Born at the Wayside Inn: Elizabeth Howe Stone

Elizabeth Howe (1744-1829)

Wayside Inn

Wayside Inn, Sudbury MA, Photo by Noelle Gillies from Flickr

I grew up hearing from my mother that Elizabeth Howe Stone, my 4th great-grandmother, was born at the Wayside Inn. She was not just making up this family legend. We have DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) research papers that gave us the information.

Nevertheless, I may have to let go of this little family legend.  The historian at the Wayside Inn tells me she can’t verify that information. But I still believe it is possible.

The Howe Family Sudbury Taverns

Various members of the Howe Family operated an inn in Sudbury Massachusetts between 1716 and 1861.  It gained fame in 1862 when Longfellow published “Tales of the Wayside Inn.”  You’re going to be hearing a lot more about the Wayside Inn throughout the summer as I lead up to my trip to Sudbury in September. It is now a historic site run by the Ford Foundation, but still functions as an Inn–the oldest in the country.

When Elizabeth was born, in 1744, her uncle, Ezekiel Howe, had taken over the original Howe’s Tavern and renamed it The Red Horse Tavern [according to some accounts–others say it was just known as “The Howe Tavern”].  The baby Elizabeth’s father was Israel Howe, Ezekiel’s brother.

 Some secondary sources such as the history of the family of Gregory Stone, erroneously state that her father’s name is Capt. Paul How {John (pioneer)-Isaac-John} rather than Israel How {John(pioneer)-Lt. Samuel-David}. It was an easy mistake to make.

Both Paul and Israel were married to women named Elizabeth. Both lived in Rutland (or Paxton, a town formed from part of Rutland).

Paul How did have a daughter named Elizabeth, but it is NOT this Elizabeth who married Jeduthan Stone. The two Elizabeth How’s are listed in the hand written town records from Rutland on the same page. Paul’s daughter was born in June. Israel How’s daughter was born in November.

See the fact page of her profile for complete references on these sources.

Tombstone (as pictured on Find a Grave_ seems to say she died October 8, 1839 at the age of 85. However, that would mean she was born in 1754–after her father, Israel, died in 1748. Find a Grave erroneously attributes her father as Paul.

More importantly, Massachusetts Vital Records, Rutland, says both Elizabeths were born in 1744. Massachusetts Vital Records (Rutland) says Elizabeth Stone, wife of Jeduthan, died in 1829.

Genealogical Notes by Mary Augusta Stone (1862-1953) writes that her grandmother and three great-aunts, who were adults at the time of Elizabeth’s death, testified that Elizabeth How , daughter of Israel How, married Jeduthan Stone, and died in 1829. Mary Augusta Stone’s grandmother, would be my 3x great grandmother, and one of the great-aunts would have been my great-great grandmother.

The family story also has been that she was born at the Wayside Inn (How’s Tavern). That would make her related to the family that ran the Inn . Israel, who I believe was her father, was the son of David, the first innkeeper there.

“Old Northwest” Genalogical Quarterly, Volumes 5-6, p. 99 ed. by Lucius Carewell Herrick, available at Google Books and “A History of Rutland”, pg. 146-147, both list Elizabeth How married to Jeduthan Stone

A HIstory of Rutland, pg. 146-147, says Jeduthan Stone married Elizabeth How.

I believe this is a case where a family history got the father wrong because they missed the 2nd Elizabeth on the Vital Records page, and the mistake was passed on. As to the tombstone, it is in very good condition for the age, so I’m guessing it was erected many years after her death, and the date of death was copied erroneously from the family historys rather than the Vital Records.

Perhaps by coincidence, Elizabeth was to grow up and marry Jeduthan Stone, who probably was related to Ezekiel’s wife, Bathesheba Stone.  The town of Sudbury was knee-deep in families that are in my background — particularly Stones and Howes — so there are a lot of interwoven skeins of family lines.

