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Thomas Benedict and Mary Bridgum

HUSBAND:
Thomas BENEDICT.
Born about 1614-1617, probably at Saxlingham Nethergate, Norfolk, England; son of William BENEDICT [F4256] and Elizabeth [F4257].
None of the sources agree as to the year of his birth. Many say 1614, and many say 1617. There are a few other choices, but all seem to be guesses. I have seen not real evidence to lean towards either one or the other.

Thomas was said to be apprenticed to a silk weaver. (S1,S21,S22).

This is especially interesting in view of the fact that "There was a tradition in the family...that they resided in the silk manufacturing district of France..."

When Thomas was 21 years old he immigrated to America. (S1). He was on the same ship as his step-sister Mary Bridgum, whom he married.

The date of the marriage of Thomas, and when he came to New England has long been debated, and several versions are given. I will attempt to sort these out to the best of my ability. A few sources say they were married in England, but most sources say they were married in America. Most also say they were married in Southhold, New York; but the church there was not even establish until Thomas himself took a hand in it.

The Norfolk County Record Office in Norwich is proof that the marriage of Thomas and Mary took place in England rather than in America. "Marriage of Thomas Benedict and Mary Bridgum--step-children, Melford parish, England, 1639". The notation "step-children" is given meaning that they were step-siblings. (S17, S24). This is the Long Melford Parish, Suffolk, England.

Of his arrival in America, the following versions are given:
They arrived in APR 1638 on the ship Confidence, (S11) which came from France (S18).
In another version, they left England on the ship Mary & Anne May 1637 and arrived at Massachusetts Bay Colony some months later. (S25).

Since they were married in England in 1639, these are obviously in error, and neither the ship on which Thomas Benedict and his bride arrived in America nor the date of it have been determined. They landed in the Bay Colony area, probably in the Beverly, Massachusetts Bay area.

Beverly was in an area where fishing was the major trade. Thomas was not interested in being a fisherman, and so they moved on to New Haven, Connecticut, where they joined the Rev. John Yonges, Presbyterian minister, and his congregation.

The whole group left New Haven, sailed across Long Island Sound, touching land at Founders Landing on Peconic Bay. Southold, where they settled, had a few white people living in the area, as well as Indians living in the vicinity--Yennicocks. Mary and Thomas purchased land, with Henry Whitney and Edward Treadwell, in the eastern part of Southold, which was then known as Hashamomack or Arshomomaque (S19). Thomas bought a fourth of land at Hashamomack "lyinge betwixt Tom's Creeke to a fresh ponnd lying by the North Sea with a stand of trees on it, marsh ground and moweinge land lying by Tom's house." Mary and Thomas's log home had a thatched roof and oiled paper windows. Each household was required to have a ladder sufficient to reach the top of his house under penalty of five shillings fine. (S24). The stream bounding the plot of ground where he first settled at Southold bears the name of Thom River, the title being a contraction of Thomas.

Thomas built a grist mill, the first in Southold, at the tidal entrance to the pond. He also "ingaged in distillinge sperrits resin from ye trees in ye great swamp" producing turpentine, which was a valued commodity. Some cows and, perhaps, other animals grazed there. (S24). Thomas's tidal mill was situated on the east side of Tom's Mill Creek in Hashamomack. The tide came in from Peconic Bay and turned the wheel, then as the tide went out, the wheel turned the other way. (S24).

Thomas and Mary Benedict had come to settle because of religion, "a church not set with traditions--the settlers were the Lord's Free People. They left homes and families in England, endured the unknown and the inevitable hardships for the sake of their religion. They did not withhold from those who had different ideas on religion, The same liberty which they claimed for themselves." (S24).

In addition to the mill at Hashamomack, Thomas Benedict operated with John Cocklynge, a brick-making business located on Cocklynge's Point on Peconic Bay. Goodman Benedict, as he was called, was able to read and became a respected member of the community. So much so that when Uncas, Sachem of the Mohegan Indians, complained to the Court of New Haven that the Mohansick Sachem had killed and bewitched some of Uncas' men, Uncas asked that Thomas Benedict and Captain Mason (who by 1653 commanded Fort Saybrook) be apppointed to make an adjustment. (S24).

