Historical Note


Based on names cited in these diaries and in papers pertaining to the original descendant/owner of them, John Stephen Benezet was the namesake of his great grandfather, a Protestant who fled France and came to Philadelphia in 1731. Like his grandfather James Benezet, John served in the Prothonotary's Office, Clerk of Quarter Sessions in Bucks County before moving his family to Philadelphia. The family name is best recognized through his great uncle, Anthony Benezet, a Philadelphia philanthropist and advocate of education for women and African-Americans.

John Stephen Benezet was born May 19, 1788, and while in the Prothonotary's Office, raised his family in Doylestown. In 1817, he married a woman named Sarah, who may also have been from Bucks County, in Eddington, Bensalem Township. She died in 1838 and was buried there. They had at least three daughters, Sally, Catharine and Helen, and a son Samuel. John came to Philadelphia in 1830 when Samuel Moore appointed him a Clerk in the US Mint. He remained there for approximately ten and one-half years. The family's first home in the city was at 409 Race Street. By 1838, they were living at 256 Filbert Street. The first church he joined was the 13th Street Church, between Market and Filbert, with the Rev. John Chambers. Benezet later moved with that congregation to their new church, the First Independent Church Broad Street, located at Broad and George Streets.

Works Consulted

Davis, W. W. H. (William Watts Hart), 1820-1910. " Chapter X, Bensalem, 1692." Chapter X in History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania: from the discovery of the Delaware to the present time. 1876 and 1905 editions. Contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Donna Bluemink.

Robertson Register: Historical Photographs, s.v. "Catherine [sic] Benezet, 1819-1919."

Porter, William Gibbs, 1846-1906. [other author]. Pathological Society of Philadelphia Minutes of transcriptions and business,1857-1887. Historical Library and Wood Institute. College of Physicians of Philadelphia.