Elizabeth Benson

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Elizabeth Benson (Ellis)

Birthplace: Rochester (Present Mattapoisett), Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts
Death: Died in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County, Province of Virginia
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Joel Ellis and Mary Ellis
Wife of William Benson
Mother of Stutson Benson and Joel Benson
Sister of Thankful Ellis; William Ellis; Dorothy Ellis; Joel Ellis; Mary Mendall and 1 other

Managed by: Alice Zoe Marie Knapp
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Elizabeth Benson

Originally it was asserted that Elizabeth died at the Fredericksburg Fair in Oswego, New York, in 1762. Reviewing the history of Oswego, New York, the location of the fair seemed unlikely. Oswego was a British military site in the midst of Iroquois lands through the early part of the Revolutionary War, and was not effectively settled by civilians until well into the 19th century. Reviewing the history of the Fredericksburg Fair, however, it appeared that such a fair did exist in Fredericksburg, Virginia in the 18th century, and was in fact a very successful fair.

Eighteenth Century Fairs by Mary R. M. Goodwin (February, 1955), Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library Research Report Series - RR0069, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation



In 1738, the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act allowing two fairs yearly to be held in the town of Fredericksburg, "for the sale and vending of all manner of cattle, victuals, provisions, goods, wares and merchandises." The act was to remain in force for a stated period of time. In 1742, fairs having been found "in a great measure to answer the ends proposed by the said act, in increasing the trade of the said town," the act was continued. The fair days were changed in 1740 and, again, in 1769.

The Fredericksburg fair seems to have been the most active and successful fair to be held in the Colony. Horse-races were held during the fairs. In 1752, the Company of COMEDIANS at the "new Theatre at Williamsburg," gave notice that they intended to go to Fredericksburg "to play during the Continuance of June Fair." Land, houses, slaves, etc., were sold at this fair, and lotteries were drawn there.


As such, her death location was placed in Fredericksburg, though a primary source would be much more preferable than this presumption.

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Elizabeth Benson's Timeline

December 14, 1719
Rochester (Present Mattapoisett), Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts
March 2, 1741
Age 21
Rochester Plymouth County Massachusetts
Age 29
Age 42
Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County, Province of Virginia