In 1690 Benjamin married Mary Sutton. She was born Scituate 22 January 1665/6, daughter of John and Elizabeth (House/Howes) Sutton of Hingham and Scituate. His brother, Joseph, impregnated Mary Sutton, but he left town instead of marrying her as was custom. Benjamin must have been a very responsible person as he then married Mary Sutton.
On 26 October 1686 Mary Sutton confessed to "committing fornication with Joseph Booth" and was sentenced to pay five pounds or be publicly whipped. I hope her father had the five pounds to pay to spare her the pain and indignity. "Mary Sutton of Sittuate made oath before the Court that Joseph Booth of Sittuate is the only father of the child she late bore in the world."
|Depiction of a whipping post|
Their children were born Scituate (recorded Scituate VRs):
Naomi Booth born 31 July 1691
Rachel Booth born 5 May 1693
Hannah Booth born 1 May 1696
Benjamin Booth born 19 July 1698
John Booth born 16 September 1700
Isaiah Booth born 10 March 1702/03
I descend from Naomi Booth who married Thomas Pierce.
|An old postcard of Scituate Harbor|
A deed dated 26 March 1709 has grantors Benjamin Booth and wife Mary relinquish "all our estate rights" on all property in Scituate or elsewhere to "our brother, John Sutton," previously held by "our brother, Nathan, late of Scituate, deceased..." The evidence in this deed positively identifies Benjamin's first wife as Mary Sutton, born 22 January 1665/6, the daughter of John 2 Sutton (John1) of Hingham and Scituate and his wife, Elizabeth (House). This marriage (dated about 1690) casts doubt on Torrey's reported earlier marriage (ca 1687) of the same Mary Sutton to Benjamin's older brother, Joseph. No evidence has been found supporting that marriage, which would have made the marriage of Benjamin to Mary incestuous. It may have been based on an assumption made from the 1686 Plymouth County court records of the sentencing of these two un-wed people for being parents of an illegitimate child. Joseph Booth left Plymouth County before 1690, settling on land in Kent County, Pennsylvania (now Sussex County, Delaware) and marrying there in 1690.
No evidence has been found of Mary's illegitimate child surviving to adulthood. Joseph was ordered in 1686 to pay child support for seven years. Perhaps the child died young, releasing Joseph of his obligation.
Mary Sutton Booth died sometime after 26 March 1709 (signed quitclaim deed), probably at Middleborough.
Benjamin married, second, about 1719 Hannah Stoughton. She was born Taunton, Mass. on 4 July 1679, the daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Knapp) Stoughton. Although their marriage was not recorded, it is proven through two deeds concerning Benjamin and Hannah Booth and her late father Nicholas Stoughton and her brother Samuel Stoughton who was missing and presumed dead.
Benjamin and Hannah had two known sons: Samuel and Anthony. Their birth records haven’t been found, but they are known to be Hannah’s sons from relationships given in deeds outlined below.
Hannah died between 9 April 1725 (birth of last child) and 26 March 1745 (husband gifted homestead to son), probably at Middleborough.
Benjamin served on several juries. In 1708 as Benjamin Booth, Scituate Husbandman, he brought a case against Mary Bacon, which originally went her way but he won on appeal. Also that year, Thomas Jenkins sued Benjamin Booth, which Benjamin won for an award of more than 13 pounds. In 1720 Benjamin Booth and Isaac Pearce defaulted on a suit against them pertaining to a mortgage of land in Middleborough.
|Map showing locations of Scituate and Middleborough|
John Booth, Benjamin's father, did not leave a will but while living deeded his land to his sons John, Benjamin and Abraham. Benjamin was deeded 25 acres in Conihasset (I believe this is an area in Scituate). He was to pay his sisters 2 pounds 10 shillings each, under the same conditions as his brother John Jr. In 1709, Benjamin (of Scituate) and his siblings received payment of over 7 pounds each from their brother John Booth for land that had been their father's.
Benjamin Booth died at Middleborough between 26 March 1745 (deed of his homestead as a gift to son John) and 9 April 1746 (heirs signed quitclaim deed to settle the estate of their deceased brother Samuel).
The deed states that the several "elder brothers (and sisters) of the half blood and the others of us (who) are in the same line of the half blood," all of Middleborough, gathered on 9 October 1746 and signed a second (quitclaim) deed releasing their inheritance rights in Samuel's estate to their half-brother Anthony. Samuel and Anthony lived in Cornwall, Connecticut.
The signers of the deed were: Benjamin Booth, John Booth, Isaiah Booth, Naomi (Booth) and her husband Thomas Pierce, Nathaniel Staples (husband of Rachel Booth, indicating that Rachel died prior to this date) and Ephraim Reynolds and his wife Else Reynolds. All of these signers were cited above as the known children of Benjamin Booth, with two exceptions: Hannah Booth is absent and the Reynolds couple is present. It seems Hannah died without issue prior to this date. Another possibility is that one of the two Reynolds is an heir of Hannah Booth.
Sources Not Listed Above:
Malcolm A. Young, John 1 Booth of Marshfield and Scituate, Massachusetts: Servant and Planter, NEHGR, Vol 159, July 2005
Malcolm A. Young, The Two Wives of Benjamin Booth of Early Scituate and Middleborough, Massachusetts, The American Genealogist, Vol 74, July 1999
Eugene Stratton, History of Plymouth Colony It's History and People, 1986