According to the Massachusetts Town Records (1620-1850)–a summary rather than the original records–Elizabeth Howe was born in Rutland, Massachusetts.  Later records show that her family must have lived in a portion of Rutland that later split off to form the new town of Paxton.

Her father, Israel, grew up around the How/Howe family tavern on the Boston Road in the small town of Sudbury. She was named for her mother, Elizabeth Hubbard Howe (whom I will introduce next week) who came from Marlborough, a few miles west of Sudbury along the Boston Road. [ EDIT 8-8-2014: Actually she came from Concord also near by]

Elizabeth Howe was the third child in the family. The first, Israel Jr., died when  Elizabeth was just one year old (he was only four). She also had an older sister Lucy. She also had younger sisters Ruth and Rebecca.

When Elizabeth was only four years old,  Israel Howe died.  Soon after, her mother married Stephen Barrett. Consequently Elizabeth had a half sister, Lydia Barrett and three half-brothers, Stephen Barrett Jr., Israel Barrett and Benjamin Barrett [EDIT with additional information 8-7-2014].

In January 1773, at age 28, Elizabeth Howe married Jeduthan Stone, who was four years younger.  As we have seen in looking at Jeduthan and their oldest daughter Elizabeth Stone (Bassett) , she was pregnant when she married Jeduthan. Hot blooded at 28 and pursuing a younger man?

When her baby daughter was a year and a half old, Jeduthan marched off to participate in the American Revolution. It must have been worrisome days, but Elizabeth continued to give birth fairly regularly between battles and after Jeduthan returned to farm in Massachusetts. [EDIT 8-7-2014: Her three half-brothers were also fighting in the war, and one was held captive for 9 months in Quebec.]

  • Elizabeth, the first child of Elizabeth and Israel, born in 1773, married William Bassett in 1804 and moved to Ohio. (Elizabeth’s step-Aunt Lydia Barrett married a relative of Jeduthan Stone named Israel Stone who also was an Ohio pioneer. See what I mean about tangled skeins?)
  • Willard, born 1776. He married Polly Merriam in 1801, and after she died in 1829 married a woman named Nancy. He seems to have stayed in Rutland.
  • Augustus, born in 1777, would have been a particular concern because he was nearly blind from birth. He did not marry until he was 31, in 1809. He married Thankful Banks and lived out his life as a productive farmer in the Rutland area and father to ten children. He married a second time in 1843.
  • Patty, who never married was born in 1780. I speculate that she may have had health problems.
  • Calvin was born in 1781. Married Elizabeth Estabrook in 1810.
  • Lucy was born in 1783, and married Herman Foster in 1806 and remained in Rutland the rest of her life.
  • Sally was probably a surprise,  born in 1786  when Elizabeth was forty-two years old. Sally married Taylor Estabrook (possibly the brother of Calvin’s wife) in 1809. They also stayed in Rutland.

Although I have not yet traced the families of each of the children of Elizabeth How Stone, it is fair to assume they had large families, and since they all stayed in the area, Elizabeth probably enjoyed huge family gatherings with her grandchildren.

I imagine the women cooking over the open hearth, or perhaps in an attached kitchen building or outdoors as they celebrated holidays.  I imagine that Independence Day was a very special occasion for them, since Grandpa Jeduthan had been a fighter in the Revolution, and many other men of Sudbury had fought for Independence.

The Tie to Sudbury

It makes sense to me that Elizabeth Howe’s mother and father were visiting Sudbury when her mother went into labor, and the trip back home would have been too lengthy. Thus, the baby was born at the family Inn in Sudbury, but the birth was registered in their home town of Rutland.

Throughout her life, Elizabeth no doubt also traveled frequently to Sudbury, where many of their relatives lived. She would have visited the Wayside Inn with her family and they heard tales of how their mother/grandmother Elizabeth Howe was born there. I like knowing that when I first heard the story, it had been floating down through my family for more than 200 years.

