John C Stone II (1931-2022)

John C. Stone II, of Greensboro, VT, and Hanover, NH, passed away on August 30, 2022, at his home in Greensboro after a full day of outdoor activity.  John had a passion for mountaineering, sailing, fly fishing, bird hunting, swimming, and golf, spending many days “in the field” including multiple trips to Wyoming’s Wind River Range, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Belize, Europe, and the UK. 

John was born on June 20, 1931, in Bronxville, New York, the son of J. Sydney Stone and Mary Rhodes Stone.  He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, class of 1949, where he founded the  Exeter Mountaineering Club led by his favorite teacher, renowned mountaineer Bob Bates. He graduated from Princeton University in 1953.  As a member of the Princeton swim team, John held long-standing records in both the 50 y and the 100 y freestyle.

John served as a Lieutenant JG in the U.S. Naval Reserve, graduating in the top 1% of his class in OCS training in Newport, RI, and serving four years of sea duty as the intelligence officer on the USS Hornet. He began his career as a geologist at Esso Exploration (Exxon) with assignments in Guatemala, England, Nicaragua, and Senegal. In 1970, he pursued a second career in fundraising at Princeton University,  Phillips Exeter Academy,  and the University of Vermont.

John will be remembered forever by his countless friends and family for his humility, storytelling, good humor, and passion for New Orleans jazz, bluegrass, and country music.

John is survived by his wife of 42 years, Marcia Stone, sister Susan Slater, daughter Lisa Stone, son John C. Stone III, daughter-in-law Emily Stone, and four grandchildren, David Wilson, John Charles “Chase” Stone IV, Zachary Wilson, and Sara Margaret “Maggie” Wilson,  in addition to Marcia’s children, John McGill, Jen McGill, and grandchildren: Kira Saligman McGill, Sara Saligman McGill, Micah O’Leary and his “favorite son,” Guinness, his beloved chocolate labrador retriever.

Family Trees on

Comments prompted by information seen on family trees at

I will attempt to create these “Comments” as a “running” post, with additions as new or revised information as seems appropriate. If that fails, there will be successive posts dealing with additional questions from data seen on As I have reviewed existing FTs on Ancestry, I see much information that compares favorably with what I have learned in my sixty-five years of research on the Stone family and relatives. But there arise occasional questions and conflicting data.

1. Captain Stone. The name occurs often on Ancestry FTs and warrants some comment. An historian and retired Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University told me some 25 years ago that in his many decades of research he had never known of an individual who was named “Captain” and urged me to check out the leads that I had seen in Somerset. The rest is history.

There were two individuals baptized Captain Stone in Somerset (and a Captain James Stone in London). Neither was ever Captain William Stone or William Captain Stone, although Boyd’s Marriage index incorrectly added “William” to the elder Captain Stone.

Both were descended from Richard Stone 1575 of Clayhanger, Devon – immediately adjacent to Chipstable, Somerset. They were third cousins 2XR but well known to each other, both living in Chipstable during most of their younger years.

Captain Stone 1756 (died aft 1814) was a great, great grandson of Richard Stone 1575 and his second wife Eleanor Slocombe. He was an officer in excise in Somerset and Devon before returning to the Chipstable area in later life.  He married Betty Langbridge in 1786 and they had ten children, the last two in Ashbrittle. (The 9th child was Asa (female), for whom I have found no further information. She was NOT the wife of a male Stone, as is shown on one or more Ancestry FTs. This Captain’s eldest son Robert Stone 1789 took his family to Tasmania in 1833 and is responsible for thousands of Stone descendants in Australia and New Zealand. His grandson Captain James (baptismal names) Stone was one of the small group of founders of Auckland, NZ in 1841. The late Margaret Coatsworth, his great great granddaughter, wrote an excellent history of the Stone family of New Zealand and in part of Australia. I am aware of additional private papers on these Stone families.

Captain Stone 1784 – 1821 was a 4X great grandson of the same Richard Stone 1575 and his first wife, Emma Sedgeborrow (abt 1579 – 1933). He was the fifth of seven sons born to John Stone 1739 and Elizabeth Sellick 1750.

His older brother William married Ann Webber of Huish Champflower in 1789, but William died in Wiveliscombe in 1804 – the same year as his mother Elizabeth. In 1806, William’s brother Captain Stone married Ann Webber Stone, widow of his older brother. The marriage affidavit specified that “Ann Stone”, Captain’s bride, was a widow.

