About Benjamin Weeks, Sr.
“Benjamin Weeks was born on 4 April 1685 in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and as an adult operated the ferry between Falmouth and Martha's Vineyard. He married Mary Chase at Martha's Vineyard on 14 January 1704. Mary was born in Tisbury, Ma., on 17 January 1687. The ancestry of Benjamin and Mary is still open to question though it is certain that they count among their forebears the early Pilgrim and Puritan settlers of Massachusetts Bay Colony. As more settlers flocked to the Bay area good arable land grew scarcer, forcing the children and grandchildren of the original colonists to seek elsewhere for the means with which to support their families. The newly-established Carolinas answered this need with the promise of plentiful land and a gentler climate to those of an ambitious and pioneering spirit. Benjamin and Mary were among such a group of kinsmen and neighbors from the Falmouth region who migrated together to the White Oak River area of eastern North Carolina. Court records first indicate the presence of Benjamin and Mary in the area in 1741 though it is thought they had arrived as early as 1730. The Weeks family obtained land in Carteret County on Hadnots Creek at its confluence with White Oak River and set up housekeeping. Their grown children and other relatives and former Falmouth neighbors were soon established on lands of their own on both sides of the river. Benjamin died in 1744 . . .. All [of his children] were born in Falmouth.”
[The following was compiled by Judy B. Anderson, 4485 S. 2025 W., Roy, Utah 84067]
Benjamin Weeks was born 4 April of 1685, Falmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts.(68)
The marriage date of he and Mary Chase, daughter of Isaac Chase and Mary Tilton, is somewhat in question. In the vital records of Tisbury, Massachusetts, under marriages, it lists Mary Chase and "Benjiman Weck" of Falmouth, 14 Jan. 1704 with as asterisk. The asterisk indicated that an
intention had not been recorded. I assume that to mean that they announced their desire to marry at that time, but did not state a given time for that marriage to take place.(69) Going to the original vital records of Barnstable County, it lists "Beniamin Wekes and Mary Chaces Intentions of marring published May the 27th 1704."(70) The actual marriage could have occurred after that date, so it would seem we can only say they may have married in 1704, after May 27th.(71) Mary was born 17 January 1687/88 in Tisbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.(72)
Mary's father, Isaac, was supposedly a Quaker, although not ultra orthodox. It was Quaker custom to appear at two monthly meetings, in succession, when contemplating marriage. The publishing of their intentions had a span of several months between, however, so maybe one or the other got cold feet, then changed their mind.
The first reference I find concerning Benjamin after their marriage is when he purchased Weepecket, a small four-acre island on the north side of Naushon. It had been originally acquired by Thomas Mayhew, who sold it to Matthew Mayhew in 1682. Mathew then sold it to Benjamin Weeks, of Falmouth, in 1714.(73)
Benjamin's father-in-law, Isaac Chase, kept a tavern at Holmes/Home's Hole for many years. In concert with that, he operated a ferry to transport persons and their mounts from Martha's Vineyard to Falmouth.(74) In 1716, Benjamin Weeks is referred to as the ferryman, so it might be that Isaac turned the business over to him.(75)
By 1741 Benjamin and Mary Chase Weeks were in Carteret County, North Carolina. Where they were between 1716 and 1722 when their son, Isaac, was christened in Plymouth, and after 1729 when their son Jabez/Jabish was christened in Plymouth, I have not been able to discover at this point.
Benjamin and Mary Weeks first appear in the Carteret County records in 1741, when Benjamin made oath at the March term of Court for that year that he had in his family six white persons.(76) I assume that was in addition to himself. He and Mary were also to give evidence in a court case.(77) However, in 1732 there is mention of a Benjamin Weeks, Sr., in Court records and in 1730 there is an Onslow County land transaction involving Jonathan Weeks who is described as a "yeoman from Massachusetts Bay," indicating with a high degree of probability that Weeks family members were in North Carolina at least by this earlier date.
By March of 1744/45 we find that Mary is a widow when she requests a summons for Thomas Person to appear at the next court so that he can prove her husband's will. At that time she also
requested that the boy, John Jones, be allowed to live with her family and be taught to read.(78) At the June term of Court in 1745, Mary, as widow of Benjamin Weeks, deceased, produced the
last will and testament of the said Benjamin.(79) A transcribed copy of the original will was sent to me by Mr. James McLoughlin, who is a descendant of Christian Weeks. It can also be found in J. Bryant Grimes North Carolina Wills and Inventories, pg. 441-442.
WILL OF BINGMAN WEEKS(80)
In the Name of God Amen, ys. Ninth Day of November in the Year of our Lord, one thousand, Seven hundred & Forty Four.
