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Virginia, Bennett Name Study

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Surname/tag: Bennett
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This profile is part of the Bennett Name Study.

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Virginia, Bennett Name Study

Joseph Bennett [Sr] was one of the early settlers on the North Fork of the South Branch of Potomac. The first deed entered of record in Pendleton County was filed at the clerk's office when the county seat was at Ruddle, six miles North of Franklin on the 13th day of June 1788. In this deed Joseph and his wife sold their property on the North Fork in the process of moving westward to Harrison County: "thirty-five pounds current money of Virginia to the Joseph Bennett in hand paid, doth bargain an sell into the said Isaac Hinkle, Esq. to him and his heirs one tract of land in the county of Pendleton. being on the North Fork of the South Branch of Potomac at the great Clover Lick containing seventy acres.The said Joseph Bennett and Mary, his wife, for themselves and their heirs doth covenant with the said Isaac Hinkle and admitted to record August 4, 1788.

Jeff Carr documents the uncertainty surrounding the ancestry of Joseph Bennett Sr.

Source:: Corrected Pedigrees by Jeff Carr

Bennetts. Over the years, a variety of mistakes have been passed along about the Bennett family. One of the more persistent ones comes from The Holt-Bennett Family History (1974). This book refers largely to the Holt family and a few other of the author's related families. Only thirty pages of it refer to the Bennetts, and those trace the descendants of William and Rebecca (McCauley) Bennett. Of this, one paragraph recounts the Bennett ancestry of William Bennett. It reports that Joseph Bennett Sr. of Pendleton County was the son of a William Bennett who was born in England in 1668, and that William married Elizabeth Lee. They supposedly had a son, Joseph, who was born in 1695 in New Jersey, married a Mary Vernon, and died in 1767; this is supposed to be our Joseph Sr. No evidence or references to support corroborate these are given; this, of course, makes it totally unreliable. The last bit about Joseph is completely refutable; it is incredibly unlikely that he was born in 1695, had kids in the 1745-68 range, and was living as late as 1804 in Harrison County. We know that Joseph Bennett Sr. did not die in 1767. However, once again, some researchers have uncritically added these purported ancestors to their charts without verification. While those people (William and Elizabeth, Joseph of 1695, and Mary Vernon) may have existed, no one has yet offered any documentable evidence, or connected them to our Pendleton County family.

The late Mary Harter did extensive research on the Bennett family, and sold manuscripts of her research in the late 1970's. Since that time, several of us have continued to research this family and the progress has been slow. At present, our research has taken us only as far back as Joseph Sr., and then not always definitively. Another Bennett mistake that has continued to have a seemingly immortal life of it's own came from The Henckel Genealogy, and The Henckel Genealogical Bulletin. Without going into the myriad of details, the wife of Joseph Bennett Jr. was given as Hannah Elsworth. This has been refuted and corrected in both The Henckel Bulletin and this journal, and in much correspondence by those who continue to advance the research on the Bennett family. However, some researchers continue to carry the Elsworth name on their sheets; it should be removed. Evidence has been reviewed that suggests that Hannah's maiden name may have been Starnes. Corroborating public-record evidence of this, and her parentage have yet to be found.

According to Don Norman, whose notes can be found below. Joseph Bennett was born about 1725. He reportedly married Abigail Lee Hunter and Mary Vernon. Neither has been proven, although he did have a wife named Mary in the late 1780's. Joseph received a grant of 70 acres of land in Augusta County Va in 1767. Joseph was living in Pendleton county VA in 1763. By 1786, he was living on Buffalo Creek in present day Harrison Country WV. There is no known documentation for Joseph's birth, death, marriages or children. The children attributed to Joseph Bennett may have been children of two men named Joseph.

Known children of Joseph Bennett.

2. (1). John b.c. 1748 m. Catherine ------

3. (2). Joseph b.c. 1750 m.Hannah Starnes

4. (3). daughter

5. (4). daughter

[The following may be from a different Joseph Bennett]

6. (5). William m. Ann -------

7. (6). Jacob b.c. 1760 m. Sarah ----- m. Mary (Innes) Springston

8. (7). Richard b.May 12 1763 d.Jan 14 1835 m. Martha Turvey m. Margaret Turvey

9. (8). David b.c. 1766 d. 1807 m. Christina Bumgardner Apr 2 1791

10. (9). Abraham b. 1768 d. 1832 m. Mary Collins Jan 29 1793 m. Rachel Loar or Furr See:#Norman

According to David Armstrong, the entire first generation of the Bennett family in West Virginia is not as clear as some think. In 1782 tax lists indicate that by that time there were TWO Bennetts in the Pendleton area with adult children. The presence of an "extra" John and William would show this. Either Joseph Sr. had a son old enough to have adult sons by 1782 (which is not out of the question) or there was another Bennett contemporary with Joseph Sr. Records in Chalkley show that there was an adult John Bennett living on the South Fork by 1767, just two years after Joseph Sr. begins to show up, and Joiners published Northern Neck surveys has evidence of a Joseph and Thomas Bennett on Cacapon in the 1760s, contemporary with Joseph Bennett Sr.'s appearance in Pendleton. It seems to be the popular opinion among most researchers I have talked with that Joseph Bennett Sr. came to West Virginia and that all of the other descend form him. I am not so sure. See:#Armstrong.

In 1778 Paul Hinkle, a relative of the Elsworths, wrote in his diary that Joseph Bennett Sr. had two sons who were householders and two married daughters. This being the case, there are too many adult Bennetts in the early 1770s to fit that profile. Morton cites a William, James and John Bennett in records before 1775, so since Joseph Sr. only had two sons who were householders by 1778, and it seems likely that one of these was the Joseph Jr. who died in 1810, one must wonder who some of these others belonged to. Paul Hinkle was definitely someone who would have KNOWN how many kids Joseph Bennett Sr. had, so it appears that there were adult Bennetts running around in the early 1770s who were not Joseph Sr.'s children. It may be that Joseph Sr. and some of his brothers or cousins appear in the 1760s and 1770s, and that the later generations descend from the collectively. See:#Armstrong.

Lived next to Thomas Bland. Joseph was tax exempt 1797 when he moved to Harrison County. Appears to have come from Britain by way of New Jersey to Virginia .


  • WikiTree profile Bennett-4340 created through the import of complete.ged on Oct 7, 2012 by Billie Walsh. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Billie and others.
  • WikiTree profile Bennett-3512 created through the import of Keller-Freeland-Ferris Family .ged on Feb 27, 2012 by Elizabeth Tapia. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Elizabeth and others.
  • Profile created by Roxanne Dierking through the import of Dierking (foxirox).ged on May 2, 2018.
  • Source: Ellingham Family Data. This database of Ellingham and collateral family data is a complement to the more than 360 volumes of Ellingham Family Papers housed in the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Ellingham Family Papers were donated to the Genealogy Center by Lewis Ellingham who has served for many years as the de facto Ellingham family genealogist. The call numbers for the core collection of papers are: GC 929.2 EL563ec and GC 929.2 El563eca.
  • Source: Descendants of Joseph Bennett. Author: Don Norman.</span> This computer file is part of a collection of computer files compiled by Don Norman of Elyria, Ohio, containing information on several hundred Virginia/West Virginia families from a number of sources. While the Don Norman Files are not primary source material, they are a big help in pulling together information on a family. They are made available by Hackers Creek Pioneer Descendants, Inc at its website. They were last revised in November, 2016.
  • Source: "My West Virginia Family History" [2006]. contact: Matthew Burns (kwahaddi@yahoo.com), quoted in #Ellingham.
  • Source: "The Autobiography and Chronological Life of Reverend Paul Henkel (1754 -1825) " NOTE: The diaries and journals of Reverend Paul Henkel were translated from German to English by Reverend William J. Finck, D.D. from 1935 – 1937; edited by Melvin L. Miller from 1991-1997; edited by Reverend Anthony Jacob Henckel Family National Association, Inc. Officers from 1999-2002; and published by Reverend Anthony Jacob Henckel Family National Association, Inc. in 2002.
  • Source: "A History of Pendleton County, West Virginia": Oren Frederic Morton: Ruebush-Elkins Company: Dayton, Va: 1910..
  • Source:"The Bennett-Elsworth Families and Moses Bennett": David Armstrong, 201 Graham St., Elkins, WV, 26241:(Based on research completed as of Dec 1996).

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Categories: Bennett Name Study