Looking to connect Abbie Bennett (1803-1895) of Trumbull, CT

+3 votes
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Abbie Bennett is buried at Tashua Burial Ground in Trumbull, Connecticut, USA. She shares a burial plot with Asa French and his family. I also found her living with their household in the US Census for 1850, 1870 & 1880. (I've not found her for 1860, yet, but she's definitely not with Asa's family.) In 1880, Asa & his wife Catherine had died, but Abbie was in residence with their son, Asa Jr. that year.

The burial plot includes:

  • Ephraim French (1758-1851)
  • Abigail (Winton) French (1797-1875), Ephraim's wife
  • Asa French (1796-1875), Ephraim's son
  • Catherine Ann (Unknown) French, 1797-1875
  • Betsey Lavinia French, dau of Asa & Catherine
  • Cleora A. French, dau of Asa & Catherine
  • Abbie Bennett, 1803-1895, relationship unknown

More children are found in the Census. The 1880 Census has Abbie widowed. Jacobus's "Families of Old Fairfield" has this French family. It goes as far as Ephraim and his children; nothing about Asa beyond the birth date. But no Abbie as Ephraim's daughter. My working hypothesis is that Abbie might be Catherine Ann's sister. With Asa ruled out, there's the problem that I don't have a last name for Catherine Ann, and it's not for a lack of looking.

Catherine Ann is in several trees at Ancestry.com, but only one has a last name, Hawley. But that's unsourced and I have yet to find any record for Catherine Ann Hawley b.1797.

The last person is Catherine Bennett, aged 19 in 1850. She is likely Abbie's daughter, though I've not confirmed it. According to the various Census records, all of them were born in Connecticut. I'm looking for more on her now; nothing yet! I didn't make her a profile since I'm not positive Abigail b. 1797 & Catherine b. 1831 are mother & daughter.

I'm still looking, but I'm ready to admit I could use some help!

WikiTree profile: Abbie Bennett
in Genealogy Help by Anonymous Winter G2G6 Mach 7 (71.2k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes

No immediate help but some "coincidences." Just thinking "birds of a feather ..."

She is likely the Abbey Bennett, age 56, living in the household of Abel Mallett, age 71, in 1850 (Trumbull, CT) [EDIT apologies, that's 1860, not 1850] https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YB6-9T37?i=37&cc=1473181

In  the 1880 census, next door to Asa French and "Aby" Bennett, is the household of Joseph Treadwell. Harriet Mallell (could be Mallett?), "Mother," age 61, resided with him. Joseph Treadwell resided next door to Asa French (also) in 1850.

1860 Trumbull CT dw 276 fam 307 John Mallett, age 45; Harriett Mallett, age 41.  Two dwellings away: dw 274 fam 304 Jerome Bennett, 22; Elizabeth Bennett, 20; same dwelling, fam 305 John W Mallett, 22; Mary Mallett, 21

As mentioned, maybe just coincidences, but it appears there's a connection among Bennetts and Mallets.

by Bruce Veazie G2G6 Mach 5 (57.6k points)
edited by Bruce Veazie
I first went to Tashua Burial Ground because of the Malletts. I have a couple lines that lead back to them; it's what first got me interested in Huguenots. I figure those French Protestants maybe tempered Puritan harshness a little. (Planting vines where the Puritans got fined for drinking, for an obvious example.) Anyhow, I spent some time on FindAGrave searching and figured out there were a high concentration of Malletts there. I photographed the whole thing.

I actually know the area pretty well, especially now that I'm over 90% done working through all my thousands of cemetery pix, and connecting most all of them, too. Which is to say, any entwinements with Malletts in this particular area makes perfect sense. They were wealthy when they arrived as Huguenot refugees and bought up some major tracts of land, including around the Tashua Episcopal Church. I should have thought of looking for a Mallett myself! Good suggestion!! Maybe I'll find another of the families in the area with a daughter Catherine born at the right time. It's about all I've got left.

Thanks for giving me a push in that direction. It is what's needed next.
Except --- wait! My Abbie is buried in the same plot as Asa French and listed in his household in the 1850 Census. I guess there's more than one Abby Bennett in the area. The Bennetts are pretty well represented in the Tashua cemetery, and Abigail was a fairly common name, so not a big surprise. Just a reminder to be careful about similar names.

My apologies - typo above - that was the 1860 census, not 1850, though the link is correct. So that may still be her - i.e., she isn't residiing with Asa French, et al, in that census (Asa French dw 266 fam 295)

Also, if you're close to a Family History Center, you might want to look at microfilms of probate files. The date range goes to 1880 so may have Asa French (but not Abby Bennett.

I.e., https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/141959?availability=Family%20History%20Library
Well, I've looked into the Malletts pretty thoroughly over the years. I'm not finding any Abbie or Catherine among any of Abel Mallett's siblings, or even his cousins. I think I'll look at the Gregory family next, since Abel's wife was a Gregory.

Related or not, I guess Abbie was making herself useful, helping out widower Abel Mallett, whose wife died 1856. Meanwhile, I searched high and low, scores of last names. Didn't find a Catherine who lived the right years at all,dagnabbit! Not sure I can do much but link that she was in the household.

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