I, Bingham Weeks, of Cartwright County, in North Carolina, being of sick and weak Body, but of Perfect Mind & Memory, Thanks be given unto almighty God for it, & Knowing it is appointed for all Men Once to Die, Do make & Ordain this to be my last Will & Testament, that is to say;
First of all I give my Sold [sic] into the Hands of God that gave it; & for my Body, I recommend
to the Earth to be buried in a Christian like manner at the Discretion of my Executors, Nothing Doubting but at the General Resurrection I shal receive the same again by the mighty Power of God that gave it; And as for Touching such Worldly Estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me with, I give & Dispose of the same in the Manner & form following:
Item: I give and bequeath unto my two sons, Isaac Weeks & Jabas Weeks, the Tract of Land that I now dwell on with the Marsh thereunto belonging, to be Equally divided between them and their Heirs & Assigns for Ever. That is to say, my Son Jabas to have that Part of the Land that the Plantation & Houses is on, and Isaac to have the other Part with half the Marsh.
Item: I give to my Son, Theoflis Weaks, one Shilling, Sterling.
Item: I give to my Son, Archelas, One Shilling, Sterling.
Item: I give to my Son, Bingman, One Shilling, Sterling.
Item: I give to my Daughter, Lidde Witton, One Shilling, Sterling.
Item: I give to my Dafter, Mary Williams, One Shilling, Sterling.
Item: I give unto my Dafter, Christian Weake, One Shilling, Sterling.
Item: I give to my Dafter, Thankful Hicks, One Shilling, Sterling.
Item: my Will & Desire is for my Wife to have the Plantation in her Lifetime.
Item: I give to my Dafter, Elizabeth Weake, One Shilling.
Item: my Will and Desire is that my two Sons, Isaac & Jabas, do Each of them pay unto my Grand Son, Edward Weaks, the Sum of Ten Pounds, current money of Carolina, & upon Failure thereof to be Dispossessed of the Land before given.
Item: I give unto my well beloved wife, Mary Weake, Two Beds & Furniture, Two Cows & Horses, and all other Household Goods & all the Remaining Part of my Estate that is not yet given, During her Widowhood, She paying all my Lawful Debts. I also Depute and apoint my sd. Wife to be my whole & sole Executor of this my last Will & Testament, Ratifying and alowing this & no other to be my last Will & Testament, Disanulling all other Will formarly by me made.
In Testimony hereunto I have Set my Hand & Seal the year and date above written.
Signed: Bingham (B) Weaks
Signed, Sealed in the Presence of us,
Thomas T. Person
Carteret County, North Carolina. June Court, 1745.
These may certify that Thomas Person, one of the Evidences to the Within Will, in open Court made Oath that he Saw Benjamin Weeks, Decd., Sign & Seal the same: and that he also saw Jehosaphat Holland & Francis Burns, Evidence the same, And Mary Weekes, Widow, hath taken the Oath of an Executrix, and by the Court admitted to Record. Dated at the Court House the 6th Day of June, Anno Domini, 1745.
Teee. Geor. Read, Clk. Cur.
Recorded in Will Book 6, pg. 62.
Mary is still living in 1749, as she and her son, Isaac, are to give evidence for a suit against William Gray, who was accused of taking a hog.(81)
At the present time, a death date for Mary is not known.(82)
With the exception of Isaac, Elizabeth and Jabez, the dates for the children are estimates, and they could have been born before or after the years indicated. Benjamin and Mary Chase Weeks had the following children, most of whom were probably born in Tisbury or Falmouth, Massachusetts:
1) Mary Weeks, born abt. 1710, Massachusetts. Md. Weston Williams.(83)
2) Lida Weeks, born abt. 1712. Md. a Witton.(84)
3) Archelas Weeks, born abt. 1714.
4) Theophilus Weeks, born abt. 1716. D. 1772, Swansboro, NC. Married Grace Green, a widow. She was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, died in Onslow County, NC.(85)
5) Christian Weeks, born abt. 1734. D. 21 Jan 1806, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. Md. Abel Goffigon. He was born 1747 in Northampton Co., Virginia; died before 1794 in St. Tammany Parish.(86)
6) Thankful Weeks, born abt. 1720, Massachusetts. Died abt. 1785, Craven County, North Carolina.(87) Md. Thomas Hicks, possibly a son of Thomas and Abigail Hicks of Swansea, Massachusetts.
7) Isaac Weeks, christened 21 July 1722, Plymouth, Massachusetts.(88) Md. Mary ? or Sarah. Living in Carteret County, NC by 1741. Gave evidence in a suit of the King against Thomas Hicks in 1749.(89) Thomas, a planter, had acknowledged himself indebted to the King for the sum of ten pounds during the March term of court 1747.(90)
8) Elizabeth Weeks, christened 14 Feb. 1724/25, Plymouth, Massachusetts.(91)
9) Benjamin Weeks, born abt. 1726, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
10) Jabish [Jabez] Weeks, christened 4 Aug. 1729, Plymouth, Mass.(92) Md. Mary Rhodes abt. 1745. He is mentioned in the June term of court, 1751.(93)
68 Vital Records of Falmouth Massachusetts, film # 0904590, pg. 155.
69 Vital Records of Tisbury, Massachusetts, New England Genealogical Society: Boston, Mass., 1910, pg. 119.
70 Film #0904590 - Barnstable County Registry Bldg., Falmouth Mass, Vital Record, pg. 155.
71 Vital Records of Tisbury, Massachusetts, New England Genealogical Society: Boston, Mass., 1910, pg. 26 – under marriages it lists Mary & Benjiman Weck of Falmouth, 14 Jan. 1704, intention not recorded. They are then listed in the Vital Records of Falmouth, Massachusetts, microfilm of written recording, pg. 155, "Beniamin Wekes and Mary Chaces – intentions of marring published May the 27th 1704." I assume the first date recorded in Tisbury must have been equivalent of getting a license, and the second date, found in the Falmouth records, possibly the actual marriage date.
72 Vital Records of Tisbury, MA, pgs. 25 & 26 for Chase Family.
73 History of Martha's Vineyard, Vol. 2, "Annals of Gosnold", pg. 20.
74 History of Martha's Vineyard, Vol. I, pg. 452 – the following action was taken in 1703: "Leift Isaac Chase is appoynted by this Courte to keepe a publike fery for the transporting of man and beast from Marthas Vineyard to Sickanesset alias falmouth and the fees allowed for said ferriage viz: -- six shillings for a man and a hors or three shillings for each person or horse forew'd to s'd Suckanesset: but if he doth cary but one hors over sd ferriage that he shall have the sume of five shillings."
75 History of Martha's Vineyard, Vol. I, pg. 452 – Barnstable Deed, III, 148.
76 Sanders, Rebecca W. Early Carteret Court Minutes 1747-1764. Private Published, Beaufort, North Carolina, 2 Vols., Vol. 1, pg. 70.
77 Rebecca W. Sanders, Early Carteret Court Minutes 1723-1747. Privately Published: Beaufort, NC 1991, pg. 71: By consent of John Starkey and Enock Ward, John Gillet, John Dugley, John Roberts, Benjamin Weeks and Mary Weeks were to give evidences in the case of Williamson and Ward. They were to be sworn and affidavits taken.
78 Sanders, pg. 101.
79 Sanders, pg. 103.
80 Undoubtedly the given name of "Bingman" and the county of "Cartwright" were an error in transcription of the original will. Some of the old writing was very difficult to decipher. Also, there is no Cartwright County in North Carolina.
81 Sanders, Vol. 2 - 1747-1764, pg. 22.
82 NOTE: I am still searching the court records for Carteret and may find something relating to her death.
83 P. W. Fisher, One Dozen Pre-Revolutionary Ward Families of Eastern North Carolina and some of Their Descendants, New Bern Historical Soc. Foundation, Inc.: New Bern, NC, pg. 350.
84 Oliver B. Brown, Vital Records of Falmouth Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1976, pg. 216 - Marriages: There is a marriage between a Lydia Weeks and a Thomas Whitten of Plymtown, 1 June 1736. Since I don't pick up Benjamin Weeks until after that date in North Carolina, this may be the marriage of his daughter "Lida" to a "Witton."
85 Records of James McLoughlin, a descendant. Copies in my possession.
86 Jim McLoughlin, a descendant, via correspondence 1997, and via the Weeks Family Registry web page on the internet.
87 Will of Thankful Hicks. Found in Duplin County, NC. See Hicks Family History.
88 Sherman, Ruth Wilder. Vital Records of Plymouth, Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Picton Press: Camden, Maine, 1993, pg. 70.
89 Sanders, Vol. 1, pg. 22.
90 Sanders, Vol. 1, pg. 3.
91 Sherman, Ruth Wilder. Vital Records of Plymouth, Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Picton Press: Camden, Maine, 1993, pg. 70.
92 Sherman, Ruth Wilder. Vital Records of Plymouth, Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Picton Press: Camden, Maine, 1993, pg. 70.
93 Sanders, Vol. 1, pg. 33.
Son of William Weeks Jr. Benjamin Weeks was born 4 April, 1685 in Falmouth, MA. He died 1744 in NC. His will was probated in Carteret Co. North Carolina in 1745.
Benjamin married Mary Chase 14 January, 1704 in MA. She is the daughter of Isaac Chase and wife Mary Tilton Chase. According to Mary's will she died 11 August, 1788.
While Benjamin lived in MA. he owned a ferry that was given to him by his father-in-law, Isaac Chase as stated in the History of Martha's Vineyard, volume 1.
Benjamin moved southward and into Carteret Co. North Carolina about 1730. He lived in the area of White Oak River and died there in 1744. He is buried in the Weeks family Cemetery in the area.
Benjamin and Mary were the parents of ten children: Benjamin Weeks, Jr.; Theophilus Weeks, born 1708; Lydia Weeks married Thomas Whitton 1 September 1733; Archelaus Weeks; Mary Weeks married Weston Williams; Christian Weeks married Mathew Rowley; Thankful Weeks married Thomas Hicks; Isaac Weeks married Sarah; Jabez Weeks married Mary Rhodes; and Elizabeth Weeks.
Benjamin Weeks, Sr.'s Timeline
April 4, 1685
Falmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States
Barnstable County, MA, USA
Carteret, NC, USA