Penelope Stout

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Penelope VanPrincis Stout Commemorative Coin - Recto - depicting the scene of Penelope's first rescue by an old Indian Chief after surviving a shipwreck and the ensuing attack on the beach by the indigenous inhabitants after being abandoned by their fellow shipmates.


Penelope VanPrincis Stout Commemorative Coin - Verso - depicting the scene of Penelope's second rescue by an old Native chief after surviving her first series of ordeals, and finally "rescued" to Fort Amsterdam, Penelope and her new husband return to Sandy Hook to build a home. Here the old Native Chief warns Penelope to escape a planned attack.

Penelope Stout was an early white settler of Monmouth County, New Jersey. According to History of the Baptists [1] (cited in Stout and Allied Families by H.F. Stout[2]) she lived to the age of 110.

Her story[edit]

In 1643 [3] Penelope and her husband took a ship from the Netherlands to New Amsterdam. Their ship foundering, she and her husband and several others made land at Sandy Hook. Her husband, John Kent, was not able to travel due to illness and she remained with him. After the couple was abandoned, they suffered an attack from the natives and her husband was killed. She survived the attack and sheltered in a hollow tree until she, due to hunger she said, felt compelled to make herself known to the Navesink tribe of Leni Lenapi. They bound up her wounds, and when she was well enough to travel she was, perhaps sold, to the Dutch at New Amsterdam. There she married Richard Stout. They had a large family (7 sons and 4 daughters) mostly born at Gravesend in the area of Coney Island, Brooklyn. They moved to Middletown Township, New Jersey around 1665. This was where the Leni Lenapi who had earlier helped her were living, and they were still living there when the Stouts arrived. In some versions of the story, the Native Chief who rescued Penelope many years earlier warned her of a raid being planned by the Indigenous people of the area, and she was able to thwart it.

In another version of her story Penelope, her husband and children landed and set out for a European settlement. They were attacked in the forest by hostile Native Americans. Her husband and children were killed and Penelope was disemboweled. She gathered her guts up and crawled into a rotten log where she ate grubs to survive. Friendly Native Americans found her, sewed her up with vegetable fibers and returned her to a European settlement where she married Mr. Stout.

In some versions[4] Penelope had 502 direct descendants when she died at the age of 110.

The dates and surname for Penelope are quite variable in the several references. The Gravesend Town Records[5] as written by Englishmen at the time of a slander trial in Sept 1648 name the defendant as Penelope Prince. However, this does not necessarily mean that she had not yet married Richard Stout, as married Dutch women in that time period traditionally used their maiden names. In honor of her being a pioneer in Middletown, Penelope Lane off of Kings Highway is named after her.


John Stout (1645 - 1724)

James Stout (1648 - 1715)

Mary Stout Bowne (1650 - 1675)

Alice Stout Throckmorton (1652 - 1703)

Sarah Elizabeth Stout Pike (1656 - 1714)

Jonathan Stout (1665 - 1722)

David Stout (1667 - 1732)

Benjamin Stout (1669 - 1734)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Benedict
  2. ^ Stout, Herald F.
  3. ^ Stillwell estimates 1643/44; controversial
  4. ^ Benedict
  5. ^ Gravesend Town Records


  • Benedict, David. A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America, and Other Parts of the World. 1813. p. 574
  • "Penelope Prince". In: Gravesend [New York] Town Book, volume 1, 12 September 1648.
  • Stillwell, John E. "Stout of Monmouth County". Historical and Genealogical Miscellany, New York, NY, vol. 4, 1916, pages 295-374.
  • Stout, Herald F., Stout and Allied Families, Eagle Press, Dover, OH, 1951, 813 pages.
  • Streets, Thomas Hale, The Stout Family of Delaware, 1915, pp 5–17.
  • History of Monmouth Co., NJ (I think this was either Cutter or Jordan or Lewis Hist Pub Co)
  • Baer, Mabel Van Dyke. National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol.52. Pt 1, No.2 June 1964.
  • De Burton, Maria Ruiz. History of American Women
  • Stillwell, John E. Historical and Genealogical Miscellany: Early Settlers of New Jersey and their Descendants, New York 1916.
  • Wills of New Jersey, Liber, pg. 120. Will of Richard Stout, Trenton, New Jersey

Further reading[edit]

  • Baer, Mabel V. D. "Richard Stout and Some Descendants". National Genealogical Society Quarterly, vol. 52, 1964, pages 86-94.
  • Friend, Maurie L. "The Perils of Penelope Kent". Drumbeat, vol. 45, no. 2, Fall 1966, pages 4-5.
  • Hornor, William S.. "Penelope VanPrinces". This Old Monmouth of Ours, Moreau Brothers, Freehold, NJ, 1932, pages 146-148.
  • Hornor, William S.. "Richard Stout". This Old Monmouth of Ours, Moreau Brothers, Freehold, NJ, 1932, page 181.
  • McFarlane, Jim. "Penelope: A Novel of New Amsterdam". Greer, SC: Twisted Cedar Press, 2012. 371 pages. The ISBN is 9780985112202 See external links below.
  • Salter, Edwin. "Stout". A History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, E. Gardner & Son, Bayonne, NJ, 1890, pages lvi-lvii.
  • Schott, Penelope S. Penelope: The Story of the Half-Scalped Woman, University Press of Florida, Gainesville, 1999, 64 pages.
  • Stockton, Frank R. "The Story of Penelope Stout". Stories of New Jersey, Rutgers Univ. Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 1961, pages 57-68.
  • Stout, Herald F. Some of the Descendants of Richard Stout of New Jersey, Glendale, CA, 1940, 92 pages.
  • Stout, Herald F. "Family History..Richard Stout". Stauden Blatter, vol. 5, no. 4, Winter 1964-65, pages 2-8.
  • Stout, Herald F. Stout and Allied Families, San Diego, CA, 3rd edition, vol. 1, 1986, 800 pages.
  • Stout, J. D. Stout and Allied Families, Chariton, IA, 1991, pages 1-4.
  • Stout, Kemble. James Pindall Stout 1819-1903 and Burthena Shackelford Kemble 1824-1908, 1975, 353 pages.
  • Stout, Wayne D. Genealogy of the Sagers, Fisk, and Stout Families, Salt Lake City, UT, 1960, 583 pages.

External links[edit]