Elizabeth Howe Stone died at the age of 85 in the town that by then was called Paxton. Her son Calvin had died at 46 years old in 1827. Jeduthan had passed away in March of 1829, and her first daughter–Elizabeth Stone Bassett–had died in September 1829 in far off Keene Ohio. Elizabeth Howe Stone, who had survived the death of one son and her husband, only lived one month after her daughter Elizabeth. But the story of her birthplace in a family inn stays alive.

 How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, the daughter of
  • Hattie Morgan Stout, the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett Morgan, the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Stone Basset, the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Howe Stone.

Notes on Research

  • Cemeteries of Ohio, Genealogical Publishing Com pg. 116 reproduces the words from the gravestones of several members of Stone families.
  • Other details of relationships, birth and death dates come from records found through NOTE: There is a record at FindaGrave that says Elizabeth’s Howe’s father was Capt. Paul Howe, and that misinformation is found in some other family trees as well.  Capt. Paul Howe did have a daughter named Elizabeth based on a birth record,and she was born in the same year, but in June, rather than November when my Elizabeth was born. Paul’s child was NOT the Elizabeth that married Jeduthan Stone.
  • “Old Northwest” Genealogical Quarterly, Volumes 5-6, p. 99 and 144 ff,  ed. by Lucius Carwell Herrick, available at Google Books.
  • Gregory Stone Genealogy : Ancestry and Descendants of Dea. Gregory Stone of Cambridge, Massachusetts : 1320-1917, Joseph Gardner Bartlett, Boston 1918. Available on lne at Google Books.
  • Massachusetts Compiled Marriages 1633-1850, Elizabeth Howe and Jedutham Stone, Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp, 2005
  • Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, Roxbury, 1620-1988, J. Mack Holbrook, Holbook Research Institute, Oxford MA, at, Elizabeth Stone death.
  • Massachusetts Town Birth Records, 1650-1850, Rutland,  New England Genealogical Historic Society, published by 1990. Elizabeth Howe, birth
  • Massachusetts Town Marriage Records 1620-1850, Jeduthan Stone and Elizabeth Howe, January,1773 and Marriage Banns, Dec. 25, 1772, New England Historic Genealogical Society published by, film index at Family
  • Research notes from Daughters of the American Revolution, prepared for my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson probably in the 1930s or 1940s.
  • Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, A Historama Booklet, (1975;2nd printing 1977) by Carole J. Maconi with Barbara Deveneau.
  • Family tales and Bible records
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9 thoughts on “Born at the Wayside Inn: Elizabeth Howe Stone

  1. Connie

    Aaah we meet again….and now in the wonderful rabbit hole of ancestry research! What a wonderful post this is…and I look forward to the promise of a post on intriguing names!

  2. Kate Stow

    My mother was Jean Howe, who married James Stow, to make her Jean Howe Stow.
    Jean was the daughter of Henry Hershell Howe,
    Son of William Emmett Howe, son of Robert Howe, son of William T. Howe, son of Joseph I. Howe, son of Joseph How of Massachusetts.

  3. Terry

    My husband’s cousin, Eleanor Howe, who is now 84, has often said she was related to the Howe family that owned the Wayside Inn. Eleanor was born and grew up in Clinton, MA. She had given me two cross-stitch samplers that were passed down in her family. A young girl names Sufphronia Howe created them. One has the alphabet, the year 1828 and her name stitched . The other is also the alphabet as well as numbers,and her name stitched. The latter also has what appears to be “Agd 10” and Marlboro Jun 15, 1829”.

    I am wondering if in all your research, you may have come across the name Sufphronia and if you have any information about her.

  4. Roger anderson

    I am a dependant of calvin Howe and I would like to send a copy of our family tree that shows our family built the wayside inn.
    Thank you

    Roger anderson

    1. Avatar photoVera Marie Badertscher Post author

      Is Calvin Howe a descendant of David Howe? I do not have him in my tree, although I do have a Calvin Stone, son of Jeduthan Stone and Elizabeth Howe Stone. The book How Ancient is this Hostelry is just one of the many sources that confirm that David built the inn. If you think this is incorrect, you might want to speak to the archivist at the Wayside Inn.


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