Corrected Pedigrees by Jeff Carr
Bennetts. Over the years, a variety of mistakes have been passed along about the Bennett family. One of the more persistent ones comes from The Holt-Bennett Family History (1974). This book refers largely to the Holt family and a few other of the author's related families. Only thirty pages of it refer to the Bennetts, and those trace the descendants of William and Rebecca (McCauley) Bennett. Of this, one paragraph recounts the Bennett ancestry of William Bennett. It reports that Joseph Bennett Sr. of Pendleton County was the son of a William Bennett who was born in England in 1668, and that William married Elizabeth Lee. They supposedly had a son, Joseph, who was born in 1695 in New Jersey, married a Mary Vernon, and died in 1767; this is supposed to be our Joseph Sr. No evidence or references to support corroborate these are given; this, of course, makes it totally unreliable. The last bit about Joseph is completely refutable; it is incredibly unlikely that he was born in 1695, had kids in the 1745-68 range, and was living as late as 1804 in Harrison County. We know that Joseph Bennett Sr. did not die in 1767. However, once again, some researchers have uncritically added these purported ancestors to their charts without verification. While those people (William and Elizabeth, Joseph of 1695, and Mary Vernon) may have existed, no one has yet offered any documentable evidence, or connected them to our Pendleton County family.
The late Mary Harter did extensive research on the Bennett family, and sold manuscripts of her research in the late 1970's. Since that time, several of us have continued to research this family and the progress has been slow. At present, our research has taken us only as far back as Joseph Sr., and then not always definitively. Another Bennett mistake that has continued to have a seemingly immortal life of it's own came from The Henckel Genealogy, and The Henckel Genealogical Bulletin. Without going into the myriad of details, the wife of Joseph Bennett Jr. was given as Hannah Elsworth. This has been refuted and corrected in both The Henckel Bulletin and this journal, and in much correspondence by those who continue to advance the research on the Bennett family. However, some researchers continue to carry the Elsworth name on their sheets; it should be removed. Evidence has been reviewed that suggests that Hannah's maiden name may have been Starnes. Corroborating public-record evidence of this, and her parentage have yet to be found.