American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS
  • O My Son Benoni: A Personal Name as Marker of Family Circumstances

    Grace M. Pittman

    This article originally appeared in NEHGS NEXUS (7 [1990]: 17–21).

    Over the past few years several articles on names have appeared in NEHGS journals -- one on odd and amusing first names (NEXUS 3[1986]:72-73), another on surname origins (4[1987]:127-128), and a study in The Register on naming and kinship in New England (138[1984]:161-181).  This article will discuss the meaning of the male name “Benoni” as a genealogical marker.

    Everyone working with New England Puritan families has come across first names that seemed odd. One can usually make an accurate guess that the name came from the Bible, but sometimes the origin of a name is not immediately apparent.  When I encountered the name “Benoni” in three seventeenth-and eighteenth-century Puritan families, my first thought was, “Where did that Italian name come from?!”  Some time later, while looking for other names in a concordance to the Bible, I checked for “Benoni” and found that it is a name occurring only once (Genesis 35:18).  The Biblical reference describes the death in childbirth of Rachel, wife of Jacob.

    “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.”

    Depending on the concordance used, the meaning of “Benoni” is variously given as “Son of my sorrow or “Alas, my son.”  Among the Puritan families mentioned earlier, two of the Benonis were born under the same circumstances as the Biblical one.

    Benoni Smith, son of Henry and Mary (Adams) Smith of Medfield, Mass., was born 20 Feb. 1724/25.  His mother died 23 Feb. 1724/25.  Benoni Clark, son of Capt. William and Hannah (Strong) Clark of Northampton, Mass., was born 31 Jan. 1693/94.  His mother died 11 Feb. 1693/94.  As for the third Benoni, surnamed Grover and the oldest of ten children, I could not then determine why he bore the name, but further research uncovered the reason.

    From curiosity, knowing that the early colonists usually had a reason for the names they gave their children, I began a search for children named Benoni, finding at least 100 born in the seventeenth through mid-eighteenth centuries.  From this limited sample I found that the name Benoni was usually given to a male child only when he was born under unfortunate circumstances.  Obviously, not all male children born under adverse conditions were named Benoni; nor were all children named Benoni born under a cloud.

    However, from my sample it appears that well over half, perhaps as many as 75-80% of the Benonis were aptly named.  Because parents of children born after the Revolution began to use more freedom in the choice of names for their offspring -- often deserting traditional family names in favor of names from classical or popular literature, or selecting a name just because they liked it, I have confined this study of children named Benoni to those born before 1780.

    A study of these children shows that they fall mainly into five groups, of which four encompass conditions immediately recognizable as unfortunate.

    1. The mother died at or soon after the birth of the child (21 cases).  Included here are two mothers who did not die until 12 to 18 months after their sons were born, leading one to speculate that perhaps the mothers were not expected to live at the time of the births.  In each case, Benoni was the last child born to the mother.

    2. The father died before the child’s birth (15 cases).

    3. The child was illegitimate or was conceived before his parents married (five cases).

    Benoni Grover (referred to earlier), the son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Stow) Grover of Grafton, Mass., was born near Grafton, Mass. 31 June 1767 (sic).  In January, 1767, Ebenezer Grover had posted the marriage banns at Grafton, but “notice was removed by Miss Stow.”  Ebenezer “again posted the notice of intent on 13 June 1767, at which time they were married” (J.P. Grover, “Ancestry and Genealogy of Our Thomas Grover Family” [1966-67], pp. 222-23 [typescript at NEHGS].

    4. The child died soon after birth (22 cases).

    5. The child was apparently named for his father, a grandfather, or an uncle (12 cases).  At least five of the Benonis for whom Group 5 children were named are found in one or another of the preceding groups, but some of the “namesake” children also belong in Group 4 (children who died soon). It is possible, too, that even if such Benonis survived, they were so frail at birth that they were not expected to live; hence their names.

    Seven of the remaining 25 Benonis do not fit the pattern; there seems to be no reason for their being so named, although it is possible that further research may find one.  For ten more, the data available to me suggest that the child died soon after birth, was possibly illegitimate (two cases), or that the mother died soon after the child’s birth. For eight, data are so scanty that one cannot yet hazard even a guess as to why they were so named.

    In standard genealogical literature I have found only one example of research specifically on a child [18] named Benoni.  In “The Red(d)ingtons of Topsfield and Boxford, Mass.” (NEHGR 109 [1955]:245-46), author Hugh Grant Rowell was concerned with the parentage of a Benoni Rowell (b. 1690/91).  After collecting all possible data on this Benoni and then eliminating the Rowell couples in the area of Ipswich, Mass., who could not have been his parents, Mr. Rowell concluded that Benoni must have been the unrecorded child of Jacob Rowell and his first wife Mary Younglove, who were married 29 April 1690.  Mary died 15 May 1691 (William H. Jones, “The English Origins of the Rowell Family,” NEHGR 138[1984]:129).  Mr. Rowell evidently was unaware of the meaning of the name “Benoni,” for it gives support to his conclusion. Benoni was born by April or May 1691, and his mother died soon afterwards.

    Of even more interest is a problem that arose within the last year.  A recent NEXUS (5[1988]:32) ran a query from Henry Twitchell, Jr., of Winchester, Mass., reading in part: “Seeking true ancestry of Benoni Twitchell, b. at Medfield?, Mass. ca. 1682...Father may not be Abiel Twitchell of Medfield as per 1929 TwitchelI genealogy.”  The published Medfield vital records give the birth of an Abiel Twitchell, daughter of Benjamin and Marie, on 1 November 1663.  The birth of Benoni Twitchell is not recorded, but his marriage in 1705 and the births of his children duly appear (Vital Records of Medfield, Mass., to the Year 1850 [1903], pp. 99, 100, 179, 239).  Because of my interest in children named Benoni, I suggested to Mr. Twitchell that he read through the Medfield town meeting records for mention of a female Abiel with an illegitimate child.  Some months later Mr. Twitchell wrote that he had acted on the suggestion and found that “For six summer months in 1683 the Medfield town selectmen met to consider one and only one matter: Josiah Rocket was harboring one ‘Abiel Twichel' and her child in his house, who continuing there may have become chargeable to the [constable] to forbid said Josiah Rockett any longer to entertain ye said Abiel and also to warn her out of ye town.  Josiah Rockett was fined 20 shillings for not obeying these orders promptly.”  Josiah was the husband of Abieps sister Mary, which may be why Abiel was living in his house.  Although the name and sex of her child were not stated, it is almost certain that the child was Benoni.

    This article is not meant to be a scientific statistical study, nor on the other hand was it conceived as mere genealogical trivia.  The name Benoni, while uncommon, was not rare, and an understanding of the circumstances under which it was used has practical application in assigning tentative dates where they are missing in a family, or in suggesting avenues of research that might not otherwise be apparent.

    The “Benoni” Pattern 100 Examples

    Note: These examples of the “Benoni” pattern were found in published vital records of the towns in question; in “classic” New England genealogies; in town histories with good genealogical coverage of local families; in such unpublished sources as E. D. Barbour, Descendants of Capt. George Barbour of Medfield (8 vols., typescript at NEHGS [1907]); in the IGI; and in C A. Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (NEHGS, microfilm, 1979).

    Group 1: Children Whose Mothers Died

    1.    Benoni Adams, born Sherborn, Mass. 3 Nov. 1681, son of Moses and Mary (Fairbanks) Adams. His mother died 15 Nov. 1681.

    2.    Benoni Bayly, born Marlborough, Mass. 15 Dec. 1717, son of Benjamin and Deborah (Howe) Bayly. Deborah died 17 March 1718.

    3.    Benoni Bailey, born Rowley, Mass. 9 Dec. 1702, son of Jonathan and Hannah (Walker) Bailey. His mother died the same day.

    4.    Benoni Bucknam, born MaIden, Mass. 24 Aug. 1767, son of Aaron and Alice (Skinner) Bucknam. Alice’s death is not given, but Aaron married secondly at Chelsea, Mass. 1 May 1768 Joanna Floyd, when Benoni was about seven months old.

