John "Old Trader" Benge

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John "Old Trader" Benge's Geni Profile

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John Benge

Also Known As: "Old Trader John", ""Old Trader" John Benge"
Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Charlottesville, Albemarle, Virginia
Death: circa 1808 (65-81)
Morgan, Calhoun County, Georgia, United States (Unknown)
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Benge, I and Martha Martin Benge / Cherokee
Husband of Elizabeth Benge and Wur-Teh Watts
Father of Sarah Ann Benge; Joseph Benjey; Obadiah Martin Benge; William Lewis Benge; Bob "the Bench" Benge and 6 others
Brother of James Benge; Thomas Benge and Samuel Benge

Occupation: Operated a trading post on the Cumberland, Indian Trader
Managed by: Sebastian D. Giunta
Last Updated:

About John "Old Trader" Benge

Enrollee #41 on Old Selttler's Roll of 1817 for Cherokee Nations East (Qualla Boundary). Source of Roll is at BENGE, John Born: about 1735 in Virginia. Other records suggest he may have been born as early as 1726. Known as “Old Trader," and operated a trading post on the Cumberland. He was of Scottish descent.

John Benge was an Indian trader with the Cherokee in northern GA. He had two wives, one was Elizabeth Lewis and his second was Wurteh, a Cherokee, and he had children from both marriages at about the same time.


  1. Elizabeth Lewis Born: about 1740, and was the, first wife of John Benge. She was a white woman, and the daughter of William Terrell Lewis and Sally Martin Lewis
  2. Wurteh Second wife of John Benge and the sister of Old Tassel. Probably born in Toqua, in the Cherokee Overhills Probably met John Benge before 1761. She was a Cherokee woman.


  • Robert 'Bob' Benge was born circa 1760 probably in the Cherokee village Toquo to John Benge and Wurteh, a Cherokee. Robert grew up to be the most notorious Cherokee in history. He was so feared in the central Appalachian areas of present-day Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, that the settlers admonished their children by saying, "if you don't watch out, Captain Benge will get you.". He was known as The Bench ... Robert [Benge's] father was John 'Old Trader' Benge, an Indian trader who lived among the Cherokee, and his mother was Wurteh who was part of an influential Cherokee family. John was previously married to Elizabeth Lewis, daughter of William Terrell Lewis and Sarah Martin, a prominent family originally from Virginia. Elizabeth's sister, Susannah Lewis married John's brother, Thomas Benge. John and Elizabeth had several children at their home in western North Carolina. These were William Lewis, Sarah, and Obadiah Martin. Apparently, John was also living with Wurteh at his home with the Cherokee (probably Toquo) and had several children born there. These were Robert, Utana "the Tail," Lucy, and Tashliske. After Elizabeth and the Lewis family found out about John's Cherokee family, their marriage was dissolved and Elizabeth latter remarried John Fielder and had other children. Wurteh also had a child from a man whose last name was Gist or Guess and their child became known to history as Sequoyah. Robert and Sequoyah were half brothers...


  1. The Two Families of John “Old Trader” Benge
  2. "If you don't watch out, Captain Benge will get you"  Copyrighted by Don Chesnut, 1997
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John "Old Trader" Benge's Timeline

Charlottesville, Albemarle, Virginia
Age 19
Age 25
Virginia, United States
Age 26
Montgomery, Virginia, USA
Age 27
Cherokee nation East, Toqua, United States
Age 28
Albemarle, Virginia, USA
Age 33
Cherokee Nation East, Toqua, United States
Age 41
RattleSnake Springs, (Tennessee), Cherokee Nation