Saturday, February 11, 2012

Surname Saturday ~ Stone of Salem, Massachusetts


the grave of "Robart Stone of Salem"
at the Tower Hill Cemetery of Edgartown
on the island of Martha's Vineyard

There are many, many Stone families in New England so this was a tricky line to research.   It is unknown where the original immigrant Robert Stone came from, nor his origins or birthdate. Robert Stone and his sons appear in several Salem, Massachusetts court records starting about 1651 and in Perley’s History of Salem.    I had great help from a book found at NEHGS (see below Descendants of William Russell).  

On 14 December 1665, William King, Robert Stone’s brother-in-law sold land to him for 47 pounds: “'About twenty acres upland and one and one half acres salt marsh adjoining it being ye one half of my forty acres upland and three acres marsh adjoining situated and lying at ye head of Basse river and bounded with ye said river to ye east and with the land of Abram Warren to the northwest and west, on ye South west with ye land of John Bachelor ... being the one half of all ye land I have lying in that place at Basse River Head the whole containing forty three acres with one half of all the housing.” [Ryal Side from Early Days of Salem Colony, by Calvin P. Pierce, Beverly Historical Society, 1931, page 49]

Apparently the Stones and other families who lived nearby were Quakers, and in November 1660 [Records of the Quarterly Courts for Essex County, volume 2, page 265]  Robert Stone’s wife, Sarah, was presented at court along with Katherine King and Elizabeth Kitchin for “frequent absence from the public ordinances; and as a member of the jury, Thomas Rbbins was obliged to pass judgment on the conduct of his neighbors.  Mrs. King and Mrs. Kitchin were persistent absentees, and as all were apprehended and fined on so many occasions, they were finally threatened with ‘imprisonment at the gaol at Ipswich’”  [Ryal Side from Early Days of Salem Colony,  page 53]

There are many connections between Stone family members and the testimonies given at the Salem witch trials in 1692.  Elizabeth Proctor, wife of John Proctor who was hung as a witch, testified that she argued with Robert Stone twice over non-payment at her tavern.   Robert Stone’s mother-in-law, Alice (Temple) (Booth) Shaflin, had  daughter, Elizabeth Booth, who testified against the Proctors on 8 June 1692, and told the court that John Proctor and his wife had killed Robert Stone, Jr. and Sr.   She had seen an apparition of both Roberts, and they told her they had been murdered.   This is interesting to me because both Sarah Shaflin and John Proctor are my 9x Great Grandparents.

“Elesebeth Booth
The testimony of Elesebeth Booth Aged 18 years or their a Bout testifieth that one the 8 day of June Robert Stone Sinyer Apered unto me. & told me that John procter Senyer & Elesebeth his wife Kiled him Because they had som diferance in a redninge & also. at the Same time Robert Stone Juner Apered unto me & told me that John prockter & Elesebeth his wife Kiled him be Cause he tooke his fatheirs part
Elesebeth Booth
(Reverse) Booth agt procter”

[Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 26]

According to the Stone Family Association website, Robert Stone of Salem is supposed to be the same Robert Stone buried at Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard, in the Tower Hill Cemetery.  I have no idea why they believe this is the same Robert Stone of Salem, and I have not been able to find proof to prove or disprove this claim.  A photo can be seen at this link: and that epitaph reads:

Here lies buried ye Body of
Aged 65 years
departed this life
12 day of March 1689.
This is in place of the oldest
gravestone on Martha's Vineyard.
Erected by Joseph Dunham 1863.
The old stone lies here defaced.
Sixty rods southeast from this
grave may be seen the ruins of
the cellar of the House of the first
white settler who came to the Island
This granite tablet replaced
the old marble tablet in 1992
The Anniversary of Edgartown
350th year.

My Stone lineage:
Generation 1: Robert Stone died about 1694 in Salem, Massachusetts; married Sarah Shaflin, daughter of Michael Shaflin and Elizabeth Unknown, She died 22 August 1708 in Salem. Four children:

1. Samuel Stone (see below)
2. Robert Stone, born 24 June 1662 in Salem, married Hannah Eager
3. Benjamin Stone, born 28 Feb 1665, died unmarried
4. Sarah Stone, born 28 Feb 1667, married Jacob Manning

Generation 2: Samuel Stone, born 23 January 1657 in Salem, Massachusetts, died 6 January 1723 in Salem;  married on 28 January 1684 in Salem Village (now Danvers), Massachusetts to Mary Treadwell, daughter of Nathaniel Treadwell and Abigail Wells. She was born on 22 October 1665 in Ipswich, Massachusetts; died 6 January 1722 in Salem.  Eleven children:

1. Samuel Stone, born 15 January 1684/5; married Hannah Unknown
2. Robert Stone, born 7 January 1686, married Elizabeth Hardy
3. Elizabeth Stone, born 1 February 1688, married Thomas Symonds (son of the famous furniture maker James Symonds)
4. Katherine Stone, born 15 April 1691
5. Mary Stone, born 21 February 1692/3, died 14 March 1692/3
5. Mary Stone (see below)
6. Sarah Stone
7. Abigail Stone was "bereaved of her reason, and living in 1724" [Perley, Vol. III, p. 11]
8. Esther Stone
9. Hannah Stone
10. Lydia Stone
11. Mercy Stone

Generation 3:  Mary Stone,  married 9 January 1718 in Salem to Isaac Wilson, son of Robert Wilson and Elizabeth Cook, born about 1691. Six children.

Generation 4. Robert Wilson married Elizabeth Southwick
Generation 5.  Robert Wilson married Sarah Felton
Generation 6. Robert Wilson married Mary Southwick
Generation 7. Mercy F. Wilson married Aaron Wilkinson
Generation 8. Robert Wilson Wilkinson married Phebe Cross Munroe
Generation 9. Albert Munroe Wilkinson married Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 10. Donald Munroe Wilkinson married Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

For more information on Robert and Samuel Stone of Salem, Massachusetts:

Descendants of William Russell of Salem, Mass, 1674, by George Ely Russell, Middletown, MD: Catoctin Press, 1989. 

History of Salem by Sidney Perley, Volume III, page 11

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Thanks for sharing these details, Heather. I have some very early STONE individuals, but mine seem to be from Gregory STONE who settled in Cambridge MA, with 3 sons (girl died before 2 yrs of age). I just found the Stone Family Association and their details.

  2. I wonder why Robert Stone would be buried in Edgartown. Interesting. Perhaps Essex County probate records would prove or disprove this? To bad this only goes up to 1686:

  3. Wendy, the story in Edgartown is that he was found after a boat sank or a ship wrecked. I just can't prove that it is the same Robert Stone one way or another. It's still a mystery.