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.
Ephraim Ford Bennett was born February 12, 1817. He married Catherine W. Squires on May 22, 1842. She was born to Morris Squires and Rhoda Wells on August 17, 1823 in Shelby, Orleans County, New York. Ephraim and Catherine moved to Fairfield, Shiawassee County, Michigan in 1854 (Ephraim's death notice says 1853) where Ephraim purchased 120 acres of land from the government. Ephraim and Catherine had two children:
Rhoda E. Bennett was born August 22, 1846. She married a man surnamed Ferris. They had two children:
See Rhoda's death notice.
Ephraim appears to have gone by his middle name Ford most of the time.
The biographical sketch from Ellis's book quoted above continues with this information about Ephraim:
Ephraim F., son of Oliver, was born in the town of Shelby above named Feb. 12, 1817. He grew to manhood on the home-farm in Medina, which he and his brothers cleared. Arrived at his majority he bought a small piece of land, upon which he made his home while he worked at the shoemaker's trade. This trade not agreeing with his health he abandoned it and worked at whatever he could get to do until 1854, when he sold his place and started for Michigan, where land was plenty, cheap, and of an excellent quality. He purchased from the government one hundred and twenty acres of heavily-timbered land in the town of Fairfield, Shiawassee Co. Buying and settling upon his land exhausted all his means, and for a few years he and his family experienced many privations. They owned no stock, their oxen being their only wealth save their land. For two years they had no cow and their living was of the plainest kind, often consisting of corn-meal made by drawing an ear of corn across a carpenter's plane. Butter, milk, and meat were luxuries seldom seen by them, "but," says Mr. Bennett, "we had appetites fit for our food." With energy and perseverance Mr. Bennett plied the axe, and soon fields of waving grain took the place of the wilderness and better days dawned upon the family. In all the ups and downs of pioneer life Mrs. Bennett has shown herself equal to the occasion, doing more than her share and proving such a pioneer wife and mother as the times and surroundings demanded. With Mrs. George Munson she dispensed the homely but welcome fare of a frontier home, never so happy as when doing some generous act. They now possess a well-improved farm with a fine house and overbuildings, all the result of hard work and close economy. In early life Mr. Bennett was a Democrat, but since 1840 has been an earnest Republican. He has filled acceptably most of the township offices. For forty-eight years he and his wife have been members of the Methodist Episopal Church. On the 22d of May, 1842, he married Miss Catherine W. Squires, daughter of Morris and Rhoda (Wells) Squires, and born in Shelby, Aug. 17, 1823. Her family was among the early settlers in Shelby, and in 1848 moved to Brunswick, where Mr. Squires lived until his death. To Mr. and Mrs. Bennett have been born two children, Rhoda E., Aug. 22, 1846, and Edward R., June 23, 1849. Edward R. still remains with his parents and conducts the farm. He, too, is a Republican in politics, and has been for several years a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
David Humes Bennett was born March 5, 1820. He married Mary Emeline Tillotson, sister of my great-great-grandfather Franklin James Tillotson. See Mary Emeline and David's page for information about them and their children.
Hiram H. Bennett was born August 13, 1821. He married Eleanor M. Rockwell on November 1, 1855. See Hiram and Eleanor's page for more information about them and their children.
Sara H. Bennett was born October 27, 1823. She died young.
Lorenzo D. Bennett was born July 27, 1825.
Henry D. Bennett was born July 29, 1829 (or 1828) in Brunswick, Medina County, Ohio. He married Eunice Squier (or Squars or Squires or Squire) on October 14, 1851. Jacob A. Brown presided at the wedding. Henry and Eunice had three children:
Adda M. Bennett (called "Addie") was born August 1, 1855. She married Egbert S. Benjamin on December 25, 1873. Egbert was born in 1848 in Brunswick, Medina County, Ohio to Daniel Lovejoy Benjamin and Eliza A. Hulbert. Addie and Egbert had seven children, but I know the names of only five:
Mrs. E. C. Miner penned the following obituary for Addie.
Adda, daughter of Henry and Eunice Bennett, was born here in Brunswick, Aug. 1, 1855. She lived here until a year after her marriage to Egbert Benjamin, on Dec. 25, 1873, when they moved to a farm on the east town line. About 31 years ago they moved to Bennett's Corners, where they ran a general country store. Shortly afterward her husband died and she undertook the responsibility of raising her family of five little children, which she did for sixteen years by keeping the store, and then she moved here to Brunswick in 1903 and had charge of our first telephone exchange. After her children all married, but the daughter Anna, they moved to Ridgeville nine years ago, and she made her home with Anna, even after the latter married. She had been the mother of seven children, three of whom are living. Mrs. Anna Fitts, Clair, and Glenn. There are seven grandchildren, and one great grandchild. She died Aug. 2 (1918), aged 63 years and one day, and the body was buried at Bennett's Corners, beside of her husband and children. She also leaves her aged mother, Mrs. Eunice Bennett, and a brother, Hal Bennett.
Clifford M. Bennett was born May 21, 1868.
Hallie W. Bennett (sometimes spelled Haly and Halle) was born December 7, 1869. Despite the first name which is now usually used for girls, Hallie was a boy. He married Ida Baner in 1890. They had three children.
Royal Bennett. He lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Edith Bennett. She married a man named Green. She lived in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Mildred Bennett. She was living with her parents at the time of Hallie's death in 1920.
Hallie was an undertaker for 23 years until his death. In his youngers years he had also been a teacher. Hallie died June 11, 1920 in Elyria, Ohio.
The History of Medina County and Ohio published by Baskin and Battey, 1881 contains the following biographical sketch of Henry Bennett.
HENRY BENNETT, farmer; P.O. Brunswick. Among the prominent farmers of Brunswick is the subject of this sketch. His father, Capt. O. R. Bennett, was a native of New Hampshire, and was in the war of 1812. He was married to Elizabeth Ford. They came here in 1828, and were the parents of seven children among whom was Henry. He was born in Brunswick July 29, 1829. He obtained a common-school education, and has been an honored resident and farmer ever since. He was married, in 1851, to Eunice Squier, a native of New York. They have two children -- Addie M. and Hallie W. The former is married to Egbert Benjamin; they have three children -- Clarence C., Alda C. and Anna L.
Albert C. Bennett was born September 18, 1831. He married Caroline Maria Sexton, half-sister of my great-great-grandmother Jane Ann Sexton, the wife of Franklin James Tillotson. See Caroline and Albert's page for more information about them and their children.
Almon D. Bennett was born February 7, 1834. See Almon's page for more information about him.
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.
Back to index of my personal genealogy pages.
Last modified by pib on September 25, 2010.