The Genealogy of the Benedicts in America

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THOMAS BENEDICT.

        "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 other colonies.

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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 2d of
that name, had also an only son whom he called William; and this 3d 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 Southhold 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 to 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 numernus
offspring.

The children of Thomas, the 2d of that name, were Thomas (an only son), Mary,
Hannah, Esther, Abigail and Elizabeth. The children of John were Sarah, Phebe,
John, Jonathan, Benjamin, Joseph, James, Mary and Thomas. The children of
Samuel were Joannah, Samuel, Thomas, Rebeccah, Esther, Nathaniel and Abraham.
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, Mary,
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."

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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." 

(*)  Levit. 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 sunset.

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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

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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 

Hashamommuck 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 Creek."

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 premises herein

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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 them claiming 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. 
        his 
    Henry 7 Whitney. 
        mark 
               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 prservation of good neighbourhood, wch order or agreement is as followeth [240] We whose names are enderwritten inhabiting on ye neeke of land comonly called Hashamommock, considering that our comfort and quiett settlemt consist and stand in ye injoymt of good neighbourhood, did make this agreemt at our first sitting doune, that what man soeuer should desire to remoue and so endeauour to make sale of his accomodations, 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 
                                                       THO. BENEDICK 
  (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.

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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 that the Mohansick Sachem in Long Island had killed som of the said Vncus his men, bewitched diuers others and hiselfe also and desired the Commissioners that hee might be righted therein. But because the said Sachem of Long Island was not there to answare for himselfe It was thought meet and accordingly aduised that 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 to examine the Matters charged by Vncus and if proof bee cleare to labor to convince him thereof, require satisfaction and in case of reasonable complyance endeauor a 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 bring trouble 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 for 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 subscribed by three of the inhabitants thereof, whereby it appeared yt the said agents were authorized to treat of and to finish this business wth the Court, ye contence of wch writeing is as followeth, To the honoured Court of Magistrates and deputies now sitting at

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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 in Boston ye last year that or towne might be put vnder Newhauen gouernment, and yt motion being consented to by ye honoured comissioners there prsent, or towne of Huntington aforesd, in pursuance of their desires, haue thought good to make their addresses to this honoured Court by their deputies, viz., Jonas Wood (O,) and Jonas Wood (H,) for the obtaining of their proposed ends, having given vnto them full power and authority to treat of and finish this business wth ye court in their names, humbly desireing therein acceptance of vs, and further yt you will be pleased, (considering ye remotenes of ye place, ye great charges yt such infant plantations are vsed to be attended with,) to condescend to such moderate ppositions we have ordered 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 
                                                        THO. BENEDICK 
                                                        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 pposed in ye psuance of this business wch accordingly they did in 5 propositions, 4 of which 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.

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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 that colony.??

(*) 1662, 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, page 19.

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 meadows upon the farther East Neck to them they belong to.

1663, Dec. 3. Voted and agreed upon that Goodman Benedik be Lieutenant of this Town.

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 already laid out.

Feb. 5, 1664. Voted that Lt. Benedik [and two others] make out a rate for the payment of the land bought of the Indians.

Feb. 14, 1664. It is voted by the town that Goodman Benedik &c shall make a 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.

Fac simile 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 Hemstead

(*) 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.

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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 
                                                    JOHN STICKLAND 
                                                    ZACHARIAH WALKER 
                                                    THOMAS BENNYDICK 
                                                    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

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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 preserved, and

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 
                                                          THOMAS BENNYDICK 
                                                          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 
                                                          ZACHARIAH WALKER 

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. Sheweth

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

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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: 
                                                       ANTHONY WATERS. 
  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 
                                                             THOMAS BENNYDICK 

--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.

Page 13

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;

Page 14

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

Your Honor's, to command

                                          [Signed]   JOHN BAILEY 
      From Jamaica                                   DANIEL DENTON 
  Commonly So called                                 THOMAS BENNYDICK. 
    Sept 26th 1664.                                  NATHANIEL DENTON. 
                                                     JOHN FOSTER 
                                                     LUKE WATSON. 

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, 1664.

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 Company,

Page 15

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 New York.

Page 16

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. 27.

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, 1684:

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

Page 17

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.

Page 18

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 same year;

(*) "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 60 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 proportion."

"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.

Page 19

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, forever.

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 convenient.

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

Page 20

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 world.

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, 
     Thomas Hanford 
     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 writer

                                                           THOS. HANFORD.

Page 21

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. 

 Imprimis:

.

s.

d.

 

The Homested and Buildings

40.

00.

0.

 Item

in Lands

150.

"

"

 "

" Neat Cattle

30.

"

"

 "

" Horss Kinde

05.

"

"

 "

" Beding and furniture

17.

04.

0.

 "

" Table linen and Napkins

01.

02.

"

 "

" Wearing Cloathes

04.

06.

"

 "

" Bedsteds, Chests and boxes

02.

12.

"

 "

" Iron Kettle and pott

01.

03.

"

 "

" Pewter, brass Earthenware and Woodenware

03.

15.

"

 "

" Several iron things

04.

18.

"

 "

" Carts and wheels and Irons belonging to them

03.

10.

"

 "

" Knailes and other Small things

01.

12.

"

 "

" Plogh and Graine

8.

14.

"

 "

" Arms and Ammunission

02.

13.

"

 "

" Saddle, bridle and Sundry small things

06.

"

"

 "

" 5 Small Swine

02.

10.

"

 

the total

285.

09.

0.

  Taken by us: 
    Thomas Seamer 
    James Olmsted. 

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 Inventory.

                                                [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.

Page 22

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.

Page 23

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

Page 24

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 [1755] 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. 

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