All Saints Parish Church in Chipstable, Somerset seen from the south. Many Stone family members are buried in the Churchyard.
THE STONE FAMILY
Updated and enhanced December 2017
An asterisk (*) next to a name indicates that a will or other significant document(s) can be found among the Stone Documents.
When the Stone-Rhodes website was created almost five years ago I felt certain that I had reached the end of the line in tracing my early Stone ancestors. There was and remains no doubt that Richard Stone* of Clayhanger, born in the 1570s, was my ninth great grandfather. Furthermore, the line of Stones from him to many of the Stone families of the present day was well documented. In 2013, however, I did not know the identity of Richard’s two wives. I had no knowledge whatsoever of his first wife – my 9X great grandmother, and I knew only that his second wife’s given name was Eleanor*. We now have identified those two wives. As to Richard Stone’s parents and ancestors, there were quite a few tempting choices but none with ironclad documentation. That remains true today.
In Clayhanger, County Devon, there were abundant Stones in the 16th century – identified not only in parish vital records starting before 1540, but also named in the 1543 – 1546 “Devon Lay Subsidy” rolls and the 1569 Devon muster roll. A John Stone “Senior” was named with a John “Junior” and other early 16c Stones. John Stone “Senior” was buried in 1551 and was born perhaps about 1489. His children appeared to be Thomas, John junior, Joan and Andrewe, their being born about 1515 to 1522. Possibly Thomas was a brother of John Stone senior rather than a son. Andrewe married Thomazine Nutcombe from the Manor of Clayhanger. Without complete certainty, one can trace the various 16c Stones, e.g. the sons of John Stone Senior circa 1479, down through that century. There were several Stone families in Clayhanger in the 16c. Of the thirty wills from Clayhanger in the Archives in London, nine of them are Stones!
As to who might have been Richard Stone’s parents, there were tempting possibilities, but little or no documentation. A John Stone alias Venne of Chipstable wrote a will in 1617, but the will itself was lost. We have long known that the Stone family farmed the Venn farm in Chipstable (on the border with Clayhanger) as early as 1602 and probably earlier. It was tempting, therefore, to assign John Stone Senior alias Venne as Richard’s father. There was also a John Stone alias Hele of Clayhanger, however, who indeed did have a son named Richard. (Hele remains a farm in Clayhanger – and is relatively close to Venn in Chipstable.) In his 1588 will, John Stone alias Hele assigned the administration of his estate to his natural son Richard. Even though a baptism in Clayhanger for Richard son of a John Stone or a John Stone alias Hele has not been found, I now lean toward John Stone alias Hele as Richard’s father, rather than John Stone Senior alias Venne. John Stone alias Hele appears in the Clayhanger parish records as the father of twin daughters Alice and Johan Stone who were baptized in 1773. There are many christenings of children of a father named John Stone in Clayhanger, but only those two specifically state “of (or alias) Hele”. I believe, however, that other children baptized for a father listed only as “John Stone” could be of the same father who sometimes was specified as “alias/of Hele”.
A Thomas Stone was baptized the son of John Stone in Clayhanger in 1581. A Thomas Stone who later married Ann Charles I have long believed to have been a brother of Richard, based on family connections seen in other documents. For example, Richard’s son Emanuel Stone was a witness to the will of Ann Charles Stone*, the widow of a Thomas Stone. A Robert Charles was also a witness for Ann Stone’s will. He was a nephew of Thomas and Ann and presumably a cousin of the Stones. His parents were Thomas Charles and a Maria Stone. Furthermore, Ann Charles Stone after becoming a widow was named along with Richard Stone and his son Emanuel as lessors of Chipstable properties from the Bluet family. When Richard’s eldest son John Stone* died in 1637, he gave his weaving looms to Robert Charles (his cousin presumably). Sounds like a family connection. I believe that Thomas Stone 1581 was a younger brother of Richard.
With all of this circumstantial evidence, John Stone alias Hele is now my current but not fully documented choice for the father of Richard Stone. He would be my 10th great grandfather. Richard probably was a younger brother of Alice and Johan Stone who were 1573 daughters of John Stone alias Hele, and an older brother of Thomas 1581. I suggest that Richard would have been born about 1575, not 1579 as I have indicated in all of my previous records for Richard. His first marriage was celebrated in October, 1599, which fits well with a 1575 estimated birth year for Richard Stone.
Another visitor and contributor to this website (see Comments – thanks!) provided documentation of the burial in 1633 in Clayhanger of the first wife of Richard Stone, her name interpreted as “Emmin”. Subsequently another contributor discovered the marriage of Richard Stone and “Emma Sedgeborrow” in Burlescombe, Devon in October 1599. Although the spelling of Emma’s surname in the marriage record is difficult to read, “Sedgeborrow” is said to be the correct pronunciation of her name. A year or more prior to that discovery, another contributor to this website identified Richard’s second wife as Eleanor Slocombe*. She was christened in Milverton in 1620 and married Richard in Crowcombe in 1639. She was nineteen and he was in his sixties! Thanks to these research contributions, both of Richard’s wives at last are known after many years of fruitless research.
