Thursday, June 05, 2014


Back in my early days of my genealogy research when I was working on my Benson line,
I found information online that my 7x great grandfather John Benson had married Elizabeth Marsh,  and that her parents were John Marsh and Susannah Skelton. That descent supposedly came down through the Bensons to the Barrows and then the Ellingwoods and then to the Wests when my great grandparents Philip J West and Clara Ellingwood were married.

So when I was working on the previous post abut Rev. Samuel Skelton I took another
look on what I had on the Benson descent and found I had no sources for the birth and marriage of Elizabeth Marsh. That set off my genea-sense. It's like Spiderman's
"Spidey sense" and it's something genealogists develop eventually after a few years if
they pay attention to things like records and sources.  John Benson had lived south of
Boston at Hull. Elizabeth Marsh had lived north of Boston at Salem. It was possible they
could have met somehow since there was traffic between the two seacoast towns by
water. But a check of two online databases of early Massachusetts vital records for both
Salem and Hull turned up no marriage records.   

Then I googled Elizabeth's parents John Marsh and Susannah Skelton, reasoning that a
list of their children might include information on their daughter's marriage. No luck
there, either. 

This is from one of Ellery Bicknell Crane's many regional genealogy books:
The children of John Marsh (I), all born in Salem, Massachusetts, were: Zachary, baptized April 30, 1637; John, baptized May 9, 1639, died 1669, married Sarah ;Ruth, baptized or born May 5, 1641; Elizabeth, born July 8, 1646; Ezekiel, born or baptized October 29, 1048; Bethiah, born or baptized September 1. 1650; Samuel, born or baptized October 2, 1652; Susanna, born or baptized May 7, 1654; Mary, born or baptized September 14, 1056; Jacob, born August 6, 1658; Jacob, baptized April 10, 1659; a daughter, born or baptized June 12, 1604; Benjamin, born about 1661.

Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 3 (Google eBook)

Further searching online failed to produce any confirmation that the Elizabeth Marsh married by  John Benson was the granddaughter of Samuel Skelton. In fact, I found a reference on a Wikitree page that an entry in The Great Migration 1634-1635 mentions there's no record for such a marriage. I'll need to check the local library and see if
it has a copy of that volume.

Meanwhile I'm removing from my databases John Marsh and Susannah Skelton as the parents of the Elizabeth Marsh who married John Benson.

But I still have a Skelton connection through my Barker line!

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