    5.    Benoni Chase, born Newbury, Mass. 5 April 1708, son of Moses and Anne (Follansbee) Chase. Anne died 18 April 1708.

    6.    Benoni Clark, born Northampton, Mass. 31 Jan. 1693/94, son of Capt. William and Hannah (Strong) Clark. His mother died 11 Feb. 1693/94.

    7.    Benoni Clark, born Northampton, Mass. 22 Oct. 1775, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Lyman) Clarke. His mother died 27 Oct. 1775.

    8.    Benoni Fuller, born Dedham, Mass. 16th day, 4th month 1646, son of Robert Fuller. The wife of Robert Fuller (whose name was possibly Ann) died 4th day, 5th month 1646, and Benoni died 5th day, 7th month of that year.

    9.    Benoni Hemingway, born Marlborough, Mass. 22 April 1694, son of Joshua and Margaret (Kenrick) Hemingway. Margaret died 12 May 1694.

    10.  Benoni Hunt, born Weymouth, Mass. 23 May 1736, son of Ens. Thomas and Elizabeth (Reed) Hunt. She died 30 May 1736.

    11.  Benoni Morse, born Medfield, Mass. 19 June 1682, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Wood) Morse. Elizabeth died 26 June 1682.

    12.  Benoni Partridge, born Medfield, Mass. 25 May 1687, son of John and Elizabeth (Rockett) Partridge. Elizabeth died in July 1688. John promptly married Elizabeth Adams (daughter of Dea. Jonathan and Elizabeth [Fussell] Adams) and had more children by her. In the list of all John’s children Benoni appears to be a middle child, but was in reality the last child of a mother who died fourteen months after the birth.

    13.    Benoni Partridge, born Wrentham, Mass. in March 1726, the first and only child of Job and Abigail (Thompson) Partridge. Abigail died in April 1728. John married again the next year and had other children.


    14.  Benoni Rowell, born Ipswich, Mass. 1690/91 (probably May 1691), son of Jacob and Mary (Younglove) Rowell, who were married 29 April 1690. Mary died 15 May 1691.

    15. Benoni Shipman, born Saybrook, Conn. 20 March 1753, son of Capt. Samuel and Sarah (Doty) Shipman. Sarah died 14 May 1753.

    16.  Benoni Smith, born Hadley, Mass. 10 or 12 June 1700, son of Samuel and Mary (Church) Smith. Mary died 18 June 1700.

    17. Benoni Smith, born Medfield, Mass. 20 Feb. 1724/25, son of Henry and Mary (Adams) Smith.  Mary died 23 Feb. 1724/25. Benoni was the father of Benoni Smith, #98 below.

    18.  Benony Taylor, born Reading, Mass. 16 Dec. 1650, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (---) Taylor.  His mother died 18 January 1650/51, and the child died a month later, on 18 February.

    19.  Benoni Tucker, born Salisbury, Mass. 16 Oct. 1662, son of Morris and Elizabeth (Stevens) Tucker. Elizabeth died the same day.

    20.  Benoni Vinton, recorded as Benjamin, born Woburn, Mass. 12 June 1720, son of John and Abigail (Richardson) Vinton. Abigail died 21 June 1720. The child was later baptized Benoni at Stoneham, Mass., 26 May 1734.

    21.  Benoni Wight, born Wrentham, Mass. 18 Sept. 1721, son of Nathaniel and Ruth (Hawes) Wight. Ruth died 6 Oct. 1721. Benoni was the paternal grandfather of another Benoni Wight, #75 below.

    Group 2: Children Whose Fathers Died Before or Soon After the Child’s Birth

    22.  Benoni Adams, born Sherborn, Mass. 31 Dec. 1754, son of James and Rebecca (Fairbanks) Adams. James died 11 April 1754.

    23.  Benoni Atchison, born Hatfield, Mass. 22 Nov. 1677, son of John and Deliverance (---) Atchison. John was killed by Indians 19 Sept. 1677.

    24.  Benoni Brown, born Middletown, Conn. 15 March 1658/59, son of Nathaniel and Eleanor (Watts) Brown. An inventory of Nathaniel's estate was taken 26 Aug. 1658. Benoni died 8 May 1688, unmarried.

