Descendants of Thomas Benedict

Thomas(1) Benedict
Birth:----- Nov. 17, 1617, Norfolk, England
Death:---- Feb. 28, 1689, Norwalk, Fairfield, CT
Father:--- William Benedict (ca 1579-1629)
Mother:-- Elizabeth Stephenson (ca 1590-1618)

Spouse:---Mary Bridgham
Birth:------ca 1619/1621, Nottinghamshire, England
Death:-----1718, Norwalk, Connecticut.
Father:----John Bridgham (ca 1588-)
Mother:---Grace Bridgham (ca 1592-)
Married:---1638/1640, Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony


Rebecca(2)-(ca 1643-)





Elizabeth(2) (Betty) (1653-)



Thomas Benedict, who came over from England to America in 1638, at the age of twenty one, was the first of that name in this country, as in the Benedict Genealogy of 1870 our historian tells us. He was the son of William Benedict, who had lived in Saxlingham Nethergate, Norfolk, England.

Who was his mother? In Water's "Genealogical Gleanings in England," (p. 1047) there is printed the Will of Henry Hunlock of Wingerworth, Derbyshire; it is dated July 13, 1610, and was probated for record February 16, 1612.

In it Hunlock bequeaths "to my loving son, William Benedeke, forth shillings to buy him a ring for remembrance, and to my daughter, Ann Benedeke, twenty pounds at one and twenty years of age."

Derbyshire is a county adjacent to Nottinghamshire and Wingerworth is but a few miles from Nottingham, where William Benedict lived; and these bequests, in connection with the dates of the birth and emigration of Thomas, supported by the testimony of the wife of Thomas, given on page 2 of the Benedict Genealogy, seem to warrant the conclusion that the mother of Thomas was Ann Hunlock of Wingerworth, that his father, William, married her before July 13, 1610, that she was not of age then, nor before 1612, and therefore was not twenty eight years old when Thomas was born in 1617. No record was found by our historian of the name of the mother of William or of his grandmother; so that Ann Hunlock Benedict is the earliest ancestress of the name yet known.
The Hunlocks, or Hunlokes, were an old family in Derbyshire. Ann's father, Henry, was sheriff of the county and in attendance upon King James First during his royal progress through that county; the date and place of his burial has not been ascertained, but on a slab in front of the altar in Wingerworth Church is inscribed in Latin the following:

Henry Hunloke son of Henry
Buried 17th day of August, A. D. 1624
Henry Hunloke, Knight(Miles) and Baronet son of the above named Henry
Buried 12th day of January, 1647

Evidently the Henry first interred there could not have been Ann's father whose will was recorded in 1612; but as Wingerworth Hall is known to have been the family estate for mare than 300 years it is a fair assumption that he was Ann's elder brother, who succeeded his father. If so the second Henry there interred was Ann Hunlock's nephew; according to historical statements he was knighted by King Charles First on the battlefield of Edgehill in 1642 and afterwards made baronet. A portrait hangs in the picture gallery at Wingerworth Hall inscribed "Sir Henry Hunlock ae. 21, 1639." If this is a portrait of the baronet who died in 1647, he was born in 1618, and was a cousin of Ann Hunlock Benedict's son Thomas. There is also in the picture gallery at Wingerworth Hall a portrait inscribed "Ann Hunloke," but the date on it is later than 1610, and the portrait is that of a woman who was not born at that date.

The facts and dates above given were some of them obtained by the late Robert D. Benedict, of Brooklyn, N. V., and others by a member of his family in 1905, by visits to Nottingham and Wingerworth, and while they may be thought not conclusive, yet they seem sufficient to warrant the above assumptions based on them as not unfounded. The probability of their correctness is certainly very strong. As the family line has not been traced back in England, except by the tradition noted in the Genealogy, to identify either the grandmother or great grandmother of Thomas Benedict, Ann Hunlock Benedict is our first English ancestress yet known.

