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Benjamin Franklin Smith

Male Abt 1833 - 1869  (~ 36 years)


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  • Name Benjamin Franklin Smith  [1
    Born Abt 1833  Monroe County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 6 Jul 1869  Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Notes 
    • Avis (Smith) Benkelman said that her paternal grandparents were William Bert Smith, Sr. and Mary Chatman.  However it appears that they were actually Benjamin Franklin Smith and the former Mary Welch; Chapman being the name of her second husband.

      Avis also indicated that her maternal grandmother, Sarah Cramer, "was a widow with two small children." However, there is no evidence that Sarah Cramer had been married more than once. Perhaps Avis was confusing Sarah Ann Cramer with Mary Ann Chapman. It was as the widow of Benjamin Smith, with two young sons, that she married Samuel Chapman.

      A 28 year old Benjamin Smith, single and born in New York, can be found in Ionia County at the time of the 1860 census. He was living with the Knisel? or Knodsel? family. As the rest of his family is still listed in Riga, New York, it appears he moved to Michigan early, with his mother and brother later following him to Michigan, probably sometime after his father died in 1864.

      Even if this is not the same Benjamin Franklin Smith, we do know that he moved to Ionia County sometime before 1866, as his oldest son Elmer was born in Ionia County in January of that year. When he died of typhoid in the summer of 1869, his son Elmer was not quite four, and son Bert was just over a year old.

      LaVonne Bennett, an extraordinarily competent and generous researcher from Ionia County, Michigan found the following records:

      Ionia County Probate Court Record #187:  The estate was valued at $4000.  IONIA COUNTY SENTINEL publication of Probate of Will of B. Frank Smith August 2, 1869 and for three consecutive weeks thereon.

      Partial listing of amounts paid out of estate: 1)$12.50 to Samuel B. Chapman 1-25-1870 in Odessa, due him from late Frank Smith 2)$100.00 to John El?l?et (Elvert? Elliott?) 3)$17.00 to Libbie ELVART 4)$9.15 to James J. Brown 1-30-1871, from Mrs. Frank Smith 5)$50.00, payment of 9-8-1866 loan from Betsey Johnson 6)$7.00, payment signed by Mary Ann Smith, of 8-8-1870 loan from J. G. Meyers 7)$6.75, payment by Franklin Smith of 5-1-1868 loan from James Wright 8)$2.50, paid by Mary A. Smith, in full account of savings of Frank Smith, to Martin J. Cox 9)$2.25 paid by Mrs. Samuel Chapman, in full account of all demands of R. B. (Rainson?) 10)$3.00 received from Samuel Chapman for Mrs. Mary Ann Smith, in full account of all demands up to date, Odessa, 6-5-1872, by HENRY SMITH 11)$11.92 real estate taxes paid 1-3-1870 by Mrs. Frank Smith, property west 1/2 of southeast 1/4, Section 22, Twp 5N, Range 7W, 80 acres. 12)$23.00, on11-4-1869, received from Mrs. Franklin Smith in balance account to date, L. D. & M. C. SMITH S(tore?) 13)$17.50 for B. F. Smith coffin purchased 7-7-1869, paid by A. A. SMITH 12-20-1870 to S. Merritt & Co. 14)$174.13 paid by Samuel B. Chapman 9-28-1872 and received by Mary A. Chapman 15)$43.00 + interest to S. A. Houghton, as payment for B. F. Smith note made 2-3-1869

      Petition in file stating Mary A. Smith was lawfully married to Frank Smith and did love and cohabite with him until his death. Mary A. Chapman makes selection from estate inventory:  1 oxen $130, 1 cow, 2 heifers $35; (wheat $10?), household furniture $75.

      Per petition for appointment of administrator, 7-6-1869, heirs listed were widow, Mary Ann Smith; Elmer Smith and Burtis Smith, sons of said deceased.  All reside in County of Ionia, MI.

      Another petition with date unreadable:  Land assigned to Elmer and Burtis subject to dower rights of Mary A. Chapman.

      LaVonne Bennett added "from (the) land description of B. Franklin's farm, it was on land on Musgrove Highway and has now (according to 1987 plat book) been subdivided into smaller parcels and some of my Carter relatives lived on the east side of his 80 acres."

      OTHER LEADS TO FOLLOW UP ON/POSSIBLE FAMILY CONNECTIONS

      LaVonne Bennett noted that some of the names found on the above list are significant to future research---i.e. JAMES BROWN was found as both a creditor and a witness at Samuel and Mary A's marriage.   Mary's mother's maiden name was given as Brown on Mary A.'s death record.  HENRY and L.D. SMITH, also creditors, might they be related as well?

      LaVonne also found, in her discarded Smith files (her mother being a Smith):  HENRY SMITH b 1830, d 1-14-1885, age 54, 11, 10, marr Catherine Clark (1835-1915), dau Hattie b 1867, d 1925.  There's a Lewis R. SMITH, Carpenter b 1843 in US, d 1-30-1914, father Thomas.  Louis D. Smith was a merchant, b 182- in NY, marr Eliza A. Grosvenor, had son Kimball Robert Smith b 1849.
    Person ID I134  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2014 

    Father Spencer Smith,   b. 24 Nov 1796, Franklin County, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 1864, Riga, Monroe County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Mother Marian Trumbull,   b. Abt 1807, New Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1880  (Age ~ 74 years) 
    Married Bef 1833  New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Marriage noted in the book by Myron Andrews Munson, "1637-1887. The Munson Record: A Genealogical and Biographical Account of Captain Thomas Munson, a Pioneer of Hartford and New Haven And His Descendants, Volume 1; New Haven, Conn, Printed for the Munson Association, Copyright 1896 "

      [Son of Lovina Munson and Bezaleel Smith of Whately, Conway, Ms.]

      Spencer b. 24 Nov. 1796; m. Zelina Ellis; m. (2nd) Marian Trumbull; res. Riga, N.Y.
    Family ID F131  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Ann Welch,   b. 28 Dec 1840, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jul 1921, Lake Odessa, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married Bef 1866 
    Children 
     1. Elmer Francis Smith,   b. Mar 1866, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Apr 1946, Chester Township, Eaton County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 80 years)
     2. William Bertis Smith,   b. 20 Jun 1868, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 May 1940, Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2006 
    Family ID F129  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 6 Jul 1869 - Ionia County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S331] Benkelman, Avis Smith-Interview by Granddaughter Melinda McLemore Strong ca 1976.

    2. [S149] Bennett, Lavonne (lib@iserv.net)-Ionia County, Mich. Genealogist and Researcher, supplied by LaVonne Bennett (Reliability: 3).