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Joshua Benedict

Born Born 1751   Danbury, Fairfield twp., Conn.
Married Married 15 Nov 1784 Mary Wilcox  
Died Died 9 Dec 1839   Sheffield twp., Upper Canada

Photo Album - Family album of photos and documents.



  1. Anna Benedict; b. 13 March 1786
  2. Electa Benedict; b. 1789;
  3. Ard Benedict; b. 1795
  4. Charlotte Benedict; b. 18 Sept 1797
  5. Smedley Benedict; b. 27 March 1800

The Parents of Joshua Benedict

Captain Timothy Benedict originally came from Wilton in Fairfield County, Connecticut. He married Lydia Hall, who was from nearby Redding in the same county, about ten miles north of Wilton. They settled in Danbury for about 25 years, raising the six children; three boys and three girls. While unsettling political developments were brewing in the colonies, Timothy moved his family further north to Winchester in Litchfield County where he had acquired a lot from a cousin. We do not know of Timothy’s death, but Lydia remained most of her life in Winchester and she died there in 1824 at the age of 95.

Joshua’s Brothers and Sisters

Joshua had two brothers and three sisters.

Timothy fought as a Patriot in the American Revolution. He married Mary Judd and settled on the Winchester land of his father, raising three daughters and one son. Timothy died November 27, 1836 aged 89.

William also fought as a Patriot in the American Revolution. He married Ruth Peck, the daughter of Dr. Charles Peck of Danbury. They moved to New Milford in Litchfield County where four children were born. By the early 1790’s, William moved on to Massachusetts where the last two children were born in New Marlborough. He died in Alexander, Genesee County New York state on February 4, 1836. Ruth passed away ten years later.

Anna? married David Judd in 1774. Lydia? was born about 1764. Deborah? was born about 1770. We have no further information.

Joshua’s Early Years

The Benedict line had already been in the new America for over one hundred years by the time of Joshua’s birth in Danbury. Settlements were opening up all along the coast line of New England and the colonies had a new sense of purpose and future. In the Commonwealth of Connecticut, the farm settlements were growing into towns of artisans, trade and commerce.

It's been said that Danbury began when eight families came from the Norwalk and Stamford Connecticut area in 1685 to settle in Danbury which the Indians then called "Pahquioque" or "Paquiaqe" meaning open plain or cleared land. Among the husbands of the original eight families were James Benedict and Samuel Benedict, the latter being Joshua’s great-grandfather.

Though the settlers had chosen the name "Swampfield", the general court in October 1687 decreed the name "Danbury" which came from the English word Danebury. Beans and other crops helped Danbury become an inland trading center by 1750 with a population of 2,000.

Captain Timothy had decided to take his family north to the county of Litchfield by September of 1771(-72?, -73?), possibly because of a land opportunity from a cousin, Captain Benjamin Benedict. Events elsewhere were rumbling, with the Boston Tea Party crisis in the previous year. Joshua had now reached the age of 20 years, old enough to understand the issues and to potentially enlist for battle along with his two brothers. [He did enlist per pension application for the years 1771 and 1772. This information to be added later.]

During the American Revolution of the 1770’s, Danbury was a supply depot for the Patriots. The local master craftsmen manufactured products such as leather goods, shoes, tents, and clothing for the Colonial militia. Danbury was also the site of a hospital so the Colonial Army was also sequestering medical supplies for future use. Since the British knew that these supplies were being stored in Danbury, by April 1777 they decided it had become an important target to raid.

When the shooting stopped and the smoke cleared, 125 colonists and about 300 British had been killed. The importance of the raid of Danbury was that the British realized the militia in Connecticut was stronger and better organized than they had first anticipated. After the raid on Danbury, the British did not attack any inland supply depots for the rest of the Revolutionary War.

After the Revolutionary War the people of Danbury worked mostly in and on their farms, they also produced and sold things from their homes. Some of these things included buckles, shoes, combs, and hats.