Captain and Ann’s first child was Horatio Stone, born 1806, approximately six months following his parents’ marriage! Captain and family moved to Hertfordshire where Captain was Steward of the farm of Richard Flower (a brewer and farmer) and his son George – co founder of the English Settlement at Albion in 1817/1818.

Horatio Stone became known in Illinois and subsequently in Arkansas as “Ashley” Stone. Why I don’t know. Did he not like the name of Horatio, although he was named after Lord Horatio Nelson, Britain’s most famous admiral and war hero! (Statue on Trafalgar Square). Perhaps the name meant less in America. Or perhaps the immigration officials misunderstood and changed it, or Horatio himself found it awkward or difficult to explain. I was told that the church bells rang annually to honor Lord Horatio Nelson in Huish Champflower, Somerset, where Ann Webber Stone was born. I have failed to find evidence of Ashley’s marriage in Arkansas, but it is known that his children William Ashley Stone and Elizabeth Jane Stone were back in Albion by 1850, where they lived with their Aunt Jane Stone Thread and family. Descendants from Elizabeth Jane’s two marriage have been identified, but I have yet to learn of a marriage or children for William Ashley Stone. New information would be greatly appreciated.

The other children of Captain Stone and Ann Webber Stone included Jane 1809 (married James Thread; buried in their private cemetery in Albion or Bone Gap – which I have seen but forget the location). Then Sarah, who was born in Hertfordshire and baptized in Bramfield in 1814 (married Isaac Smith in Albion), and her brother (the final child), Joseph, baptized in Bramfield in 1816. Joseph’s first wife was Eliza Jane Boner (or Bonner), not Eliza Jane Bond as was incorrectly recorded in an early Edwards County record. Her family bible is in my possession and contains family vital records.

End of this Comments entry: 8/18/2022


More than twenty years ago a fellow Stone researcher from Wellington estimated that Joane Hill aka Hillinge might have been from Runnington, SOM, and the daughter of a Hill with whom he was familiar there. But all these years later we decided to look further and, lo and behold, Joane (Johan) Hill aka Hillinge is duly listed in the PR transcriptions for Wiveliscombe, prepared (with our thanks!) by David Creek and others. She can be found also on FreeReg. Fellow researcher Gareth Bullock found the same information several months ago, and I am only now adding the information to our web page.

Joane was baptized in Wiveliscombe 30 April 1612 – a perfect fit for her marriage to Emanuel Stone in Clayhanger (DEV) in 1635. She was listed exactly as the marriage transcript, i.e. Joane Hill aka Hillinge, father John Hill aka Hillinge or Hellinge. John (1572 – 1645) is shown as married to Judith Yea and having six children: Peter, Joane (Johan), Mary, “Aage” (difficult to read), Richard and William.

Our Hillinge family in the Wiveliscombe transcripts can be taken back two generations and the Yea family four or more generations.

In the succeeding generation, Emanuel’s and Joane’s son Richard Stone 1640 – 1734 several times referred to his close friend Richard Hill of Ashbrittle (in 17c indentures referencing the Venn messuage). I wonder if Richard Hill was kin to Joane/Johan but of the next generation, in other words a relative of Richard Stone by marriage. Still speculation at this point.

One of these days I will upload a new family tree or list of descendants of John Stone alias Hele, ca 1550 or earlier ? – 1588. I apologize for having neglected this family website for so long. The identified Stone generations now total fifteen, but we add even more if we follow the Waldron, Yea and perhaps other families.

Eleanor Slocombe – Richard Stone’s 2nd wife

Text and data on this website have shown Elinor Slocombe’s baptism as 9 November, 1620. Galen Wilson provided me with a copy of the original Parish Record for that event and date. It clearly reveals that an Elinor Slocombe was BURIED, not baptized, on that date.  Since the wording is very clear, I cannot explain why transcribers (eg. Somerset Bishops’ and other transcriptions, and FreeReg for Milverton), show the event as a baptism. Gradually I may correct this error as I work on the website’s other pages, but keep it in mind when you find reference to Elinor on this website. It is unlikely that we will ever know exactly when or where she was born, but the marriage of an Elinor Slocombe to Richard Stone on 2 Oct 1639 remains adequately documented.   JCS II. 4/28/2020

