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in which is given some of the descendants of John Benson of Oxfordshire, England, who came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the year 1638, together with some of the families allied by marriage to his descendants.

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About twenty years ago my children asked me about their ancestors. I could tell them of only three older generations. The great uncles and aunts were a vague memory. I had heard that they or their families went west in most cases, but no one could tell to what states. I began investigating and have followed the subject with increasing interest; this book is the result.

Our Puritan ancestor, John Benson, was given a grant of land at Hingham in the Massachusetts Bay Colony upon his arrival in America in 1638, where he lived till about 1657, when he became one of the earliest proprietors of Hull, Massachusetts, as shown by the records of lots owned by him there which are given in the Hull long book, page 11, as follows: 4 home lots on Broad Bay, 2 lots on Straight River, 2 lots on Alderton Hill, 4 acres on Peddicks Island, 1 1/2 lots on Straight River, meadow on Spring Cove, 2 lots on Strawberry Hill, 2 lots on Sycamore Hill, 2 lots on Wight Hill, 1 lot on Hogge Island.

There is little reason to suppose he came to America because he shared the religious zeal of the stern separatists who formed so large and important a part of the early population of Massachusetts, but rather that he was among those who came in the spirit of adventure, to better their condition. Even these settlers were non-conformists, and like nearly all of the people of the times, deeply religious.  The original introduction continues after this You can find the complete introduction and book on the internet under “The Benson Family Records”.  M.H.


No. 7

STUTSON BENSON, son of William4 (No. 5) and Elizabeth (Ellis) Benson (William3, John2, John1) was born March 2, 1741, at Rochester, Mass., and on the records is spelled "Stedson." He died March 1, 1820, in Pompey, Onondaga Co., N. Y. He married Bathsheba Lewis, daughter of John and Bathsheba (???) Lewis of Dutchess Co., N. Y., about 1760. She died July 18, 1830, aged 84. They are buried at Delphi, N. Y. Her family moved from Dutchess Co., N. Y., to Berkshire Co., Mass., before 1765 (see the Lewis records). It is uncertain where they lived for a few years after marriage, but in 1777 they lived on or near the Bennington battle field at Waloomsac, which is within the State of New York, and only a few miles from the city of Bennington, Vt. Various traditions are preserved of their experiences at this time, one being that he was taken a prisoner and sent to Montreal, and another that it was his son, Stutson, Jr., then 10 years old, who was captured by the Tories or Indians. There is no official record of his having been a soldier at the time of the battle, though he (Stutson, Sr.) is said to have been, but the Vermont Revolutionary Pay Rolls show that later he was a private in Capt. Matthias Button's Company of Col. John Abbott's regiment of foot. About 1785 or 1786 he moved a few miles to White Creek, now in Washington Co., N. Y., where there was a Baptist church, of which he became clerk, the Rev. William Waite being pastor. His sister, Thankful Dutcher, and her family lived there. He came to Pompey about 1796, the year in which his brother-in-law, Benjamin Lewis, came. Several of his sons had come in 1793, and his daughter Elizabeth Marsh and her family in 1797. He sometimes preached, but probably was never ordained. The following records are copied from his Bible:

CHILDREN of Stutson Benson and Bathsheba Lewis

Elizabeth, b. May 31,1761;m. William Marsh.
William, b. Nov.3,1763.
Abigail, b. March 28, 1766.

Stutson, Jr., b. Oct. 13, 1767. (Our Ancester)
John, b. April 14, 1770.
Benjamin, b. Aug. 3, 1773.
Marah, b. March 6, 1775.
Sarah, b. April 14, 1777.
Peter, b. July 25, 1779.
Seth Paul, b. Nov. 9, 1781.
Olive, b. Feb. 26, 1784.

No deaths or marriages are recorded in the old Bible. Probably Abigail, John, Marah and Sarah died young; we know nothing of them.

