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 21, 2024

John Benson born about 1635 in Caversham, Oxford; died Rochester, Massachusetts 1712

John Benson was born in England about 1635. He was less than four years old when he migrated to Plymouth Colony in 1638 on the Confidence, which left Southampton in April, with his parents, John and Mary, and sister Mary. The passenger list spells the name Binson from “Consham” in Oxfordshire. Fred Benson wrote that Consham is an error deciphering old handwriting and should be Caversham. In 1911 the village, which is located on the River Thames, was transferred to Berkshire and became part of the borough of Reading. The family first lived at Hingham and removed to Hull by 1657. John Benson is my 9th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

About 1664 John married, likely in Hull, a woman whose name is unknown. They lived at Hull until about 1680 when John sold the land to his brother Joseph and removed to Rochester where he purchased land from original grantee John Dunham. On 16 January 1698/99 he was assigned a lot in the right of the “share he bought of John Dunham.” (Proprietors’ Records 1:33)  

The Rochester grant included present towns of Mattapoisett, Westport, Rochester, Marion, and Wareham and was granted to 33 people in 1679 who were from towns including Sandwich, Scituate, Plymouth, Hull, and Hingham. 

Grace Hildy Croft and Ethel Farrington Smith wrote (see Sources below) that John married Elizabeth Marsh from Salem. I spent time research Elizabeth’s interesting ancestry and found a lack of evidence for that claim. Robert Charles Anderson in The Great Migration Begins states John Benson’s identity as Elizabeth Marsh is unsubstantiated. 

The Benson’s seven children were born at Hull.  Although their births are not recorded, they are identified through various land transfers. My research on the children is a definite work in progress:

John born about 1665 in Hull, Massachusetts; married Elizabeth Briggs

Joseph born about 1667 in Hull; married Charity Clapp, Deborah Smith, and Lydia ——- 

Isaac born about 1669 in Hull; m. Mary Bumpus

Jacob born about 1671 in Hull; m. Experience Bryant 

Hannah born about 1672 in Hull; m. John Hunt

Benjamin born about 1675 in Hull; m. Elizabeth Bryant

William born about 1680 in Hull; m. Elizabeth Stetson

I descend from John. 

John Benson took the oath of allegiance at Hull and was made a freeman in Plymouth County in 1682.

He received a considerable amount of land from his father John Benson, whose will was written 16 April 1678 and proved 1 March 1679. He and his brother Joseph received land, the house lot, orchard and barns. He also was to receive a double portion of the meadows after his mother Mary/Marah’s death. John and Joseph were both to pay five pounds to each of their sisters Combs and Hall and to the children of their sister Shore, deceased. 

An entry in Rochester records reads “Feb 16, 1680, Pd. Goodman Benson for attending Court.”This likely refers to town business he performed at Plymouth Court, and shows he was a resident of Rochester from the very first and that he was a respected citizen.

John Benson Jr is mentioned on page three in the first volume of Rochester records (1680) and frequently thereafter in land transfers. On 7 September 1700 he transferred part of his Rochester lands. In 1708 and on 4 Jan 1709/10 he conveyed lands in Rochester to his son John and is called John Benson Sen of Middleborough. This was probably the residue of his estate and indicates that his homestead lands were in that part of Rochester which was set off to Middleborough in the adjusting of the town boundaries.

John Benson and John Randall were partners in a wood lot which they divided in the winter of 1694/5 (Proprietors’ Records 2:5-7). 

John Benson died 10 March 1711/12 at Rochester (Rochester Vital Records, p 348). He was about 77 years old. Since the area of Rochester where he lived became Middleborough, Perhaps he was buried at Nemasket Hill Cemetery but no stone for him survives. He did not leave a will; he likely divided all his lands before his death but not all of the gifted land deeds were recorded. 

Sources Not Mentioned Above:

William Richard Cutter editor, New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, 1914

Charles Edward Banks, The Planters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1620-1640,1930, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Reprint c. 2006

Ethel Farrington Smith, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, “17th Century Hull, Massachusetts and Her People,” July 1988

Grace Hildy Croft, The Benson family; descendants of Isaac Benson and Mary Bumpas, and allied families: Archer, Bumpas, Howard, Knapp, Lewis, Luce, Meech, Milks, Potter, Reynolds, Waite, Whipple, Williams, et al, 1973

Andrew H. Ward, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, ”First Settlers at Hingham." 2:251 (1848)

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, 2005

Fred A Benson, Benson Family Records, 1920

Samuel Gardner Drake, Founders of New England, p 39 lists passengers of the ship Confidence of London

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Samuel Samson / Sampson (ca 1670-1744) of Duxbury and Middleborough, Mass. and His Wife Hazadiah Eddy

Samuel Samson/Sampson was born Duxbury, Plymouth Colony, about 1670, the son of Samuel and Esther (Delano) Sampson.

