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vital records sources

John lived on the west side of the Norwalk River and was buried in Pine Island Cemetery. In The Genealogy of the Benedicts in America,1 the standard source for amateur researchers, Henry Marvin Benedict simply says his wife was "Mary (Haite?)." This undoubtedly is based on the fact that Mary, the daughter of John and Mary (Lindall) Hoyt, and John Benedict's wife, called Mary on her gravestone, were born in, or very nearly in, the same year.2 There is no other apparent reason for historians to have made this connection. Henry Benedict's research was in many ways flawed and the flaws repeated to the point where the internet is saturated with them as though they're fact.
     When the heirs of John Hoyt signed an agreement about his estate in 1712, all his surviving children signed it except Nathaniel, who died just before the agreement was made. The sons signed in order of age, then Francis Barnum, husband of Deborah (Hoyt) Barnum. They were followed by John's widow Hannah and Deborah Barnum, both of whom signed with a mark. Nathaniel Hoyt's estate hadn't been settled, so his widow Mary was legally entitled to a dower portion of his share in his father's. She signed last. There's no mention of John and Mary Benedict, who were alive when the agreement was made. They would also have had a legal right to be. John Hoyt's daughter Mary may have married, but it wasn't to John Benedict, and barring some extremely unusual circumstance by which she wasn't part of the agreement, she wasn't living in 1712. The Families of Old Fairfield,3 a standard publication for Norwalk families, doesn't make this mistake, and lists Mary Hoyt as having died young.
     Although Mary was John's wife when she died, there isn't a record of her being the mother of any of his children.

children of John Benedict and possibly Mary, surname unknown:

John, b. abt 1701
Matthew, supp. b. 2 October 1703, claimed by Henry Marvin Benedict but not found in Norwalk records

vital records sources: John's birth: Barbour Collection, Connecticut State Library, "Connecticuit Vital Records," Norwalk volume (1925), 10. His death comes from a gravestone listed in the Hale Collection entries for Pine Island Cemetery, Norwalk, at the CT State Library. The stone was recently unearthed during a renovation of the site.

1. Henry Marvin Benedict, The Genealogy of the Benedicts in America, (Albany:1870), 50.
2. She died 5 June 1749, age 72.
3.Donald Lines Jacobus, The Families of Old Fairfield, vol. 1 (New Haven:1930), 298. The Benedicts aren't treated here except for a few random instances.

all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted