The Genealogy of the Benedicts in America
"Libera per vacuum posui vestigia princeps." HORACE EPIST.
"Magistratus indicat virum."
AMONG those Englishmen who went into voluntary exile, rather than endure the
cruelties and oppressions of Stuarts in the State and Lauds in the Church, was
Thomas Benedict, of Nottinghamshire. There is reason to suppose that his own
remote ancestor had made England his refuge from religious persecution on the
Continent. There was a tradition in his family which ran, that anciently they
resided in the silk manufacturing district of France and were of Latin origin;
that, Huguenot persecutions arising, they fled to Germany, and, thence, by way
of Holland to England. It is said of Thomas Benedict, that he was born in 1617;
that he was an only son, that the name had been confined to only sons in the
family for more than a hundred years; and that, at the time he left England, he
did not know of another living person of the name; whence, it is assumed, that
his father was not living.(*) His mother he had lost early, his
father marrying, for his second wife, a widow, whose daughter, Mary
(*) Hinman says: "Thomas Benedict was
the only early settler found in the colony
of Connecticut of the name of Benedict." The same is true of all the
Bridgum, came to New England in 1638, in the same vessel with Thomas, then in
his twenty-first year. Soon after their arrival they were married, and finding
the society and institutions of Massachusetts Bay congenial, they resided in
that colony for a time. These facts in the history of Thomas Benedict are
verified by the testimony of Mary Bridgum herself, who lived to the age of one
hundred years, and in her life-time communicated them to her grandson, Deacon
James Benedict, of Ridgefield, Conn., who recorded them in 1755.(*)
(*) "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
that name, had also an only son whom he called William; and this 3d
in the year 1617 one only child whom he called Thomas; and this Thomas's
dying, his father married the widow Bridgum.
Now this Thomas was put out an apprentice to a weaver, who afterwards, in
21st year of his age, came over into New-England, together with his
Mary Bridgum. Afterwards said Thomas was joined in marriage with Mary
After they had lived some time in the Bay parts, they removed to Southhold
Island, where were born unto them five sons and four daughters, whose
Thomas, John, Samuel, James, Daniel, Betty, Mary, Sarah and Rebeccah. From
thence they removed to a farm belonging to the town, called Hassamamac,
they lived some time. From thence they removed to Huntingtown, where they
some years. Then they removed to Jamaica on said Island, where Thomas,
eldest son took to wife Mary Messenger, of that town. And last of all,
to Norwalk, in Fairfield county, Connecticut, with all their family, where
all married. John took to wife Phebe, daughter to Mr. John Gregory, of
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
were all married. Betty to John Slawson, of Stanford; Mary to John
Sarah to James Beebe; Rebeccah to Samuel Wood. From these have risen a
The children of Thomas, the 2d of that name, were Thomas (an only son),
Hannah, Esther, Abigail and Elizabeth. The children of John were Sarah,
John, Jonathan, Benjamin, Joseph, James, Mary and Thomas. The children of
Samuel were Joannah, Samuel, Thomas, Rebeccah, Esther, Nathaniel and
The children of James were Sarah, Rebeccah, Phebe, James, John, Thomas and
Elisabeth. The children of Daniel were Mary, Daniel, Mercy and Hannah. The
children of Betty were Mary and Thomas. The children of Mary were John,
Jane, Sarah, Rebeccah, Elisabeth, Daniel, Richard, Eunice and Deborah. The
children of Rebeccah were an infant (I know not his name), and Samuel. The
(*)"Probably meaning about the year
1500; otherwise the three generations would extend
through 200 years, [Signed] ABNER BENEDICT."
The separate colonies, which afterward formed that of Connecticut, had been
founded under auspices peculiarly hopeful, and were nourished by influences
specially edifying and elevating in the view of the more austere of the
Puritans. The foundations and expanding superstructures were according to the
plans and specifications of Winthrop, of Haynes, and, especially, of Hooker,
"the light of the Western churches." The valley of the Connecticut,
too, was famous for its fertility, and the stream was considered a principal
natural channel for the lucrative trade in furs with the natives of the
interior. It had waged its first Indian war with a vigor and severity which
precluded all present dread of another. Thomas Benedict seems to have been so
far attracted by the moral or material advantages of this promising
children of Sarah were Sarah and James. All of these
were the children and grandchildren of our honoured predecessors, Thomas
Benedict and Mary his wife, who walked in the midst of their house with a
perfect heart. They were strict observers of the Lord's day from even to
even;(*) and I think it may be said of them, as it was of
Zacharias and Elisabeth, "that they walked in all the commandments
and ordinances of the Lord blameless, and obtained a good report through
faith." Their excellent example had a good effect, by the blessing of
heaven, upon their children. He was made a deacon of the church at
Norwalk, and used that office to the good satisfaction of that church to
his death, which was in the 73d year of his age; and two of his sons, viz:
John and Samuel, used the office until old age and its attendants rendered
them unable to serve any longer. And there are, at this day no less than
seven of the family and name that use that office, and some of them at
least, I hope, to good acceptance with God and man.
The children of John, the 2d of that name, were John, Matthew, Caleb,
Nathaniel, Annah and Phebe. The children of Benjamin were Benjamin,
Timothy, John, Samuel, Daniel, Amos, Elisabeth, Mary, Rachael and
Thankful. The children of Joseph were Joseph, Gideon, Anna, Pitman,
Jonathan, Mary, Ezra and John. The children of James were Sarah, Ruth,
Peter, Hannah, Phebe, James, Martha and John and Thomas. The children of
Thomas were Ebenezer, David, John, Thomas, Betty and Seth. The children of
Phebe were Enos, William, Noah, a son and Phebe. The children of Mary were
Ezra, Josiah, Phebe, Asa and Isaac. All these were the grand-children of
Deacon John Benedict, the 1st of that name, who was my honoured father.
[Signed] JAMES BENEDICT.
Ridgefield, March ye 14, 1755."
23:32. "From even to even shall you celebrate your Sabbaths,"
was to our New England ancestors sufficient Scripture authoprity for their
following Jewish example in commencing the sabbath on Saturday evening at
region as to have removed within its rigorous jurisdiction, still, it could
scarcely have been the rich meadows of the valley, or the facilities for traffic
afforded by its river, that enticed him, for he soon sought the opposite shore
of Long Island, already dotted with settlements from the mainland. In the
statement of his wife, Mary Bridgum, to her grandson, before referred to, she
names Southold as his place of residence and birthplace of their five sons and
four daughters. It is certain, that in June, 1657, he was a resident of
Huntington, which leaves but little doubt that he was, early, an inhabitant of
Southold, which was settled in 1640. In conjunction with three others, in 1649,(*)
he purchased a tract of land belonging to the town of Southold, called
Hashamomack, and this interest he conveyed, in 1659, describing himself in the
deed as then of the town of Huntington.(*)
(*) These presents Witness,
That William Salmon of Hashamomack alias Neshuggancie, have sold unto
Henry Whitney, Edward Treadwell and Thomas Benedick three parts of all his
upland lying betwixt Thoms Creek so called by the English and Mr.