SOUL GOD MAN, by Elias Uriah Benedict, Page 173, #189 Vol. I and Page 183, Volume II.
My reason for the following is because many friends seem inclined to dispute the possibility of spirit life or soul. Mankind is inclined to simulation which is productive of no earthly pleasure. A traverse to the author of our being. What is soul? It is a vital principle, intellectual life: source of reason; power to acquire knowledge; a comprehensive understanding that makes us responsible beings; a perpetuation of existence that makes us individuals here with a hope for the hereafter; celestial power that has an infinite future; germ of deity; immaculate origin; innate spirit of life; transmitted immortality by deity; soul that which recognizes the little or much individuals may possess of true greatness of spirit life.
Charity, forgiveness and mercy are the outpouring pleasure and product of the soul. Soul, that which recognizes the liberty of conscience, that meets its want in blending its purpose with infinite good. Soul the embodiment of the senses; primeval purpose of the Author of life; sphere in which all life and hope exists of immortality; absorbing principle or divinity.
Without soul, there would be no sorrow or grief, no feeling of joy, or tears of affection. Soul, our existence, our manhood, our inspiration and our being. The fountain of life from which all good flows. Soul, that which animates material, every fibre, tendon, ligament of the natural body obey the will of the soul. Material is subject to changes. Soul is not. There is no resemblance in the purpose for which the two were designed to fill. Soul in individuals breaks the silence of the veiled mist of unbelief. We find it in the bleak ice bound zone of the north, struggling to reach what nature seems to have forbidden. We find it in the torrid, searching for hidden wealth. It wakes from its slumber sleeping centuries to glean from earth's clasp bosom its veiled mysteries in the sphere on which our field of progress exists. It peers into the boundless realm of space and shoots like a meteor from star to star, from planet to planet, in its failing efforts to reach the end. It diverges from its given center and expands to every compass point. It realizes in thought what words fail to express. It lurks on the verge of eternity and listens to the expected voice of the departed. It realizes pleasure in the line of duty while waiting for inspiration from the author of its being in working out the numerous problems of creation. If under the rough smiling valleys; it listens to the lapping of the crystal waters. It beholds the cardinal and lily blooming in obscure places. It breathes the wasting fragrance of the morning flower. It reposes on verdant fields and beneath the over shadowing boughs of the towering oak. It traces the rugged and winding way to the mountain too. It pauses on the everlasting snow bound peak to kiss the approaching heavens, and listen to the moaning, sighing winds, and wondering from whence it came, and seem to dream it is but the echo of angel songs. It is found pleading in the courts of justice. It invades every home and domestic circle. It pleads for forgiveness at the altar of sacrifice and prayer. Its melodious song echoes through the corridors of church and cathedral. Its sobbing grief frequents the haunts of the dying and the dead. It sheds a hallow of glory around the innocent and pure in heart. It reciprocates the infant's smile, and prizes the mother's love. It bends tenderly to the afflicted and disconsolate. Soul, the all absorbing intellectual power; the source of life and realism. It echoes every whisper of love. It dwells in the crowded metropolis as well as the lowly obscure home of the peasant. It abides with pauper and peasant. Man rejoices in its existence; this inheritance of immortality; the abiding place marked by human voice and achievement. When solving problems discovered in nature and applying the law that exists that magnifies our being and crowns it with triumph, it yearns for the presence of its author; and lives in abiding faith in immancipation from sin. When divested of its material garb, which is a living sepulcher until the spirit is perfected for a higher and more lofty purpose in the never ending march of progress and destiny for which it was created, of such we are.
It is the soul that prompts utterances that palliates distress, sorrow
and grief. It is soul that bids us hope on when the darkened clouds of unbelief overshadow us. It is soul that lives when everything in nature sleeps in death. It is soul that exacts justice when caviling for individual rights. It is steadfast, transfixed and headless as the tempest blast in its holy purpose to establish our sacred inheritance bequeathed by divine will. It is as pure as the odor of the rose and as refulgent as the lightning wing. It banishes every instinct that lurks in thought that disturbs the fellowship of man and reverence for the author of our being.
It baffles time and triumph in the dissolution of the spiritual from the natural in passing from time to eternity. Soul is deity. Infinite wisdom of creation and purpose of God, the Almighty.

by Commodore Elias Cornelius Benedict, Page 126, Volume I.
It is said that the Benedict family holds the record for longevity in modern times. Three hundred years ago Thomas Benedict came to this country, and the average of each of his 170 descendants has been 83 years. One died at the age of 100 years. Nine died between the apes of 95 and 100 years. Fifteen died between the ages of 90 and 95. Twenty six were between 85 and 90 when they died. Forty two lived to be between 80 and 85 years old. Seventy seven died between the ages of 75 and 80 years. Sixty two years ago the present head of the family, Commodore Elias Cornelius Benedict, the poor son of a poor New England minister, came down to New York City and became a banker. Commodore Benedict, who is soon to celebrate his seventy ninth birthday, says that contentment and freedom from strife and cares that are a tax on vitality are the secret of the phenomenal longevity of his family. He says: "I have worked hard, but have played whenever I could find opportunity. If it had not been for those periods of play I would have been dead long ago. I attend to business now because I cannot get away from it. I get every bit of enjoyment out of life that is possible, and I realize now that I could have got a great deal more had I not been bent on making money. Now that I have it, what good is it to me? I have done my children a great injustice to bring them up in luxury. The parent who accumulates a fortune and dangles it before his children commits a crime. Extreme poverty is truly a priceless inheritance. I suppose there are exceptions, but all the men I recall who have become great in the fields of literature, art or statecraft have been born in poverty. The only great man is the one who helps his fellow man by adding to the general store of the world's happiness." That play is as necessary as work in the divine economy for the health of the body and mind and soul as well is a lesson that Americans should seriously consider. The swift pace of American life kills; kills many of the women at forty and the men at forty five, whose clock of life is wound up by nature to run for three score years and ten. Commodore Benedict has on his yacht alone made rest and pleasure trips amounting to 225,000 miles, a distance almost ten times the circumference of the globe. It was on that yacht that Grover Cleveland had some of his happiest hours of recreation in fishing. There was hereditary longevity in the Benedict family. There was long life in the brain cells, the blood current, and the muscular tissues. Many beautiful families with contentment and playful spirit have faded early with diseases from hereditary tendencies. Many families naturally strong have died prematurely for want of systematic rest and recreation and a contented spirit. The moral element as a factor in longevity is not to be overlooked. It was a good start for a long life to be born in a parsonage with virtue and poverty as friendly instrumentalities. This relation between a contented and playful spirit and physical health is thus described by the wise man; A merry heart doth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones. (Prov. 17: 22)

SUFFOLK COUNTY SESSIONS, 1669-1684 Liber I, P.#39 Ct. of Sessions, Southampton, March 5,6,7 days Mer.1672-3

Thomas Benedict and Henry Whitney against Mr. Richard Smith of Nessaqueaks, defendant in an action of Defamation. 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 judgment accordingly and the place of acknowledgement to be in open court, and the acknowledgement to stand on record. Whereas 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 against 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 acknowledgment made by Mr. Richard Smith in Open Court.


In Denmark, the prodigies of bravery performed by Benedict, the brother of Canute IV, in defending the King, his brother, covered the name with honor. Canute IV died 1086, King of Denmark, known as the saint, because of his activity as a church builder and his generosity to the clergy He introduced foreign scholars and endeavored to abolish serfdom. This family can be traced to the year 800, and with further study could no doubt go to 500. They can be connected with all the kings down to the present time. In Denmark they have carried the name down through several centuries, and today we find the name, Benedikte, the daughter of King Frederick of Denmark. Canute (995-1035,) father of Benedict and Canute IV, was married twice. He married first Algiva and second, Emma, daughter of Richard the fearless, Duke of the Normans. Emma of Normandy was also married twice. She married first, Ethelred, King of England, in 1002, and second to Canute. Ethelred was King of England before Canute. He was born in 968 and died 1016, and was son of Edgar, King of England. The marriage of these two families knit the first close ties between the ruling families of England and Normandy.
They migrated to Norwich, England at a very early period which was the ancient seat of the Benedict Family. There were also settlements of Flemish and Dutch weavers there at the same time. Norwich was a Danish borough in the ninth century. They migrated from Norwich to Nottinghamshire, and according to information that Charles E. Benedict has obtained, one borough of Nottinghamshere were all Benedicts. Whether this Benedict is our ancestor is a mute question, nevertheless his family was at these various places at the same time, and I believe they must be connected with our Benedict Family.