In 1780 a man named Zadoc Benedict is believed to be the first person in Danbury to have made and sold a hat. It all started when Zadoc had a problem with a hole in his shoe. To fix it he put a piece of fur in the hole and continued on his way. At the end of the day the hole in his shoe was still patched, but the sweat from his foot and the constant moving turned the fur into felt. With his discovery, Zadoc started making hats. He used fur, lots of water, and his bedpost to shape his first hats. He opened the first hat shop in Danbury and was able to produce three hats a day.

Joshua and Mary

Marriage 1784 in Winchester. [Details to be added later]

The Final Years for Joshua



  • Family reference: 352.2
  • Family Tree: Benedict Generations
  • Lineage: Joshua Benedict5, (Timothy4, Abraham3, Samuel2, Thomas1)
  • Books:

1. Midland District - The Midland District was a historic district in Upper Canada which existed until 1849. It was one of four districts that was originally created in 1788. It was called Mecklenburg District when it was created but was renamed to Midland in 1792. The district was originally bounded to the east by a line running north from the mouth of the Gananoque River and to the west by a line running north from the mouth of the Trent River. The district town was Kingston. In 1798, the district was reorganized to consist of the counties of Addington, Frontenac, Hastings, Lennox, Prince Edward. In 1831, Prince Edward County was separated to form Prince Edward District. In 1837, Hastings County was split off to form Victoria District. In 1849, the district was replaced by Frontenac and Lennox and Addington counties.

_from, DonaldElliott? - 28 Jul 2008 The following is from The Kingston Chronicle; Info from The Napanee Museum and Archives.

- - Joshua Benedict, received pay of 1 pound, 10 shillings on April 28, 1829, from The Midland District for evidence for Bailey in the Bailey - Mender case. - - John Dunn, received 15 shillings for evidence against Bailey. - - Francis Linch received 15 shillings for evidence for Bailey. - - Maria Dunn received 15 shillings for evidence for Bailey. - - William Kennedy received 15 shillings for evidence for Bailey. Joshua is not mentioned in the case but received larger pay? was he the prisoner's council or what?

For interest sake, here is the case from The U. C. Herald, Midland District Assizes. (Printed as appeared in paper) Thos. Bailey was tried for beating his wife, so as to cause her death.

Wm. Kennedy sworn; knows the prisoner and the deceased Ellen Bailey. They lived in Pittsburgh, 12 or 14 miles from Kingston on the line of the canal. In Feb'y last he took the prisoner home on his train. On their arrival, about 2 o'clock morning, they found his foreman John Dunn and one Corbett asleep before the fire, rather intoxicated; he kicked Corbett out of the house, or rather Shantee, and quarrelled with Dunn who went out.

His wife was lying in the bed, the worse for liquor. He reproved his wife for her conduct, she returned him sharp answers; he gave her a blow with his fist on her head, & another on the breast; deceased then left the house.

Was asleep the next night in the loft over the dwelling. Was awoke in the night by the deceased calling out to Dunn to come and help her and pull her up; she was on the ladder leading to the loft; she exclaimed "Tom! Tom! you murdering villain, let go my leg!" She got up the ladder with the help of Dunn. Prisoner ordered her down, Dunn and the deceased went down; heard Dunn say, "Why do you abuse your wife so."

As the witness was returning to Kingston he was overtaken by a person who wished him to return to the prisoner's house to take the deceased to Kingston, he returned and the deceased was put upon the train; she was in great pain, and much bruised, --- complained much of her leg, and desired him to go slow, as the jolting of the train hurt her very much. She would frequently call out with pain, when going over any place that was rough.

John Dunn states the return of the prisoner at night, and his being asleep before the fire, &'c, and then went out.

Says the deceased was in liquor the next day; prisoner and his wife were quarrelling; deceased among other things, called the prisoner a thief and a murderer, and attempted to strike him. Next night heard deceased calling for help on the ladder, he helped her up; he went down before her; requested prisoner not to strike his wife. Prisoner said she hurt his feelings; he told her to go to bed, but she sat down, and gave him what the witness called bad language.

Next day went to the bed where the deceased was, she appeared much hurt, saw blood upon her, observed it was a bad job. Prisoner said it was a poor case to have to abuse my wife. Has seen deceased run out of doors barefooted.

