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vitals sources


     The wife of John wasn't Mary Hoyt, daughter of John and Mary (Lindall) Hoyt, as some publications claim. This idea is a complilation of errors and speculation. The first in line may be The Genealogy of the Benedicts in America, by Henry Marvin Benedict, which simply says his wife was "Mary (Haite?)." Benedict provides no sources for his work. Later writes treated this speculation as fact, and decided she was John Hoyt's daughter Mary since she was born at the right time. It is very likely she was named Mary, since there was a gravestone (which no longer exists) in East Norwalk, a transcription of which says she was the wife of John Benedict and died on 5 June 1749, age 72.
     There is a 1712 agreement among the heirs of John Hoyt that includes their signatures and marks. As was usual in probate documents, the names are evidently in order of birth among the children and divided by gender. Among the women, John's widow Hannah is first, then daughter Deborah (Hoyt) Barnum, then Mary Hoyt, who is said to have been the Mary who was widow of John's youngest child Nathaniel Hoyt. Nathaniel had recently died as well, and Mary must have had a right to part of John's estate for that reason. If she were John's daughter Mary she would have signed before Deborah, being two years older. Even if she was John's daughter, her signature as "Mary Hoyt" would prove she wasn't married. As with Francis Barnum, who also signed the agreement, sons-in-law were considered heirs as well, and there are no Benedicts on this list. The evidence indicates John's daughter Mary died before him, probably as a child. David Hoyt's A Genealogical History of the Hoyt, Haight, and Hight Families, page 324, published a year after the Benedict genealogy, doesn't speculate that a woman named Hoyt married John Benedict.
     To further complicate the issue, it's also possible that Mary was John Benedict's second wife. Marriage and birth records are slim for Norwalk in the 17th and early 18th centuries, leaving possible a variety of scenarios. Mary was about 10 years younger than John, and that much of a difference in age was more common for second or later wives than first.

children of John Benedict and possibly Mary, surname unknown:

John
Matthew, supp. b. 2 October 1703, claimed by Henry Marvin Benedict but not in Norwalk records
Anna/Hannah
Phoebe
Caleb
Nathaniel



vital records sources: John's birth comes from the Norwalk town records. His death comes from a Norwalk Congregational Church record? and a gravestone listed in the Hale Collection entries for Pine Island Cemetery, Norwalk, but not found on a site visit.

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all text and photographs © 1998-2005 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted