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James Benedict

Family reference: 286

Born Born 19 Feb 1719/20 Ridgefield, Connecticut
Married Married 1st 8 May 1740 Mary Blackman
2nd   Jemima ???
3rd   widow Sarah Bross
Died Died 9 Sept 1792 Warwick, Orange Co., New York
Buried Old Baptist Burying Grounds, Warwick

Parents:

Children:

  1. Mary Benedict; b. 1741
  2. Sarah Benedict; b. 1743
  3. James Benedict; b. 1745; d. 1822
  4. John Benedict; b. 1747
  5. Jemima Benedict; b. 1749
  6. Martha Benedict; b. 1751
  7. Phoebe Benedict; b. 1753
  8. William Benedict; b. 1755
  9. Anna Benedict; b. 1757
  10. Joseph Benedict; b. 1760; d. 1847

The Parents of James

James and Mary Blackman

James became a member of the Baptist church, Stamford, Connecticut and was licensed by that church to preach the Gospel. Having received a call to become pastor of the church at the new settlement of Warwick, Orange Co., New York, he removed to that place, and was ordained November 17, 1766.

Some time during the troubles of the war of the Revolution, he removed to Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and was, with his family, among the sufferers from the fearful massacre of the inhabitants of that place by the tories and Indians under the notorious Brandt. His influence and character as a preacher with the Indians, protected himself and family from personal injury at their hands, but his property was mostly lost or destroyed. After suffering great hardships he returned to the town of Warwick in the year 1777, where he resided until his death, Sept. 9, 17921.

The Family of Mary Blackman

Mary Blackman was from Green (Green's) Farms, Westport, Fairfield County, Connecticut. Greens Farms is a neighborhood or section in the town of Westport, in Fairfield County. Mary was the dau of John Blackman Sr b ca 1677 Stratford, CT, d ca 1732 Fairfield, Fairfield County, CT and Jemima Hurlbut bap 1680 Woodbury, Litchfield County, CT. Jemima d 4Feb1757 Westport, Fairfield County, CT.

Mary was of the 5th generation, 2nd great grandaughter descending from immigrants Rev Adam Blackman and Jane Wheeler, both of England. The Puritan Reverend Adam Blakeman, or Blackman, is usually given credit for leading his congregation out of England, to America and to found the town of Stratford, Connecticut. When the group of seventeen families arrived at the location chosen for their new town, they found a small clearing along the Pootatuck River where in flows into the Atlantic Ocean. They were surrounded by dense forest which contained wild animals and savage Indians. Despite the hardships the group persevered and prospered. Additional settlers joined the group and the town grew. The beloved Reverend was the only minister in town until near his retirement after forty years of service. Of his seven children, two sons were ministers and one daughter married a minister.

James and Jemima

Nothing is known at this time of the marriage with Jemima.

Per Larue Olsen, Rootsweb 27Jul2003 http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/BENEDICT/2003-07/1059347439 James Benedict married 1st *Mary Blackman 8 May 1740 Ridgefield, marr 2nd Jemima (Joana Bross)about 1750. She was a widow when she married James Benedict.

James and the widow Sarah Bross

His wife died some time previously, and he had married for the third time the widow Bross, who survived him, but of this third marriage there was no issue1.

Per Newberry family in New York and Historical Records: James married Mary Blackman in 1740. Mary died early in life. He had two other wives, Jemima (no surname known) and Sarah Bross, widow of Peter Bross - a parishioner. Sarah was supposedly a resident of the Ramapo Valley. Warwick town historian, Florence Tate was instrumental in finding a full name for Sarah in June of 2000.

Jamesí Early Years

The Final Years for James

His remains, and those of his first wife, rest in the old Baptist burying-ground near the village of Warwick, but no monument marks their graves. Their descendants form a numerous and highly respected portion of the citizens of Orange county.

The memory of the "old Elder," as he is familiarly spoken of, is held in great esteem and veneration by the community at large, as well as by the church of which he was pastor. The following is an extract from its records: "Those who knew him, and yet survive, hold his memory in great respect, and say that it is blessed1."

Footnotes

Information on Rev Adam Blakeman (pronounced Blackman) per Stratford Historical Society

Per Norwalk, Fairfield County, Conn Historical Records, James was b 1718 in Ridgefield, Fairfield County, CT

Per Bradner Family Research: Benedict, James, Rev b 19Feb1719, Ridgefield, Fairfield County, CT., d 9Sep1792, Warwich, Orange County, NY. m Mary Blackman 8May1740 in CT. d bef 1792, Warwick, Orange County, NY, buried in Warwick

The Children of James and Mary

All the children were born at Ridgefield, Connecticut.
  • Mary; b. March 31, 1741; m. James Grey.
  • Sarah; b. Feb. 6, 1743; m. Gideon Smith.
  • James; b. May 8, 1745; d. Nov. 9, 1822.
  • John; b. April 24, 1747.
  • Jemima; b. July 25, 1749; m. John Newberry; res. Warwick.
  • Martha; b. June 16, 1751; m. John Hampton; res. Scipio, N.Y.
  • Phoebe; b. Aug. 14, 1753; m. Abram Dolson.
  • William; b. July 14, 1755.
  • Anna; b. July 25, 1757; m. Samuel D. Bradner
  • Joseph; b. May 11, 1760; d. Jan 20, 1847.

The Wyoming Valley Massacre

- obtained from Albert Wisner Public Library book on Elder James Benedict.

The first settlers in Warwick, New York, were from New York City, having come into the valley with Benjamin Aske, a New York merchant whose share of the great Wawayanda Patent covered this part of Orange County. Aske was an Englishman, presumably from Warwickshire, as he gave the name "Warwick" to his tract of land. When he sold any of this land he invariably stated that it was from his "farm called Warwick."

The men who came with Aske were soon followed by many Connecticut families who sought new homes on the Wawayanda, or Warwick Creek, at the time that others from that State, many of them friends and relatives, were locating on the Susquehanna River in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania Ė in Connecticutís Western Reserve.

In 1764 these New Englanders, in Warwick, missed their Church association so much and longed for the preaching they had been accustomed to in their old homes so strongly, that they accordingly took action on the matter as their old records show. I quote from the minutes of their meetings just as they were set down with a quill pen in 1764.

"Be it Recorded that the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty four The Lord of his infinite mercy and grace Having Begun and Carying on a gloryous work of Souls Being awakened and converted to Jesus Christ as we trust and being Destitute of those ministerant Help and ordanances that our Souls now thursted after and Being personally aquainted many of us with James Benedict who was a member of ye Baptist Church of Christ at Stratfield Connecticut under the pastorial Care of Mr. John Share-wood and said Benedict Being Licensed by that Church and other minesters to work of the preaching the gospel a number of us joyntly agreeing together Drew up a letter and sent to Said Benedict to come over and help us which accordingly he did about ye middel of November 1764 and preached about two weeks to our joy and Satisfaction and then returned home again. fome time in December 1764 Mr. Dakin a Regular minister of ye Baptis ordor Came over and preached with us and Baptised three persons.

March 1765 - Some time in march 1764 we again sent a mesengar over to said Benedict to come to our help who acordingly Came and brought a church Covanant with him which when we had heard gave feloship to it it being agreable to our prinsables and sentaments those of us that were Baptifed entered into a sollom injagment to be the Lords and gave ourselves to the Lord and to one another by the will of god and signed the Covanant. Then we Drew up a Leater of Request to the Church at Stratfield to give said Benedict to us and sent a mensenger with said Leater before said Church who gave felowship to our Request and after Due confideration frealy and chearfully gave up said Brother to us and our Watch and Care and sent a Leater of Recommdation to us which we gave fellowfhip to and Brother Benedict gave himself up to us and signed the Covenant.

James Benedict was ordained November 7, 1765 and installed as Elder and pastor of the Baptist Church of Warwick. He thus became the first minister and this Church the first church in the Valley. For eleven years Elder Benedict was the pastor of this flourishing church in the wilderness. During the Revolutionary war his log meeting house stood in a grove of oak trees to the Eastward of the village.

Here the men of Col. Dearbornís New England Regiment camped on its march from Fish-Kill ferry to Easton, Pa., to join Sullivanís Expedition against the Indians. Meanwhile a number of the Elderís Church members had removed to Westmoreland, attracted by the accounts of that wonderful region.

In 1776 they besought him to follow them to that place and establish a Church, which he accordingly did. There were Benedicts there before his arrival and Blackmans also, probably near-relations. The Elder's wife was Mary Blackman of Green Farms, Conn.

At a Church meating at Worwick Agust 21 : 1777 after prayer to god for his Direction Decon Silsby was Chosen modarater then proceded to Bissnes and in Confederation of a Vote passed in the Church March the Eighth for the removel of the Church to Westmoreland Some of the members Looking on Some tempral Deficatyes war Discureged and thought best to Stop and not go which put the Elder under Grate Defikalty as to his termeral Intrast the Church Confedraing Same Voted that the Church Should Stop removing Wilst next Spreing and the Elder to perfed to the advanteg of his tempral Intrust.

Warrack September the Third Day 1778 at our place of publeck Worshep the Church being met together according to appointment to Conseder of Some votes that had bin passed in the church before Consarning the Church removeing to Westmorland where the Elder according to the foremenched votes had bin and being drove of by a Saveg Enemey and the whole Countrey laid in Dissolation which rendered it Imposable for the church to remove at Presant the Elder being returnd he was received by the Church again as a Pasteur and an Eelder and he suffering Loss by the Enemey as to temprals voted in the Church to help to Supply that want by Contrebution.

The last passage transcribed by Mrs. Van Duzer from the original record relates the terrible tragedy at Wyoming, Pennsylvania in 1778 called the Wyoming Massacre. The settlers of Westmoreland were ambushed and murdered by the English and a group of Indian warriors. In many accounts Joseph Brant who was a Christianized Iroquois chief was held responsible for the atrocity that took place that fateful day. These same accounts credit Brant with having given Elder James Benedict and his family safe passage away from the carnage. However, many professional historians have deduced from other written records that Brant had nothing to do with the Wyoming Massacre and was not in the area at the time. The Indians were reacting to the intrusion upon their lands, partnering with the English who were trying to maintain control of the American continent for the Crown during the American Revolution.

After the Elder Benedict had escaped with his family and some of his neighbors after the battle, he returned to Warwick and never went back to Westmoreland except to visit. He must often have thought longingly of the place where he had planned to make a home not only for himself, but for his Church and people.

History of Warwick Valley

Per Richard Hull's History of Warwick, NY. People of the Warwick Valley Elder James Benedict-The Pioneer Preacher of the Warwick and Wyoming Valleys

MRS. ELIZABETH C. VAN DUZER (Mrs. G. M. Van Duzer) Warwick, New York (Reprinted from Volume XVIII, Proceedings of the Society.) Copied from the original records of the Baptist Church in Warwick, N.Y. Wilkes-Barre, PA 1923. Transcribed for the Internet and Warwick Historical Society - abstracted

In 1764 New Englanders, in Warwick, missed their Church association so much and longed for the preaching they had been accustomed to in their old homes so strongly, that they accordingly took action on the matter as their old records show. I quote from the minutes of their meetings just as they were set down with a quill pen in 1764.

Be it Recorded that the year of our Lord oneTthousand feaven hundred and sixty four The Lord of his infinite mecy and grace Having Begun and Carying on a gloryous work of Souls Being awakened and convered to Jesuf Chrift as we truft and being Deftitute of thofe minifterant Helpt and ordanances that our Souls now thurfted after and Being perfonally aquainted many of us with James Benedict who was a member of ye Baptis Church of Chrift at Stratfield Connecticut under the paftorial Care of Mr. John Share-wood and said Benedict Being Lifenced by that Church and other minefters to work of the preaching the gofpel a numbar of us joyntly agreaing togather Drew up a leter and fent to Said Benedict to come over and help us which acordingly he did about ye middel of November 1764 and preached about two weeks to our joy and Satisfaction and then returned home again. fome time in Decembar 1764 Mr. Dakin a Regular minsefter of ye Baptis ordor Came over and preached with us and Baptifed tree perfons. March 1765 - Some time in march 1764 we again fent a mefengar over to said Benedict to come to our help who acordingly Came and brought a church Covanant with him which when we had heard gave felofhip to it it being agreable to our prinfables and fentaments thofe of us that were Baptifed entered into a follom injagment to be the Lords and gave ourfelves to the Lord and to one another by the will of god and figned the Covanant Then we Drew up a Leater of Requeft to the Church at Stratfield to give up a Leater of Requeft to the Church at Stratfield to give said Benedict to us and fent a menfenger with said Leater who Laid said Leater before said Church who gave felowfship to our Requeft and after Due confideration frealy and chearfully gave up said Brother to us and our Watch and Care and fent a Leater of Recommdation to us which we gave fellowfhip to and Brother Benedict gave himfelf up to us and figned the Covenant.

