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John Smedley Benedict

Family reference: 352.254.1

Born Born abt. 1859 Wallaceburg, Chatham Twp., Ontario
Married Married 21 January 1876 Catherine Benedict at Wallaceburg
Died Died 29 Dec 1927 Wallaceburg, Chatham Twp., Ontario

Photo Album - Family album of photos and documents.



  1. Minnie Beatrice Benedict; b. 31 March 1876
  2. Peter George Benedict; 1877 - 1948
  3. John Edward Benedict; b. 17 Nov 1883
  4. John Archibald Benedict?; b.
  5. Harvey Benedict?; b.
  6. Charles Wesley Benedict; b. 24 Oct 1889; d. April 13, 1890 of Croup.

The Parents of John Benedict

Johnís Early Years

John was born in Wallaceburg, Ontario, where he finally retired and died. He attended school in Chatham. He was a member of the Sydenham Valley Lodge No. 120 for 35 years. Working first as a deckhand and then moving up to captain, he was on tugboats, Great Lakes carriers and ferries for most of his life. His last position was Captain of the passenger ferry from downtown Toronto to Toronto Island.

John and Catherine

John Catherine was the third child of Caleb Benedict and was also a first cousin to John. She was from the Owen Sound area on the Georgian Bay and they married in Chatham in 1876. He was 16 at that time and she was 20, although the marriage register shows both of them as 19 years of age. Their first child, Minnie, was born two months later.

John and Catherine lived in Toronto for some time while he ran the local island ferry. But They started at and then retired in Wallaceburg. Their final years were at a house on Poat Street.1

Catherine was a member of the Trinity United Church in Wallaceburg and was a life member of the Women's Association. Rev. D. W. Williams officiated at her funeral. Hymn "Abide with Me" was sung. Interment took place in the Wallaceburg Cemetery.

The Final Years for John

Catherine CAPT. JOHN S. BENEDICT (Special to the news) WALLACEBURG, Dec. 29. -- Captain John Smedley Benedict died this morning at his home William street [Poat Street intersects with William Street at the house - j.b.]. He was for many years a revered and highly esteemed resident of the town. He had been ailing for some years, but he was not thought seriously ill until last October. The deceased was born on East Branch, Wallaceburg, 68 years ago, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Benedict.

By occupation Mr. Benedict was a lake captain and sailed many boats plying out of Toronto and Wallaceburg.

For over thirty-five years the deceased has been a member of Sydenham Valley lodge, No. 120, I.O.O.F. of which he was a Past Grand and a Jewel member. In faith he was a member of Trinity United church.

Surviving are his widow, 2 sons George Peter of Calgary and John of Los Angeles, and daughter Mrs. Archie Campbell of the Syne near Wallaceburg, one sister, Mrs. George Price of Treheran, Manitoba and Caleb Benedict of Kingsville.

Funeral services will be conducted Sunday afternoon at one o'clock from the family residence William Street by Rev. J. H. Johnston and will be under the auspices of Sydenham Valley lodge. Inerment will be in the Wallaceburg cemetery.

-Obituary, Chatham Daily News newspaper, Thursday, Dec. 29, 1927, p.1


The funeral took place last Sunday of the late Capt. S. Benedict from his late residence, William St., and was conducted under the auspices of the Sydenham Valley Lodge No. 120 I.O.O.F. of which he had been a member for about 35 years. Rev. J. H. Johnston, Trinity United Church officiated, assisted by Rev. D. J. Lane, of Knox Presbyterian Church. During the impressive service the Trinity United Church Choire sang "Abide With Me" one of the deceased's favourite hymns. There were a large number of beautiful floral tributes testifying to the high esteem in which the deceased was held by all those who knew him. The interment took place in Wallaceburg Cemetery. The pallbearers were Wm. Biden, J. Farwell, J. Comer, E. dradere, J. Lalonde, and Jerome Thompson.