Samuel married Hazadiah Eddy at Duxbury on 29 May 1695 (Mayflower Descendant 26:37). Hazadiah was born Plymouth 10 April 1672, the daughter of Obadiah and Bennett (Ellis) Eddy (Mayflower Descendant 18:70). Her name is spelled in a variety of ways in records, including Assadiah in her marriage record. Samuel and Hazadiah are my 9th great grandparents on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family. They are descendants of important early settlers of Plymouth Colony: Philip Delano, Abraham Samson, Samuel Eddy, Edmond Freeman, John Ellis, and Samuel Nash. 

Samuel settled in Middleborough in Plymouth Colony where he was a member of the First Church. In March 1717 he was one of the original 50 purchasers of the First Parish Burying Ground, now called Cemetery at the Green. 

Hazadiah and Samuel’s children, order uncertain, all mentioned in their father’s will:

Mary born about 1700

Esther born about 1706, m. Abraham Borden, removed to Connecticut 

Obadiah, born Middleborough 29 Jan 1709/10, m. Mary Soule 

Gershom m. Bethiah Clark 

Ichabod m. Mercy Savory 


I descend from Mary. I wrote about her here. Her husband Benjamin Fuller was a descendant of Mayflower passengers Samuel Fuller, Francis Eaton (and his wife Sarah and son Samuel), John Billington (and his wife Elinor and son Francis). 

Obadiah and his brother Ichabod received all of their great-grandfather Lt. Samuel Nash's housing in his 2 June 1681 will (The American Genealogist, vol 15).

Samuel Samson of Duxburough deeded land for 24 pounds to Joseph Waterman of Marshfield: half part of meadow and marsh ground totaling 16 acres that formerly belonged to Lt Samuel Nash of Duxburough, given to Samuel and his brother Ichabod in equal halves. Samuel signed with his mark. (The Mayflower Descendant, “Plymouth County Record of Deeds,” vol 54, p 77-78, 2005)

A deed from Joseph Waterman of Marshfield acknowledged mortgage of 22 pounds paid by Samuel Samson of Duxborough on 16 March 1701/02.  (Mayflower Descendant 54:78)

Common Pleas Court, December 1718, Robert Gates by atty Josiah Bumpus (Plainfield) v Samuel Samson. Debt, on bond for 25 funds. Default by deft. Bond chanced. Judgment for 13 pounds and 3 pounds 4 shillings 4 s, 6 d costs. (Plymouth Court Records 5: 57)

In March 1736/7, Samuel Samson of Middleborough served on a grand jury; uncertain if it is Samuel Senior or Junior (Plymouth Colony Court records vol 2; 130-31). 

Hazadiah Samson is mentioned in her father Obadiah Eddy's 18 May 1722 will (Plymouth County Probate no. 7086) giving her and her four siblings full part and portion “which I intend them of my estate.” There is an insert mark next to Hazadiah’s name with the word “deceased” added. Obadiah wrote a codicil to his will on the 17th day of December 1726, naming his son Samuel Eddy sole executor of the estate as previously named executor Jacob Tomson had died.  Some researchers use this date to indicate the latest day that Hazadiah died, although her death is not mentioned in the codicil.

Torrey gives Samuel a second wife named Mercy. Vinton and Cutter give his only wife as Mercy, daughter of Obadiah Eddy (see Sources below). It seems probable he married again as Hassadiah died in her early 50s. Samuel does not mention a wife in his 1744 will, although on the same page of the Middleborough vital records where Samuel’s death is written is this entry: Mercy Samson wife to Samuel Samson deceased February the 15th 1742/3 in the 77th year of her age. 

Samuel wrote his will 31 August 1744 and it was proved 20 September1744. He mentions sons Obadiah, Gershom, Samuel, and Ichabod; daughters Esther Burden and Mary Fuller; and Ruth daughter of his son Obadiah (Plymouth Probate 9:338).

Samuel Sampson died Middleborough on 10 September 1744 (Middleborough Vital Records, 1:76). He was 74 years old. He is likely buried at the Cemetery at the Green without a surviving headstone. 

Sources Not Mentioned Above:

Stacy B.C. Wood Jr, “Descendants of Abraham Sampson ca 1614-aft 1685,” unpublished ms 2008

John Adams Vinton, The Sampson Family, 1864, p 11-12

Thomas Weston, History of Middleborough, 1906, p 651

Torrey's New England Marriages

Clarence A. Torrey, The American Genealogist, “A Nash-Sampson-Delano-Howland Problem,” vol 15 (1938)

The American Genealogist, “The Early Sampsons,” section on The Abraham Sampson Family, vol 28 (1952)

William Richard Cutter, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 3