Goodyeare's land reaching to a fresh pond lying by the North Sea, with an
island of trees standing in it, with all the marsh grounds and mowing
lands lying by the aforesaid Thoms Creek, from the one end of it to the
other, in the wch meadow the aforesaid Wm Salmon is to have no share,
excepting to himself all other meadow grounds lying within the same
cumpest of Lands within the neck of Land lying against the harbor on the
south wch neck of Land he is to fence in at his own cost and charge and to
maintain for ever-whch fence is to begin at the now dwelling house of John
Corey and to run straight pointing at the wading place leaving out all the
meadow sold to the aforesaid parties, in which neek of Land so fenced in
the other parties are to have no shares, but is to remain to his own
proper land to him and his heirs forever--Likewise the said William Salmon
doth give Liberty unto the aforesaid parties to fence in for themselves a
corn field, beginning at the backside of the now dwelling house of Thomas
Benedick and to run to the nearest cutt to the North Sea where they shall
find most convenient--which piece of Land being so fenced in is to remain
their own proper land to them their heirs and assigns forever, with three
parts of all his other lands by what name or names soever called (except
before excepted, with Warrantie against the said William Salmon his heirs
and assigns and only them, peaceably and quietly to enjoy the same without
any molestation or disturbance the aforesaid Henry Whitney, Edward
Tredwell and Thomas Benedick paying to William Salmon thirty pounds for
the same--Likewise the aforesaid Willm Salmon doth except so much liberty
to himself that when he shall see fit to fence in his meadow he may take
in so much upland as that he may in some measure run straight from meadow
to meadow, provided nevertheless that when the other parties shall have
occasion to carry or recarry
This tract of land, though within a mile or two of Southold, was not,
technically, within its limits; for, at a meeting of the General Court held at
New Haven, May 31, 1654, upon the
any thing by sea they shall have the liberty of the
water side at any time--to all which Presents the aforesaid Wm Salmon hath
set his hand and seal the 8th day of October 1649.
Sealed & delivered in the WM F SALMON his mark.
presence of John Corey
Ann ?? Corey
Beach and Plantation.
"Examine Chase's Map of Suffolk County, N. Y., and you may see a
Small body of water marked just north west of the northwest point of
Shelter Island and almost connecting Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound.
The only separation is a level flat of Sand and Shingle, a few rods wide,
and perhaps twenty long, partially covered with sedgy vegetation. Across
this flat the famous Guilford expedition drew their whale boats when they
made their successful descent upon the British post and stores at Sag
Harbor. This flat is Hashamommuck Beach. The Small body of water is now
generally called Mill Creek, a tide-mill to grind grain having been built
upon it many years ago, and one is still in use near the old site. The
proprietor of this mill some six or eight years since cut a canal from the
Sound to the creek and thus poured the water of the Sound across
Hashamommuck Beach into the creek, to give him more water and a higher
head for his mill. But the action of the Sound soon closed the Canal with
sand, as all intelligent persons predicted. This creek was formerly Thomas
Benedict's, and in the oldest records of Southold is familiarly called
Thomas's Creek and then for convenience it became Thom's Creek and even
Tom's Creek. I have heard it called Tom's Creek--even in my day. The Creek
is a few rods more than two miles east of the First Church of Southold. It
is just two miles east of the Southold station of the Long Island Rail
Road. Hashamommuck is about a square mile directly east of this
Ex. letter Rev. Eph. Whitaker, Southold, L. I., dated Jan. 30, 1868.
(*) These presents witness, that I Thomas
Benedickt formerly of Hashamommuck near Southold on Long Island, now of
Huntington on the same Island for good consideration, me thereunto moving,
have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do fully and
absolutely grant bargain and sell unto Thomas Rider now of Hashamommuck
aforesaid and to his heirs and assigns for ever, All that my dwelling
house, barn, orchard, garden, wbom lot, fences and all other dividends and
appurtenances of Land thereunto belonging both of meadow and upland with
comon and comons of pasture, situate lying and being in and upon the said
neck called Hashamommuck, and all right appertaining to me the said Thomas
Benedickt, as also right of comonage and pporcon of meadow for a second
lot in all the rest of the necks of land and meadows lying eastward from
the land last mentioned wherein South hold inhabitants have interest and
in as large and ample manner in every respect as they proportionably. To
have and to hold the said dwelling house, barn, whom lot, orchard, garden,
fences, meadows, pastures, comon and comons of pasture, and all other the
request of the Deputies of Southold, it was advised that, "Thomas
Benedict and som others who liue nere Southold" should be permitted
"to joyne" it.(*) Still, he had been recognized as of
Southold, and must have attained some prominence as a citizen, for we find that
when Uncas, the celebrated Sachem of the Mohegans, complained to the
commissioners for the United Colonies in New England, because the Mohansick
before mentioned to be hereby granted with their and
every of their appurtenances to
the said Thomas Rider his heirs and assigns for ever, with Warrantie
against the said Thomas Benedickt my heirs, executors, admrtrs and assigns and every of
by from or under my estate right or title.
In witness whereof I the said Thomas Benedickt have hereunto set my hand
and seal the seven and twenticth day of Februarie 1659.
Sealed, subscribed and delivered THOMAS BENEDICKT.
in the presence of
John Conckelyne Senr.
Henry 7 Whitney.
Recorded by me
Willm Wells, Recorder.
(*) At a Generall Court held at New Haven
for the Jurisdiction the 31st of May 1654.
The deputees of Southold informe the Court that Thom: Benidict and some
others liue nere Southold doe desire to joyne wth them, wch the Court advised to,
so it might
be to mutuall satisfaction. Hoadly, New H. Col. Rec., p. 96.
Anthony Waters, Attorney for John Conckling, Tho. Osman and Tho. Rider,
inhabltants in the land called Hashamommock, plainteifs, entred an action
of the case
against John Budd Senior, for breach of an ancient order made for ye
good neighbourhood, wch order or agreement is as followeth  We whose
names are enderwritten inhabiting on ye neeke of land comonly called
considering that our comfort and quiett settlemt consist and stand in ye
of good neighbourhood, did make this agreemt at our first sitting doune,
what man soeuer should desire to remoue and so endeauour to make sale of
should put in such neighbour as the other inhabitants liueing with him
shall approue off.
This is a true coppy of ye [Signed] F WILLIAM SALMON
record, coppied by mee F HENRY WHITNEY
William Wells, Recorder, F EDWARD TREDWELL
(John Budd Junior appeared to answere the sute, &c.)
Southold Rec., May 17, 1660.
