Capt. Benajah Dunham

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Capt. Benajah Dunham's Geni Profile

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Benajah Dunham

Also Known As: "Benaiah"
Birthplace: Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts
Death: Died in Piscataway Township, Middlesex, New Jersey
Place of Burial: Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ
Immediate Family:

Son of Dea. John Dunham, of the Plymouth Colony and Abigail Dunham
Husband of Elizabeth Dunham
Father of Rev. Edmund Dunham; John Dunham; Elizabeth Woods; Hannah Dunham; Benjamin Dunham and 1 other
Brother of John Dunham; Samuel Dunham, of Plymouth; Rev. Jonathan Dunham; Abigail Atwood; Hannah Rickard and 3 others
Half brother of John Dunham, Jr.; Humility Dunham and Rev. Thomas Dunham

Occupation: Captain, Planter - Militia Captain, Linen Weaver
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Capt. Benajah Dunham

Benajah Dunham was the next to the last child of eight children born to Deacon John Dunham and his second wife Abigail Ballou.

Born in Plymouth, Mass. 1640, Benajah Dunham was a freeman in 1664, a court officer at Eastham, Mass., in 1669, emigrated to East Jersey about 1671; in 1672 purchased 100 acres of land at Piscataway, N. J., and became a planter and in 1673 a captain of the Piscataway Militia Squad in New Jersey under the Dutch.

Benajah married October 25, 1660, Elizabeth Tilson, of Scituate MA. Shortly after Benajah & Elizabeth’s marriage, the young couple moved from Plymouth to Eastham Massachusetts (on Cape Cod). They stayed here for eight or nine years but by 1671 they had relocated to Piscataway, New Jersey.

Between 1661-1671, Benajah 2 and Elizabeth had 3 sons and 4 daughters. Their first born son Edmund Dunham moved to the new town of Piscataway along with several other Eastham families.

Benajah died in Piscataway, New Jersey 24 December 1680.


From An American Family History citing "Dunham Genealogy: English and American Branches of the Dunham Family by Isaac Watson Dunham"

Benjah [Dunham] b. Plymouth, 1640; m. Oct. 25, 1660. Elizabeth Tilson, of Scituate, dau. of Edmund, of Plymouth. He bought, in 1672, one hundred acres of land in Piscataway, N. J., and became a planter; 1664, a freeman; 1669. a court officer at Eastham; 1673. militia captain; May 10, 1679, willed to son. Edmund, seventy acres of land on Raritan river; to Mary, house and meadow on Bonham Creek, and one-third of cattle, movable goods and books; to his wife, one-third of cattle, movable goods and books; to Elizabeth, forty acres of land, and one-third of cattle, movable goods and books: d. Dec. 24. 1680, at Piscataway, N. J.


  • I.—Edmund, b. July 25, 1661; m. July 15, 1681, Mary Bonham; b. Oct. 4, 1661; d. March 17, 1734.
  • II.— John, b. Aug. 28, 1663; d. Sept. 6, 1663.
  • III.—Elizabeth, b. Nov. 20, 1664; d. Dec. 31, 1667.
  • IV.—Mary, b. New Jersey, 1669; m. Mr. Thompson. Had son, John.
  • V.—Elizabeth, b. 1670, New Jersey; m. July 15, 1681, Jonas Wood.
  • VI.—Hannah, b. June 4, 1666; d. Dec. 25, 1667.
  • VII.—Benjamin, b. Oct. 28, 1667; baptized at Eastham, by Pastor Russell; d. young.


In 1672 emigrated with his family & bought 100 acres of land in Piscataway, N.J. where he established his family. The first mention of him in Plymouth Colony records was of a complaint brought against him on March 5, 1656 for 'foolish & provoking carriages, in drawing his knife upon sundry person at Taunton, which might have proved of ill consequences.' He denied the charges & it was dismissed due to lack of evidence. Made a freeman on June 8, 1664 (Eastham, MA.) & served on inquest panels on Sept. 20, 1667 & Dec. 24, 1667. Commisioned Captain of Militia May 10, 1679.

He m. Elizabeth Tilson, of Scituate, Oct. 25, 1660. His occupation was similar to that of his father, a linen weaver.

He accompanied his brother, Daniel, to Eastham, in 1668. He became a court officer in 1669. Here they separated and in 1672 followed Jonathan, the son of Thomas his brother, and settled in Piscataway, New Jersey, south of Woodbridge, the home of Jonathan Dunham. He purchased 100 acres of land and became a planter. He took an active interest in the affairs of the colony and in 1673 was appointed captain of the militia, and as such was one of the committee of safety and council of war. It was under this board that Jonathan Singletary, from Haverhill, who had assumed the name of Jonathan Dunham, was condemned for his vagrancy.

This Jonathan (Singletary) Dunham is an ancestor of President Barack Obama.

    • Dunham, Isaac Watson. Dunham Genealogy, English and American Branches of the Dunham Family. Norwich, Connecticut: Bulletin Print, 1907.
    • Ancestral File. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, 1994.
    • Damvelt, Marine S.. "Dunham Family Groupsheets". Compiled 1995. Kalamazoo, Michigan.
    • Hamblin, David. "The First Settlers of Eastham, Mass.", The New England Historical and Genealogical Register volume VI (1852).
    • Hayward, Elijah. "Plymouth Colony Records", The New England Historical and Genealogical Register volume IX (1855).
    • Damvelt, Marine S., letter. 16 October 1995, from unknown author address, to unknown recipient. Personal Genealogical Collection; RR1, Box 308, Paw Paw, Morgan County, West Virginia.
    • Winsor. "Abstracts of the Earliest Wills in the Probate Office, Plymouth", The New England Historical and Genealogical Register volume VII (1853).
    • Pope, Charles Henry. The Pioneers of Massachusetts. 1900. Reprint Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1981.

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Capt. Benajah Dunham's Timeline

November 18, 1637
Plymouth, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts
July 25, 1661
Age 23
August 28, 1663
Age 25
Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
November 20, 1664
Age 27
Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
June 4, 1666
Age 28
Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
October 28, 1667
Age 29
Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Age 31
New Jersey, USA
Age 31
Eastham, Massachusetts, United States
Age 34
Piscataway, New Jersey, United States