    25.  Benoni Clark, born 1761 at Lebanon, Conn., son of Benoni and Ruth (Carpenter) Clark. Benoni Sr. died before 7 April 1761.

    26.  Benoni Craft, born Hadley, Mass. 22 Oct. 1692, son of Thomas and Abigail (Dickinson) Craft. Thomas Craft died 27 Feb. 1691/92.

    27.  Benoni Dewey, born Lebanon, Conn. 18 July 1750, son of Simeon and Anna (Phelps) Dewey. His father died 2 March 1749/50.

    28.  Benoni Dickinson, born Northfield, Mass. 12 Dec. 1747, son of Nathaniel and Martha (Wright) Dickinson. His father was killed by Indians 15 April 1747.

    29.  Benoni Hurst, born Deerfield, Mass. 29 April 1702, son of Thomas and Sarah (---) Hurst. Thomas died 9 Feb. 1701/02.

    30.  Benoni Learned, baptized Chelmsford, Mass. 17th day, 10th month 1657, son of Isaac and Mary (Stearns) Learned. Isaac died the following month.

    31. Benoni Phelps, born Windsor, Conn., son of Joseph and Sarah (Hosford) Phelps; according to estate papers of his father, who died in 1695, Benoni was about ten months old on 5 July 1696. He died in February 1709/10.

    32.  Benoni Poulter, born Billerica, Mass. 18 Sept. 1676, son of John and Rachel (Eliot) Poulter. Benoni’s father died at Medford, Mass. 20 May 1676, and Benoni himself died at Lexington, Mass 12 Nov. 1696. His mother Rachel, daughter of Francis and Mary (Sanders) Eliot and thus a niece of the “Apostle to the Indians” Rev. John Eliot, married secondly John Whitmore of Medford and died there 20 March 1723/24.

    33.  Benoni Preston, born South Hadley, Mass. 1 Oct. 1728, son of John and Mary (Smith) Preston. His father had died 2 March 1727/28.

    34.  Benoni Robbins, born Dedham, Mass., 12 Dec. 1712, son of Aquila and Mehitable (Clark) Robbins. Aquila died 9 Nov. 1712. Benoni’s sister, Mary (Rob-bins) Morse, was mother of Benoni Morse, #70 below.

    35.  Benoni Sackett, born Westfield, Mass. 8 May 1710, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Bissell) Sackett. Samuel died in the latter part of 1709.

    36. Benoni Wright, born Northampton, Mass. 12 Sept. 1675, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Burt) Wright.  His father was killed by Indians about ten days before Benoni’s birth. Benoni’s widow, Rebecca (Barrett) Wright, married Samuel Dickinson (see #88 below).

    Group 3: Children who were illegitimate (or were conceived before their Parents  Married)

    37.  Benoni Clough, born Salisbury, Mass. 23 May 1675, the oldest of 12 children born to John and Mercy (Page) Clough, who were married at Salisbury 13 Nov. 1674.

    38.  Benoni, baptized Fairfield, Conn. 12 Sept. 1725, son of the then-unmarried Catherine, daughter of Moses and Jane/Jannetje (Dircks or Fluyt) Gilbert.  Catherine married John Wakeman, son of John and Martha (Hubbell) Wakeman, in 1730. Benoni was baptized as Benoni Gilbert; he later assumed the surname of his maternal grandmother’s second husband, Capt. Moses Dimon, in whose household he may have been raised.

    39.  Benoni Grover, born near Grafton, Mass. 31 June (sic) 1767, son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Stow) Grover. His parents married 13 June 1767, only 18 days before his birth.

    40.  Benony Jordan, born Ipswich, Mass. 24 Dec. 1657, son of Sarah Jordan of that place, and died 23 Feb. 1657/58. Sarah was then unmarried, daughter of Francis and Jane (Wilson) Jordan of Ipswich.  According to records of the Essex Quarterly Court (vol. 2 [1912], p. 58), she was sentenced 19 Nov. 1657 to be “severely whipped” for unnamed “misdemeanors.”  Sarah later married (ca. 1660) James George of Salisbury and Amesbury, Mass.

    41. Benoni Twitchell, born Medfield, Mass.  ca. 1682, son of the unmarried Abiel Twitchell, daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Riggs) Twitchell.