It will be observed that Tho. Benedick was the only one of the four who
did not take his mark for his sign-manual.
Sachem of Long Island, had killed some and bewitched others of Uncas's men,
and even Uncas himself, that body, at Hartford, Sept. 5th, 1650, referred the
matter, with large powers, to the famous "Captaine Mason" and others,
and to Thomas Benedict, of Southold, to be adjusted.(*)
It has been stated positively that Thomas Benedict was resident in Huntington
in June, 1657. This is on the authority of affidavits of himself and wife made
on the 13th of that month, in the course of probate proceedings in the matter of
the estate of his old neighbor, William Salmon of Hashamomuck.(+) His
connection with affairs of a public nature may be inferred from such records of
them as still remain. In May, 1658, the Court of Deputies and Magistrates,
sitting at New Haven, were solicited to receive the town of Huntington into the
jurisdiction of New Haven, the petition therefor being signed: "Will.
Smith, Tho: Benedick, Wm Leuerich, in ye name and with ye consent of ye
rest."?? That he was put forward as a representative
(*) At a meeting of the Commissioners for
the United Colonies in New England at Hartford the 5th September, 1650.
Vncus Sachem of the Mohegins informed the Commissioners and complained
the Mohansick Sachem in Long Island had killed som of the said Vncus his
bewitched diuers others and hiselfe also and desired the Commissioners
might be righted therein. But because the said Sachem of Long Island was
there to answare for himselfe It was thought meet and accordingly aduised
Commission bee graunted by the Gouernment of Connectacot to Captaine Mason
Mr. Howell Mr. Gosmer and Tho. Benedict of Southold or any three of them
examine the Matters charged by Vncus and if proof bee cleare to labor to
him thereof, require satisfaction and in case of reasonable complyance
Composure thereof; but if no satisfaction will bee giuen for Injuries
proceed then to
lett him to know they giue the English just cause of offence and will
upon themselues. Hazard's His. Coll., vol. II, p. 151.
(+) See Deeds, II,
143 and 144, Secretary of State's office, Albany, N. Y.
?? At a Gen: Court held at New Haven for
ye Jurisdicon the 26th of May, 1658.
Jonas Wood and Jonas Wood, both of Huntington on Longe Island, as agents
ye inhabitants of ye same prsented to ye court ye desires of their towne
to ioyne in
combination wth this colony, to wch purpose they presented a writeinge
three of the inhabitants thereof, whereby it appeared yt the said agents
to treat of and to finish this business wth the Court, ye contence of wch
is as followeth, To the honoured Court of Magistrates and deputies now
man in a movement so important, after so brief a residence, argues that he
was not among the least notable of the inhabitants. That he maintained an
honorable distinction is made clear by the action of his townsmen, who, in
pursuance of instructions from the General Court, nominated two persons to be
appointed by that body, commissioners to exercise certain functions of
government in the town, Thomas Benedict being one of them; and the General Court
appointed him, May 15, 1662.(*)
There are traces of his presence in Jamaica as early as Dec. 12, 1662, when,
in conjunction with two others, he was appointed to lay out "the south
meadows." At the same time the town voted him "a Home lot." He
was also one of a
Newhaven. May it please this honoured Court to
vnderstand yt a motion being
made by one of or town of Huntington, at ye Court of comissioners sitting
Boston ye last year that or towne might be put vnder Newhauen gouernment,
yt motion being consented to by ye honoured comissioners there prsent, or
Huntington aforesd, in pursuance of their desires, haue thought good to
addresses to this honoured Court by their deputies, viz., Jonas Wood (O,)
Wood (H,) for the obtaining of their proposed ends, having given vnto them
power and authority to treat of and finish this business wth ye court in
humbly desireing therein acceptance of vs, and further yt you will be
ye remotenes of ye place, ye great charges yt such infant plantations are
to be attended with,) to condescend to such moderate ppositions we have
them to comend to ye Court in or behalf, in hopes whereof we rest
Yors in all due observance
17 of 3d--58. WILL SMITH
WM LEUERICH in
ye name and with ye
consent of ye rest
which being read they were desired to give in, in writeing, what they had
ye psuance of this business wch accordingly they did in 5 propositions, 4
pper to ye case in hand, wch were as followeth, &c &c. Hoadly N.
H. Col. Rec.,
pp. 236, 237.
At a Court of Election held at Hartford
May 15, 1662. This Court hath granted the
petition from Huntington, and doe confirme Jonas Wood and Thomas Benedick,
according to their desire, who are impowred to act in point of Gouernment
according to ye liberties granted to that Towne by this Court; and the
Secretary is to giue them a coppy of ye Articles with Southampton, vpon
wch termes they are accepted. Col. Rec. Conn., vol. I, p. 379.
committee charged with the duty of "making ye rate of ye minesters house
and transporting ye minester." March 2, 1663, his name appears as one of
twenty-four freeholders who deed a house and lot to the "minester,"
Mr. Walker.(*) March 20, 1663, he was appointed a magistrate by the
Dutch Governor Stuyvesant, an honor, it is to be feared, which he never requited
by loyalty to the Dutch government.(+) Sept. 29, 1663, we find him,
with other inhabitants of towns on the west end of Long Island, petitioning the
General Court of Connecticut to be what, in our day, would be termed annexed to
Dec. 12. It is voted and concluded upon by the Town that Goodman
Benedik (with H. Whitney and N. Denton) shall lay out the South Meadows as
soon as they can; and that they shall have 3d an acre each for their
labor. Vol. I,
1662, Dec. 12. The Town haue given a Home lot to Thomas Benedik.
1663, Dec. 22. It is ordered that Goodman Benedik shall lay out the
upon the farther East Neck to them they belong to.
1663, Dec. 3. Voted and agreed upon that Goodman Benedik be Lieutenant of
Jan. 31, 1664. Further veted that Thomas Bendick shall have a ten acre lot
beyond the Rocky Hollow under the Hills to the East of the Jamaica lots
Feb. 5, 1664. Voted that Lt. Benedik [and two others] make out a rate for
payment of the land bought of the Indians.
Feb. 14, 1664. It is voted by the town that Goodman Benedik &c shall
rate for Mr. Walker's mantenance.
Feb. 27, 1664. The Town vote that Thomas Benedik shall take account of
Wm. Foster and D. Denton's last years actions for the poor.
Feb. 15, 1664.(*) Thomas Benedyck signs his name as a witness
to a bill of sale.
Page 34. Extracts from Jamaica Records.
of his signature to deed.
|(+) See O'Callaghan's Reg. of New
Netherland, p. 94.
?? To the Generall Court to be assembled
at hartford October the eighth 1663.
The humble petition of vs the Inhabitants [of] Jemaico, Middelborow and
(*) Most likely 1665, as it is the last
time his name occurs. In a list of signatures of March 12,
1665-6, T. B.'s name is not found.