NOTE ON BRIDGHAM AND THOMAS BENEDICT OF NORWALK, by John Insley Coddington of Bordentown, New Jersey

Note on Bridgham and Thomas Benedict of Norwalk: In the preceding article, mention was made of a reference in the Boyd Marriage Index of Suffolk at the Society of Genealogist's Library in London to the marriage in 1629 between John Bridgham and Elizabeth "Benedick" at Woolpit in Suffolk. The entry in the original Parish Register of Woolpit reads:
"1629. 8th September. John Bridgham & Elizabeth Benedict widow(came both out of Norfolke.") (This is the only Bridgham or Benedict entry at Woolpit.) We have here, I think, a clue to the true parentage and county of birth of Thomas Benedict, who was born in England in 1617, came to New England about 1638, and settled successively at Southold, Huntington, and Jamaica, Long Island, and at Norwalk, Conn., where he died between 28 Feb. 1689-90 (the date of his will) and 18 March following (the date of the inventory of his estate.) Thomas Benedict, who was a prominent man in each of the towns in which he lived, married Mary "Bridgum," and by her had issue nine children: Thomas, John, Samuel, James, Daniel, Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, and Rebecca.
According to family tradition, set down in his old age by Deacon Jame3 Benedict of Ridgefield, Conn., a grandson of Thomas4 and Mary Bridgum Benedict, the Benedict family came from the county of Nottingham, and Thomas was the son, grandson, and great grandson of men named William Benedict. Deacon James Benedict further averred that Thomas's mother died, and his father then married "the widow Bridgum," who by a previous marriage had had a daughter, Mary, who later became Thomas Benedict's wife.
Now, Deacon James Benedict was a worthy but muddle headed old gentleman. There is not the slightest trace of a Benedict family any where in any Nottinghamshire records, and we may be quite sure that no Benedict ever lived in that county. On the other hand, Deacon James Benedict's mother was a Gregory, and his maternal ancestors, the Gregory family, did indeed come from Nottinghamshire. This is the explanation of one confusion in the Deacon's recollections.
It seems altogether likely that Deacon James Benedict was also mixed up regarding the step relationship of his paternal grandparents, Thomas; and Mary(Bridgum) Benedict. No evidence has been found that a man named Benedict married a widow Bridgham ( or Bridgum) as the Deacon spelled it, but in the Parish Registers of Woolpit we have found the marriage of a John Bridgham to Elizabeth Benedict, widow, on 8 Sept. 1629. It seems very likely indeed that we have here the record of marriage of the widowed father of Mary "Bridgum" to the widowed mother of Thomas Benedict. The additional note in the marriage entry, "came both out of Norfolke," is further confirmation to our identification, for Norfolk and London are the only two localities in England where the very rare name of Benedict (probably continental in origin) is to be found in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries


Thomas Benedict was a lineal descendant of William Benedict who resided in Nottingham, England in 1500. Thomas of Norwalk, Conn. of the fourth generation from William was also born in Nottingham in 1617 and came to New England in 1638, settled in Massachusetts, removed to South old on Long Island, and in 1665 settled in Norwalk, Conn. His wife was Mary Bridgum (Bridgham) who was in the same ship with her husband.
Both were born in England. Both sailed from Southhampton, England in April 1638 in the good ship "Confidence," a sailing vessel. The Master was John Jobson, bound for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first station of this colony was established at Cape Ann in 1623. The settlement was moved to Salem, Mass. in 1628 and was made up of men from the west part of England and men interested in the fishing trade. The Benedicts, not being interested in fishing moved south and west settling in Southhold, Long Island for their first permanent home where all their children were born. Their five sons went to Norwalk with their parents.



To my knowledge nobody has created a web page of all of the descendants of Thomas Benedict
In my spare time I plan to create a complete tree of all of his descendants.
Right now I have quite a bit of hard copy information which needs to be transcribed and uploaded.
I am always looking for more.
If you have anything that could be of some use, please e-mail it to me at:
e-mail: lrbenedict @ verizon . net
I will eventually upload it to the site.
Information about anybody still living (i.e.. Date of Birth, Mother Madden name etc.)
will be kept in a private area which can only be accessed by direct descendants of Thomas Benedict.
Please link to this web page. The more links I have, the higher my ranking will be in the search engines.
I do not know how long it will take but I will complete it some day.
Wish me luck.
Lawrence Benedict

e-mail: lrbenedict @ verizon . net

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