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Daniel's signature from his will when he was 50 and ill. Daniel used a different style of "e" than his paternal ancestors back to Thomas, but it was also one that was outdated for his generation.


He may have been the Sgt. Daniel Benedict who served in Capt. Samuel Hanford's company of Col. Jonathan Hoyt's regiment when they marched north on the alarm of the French attack on Fort William Henry on Lake George, New York, in August 1757. He served for 16 days, but it isn't recorded in the muster rolls if they reached the fort or any other activity.1
     Phebe's family hasn't been found in Huntington, but she was very likely the one baptized 13 March 1725/1726. The minister there didn't include the names of parents in his records. She supposedly died on 27 November 1815, “relick” of Daniel, aged 92 years, although the source of this hasn't been found. She and Daniel joined the church in Canaan Parish on 3 February 1750/1751.2

The probate papers for Daniel Benedict (transcribed from the originals):

In the name of God amen, I Daniel Benedict of Norwalk in the County of Fairfield being thro' the abundant mercy and goodness of God tho' weak in body yet of a sound and perfect understanding and memory do constitute this my last will and testament and desire it may received by all as such. First I most humbly bequeath my soul to God my maker beseeching his most gracious acceptance of it through the all sufficient merits and mediation of my most compassionate redeemer Jesus Christ blessed be God. I give my body to the earth form whence it was taken in full assurance of its resurrection from thence at the last day and as to worldly estate my will is that out of my movable estate so much as my executors shall think best be paid all my just debts and funeral expences and the charge of the execution of these presents, and if not anuff to sel land or real estate until their be any the rest of my estate I dispose of as followeth.

(viz) To my dearly beloved wife Phebe for her improvement as long as she remains my widow I will bequeath and demise one third part of my dwelling house and barn as she shall chuse and one third part of all my lands and meadows and also one third part of any movable estate during her life

Item to my beloved children begotton of my body I will bequeath and demise the whole of my lands and buildings with incumbrance on one third part of them as long as their mother remains my widow to be devided among them as follows

To each of my sons three parts of my estate and to each of my daughters one part of my estate

Item to my beloved son Daniel for his use and benefit I will bequeath and demise five acres of land lying at Hayes field so called bounded south by Ezra Benedicts land east by John Benedicts land north by my land and west by highway for the consideration of twenty five pounds

Item to my beloved son John for his use and benefit I will bequeath and demise his dweling house and half an acre of land adjoining it for the consideration of twenty five pounds.

I will that my two younger sons to wit Azariah and Eri be made equal with my two elder sons Daniel and John.

Finally I nominate constitute and appoint John Benedict [disappears in paper fold, but probably says "Junior," as explained below] of Norwalk and Daniel Benedict Junior of Norwalk my executors of this my last will and testament revoking and disanuling all and other wills whether written or nuncupative and declareing this and none other to my last will and testament in witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal this 9th day of October Anno Domini 1776.

[witnesses] Hezekiah Benedict
Nathaniel Gray
James Benedict

Daniel Benedict

Fairfield County October the 30th day AD 1776 then personally appeared Hezekiah Benedict, Nathaniel Gray and James Benedict witnesses to the foregoing will and made solemn oath that they...saw Daniel Benedict...sign and seal the same...

At a Court of Probate held in Fairfield March ye 3rd 1777 personally appeared John Benedict Jr...& exhibited
[the will] for probation...& at ye same time...accepted ye trust reposed in him by ye testator.

An inventory of the estate of Daniel Benedict late of Norwalk Decd. appraised by us the subscribers being sworn for that purpose and is as followeth viz.

blue great coat 0"15"0
broad cloth coat 1"0"0
home made do
[ditto] brown 11"0
blue cloth jacket 7/6 old blue do 4/ 11"6
yellow do 4/ linning do 2/6 6"6
1 pr old leather breeches 7"0
1 pr do 20/ black velvet do 10/ 1"10"0
sagathe do 10/ blue do old 2/6 12"6
blue jacket 8/ beaver hat 20/ 1"8"0
periwig 2/6 striped linning jacket 2/6 5"0
serge coat 18/ old homemade do 6/ 1"4"0
yellow jacket 8/6 brown do 5/ 13"6
striped linning do 1/6 1"6
pr leather breeches 10/knit do 2/6 12"6
old serge do 1/6 black do 1/3 2"9
blue striped linning jacket 1"0
broad cloth do 8/ great coat 12/ 1"0"0
chest 4/6 white linning shirt 11/ 15"6
3 old chex do 1/6 two woolen do 4/ 5"6
5 pr yarn stockens 8"0
2 pr worsted do 5/ 2 pr linning do 4/ 9"0
18 1/4 lbs of good puter 1"1"0
4 1/2 lbs old puter 3/6 quart pot 2/6 6"0
pint do 1/ iron pot 4/ small do 2/ 7"0
iron kettle 2/ broken do /6 2"6
frying pan 2/ warming pan 3/ 5"0
2 trammels 5/6 peel & tongs 3/6 9"0
small do 2/9 cast hand iron 2/ 4"9
1 pr hand irons 4/6 grid iron 2/6 7"0
toasting iron 1/ large brass kettle wt 25 lbs 43/ 2"4"0
smaller do wt 16 lbs 16/ small do wt 4 1/2 lbs 4/6 1"0"6
tin ware 2/ 7 puter spoons /9 2"9
looking glass 15/ broken do /6 15"6
great chair 3/6 6 bannister back do 16/6 1"0"0
6 slat back do 15/ 6 old do 6/ 1"1"0
tea kettle 5/ tea canister /6 5"6
mettle tea pot 2"6
cups & saucers milk pot & spoons 1"6
earthon plates & cups 1/ dishes 32/ 1"13"0
chest with 1 draw 12"0
square table 2/ round do 7/6 9"6
large square do 3/ small stand /9 3"9
great wheel 6/ old do 3/ 9"0
2 dutch wheels 9/ clock reel 2/ 11"0
brass skimmers & ladle 2"0
small stilyards 2/6 saddle bags 12/ 14"6
pr boots 12/ old do 8/ 2 pr shoes 9/6 1"9"6
gun 20/ sword 3/ frye pan 3/ 1"6"0
2 seder pails 1/6 4 old do 1/ 2"6
5 milk pans 1/3 tray 1/ seder tub 1/6 3"9
wooden bowls 1/ 3 old lat tubs 1/6 2"6
half bushel measure 1"6
1 corn basket & 2 small do 1/ 2"0
1/2 hogshead tub 1/ 2 small do 1/ 2"0
old hogshead 1/ flat iron 1/6 2"6
5 syder barrels 7/6 s meat d0. 4/6 12"0
seder tub 1/ 2 small cags 2/6 3"6
old cask & tubs in ye chamber 8"0
best feather bed boulsters & pillows & underbed at 36 lbs 2"0"0
bedsted and cord 8"0
black & white coverled 10"0
red & blue do 7/6 blue & white do 6/ 13"6
white blanket 5/ striped do 6/ 13"6
old white do 2/ striped do 2/ rag do 3/ 7"0
bed quilt 4/6 pr sheets no. 1 10/ 14"6
do no. 2 10/ do no. 3 10/ do no. 4 4/ 1"4"0
do no. 5 3/ do no. 6 11/ do no. 7 9/ 1"3"0
do no. 8 8/ 1 pr small do no. 9 3/ 11"0
huckeback table cloth 2/6 plain do 1/6 4"0
old do 1/3 3 huckeback nalkins 2/ 3"3
3 old towels 0"9
small bed boulsters & pillows wt 18 lbs 12"0
1 feather bed boulsters & pillows wt 29 lbs & underbed 1"5"0
bedsted & cord 4/ do & underbed 9/ 13"0
old hat 4/ water pot 4/ 8"0
saddle & bridle 27/ do 18/ 2"5"0
sundry books 12/ old pillion 2/ 14"0
narrow ax 5/ do 3/ old hoe 1/ 9"0
nail hammer /9 spike gimblet /4 1"1
47 lbs of old iron 7"0
ox chain wt 12 lbs 5/ 5"0
crow bar wt 17 lbs
corn fan and riddle 11"0
5 1/4 lbs of iron 1/6 1 1/2 lbs steel 1/ 2"6
small ox plow and irons 9"0
ox cart 100/ old iron shovel 1/ 5"1"0
iron fetters 4/ close basket 1/ 5"0
sythe & furniture 6"6
steele sythe 1"6
abt 50 bushl of corn in the ears 5"10'0
2 old meal trays 0"9
hetchel 11/3 pitch fork 1/ rake /9 13"0
old slay and furniture 8"0
2 pr horse geers 4"0
old yoke and iron 2"0
abt 12 bushels flax seed 2"5"0
7 lbs coarse wool 5/ 4 old bags 4/ 9"0
3 old candlesticks 0"6
old ox plow and irons 5"6
stone sled 4"6
corn riddle /6 old chest 3/ 3"6
1 feather bed at 26 lbs boulsters & pillows 1"10"0
blanket 5"0
black horse 15"0"0
brown mare 6"0"0
gray mare 9"0"0
1 pr 3 year old steers 10"10"0
fat cow 85/ black white faced do 65/ 7"10"0
brown white faced do 3"0"0
5 sheep 30/ 4 fat hogs 170/ 10"0"0
3 small pigs 17"0
black white faced cow 3"5"0
black cow 3"0"0
black paide steer 1 yr old 2"0"0
brindle do 37/6 red paide do 37/6 3"15"0
yellow do 37/6 3 calves 67/6 5"5"0
gray colt 120/ brown do 120/ 12"0"0
hay and fodder in the barn 15"0"0
abt 60 bushl wheat in the barn 16"10"0
abt 20 bushl oats in the barn 2"0"0
flax a rolling 4"7"6
abt 5 acres of wheat & rye on ye ground 8"0"0
hay in the barn at Canaan 5"0"0
wheat at Canaan 4"10"0
oats 60/ rye 11/3 3"11"3
abt 30 acres of land in the homestead and buildings 200"0"0
abt 1 acre of salt meadow on the west side of Stuart's Creek 5"0"0
abt 3 1/2 acres of salt & fresh meadow on the west side of said creek 9"0"0
abt 3 acres of sedge flat near Liberty Pond 12"0"0
4 1/4 acres of land near Keeler's Mill 30"0"0
abt 12 acres of land on the east side of the road at Canaan 60"0"0
abt 20 acres of land on the west side of the road at Canaan at 75/ 75"0"0
barn & abt 1/2 acre of land adjoyning 20"0"0
flax at Danl. Seymore's 18"0
sugar pail 2"6
21 lbs tanned leather 1"10"0
yoke and iron 3"0
tann'd calf skin 4"0
3 run linning yarn 3"0
1 pr pillow cases no. 1 1/6 do no. 2 2/ 3"6
do no. 3 1/ do no. 4 1/3 do no. 5 1/ 3"3
womans saddle 2"5"0
corn fan 15"0
----------------------------
636"8"5

cash 34"19"0
------------------------------
671"7"5

abt 6 yards of worsted cloth 1"1"0
-----------------------------
672"8"5

John Carter
Saml. Gruman

appraisers under oath


The inventory was presented on 3 March 1777, although more items were added to it.

An inventory of the remaining part of the estate of Daniel Benedict...addition to the former inventory.

16 acres of land in the homested 80-0-0
3 acres of land at Canaan £10
two 2 yr old heffers 6-10 16-10-0
12 bushl wheat in ye barn at Canaan 3-0-0
----------
99-10-0

5 Sept 1777 An addition to the former inventory

1 bog hoe 6/ old spade 2/6 1 stone hammer 1/ £0-9-6
2 books 9d each 1/6 the old shop £1-5 one small gimblet 6d 1-7-0
21 lbs 3/4 of flax 14/6 a bruing basket 6d a basket 6d 0-15-6

Octor 14th 1777


     On a list of creditors of his estate are several that are perplexing. A large amount was owed to Charles Ward Apthorpe, a wealthy merchant who had origins in Fairfield County, but was living in Manhattan. Another large amount was due to Widow Lois Holly, born and married in Fairfield County, the widow of Stephen Holly, and who lived in Westchester County when he died in 1771. Less cryptic is the largest debt. This was owed to Dr. Francis Forgue of Fairfield, a well-known surgeon. Owing him the relatively staggering amount of £82, this undoubtedly indicates he operated on Daniel. Being only 50, this might have been to make repairs from an accident or a tumor. It seems not to have worked, or he died of complications. Whatever the affliction, he wrote his will when he had it, and he was dead within three weeks.
     On another list of debts described as part of "the expence of the family for provision and firewood" was Dr. Thaddeus Betts. It isn't dated, but is separate from other debts due from the estate (which include the more obscure Dr. Samuel Baker) and implies they were accrued after Daniel's death. Betts was was an influential and prominent presence in Norwalk. He actively campaigned for smallpox innoculation, or variolation, and performed it himself if someone could afford the lofty £3 fee in 1771. The amount due to Betts was £3, 9 shillings. Did Betts innoculate someone in Daniel's family after he died? If so, it may not have been at Betts' office, but at someone's house, probably for the convenience of those who wanted it. The Norwalk town records in October 1779 show that approval was given for innoculaton to take place for two months at the houses of two men in the town.3


children of Daniel Benedict and Phebe Wood:

i. Daniel bap. 10 September 1749 (by the minister of Wilton, CT, recorded at Canaan Parish), Lof A for his estate 1 Jan 1779
ii. Azariah bap. 18 November 1750, died young
iii. John bap. 2 February 1752
iv. Phebe
v. Azariah bap. 12 June 1757
vi. Ann bap. 4 November 1759
vii. Elizabeth bap. 6 June 1762
viii. Asenath bap. 26 August 1764
ix. Mary bap. 10 May 1767, died young
x. Eri bap. 15 April 1770





vital records sources: Daniel's marriage is in Records of the First church in Huntington, Long Island, 1723-1779, comp. Ebenezer Prime (Huntington:1899), 82. Daniel of Norwalk, Phebe of Huntington.

1. Connecticut Historical Society Collections, vol. IX, French & Indian War Rolls 1755-1757, vol. 1.
2. "Barbour Collection" of CT church records, CT State Library, 75:29.
3. Edwin Hall, Ancient and Historical Records of the Town of Norwalk (Norwalk:1847), 138.
4. Baptisms from the Canaan parish church records, Barbour Collection, CT State Library.

all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted