Lighting Ancestral Lamps

Page 35


The Story of Benjamin
of Poughkeepsie, New York

Phebe, third child, was born August 10, 1768, in the old home county of the New Jersey Bunns, Middlesex. This county was located in that of the state known as "East Jersey" from the earliest colonial days.

The next four children, Miles, born July 17, 1771 ; Deborah, born October 10, 1773; Margaret, born August 23. 1775; and Mary, born November 26, 1777 , were all born in the Pennsylvania wilderness in the present county of Huntingdon, probably near Saltillo. According to French, Benjamin5 was a member of a colony that went to Pennsylvania, Huntingdon County, to mine and mill lead for revolutionary bullets. Finally they were routed by Indians who had British backing.

"After the treaty of Fort Stanwix, 1768, many settlers came to the valleys of the Juniata. During the Revolution, lead was mined in that region until the Indians prevented it. About 60 or 70 families were in the vicinity of Bald Eagle Valley in 1.779. The state encouraged settling there; but the Indian troubles caused the mines to be abandoned, not with-standing the log forts that were erected for the protection of settlers." /2

From here the family went to western Maryland. In Washington County, Maryland, which is not very distant from the southern part of Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania. Here the four youngest children were born. These included Rebecca, born December 8, I779; Benjamin6, born November 20, 1781, (patriarch of the large southern Illinois Bunn clan); William, born September 9, 1785; and Elizabeth, born August 8, 1787.

Birth records indicate the family was in Maryland from December 8, 1779, to August 8, 1787. They probably lived there for some years thereafter" Other than the first child (un-named), Miles, Rebecca, Elizabeth, and William died as minors. Phebe and Mary died as young women. Phebe married Aaron Chaffin. This left only Seely, Deborah, Margaret, and Benjamin. Records have not been followed for Deborah and Margaret. However, it is known that Deborah married William Barnett in 1798 and that Margaret probably married Thomas Oram. Seely, the eldest son, was a Methodist Episcopal minister over a period of many years. He married Susannah, daughter of a picturesque Revolutionary Colonel - Thomas Turley of Virginia. The Colonel owned a hundred slaves and apparently was a man of considerable wealth. History relates the story that Colonel Turley loved to ride to the hounds. One time it is said that he wagered an entire crop on his plantation on a horserace. But, those of this day do not know whether he won or lost.

Benjamin, the patriarch of the Southern Illinois Bunns, too became a "local" Methodist Episcopal preacher. However, preaching was probably an avocation for him for he became an owner and operator of considerable acreage, first in Ohio and then in Illinois. He was also a blacksmith, and an owner and operator of a grist mil1. Benjamin married Margaret Hyatt. The Hyatt family is another very old English, as well as an early American family.

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Cover | Contents | Forward | Intro | Orgins | England | Crest | First | Interlude | Benjamin 1

Benjamin | Hyatts | Hyatt1 | Hazard | Perry | William | HM Bunn | Index