Benjamin Mendenhall, Sr. (1662 - 1740) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Mildenhall, Ramsbury, Wiltshire, England
Death: Died in Concord, Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation: Wheelwright
Managed by: Glenda Elizabeth Chandler
Last Updated:

About Benjamin Mendenhall, Sr.

To see a picture of the Concord Friends Meeting House c. 1728, browse the newsletter here: http://mendenhall.org/mfa/newsletter/pdfs/v1803.pdf

Benjamin (Thomas III, Thomas II, Thomas I, John, John), was one of the original Mendenhall emigrants from England to America, arriving April 17, 1685, from the town of Ramsbury. Mildenhall was the name of his families' estate, that being the original family name. He settled in Concord, PA in 1689.

Benjamin married Ann A. Pennell (1668-1749), daughter of Robert Pennell also in 1689 at Chichester Friends Meeting, of which they were both members. To view a picture of this marriage record, go to the Media section. http://mendenhall.org/mfa/images/Benjamin-Mendenhall-and-Ann-Pennell-Marriage-Record-1689.jpg. Benjamin Mendenhall & Ann Pennell were the 6th great-grandparents of President Richard Milhous Nixon.

Benjamen was trained as a wheelwright and made his living in that trade until he accumulated enough land to farm. Bejamen sold 100 acres of the Harding tract to his brother, Moses, on Nov. 27, 1686 (the acreage and timing intentionally matched that of brother John's sale to Thomas Martin.) This transfer was nullified on Feb. 5, 1688, almost certainly because by then Moses had returned to England. Benjamen bought 250 acres in Concord Township from William Hitchcock (who bought the land from William Penn in England) on Feb. 8, 1702. Benjamen bought 500 acres west of the Brandywine in Kenett (now Pennsbury) Township from Isaac Few on March 23, 1703 with financial assisstance from his father-in-law, Robert Pennell. They jointly received title on June 15, 1703 and quickly sold off 100 acres to Thomas Hope on Aug. 20, 1703.

In 1713 Benjamen and his wife built a large stone farmhouse and substantial barn on the western end of the 250 acres he bought from William Hitchcock. The home is still standing, current address 207 Reeceville Rd., Coatesville, PA, and contains a date stone in the gable, in the shape of a half circle, which reads: "1713 Mendenhall, Ben & Ann." This was their 2nd home in America. To see pictures of the house and date stone, browse the newsletter at http://mendenhall.org/mfa/newsletter/pdfs/v1803.pdf13.

Benjamin was held in high esteem both in his religeous society and as a citizen. In 1714 he served as a member of the Provincial Assembly, and in 1730 he was tax collector for Concord Township. He primarily devoted his energies to the service of the Society of Friends of which he was a member at Concord Meeting.

The larege farmhouse of Benjamin & Ann Mendenhall was rebuilt by Samuel and Rebecca Trimble in 1830 and restored by Ludwig and Betty Honold in 1964. In 1983 it was the site of the reunion of the Jacob Hewes Mendenhall Family Association to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Benjamen's immigration. This reunion was attended by some 150 of his descendants.The Mendenhall Family Assocation visited this house during their tour of Mendenhall historic sites during their 1996 reunion. The property has most recently been used as an ostrich ranch. The house and barn still are in use though currently the property is on the market for sale.

Ten children were born to Benjamin & Ann (Pennell) Mendenhall: http://mendenhall.org/mfa/images/Benjamin-Mendenhall-Birth-Records-of-Children.jpg -children list w/b. dates

1. Ann (1690 - 1691) 2. Benjamin, born March 5, 1691 in Concord, Chester Co. PA, died July 13, 1743 in Perquiman Co., NC. Married Lydia Roberts September 3, 1717.

3. Joseph, born March 17, 1692 and d. 1748. Married Ruth Gilpin 6th mo., 30th day 1718, and settled in Brandywine, PA.

4. Moses, born 2nd mo. 19th day, 1694. Married Alice Pyle.

5. Hannah, born 6 mo. ?Uth day, 1696. Married Thomas Marshall.

6. Samuel, born 8tli mo. 1st day 1697.

7. Rebecca, born 10th mo. 10 day, 1699. Married Thomas Gilpin.

8. Ann, born 7th mo. 22nd day 1703, d. 1789. Married John Bartram.

9. Nathan, born 8th mo. 16th day 1705, d. 1707.

10. Robert, born July 17, 1713 Concord, Chester Co., PA and d. June 23, 1785 Concord, Chester Co., PA.. Married Phoebe Taylor September 13, 1734. Married E. Hatten June 24, 1762. Married Ester Temple July 6, 1775.

A trunk that Benjamen made shortly after his arrival still exists and is in possession of the Historical Society in West Chester, PA. It is carved with the initials, B.M. and the date 1684 on the front and has wire hinges. This trunk is mentioned in his wife's Will. Another prized possession was Benjamin's money box, which was discovered when, among the photographs that were found in the Elliot collection, was a photograph of that money box. Benjamen was the son of Thomas and Joane (Stroud) Mendenhall.

Benjamen built a small box about 10" x 8" x 6". It had his initials on it and the date 1684 and became known as Benjamen's money box as it was used to store and transport cash, papers and other valuables. This box apparently was made after Benjamen's arrival in America though it has been speculated that perhaps it was made while he was enroute to America. The present location of this money box has been the subject of several queries. In 1897 it was in the possession of Earl M. Meredith of Reading PA, son of Stephen Meredith. He supplied a crude drawing of the money box to Charles S. Mendenhall and the drawing was subsequently included in Thomas A. Mendenhall's book on the Mendenhall family written in 1912. Meredith reported that "the old lock, though broken, still clings to it. It is a wonderful old box and I may safely say that it bids fair to outlive twice or thrice as many generations as it has in the past. I would not part with it for a great deal. It is made of hickory wood and firmly put together." In "A Mendenhall-Newlin Alliance" published by Russel Newlin Abel in 1989, there is reference to this money box. According to Abel the box was in the possession of the Chester County (PA) Historical Society. However, the Chester County Historical Society has no record of presently having or of ever having Benjamen's money box. What happened to it, I wonder?

When he died, Benjamin was the sixth wealthiest person in Concord Township.

Sources: http://ia360709.us.archive.org/4/items/historycorrespon00inmend/historycorrespon00inmend.pdf, http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/r/o/a/Cecil-Ray-Roach/PDFGENE9.pdf, and Find A Grave Memorial # 26526981.

Other References: W. Kenneth Mendenhall, The Mendenhall Immigrants, Mendenhall Matters, October 1996 and January 1997. William, Edward and Thomas A. Mendenhall, History, Correspondence and Pedigrees of the Mendenhalls of England, the United States and Africa, 1912.

Possible alternate death date: Apr. 13, 1740, burial county listed as Delaware Co. in Find A Grave Memorial # 26526981.

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Benjamin Mendenhall, Sr.'s Timeline

1662
April 14, 1662
Ramsbury, Wiltshire, England
1682
1682
Age 19
1689
February 17, 1689
Age 26
Chester,PA
1690
May 31, 1690
Age 28
Concordville, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States
1691
March 5, 1691
Age 28
Concordville, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States
1692
March 17, 1692
Age 29
Concordville, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States
1694
April 16, 1694
Age 32
Concord, Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania, (Present USA)
1696
August 11, 1696
Age 34
Concord, Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania, (Present USA)
1697
January 28, 1697
Age 34
Concordville, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States
1699
October 10, 1699
Age 37
Concordville, Delaware, Pennsylvania