Southold was the birthplace of Mary and Thomas's first eight children, Thomas Jr., John, Samuel, James, Daniel, Elizabeth, Mary, and Sarah. Rebecca, the ninth, was born after they moved to Huntington. (S24).

In conjunction with 3 others, in 1649, he purchased a tract of land belonging to the town of Southold, called Hashamomack or Hassamanac (Hashamomuck-S7) , later called Huntington, Long Island, New York. By June 1657, Thomas had packed up his family and sold his home, mill, barn, orchard, garden, lot and fences to Thomas Rider. He established a farm in Huntington. It is certain that he lived there at least by JUN 1657. He also helped establish the church there.

At a town meeting on February 1660, Thomas was appointed Town Justice to "settle differences between naybars". His name comes up again in Huntington when he helped settle boundary lines with the Indians. (S24).

From Genealogies of Long Island Families: From The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 11 Praa-Youngs, Selected and Introduced by Henry B. Hoff, Genealogical Publishing Co , Inc. 1987 page 371, note 4 (Tredwell family, first generation) is a copy of a land sale to Henry Whitney, Edward Tredwell and Thomas Benedick from William Salmon "...of Hashamamuck, alias Neshuggencer..." It is noted that Thomas Benedick was the only one of the same four parties that did not sign with an X. Speculation is that it proves he must have been able to read and write.

He sold their property in Huntington in 1659. They then moved to Jamaica, Long Island, New York. In 1662 he helped found the First Presbyterian Church at Jamaica. He was a deacon there. Their oldest son Thomas married Mary Messenger there, possibly being married by his own father.

On 12 DEC 1662 Thomas Benedict was appointed with others to lay out the "south meadows" in Jamaica, and was voted a home lot. In 1663 he was on a committee "charged to making ye rate of ye menester's house and transporting ye menester, Mr. Walker." On March 20, 1663, Thomas was appointed as magistrate by the Dutch Governor, Peter Stuyvesant. On December 3, 1663, the town meeting voted and agreed that "Goodman Benedik" should be Lieutenant of the town. He was a Lt. of the "train band" (militia) and exercised on the plains of Jamaica. He was later appointed Lt. of the Foot Company of Jamaica to fight in the Indian Wars. His commission, signed by Governor Nichols, was dated April 7, 1665. (S24).

Thomas was the member of the legislative body to create and codify the system of law on the island after the conquest from the Dutch and afterwards of the colonial legislature. He was appointed Magistrate in Jamaica on 20 MAR 1663 by Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam. Thomas sat on the Capt. John Scott's case as one of the magistrates when the following case was recorded:
"Propounded and voted this 26 of the 12 month, 1663. It was propounded that if Capt. John Scott should come and command the constable to warn a town-meeting, the said constable should not obey him with he shew just reason. (Capt. John Scott was a bold and seditious adventurer, whose name appears more or less in the records of all the towns on Long Island at this period. He pretended to have authority to adjust the boundaries of this town in its controversy respecting Lloyd's Neck. He made himself notorious by his denunciation of the King's authority and of the Connecticut government, until he was finally arrested at Setauket and taken to Hartford, tried and his lands sequestrated. Huntington made short work of him.)" (S24).

In that same year he signed the petition for annexation to Connecticut, and was made a member of the commission sent to New Haven to petition the English government of Connecticut to relieve the east end of Long Island from the control of the Dutch. Such sentiments explain his eventual removal to Connecticut.

On January 31, 1664, The Town voted that "Benedik shall have a ten acre lot beyond Rocky Hollow under the Hills to the East of the Jamaica lots already laid out." February 15, 1665, Thomas "Benedyck" signed his name as a witness to a bill of sale. (Extracts of the Jamaica Records). (S24). He was a Commissioner for Jamaica in 1664.

Long Island was principally settled by the English. On August 27, 1664, the Dutch governor, Peter Stuyvesant, turned over rule to Colonel Richard Nichols. On September 26, 1664, Thomas Benedict, John Bailey and Daniel Denton petitioned Col. Nichols to settle a river called Arthur Cull Bay in New Jersey at present-day Elizabeth. Thus he was a grantee of Elizabethtown, New Jersey. However, Thomas decided not to move his family to that area since the swampy area was considered unhealthy (?malaria). (S24).