5/2/2020: I still don’t have (and don’t expect to find) a baptism for Elinor/Eleanor Slocombe. But since this original post (immediately above), Galen has discovered in the UK Archives the abstract of a 1671 court case involving plaintiffs William Slocombe the elder, William Slocombe the younger, Eleanor Stone  and Richard Stone. We suggest that those four plaintiffs are (1) Eleanor’s father William and (2) her brother William, (3) Eleanor Slocombe Stone herself (daughter and sister of William Senior and William Junior), and Eleanor’s son Richard Stone. Eleanor’s husband Richard Stone 1575 – 1653 had died by the time of this legal case, and her son Richard 1640 – 1678 seems a logical person to have been involved in the dispute. A less likely possibility for the identity of Richard Stone would be Eleanor’s step grandson Richard Stone 1640 – 1733, roughly the same age as Richard 1640-1678. Indeed, after the death of Eleanor’s son Richard in 1678  and then his wife Thomazine in 1684, the elder Richard 1640 – still very much alive – was a party to several indentures relating to his cousins of Venn Farm – i.e the children of Richard and Thomazine and their heirs. There also two documents within the Cheffins auction collection of Stone family papers which appear to be mortgage or loan agreements between Eleanor Stone and a William Slocombe. We now know quite a bit more about the family of the second wife of Richard Stone 1575, but not where or when Eleanor was born and baptized. Somerset Parishes with Slocombes include Crowcombe, Milverton, Wiveliscombe, Huish Champflower, and others. Our Slocombe family appears likely to have been of Crowcombe.

Sedgeborrow Family Estimated

I wish to thank fellow research friends who have confirmed without doubt that the first wife of Richard Stone (1575 – 1653 was Emma “Sedgeburrow” (abt 1579 – 1633), who married Richard in 1599 and was buried in Clayhanger in 1633 .  There are several spellings in the records for this family surname, but Sedgeburrow or Sedgeborrow are the most common, and many of them are found in Chipstable, Somerset, the Stone family parish (along with Clayhanger, Devon) for centuries. Even though Emma Sedgeborrow and Richard Stone were married in Burlescombe, I have found no other evidence of that family around that parish. It is highly likely that the Stones would have known the Sedgeborrows. I suggest that Emma was living in or perhaps “in service” in Burlescombe at the time of her marriage. When one looks at Chipstable, however – and recognizing that the availability of early parish records in Chipstable is zero to poor prior for the 18th century and earlier, is is surprising how many Sedgeborrows can be identified in 17c Chipstable records on FreeReg, and in some David Cheek transcripts.  From a study of those records, a reasonable line of descent including Emma can be constructed. While I recognize that this version cannot be proven, it seems reasonable and I present it below:

Sedgeborrow Family Estimated

I now believe that the father of Richard Stone circa 1575 – 1653 was not John Stone alias Venne, who wrote a no-longer-available  will in Chipstable in 1617, but rather John Stone of the Hele farm in Clayhanger who died in 1588. His will likewise is no longer available, but it is stated clearly that administration of the will was assigned to his natural son Richard Stone.


Richard Stone’s first wife identified!

Thanks to visitors to this website, after more than twenty years of research focused on Somerset and Devon, the identity of Richard Stone’s first wife (my 9X GGM) is known! First, a parish record image for the 1633 burial of “Emmin”, wife of Richard Stone was found and sent to me. Second, a marriage record from Burlescombe, Devon, identifies the marriage of “Ricardus Stone” and “Emma Sedgeborrow” on May 10, 1599. The spellings of Emma’s name – both given and surname – are difficult to read and I have chosen Emma Sedgeborrow as closest to what we would use today. I will prepare a new Descendancy Chart for Richard.

Stone Family Tree discrepancies on FTs

As of 8/17/2022 I intend to maintain this “blog” as a running document, as I perceive problems with data on family trees seen on

A number of family trees on deal with the Stone families of Somerset and Devon, England. Two in particular contain incorrect ancestry for Robert Stone and his wife Elizabeth Hill, some of whose descendants immigrated to Tasmania, Melbourne and New Zealand. I note the discrepancy in the Sullivan Tilley FT and the Stone NZ FT. Robert Stone’s birth is estimated at 1676 in these trees but was probably closer to 1665 – 1670. There is abundant documentation on Robert Stone’s life on this website. I recommend viewing the Stone descendants chart and especially the Cheffins Auction documents. There are many documents regarding the history of this family. Also look at the Wills and Indentures on this website for more documents about the Stone family. The AUS and NZ Stones do not connect to the Stones of Yarcombe, Devon. The common ancestor of all of these Stones was Richard Stone ca 1575 of Clayhanger, Devon.