STUTSON BENSON, JR., son of Stutson5 and Bathsheba (Lewis) Benson (William4, William3, John2, John1), born Oct. 13, 1767; died in 1845. He married Sarah Sumner, daughter of Capt. John and Mehitable (Perry) Sumner of Edinburg, Saratoga Co., N. Y., in 1795. She born Oct. 28, 1772, at Ashford, Conn., and died Dec. 18, 1858, in Ashtabula Co., Ohio. They are buried at Amboy, Ohio. He was a carpenter and millwright and worked at his trade. In the early days, before the hills of New York State were stripped of trees, there were several mill streams in Onondaga and Madison counties; the town of Pompey had at least six saw mills, an oil mill, and several grist mills, and the adjoining town of Cazenovia probably had as many. Our tradition is that the brothers built a large barn for Gen. Samuel Sherwood the first year, for which they received one hundred acres of land, and he was the only one of them who had the skill to frame a barn. He must have returned to the eastern part of the State, not returning to Pompey for several years. The record of deeds shows that in 1808 he bought land in Pompey and is described as "of Pompey." He sold this land to his brother William in 1815 and was then "of Cazenovia." It is known that he was building mills in the central western part of the State for several years, and built mills and also owned one in the Genesee Valley, but his family may have lived in Pompey and Cazenovia. He bought land in Ashtabula Co., Ohio, in 1820, but did not settle on it then, though some of his sons may have done so. Ursula Martin, daughter of Eri, remembered of hearing that "while living in Pompey" her grandmother took the twins, Eri and Eli to Cazenovia to see a hanging, and the only execution of the times was that of the Indian, Antone, in the fall of 1823, so they must have settled in Ohio after 1823. Their tradition of the Battle of Bennington is that Stutson Sr. lived on or near the battle field, at Waloomsac, and that Stutson Jr., then ten years old, was taken prisoner by the Indians while carrying drinking water to the patriot soldiers, and was taken to Canada, but was later released because of his youth, and made his way home, suffering great hardship and nearly starving on the way. From an entirely different source we had learned that Bathsheba and her son William had searched on the battle field, presumably for this missing boy. He, (Stutson , Jr.) is described as a small man, light hair, blue eyes, of an active and determined disposition and great endurance.

CHILDREN of Stutson Benson Jr. and Sarah Sumner

John7, b. Apr. 18, 1796, in Saratoga Co., N. Y.
Numan, b. about 1797.
Willis, b. about 1799.
Sarah, b. Nov., 1800.
The Benson Family
Matilda, b. about 1804.
Eri and Eli, twins, b. July 1, 1806, at Cazenovia, N. Y.
Sylvia, b. May 29, 1809, probably in Pompey, N.Y

MATILDA BENSON, daughter of Stutson Jr. and Sarah (Sumner) Benson (Stutson5, William4, William3, John2, John1) was born about 1804, died in 1888 in Ohio. She married 1st Ira Taft, (See Below) and 2nd Cyrus Gear. She and her first husband were early settlers to Illinois, going with wagons from Ashtabula Co., Ohio. We have only meager records of them.  

I have reason to believe that this last paragraph record is incorrect.  The Taft family records, (which are more complete in this regard) show that Matilda’s first husband was Corey Taft, the brother of Ira Taft. (Other sources say that she married a man named Ira Cory Taft.)   After my husband, Greg, and I took summer trip in in 2007 which we spent researching records and tramping lightly through many cemeteries, we uncovered documents and gravestones to prove that her husband was indeed Corey Taft.   I will include this more accurate information under the Taft Family records on this web site. M.H.  

See Taft Family


 (Taft) Ira, Sophia Matilda , Orrin, and Studson, who died at the age of six, and one other.

By her second husband Cyrus Geer

(Geer) Eri, Frank, Charles, Lucinda and Lorina.
     He had by children by his first wife: Jared, Orris, Mary, Sylvia and Thomas (Gear).