James Benedict was ordained November 7, 1765 and installed as Elder and pastor of the Baptist Church of Warwick. He thus became the first minister and this Church the first church in the Valley. For eleven years Elder Benedict was the pastor of this flourishing church in the wilderness.

n 1776 they besought him to follow them to that place and establish a Church, which he accordingly did. There were Benedicts there before his arrival and Blackmans also. Probably near relations. The Elder's wife was Mary Blackman of Green Farms, Conn.

August Ye 1776 The Church Being met together for befnes our Breatheran at Westmoreland or Lacawano Laid a requeft befor the Church reprefenting Their Scaterd Scurcomftances as Sheep not having a Shepherd and Defierd help from This Church and it was agread and Voted to Send our Elder and two other Breatheran to answer to their requeft or to Act in behalf of the Church as they found matters. March 8, 1777 at a Confarance Meating at Starling it was then unanamoufly Voted the Church under the paftorael Care of Eldar James Benedict Showd Remove Before us to that land and we exfpect to follow after as a foone as porvidence will admit Signed in behalf of the Whole Church.

At a Church meating at Worwick Agust 21 : 1777 after prayer to god for his Direction Decon Silfby was Chosen modarater then profeded to Bifnes and in Confederation of a Vote pafed in the Church March the Eighth for the removel of the Church to Weftmoreland Some of the members Looking on Some tempral Deficatyes war Discureged and thought beft to Stop and not go which put the Elder under Grate Defikalty as to his termeral Intraft the Church Confedraing Same Voted that the Church Should Stop removing Wilst* next Spreing and the Elder to perfed to the advanteg of his tempral Intruft.

Warrack September the Third Day 1778 at our place of publeck Worfhep the Church being met together according to appointment to Confeder of Some votes that had bin pafed in the church before Confarning the Church removeing to Weftmorland where the Elder according to the foremenched votes had bin and being drove of by a Saveg Enemey and the whole Countrey laid in Diffolation which rendered it Impofable for the church to remove at Presant the Elder being returnd he was received by the Church again as a Pafteur and anEelder and he suffering Lofe by the Enemey as to temprals voted in the Church to help to Supply that want by Contrebution

He must often have thought longingly of the place where he had planned to make a home not only for himself, but for his Church and people. But "Providence" did not "admit" as the record says. So his own numerous descendants, together with those of his congregation who were "Expecting to Follow after," never became the loyal citizens of Pennsylvania that they doubtless would have done, and had the Old Elder not been "drove of by a Saveg Enemey." It is a great pleasure for me to be able to give to the Wyoming Valley Historical and Geological Society these records of my fourth (4th) great grandfather. Elizabeth C. Van Duzer

1. This Covenant is owned by his descendant, Miss Fanny Benedict of Warwick, N.Y. No doubt the same covenant was used when eleven years later "The said Benedict" founded the Baptist Church in the Wyoming Valley. In a note on Pittston in appendix, Minerís "History of Wyoming Valley" is the statement, Rev. James Benedict was first minister there. 2. Many members of Elder Benedictís Church lived at Sterling, and occasionally meetings were held at that place. 3. The last passage transcribed by Mrs. Van Duzer from the original record relates the terrible tragedy at Wyoming, Pennsylvania in 1778 called the Wyoming Massacre. The settlers of Westmoreland were ambushed and murdered by the English and a group of Indian warriors. In many accounts Joseph Brant who was a Christianized Iroquois chief was held responsible for the atrocity that took place that fateful day. These same accounts credit Brant with having given Elder James Benedict and his family safe passage away from the carnage. However, many professional historians have deduced from other written records that Brant had nothing to do with the Wyoming Massacre and was not in the area at the time. The Indians were reacting to the intrusion upon their lands, partnering with the English who were trying to maintain control of the American continent for the Crown during the American Revolution.


Sources

  1. "Genealogy of the Benedicts in America", by Henry M. Benedict; 1st pub. 1870; orig. avail. at Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC.

-- JimBenedict - 02 Mar 2006
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Benedict.JamesBenedict1720 moved from Benedict.JamesBenedict1718 on 29 Dec 2008 - 06:04 by JimBenedict - put it back
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