Thomas Stone (abt 1743-1820) and Grace Ashford (abt 1740-aft 1792)


The following is a message from Ian Andrews addressed to Thomas R. Cole. The piece was part of Thomas R. Cole’s  research notes on the Trinity Bay Area as provided to the Newfoundland’s Grand Banks Genealogical and Historic Data website. The piece is entitled “Trinity Bay 1600 – 1800”. Ian Andrews is a historian/writer from Dorset in Great Britain.


From: Ian Andrews

Subject: Oubee


Here’s the attachment – it is an extract from an article I wrote for the Wessex Newfoundland Society newsletter, the Link, several years ago on the Beothuks.

“In July 1791, three hunters went up Charles Brook in Notre Dame Bay, reportedly to take vengeance on an Indian party who were believed to be responsible for the recent theft of their salmon traps, nets and other property. In the one sided affray that followed, a Beothuk man was killed and a young girl called “Oubee” was captured. It is likely, because the men were in the employ of Lester, that “Oubee” was taken to Trinity and cared for by Thomas Stone, Lester’s agent there. While in Trinity, she communicated to the Revd John Clinch, the surgeon-clergyman, same part of the Beothuk vocabulary. Thomas Stone had been in the habit of returning to England each year, but when he finally left Trinity to retire to England in the autumn of 1791 he took “Oubee” with him. Benjamin Lester’s diary in Dorset County Record Office, records their arrival in Poole on January 1st, 1792, and on the following day “Mr and Mrs Stone went in a shais (chaise) to her mother at Anderson, carried his little negro boy and Indian Girl with him.” The Negro presumably came from the West Indies, and we know no more of him, but it is reported a few months later that “Oubee” had died. A letter written in 1797 stated that “Oubee” was “treated with great care and humanity by Mr and Mrs Stone.” [As well as working for the Lesters and helping to create their large fortune Stone had amassed some interests of his own, which when he left here managed for him by a Devonian, Philip Coates, who had married Sarah Taverner. Thomas Stone died at How in the perish of Great Canford, in July, 1820 and left an estate of £6,000 mostly to his nephew John Way of Southampton, who was probably related to Henry Way, his successor as Lester’s agent at Trinity. We do not know Oubee’s age when captured, but she had made an attempt to escape, although “they caught her ere she could run far.” It has been supposed she was about nine years old, in which case, she too died young, but not before her contact with Europeans had in her case led to the valuable recording of some parts of the Beothuk language, undertaken by the Revd Dr John Clinch, [Revd Clinch had sailed from Poole to Bonavista in 1775 and is remembered in Trinity, where he is buried, as the person who, through his friendship with Jenner, carried out the first vaccination in North America.”


1792 was the year of Stone’s retirement to Dorset.

One (Oubee?) was a little girl (Newfoundland red savage, whom other sources called Oubee) who was abducted after her parents were killed, ” …carried to Trinity, and treated with care and humanity by Mr. & Mrs. [Thomas] Stone, who took her with them to England, where she died….”


What follows was gleaned from the above and other Trinity Bay records;

In the late 18th century, Thomas Stone was an agent for the family business of Benjamin Lester of Trinity. Although there is no suggestion of when Thomas first arrived in Newfoundland, the Lester family had been active in the Newfoundland trade since around 1750.

In the Summer of 1791, a group of Lester’s men attacked a Beothuk encampment and captured a young Beothick girl. The girl, who became known as “Oubee” was taken back to Trinity and was cared for by Thomas and Grace Stone.

Thomas and Grace returned to England each Winter. When they retired to England in the Fall of 1791, they took along with them the young Beothuk girl “Oubee”. Sometime, not long after arriving in Poole on January 1st, 1792, “Oubee” died.

Thomas Stone died in the Parish of Great Canford in England in July, 1820.

1794 – Octob(r) [1 or 11?](th) Married Henry Stone of the Parish of Pinhoe in the County of Devon in Great Britain & Mary Hogarth Dau(r) of Isaac & Doroth(y) Hogarth of this Harbor.

Source: St. Paul’s Marriage Data 1757-1820, Trinity Bay Area – Trinity

Although I have not been able to clearly document that Henry Stone was the son of Thomas Stone and Grace Ashford, but based on the data available, it is reasonable to assume that Henry Stone was indeed the son of Thomas Stone and Grace Ashford.

Henry Stone was born in the Parish of Pinhoe in the County of Devon in Great Britain in 1768. Ian Andrew’s piece indicates that “Thomas Stone died at How in the Parish of Great Canford, in July, 1820.” Pinhoe is located in the South of England near Exeter, while Great Canford is located approximately 100 kilometers to the East near Poole. Thomas Stone could very well have been living in Pinhoe Parish, when Henry Stone was born about 1768, and could have retired in 1791 to the Parish of Great Canford near Poole.

Henry Stone married Mary Hogarth, the daughter of Issac Hogarth and Dorothy Blanchard of Old Bonaventure on October 1, 1794.

The 1800-1801 Fishing Rooms list of inhabitants for Old Bonaventure includes; Henry Stone, his wife and 2 children.

The children included were Grace Stone, born May 22, 1797 and Thomas Stone, born August 1, 1799.

The most compelling reason to connect Henry Stone to Thomas Stone was the naming of his children. The first child born to Henry Stone and Mary Hogarth was named Grace. This Grace died, when she was less than 1 year old. A year or so later, Mary gave birth to another girl, which they named Grace. About 1 year later a son is born and he is named Thomas. The names Thomas and Grace must have had significant importance to Henry and Mary. After a full review of the available records for the Trinity Bay area during that period and taking into consideration the naming of the children of Henry Stone and Mary Hogarth, it is assumed with some certainty that Henry Stone was indeed the son of Thomas Stone and Grace Ashford.

Thomas and Grace had 1 child;

Henry Stone was born in the Parish of Pinhoe in the County of Devon in Great Britain in 1768. Henry married Mary Hogarth of Old Bonaventure on October 1, 1794. Henry died sometime after 1816.