Freegift Stout (1693-1769), Generation Three
Other Freegift Stout offspring obviously were named for this one, but the name does not show up frequently. Where did his name come from? There must be a meaning for the name Freegift. I’m guessing religious roots. (Most obviously, “Gift of God.”) However, Mr. Google is failing me on this one. Have you heard the name before? Do you know what it means?
Freegift Stout, my 6th Great Grandfather was the father of my direct ancestor Isaac Stout (1740) along with a large number of other children.
What I know of Freegift leads to the conclusion that he led a quiet life as a successful farmer in New Jersey. As documented in his will, he acquired a widespread holding of lands in New Jersey. He did not wander, although one of his sons settled very early along the Ohio River and grandsons and great-grandsons of Freegift scattered across the land, creating new communities everywhere they went. For a summary of what we know so far, see my story about Isaac Stout (1740)
Freegift was the eldest son in the family of David Stout and Rebecca Ashton Stout, born in the area they called Clover Hill in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He had two older sisters. At the age of twenty-one, Freegift moved along with his father and mother and the rest of the family to the rich farmland of nearby Amwell. Wikipedia describes Clover Hill: “Clover Hill, named for Peter C. Clover, was previously called Koughstown (pronounced kuestown) after Casparus Kough, Jr. and was located on Amwell Road and Clover Hill Road. The village was home to a tavern, store, church, hotel, blacksmith, post office and eight or nine houses. ” See more about Amwell Valley at Wikipedia, where I found this topographic map. Sources describe the valley as rich agricultural land.
Freegift Stout and his Family, Generation Four
In 1720, Freegift married Mary Higgins (1699-1773), daughter of Jediah and Mary Higgins. Mary Higgins and her family probably deserve a separate analysis. Most Ancestry trees, based on Find a Grave, say Mary was born in Eastham, Massachusetts. I was scratching my head trying to figure out how Freegift (New Jersey) met Mary (Massachusetts). It turns out that Find a Grave made a mistake. Mary’s father, Jedidiah Higgins moved with his family to Piscataway, New Jersey from Massachusetts, where her grandfather Richard Higgins had emigrated in the early 1600s. Her mother, Mary Newbold came with her family from England and also lived in New Jersey. So Mary was born in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Freegift and Mary lived in Clover Hill the rest of their lives, raising crops and a very large family. Pinning down those family members presented a real challenge. Freegift’s will, written 9 June, 1763, gives the best evidence for names of children, but of course that does not include dates of birth and death. Fortunately, in this case, the women’s husbands are listed, but we have to go elsewhere to find out who the Stout men married.
I have not found any birth records for any of this family. I compared sources, to see which might be the most authoritative. There are endless books on the Stouts and on the places they lived. Here are the major ones I looked at:
The History of the Stout Family: First Settling in Middleton and Somerset Counties, State of New Jersey, by Nathan Stout (1823)
Historical and Genealogical Miscellany: Data Relating to the Settlement and Settlers of New York and New Jersey, Vol. I/II and Vol. IV, by John Stillwell, M. D. Vol 1/II (1904) Vol. IV (1916)
Two books by Herald F. Stout, USN. Staudt-Stoudt-Stout Families of Ohio and Their Ancestors at Home and Abroad (1935) and Stout and Allied Families Vol. 1 (1951)
Since Nathan Stout’s book was the earliest, naturally he became a main source for the other two authors. Comparing lineage lists from the four sources backs that up. Although I assume the information in the book came from family records with limited research, he does not specify, so the foundational information on the Stout line is suspect. I found the most thoroughly researched and documented information in Historical and Genealogical Miscellany. Bless his heart, Dr. Stillwell explains everything in great detail and includes in his book things like lists of cattle brands and marriage licenses, etc. to back up.
Jedidiah Stout , ??-1782(?) Named for maternal grandfather. Married Phillena Chamberlain Daughter Rebecca born before June 1763; Ann, born before 18 May 1766.
Rebecca Stout (Taylor) Married Edward Taylor
Freegift Stout, Jr., 1724-1798 Married Elizabeth Stout , a second cousin.
Mary Stout B. Circa 1726 Married Richard Chamberlain, brother of Jedidiah’s wife Phillena.
Rachel Stout ??-After January 1777 Married Richard Rounsaville
Joshua Stout ?? – 1806
Obadiah Stout 1735-1830. Married Mary McBride
*Isaac Stout 1740-1823 born and died in Clover Hill New Jersey. Married Mary Quimby.
James Stout, married Mary Mattison and had one son, Samuel. Wife died in 1764. Married second Rachel Higgins (d. 1782) in 1765, and had a family.
Sarah Stout (Oliphant) ??- Bef. 1768.
*My 5th great grandfather
Freegift Stout and all of his offspring except one were born and died in New Jersey. These children of Freegift lived through power struggles between the Dutch and the English in New Jersey, the Revolutionary War, and the aftermath of economic problems. Obadiah, born in 1735, fought in the Army and took the land grant to which that entitled him and went West.
Obadiah, the 2x great uncle of my great-grandfather Isaiah was one of the first, if not the first of Isaiah’s Stout uncles and cousins to land in Ohio. Am I getting closer to finding out why my great-great Grandfather settled in Guernsey County, Ohio?
To review, The generations are (1) Richard, (2) David, (3) Freegift, (4) my ancestor Isaac and his brother Obadiah (5) Isaac’s children including my ancestor Isaiah and his brothers Josiah and Aaron, (6) Josiah’s and Aaron’s children.
I last wrote about Josiah and then about Aaron and Aaron’s children, most of whom were restless travelers. Now, having introduced Freegift, I will move back one generation to the children of Freegift–Generation Three. Next I will talk about Obadiah who spawned a family of settlers in the Northwest Territory and beyond.
Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll come along for the ride as more and more Stouts leave New Jersey and head West.
HOW I AM RELATED
- Vera Marie Badertscher is the daughter of
- Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
- Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
- William Cochran (Doc) Stout, who is the son of
- Isaiah Stout (1822), who is the son of
- Isaac Stout (1800), who is the son of
- Isaiah Stout (1773) who is the son of
- Isaac Stout (1740) who is the son of
- Freegift Stout
NOTES ON RESEARCH
A partial genealogy of the DeWitt, Boss, Chamberlain, Cromwell, D’Arcy, Cockey and allied families , Albert Lilborn DeWitt , 1956 Accessed at Ancestry.com
New Jersey, Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817, Ancestry.com, 2011
New Jersey, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1643-1890 , Ancestry.com 1999
FindaGrave.com, Freegift Stout, Sr. # 7350252 . However, based on the dates in the New Jersey abstract of Wills, FAG is mistaken about his date of death.
Hopewell Town Records https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uva.x001174960, page 135.