Richard’s and Emma’s six children, born 1602 – 1612, were John*, Joane, William, Richard, Emanuel and Agnes. Clayhanger christening records are available for all. John* married Richord Parkhouse* in 1623, but he died in 1637. Both John and Richord left wills, but they had no children. William was buried in 1636 and Richard in 1610. Only Joane, Emanuel and Agnes had children. Richord Stone’s will is particularly valuable because she names all of the children of her brother in law Emanuel Stone. Of his nine or ten children, only the record of the christening of Richard in 1640 in Chipstable survived among Chipstable’s 17c parish records. Her will and many others are among the Stone documents on this website.
Several of the lines of descent from Emanuel Stone have been traced to the present day. One of those lines of descent in England included his eldest son Richard 1640 of Chipstable and Richard’s descendants Robert about 1683, Thomas 1716, John 1739 (all in Chipstable), Captain 1784 (in Wiveliscombe), and Joseph 1816 (in Bramfield, Herts). This is the line that included the emigration of Captain Stone’s family to Illinois. In Edwards County, Illinois, Joseph Stone’s descendants include James Scott Stone 1839, and John Charles Stone 1867. Joseph’s older brother Horatio also has USA descendants, as do their sisters Jane (married James Thread) and Sarah (married Isaac Smith). Documentation of this line of descent is excellent.
Prior to 1814, Captain Stone and his family had moved from Somerset to the Marden Hill estate in Hertfordshire to serve as Steward of the Farm for the Flower family. Richard Flower was a successful English brewer of Hertford, which is three miles east of his Marden Hill estate. The Flower Brewery is still in existence today, headquartered in Stratford-on-Avon, where it is the largest employer and major patron in the community.
In 1818 the Flower family (including Richard’s son George – one of the “founders” of the English Settlement), the Captain Stone family and others immigrated to Edwards County, Illinois and founded the town of Albion. Captain Stone died about 1821 in Albion, but his son Joseph married twice, first to Eliza Jane Boner/Bonner and after her death to Jane Cortrecht. Joseph and Eliza Jane’s first son was James Scott Stone. Scott Stone married Elizabeth Sarah Hocking of a family that immigrated to Edwards County from Ruan Lanihorne, Cornwall. The Stones and Hockings and many of their relatives lived in Bone Gap, a community north of Albion. James Scott Stone’s eldest son was John Charles Stone, born in Bone Gap in 1867. He married Gertrude Walser of West Salem, Illinois, just north of Bone Gap. John became an eminent author of mathematics text books. The two children of John and Gertrude Stone were Lucile and John Sydney Stone.
The children from Richard Stone’s second family were born almost forty years after their half siblings. Richard married Eleanor Slocombe* (1620 – 1673) in 1639. They had a son Richard in 1640 and a daughter Hanna in 1647. Both were baptized in Clayhanger. Hanna married John Burge and they had three surviving children. Their descendants probably can be traced further.
It should be noted that two members of our family named Richard Stone were christened in 1640, which can cause confusion. The christening of Richard and Eleanor’s son Richard Stone in Clayhanger in October 1640 followed by six or seven months the christening of Emanuel’s son Richard Stone in Chipstable in March 1640. The March christening was for the eldest grandson of Richard Stone 1575, whereas the October christening was the senior Richard’s only son from his second marriage. The older Richard Stone in Chipstable was buried in Chipstable in 1734 at an unusual age of ninety-four, whereas the younger Richard Stone died in Ashbrittle in 1678. For many years the elder Richard Stone of Chipstable looked after the children of his deceased uncle in Ashbrittle. Many indentures from the Cheffins auction (see Stone Documents) document this role played by the elder Richard Stone 1640. Thus, the family had two Richard Stones born the same year, the younger one being the uncle of the older one! This can be confusing!
Richard 1640 and his wife Thomazine Waldron* of Ashbrittle moved to her parish (immediately adjacent to Clayhanger and Chipstable) and had five children: Thomazine, William, Robert, Johan (who died shortly after birth) and Grace. The first three were named by her mother-in-law Eleanor Stone as her grandchildren in her 1673 will. Grace probably was born after her grandmother Eleanor’s death. Richard their father died in 1678 and Thomazine their mother in 1684, alas very short lives. Robert*, William* and Grace* were named in family documents (see Cheffins) as late as 1685, but William and Grace have been difficult to trace after that date. Several generations mostly of the male ancestors of Thomazine Waldron are available thanks to a contributor to this website.
Richard’s and Thomazine’s son Robert Stone* – born probably before 1670 – married Elizabeth Hill in neighboring Stawley, Somerset in 1705 and this family eventually acquired 75% or more ownership the Venn Farm in neighboring Chipstable that had been leased by the Stone family from the Bluett family throughout the 17c. Many of the Cheffins auction documents involve Robert Stone circa 1665-1670. He and his wife Elizabeth Hill Stone began a line of descent that included descendants who immigrated to Australia and New Zealand in 1834. Robert’s great, great, great grandson, Charles Burrell Stone, in 1841 was the first white child to be born in Auckland, New Zealand. He was Commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in 1887. The RNZYS held the America’s Cup from 1995 to 2003 and regained it in 2017!
This essay on the Stone family will be updated and enhanced from time to time. The charts and reports that follow provide many more details. Wherever on this website you find reference to Richard Stone 1579, mentally change that to Richard Stone 1575. His birth date is my best estimate.
CHARTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
Click on the highlighted text to view the item. To return to this page, click the back arrow (<) on your computer.
(Stone was in Who’s Who from 1912 through 1942. This entry is from Who Was Who published in 1967.)