Family Trees on Ancestry.com

Comments prompted by information seen on family trees at Ancestry.com

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 Ancestry.com. 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

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