In 1665 he was the Deputy to the Hempstead Convention and was also a Lieutenant in the Foot Company in Jamaica. Being a literate man, he helped in the land grants and other affairs. He served as Selectman and as town clerk.

On 8 Feb 1665, at the time of the establishment of the British government in New York, he was appointed by Governor Nichols as delegate from Jamaica to meet with other "sober, able, discreet persons at Hemstead to settle good and known laws" for the inhabitants of Long Island. This committee comprised the first legislative body ever convened in New York. As a reward for his services he was voted a 10-acre lot in Jamaica.

About 1665 he moved to Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut, and all his family moved there with him (S18). Norwalk lies near the mouth of the Norwalk River where it empties into Norwalk Harbor and Long Island Sound. The town of Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut was officially established in 1651. However, Thomas Benedict, Sen.,Thomas Benedict Jr., and John Benedict were named among the first settlers and in the Table of Home Lots.2,3 Included in the lists of early settlers of Norwalk were the familiar family names of Canfield, Smith, Keeler, Marvin, Platt, Betts, Lockwood, Bowten (Bouten) and others who in the later years intermarried with the Benedicts. (S23).

Arriving in Norwalk in 1665, too late to participate in the original allotments, Thomas Benedict managed, probably by buying a portion of land from each of three adjacent property owners, to squeeze out a lot in a most advantageous location next door to the minister and across the street from Matthew Marvin, Jr. (S24).

In 1665, at age 48, Thomas was a Lt. in the Southern Connecticut Militia from Norwalk. Thomas and Mary lived in their home on Goodrow Street, corner of Osborne Avenue, Mill Hill, Mill Pond. Their home now is totally unrecognizable. (S24).

When Thomas Benedict came to Norwalk, he was accompanied by his wife Mary, and sons John, Samuel, James, and Daniel, and his daughters Betty, Mary, Sarah, and Rebecca. Thomas Jr. had been married in Jamaica. Although about all the available "home division" lots had, at the Benedict coming, been appropriated, still there was, at the southwest of the "parade ground" and on the other side of the street, a small undisposed-of tract, which, lying along the "Fayerfielde road", and in a good neighborhood, Thomas Benedict pitched upon. He had evidently prevailed upon the adjoining proprietors to surrender portions of their own properties, sufficient to afford himself the average size "four acre" homestead. (S23).

Their sons, John and Daniel lived next to each other in the "home lott 4 acres Dry Hill". In 1671 Thomas and John Platt were selected to lay out home lots of the Town. At this time Thomas's land value was 150 pounds. (S24).

Samuel Benedict, in 1678 had his own home-lot on Dry Hill of four acres, bounded east by a highway that lead to the hill, west by Town Highway, and south by Thomas Benedict, Sr.'s home-lot. John Benedict in the same year, also had a home-lot on Dry Hill bounded east and west by a highway and north by Robert Stewart's lot, south by Thomas Betts, Sr.'s lot. Thomas Benedict, Jr. had a home-lot between Rayle Hill and Strawberry Hill, four acres. His land was bounded east by a highway on Strawberry Hill, west by a highway leading to the old common highway, north by Samuel Smith's lot, and south by John Gregory, Sr.'s lot. (S23).

Daniel Benedict was, in 1677, granted a plantation as a gratuity for being a soldier in the Indian war. He received 12 acres of land in three parcels. One parcel lay on the hill and plain on the other side of Norwalk River, "not far distant from the west side of the cart path leading to the meadow file etc.". (S23).

Thomas was chosen as a fence viewer in 1668 and made selectman in 1688. The selectman system had just come into being the year he arrived, replacing the townsman system. He soon also was appointed Town Clerk, with his firm, clear hand. At the same time he was elected to a much less prestigious post, which he apparently willingly undertook, sweeping out the meeting-house. He may have needed the twenty shillings the town paid for this work, but it is more likely that the good Puritan Thomas Benedict accepted this humble task for the Glory of God. (S24).

