Many years of research have failed to reveal the identity of the two wives of Richard Stone ca 1579 – 1653. The identity of his first wife remains unknown, both her given name and her surname. His second wife we knew to be Eleanor (also spelled Elenor and Elinor). Her given name was present as the mother of their two children (Richard and Hanna) and also in Richard’s will and in her own will, and in several additional family documents. We had not found a record of her marriage to Richard and thus her surname. Finally, we have found documentation of her birth and her marriage to Richard! Richard and Eleanor have thousands of descendants in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and undoubtedly elsewhere.
Happily, genealogists are a cooperative lot, always trying to help each other. A recent post on Somerset (UK) Rootsweb sought information about the Slocombe family of Somerset. Among the documents we obtained from the 2013 auction at Cheffins in Cambridge were two legal debt agreements between the widow Elenor Stone and a William Slocombe, dated 1659 and 1663. They had meant very little to me, and I paid them little attention. I told the author of the Rootsweb post, however, about the two documents and how to find them on the Dartmouth College Library website. Lo and behold, he responded quickly and told of his discovery of the baptism of an Elinor Slocombe in Milverton on 9 November, 1620, and the marriage of Eleanor Slocombe to Richard Stone in Crowcombe on 2 October 1639!
Milverton and Crowcombe are not far from our family parishes in Somerset, but there were no close relatives in those two parishes – that we knew of. There were many Slocombes in Wivelicombe, however, which is a family parish and not far from Milverton and Crowcombe. The baptismal certificate states her father’s name simply as Slocombe – no given name. The mother’s name was not provided. Similarly, the Crowcombe marriage record does not name the parents. Thus, at this point we cannot be confident of more than Eleanor’s surname and dates of her baptism and marriage.
There is more to this story, however! Richard Stone and Eleanor Slocombe were married in October 1639 when Eleanor was about nineteen or possibly twenty years old. Richard was at least sixty, assuming he was born in or prior to 1579! That’s a whopping difference but not surprising in the Stone family. His great grandson Robert Stone married for the third time and sired children when in his seventies! Was Eleanor a family friend, or might she have been a domestic servant in his Clayhanger home? I suspect she was a servant in the Stone household.
Both of their children – Richard and Hannah – married and had families. Their son Richard baptized in 1640 died in 1678, but his descendants can be traced readily in Somerset and England and Australia and New Zealand.
Church name St Michael
Register type Unspecified
Baptism date 09 Nov 1620
Person forename Elinor
Person sex ?
Father surname SLOCOMBE
Church name Holy Ghost
Register type Bishop’s Transcripts
Marriage date 02 Oct 1639
Groom forename Richard
Groom surname STONE
Bride forename Eleanor
Bride surname SLOCOMBE
Various charts and text portions of this website will be updated with this new information.