Elizabeth Stover

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Elizabeth Stover (unknown)

Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Cape Neddick, York, York County, Maine, United States
Death: December 17, 1714 (76-84)
Scituate, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts, Colonial America
Immediate Family:

Daughter of unknown unknown and Margaret Norton
Wife of Sylvester Stover
Mother of Elizabeth Stover; John Stover, Sr.; Sarah Butland; Dependence Stover; Josiah Stover and 4 others
Half sister of George Norton

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Stover

Disputed paternity:

Margaret, widow of Henry Norton, is named in a 1660 court proceeding as the mother-in-law of Sylvester Stover. In his Great Migration profile of Henry Norton,[1] Anderson accepts Margaret as the mother of Elizabeth, but makes the case that Henry was unlikely to have been Elizabeth's biological father:

Estimating ages in colonial New England Usual ages at first marriage in colonial New England were mid-to-late 20s for males and early-to-mid 20s for females.

Common genealogical practice for this time period is to estimate the birth of the first child one year after marriage, and subsequent children two years apart. Henry Norton's birth is recorded in Stepney on 26 Nov 1618. At least two of Elizabeth and Sylvester Stover's children were born in or before 1653, suggesting a marriage around 1650-51. They were definitely married by 1655, when they appear in court for a domestic dispute: as Anderson describes the proceedings, "not those of a newlywed couple, but of a couple who had considerable experience of one another." This makes the distance between Henry's birth and Elizabeth's marriage about 32 years, meaning they would each have been 16 years old at first marriage—unusually young—or one older than 16 and one much younger—even less likely. Instead, Anderson speculates that Elizabeth was probably Margaret's daughter by a prior (unknown) marriage, and therefore the stepdaughter of Henry Norton. If Anderson's theory is accepted then Elizabeth's birth name is unknown.



Elizabeth's birth date is not precisely known and no record has been found. She was at least in her mid- to late 20s in 1653, by which year at least two of her children (John, aged 77 in 1730, and Elizabeth, aged 85 in 1738) had been born.

Given the likelihood that Elizabeth was born by about 1630, it is therefore most likely she was born in England, not New England, and almost certainly not Maine: Henry Norton is first recorded in Boston in 1634/5, and removed to York, Maine, by 1649. No sailing record or passenger list has been found for the family.

Marriage and children:

On 28 Jun 1655, "Sylvester Stover & his wife" were presented to a grand jury in York "for complaining of one another on a Lord's Day in the morning in saying his wife did abuse him & bade him go to Thomas Crockett's to his bastard & carry some bread & cheese, & the said wife of Stover said that her husband did commonly call her whore." On 5 Jul 1660, "Elizabeth Stover, the wife of Sylvester Stover," was presented for "abusing her husband by many reviling & reproachful speeches, as calling of him rogue & rascal." During the same case, additional provision was made "if the said Stover shall make any just cause of complaint against Mrs. Norton his mother-in-law."

Elizabeth names children John, Dependence, George, Josiah, Elizabeth Walfoot, Sarah Lancaster, Deborah Sawyer, Mary Wanton, and Hannah Bryant in her will.


The will of Elizabeth Stover, then a widow, was dated 7 Dec 1714 at Scituate, Massachusetts, and proved 4 Sep 1722 at Plymouth. The actual date and location of her decease is not known.


↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume 5. Boston: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 2005, p. 271. ↑ Baggaley, Rebecca. "Estimating Marriage and Birth Dates", Genealogy Today, http://www.genealogytoday.com/articles/reader.mv?ID=528 visited 30 Oct 2014. Unsourced information regarding Elizabeth's will was found at http://www.suscom-maine.net/~phloors/stover.htm - need to find and cite the primary source.

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Elizabeth Stover's Timeline

York, York County, Maine, United States
May 1653
Age 19
York, York County, Province of Maine, Massachusetts
Age 19
Cape Neddick, York, ME, USA
Age 22
Cape Neddick, York, Maine, USA
Age 24
York, York, Maine, USA
Age 28
Cape Neddick, York County, Province of Massachusetts (Present Maine)
Age 31
Cape Neddick, York, Maine, USA
Age 33
Cape Neddick, York, Maine, USA
April 1668
Age 34
Cape Neddick, York, Maine, USA