He was a freeman in Norwalk as early as 1669. He was town clerk of Norwalk in 1664, 1674 and 1677. This date of 1664 is interesting, and may indicate that he may have spent at least some time there prior to 1665.

In MAY 1670 he was chosen a Deputy from Norwalk to the Connecticut General Assembly and served until 1675.

Thomas Benedict was still being asked to make depositions in 1672 regarding borders between Huntington and Smithtown on Long Island even after he moved the whole family to Norwalk. (S24).

On 5, 6, and 7 MAR 1672-3, the Suffolk County Court of Sessions met at Southampton. During this court Thomas Benedict and Henry Whitney were plaintiffs in an action of defamation against defendant Mr. Richard Smith of Nessaqueaks. The court records read, "This jury finds for plaintiffs of suit that the defendant should make public acknowledgement that he hath done Goodman Benedict and Whitney wrong in saying that they were purgered persons or to pay the said Benedict and Whitney 50 pounds. The place where the acknowledgement is to be made will leave to the Court. The Court give judgement accordingly and the place of acknowledgement to be in open court, and the acknowledgement to stand on record. Wherein I Richard Smith of Neeseaquack have spoken words to several persons and in several places tending much to the defamation of Mr. Benedict and Whitney saying that they were forwarned or perjured persons and this fully evidenced aginst me in court, I do acknowledge my great error therein desiring the parties whom I have thus wronged to forgive me, hoping it shall be a warning to me hereafter of offending in ye like nature. The above is a true copy of ye acknowledgement made by Mr. Richard Smith in Open Court."

On January 31, 1678, Thomas was chosen to oversee work on building a meeting house. Thomas was appointed to make a new settlement in 1684 at Paquiage, later named Danbury. His sons, James and Daniel settled the new village and built their homes on the south end of Main Street. In 1687 land was given him of 36 lots and commonage valued at 153 pounds. (S24).

In 1679 he was again a Deputy from Norwalk to the Connecticut Legislature.

May 1684 Thomas Benedict, et al are by this Court appoynted and empowered a committee for to order the planting of a Towne above Norwalk or Fairfield and to receive in inhabitants to plant there; and what they, or any three of them shall do in the premises shall be good to all intents and purposes for the planting of Paquiage. (S20).

Patent Names Thomas Benedict as Proprietor

From Norwalk (1896) by Rev. Charles M. Selleck, Norwalk, Conn., pp. 21-22
Contributed by Barbara Boell

In PURSUANCE of the above ORDER the following PATENT was taken out by the TOWN OF NORWALK

THE GOVERNOUR and COMPANY,
Etc., Etc., to THE PROPRIETORS of the TOWNSHIP OF NORWALK
Patent Dated July 8th, 1686; Recorded Vol. 4, page 1
The patent begins as follows: --
"Whereas, the Generall Court of Connecticut have formerly granted unto ye proprietors inhabitants of Norwalk, all those lands both meadow and upland within these abutments, upon the Sea on the South and to runn from the sea twards the north full Twelve miles, and abut on the Wilderness on the North, and on Fairfield bounds on the East, and on Stamford bounds on the West, the said land having been by purchase or otherwise lawfully obtained by the Indian native proprietors;" etc.

And goes on as follows: --
"Know ye that on said Governor and Company, assembled in Generall Court, according to the commission, and by virtue of the power granted to them, by our late Sovereigne LORD KING CHARLES the Second of Blessed memory, in his late patent bearing date the three and twentieth day of Aprill in the fourteenth year of his said majesties Reigne, Have given and granted, and by these presents do give and grant, Ratifie and Confirme, unto Mr. Thomas Fitch, Mr. Thomas Hanford, Capt. Richard Olmstead, Mr. Thomas Bennedick [emphasis the editor's], Mr. Walter Hoyt, Mr. Matthew Marven, Mr. John Ruscoe, Mr. Nathaniel Hayes, Mr. Daniel Kellog, and Mr. Thomas Seamore, and the rest of the present proprietors of the Township of Norwalk, and their heirs and assigns forever, and to each of them, in such proportion as they have already agreed upon for the division of the same, all that aforesaid tract and parcell of land as it is butted and bounded; together with all the woods, upland, arable lands, meadows, pastures, ponds, havens, ports, waters, rivers, adjoining Islands, fishings, huntings, fowlings, mines, mineralls, quarries, and precious stones, upon or within the said tract of land, and all other profits and commodities thereunto belong, or in any wise appertaining; AND do also grant unto the afore named Mr. Thomas Fitch, and Mr. Thomas Hanford, · · · · · · &c., that the aforesaid tract of land shall be forever hereafter deemed, and reputed, and be, an entire township of itself."
"... IN WITNESS whereof, we have caused the seal of the Colony to be hereunto affixed, this eighth day of July, 1686..." (S24).

