Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Isaac Benson 1805-1890 and Amelia Benson 1803-1880, Woodstock, VT, and Plymouth, MA



Isaac Benson was born Woodstock, Vermont on 3 July 1805, the son of Moses Benson and Experience Gibbs. Moses was born in Middleborough, Plymouth Co., Mass. Isaac is my fourth great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

Sometime around 1825, Isaac married his first cousin Amelia Benson. She was born Woodstock 10 May 1803, the daughter of Elisha Benson and Sophia Nye.

Isaac and Amelia moved to the Chiltonville area of Plymouth where they had seven children.
Chiltonville map, ca 1857
1. Josiah Benson born 24 July 1826, m. Aurilla West Nye and lived at Plymouth
2. Elvira A. Benson born 7 Sept 1828, married Winslow Thomas and lived at Plymouth
3. Benjamin H. Benson born about 1831, possibly died young as I don’t see him in     records after the 1850 census.
4. George H. Benson, born about 1833, he may have died young also as I don’t see him in records after the 1850 census. There is another George Benson who married a woman named Caroline and was the son of Seth Benson and Bathsheba Thomas.
5. Timothy Manter Benson, born 12 March 1839, married Rebecca Sears and lived in Carver.
6. Ezra F. Benson, born 10 August 1840, m. Ellen Thomas and lived at Plymouth. He was a train engineer.
7. Isaac Benson born 6 April 1846, married Mary Benson. I haven’t found his death record.

I descend from Josiah who I wrote about here. Josiah, Timothy and Isaac were mariners. Timothy was a master mariner who traveled to the Far East. The Mystic Seaport in Connecticut has an exhibit featuring some of his belongings, including portraits of him, his wife and daughter, and an online database featuring other items like letters and an account of the sinking of one of his vessels.


Isaac was a farmer and stone mason in the Chiltonville area of Plymouth, Mass. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has a painting by Charles Hayden from 1895 that is titled The Turkey Pasture and features Isaac and Amelia’s farm in Plymouth with turkeys roaming free.
Painting that is part of the Museum of Fine Arts collection
1850 Census, Plymouth, Mass.:
Isaac Benson, 45, farmer, RE value $1,000, born Vermont
Amelia, 47, born MA
Josiah 23, seaman
Elvira, 21
Benj'n H. 19, seaman
George H. 17, seaman
Timothy M. 12
Ezra F. 9
Isaac B., 4
Children all born Massachusetts.

1860 Census, Plymouth, MA, Chiltonville post office:

Isaac Benson, 55  M   b. VT  real estate valued $2,000, personal estate $500, farmer
Amelia, 55 (age difficult to read as one number was written over another, from 1870 census should probably be 57), born VT
Timothy M, 22, mariner, born MA
Ezra, 19, mariner, born MA
Isaac J., 14
Alvira H. Benson, 28, female, oper OCH Mills (hard to read initials) (this is their daughter, which is determined by her marriage record).

1865 state census, Plymouth:

Isaac Benson, 59, born VT, farmer
Amelia, 62, born VT
Isaac, 19, born MA, seaman
Ezra, 24, born MA, seaman, married
Ellen F., 20, born MA, married
Timothy M., 27, born MA, seaman, single
Edward Fogg, 36, overseer, widower
Frank Moore, 22, jack spinner
Phoebe M. Smith, 24, born Vermont

1870 Census, Plymouth, MA:
Benson, Isaac, 65, born VT, real estate valued at $2,000, stone mason
Amelia, 67, born VT, keeping house
Same house, family no. 1229
Benson, Ezra, 28, fireman on locomotive, born MA
Helen F., 25, keeping house
Anne A., 4
Mary W., 2

1880 census, Plymouth, MA:
Isaac is living with his son Ezra, with no mention of his wife who died that year:
Isaac Benson, 76, stone mason.

Amelia died at age 76 on 25 Feb 1880 at Plymouth, Mass.

Isaac died at age 85 on 3 November 1890 at Somerville, Middlesex Co., Mass. His death is recorded in Mass Vital records, volume 410, page 447 and page 265, recorded at Plymouth and Somerville.) His death record reads:
3 Nov 1890, Isaac Benson, male, widow, 85, 4 (no column titles shown so not sure what this number means), cause of death apoplectic ___ oral hemorrhage, place of death Somerville Plymo (this doesn't make sense), stone mason, born Woodstock Vermont, parents Elisha and Experience born Vermont. I think stating his father was Elisha is an error as Elisha was his grandfather.

I’ve always been curious to find why Isaac was in Somerville, which is a town close to Boston. It doesn’t help that much of the 1890 census was destroyed as that could shed some light on the situation. Perhaps one of his children was living there.

I would guess that Isaac and Amelia are buried at Chiltonville Cemetery without surviving headstones.

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