There is additional information on Ancestry Tree discrepancies in the Stone page on this website.

Please leave comments on this site if you wish more information or would like to discuss further.

Cheffins Auction Documents Update

The STONE FAMILY  OF CHIPSTABLE documents from the July 2013 auction at Cheffins of Cambridge can be viewed on this website and on the Dartmouth College Library website. They are also available for viewing at the Somerset Heritage Society, the Devon Heritage Society (Devon Records Office) and the Devon Family History Society.  Many other surnames are involved in the documents. Abstracts of the documents are provided in this website and at the Dartmouth College library website. We will be grateful for expanded abstracts and full transcriptions. Please leave a COMMENT on this site if you are willing to provide abstracts or transcriptions. For access to the documents and the Dartmouth College website images, click STONE FAMILY, then STONE DOCUMENTS, then Cheffins.

The Bishop Stone Conundrum has been solved!


Thanks to research done by Bishop Stone’s great great granddaughter Rosalind Nash Prewett of Dorset, we now can confirm Bishop’s relationships and family tree. This additional information, together with studies done by Robert Hayward, Nan Mead and me since the early 1990s, makes us confident that we now correctly understand Bishop Stone’s ancestry. Please see the archived post on this website dated September 2013 for a statement of the “Bishop Stone Conundrum.” Here are the questions then posed and the answers:

1) Who were John and Mary Stone, the parents of Bishop Stone 1803 and his older brother John 1800 and their two younger siblings Mary and Edmund?

As has long been believed, we can now confirm that Bishop’s father was John Stone 1775, son of John Stone 1739 and Elizabeth Sellick 1750, and a grandson of Thomas Stone 1716 and Betty Perratt 1718. John’s wife Mary was baptized Mary Stone in Brompton Ralph in 1778, a daughter of John Stone 1757 of Lydeard St. Lawrence and Patience Yendell of Raddington. Recent research into Chipstable land records and registers of voters in 1832 and 1846 now confirms that brothers John and Bishop Stone  occupied properties that had been in the family of Thomas Stone 1716, then of his son John Stone 1739, and then of his grandson John Stone 1775. These properties include Easter Above Church and Wester Above Church, which were given to John Stone 1739 by his father Thomas and then to John 1775 by his father John 1739.

John Stone 1775 died in 1823 and was buried in Chipstable. The death date of his wife Mary Stone Stone is not certain. Perhaps she died in 1812 when her son Edmund died shortly after birth. Neither John nor Mary Stone were noted as witnesses when their son John married Grace Hancock in 1832 in Morebath, Devon. One would have expected one or both of them to be witnesses had they been alive. Wills are in hand for most of Bishop’s Stone ancestors. For neither John nor Mary has a will been found, suggesting possible unexpected deaths at short notice.

John Stone (1775-1823) had an older brother Thomas (1773-?) and younger brothers William (1779-1804), James (1781-1800), Captain (1784-1821) (my 3X great grandfather), Robert (1786-?), and Joseph (1790-1798)

(2) Who was Robert Stone, the innkeeper at Bampton Inn in Wiveliscombe?

In his 1864 will, Robert Stone the innkeeper provided for his brother John and his nephew Bishop Stone! For some twenty five years, those will provisions quite logically led us to conclude that the innkeeper was Robert Stone 1786 listed above. Robert 1786 indeed was a true uncle of Bishop Stone and brother of John 1775. Thus we determined that he must have been the innkeeper, even though much evidence pointed to Robert the innkeeper having been born in 1790, not in 1786.

While we believed that Robert Stone 1786 was the innkeeper who wrote his will in 1862, the naming of his brother John in the will forced us to question the 1823 burial of John Stone 1775 of Chipstable, even though the burial data appeared to be valid for this John. If John had not died in 1823, however, he would have been 89 years old when Robert’s will was proved in 1864. That age seemed somewhat improbable, but with the additional naming in the will of nephew Bishop, it seemed compelling at the time to conclude that the innkeeper was Robert Stone 1786.

