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Elwyn Ellsworth Benedict

Elwyn Benedict is the author of the editions Genealogy of the Benedicts in America Volumes I (revised) and Volume II. Residing in the East Syracuse, NY area, he devoted most of his adult life compiling the lineage of the Benedicts.

Family reference: 343.241.211

Born Born 25 March 1930 East Syracuse, New York State1
Married Married 24 Jan 1953 Esther Winefred Wemes1
Died Died 12 Oct 2010 Kirkville, New York

Photo Album - Family album of photos and documents.



  1. Darrell Arnold Benedict; living
  2. Gilbert Alexander Benedict; living

Interviews with Elwyn

Elwyn and Esther Benedict were interviewed in May of 2007 by Jim Benedict. Here is part of the transcript.

Elwyn - 2007 Jim: So how did it all start? How did it really start?

Esther: Well we got married in 1953, but you started talking about your father [in 1952]. You said, “I wished I had asked more questions.” He finally found out that Henry Benedict that wrote Volume I sent out forms to all the Benedicts that he knew, from all around Connecticut and all over.

interview Elwyn: I was only 19 at the time. My father had told me a lot of stuff verbally. Once in a while I would ask him more and more. I hadn’t put it down on a piece of paper or anything, just all in my head. So one day I said I’m going to find out what’s going on here. So I knew my great-grandfather was Alexander Benedict and I knew there was one book around, so I went down to the library. She [the librarian] helped me find where Alexander was. There was about 7 or 8 of them in the book. So that wasn’t too bad. I think we got to the seventh of them before we decided we had the right one [chuckles]. We would go on vacations a lot. And as the kids got bigger and bigger…

Elwyn: Well I guess I made eight or ten different trips to the library. So I’d go up and write some stuff. Finally got a Xerox machine up there. So I would sit there and write it. So I wrote and sent stuff off, and sent off forms to all over the States and Canada and everywhere else.

Jim: How many did you send out?

Elwyn: Oh good night! it must have been, I don’t know, sometimes I sent out 30 or 40 out in a day.

Jim: ..The postage alone….

Darrell and Esther Esther: We didn’t pay any attention to the postage, did we?

interview Darrell: When I was little he used to work at Carrier Corporation- Air Conditioning. Every year he’d get a longer vacation, so we used to go out on trips to different states every year; we’ve been to just about every state of the Union. He used to go to every telephone book he could and copy down all Benedict names. We used to visit Benedicts in different states. He couldn’t go by a cemetery, so we got out of the car and tromped through every cemetery, trying to find a dead Benedict’s gravestone [laughter]. He wrote all that information down, all the gravestones and stuff.

Jim: Now Darrel, I’m 61; how old are you? “I’m 53.” And so this has been all of your life.

Darrell: Yeah, just about.

Esther: I took care of the two boys while he and his mother did the book. She wrote it in longhand.

Jim: Now tell me about Henry Benedict, and the first book. Do you know much information about that? That was published in 1870, I believe.

Esther: I don’t think he’s got much of a lineage in there, has he? Henry didn’t have any children.

Jim: Oh, so he had to finish the book quickly because he had no sons or daughters to turn it over to.

Esther: We’ve been to Southhold, Long Island to see the old Thomas household. It’s still standing. We stopped right in front of the house and I wanted to walk out by the creek, because you have to have water when you run a mill. The woman came out of the house and ordered me off the property. I was very hurt (chuckle).

Jim: What really inspired you to go as far as a book. I mean, what a commitment!

Elwyn: Well, there was only one book available that you could look at. I figured someone should start getting all these Benedicts together so we all know each other and what’s going on. It’s amazing how many people never even thought about it, to look up their ancestry.

Esther: She [Elwyn’s mother] died in ’64, in February. We got some information after that, and then I copied it in longhand. All those ones you said start typing, so did.

Elwyn - 2007 Elwin: Do you remember when my mother was still alive that I used to work on that with her every night…

Esther: Yup, until one in the morning, and then they’d have a little snack and then he’d come to bed, then he didn’t want to get up and go to work the next morning! That was in the winter. In the summer we raised vegetables and peddled vegetables over in East Syracuse. Raspberries and strawberries and sweet corn and tomatoes. We went peddling every night so we had a busy time of it. In the summer we were busy and in the winter we were busy.

Jim: Working on the book was incredibly difficult, because if you had to insert something, how did you do it? Retype?

Esther: Once I started typing, I don’t think we added anything, do you?

Elwyn: We’d buy a roll of this tape, you know… (Jim: “correcting tape?”) Yes, we’d cut it out, cut it out.

Esther: Yes, if I made a mistake I had to cut it out with a sharp; it’s like a rubber sucker.

Elwyn: If we had a mistake going, like a one-word or a two-word mistake, you keep going until you had three or four sheets all whacked out, then you’ve got to type it all over again.

Esther: Those sheets were long, they were 64 lines.

- From an interview of Elwyn and Esther Benedict and their sons at their residence in Kirkville, NY on April 22, 2007 by Jim Benedict.

The Parents of Elwyn

Elwyn’s Early Years

Elwyn and Esther

The Final Years for Elwyn

Elwyn suffered from Parkinson's Disease in his last nine years, also with loss of memory towards the end.

Obituary: Elwyn Ellsworth Benedict October 12, 2010

Elwyn Ellsworth Benedict, 80, of Kirkville, son of Oscar and Clara (Cramer) Benedict was born March 25, 1930 passed away Tuesday at home.

He lived on Benedict Rd. in East Syracuse before moving to Kirkville in 1973. He was employed at Carrier Corp. as a facilities planner for 33 years. Elwyn's hobbies were photography, raising horses and writing a book of genealogy which was published in 1969 titled, The Benedicts in America, he was collecting since 1969 more data for another book. He and his wife, Esther, developed "The Benedict Manor Drive" housing development project off of Peck and Adams Roads.

Elwyn is survived by his wife, Esther Wemes Benedict; sons, Gilbert A. Benedict and Darrell A. (Elizabeth) Benedict; two grandchildren, Erica and Ryan; two stepgrandchildren, Ronald and Rolly Mabited all from Kirkville; several cousins and in-laws.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Delaney Greabell Adydan Funeral Home, 241 Kinne St., East Syracuse. Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Collamer Cemetery.

Published in Syracuse Post Standard on October 14, 2010



  1. "Genealogy of the Benedicts in America", Vol. II by Elwyn E. Benedict; 1st pub. 1969; orig. avail. at Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC.

-- JimBenedict - 03 May 2008
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I Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
Elwyn-01.jpg manage 20.7 K 03 May 2008 - 21:16 JimBenedict Elwyn and Esther
Elwyn-02.jpg manage 22.6 K 03 May 2008 - 21:17 JimBenedict Elwyn - 2007
Elwyn-03.jpg manage 20.6 K 03 May 2008 - 22:26 JimBenedict Elwyn - 2007
Elwyn-04.jpg manage 22.0 K 03 May 2008 - 21:18 JimBenedict Correspondence
speaker50x50.jpg manage 2.2 K 03 May 2008 - 22:12 JimBenedict interview
DarrellEsther.jpg manage 19.9 K 03 May 2008 - 22:40 JimBenedict Darrell and Esther
Elwyn-01.wav manage 1936.4 K 10 May 2008 - 05:09 JimBenedict  
Elwyn-02.wav manage 2053.3 K 10 May 2008 - 05:45 JimBenedict  

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