Out of town relatives who attended were Mrs. Lucella Benedict and son Joseph, Mr. and Mrs. W. Burke, Miss Eva Dusten, Mrs. J. E. Benedict of Detroit, Miss Irene Campbell of Cairo, Mich., Russell Dusten of Dresden, George Benedict of Toronto, and Caleb Benedict, Thamesville.

[ NOTE: the "George Benedict of Toronto" is a mystery....]

-Notice, The Wallaceburg News, Thursday, 5 January 1928


Some notes on the children:

  • John Edward Benedict; married to Elizabeth Johnson. Child:
    • Donald Smedley Benedict; born 9 Aug 1906.

Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1857-1922 Record: John E. Benedict, born Wallace burg, age 23, Parents John Benedict & Catherine Benedict, Est. birth 1883, Spouce Elizth P. Johnston, age 24, born Ridgetown, Parents Duncan Margaret Johnston & Campbell Johnston, married 21 Mar 1906, place Kent, County Kent: Indexed by ( Note ) again bad Transcription, probably should read Duncan Johnston & Margaret "Campbell" Johnston

Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1857-1922 Record: John S. Benedict, born Tp. Chatham, age 19, Parents John Benedict & Harriet Dustin, Est. birth 1857, Spouce Catherine Benedict, age 19, born Grey Co., Parents Caleb Benedict & Sarah McKechnie, married 21 Jan 1876, place Kent, County Kent. Indexed by

Census of 1861

Person Occupation Birthplace Religion Age Sex Status District Page
BENEDICT, J. Labourer Canada West EM 29 M married 4 52
H.   Canada West EM 22 F married 4 52
J.   Canada West EM 2 M - 4 52

- 1861 Census for Chatham Twp, Kent Co., Ontario; available at Chatham Library Historical Society; Chatham, Ontario.

Census of 1871

Person Sex Age Birthplace Religion Origin Occupation Status Page
BENEDICT, John M 38 Ontario W. Meth. English Jobber married 21
Harriet A. F 31 Ontario W. Meth. Scotch   married 22
John S. M 11 Ontario W. Meth. Scotch     22
Samantha A. F 8 Ontario W. Meth. Scotch     22
Caleb M. M 3 Ontario W. Meth. Scotch     22
- 1871 Census for Chatham Twp, Kent Co., Ontario; Folio 2F3-017 to -088; available at Chatham Library Historical Society; Chatham, Ontario.

Census of 1881

Person Sex Age Birthplace Status Religion Origin Occupation Page
BENEDICT, John M 48 Ontario married Ch. of England English Farmer 4-24
Harriett F 41 Ontario married E. Meth. German   4-24
Samantha F 18 Ontario   E. Meth. English   4-24
Caleb M 13 Ontario   E. Meth. English   4-24
John S. M 21 Ontario married Ch. of England English Labourer 4-24
Catherine F 25 Ontario married E. Meth English   4-24
George P. M 4 Ontario   E. Meth. English   4-24
- 1881 Census for Chatham Twp, Kent Co., Ontario; available at Chatham Library Historical Society; Chatham, Ontario.
( NOTICE ) The 1911 Canadian Census for Ontario / District: Toronto South / District Number: 127 / Sub-District: Ward four / Sub-District Number: 43 / Page: 7 / Has John S. Benedict and Catherine Benedict listed as lodgers with Harry and Alice Fort at 100 John St. John Smedley is listed as born May 1859 while Catherine is listed as born August 1858. John Smedley and Catherine, I presume lived here while John was master of the Toronto Ferry J. T. Clark and possibly commuted back to Wallaceburg on times off.


  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 - 09 Jan 2006 -- DonaldElliott - 04 Jul 2007
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I Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
John-frag.gif manage 7.0 K 30 Jan 2006 - 05:20 JimBenedict John Benedict
Catherine-frag.gif manage 6.8 K 28 Feb 2006 - 22:59 JimBenedict Catherine

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