout, a son of Jonathan, was one of the first members of the General Assembly from Hunterdon county.
These Stouts who left the parental hive at Middletown and setteled in the wilds of Hopewell, acquired the name of " Belmont Stouts," while those at home were called the "Middletown Stouts."
The old Indian, who saved Penelope's life, afterwards revealed an Indian plot to massacre the whites. He often visited the Stouts; and at one time, Penelope noticing that he looked sad and dejected, asked him what troubled him. After saying that it was something that might cost him his life, he revealed the plot. Preperations were at once made, and instead of war, a lasting peace was made with the Indians.
Smith's History of New Jersey says that Penelope and her first husband (or words to that effect) were shipwrecked off Sandy Hook about the time of the Indian war in New England. What particular is meant by this is not clear, but I suppose he means the Pequod war of 1636, or perhaps King Phillips war of 1675. I am of the opinion that the pamphlet published by the Stouts in 1790, which gives the date at 1620 is the nearest correct.
It would have given me great pleasure to have presented , in this little book, the names of the parents and grandparents of Anna Stout back to Richard and Penelope, but I have been unable to learn anything of them. I have seen the names of the children of Penelope, and the names of some of next generation, especially of those who moved to Hopewell; but Anna Stout, who married William West in 1778, and Catalina Stout, who married George Yard a little later, were from Middletown branch, and were probably not farther than great grandchildren of Richard and Penelope.
The Stouts were generally taller and stouter than the Wests, and are quite numerous in Hopewell township and in Monmouth county. they were generally Baptists, especially the Hopewell branch, and in the last century the church at Hopewell was principally composed of the Stouts and their connections; that is, half f the members were either Stouts or those who had intermarried with them.
As far as Jonathon and Elisabeth, I could not find anything more on them. But I will keep an eye out.
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