    Group 4: Children Who Died Soon

    42.  Benoni Barbouir, born Medfield, Mass. 9 Sept. 1684, son of Zachariah and Abiel (Ellis) Barbour. Benoni died 23 Sept. 1684.

    43.  Benonie [sic]Barrett, born Marlborough, Mass. 26 Feb. 1700/01, son of John, Jr. and Deborah (Howe) Barrett. The child died 23 March 1700/01.

    44.  Benoni Boyden, born Medfield, Mass. 24 March 1711/12, son of Jonathan and Rachel (Fisher) Boyden. The child died 16 July 1712.

    45.  Benoni Brick or Breck (a twin), born Sherborn, Mass. 6 Feb. 1770, son of Elijah and Sarah (Hill) Brick (as the name is spelled in this record). The child died the same day.

    46.  Benoni Clark, born Northampton, Mass., 12 March 1692, son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Edwards) Clark. The child “died soon."

    47.  Benona [sic] Daniels (a twin), born Sherbom, Mass. 29 Oct. 1760, son of Timothy and Ruth (Leland) Daniels. The child died the next day.

    48.  Benoni Dodge (a twin), baptized Wenham, Mass. 1 March 1740/41, son of Jonah and Mary (Edwards) Dodge. The child died July 1741.

    49.  Benoni Fales, born Wrentham, Mass. 3 June 1734, son of Daniel and Ann (Freeman) Fales. Benoni died 24 June 1734.

    50.  Benoni Foote, born Hatfield, Mass. 28 June 1713, son of Nathaniel and Mary (Ward) Foote. The child died 2 July 1713.

    51.  Benoni Gerould, born Wrentham, Mass. 19 Nov. 1756, son of Gemeliel and Jerusha (Mann) Gerould. The child died 24 Nov. 1756.

    52.  Benoni Harding, born Medfield, Mass. 25 April 1707, son of Ichabod and Abigail (Barbour) Harding. Benoni died 3 May 1707.

    53.  Bennona [sic] Heaton, born Wrentham, Mass. 14 April 1748, son of Isaac and Rachel (Mann) Heaton. The child died the same day.

    54.  Bennony Hudson, born Marlborough, Mass. 5 June 1726, son of Nathaniel and Jane/Joan (Banister) Hudson. The child died 27 June 1726.

    55.  Benoni King, born Suffield, Conn. 5 December 1685, son of James and Elizabeth (Fuller) King. He died 17June 1686.

    56.  Benoni Phelps, son of Joseph and Sarah (Hosford) Phelps. He was not mentioned in his father’s will (1716) and may have died young. Through their mothers (daughters of John and Phillury (Thrall) Hosford of Windsor, Conn.) this Benoni and #31 above were first cousins.

    57.  Benoni Phelps, born Orford, N.H. 21 June 1775, son of Samuel and Lydia (Morey) Phelps. The child died 22 July 1775.

    58.  Benoni Porter, born Wenham, Mass. 6 March 1753, son of Daniel and Eunice (Cue) Porter. The child died 8 May 1753.

    59.  Benoni Puffer, born Wrentham, Mass. 4 January 1697/98, son of Richard and Ruth (Everett) Puffer. The child died 16 January 1697/98.

    60.  Benoni Robbins, born Sturbridge, Mass. 12 Jan. 1750, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Hemingway) Robbins.. The child died 5 March 1749/50.

    61.  Benoni Shed, born Billerica, Mass. 11 June 1684 son of John and Sarah (Chamberlain) Shed. The child died 26 June 1684.

    62. Benoni Shuttleworth, born Wrentham, Mass. 3 August 1725, son of Benjamin and Sarah (---) Shuttleworth. The child died four days later.

    63.  Benoni Thomson, born Medfield, Mass. 18 Nov. 1708, son of Ebenezer and Susanna (Rockwood) (Hinsdale) Thomson. The child died a week later.

    Group 5: Children Named for an Earlier Benoni

    64.  Benoni Boynton, born Lunenburg, Mass. 1 June 1726, son of Benoni and Ann (Mighill). The elder Benoni was born at Rowley, Mass. 25 February 1681, the second-to-last child of Capt. Joseph and Sarah (Swan) Boynton.

    65.  Benoni Brown born Hartford, Conn. 27 Feb. 1719/20, son of Benoni and Elizabeth (Arnold) Brown. I have no further information on Benoni Sr.

    66.  Benoni Clark, Jr., born Lebanon, Conn. 7 Sept. 1730, son of Benoni and Hannah (Root) Clark. Benoni Sr. was a Group 1 child (see #6 above).

    67.  Benoni Craft, born Hatfield, Mass. 17 Nov. 1725, son of John and Martha (Graves) Craft. He was probably named for his uncle, (see #26 above).

    68.  Benoni Graves, born Hadley, Mass. 10 Feb. 1736, son of Noah and Rebecca (Wright) Graves. He was named for his maternal grandfather Benoni Wright, a Group 2 child (see #36 above).

    69. Benoni Hemenway, born Framingham, Mass. 20 April 1736, son of Joshua Jr. and Abigail (Morse) Hemenway. He seems to have been named for an uncle (#9 above), the half-brother of his father Joshua.

    70.  Benoni Morse, born Walpole, Mass. 16 June 1737, son of Josiah and Mary (Robbins) Morse. Mary, daughter of Aquila and Mehitable (Clark) Robbins, was sister of Benoni Robbins (#34 above). Benoni Morse married Meriam, daughter of Eliphalet and Experience (Guernsey) Ware.

    71.  Benoni Morse, Jr., born Walpole, Mass. 4 Nov. 1762, son of Benoni and Meriam (Ware) Morse, above.

    72.  Benoni Spalding, born Billerica, Mass. 18 Dec. 1760, son of Asa and Anna (Crosby) Spalding. He was named for grandfather Benoni Spalding (#81 below).

    73.  Benoni Sweet, Jr., son of Benoni and Elizabeth (Manchester?) Sweet, born North Kingston, R.I. 28 March 1691/92. Benoni Sr. is #82 below.

    74.  Benoni Twitchell, born Oxford, Mass. 24 March 1745, son of Seth and Dorothy (Bishop) Twitchell. He was named for his paternal grandfather, who was illegitimate (see #41 above).

    75.  Benoni Wight, born Wrentham, Mass. 20 Jan. 1776, son of Nathaniel and Mehitable (Fuller) Wight. He was probably named for his paternal grandfather, #20 above.

    Children Who Do Not Seem to Fit a Pattern

    76.    Benoni Crow, born Hartford, Conn. Jan. 1671, son of Christopher and Mary (Burr) Crow. The fifth of seven children, Benoni lived to the age of thirty-one.


    77. Benoni Fairbanks, born Dedham, Mass. 7 March 1707/08, son of Jonathan and second wife Deborah (Guild) Fairbanks. I did not find their marriage date; Benoni seems to have been Deborah’s first child.

    78.  Benoni King, born Suffield, Conn. 22 Oct. 1774, son of Dan and Thankful (Bronson) King. Thankful died in 1796 and Dan in 1833; Benoni himself lived until 1854.

    79.  Benoni Robbins, born Walpole, Mass. 22 June 1733, son of Ebenezer and Experience (Holmes) Robbins.

    80.  Benoni Sanders, born Dedham, Mass. 31 May 1719, son of Daniel and Sarah (Metcalfe) Sanders.

    81.  Benoni Spalding, born Billerica, Mass. 6 Feb. 1691, son of Andrew and Hannah (Jefts) Spalding. Benoni was the second-to-last of his parents’ children.

    82.  Benoni Sweet, born Warwick, RI. 28 March 1663, son of James and Mary (Greene) Sweet. Benoni was a middle child of nine born between 1655 and 1674, and was later famous as a “bone-setter.” Many later Sweets were named for him and/or carried on his trade; one namesake was his son, #73 above.

    Children Who Need More Research;

    83.  Benoni Adkins, born Hartford, Conn. ca. 1683, last child of Josiah and Jane (Williams) Adkins.

    84. Benoni Bachelder, born Charlton, Mass. 5 Jan. or July 1784, son of Elijah and Elizabeth (Munger) Bachelder. His parents had later children. There is no further mention of him, and he probably died young.

