Selected stories and legends of my ancestors

Benoni Jones (1665-1704)
Benoni was the youngest of Griffith and Ester Jones' eleven children. Born on May 13, 1665 he was indentured at the age of 12 to William Clark, associate judge of Northampton, Mass. He served him well until he was 21. At the age of 23 he married the widow Gurley, Ester Ingersoll Gurly. He and Ester had four children.

The family lived in a cluster of houses known as Pascommuch lying at the foot of Mt. Tom, now within the ciy limits of Eastampton, Mass. The Benoni Jones house was the only house in the area that was fortified. On May 13, 1704, Indians attacked the Jones house in which all of the area's inhabitants had assembled for cover. Of 33 persons in the house, 19 were killed, 3 escaped, 8 were rescued later and 3 were carried off. Benoi Jones and two of his sons, Ebenezer and Jonathan, were slain. Eight year old Benjamin Jones was scalped but later escaped. Ester was kidnapped and taken to Canada where she died after being tormented by priests trying to convert her.

Source: "And Then There Was You" By Marjorie Eileen Wells-Cook


James Chilton (1563-1620)
James Chilton, a tailor by trade, was the oldest Mayflower passenger, and one of the first to die after reaching the New World. He was born and raised in Canterbury, Kent,England and around 1600 moved to Sandwich, England. By 1615 James and at least some of his children were living in Leyden, Holland. He came on the Mayflower with his wife Susanna and daughter Mary. Susanna died shortly after James died, leaving their daughter orphaned, and joined probably with the household of Myles Standish.

Mary Chilton came on the Mayflower at the young age of 13, and legend has it she was the first female to step ashore at Plymouth. She married John Winslow, who came in the ship Fortune, and was the brother of Mayflower passengers Edward Winslow and Gilbert Winslow.

His surname appears as early as 1339 in Co. Kent, England, where he originated.

Source: "And Then There Was You" By Marjorie Eileen Wells-Cook


John Furnas (1736-1777)
John Furnas was quite athletic when a young man. Legend brings to us a story of his ability as a swimmer. When the waters off the shore of England were sailed by many a pirate ship, John and a mate were taken captive by a pirate crew. John made a vow (perhaps an affirmation; however that is not what it says) that he would not be a slave nor stay on board long. One dark night he and his mate fastened their clothing on their backs and jumped overboard and were soon swimming towards what they supposed to be an island. They were shot at but miraculously escaped being hit. They swam for a long time and at last John's mate said he could go no farther and sank to a watery grave, and John swam on for a short distance and landed on an island in safety. Later he was picked up by a friendly ship.

Source: Lurose Patton Sanders (


King Edward I "Longshanks" (1239-1307)
Edward I, called Longshanks (1239-1307), king of England (1272-1307), of the house of Plantagenet. He was born in Westminster on June 17, 1239, the eldest son of King Henry III, and at 15 married Eleanor of Castile. In the struggles of the barons against the crown for constitutional and ecclesiastical reforms, Edward took a vacillating course. When warfare broke out between the crown and the nobility, Edward fought on the side of the king, winning the decisive battle of Evesham in 1265. Five years later he left England to join the Seventh Crusade. Following his father's death in 1272, and while he was still abroad, Edward was recognized as king by the English barons; in 1273, on his return to England, he was crowned.

The first years of Edward's reign were a period of the consolidation of his power. He suppressed corruption in the administration of justice, restricted the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts to church affairs, and eliminated the papacy's overlordship over England.

On the refusal of Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, ruler of Wales, to submit to the English crown, Edward began the military conflict that resulted, in 1284, in the annexation of Llewelyn's principality to the English crown. In 1290 Edward expelled all Jews from England. War between England and France broke out in 1293 as a result of the efforts of France to curb Edward's power in Gascony. Edward lost Gascony in 1293 and did not again come into possession of the duchy until 1303. About the same year in which he lost Gascony, the Welsh rose in rebellion.

Greater than either of these problems was the disaffection of the people of Scotland. In agreeing to arbitrate among the claimants to the Scottish throne, Edward, in 1291, had exacted as a prior condition the recognition by all concerned of his overlordship of Scotland. The Scots later repudiated him and made an alliance with France against England. To meet the critical situations in Wales and Scotland, Edward summoned a parliament, called the Model Parliament by historians because it was a representative body and in that respect was the forerunner of all future parliaments. Assured by Parliament of support at home, Edward took the field and suppressed the Welsh insurrection. In 1296, after invading and conquering Scotland, he declared himself king of that realm. In 1298 he again invaded Scotland to suppress the revolt led by Sir William Wallace. In winning the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, Edward achieved the greatest military triumph of his career, but he failed to crush Scottish opposition.

The conquest of Scotland became the ruling passion of his life. He was, however, compelled by the nobles, clergy, and commons to desist in his attempts to raise by arbitrary taxes the funds he needed for campaigns. In 1299 Edward made peace with France and married Margaret, sister of King Philip III of France. Thus freed of war, he again undertook the conquest of Scotland in 1303. Wallace was captured and executed in 1305. No sooner had Edward established his government in Scotland, however, than a new revolt broke out and culminated in the coronation of Robert Bruce as king of Scotland. In 1307 Edward set out for the third time to subdue the Scots, but he died en route near Carlisle on July 7, 1307.

Source : Microsoft Encarta