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Caleb Benedict

Family reference: 352.253

Born Born 1830 at Lennox & Addington Co., Ontario, Canada
Married Married to Sarah Jane McKechnie or McKenzie or McMullen
Died Died at Lyner North Dakota in 1907 aged about 75


  1. Sarah Jane Benedict; b. 1852; d. 1931
  2. Mary Ann Benedict; b. 1854
  3. Catherine Benedict; b. 1856; d. 1936
  4. Phoebe Benedict; b. 1857
  5. David Benedict; b. 1859
  6. Robert James Benedict; b. 1860
  7. Caleb Benedict; b. 1861

The Parents of Caleb

Calebís Early Years

Caleb and Sarah

Caleb Benedict, living in the Township of Sullivan, Con., 10, Lot 22, taken from, A History of the County Of Grey by E. L. Marsh, from page 433. Reproduced from The Gazetter of the County published by W. E. Smith of Owen Sound in 1865.

Caleb and Sarah met at Owen Sound on the Georgian Bay and were married there. Hi immediately took a contract with a Roger Conger to cut 600 acres of timber, pile it up and burn it to make potash and 'black salty' out of the ashes. That meant moving 25 miles int the forest, so Caleb put a gang of men to work and in a few years, the country began to settle up.

Sarah made all the clothes for the family, using a spinning wheel to make the yarn. Robert got a new suit made out of fullcloth. The material was thick and 'stiff as a branch'. He could just slip out of it at night and it would stand all by itself by his bed, ready to be stepped into in the morning.

Caleb would bring home book from town for Robert, who would read away when the winde was cold and the snow was deep. He was content to read, and was fascinated by the States, especially the new frontier of Nebraska. Read more of Robert's accounts in his autobiography.

Caleb and Sarah appear with their seven children on the 1871 Census in Sullivan Township, Grey County, Ontario, Canada.

However it would appear that Caleb and his wife Sarah parted ways sometime in the ten years between the 1871 and 1881 censuses. This is confirmed in a letter written by a grandson of Caleb and Sarah, Jim McLeod, in which he writes that "Granddad and Grandmother separated when Bob(their son Robert) was 8 or 9 years old and went to Nebraska."

In 1880 Caleb Benedict can be found in Nebraska according to the USA Federal Census but, his wife Sarah was still living in Sullivan Twp. Grey County, Ontario Canada.

On the 1881 Canadian census a Sarah Benedict age 52, married, born Ireland is living in the home of Alexander and Janet Benton/Beaton in Sullivan Twp. Grey County. Further, on the 1901 Canadian Census, Sarah Benedict 78, widow, born Ireland, can be found living with her daughter Sarah Jane and son-in-law George Agnew in Grey County.

A death for a Mrs. Sarah Benedict on 21 Jun 1901 in Grey County has been found but the death registration gives no other pertinent information.

The descendants of the son Robert James Benedict have information that the wife of Caleb Benedict was a Sarah McMullen.

"NOTE":If Caleb's wife WAS Sarah McMullen she, also, was possibly the sister of Elias' wife Margery McMullen. The McMullen Family came from Smedley's, tramping grounds in Grey County. Possible through Elias, Caleb met Sarah McMullen, fell in love with the younger girl (middle age itch) maybe, and left his wife, moving to USA to save face from relatives. Elias and wife also decideing to go along with Caleb. Elias' wife Margery was 9 years younger than Elias, so even if her sister was the older, she would probably be, give or take, 15 years younger than Caleb's first wife Sarah. "JUST A THOUGHT"!

The Final Years for Caleb

It appears that Caleb and at least some of his family moved to the USA by 1880. The 1880 USA Federal Census indicates that Caleb and two of his sons, Robert and David, are living in Polk, Nebraska. Caleb had indicated he was a widower by this time, however this was not the case.

Polk, Nebraska is also where Caleb's brother Elias and his family can be found on the 1880 census.

Jim McLeod, Caleb's grandson, son of Caleb and Sarah's daughter Mary Ann/Marian indicated that his Grandfather died at his home in Lyner North Dakota in 1907.


The following is from The Kingston Cronicle; Info from The Napanee Museum and Archives. ( This is the way people in those days received their mail. They would read this in the newspaper, and then pickup their mail. ) Benedict Caleb; letter at Kingston Post Office; 1844 Jan. 10, P.3 Col. 5 - 6. This I don't think was our Caleb, as he would be only about 14 years old at the time. (It probably was the Caleb born in 1700's USA came to Canada late 1700 and raised a family.)

Census of 1861

Person Occupation Birthplace Religion Age Sex Status District Page
Caleb BENEDIC Yeoman Canada West New M 29 M married 4 42
Sarah BENEDIK   Ireland PC 32 F married 4 42
Sarah BENEDIK   Canada West 8 F - 4 42
Mary Ann BENEDIK   Canada West 7 F - 4 42
Cathren BENEDIK   Canada West 6 F - 4 42
Febea BENEDIK   Canada West 4 F - 4 42
David BENEDIK   Canada West 3 M - 4 42
Caleb BENEDIK   Canada West 1 M - 4 42
- 1861 Census for Sullivan Twp, Grey Co., Ontario; available at Grey Roots Museum & Archives, Owen Sound, Ontario.

Census of 1871

Person Occupation Birthplace Religion Age Sex Status District Page Origin
Benedict Caleb Farmer Canada West Prodestant 40 M married #37 42 Scotch
Benedict Sarah   Ireland C of E 45 F married #37 42 Scotch
Benedict Jane   Ontario   18 F Single #37 42 Scotch
Benedict Marie Ann   Ontario   17 F Single #37 42 Scotch
Benedict Catherine   Ontario   15 F Single #37 42 Scotch
Benedict Phebia   Ontario   14 F Single #37 42 Scotch
Benedict David   Ontario   12 M Single #37 42 Scotch
Benedict Caleb   Ontario   10 M Single #37 42 Scotch
Benedict Robert   Ontario   6 M Single #37 42 Scotch

- 1871 Census for Township of Sullivan in the County of Grey, Ontario; available at Grey Roots Museum and Archives; Owen Sound, Ontario.

-- DonaldElliott - 09 Dec 2005 -- DonaldElliott - 21 Jul 2007 -- JimBenedict - 05 Sep 2007
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