    85.  Benoni Barber, born Hartford, Conn. 14 Aug. 1758, twin son of Moses Barber and his unknown wife. I find no further information on this family.

    86.  Benoni Clark, born Southampton, Mass. 31 Jan. 1774, the oldest child of Jotham and Silence (Torrey) Clark (who were married Southampton 31 Oct. 1772).  One of Jotham’s two children was buried 7 Sept. 1777; was this Benoni, or the younger Sabrine (b. 1775)?

    87.  Benoni Death, born Sherborn, Mass. 28 Oct. 1737, son of Henry and Rachel (Leland) Death. Rachel's death is not given, but her son seems to have survived; a Benoni Death died in neighboring Holliston 3 March 1798, aged 60.

    88.  Benoni Dickinson, born Hatfield, Mass. ca. 1707?, son of Samuel Dickinson and probably his second wife, Rebecca (Barrett) Wright, widow of Benoni Wright (#36 above). Samuel and Rebecca were married 2 Aug. 1706. Benoni was possibly the last child of the first wife, Sarah Billings, but most probably was Rebecca’s first; he could also have been delicate, and/or named for her first husband. E.V. Smith, Descendants of Nathaniel Dickinson (1978) gives Benoni unequivocally to Rebecca; I have not, however, found a record of his birth.

    89.  Benoni Furbush, born Billerica, Mass. 9 July 1713, twin son of Charles Furbush and Hannah (Hoggett) Troll, widow. Twins Benoni and Ichabod had an older brother, Charles, born 30 Jan. 1709.; “wid.” is listed after Hannah’s name here as well.

    90. Benoni Kitteridge, born Billcrica, Mass. 2 May 1677, son of John and Mary (Littlefield) Kitteridge He seems to have been this couple’s last child; there is no death or marriage record for him in Billerica.

    91.  Benoni Lambert, born Ipswich, Mass. 29 Sept 1680, son of Sarah. No father’s name is given, so he was possibly illegitimate. A John Lambert and Sarah Kilson were married 12 July 1687.  A Sarah Lambert and William Stockwell married 14 April 1685.

    92.  Benoni Low, born Ipswich, Mass. 6 Aug. 1732 the oldest of 11 children of Jonathan and Sarah (Perkins) Low. Jonathan and Sarah were published at Ipswich 18 Nov. 1731, and removed in 1763 to Lunenburg, Mass.

    93.  Benoni Moore, born Sudbury, Mass. 14 April 1669, son of Joseph and Lydia (Maynard) Moore who were married ca. 1668-69.  They had other children after 1670; Benoni married 13 Dec. 1698 Mehitable Allis, daughter of Samuel of Hatfield and died Northfield, Mass. 18 Nov. 1753.

    94.  Benoni Morse, born Wrentham, Mass. 23 April 1734, son of Samuel and Sarah (Hill) Morse. His mother died by 1741, his father by 1782.

    95. Benoni Olcott, born Hartford, Conn. 1716. He was the last of five children born to Timothy Olcott and his first wife, whose name is unknown.

    96.  Benoni Salter, born Boston 17 July 1685, son of Charles and Elizabeth (---) Salter.

    97.  Benoni Salter, baptized Marlborough, Mass 7 Dec. 1718, parents unnamed.  Was this a case of illegitimacy or an adult baptism? If the latter, could this Benoni be identical with #96 above?

    98.  Benoni Smith, born Medfield, Mass. 10 Nov. 1749, son of Benoni and Mary (Taylor) Smith. Was he named for his father (#17 above)? Or did he die young?

    99. Benoni Taylor, born Granby or Hadley, Mass in 1761, son of Jacob Taylor and one of his two wives, Elizabeth Lane or Ruth (Rood) White.  He is probably Elizabeth’s last child, but could he be a first or sickly child of Ruth’s?

    100. Benoni Thompson, born Wrentham, Mass 21 December 1718, son of Peter and Abigail (---) Thompson. I have no further data on this family.

    Grace M. Pittman was an academic advisor at Illinois State University.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society