He was, in fact, one of the bearers of this petition to the
court at Hartford, November 3, 1663.(*) December 3, 1663, he was
appointed lieutenant of the town. March 7, 1664, a petition from "Crafford
alias Jemaico" asks for "help of your (Conn.) authority for the
settling of peace amongst us and the killing
stead upon Long Island, (whose names are subscribed,)
to the Honored General Court to be assembled at Hartford 8th Octob. 1663,
humbly sheweth:-- That forasmuch as it hath plesed the aldisposing
Providence who determines the times before appointed and the bounds of
men's habitasion to apointe unto vs our dwellings in these parts of the
cuntery under the Dutch gouernment, in which gouernment we mete with
seuerall inconvenyances that doe much trubble vs, and which we finde verry
uncumfortable, and forasmuch as we haue received information how it hath
plesed the highest Maiesty to move the hart of the King's maiesty to grant
vnto your colony such enlargements as comprehends this whole Iland thereby
opening a waye for vs (as we hope) from our presant bondage to such
liberties and inlargements as we are informed your patten affords; and
seeing your worshiphs were pleased the last yere to manefest your respect
to vs and care of vs by Capt. John Youngs and since by letters; shewing
your willingness to accept of vs and that we may be true to the comforts
of ourselves and these concerned in vs, we make bould to become
petisioners to yr Worships, and accordingly our humbel petision is, that
as we ar alruddy according to our best information under the scurts of
your patten, so you would be plesed to cast over vs the scurts of your
gouernment and protecktion, for assuredly if you should leaue us nowe,
which we hope we haue not cause to feare, our liues, comforts and estates
will be much indangered; as wo full experiance makes manefest, yt a
contryman of ours for cariing a mesage to a neighbor plantasion from sum
of yourselues have bin imprisoned for several weks and how long it will be
continued we know not. Our petition therefor is yt your worships will be
plesed seriously to consider our condision and giue vs such an answer as
your wisdums shal judg mete with as much speed as may bee; and leaue the
full declarasion of things to our trusty messenger and thus we shall for
the present take leaue of your Worships, comiting ourselues and concernes
to the Supream disposer and remaine your humbel petisioners as aforesaid.
Sept. 29. 1663.
(Signed) ROBERT COE
THOMAS BENNYDICK, Junior
and 21 others.
--Towns and Lands, I, 18; also O'Callaghan's History of New Netherland,
Vol. II, p. 486, note.
(*) Towns and Lands, I, 19. To the
honerable Counsell off Conecticut Greeting. These may sertefie that these
two men here nomenated ar sent and imployed by us the inhabitants of the
inglish towns upon the wester ind of long jland namely Capt. John Coe and
Anthony Waters to actt in our behalfe as if we were personally prsant
and quelling of mutenous and facsious sperits." Except the signature of
his colleague, this document is in the handwriting of Thomas Benedict, and is
signed by him. It fills three-fourths of a page of cap paper, is clean and well
to all intents and purposes as may farder apere by
other writing--as namely hempstead Jemero Neutown Grauesand flushing.
Witness our hands who ar the representatives of the fiue towns abouesayd.
November 3d 1663.
(Signed) ROBERT COE
and seven others.
Endorsed: These may certify the hond Counsel yt was Capt. John Coe is on
ye other side mentioned as one deputed by ye representatives of ye fiue
tounes for the mannaging of this or business providence so disposing that
he was unexpectedly to himselfe and others prevented, Mr. Thomas Benedicke
was desired to come in his stead; for clearing wrof wee in stead of more
for ye present haste have subscribed or names.
(Signed) ROBERT COE
Neither of the above are in handwriting of T. B., but were probably
written by Robt. Coe or Rev. Zach. Walker.
To the Honrd Gouernour and the Counsell of Connetcut Colleny in New
England. The Humble Petition of Thomas Benedict and Anthony Walters.
That wee your pettitioners beeing deputed by the representatives of five
Townes on Long Island to make this our adress to your Worshipps, doe
humbly declare to yr worships that whereas those fiue Towns viz Hemsteed,
Jamecao, Midleburrough, Grauesand and Flushing, finding that they are both
subiects to their soueraigne Lord Charles the Second King of England
&c: and all soe that they doe liue uppon and inhabite part of his
maiestie's dominions haue as they iudged it their duty proclaimed his
royall maiestie in thair said towns and haue reiected wholly all other
pretended Jurrisdictiones over them and submitt themselues wholly to bee
gouerned by his maiestie's Laws, nottwitzstanding which wee haueing
allredy in part found the deslike of some persons to such reasonable
proceedings and the effects that will nessesarily follow the same and
fearing more of that nature wee doe therefore Humbly request of your
Worshipps who under our Lord, the King and in his behalfe as wee conceiue
are bound by his royall pleasure to take care of Gouern and protect those
his Loyall subiects, that you will please to let those his subiects inioy
the benifit of his Maties pleasure expressed in the Charter Lately Granted
by him, as the rest of the members of the same Corporation doe at this
present. And that whereas we allone as it were are without such officers
as may from your selues Administer the
wholesom Laws of this corporation to us, that that may be speedily settled
and established in those fiue townes, for the executeing the laws by which
they ought to bee gouerned which will be the praise and incouragement of
those that doe well and for the due punishment of all offenders which
matter being of no less importance then the presseruation or Loss of those
his maties Subiects and towns, and the well or illfare of the
inhabitants--wee think it needless to press it farther not doubting of
a very neat autograph.(*) He held the office of commissioner when
the Dutch Governor Stuyvesant surrendered New York and its dependencies to the
English, under Colonel Richard
your care to fullfil his maties pleasure, and that
those his subiects will find all due redress of evills and protection from
you, wee waite for your worshipps pleasure herein and for your worshipps
as our duty is we shall
euer pray &c.
(Signed) THOMAS BENNYDICK:
Hartford, Nouember ye 12th 1663.
--Town and Lands, I, 19, State Library, Hartford, Ct. The body of this
petition is in the handwriting of William Pitkin, schoolmaster, of
Hartford. The signatures are autographs.
