Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Benager "Benajah" Ames 1815-1901

Benager "Benajah" Ames - which is correct?
Born 1815 in Byron, NY
Son of 
Brother of 
Husband of Madilene Slay — or possibly "Irene"
Father of Elsie E Ames
Died October 5, 1901 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, buried in Veterans Cemetery.

My grandfather was George Hadd who married Nellie Harrington. My grandmother died but not before they had my Mom - Sylvia Hadd. I am trying to trace our ancestors. My Mom lost touch with her father and in fact, never saw him again.

Update 2/11/2013

Later I'll try to put this information into chronological order but today I've found quite a few things about Benager, aka Benajuh aka Belizer aka Benajah Ames.

This Benager Ames, father of Elsie E. Ames was born in New York in 1815. Date of death: 5 Oct, 1901. Burial in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan at the Veterans Cemetery.

When I was searching for Benager Ames, I could find relatively little about him. Usually you can find a mention of someone now that much is online. I found a few census records, each with a different first name but others in the family matched. The locale was in the general vicinity.

I found a Benajah or Bennajah Ames in the military service on 11 Dec. 1814, age 38 with an estimated birth year of 1778. That record lists him as having blue eyes, sandy hair, fair and a farmer. Enlisted in Colchester, Conn.
Source: "United States, Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914," index and images, FamilySearch( : accessed 12 Feb 2013), Benajah Or Bennajah Ames, 1814.

A further search of Benajah Ames in Connecticut turns up a marriage to Ursula Segar on 24 Sep, 1822 in Hartford, Connecticut. Could this be our original Benager's Mom and Dad?
Source: "Connecticut, Marriages, 1729-1867," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 12 Feb 2013), Benajah Ames and Ursula Segar, 24 Sep 1822; citing reference , FHL microfilm 3308.
Another source for marriage to Ursula Segar on Sept. 18, 1822 by Elisha Cushman.
Source: Google Books, accessed 2/11/2013The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records: Hartford, 1635-1855
 By Lorraine Cook White, General Ed White, Christina Bailey,  Hartford Vital Records, pg. 5., Vol 1, p.30 of Hartford Records.

A further search brought up these further Ames marriages in Connecticut:
Benajah, m Ursula SEGAR, Sept 18, 1822, by Elisha Cushman
James L, m Frances BURT (or BENT), June 24, 1847, by Rev J Hawes
Kezia, m Peter MORRISS, Mar 9, 1718/19
Nathan E, m Delia kNOX of Hartford, Sept 24, 1837, by Rev T H Gallaudet
Samuel, of Fair Haven, m Olive M MURR of Portland, Me., Aug 24, 1854, by Rev Charles R Fisher
Elizabeth, dau Richard, b June __, 1650
Ursula, m Benajah AMES, Sept 18, 1822, by Elisha Cushman

Could they be relatives? More research is in order to be sure. I would like something to document that the two Benajah's are related. Well, something besides the name!

I also found children christened in Lyme Township, New London, Connecticut with Benajah and Luce Ames as the parents. I'm not sure if "Luce" is short for Lucy or if it's the last name. Unfortunately, no children listed as Benager or Benajah Ames.

I still think these might be his parents, or at least his father. Until I can tie them together, I won't list them on Wiki or

Preliminary Research: This Grand Rapids, Michigan 1870 Census lists a Belizer Ames with Irene as his wife. Daughter is Elsie. Belizer - Beniger. Both are unique names but census sources are only as good as the person who recorded them. Belizer was born in New York and Irene in Canada. Belizer is much older than Irene - could it be his second wife? More research in order but I wanted to include it here until I find out differently.

Source: "United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 05 Feb 2013), Elsie Ames in household of Belazer Ames, Michigan, United States; citing p. 8, family 56, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 552180.

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