Perhaps all the colonial families of Benjamin are descended from John Benjamin, born 1598, in England, who came to Boston in the ship "Lion," sailing September 16, 1632, with wife Abigail, two children, and his brother Richard who removed to Southold, Long Island, in 1663, with his wife Ann and daughter Ann. In 1664 Richard Benjamin was made a freeman in Connecticut. His descendants have been prominent in New York, especially in Queens county. John Benjamin settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and later in Watertown. He was of good family and well-to-do.
The New York families are largely descended from Richard Benjamin. In the census of 1790 we find three named Richard Benjamin as heads of families. Richard Benjamin, of Minisink, Orange County, had four males over sixteen, two under sixteen and two females in his family. In the same town a widow Hannah had two sons under sixteen and five females. In Warwick, another town in Orange county, a Richard Benjamin had three sons under sixteen and three females, and at Southold, Long Island, the third Richard had three males over sixteen and one female in his family. And also in Southold there was a William Benjamin having two males over sixteen and three females in his family.
(I) Richard Benjamin, probably one of the Richards described above, was born in 1769, died in Durham, Greene county, New York, where he settled early in life. He married Laura Mudge, born September 9, 1791, died in Allston, South Carolina, November 14, 1871, daughter of Abraham Mudge (see Mudge V). Children: 1. Stillwell, born in Durham, Greene county, New York October 11, 1826, died in Cortland, New York, November 7, 1908; was an extensive manufacturer and dealer in monumental works in Cortland; married September 30, 1850, Harriet A. Eggleston of Cortland. Children: Jennie, born December 4, 1858, died September 20, 1878; son died in infancy; Louise Cerepta, married Nelson H. Waters. 2. Laura Ann, born July 28, 1829; married Martin Chapin and lives in Allston, South Carolina. 3. John Wesley, mentioned below. 4. Abraham Page, born October 29, 1834, died in Califonia in 1849.
(II) John Wesley, son of Richard Benjamin, was born in Durham, Greene county, New York, December 23, 1832, died in Chicago, Illinois, June 13, 1882. He came to Cortland county, New York, in 1845, with his mother and brothers and sisters. He worked at farming at first and later in the marble business, manufacturing monument and gravestones in Cortland, in partnership with his elder brother, Stillwell Benjamin, from the establishment of the business in 1854 to the time of his death. He died in Chicago while away on a business trip. He served through the civil war, enlisted in 1861 in Company E, One Hundred and Fifty- seventh New York Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, as a private and by force of merit rose to the rank of second lieutenant. He was again promoted to a captaincy, but resigned before he was commissioned. He took part in many important battles and was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg. He was a charter member of Vesta Lodge, Odd Fellows, of Cortland. He was a member of the Congregational church. He married Sarah J. Gager, born in Cortland county, daughter of Dwight H. Gager, born at New London, Connecticut, and Hannah (Allen) Gager. Children: 1. Josephine, married E. P. Wright, of Cortland and had Benjamin E., Ivan N. and Ira Wright. 2. Julia, died young. 3. Jessie, married William H. McCray, of Washington, D. C. and had one child, Harriet. 4. Page W., mentioned below. 5. Sadie, married Howard Tuthill, of Detroit, Michigan.
(III) Page Wesley, son of John Wesley Benjamin, was born in Cortland, New York, March 25, 1878 He was educated in the public schools of his native town. For four years he was clerk in the department store of Palmer Brothers, of Cortland. He then learned the carpenter's trade and followed it for seven years, working in Washington, D. C., in Syracuse and Binghamton, New York. In May he entered the employ of the Prudential Life Insurance Company and since then has been with that company. He has been a member of Vesta Lodge, Odd Fellows, of Cortland since he came of age. He is an active member of the Baptist church and president of the Rebecca class. In politics he is a Republican. He married, September, 1900, Ina A. Wilkins, of Cayuga county, New York, daughter of John C. and Harriet A. (Johnson) Wilkins. They have one son, Wesley Robert, born May, 19, 1906.
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Created on or about 10 June 1999
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