For many years the name of any information about the parents or brothers or sisters of Reverend Benjamin, /1 the patriarch of the Southern Illinois Bunns. remained a mystery.-Members of previous generations who were acquainted with Benjamin of Poughkeepsie and his family had long ago died. However, Arley Earl Bunn10, (Joseph9, Harrison8, Solomon7, Benjamin6, Benjamin5, etc.) became intensely interested in his family history and genealogy during the nineteen hundred twenties. In his searches for family ancestral information he located a record of the Benlamin5 of Poughkeepsie family history written by (Benjamin6. Benjamin5). This record was found with the aid of Aaron .
Lora Landgraver Baird, grand-daughter of Aaron7 in her parents home at Olney, Illinois. A photostatic copy of the original record was made by Charles N. French, Chicago family researcher.
A copy is included on the following page. This record is perhaps the most valuable early individual record of Bunns that has been preserved in writing. Not only the usual information of births and deaths appear, but in addition. names of places and explanatory phrases are shown connecting Benjamin5 with numerous descendants. Thanks to Arley Earl Bunn for his alertness and thoughtfulness in preserving this record.
Benjamin5, designated of Poughkeepsie, son of Ruben4, William3, Matthew2, Matthew1, was born in Middlesex county. New Jersey, about 1740-1742. He married Elizabeth, probably Elizabeth Seely, daughter of Ephraim Seely. The Archives of New Jersey. Series II, Vol. 22, page 41 1 - give s an account of the Will of Ephriam Seely. The will mentions - "daughter Elizabeth, and home, farm. and mills" . At any rate, the first child born to this union was a daughter, "who lived but a few months" .
The second child was Seely, a son born August 1, 1765, Poughkeepsie, NY. This is further proof that Benjamin's wife's maiden name was Seely. Frequently the eldest forbore the maiden name of the mother, especially during that current historical period. Seely became a Meth- odist minister of considerable renown. A further account of his life will be given later in this chapter.