(*) March the 7th 1663-4. To the honored
assembly at hartforde for the Colony of Connecticut. these fewe lines we
make bowld to present to your worshipfull considerations, as being
necesitated thereunto in regarde of some troublesome occurants we haue met
witz since the time we met witz your honered commissioner Mr. Allyn at
hemstead, whoe had sadd experiance of the beginings of it at that meting,
and after oure return whome we met witz no smale trubbles In our
plantations for it being declared by Mr. Allyn In the name of the Consell
of Conectecut that we ar witzin your charter Grant, we accordingly did
unite thereunto, but Captin Scott haue labored to make voide that
combynation, telling the people that you haue nothing to doe witz Long
Island, and that you dare not take us in by vartue of your pattin, which
hath made a greate dele of stirr in our plantations causing many to fall
ofe, yet witz us In our toune we haue more than a major part that ar
resolued to howld to that Ingagement made at hemsted, hoping that your
worships will take care of us, and spedely euse all due mens for our
releife; affording vs that help of your authority, for the setling of
peace amongst us and the killing and quelling of mutenus and facsious
sperits which otherwise will disturb and destroy all good order, and
orderly proceedings boeth in church and comenwelth, and that you will be
plesed spedely to put an end to this grand controverci--that you will take
us In by vartue of your pattin, for that all men saye if yt evedintly
apere they will submit, but we shall not Inlarge haucing Soe trusty a
Mesenger as Mr. hiks to speak in our behalfe to whome we shall comit the
managing of these our affayers unto, and so take leauve of your worships
desiring the lord to be present with you and president amongst you In the
managing of all your great and waity affaires, and rest yours to comande.
from Crafford alias Jemaico (Signed) ROBERT COE
--Town and Lands, Vol. I, p. 28.
March 7, 1663. Confirmation of Wamatumpacks former sale to the Inhabitants
of Crafford, alias Jamaica in the year 1655, subscribed before Daniel
Denton and Thomas Bennydick. Deeds, Vol. II, p. 163, office Secretary of
State, N. Y.
Nichols.(*) This change of jurisdiction was especially welcome to
the English settlers, whose encroachments on the western end of the Island had
kept them in a state of embroilment with the Dutch, and even inspired them with
ideas of colonizing beyond the limits of their own territory. Sept. 26, 1664,
Thomas Benedict, with John Bailey, Daniel Denton and others, "made a
written application to Col. Nichols for liberty to settle a plantation upon the
river called Arthur Cull Bay," in New Jersey. On the 30th of the same
month, the Governor granted the petition and promised encouragement. The place
is now Elizabeth City. The principal petitioners were in Jamaica, in 1665. It
is, therefore, to be presumed that they sent out a colony.(+)
Governor Nichols issued, "To the magistrates of the several tounes upon
Long-island," an order, dated "James ffort, in New York, 8th February,
1665," reciting, that the inhabitants had for a long time groaned under
many grievous inconveniences and discouragements, occasioned partly from their
opposition to a foreign power, in which distracted condition few or no laws
could be put in due execution; bounds and titles to lands were disputed, civil
liberties interrupted, and from this general confusion,
(*) May 12, 1664. This Court doth nominate
Mr. Richard Coe and Mr. Thomas Benedict commissioners for Jamacoe. Col.
Rec. Conn., p. 379. O'Callaghan's New Netherland Reg., p. 94.
May 12, 1664. Thomas Benedick, freeman for Jamaicoe. Col. Rec. Conn., Vol.
i, p. 429.
|(+) "To the Right Honourable Col
Richard Nicolls, Esq. Governor of New York &c. The humble Petition of
us subscribed Sheweth,
That several of us your Petitioners being intended formerly to have
purchased and settled a Plantation, upon the River called Arthur Cull Bay,
before your arrival unto these Parts; our Intentions notwithstanding our
making some way with the Indians, and charges and Expenses about the
Premises, was obstructed by the then ruling Dutch, and some of us, by
Reason of not having any Accommodations here, were put upon Thoughts of
removing into some other of his Majesty's Dominions; but now upon this
your happy Arrival, and the Decease of the Dutch Interests; we would
gladly proceed in the Design aforesaid, in order whereunto, we make bold,
with all Humility, to Petition to your Honour that you would grant us
Liberty to purchase and settle a Parcel of Land to improve our Labour
upon, in the River before mentioned;
private dissensions and animosities had too much prevailed against neighborly
love and Christian charity; and in discharge of his duty "to settle good
and known laws," he required two deputies to "a General Meeting"
to be chosen from each town "by the major part of the freemen;" and
recommended "the choice of the most sober, able and discreet persons
without partiality or faction," to meet, "on the last day of February,
at Hempstead." The delegates from Jamaica were Daniel Denton and Thomas
Benedict.(*) This is thought to be the first English legislative body
convened in New York. He was appointed, by Governor Nichols, lieutenant of
"the Foot Company of Jamaica; his commission bearing date at "Fort
James, in New York," the 7th day of April, 1665.(+)
and some of us being
destitute of Habitations where we are, we crave your answer with as much
Expedition as may be; we humbly take our Leave at present and subscribe
Honor's, to command
[Signed] JOHN BAILEY
From Jamaica DANIEL DENTON
Commonly So called THOMAS BENNYDICK.
Sept 26th 1664. NATHANIEL DENTON.
Upon Perusal of this Petition I do consent unto the Proposals, and shall
give the undertakers all due Encouragement in so good a Work.
Given under my Hand in Fort James, this 30th of September, 1664.
[Signed] R. NICHOLLS"
A Deed of a tract of tracts of land in New Jersey on a part of which
stands Elizabeth city was obtained by purchase of Indian chief inhabiting
Staten Island Oct. 28th, 1664; and a deed of Richard Nicholls Dec. 2,
Four families admitted to have settled under this purchase. See
Elizabethtown Bill in Chancery, pp. 25, 26, 28, 29.
"The four families found at Elizabeth town by [Gov.] Carteret were
the pioneers of the Jamaica Colony." Whitehead's E. Jersey under the
Proprietors, pp. 38, 39. See also, Smith's His. N. J., 8vo, 1765, p. 62.
|(*) See Thompson's Long Island, vol. I, p.
132, also N. Y. Civil List (1865), p. 31.
|(+) "Richard Nicolls Esq Deputy
Governor under his Royall Highness the Duke of York, of all his
Territoryes in America
To Bryan Newton, Captaine of the ffoot Company of Jamaica.
Whereas you are chosen by the Towne of Jamaica as Captaine of a ffoote
The fact that, in this same year, he is recorded as having been chosen town
clerk of Norwalk, Ct., gives color to the supposition that some confusion of
dates was occasioned about this time by the introduction, into the possessions
acquired from the Dutch, of the style in use in England, then, and for many
years afterward, and also from the practice of double dating. A flight to the
jurisdiction of New England, from that of New York, whose governor must have
seemed a lineal representative of the persecutors who had driven the Puritans
from the mother country, would not be a surprising thing in the case of any of
that people. In that of Thomas Benedict it was a most natural result. Honored,
and to some extent trusted, as he had been by both Dutch and English governors
of New York, it is beyond controversy that his heart had always been with the
government of Connecticut, and that he was the especial enemy of Captain John
Scott and his party; for "the killing and quelling" of whom he had,
indeed, in 1663, invoked the authority of Connecticut. It is not improbable that
after the supremacy of the English had been fully established in the west end of
Long Island, Thomas Benedict, and others of like principles, found themselves,
socially at least, in a condition not unlike that of the Union men in the south
after the Civil War, and could but regard the territory as an excellent one to
migrate from. At this time he had a numerous family, one of his sons
Listed or to bee Listed, within the said Toune; You
are by these Presents confirmed and constituted in the said office as
Captaine; You are to the best of your skill and knowledge, to Instruct and
teach the Souldiers under your command, the use and practice of their
Armes, and to take care that the Military Lawes bee duly executed, or the
defaults duly presented and Punished. Every private Souldier is hereby
required to obey you as their Captaine; and you are also required to obey
your Superior Officer or Officers, according to the Military Lawes
establis'ht--Given under my hand at ffort James in New York this 7th day
of Aprill 1665.
[Signed] RICHD NICOLLS"
The foregoing is the form of a Military Commission in 1665. Thomas
Benedict was appointed Lieutenant and Abraham Smith, Ensigne of Capt.
Bryan Newton's Foot Company. Their commissions also bear date 7th Aprill
1665. Book of Deeds, II, pp. 25, 26, office of the Secretary of the State
was married and settled near him; still he took to Norwalk with him all in
whose veins his blood ran. Others, who shared his religious and political
proclivities, betook themselves to Connecticut, at the same time, and,
doubtless, for the same reasons.(*)
He must have been a welcome addition to the society of Norwalk, to cause its
people to make such haste to elevate him to official station; nor was it a
spasmodic appreciation of him merely, for, in the following year, he was not
only reappointed to that office, but was, also, made a Selectman of the town. He
was continued Town Clerk until 1674; and, after an interval of three years, was
again appointed. The records, in his own handwriting, are still preserved, are
legible and properly attested by his own signature. His term of service as
Selectman covers seventeen years, closing with 1688. His name is one of
forty-two who comprised the list of Freemen in 1669. He was the representative
of Norwalk in the General Assembly in 1670, and again in 1675. In the Patent,
granted by the General Court in 1686, confirming the title of Norwalk to its
territory, his name is inserted as a patentee. In May, 1684, the General Court
appointed him and three others to plant a town "above Norwalke or
Fayrefeild," at Paquiage(+); and in the fall of that
(*) Thomas Benedick, Sen. (recorded March
1, 1669-70, having possessed it some years before), purchased of Mr.
Hanford 1 acre 1 rood, of John Ruscoe 2 roods, of
John Bowten 1 rood--4 acres. Bounded east by Mr Handford's and John
Ruscoe's, west by John Bowten, north by Town Highway, south by Richard
Homes. Hall, p. 24.
Thomas Benedict, Sen., in 1669, bought of Samuel Campfield his houselot,
granted him by the town, between Tho Betts and Ephraim Lockwood. Ibid., p.
For location of Thomas Benedict's home lot see Map of the Old Settlement
in Hall's Hist. of Norwalk, Ct. There is now (1870) upon the Lot a neat
two story frame building owned by H. Hoyt--It is reached on the rail road
almost immediately after crossing the Norwalk bridge going East. The track
crosses a corner of the original lot.
|(+) At General Court of Conn., held May,
Mr. John Bur, Mr. Tho. Fitch, Mr. Tho. Benedict are by this Court
appoynted and impowred a Committee for to order the planting of a Towne
aboue Norwalke or Fayrefeild and to receiue in inhabitants to plant there;
and what they, or any three
year and the spring of 1685, Samuel and James, sons of Thomas, and six
others, with their families, settled there; the land having been purchased from
the Indians. The parties most interested asked that their settlement might be
named "Swamfeild"; but, in 1687, the General Court denied their
request and called it Danbury.(*)
Beside the service of these more conspicuous appointments, he rendered much
to his friends in a non-official and neighborly way. His good sense and general
intelligence, some scientific knowledge and his skill as a penman, made him
their recourse when papers were to be drafted, lands to be surveyed and
apportioned, or disputes to be arbitrated. It is evident that very general
respect for his judgment prevailed, and that trust in his integrity was equally
general and implicit.
Little has been said of Thomas Benedict's labors in that other department,
which, in view of the character and mental habitudes of the communities, at the
time he dwelt among them, were of public importance, and, perhaps, in the
popular estimation far transcended in value his civil services, that of
ecclesiastical affairs. No extended account of them will be given now, seeing
that it is impossible to make them of much interest to the people of this day.
The early church records, both of South-old and Huntington, are not now to be
found; but the position he held among the citizens of both make it highly
probable, that he was concerned in establishing the first church in each. Where
the church records of any town in which he lived are preserved, they furnish
abundant evidence of his zeal and diligence
of them shall doe in the premises shall be good to
all intents and purposes for the planting of Paquiage. Col. Rec. Conn.,
Vol. III, p. 142.
(*) At Gen'l Court held Oct. 13, 1687: A
Petition dated Oct. 6th, was presented at the Genl Court &c., in
behalf of the plantation of Paquiage, that the same may be constituted to
be a towne, and to be named Swamfeild &c: Signed by Tho. Fitch, Jehu
Burr, John Burr and Tho. Bennydick. Town and Lands, I, 226.
The General Court substituted the name of Danbury. The petitioners stated
that "there are twentie families inhabiting at Paquiage and more
desirable persons a comminge." Col. Rec., Vol. III, p. 240.
in establishing and maintaining the public worship of God. Whether it was
settling or supporting a minister, repairing the church edifice or building a
new one, providing seats or allotting them, Thomas Benedict's name is almost
certain to appear on the records in connection with it. He is identified with
the founding of the first Presbyterian church in America, at Jamaica, in 1662;
and during the term of his residence there, he was of the committee to make the
rate and provide the means to support its minister.(*) In Norwalk, he
was chosen Deacon, and held the office during his life.
No record can be found that indicates the day of his death; one, of his Will,
is extant, which states that he was "weak of body;" "aged aboute
73 years;" and that his Will was executed the "eight and twentieth
feb.r. ano dominy 1689-90." An Inventory of his Estate, in which he is
described as "late deceased," was taken on the 18th of March in the
(*) "December ye 20th 1662. A town
meeting called: The town have voted and concluded and agreed upon yt these
five namely Mr. Coe, Goodman Benedick, Goodman Smith, Goodman Baylie and
Daniel Denton shall make ye rate for ye minesters house, and transporting
ye minester. . . Records 1, p. 20."
"February ye 14th 1663. A town meeting called: Voted and agreed upon
by ye town yt Goodman Benedick and Nathaneel Denton shall be overseers in
behalf of ye town to supply Mr Walker5 wants wt what hee shall stand in
need of according as ye town shall agree to make a supply; and to appoint
men as their turns come to bring in what shall bee needfull in ye
premises, as need shall require. Rec. p. 21."
"Feb. 14th, 1663. It is voted by ye town yt Mr Coe and Goodman
Benedick and Daniel Denton shall make a rate for Mr Walkers maintenance.
Rec. 1, p. 22."
"March ye 2d, 1663. The freeholders of the town, 24 in number,
including 'Thomas Benedick' gave to Rev. Zechariah Walker their 'minester'
the use of a house and a home lot, to be his in fee-simple if he remained
as minister of the town, or if they should so act as to be the cause of
his going away. Mr. Walker's salary was œ60 per annum, and Dr. McDonald
remarks: "In raising this generous support, so much beyond what many
infant churches at the present day, especially in new settlements, feel
themselves able to do, every inhabitant contributed his due
"Dec. ye 13th, 1664. Thomas Benedick Senior and Daniel Denton shall
make a rate for ye minester. Rec. 1, p. 32." Macdonald's Oldest Pres.
Church in America, pp. 37, 38, 40.
it is therefore quite certain that he died, at Norwalk, in the interval
between those two dates.(*)
He seems to have been seldom or never without some employment
(*) I, Thomas Bennidick of Norwalk, in ye
County of Fairfield, in ye Colony of Conecticut, aged aboute 73 years,
being weak of body, yet of perfect mind and memory, do make and declare
this as my last Will and Testament.
Imprimis. I do commend my Soule into ye hands of my gracious God yt hath
made it, and do give my body to ye Earth from whence it was, to be
decently buried, in hope of a happy and gracious Resurrection at ye last
day; As for my temporall Estate, I do despose of as followeth:
I do will and bequeath to my loueing wife Mary Bennidick my whole Estate,
house and households, Lands, Cattle--to use and despose according to ye
controll and advice she, with my overseers afterwards mentioned, shall
judg[e] most [ ] during ye Time of her naturall Life, and after ye decease
of ye said Mary, my wife, I do will and bequeath to my Sonn, Daniell
Bennidick, my dwelling house barne and houseing, orchard and four ewes--ye
whole of my homested--to be to him and his heirs, to have and to howld,
I do will and bequeath my Sonn, John Bennedick, my calve pasture Lot--he
[to] pay to my grandchild Thomas Slauson, ye Son of my daughter, Elizabeth
Slasson, ye sum of ten pounds--which I give him as a legacy in time
I do also give to my said Son, John Bennedick one third part of my Sticky
plaine Lott, which is half broken up. I also bequeath to him yt part of
salt meadow lying be ye bridge at ye Indian Feild. Also, unto him, I
bequeath eight acres of upland laid out above ye Long Swamp beyond ye New
feild--All these lands to be to him and his heirs forever.
I do will and bequeath to my son, James Benedick, my Long Lot of Salt
Medow--over ye River--lying between Keloge and Bets--I do also bequeath to
ye said James, my son, half my fruitefull Spring Lot--yt Lyeth sideing by
ye medow, provided ye said James shall pay to my Grandchild Elizabeth
Slausson, ye sum of five pounds, in time convenient, the afforesaid Land
to be James and his heirs forever.
I do will and bequeath to my grand child Thomas Benedick, one 3d part of
my Sticky plaine Lot which he hath in part improued and is in part
unbroken. I also, bequeath to ye sd Thomas, my second division of medow
called Mamathemans--the lands to be to him and his heirs forever.
I do will and bequeath to my Grandchild Samuell Benedict, ye other half of
my fruitfull Spring Lot lying next to Nathaniel [ ] I do also bequeath to
ye sd Samuell, a small parcel of medow which is salt--[ ] Kelloggs Swamp
rung through --also one 3d part of my sticky plaine Lot on ye [side] I
have broken up. I do also bequeath to my sd grand child Samuel, half my
comonage which is 50 pounds; and the other half I do give to my grandchild
John Bennedick ye eldest son of my son John Bennedick. I also will and
bequeath to my Grandchild Samuell Bennedick my ould Horse and one yearling
Calf. I do also bequeath to ye sd Samuell, my Carts and Iron plows and
chains and irons belonging to plow and cart. Also ye bed and bedsted--yt
in ye chamber with what belongs to it--leauving it to his Grandmother and
ye overseers to give him of ye moveables what they can spare, provided
of a public nature. Until his settlement at Norwalk, when he was nearly fifty
years old, no one place appears to have held him long; and it is a remarkable
thing that these changes of abode, each of which must have made him a new comer,
never prevented his immediate preferment either in church or state affairs. It
would be only reasonable to infer, that the alacrity with which he was honored
and trusted, under the circumstances, was due to his established character for
prudence and ability. The action of the General Court, whenever his name came
before it, shows that he was known and esteemed by the authorities of the main
land; indeed it is apparent from cotemporaneous events that he was a main
support of the cause of Connecticut on Long Island. That he was a man of
he carry and behauve himself dutefully and louvingly
towards his Grandmother--so doing, I do, also, will and bequeath to ye sd
Samuell half of my sheep.
I do will and bequeath to Joanna Bennedick, One Cow, one half of my
sheep--the trukle bedstead wth ye bed thereupon and the furniture of it,
and what else of household her Grandmother shall bestow on her, provided
she liue with her and be tender of her while she shall continue in this
As for my Out Lands, undesposed of, it is my will that my Son James and
Daniell diuide ye Upland between them equally except ye peace of boggy
medow which I will to be equally divided between my son James and
grandchild Samuell Benedick.
I do will and bequeath to my daughter Rebecka Wood [the] mare yt is now
running in ye wood; and I leauve it to my wife to give to my Daughter
Sarah and Rebecka what of ye moveables she shall see meet and can spare.
I do will and bequeath to my Grand child Mary Olmsted, a legacy of twenty
shillings; I also give to Hannah Benedick, my grand child, ten shillings
the [same] to be paid out of ye estate after my decease.
Finally it is my will and I do hereby appoint my Son John and my Son Samll
Bennedick to be joynt overseers of this my last will and testiment--willing
these my loueing sons to be carefull of their Mothers comfortable liueing
and to councell her in ye ordering her affairs and desposall of goods; and
to see carefully to ye payment of all lawfull debts.
In confirmation of ye premises of this my will and Testiment, I do set my
hand and seal this eight and twentieth febt Ano dominy 1689-90.
[Signed] THOS BENEDICK, Senr.
Signed and Sealed in presents of us,
John Platt, Jr.
Memorand: in ye twentieth line Elizabeth is bloted out and Mary put in ye
Marjent accordin to ye will of ye testator--ye name mistake [n] by the
enlarged views, such as in this day are supposed to characterize statesman,
and that he had the courage and energy to attempt to
An Inventory of the Estate of Thomas Benedick Senr of Norwalk, late deceased,
taken this 18. of March 1689 or 90.
The Homested and Buildings
" Neat Cattle
" Horss Kinde
" Beding and furniture
" Table linen and Napkins
" Wearing Cloathes
" Bedsteds, Chests and boxes
" Iron Kettle and pott
" Pewter, brass Earthenware and Woodenware
" Several iron things
" Carts and wheels and Irons belonging to
" Knailes and other Small things
" Plogh and Graine
" Arms and Ammunission
" Saddle, bridle and Sundry small things
" 5 Small Swine
Taken by us:
Mary Benedict, ye Relickt of Thos Benedick Senr, late of Norwalk deceased,
appeared before me, the 5th of November 1690, and attested upon oath yt
according to ye best of her knowledge, ye above sd Inventory is a true
[Signed] THOS. FITCH, Comiss.
The Will and Inventory of Thomas Benedick, decd of Norwalk, being
exhibited to ye County Ct, in Fairfield, this 9th of November 1690, ye
probate whereof being deferred until the next County Court in March, I do
also appoint these two persons who wear appointed overseers of the sd
will, viz: John and Samll Benedick with ye widow, Relickt of ye sd
deceased Benedick, to administer on the sd estate--to receave and pay all
debts due to and from ye sd estate and to husband ye estate and preserve
it from imbez'ment.
[Signed] NATHAN GOLD, Clark.
The County Ct this 10. of Mar 1690-1 do except ye above sd Will and
Inventory and order them to be recorded.
[Signed] NATHAN GOLD, Clark.
Mem: The foregoing Will and Inventory are recorded in Vol. of Probate
Records, "1689-1701," pp. 38, &c., deposited in Probate
office, Fairfield, Conn. The original will could not be found.
realize them, it proved by his persistence in schemes designed to increase
the power and expand the jurisdiction of the commonwealth he loved. The four
families found by Carteret, at Elizabethtown, were the pioneers of the Jamaica
colony, of which he was one of the projectors. His connection with the founding
of Danbury has been stated. Traces of other plans for colonizing are visible
yet, but the event of them is not.(*) They were, of course, less
successful than those mentioned; but they serve to show his zeal and enterprise
in that direction. The holder of military commissions, in so unquiet a time, it
might naturally be expected that some feats of arms would illustrate the annals
of his life. Nothing appears to satisfy such an expectation, reasonable as it
may be; and, probably, for the reason that no occasion for service of that sort
arose, at the times and places, when and where, he held military rank. If,
however, the training of his children may be regarded as an indication, it is
entirely certain, that he did not fail to educate them to the high duty of
fighting for their country. His family participated in the Indian wars of the
time, and one was prominent in perhaps the most bloody struggle of all. His son,
Daniel, in 1677, received a grant of land, from the town of Norwalk, for his
services in "the direful swamp fight" of Dec. 19, 1675.(+)
By this mournful and expressive title, bereaved New England was accustomed to
identify the memorable expedition against the Narragansetts, which, however
disastrous to the savages, filled the whole country with woe and lamentation.
His posterity have never shown themselves derelict in respect
|(*) At a Court of Election May 9, 1672:
Whereas Richd Olmsteed, Thomas Benedict and 12 others have given in their
names for a beginning of a plantation neare the back side of Norwalke and
by their deputies desired the countenance of the Court therein, --The
Court haveing considered the same doe see cause to nominate a Come to view
the place moved for to make a plantation and to order the planting thereof
and to entertein inhabitants to joyne with the afoarnamed people of
Norwalk, in the planting the afoarsayd plantation.-- Col. Rec. Conn., Vol.
II, p. 176.
(+) See Hall, p. 63; and Bouton's Norwalk
Bi-Centennial Address, pp. 27, 28.
either to loyalty or bravery. The public enemy has ever been their enemy; the
muster rolls of every army ever raised to defend the country, or to achieve or
maintain its independence, abound with their names; and none more so than those
of the last and greatest of all American armies; the army, whose loyalty,
patriotism, bravery and patience, saved the cause of Liberty and Civilization,
first for their countrymen, and scarcely less, for the rest of mankind.
It is to be regretted that few or no details of the social or domestic life,
no personal traits, no characteristic incidents, of himself or wife have come
down to us. During the term of their migrations, with so numerous family, the
household cares and duties must have been especially burdensome and perplexing
to the wife and mother. It was within this period, too, that the character and
habits of their children were, mainly, formed; for at the time they ceased to
wander and sat down in Norwalk, their eldest born was twenty-five years old, and
married, and their youngest must have been eight years old at least. The fruits
of their culture and discipline, under circumstances certainly not favorable,
are conspicuous enough in the character and lives of their children, and
childrens' children; and prove him to have been a wise and prudent father, and
her a judicious and faithful mother. The love which united them at the beginning
kept them united to the end; and his Will, probably one of the last acts of his
life, is full of evidences of thoughtful affection for his wife; his great
concern seeming to have been to secure her comfort when he should be able to
provide for it no longer. Their grandson, Deacon James Benedict, of Ridgefield,
is the only one of their posterity, who, speaking from actual knowledge,
furnishes even a glimpse of this interesting couple. He says: "they walked
in the midst of their house with a perfect heart. They were strict observers of
the Lords day 'from even to even'; and I think it may be said of them, as it was
of Zacharias and Elizabeth, that 'they walked in all the commandments and
ordinances of the Lord blameless, and obtained a good report
through faith.' This excellent example had a good effect, by the blessing of
heaven, upon their children. He was made a Deacon of the church at Norwalk, and
used that office to the good satisfaction of that church to his death, which was
in the 73d year of his age; and two of his sons, viz: John and Samuel, used the
office until old age and its attendants rendered them unable to serve any
longer. And there are at this day  no less than seven of the family and
name that use that office, and some of them at least, I hope, to good acceptance
with God and man." This proclivity toward deaconship continued in the
family; for, as late as 1851, another of his descendants, Rev. Dr. Nathaniel
Bouton, in an Historical Discourse pronounced by him, July 9th of that year, on
occasion of the two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Norwalk, closes a
tribute to the memory of his ancestor thus: "The savor of his piety, as
well as his venerable name, has been transmitted through a long line of deacons
and other godly descendants, to the seventh generation."
THOMAS BENEDICT, b. 1617; m. Mary Bridgum, 1640(?). Ch.
I. THOMAS, b. 164-; d. Nov. 20, 1688-9.
II. JOHN, b. 164-.
III. SAMUEL, b. 164-.
IV. JAMES, b. 164-.
V. DANIEL, b. 164-.
VI. ELIZABETH, b. 16--, Southold, L. I.; m. after 1676, John Slauson
(his 2d wife), Stamford, Ct.
VII. MARY, b. 16--, Southold, L. I.; m. John Olmsted, "Lieut.
Olmstede," Norwalk, Ct., July 17, 1673.
VIII. SARAH, b. 16--, Southold; m. Dec. 19, 1679, James Beebe,
Stratford. He was one of the eight who purchased and settled
Danbury in 1685. Their son James, b. Norwalk, 1682,
was a deacon of the church in Danbury.
IX. REBECCA, b. 16--; m. Dr. Samuel Wood, an able physician, b.
and educated in England, and a very early settler of Danbury.