Oliver Roby Bennett and Elizabeth Ford


Oliver Roby Bennett was born in November, 1794 in New Hampshire. I do not know his parentage for certain, but he was probably the Oliver Bennett born to William Bennett and Susannah Fiske who lived near Merrimack, New Hampshire. In this case, Oliver Roby Bennett would have been named for his uncle, Oliver Roby of Merrimack, who was married to Elizabeth Fiske, the older sister of Susannah. William Bennett was a blacksmith who came to Merrimack from Lunenberg, Massachusetts. His ancestry is unknown. Susannah Fiske was the daughter of William Fiske and Susannah Batchelder.

The following information about Oliver Roby Bennett and his family comes from a sketch of Ephraim Bennett, one of his sons, appearing in History of Shiawassee and Clinton Counties (1880) by Franklin Ellis.

Oliver R. Bennett was born in New Hampshire, from whence he with his father moved into the State of New York about 1808, and settled near Canandaigua. The breaking out of the War of 1812 fired the patriotism of young Bennett, and he enlisted and was with the American Army at Buffalo when that city was burned. His regiment was soon after discharged, when he again enlisted and served the remainder of the war under Gen. Harrison. After the war he went to Shelby, Orleans Co., N. Y., where he and his brother John bought a piece of new land of General Wadsworth. It was thirty miles from any inhabitants, in the midst of a dense wilderness. Nothing daunted, they built a shanty on their lot and for a time kept bachelors' hall while they cleared and improved the land. In 1826 they sold out and again wended their way westward, settling in Brunswick, Medina Co., Ohio which was then very new. Here Oliver resided until his death in August, 1863.

Oliver served throughout the War of 1812. He enlisted as a private and eventually reached the rank of Orderly Sergeant. After he moved to Shelby in or before 1814 he took up 150 acres of land. In 1818 Oliver was named one of the three commissioners of the common schools. Oliver left Shelby for Ohio in 1826. He deeded his land in Shelby to William Parsons.

The name of Oliver's wife appears in various documents as Mary E. Ford, Elizabeth Bennett, Betsy Ford, and Betsy Ford Humes. Contemporary documents most often give the name as Elizabeth Ford, so I presume that is the correct maiden name. Elizabeth was born in Massachusetts on March 27, 1793 or 1794, according to a note left by Oliver's daughter-in-law Eleanor Rockwell Bennett. Elizabeth Ford was probably the Betsy Ford born to Benjamin Ford and Sarah Brett in Abington, Massachusetts on March 27, 1793. That family later moved to Windsor, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Sarah Brett was a descendant of John Alden of the Mayflower.

In the past I thought Betsy might have been a young widow when she married Oliver Roby Bennett. This was because there is a record of a Mary Ford marrying David Humes from New York in Windsor, Berkshire County, Massachusetts on March 27, 1810. However, if Betsy was indeed Elizabeth Ford the daughter of Benjamin Ford and Sarah Brett, it is more likely that David married Betsy's sister Molly Ford. Molly is a typical nickname for Mary. It is also possible that both daughters were named Mary with different "middle" names to distinguish them.

Elizabeth Ford and Oliver Roby Bennett had at least eight children.

Hiram, Almon, and Albert moved to Duplain, Clinton County, Michigan, as did several of the children of David Humes Bennett and Mary Emeline Tillotson. Ephraim moved to neighboring Fairfield, Shiaswassee County, Michigan.

Elizabeth Ford Bennett died August 5, 1859 (or 1853) in Brunswick, Medina County, Ohio. Oliver Roby Bennett died there on August 9, 1863.


The drawing of Ephraim Bennett's house comes from History of Shiawassee and Clinton Counties (1880) by Franklin Ellis.

My thanks to Paul Lowrey for providing some of the biographical information.


Back to Caroline Maria Sexton and Albert C. Bennett.
Back to Mary Emeline Tillotson and David Humes Bennett.
Back to Hiram H. Bennett and Eleanor Rockwell.
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Last modified by pib on September 25, 2010.