James Benedict's Genealogy
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James Benedict's Genealogy of 1755

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Here are the opening paragraphs of the genealogy written down by James Benedict, grandson of Thomas and Mary Benedict, in July 1755, when he was 70 years of age. This was said to have been told him as a boy by his grandmother when he lived with her. The eminent genealogist, John Insley Coddington, in disputing some of James' facts, has stated that at the time of making this written record, Deacon James was "a worthy but muddledheaded old gentleman."

"Be it remembered that one William Benedict, about the beginning of the 15th century,* who lived in Nottinghamshire, in England, had a son born unto him whom he called William, after his own name (an only son); and this William, the 2nd of that name, had also an only son whom he called William; and this 3rd William had in the year 1617 one only child whom he called Thomas; and this Thomas's mother dying, his father married the widow Bridgum.

"Now this Thomas was put out an apprentice to a weaver, who afterwards, in the 21st year of his age, came over into New-England, together with his sister-in-law, Mary Bridgum* *. Afterwards said Thomas was joined in marriage with Mary Bridgum. After they had lived some time in the Bay parts, they removed to Southold on Long Island, where were born unto them five sons and four daughters, whose names were Thomas, John, Samuel, James, Daniel, Betty, Mary, Sarah and Rebeccah. From thence they removed to a farm belonging to the town, called Hassamamac, where they lived some time. From thence they removed to Huntingtown, where they lived some years. Then they removed to Jamaica on said Island, where Thomas, their eldest son took to wife Mary Messenger, of that town. And last of all, they removed to Norwalk, in Fairfield county, Connecticut, with all their family, where they were all married. John took to wife Phebe, daughter of Mr. John Gregory, of said Norwalk. Samuel took to wife Rebecca Andrews. James took to wife Sarah Gregory, sister of the above said Phebe. Daniel took to wife Mary Marvin. Their daughters were all married. Betty to John Slawson, of Stanford; Mary to John Olmsted; Sarah to James Beebe; Rebeccah to Samuel Wood. From these have risen a numerous offspring."

Then follows two paragraphs listing the grandchildren of Thomas and Mary, and some of their great-grandchildren. The document was signed: James Benedict, Ridgefield, March ye 14, 1755.


* A note appended to the document in 1768 by Abner Benedict, grandson of James, states that this probably means about the year 1500; otherwise the three generations would extend through 200 years.

* * This is James' phonetic (but incorrect) spelling of his grandmother's surname, Bridgham.
We may add that the term "sister-in-law" used here was, in the 18th century, an acceptable usage for our modern term "step-sister."

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Copyright © 2004-2007 R.A. Benedict (unless otherwise credited)
This Update: May 2005