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Query Number: 1205-2 May 2012

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Requested Information:

The submitter questioned why we have the wife of John Seelye, SGS# 32 listed as Martha Benjamin..

She says “In several places (family trees) Martha’s maiden name is given as Martha Benjamin daughter of Caleb Benjamin. However, The Benjamin Family in America, compiled by Gloria Wall Bicha and Helen Benjamin Brown, FHL 929.273 B438a, states:

“Martha Benjamin, b January 19, 1681 at Weathersfield, Conn, was living unmarried in 1706 with Uncle Samuel Hale and in 1718 with Capt. Samuel Wells. Poor Martha was not very bright and the court records show she had at least 2 children, the last born in July 1718.”

However John Seelye and his wife Martha had 12 children born in CT between 1708 and 1734. His wife Martha was named in his will probated 17 Jun 1740.

Requester: Del Stuck | dreamer55_98@yahoo.com

Initial Response Information:

I examined the records at the SGS Research Center when I was there in April. I found 2 references cited that may have provided Martha’s surname: Genealogy of Park Benjamin (929.273 B438 h, 1948) and Gen. of the Benjamin Family by Baker. However I also found one paper that listed her as Martha Redfield. John Seelye conveyed land in Newtown CT to his “brother James Redfield” Someone may have thought that this meant that this James was Martha’s brother. However John Seelye’s mother Deborah remarried after her husband’s death a man named James Redfield and had one son with her new husband: James Redfield Jr. This would be the ‘brother’ referred to in the land transaction. John’s sister Sarah and her husband Daniel Frost also conveyed land to James Redfield. Of course it is possible that Mr Redfield had a daughter named Martha before he married Deborah.

We have removed Martha’s surname as Benjamin from our records.

Let me know if you can find proof or further information on the correct surname of John Seelye’s wife Martha.

Responder: SGS Query Editor