ancestral chart father mother index home

vital records sources
go to Frances Stafford's page

Benjamin grew up on his father's homestead on Boston Neck in what was "Kings Town," now North Kingstown. His will was written on 15 January 1756 and was probated in North Kingstown. He gave his Boston Neck farm, on which he was living, to his son John. John's son Thomas sold part of it to Samuel Packard. The Packard and Congdon farms were eventually owned by Samuel C. Cottrell in the later 19th century. The Casey farm is also mentioned as a neigboring property, and the original house, built about 1750, still stands. An 1870 Rhode Island state atlas shows two houses owned by S. C. Cottrell next to one owned by a Casey facing Narragansett bay north of Saunderstown in the far southern end of North Kingstown. Route 1A was eventually built and ran to the east of the sites of these houses. The two Cottrell houses, which probably included a Congdon home, if not the original one, aren't readily identifiable on a 1944 topographical map. There's a cemetery on the Casey farm called the Congdon-Packard Cemetery close to where one of the Cottrell houses stood. Oral history says Benjamin and his wife were buried on their property, and that may be the site. There are no stones that old, though, according to a comprehensive survey of Rhode Island burial grounds, so it can only be speculated.
     Benjamin's will comes from the fire-damaged transcription records of the Town of North Kingstown. I've seen no reference to probate files with original documents:

[In the] Name of God amen the fifteenth day of January Anno Dom[ini one thous]and seven hundred and fifty six, I Benjamin Congdon of North Kingstow[n in the C]ounty of Kings County & Colony of Rhode Island &tc yeoman, being aged [but of?] sound mind and memory thanks be therefore given to God, but called [...] certainty of this life and knowig that it is appointed for all men [to die], do make and ordain this my lst will & testament in manner & form [?] that is to say principally & first of all I recommend my so[ul to God?] that gave it & my body I commit to the earth to be buryed [in decent] manner at the discrestion of my executrix hereaft[er named.]

Touching such worldly estate as it haith pleased [God to give me in?] this life, I give, devise & dispose of the sa[me...] (Viz) I will that my just [debts to be paid, etc.] Frances Congdon [...] what kind or nature soever & I do hereby consti[tute her my?] only & sole executrix to this my last will & testame[nt], revoaking makeing null & void all former & other [...] & bequests by me in any wise before this time named, beqeathed, rattyfying & confirming this and no other to be [my last] will & testament In witness whereof I have hereunto set [my hand &] seall the day & year first within written

Benjamin his O mark Congdon

     Witnesses were Frances Willett, Esq., Jonathan Babcock and Prosser, first name missing. The will was brought to court and proved on 11 October 1756.

children of Benjamin Congdon and Frances Stafford (these births apparently were taken from the North Kingstown records before a fire destroyed them in 1869. They appear in a limited-print manuscript compiled by Edward D. Congdon from about that time):

i. Benjamin b. 20 October 1702
ii. Frances b. 6 December 1703
iii. Joseph b. 15 February 1704/1705
iv. John b. 23 September 1706
v. Sarah b. 26 June 1708
vi. William b. 6 November 1711
vii. James b. 15 May 1713
viii. Elizabeth b. 8 April 1715
ix. Mary b. 10 March (1717/?)1718
x Susannah b. 7 February (1719/?)1720
Hannah d. 3 November 1740?

vital records sources: Benjamin's marriage record and the names and birth dates of his children appear on a printed sheet of genealogy, undated (but thought to have been printed about 1870) and by an unnamed author, that was re-printed in Boston in 1918 by Frank J. Wilder as Congdon Family of Rhode Island. The marriage and most of his children do not appear in the surviving North Kingstown vital records. This is a compilation including information from the will of Benjamin (1) and vital record dates that may have been taken from the North Kingstown records before they were damaged by a fire in 1869. Others were likely taken from a family Bible, given the personal detail (for instance, the time of death of one family member). This document follows only one line of descent, including siblings, from Benjamin (1), through Benjamin (2), John (3), John (4), Thomas Rose Congdon (5) and ending with his children, further indicating private records were at least partially used.


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