Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. 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 male 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, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mary Pontus ca 1622-1689/90 married first James Glass and second Philip Delano of Plymouth and Duxbury, Mass.

Mary Pontus was born about 1622 in Leiden, Holland, the daughter of William and Wybra (Hanson) Pontus. William and Wybra were members of the Separatists who left England for Holland and eventually came to settle Plymouth and became known as the Pilgrims. I wrote about them here. Mary is assumed to be the child mentioned in an October 1622  Leiden tax record. Mary is my 9th great-grandmother on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

Mary married James Glass on 31 October 1645 at Plymouth. James was born about 1620, probably at Taunton, Somerset, England. His baptism is not recorded there but it is believed he was the son of James and Mary (Cogan) Glass.
It appears that James came to New England as a servant to his Uncle Henry Cogan in 1637. On 13 February 1639/40 Henry Cogan transferred the five year contract of his servant and nephew James Glass to Manasseh Kempton. (PCR 1:139) James Glass was on the 1643 Plymouth list of men able to bear arms.

James and Mary had four daughters:

1. Hannah born 2 June 1647, died 1648
2. Wybra born 9 Aug 1649, m. Joseph Bumpus
3. Hannah born 24 Dec 1651, Plymouth, m. Isaac Billington before1675 and died between 1704-09. Isaac's grandfather, John Billington was a Mayflower passenger.
4. Mary born after 3 Sept 1652 (after the death of her father), married Samuel Hunt.

I descend from their daughter Hannah.

James died at sea in a storm near Plymouth Harbor on 3 September 1652. His father-in-law William Pontus named him executor of his estate in his 1650 will, but it is unlikely her served as the inventory was filed 20 February 1652/3 after James died at sea. Mary was the eldest daughter of William Pontus and received his homestead and land at Plymouth.
 The inventory of the estate of James Glasse was taken 20 February 1652 (I think this should this be 1652/53) and exhibited to the court on 4 March 1652(/3?) on the oath of Mary Glasse widow. In includes two cows, a steer, a sow, various furniture and household items, a fowling piece, a beer barrel, tools, linens, clothing, and books. He was owed over five pounds from John Barnes and owned a parcel of land he bought from Samuel Dunham worth five pounds. The inventory totaled over 32 pounds. The inventory was taken by John Donham Senior and Ephraim Morton.

What a trying year Mary had. Her father passed away and then her young husband died unexpectedly at sea, leaving her with two young daughters and expecting a third. Her mother had already died, so I wonder who it was she leaned on. Her sister Hannah lived nearby but she had her own very large brood to keep her occupied.

About five years later Mary married, second, Philip Delano in 1657, a man her senior by about 19 years. His last name is also seen as De La Noye. He was born about 1603, possibly at Leiden to French Walloon parents, and came on the Fortune in 1621, and was a prominent citizen. He married, first, Hester Dewsbury in 1634. He died in 1681 at age 79.

"Phillp Delano Senr aged 74 years or there about Testifieth & Sayth . Before he marryed mary Glass ye Relict of James Glass Deceased That she ye sd mary gave all her Lands unto her three children mary wybery & Hannah equally alike
Phillip delano Senr & mary his wife Came this: 3: 1: 76/77 & took oath to this above written Before me John Alden Assist" [From Plymouth Colony Deeds, VI: 93.]

Mary may have had children with Philip, but it is unclear which children he had by each wife. 

Mary died at Plymouth on 3 February 1689/90.

Sources Not Listed Above:

Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, Its People and History, 1986

GE McCracken, Early Cogans English and American, NEHGR, volume 111, 1957

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 and was a fisherman
2. Elvira A. Benson born 7 Sept 1828, married Winslow Thomas and lived at Plymouth
3. Benjamin H. Benson born 10 May 1829, married Sophronia Thomas and lived at Bristol, Rhode Island
4. George H. Benson, born about 1833. Edit 8/8/21: I thought George died young as he disappears from MA records, but his third great grandson informed he moved to Buffalo, Erie, New York and then the northern neck of Virginia where he married Elizabeth Wilson; surprisingly he served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War
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
7. Isaac Benson born 6 April 1846, married Mary Benson; died at sea 25 Oct 1897 south of Cape Hatteras while a rescue attempt was being made of the crew of the sinking ship "Stacy Clarke" of which he was the captain

I descend from Josiah whom I wrote about here.  Josiah, Timothy and Isaac were career mariners and Benjamin and Ezra were also before turning to other careers. 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) (that this is their daughter 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 [perhaps the latter is indicating his usual residence], stone mason, born Woodstock Vermont, parents Elisha and Experience born Vermont. I think stating his father as Elisha is an error as Elisha was his grandfather.

I’ve been curious to find why Isaac was in Somerville, which is a town close to Boston, and discovered he was most likely living with his son Ezra's family there. They are living in Somerville in the 1900 census and their daughter Ellen died there in 1898. 

Isaac and Amelia Benson are buried at Vine Hills Cemetery, Plymouth. The front of the stone has information on their son Ezra and his family.

Addition Oct. 2023:

His father Moses Benson’s will is dated 1 June 1821; resident of Woodstock Vermont. He was unwell when he wrote the will at age 46 and died eight months later. He names wife Experience, sons Hosea, Isaac, Ebenezer and Samuel; daughters Susannah and Lydia. His friend and executor Robert Cone was made legal guardian to Hosea, Isaac, Susannah and Lydia who were all minors. He left his farm valued at $775 to Hosea and Isaac and they were to eventually pay other siblings $25 each. If they didn’t agree to this, the farm would go to another sibling in a specific order with them paying the others $25. The inventory includes Woodstock land of 82.5 acres with buildings thereon, livestock, farm implements, household items including a tea set, maple sap, barrels of cider. His estate was considered insolvent and the list of claims against the estate came to $121. The Vermont Gazetteer mentions that his son Hosea did take over his farm, so good to know that wasn’t lost in the settling of his debt. Perhaps Hosea either bought out Isaac’s half of the farm or Isaac just walked away to relocate to Plymouth. Source: Vermont Probate Records, Vol 6-7, p 341-34 1816-1825, Hartford District, from Ancestry’s “Vermont Wills and Probate Records 1749-1999”