With our recent research in hand, however, it is now certain that the innkeeper was NOT Robert Stone 1786. Indeed, I do not know what became of Robert Stone 1786. His life after being named in his mother’s will in 1804 remains a mystery. The innkeeper whose will is so important to this conundrum was Robert Stone 1790, son of Robert Stone 1744, clothier, and Jane Chorley. Census and tombstone data all confirm that Robert the innkeeper was born about 1790, not 1786. The latest research documents the conclusion that Robert Stone 1790 was the Wiveliscombe innkeeper.

In addition to his proprietorship of the Bampton Inn, Robert the innkeeper was a resident of the Wiveliscombe property called “Weare”, which he had inherited via his father from his grandfather Thomas Stone 1716. The will of Thomas Stone makes this clear. The line of descent to the innkeeper was Thomas Stone 1716\Robert Stone 1744 (clothier)\Robert Stone 1790. It was not Thomas Stone 1716\John Stone 1739\Robert Stone 1786.

Recent research regarding the two Somerset marriages of the innkeeper Robert Stone 1790 confirm the correct ancestry. Both marriages were to widows. Both marriage records state that Robert was the son of Robert 1744, clothier, i.e. not John 1739. According to the parish record in FreeReg, in 1839 Robert was living in Wiveliscombe as a clothier (like his father). He married the widow Maria Timewell in Bishops Hull, Taunton. Her father was Thomas Bowker. In the marriage certificate, Robert’s father was specified to be Robert Stone, clothier.

The widow Maria Timewell was recorded in Wiveliscombe parish records as being Maria Shaddock, the base born daughter of Ann Shaddock. In 1797 Maria married Robert Timewell, and in 1798 they had a son James. In 1861 James was living with his stepfather Robert Stone in Wiveliscombe, stating his age as 63. It appears likely that Thomas Bowker was Maria’s father, as he was named as such in the 1839 marriage record.

Maria died in 1858 and was buried in the Wiveliscombe churchyard in a site subsequently shared by her husband Robert Stone 1790. In 1861 Robert married another widow, Catherine Gerard, in Weston Super Mare. Catherine was the daughter of Edward Govett Dyer of Milverton. (See FreeReg). Once again, the groom’s father was named as Robert Stone, clothier. It is tempting to speculate that Robert 1790 was visiting John Stone 1789, his first cousin once removed. John was the former Lord of the Manor of Chipstable. After leaving Chipstable, John had become a prominent attorney in Bath and Bristol. He later retired to Weston Super Mare where he died in 1864.

Robert’s second wife, Catherine, died in Wiveliscombe on 10 April, 1865, leaving £1500 to her sister Ann Long in Bristol, described as “her only next of kin.”

So why did Robert the innkeeper name Bishop Stone as his “nephew” in his will, bringing upon us all of this consternation and doubt and requiring many months of additional research?


From the wording of his will, we can accept that Robert did have a brother named John, but as yet we have not yet identified brother John in parish records.


Using current relationship terminology, Bishop Stone was the “grandnephew” of Robert’s father, Robert Stone 1744, the elder clothier. Perhaps Robert 1790 (the younger clothier and then innkeeper) roughly concluded that if Bishop was his father’s grandnephew, he was his nephew. Furthermore, there are those doing genealogical research who counsel us not to take literally the word usage of relationships like “nephew” in documents from the 18th and 19th century. “Jim”, on Somerset Rootsweb, recently advised as follows:


“Relationships in the 19th Century did not have the same meaning as the words we use today. For example son in law was not the husband of one’s daughter but the son of a wife from her previous marriage. Equally, cousin did not necessarily refer to the child of one’s uncle/aunt. Nephew and Niece were sometimes used in reference to one’s God – Children, who may have no blood relationship of any sort. References in wills to “relationships” of modern usage therefore need to be taken with a pinch of salt. “True” blood relationships were usually referred to in the terms son/daughter of my said brother/sister.  Anything else needs careful study before drawing conclusions.” 


Today we would describe Bishop Stone as the first cousin, one generation younger, of Robert Stone 1790, the innkeeper who wrote the will. Since the true family relationships now are clear and documented, we must accept, as Jim suggested, that the relationship terminology used 150 years ago was not necessarily how we would describe relationships today.

Robert Stone 1790 and Maria - Wivey