no image
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Benjamin (Ross) Stewart (abt. 1790 - abt. 1871)

Benjamin (Ben) Stewart formerly Ross
Born about in Dorchester County, Maryland, United Statesmap
Son of [uncertain] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1808 in Dorchester, Maryland, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died about at about age 81 in Auburn, Cayuga, New York, United Statesmap
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Erin Casner private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 30 Oct 2009
This page has been accessed 7,009 times.



US Black Heritage Project
Ben (Ross) Stewart is a part of US Black heritage.

Ben Ross was probably born around 1790[1] in Dorchester County, Maryland. He was enslaved by Anthony Thompson, who eventually married Mary (Pattison) Brodess. Ben married Harriet "Rit" Greene, who was enslaved by Mary Brodess and came to live in the same household as Ben when Anthony Thompson and Mary Brodess wed.[2][3]

Ben and Rit had nine children, the first born about 1808.[4] Their daughter Harriet (born Araminta) Ross Tubman is famous for her work on the Underground Railroad to help fleeing slaves to safety. Their children were:

  1. Linah Ross Jolly, born about 1808
  2. Mariah Ritty, born about 1811
  3. Soph, born about 1813
  4. Robert Ross, born about 1816
  5. Araminta Ross, born about 1822
  6. Ben Ross, Jr, born about 1823
  7. Rachel Ross, born about 1825
  8. Henry Ross, born 1830
  9. Moses Ross, born 1832

Ben was freed from slavery around 1840, as stipulated in Anthony Thompson's will.[5] Ben worked as a timber estimator and foreman, and by 1855 was able to purchase his wife from Eliza Brodess.[2] In 1840 Ben and at least some of his family lived in Parsons Creek in Dorchester County, Maryland[6] and by 1850, they had moved to neighboring Caroline County.[7]

In Maryland, Ben was a part of the Underground Railroad. In 1856, he helped the "Dover Eight" escape and as a result came under suspicion himself. At that point, his daughter Harriet came and quickly helped Ben and his wife escape, eventually making their way to St. Catharine's in Ontario, Canada where they lived for several years.[2] By 1865, Ben, his wife, and many of their children had begun to use the surname Stewart and were living right outside of Auburn, New York in Fleming.[8][9] Ben lived there until his death in 1871, probably on November 19th.[10]

Research Notes

  • Parents: As of 2022, no concrete information is available about who Ben's parents are. Dr. Kate Clifford Larson (2019) provides detailed information about records available for the Thompson family and those they enslaved, but none of it indicates who his parents were.[11] There is a page on which says that Ben's father was Martin Ross, born in 1793 who was the ancestor of an Evelyn Ross Taylor, according to oral family history. However, if he was born in 1793, he would not have been old enough to be Ben's father, although he could have been a brother. There's not any other documentation for this Martin Ross other than unsourced family trees - more research is needed.

Slave Owner


  1. See census records.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 David Armenti, "Benjamin "Ben" Ross (b. circa 1787 - d. 1871)," Biographical Series, Archives of Maryland, 2011, : accessed 8 Nov 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kate Clifford Larson, Bound For The Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero (New York: Random House, 2004), pages xvi-xviii & 9-10.
  4. Kate Clifford Larson, Harriet Tubman Underground National Monument Historic Resource Study (National Park Service, Department of the Interior, 2019), page 13, : accessed 8 Nov 2022.
  5. Larson 2019, pages 166-169,
  6. "United States Census,1840," Parsons Creek, Dorchester, Maryland, USA; Page 92, 4th line from bottom, Benjamin Ross; Ancestry Sharing Link - Ancestry Record 8057 #2174255.
    Household includes the following persons, all "free colored persons": 1 male under 10, 2 males 10-23, 1 male 36-54, 1 female 24-35, 1 female 36-54.
  7. "United States Census, 1850," Caroline County, Maryland, USA; sheet 162b, family 1409, lines 30-34, Benjamin Ross household;
  8. "New York State Census, 1865," Fleming, Cayuga County, New York, USA; page 5, family 37, lines 9-17, Benjamin Stewart household;
  9. "United States Census, 1870", Fleming, Cayuga County, New York, USA; page 30, family 262, lines 3-7, Bengen Steward in Chas Davis household;
  10. Benjamin Stewart death, Watkins Express [New York], 30 Nov 1871, page 3, column 5; image available at Old Fulton New York Postcards ( "Watkins NY Express 1869-1872 - 0470" : accessed 8 Nov 2022), requires free registration.
    "The Auburn Advertiser says: Benjamin Stewart, a colored man, died in this city on Sunday the 19th inst..."
  11. Larson 2019, pages 97-98, 115,

See also:

Is Ben your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message the profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

No known carriers of Ben's DNA have taken a DNA test. Have you taken a test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 1

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Ross-24 and Ross-24900 appear to represent the same person because: I accidentally created a profile for Benjamin Ross as I am creating slave profiles from the Underground Railroad. I would like to be on the trusted list as well.
posted on Ross-24900 (merged) by Gina (Pocock) Jarvi

Featured German connections: Ben is 27 degrees from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 30 degrees from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 33 degrees from Lucas Cranach, 28 degrees from Stefanie Graf, 31 degrees from Wilhelm Grimm, 33 degrees from Fanny Hensel, 33 degrees from Theodor Heuss, 28 degrees from Alexander Mack, 41 degrees from Carl Miele, 27 degrees from Nathan Rothschild and 32 degrees from Ferdinand von Zeppelin on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.