Penelope van Princis Kent Stout (1622-1732), survived an Indian attack


Penelope van Princis was born to Baron van Princis in Amsterdam, Holland in 1622. She married John Kent in 1640, and they set sail for the new world in 1642, bound for New Amsterdam (New York).

Within a few miles of New Amsterdam, they were shipwrecked during a storm, running aground on what today is Sandy Hook, New Jersey.

Commemorative coin depicting Penelope's rescue by an Indian brave

Here is an account of what befell her:

The story goes on to relate that all the shipwrecked people were safely landed from the stranded ship. But Penelope’s husband who had been sick for most of the voyage was taken so ill after getting on shore that he could not travel with the rest and for that reason could not march. The others were so afraid of the Indians that they would not remain until he recovered but hastened away to New Amsterdam promising to send relief as soon as they arrived. The wife alone remained behind with her husband. They were left on the beach and the others had not been long gone before a company of Indians coming down to the water side discovered them and hastening to the spot soon killed the man and cut and mangled the woman in such a manner that they left her for dead. They departed after having stripped them of all their clothing. The wife’s skull was fractured and her left shoulder so hacked that she could never use that arm like the other she was also cut across the abdomen so that the bowels protruded these she kept in with her hands. After the Indians were gone the wife revived and crawled to a hollow tree or log where she remained for shelter several days one account says seven subsisting on what she could find to eat. The Indians had left some fire on the beach and this she kept burning for warmth. At length two Indians an old man and a young one coming to the shore saw her. The Indians as she afterward learned disputed what should be done with her the elderly man was for keeping her alive while the younger was for killing her. The former had his way and taking her on his shoulders carried her to a place near where Middletown now stands and dressed her wounds and soon healed them. After this Benedict says he carried her to New Amsterdam and made a present of her to her countrymen.

The Story of Penelope Stout by Thomas Hale Streets 1897

To recap. Skull crushed, scalped, shoulder hacked apart, and an axe cut to her abdomen releasing her intestines, stripped naked and left for dead. Alone. In a new land.

And she survived.

After she finally arrived at New Amsterdam, she met and married Richard Stout, eventually had 10 kids, settled Middleton, Monmouth County, New Jersey, and lived to the age of 110.

She was my 8th great grandmother.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Penelope van Princis Kent Stout


67 Responses to “Penelope van Princis Kent Stout (1622-1732), survived an Indian attack”

  1. 1 Sarah Chandler

    She was my 8th great grandmother too….. There must be a gazillion of us!

  2. 5 Abby Ferguson

    She’s my 11th and 12th grandmother. ><
    I descend from her sons James and David.

    I forget where I got this information, so don't credit me for it if it's true, but I have this in my notes:
    "Some records show original name (in Holland) to be Van Printzen. Also noted that her name is listed in some places as Penelope Kent Van Princin. Another source lists her maiden name as Thomson and she married a Kent van Princis in 1642. He was killed by the Indians on the beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. "

  3. 6 Cheryl Briggs

    I found her in my ancestry on Interesting story about her life!

  4. She’s my 11th great grandmother. I’ve also seen her name more simply as Penelope Prince. Some who are directly descended from Penelope may also be direct descendents of Captain Benjamin Merrill of North Carolina who was hung for treason against the British crown in 1771. His story is equally fascinating. A true American hero.

  5. 8 Carolyn Wagenseller

    My farther, Justus Post Nesbitt, remembered this survivor story, and it became part of the family lore from the early settlers in New Jersey. I have to make a family tree, but if you want more information, I am at I will send you the chart.

  6. 9 Christopher Sparkman

    She is my 9th grandmother. My great-grandmother was Josie Pearl Stout Sheridan. I read this story many years ago but didn’t believe it. I’m coming around!

  7. 10 Brian J. Stout

    I love this stuff!!! She too is my 9th Grandmother, and Christopher Sparkman, I believe that your Great-Grandmother Josie Pearl Stout Sheridan would have been my great grandfathers sister! Hah, how fascinating!

    • 11 Christopher Sparkman

      Brian J. Stout, that is really cool. That must mean we share great-great grandparents, so we are 3rd cousins! Where do you hail from? Who was your great-grandfather?

  8. 12 Sir John W. Howell IV

    My cousin Penelope Star gave me this information about Penelope Van Princis whom she was named after. I have inherited my great grandfather’s silver baby cup given to him by his grandfather John W. Stout. I too am a descendant of Penelope Van Princis.

  9. She’s my 8th great grandmother also. I heard about her from my great grandmother who was descended from her son John and then down from her great granddaughter Rebecca who married John Cranmer the 1720’s.

  10. 14 Jeff Decker

    Just discovered this evening my connection to this remarkable woman. Im a descendant of Elizabeth Stout whom married John Warford in New Jersey.

    • 15 Eleanor taylor

      My Husband is also a direct descendent of Penelope and Richard Stout through his great grandmother Ellen Stout who married John Taylor. We live in Australia after migrating from Britain. Ellen’s grandson was in the USAAF in WWII and settled in England.
      Penelope’s descendants certainly get around.

      • 16 Ginger

        I would be interested in the lineage of your John Taylor as my 4th Great Grandfather Freegift Taylor (son of Edward Taylor and Rebecca Stout) had brother’s John and Edward.

  11. 17 Kathy Perry Klemick

    They are in my history to, I am the Great Granddaughter of Anny Stout, whose Parents were David and Caroline Stout.
    I find this info. just incredible, what a legacy these people have left for us, I did not realize I had so many relation!
    Nice to meet you all!

  12. 18 Jeff Conduff

    Hello family! Penelope and Richard are also my 8th Grandparents. I am in N.W. Arkansas; where many of the earlier Stouts settled to from Kentucky. My great, great Grandparents are Jonathan Stout and Margaret Hannah Stout.

    I have always been proud of my family and their closeness. I recently started exploring and chaseing down my ancestory. I become more proud and fascinated day by day.

    My Grandmother spoke many times of life, family, and relatives. She often spoke of one of my closer relatives as being of Indian origin. This further excites and fascinates me! Anyone with any information, leads, comments, etc. please feel free to contact me at ( I would be so grateful! Bye and take care!

  13. Richard and Penelope Stout are also my 8th great grandparents . Their son David who married Rebecca Ashton are my 7th great grandparents.
    In tracing my genealogy I find a slightly different story of Penelope’s experience with the Indians written by Nathan Stout 1823.
    I would love to share my line with other Stout Descendants

    • 20 Gail

      Hi, Delores! I tried your website but it is just the generic comcast site. You and I both descend from David and Rebecca. I’m interested in what you have collected! E-mail me at Thanks!



    • 22 Kathy Amrine

      Hi Delores,
      Richard and Penelope Stout are also my husband’s 8th great grandparents as well as David and Rebecca being his 7th great grandparents. If you are still interested in passing along info to Stout descendants we would love anything that you are willing to share 🙂


  14. 23 Barbara Sparks Rawe

    Penelope Van Princen is my 8th Great Grandmother; my Great Great Grandmother Hannah Stout married Wm P Lykins….Their daughter Mary Ann Lykins and John Ardie Sparks are my Great Grandparents.

  15. 24 Tyler Stout

    This was a story my Grandmother used to tell me when I was a child and I thought it was something that was made up. I recently found that she is also my great great etc. grandmother. I was amazed to find that it was true or at least stemmed from a true story.



  17. Well, I don’t know much! But, I’ve been looking up some research and she is my 11th Great grandmother. Wow. Does anybody know where I can find more about STOUT history? E-mail me @

  18. 27 kelly p

    Wow this is all interesting. I am her 8th great grand daughter as well, not sure how I am related as my mom is the Geneology person. My daughter is doing a report on someone “famous” in our family and we picked her.

  19. 28 Steven

    Does anyone know where to find the Commemorative coin?

  20. 32 sara stout

    My 11th grandmother

  21. 33 victoria

    She is my 9th grandmother as well! My Uncle is an archivist for Penn State and he traced our genealogy to them. My great grandfather was Leon Stout and i am a grandaughter of his first daughter. Interesting! We were all big on learning the history since i and the rest of my family all grew up in monmouth county!

  22. 34 Ginny Gore-Miles

    My husband’s 9th great grandmother. Have two different pics, and not sure which is her? Does anyone have any pictures of her?

  23. 38 Deborah

    G’Day, from Brisbane, Australia! Penelope was my 7th Great Grandmother via Richard & Penelope’s son Peter’s line. Pleased, to meet you! I’d like to learn more about her lineage. I haven’t been able to go back any farther than her father.

  24. 39 Sharon

    She is my 8th great Grandmother off the line of James. Amazing story. Funny I grew up in Ocean County NJ and this line is from my dad’s side and he came from Seattle.

  25. 40 Rebecca Smith

    Penelope & Richard are my 9th great line from their son, Jonathan…My grandmother was Ida Pauline (Stout) Knight from West Virginia. My how huge my family has grown since I’ve begun my gen research!! It’s amazing the stories I’ve found. There is a new book that has just been released by one of our cousins, Penelope by Jim McFarlane. You can find on for $15. He wrote the book around the story of Penelope. I’d love to find the commemorative coin! If anyone has any info on that please email me @

  26. 41 Lydia

    I recall my mother telling of a female ancestor who survived a horrific attack that left her scalped by the Indians in colonial time. By the time I heard the story her name was lost. All I knew is she was from the Willett side of my mom’s family. That’s all. There are still some “blanks” but it looks like I too am descended from the Colonial Era heroine. I am descended from Lydia Ann Stout and James Essary Willett.

  27. 42 Vivian

    Don’t know how far away I am from her but I’m a descendant of her daughter deliverance.

  28. 43 Finley

    She’s my 13th great grandmother!
    I’m a descendant of her son Jonathan.
    Ive heard that there are 20,000 descendants…

  29. 44 Bill A.

    Greetings from Oklahoma, cousins! Penelope is my 8th great-grandmother via David on my father’s side and 9th great-grandmother via Jonathan on my mother’s side.

    • 45 Donald E. Stout

      Hi, I don’t know where I fit into the picture, but I too am from Oklahoma. Guthrie to be specific. I am interested to know what you can share with me.
      Don Stout.

  30. 46 Gayle

    To all who are interested… the Penelope Stout commemorative coin is again available! Go to and do a search for Penelope Stout. They will send it right off to you, and it is very nice!

  31. 47 Mike

    She is my 13th great grandmother! I’m descended from her son Richard

  32. 48 Kathy Klemick

    There are two different sites devoted to Penelope Stout relatives on facebook, come join and meet some Cousins! I am descended through their Son David also.

  33. Is anyone else descended through Sylvanus and Lucy (Pullian) Stout?

  34. 51 Kenneth J.Luther

    Incredible — She is also my 8th ggmother — Richard Stout is also my 8th ggrandfather, and my late Uncle Robert (Stout 1919-2002) is also a direct descendant. !! Genealogy can be strange.
    Kenneth J Luther

  35. 52 Richard Markham

    Tim, how very interesting. Thank you so very much for your time and interest. Sylvanus and Lucy (Pullian) Stout are my grandparents. That is Elizabeth (Stout) Nichols parentsRemark

  36. 53 Donna Stout Simons

    She is my 8th great grandmother as well. Check out Facebook page called Descensants of Penelope Stout.

    • 54 Donna Stout Simons

      Sorry, misspelled- It’s called Descendants of Penelope Stout –

  37. 55 F. Denise Stout Devine

    I am 11th granddaughter. And sorry to say, as the only daughter of Clifford D Stout, only son of Frances E Stout, i am the last Stout of our bloodline. My Aunts researched our family tree, and did a remarkable job! The put together a book with names, dates and pictures. It is incredible! They gave it to me, since i am the last with the Stout name.
    It is fun to see how many ‘cousins’ i have out there.

  38. 56 Andrea

    I am named after her, Andrea Marie Van Princin, she is my 18 grandmother

  39. 57 Maxine Little

    MaxineLittle July 4, 2013
    Penelope was my 8 ggmother Descended through her son Jonathan whose
    dau was Sarah Stout who married Andrew Smith. Is there any basis in the
    novel about Penelope that she had a locket. If there is, I might have it.

    • 58 Tony Park

      Hi Maxine, Penelope was my 11th ggmother Descended through her son Jonathan as well.

  40. 59 Jane DeMott Mitzkewich

    I am an eleventh generation descendent of Penelope and Richard from the Sutphin branch of the family. I grew up in NJ near the Raritan River. This past summer (2013), I sailed from New England down the East River and spent 2 days at Atlantic Highlands behind Sandy Hook. I telephoned the rest of my family from there. I could see the new Freedom Tower from the anchorage ( approx..15 miles) and felt a connection to my history. We sailed around Sandy Hook on our way south, and sailed down the coast nearby where the ship was supposedly wrecked.

  41. 61 Trudy webb

    I too am a descendant of penelope & Richard. We come from Jonathan’s Stouts daughter Sarah Stout, who was married to Andrew Smith III. If anyone has more info I would love to see it.

  42. 62 Mary Wamsley

    They were my husband’s 12th GGP. What an amazing story. I an a current subscriber to Ancestry (member/not promoting it. There are several links concerning the Stouts. FYI.

  43. She was my 9th greatgrandmother ! I come from her son, Benjamin’s line. I just discovered her story and I always knew I came from hearty stock.

  44. 64 DeAnna

    Greetings from Alabama! She was my 10th great grandmother! My line is through her daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Stout, who married John Pike, Jr.

  45. 65 Debi

    Hello my dear relatives! Im so shocked to find so many links to our strong brave Penelope! Im going to have to get a coin! Im also going to try to connect with anyone that left an email so I can gather as much info for the Tree Book I bought. Love to ALL of my family! God Bless and keep you safe along your journey! PS I left a message on Van Princess Ancestry. search. Sincerely Debi

  46. 66 Mary lee smith

    omg this is so cool penelope is my 7th great grandma, ive trying to find stuff out about my family for years. im so happy that i found everyone .please keep in contact my email address is i would love to finally get to know you all. xoxo to everyone i love you bunches

  47. 67 Christine Stout Dantes

    Penelope van Princis Stout was also my 9th great grandmother. Her husband Richard Stout (born to John Stout and Elizabeth Bee Stout) had David Stout, who had Freegift Stout, who had Isaac Stout, who had Josiah Stout, who had Charles Steward Stout Sr., who had another Josiah, who had Mark Garfield Stout, who had Charles Durant Stout, who had my father Charles Herbert Stout.

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