He was a Selectman in Norwalk for 17 years, ending in 1688. He was a Deacon of the Church in Norwalk during the last years of his life. He was appointed by the General Court in 1684 as one of a committee to found the town of Danbury, Connecticut. Danbury was thus founded, in 1687.

It was said of him that, "His good sense and general intelligence, some scientific knowledge and his skill as a penman made him their recourse when papers were to be drafted, lands to be surveyed and apportioned and disputes to be arbitrated. It is evident that very general respect for his judgment prevailed and that trust in his integrity was equally general and implicit."

It was also said, by his descendant James Benedict, "They walked in the midst of their house with a perfect heart. They were strict observers of the Lord's Day from even to even. The savor of his piety as well as his venerable name has been transmitted through a long line of deacons and other godly descendants to the seventh generation." Many of his descendants followed him in the office of deacon of the church.

His will was written 28 FEB 1689-90. His sons John and Samuel are named overseers.

He died apparently early in MAR 1689-90 at Norwalk, Fairfield county, Connecticut for his will was probated and inventory made 18 MAR 1689-90.
Thomas Benedict's Will and Inventory:

* 1, Thomas Bennidick of Norwalk, in ye County of Fairfield, in ye Colony of Conecticut, aged aboute 73 years, being weak of body, yet of perfect mind and memory, do make and declare this as my last Will and Testament.

Imprimis. I do commend my Soule into ye hands of my gracious God yt hath made it, and do give my body to ye Earth from whence it was, to be decently buried, in hope of a happy and gracious Resurrection at ye last day; As for my temporall Estate, I do despose of as followeth:

I do will and bequeath to my loueing wife Mary Bennidick my whole Estate' house and households, Lands, Cattle - to use and despose according to ye controll and advice she, with my overseers afterwards mentioned, shall judg [e] most [ ] during ye Time of her naturall Life, and after ye decease of ye said Mary, my wife, I do will and bequeath to my Sonn, Daniell Bennedick, my dwelling house barne and houseing, orchard and four ewes - ye whole of my homested - to be to him and his heirs, to have and to howld, forever.

I do will and bequeath my Sonn, John Bennedick, my calve pasture Lot - he [to] pay to my grandchild Thomas Slauson, ye Son of my daughter, Elizabeth Slasson, ye sum of ten pounds which I give him as a legacy in time convenient.

I do also give to my said Son, John Bennedick one third part of my Sticky plaine Lott, which is half broken up. I also bequeath to him yt part of salt meadow lying be ye bridge at ye Indian Feild. Also, unto him, I bequeath eight acres of upland laid out above ye Long Swamp beyond ye New feild - All these lands to be to him and his heirs forever.

I do will and bequeath to my son, James Benedick, my Long Lot of Salt Meadow - over ye River - lying between Keloge and Bets - I do also bequeath to ye said James, my son, half my fruitefull Spring Lot - yt Lyeth sideing by ye medow, provided ye said James shall pay to my Grandchild Elizabeth Slausson, ye sum of five pounds, in time convenient, the afforesaid Land to be James and his heirs forever.

I do will and bequeath to my grand child Thomas Benedick, one 3d part of my Sticky plaine Lot which he hath in part improued and is in part unbroken. I also, bequeath to ye sd Thomas, my second division of medow called Mamathemans - the lands to be to him and his heirs forever.

I do will and bequeath to my Grandchild Samuell Benedict, ye other half of my fruitfull Spring Lot lying next to Nathaniel [ ] I do also bequeath to ye sd Samuell, a small parcel of medow which is salt - [ ] Kelloggs Swamp rung through —also one 3d part of my sticky plaine Lot on ye [side] I have broken up. I do also bequeath to my sd grand child Samuel, half my comonage which is 50 pounds; and the other half I do give to my grandchild John Bennedick ye eldest son of my son John Bennedick. I also will and bequeath to my Grandchild Samuell Bennedick my ould Horse and one yearling Calf. I do also bequeath to ye sd Samuell, my Carts and Iron plows and chains and irons belonging to plow and cart. Also ye bed and bedsted - yt in ye chamber with what belongs to it - leuving it to his Grandmother and ye overseers to give him of ye moveables what they can spare, provided he carry and behauve himself dutefully and louvingly towards his Grandmother - so doing, I do, also, will and bequeath to ye sd Samuell half of my sheep.

I do will and bequeath to Joanna Bennedick, One Cow, one half of my sheep — the trukle bedstead wth ye bed thereupon and the furniture of it, and what else of household her Grandmother shall bestow on her, provided she liue with her and be tender of her while she shall continue in this world.

As for my Out Lands, undesposed of, it is my will that my Son James and Daniell diuide ye Upland between them equally except ye peace of boggy medow which I will to be equally divided between my son James and grandchild Samuell Benedick.

I do will and bequeath to my daughter Rebecka Wood [the] mare yt is now running in ye wood; and I leauve it to my wife to give to my Daughter Sarah and Rebecka what of ye moveables she shall see meet and can spare.

I do will and bequeath to my Grand child Mary Olmsted, a legacy of twenty shillings; I also give to Hannah Benedick, my grand child, ten shillings the [same] to be paid out of ye estate after my decease.

Finally it is my will and I do hereby appoint my Son John and my Son Samll Bennedick to be joynt overseers of this my last will and testament - willing these my loueing sons to be carefull of their Mothers comfortable liueing and to councell her in ye ordering her affairs and desposall of goods; and to see carefully to ye payment of all lawfull debts.

In confirmation of ye premises of this my will and Testiment, I do set my hand and seal this eight and twentieth febr Ano dominy 1689-90.

[Signed] THOS BENEDICK, Senr.
(fac simile of his signature to a deed)

Signed and Sealed in presents of us,
Thomas Hanford
John Platt, Jr.

Memorand: in ye twentieth line Elizabeth is bloted out and Mary put in ye Marjent accordin to ye will of ye testator - ye name mistake [n] by the writer

THOS. HANFORD

An Inventory of the Estate of Thomas Benedick Senr of Norwalk, late deceased,
taken this 18, of March 1689 or 90.
Imprimis: L. s. d.
The Homestead and Buildings 40.00.0
Item In Lands 150. " "
" " Neat Cattle 30. " "
" " Horss Kinde 05. " "
" " Beding and furniture 17.04.0
" " Iron Kettle and pott 01.02."
" " Pewter, brass Earthenware and Woodenware 03.15."
" " Several iron things 04.18."
" " Carts and wheels and Irons belonging to them 03.10."
" " Knailes and other Small things 01.12."
" " Plogh and Graine 8.14."
" " Arms and Ammunition 02.13."
" " Saddle, bridle and Sundry small things 06.10."
" " 5 Small Swine 02.10."
The total 285.09.0

Taken by us:
Thomas Seamer
James Olmsted.

Mary Benedict, ye Relickt of Thos Benedick Senr, late of Norwalk deceased, appeared before me, the 5th of November 1690, and attested upon oath yt according to ye best of her knowledge, ye above sd Inventory is a true Inventory.

[Signed] THOS. FITCH, Comiss.

The Will and Inventory of Thomas Benedick, decd of Norwalk, being exhibited to ye County Ct. in Fairfield, this 9th of November 1690, ye probate whereof being deferred until the next County Court in March, I do also appoint these two persons who wear appointed overseers of the sd will, viz: John and Samll Benedick with ye widow, Relickt of ye sd deceased Benedick, to administer on the sd estate - to receave and pay all debts due to and from ye sd estate and to husband ye estate and preserve it from imbez'ment.