Maria Dunn sworn, After stating some particulars as before related, to being present in the evening and night when the deceased was hurt; says prisoner and his wife were quarrelling. She saw the prisoner misuse her; saw him strike her with violence; he threw brick bats and stones at her; they cut her head; he threw a bootjack at her. says it hit her. Witness got the bootjack and hid it. Deceased was going up the ladder to the loft and calling for Dunn to help her, prisoner took hold of her leg; deceased complained he hurt her leg and would break it. Dunn helped her up the stairs. Witness said "you will kill your wife, you will then be hanged, and what will your poor children do "; prisoner said he would kill her if he was hanged for it; believes this was after they came down stairs; witness afterwards got deceased to bed, she washed her wounds in the morning; deceased complained of great pain in her leg and head.

Deceased frequently drank after the accident. In the affray deceased begged witness to save her, or he would murder her ( meaning the prisoner ); witness ran to one Strachan's shanty for help, they said there were men enough in the house to help her without their interference.

Francis Lynch, saw the deceased the morning after the wounds were given; she was very much hurt; assisted to remove her into what he called the store room, from the bed where she was. He saw a brick bat among the bed clothes and observed blood on them; he said it was shocking work. Prisoner said it was a horrid thing to have to throw such things at our wives.

Doctor Samson, attended the deceased at Kingston after her injury, was told she fell out of a wood sleigh; did not credit that; --- found her leg broken, body bruised, &c: --- Inflamation of the lungs direct cause of her death, and that might proceed with cold.

Thinks the wounds and bruises were the ultimate cause of her death, by exposing her to cold, by being removed backwards and forwards.

Thinks the wounds &c could not have caused her death if she had been in a good state of body, that although her leg was mortifying it might have been amputated and the other wounds cured.

Dr. Armstrong was present when the body was opened ; says inflammation of the lungs was the direct cause of her death ; this might proceed from the ill treatment she received.

John Dowling says the deceased fell down the stairs at his house ; she drank a deal of liquor when there, for he had a large bill for liquor against her husband.

Maria Dunn, before the Coroner's inquest, stated she believed the boot jack did not hit the deceased. The prisoners council made use of this variation to shew what the witness might mistake other particulars in her evidence. The judge also in his charge, noticed the brick bat getting among the bed clothes.

The Judge charged the jury, describing to them what the law considers wilful murder; and then went on to state what the law deems manslaughter. He desired them to consider well the evidence, and give their verdict accordingly.

The Jury returned a verdict aquitting the prisoner of both murder and manslaughter.

from Susan Robitaille 17 Sept 2005; to be incorporated later...

Smedley had one brother (I believe older brother) Ard and three sisters, Anna, Electa and Charlotte all born 1787-1800 range in the USA. The family ended up in Lennox & Addington Twp in Upper Canada by 1816 after leaving Connecticut just after the Revolutionary War (1785 range) and migrating north several years, finally landing in Upper Canada after or around the War of 1812.

Census of 1790

[This Joshua Benedict is the right location: Danbury, but the number of females is not a match yet]
for Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut
Household of Joshua Benedict
white males white all other
16 and upwards under 16 females free persons slaves
1 1 6 - -
- United States Federal Census; Roll M637_1, p. 10, image 0408; from Bureau of the Census, Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States in the Year 1790, Washington, D.C.

[This is not likely our Joshua Benedict because of the Massachusetts location]

for Lanesborough, Herkshire County, Massachusetts
Household of Joshua Benedict
white males white all other
16 and upwards under 16 females free persons slaves
1 0 3 - -
- United States Federal Census; Roll M637_4, p. 27, image 0380; from Bureau of the Census, Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States in the Year 1790, Washington, D.C.

Census of 1800

for Middle Hero, Chittenden County, Vermont
Household of Joshua Benedict
males females other free
1-10 10-16 16-26 26-45 over 45 1-10 10-16 16-26 26-45 over 45 persons
2 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0
- United States Federal Census; Roll 51, p. 382, image 206; from Bureau of the Census, 1800 United States Federal Census, Washington, D.C.


-- JimBenedict - 06 Dec 2005 -- DonaldElliott - 28 Jul 2008
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