[Signed] NATHAN GOLD, Clark.
The County Ct this 10. of Mar 1690 - l do except ye above sd Will and Inventory and order them to be recorded.
[Signed] NATHAN GOLD, Clark.

Mem: The foregoing Will and Inventory are recorded in Vol. of Probate Records> " 1689-1701," pp.38, &c., deposited in Probate office) Fairfield) Conn. The original will could not be found. (S23).

WIFE:
Mary BRIDGUM (Brigum, Bridgeham).
Much speculation has been made about the birthdate and location for Mary:
Born (1616-S?)(1618-S7,S10, S12)(1619-S1, S5, S6,S31)(after 1619-S8)(1620-S9)(1619/1621-S14)(1621-S13,S15) at (Nottingham-S14,S15)(Nottinghamshire, England-1,S5,S13) (Norfolk-S13)(Southhold, S, England-S8)(in England-S9,).

Of Long Melford parish, Norwich, Norfolk, England at time of marriage. (S31).

It is held to be correct that Mary is the daughter of John BRIDGUM [F4258]. John Bridgum married Elizabeth in Woolpit, Suffolk, England on 8 Sep 1629. (Source: Parish Registers of Woolpit, Suffolk, England, researched by John Insley Coddington.). (S19). If this is correct, Mary must have been born about 1630. However, this would mean she was about 9 years old in 1639 when she married Thomas BENEDICT [F2128]. (S17, S20). This is obviously in error, so there must be some other possibility for her parents. John is said to have had a wife prior to marrying Elizabeth in 1629. Some have even said that her name was Mary, though this is not certain. Mary, the wife of Thomas, must have been the daughter of this first wife of John. Due to the marriage date of Thomas and Mary, the probable marriage age of Mary, and the fact that John is said to have been born in 1588, I estimate that Mary could have been born anytime between about 1610 and 1624.

As to the location, it seems pretty certain that Nottinghamshire is incorrect. Southhold is obviously a mistaken entry mixed up with Southhold, Long Island, New York where she later lived. This leaves Norfolkshire, England as the probable place of her birth, but the exact town is still in doubt.

It has been said that she was a widow, though probably this is confusion with her mother.

Much speculation has also been made about the dates of her marriage to Thomas BENEDICT: (1638-S7,S10,S12)(1638-1640-S5)(1639-S16)(1640-S6,S12,S14)(1641-S12). There is also a lot of confusion about the location. Most sources say they were married in America, some it Boston area, but most say in Southhold, Long Island, New York). A few say in England, but the most definitive is:
The Norfolk County Record Office in Norwich is proof that the marriage of Thomas and Mary took place in England rather than in America. "Marriage of Thomas Benedict and Mary Bridgum--step-children, Melford parish, England, 1639". The notation "step-children" is given meaning that they were step-siblings. (S17, S20). This is the Long Medford Parish, Norwich, Norfolk, England.

Of their arrival in America, the following versions are given:
The arrived in APR 1638 on the ship Confidence, (S11) which came from France (S18).

In another version, they left England on the ship Mary & Anne in May 1637 and arrived at Massachusetts Bay Colony some months later. (S25).

Since they were married in England in 1639, these are obviously in error, and neither the ship on which Thomas Benedict and his bride arrived in America nor the date of it have been determined. They probably landed in the Beverly, Massachusetts Bay area. Mary's mother or step-mother is also said to have come with them on the ship, but this is also in question.

She died in (1717-S?)(1718-S7,S8, S10,S12)(1719-S1, S5, S6,S14)(about 1720-S9)(about 1721-S13,S15). It is most likely that she died in Connecticut. I expect that it was at Norwalk where they lived from 1665 until Thomas’ death in 1689-90. Here is what other say: (Southhold, Long Island, New York)(Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut-S8,S14)(Ridgefield, Connecticut-S1, S5, S6, S13,S15)(Connecticut-S9).

CHILDREN of Thomas BENEDICT [F2128] and Mary BRIDGUM [F2129]:


SOURCES: