I had previously posted about the confusion as to the identities of several John Bennems which can be read here. Since then I have found further proof that John Bennem, husband of Catharine Cornell, indeed was alive past his previously thought 1836 death date.
Since ancestry published their probate records I’m sure it has led to a lot of breakthroughs in the genealogy of others as it has my own. Unfortunately there was no probate for John Bennem but his wife, Catharine Cornell, did have a file. The information gathered was exactly what was needed to help cement family relationships.
The probate application was filed 28 January 1870 and the order made 9 March 1870 with the final probate 16 May 1871. Well after her death with no reason why they waited so long before filing.
John I. Bennem, husband of Catharine Bennem, renounced rights to Letters of Administration and consented to his sons William S. Bennem and John Bennem being administrators. They were joined by William Buhrman (no known relationship) and John H. Cornell, brother of Catharine.
William stated that his mother’s death occurred 25 November 1866 which matches the burial register at the Zion Episcopal Church, Douglaston, Queens, New York. Her next of kin were as follows:
- Of Flushing; William S. Bennem, Elias H. Bennem, Lewis C. Bennem, John Bennem, and Ellen Maria Fowler, wife of Benjamin Fowler
- Of City and County of New York; Elizabeth Deacon, wife of Job Deacon
- Of Tarrytown, Westchester, New York; Jane C. Bennem and Joanna Bissell, wife of Nelson A. G. Bissell
- Her husband, John I. Bennem, residing in Flushing
All children, their spouses, and locations match previous research.
As of 16 May 1871 John Bennem Jr. made an appearance and made claim to $650.00 of his mother’s estate. He said he was the son of Catharine Bennem and that she died on or about 25 November 1866. She had moved into the house of John Jr. at Little Neck about 18 May 1864 and lived with him for approximately 2 years and 6 months until her death. Along with room and board the family also did her washing which all together cost $5.00 a week for the total of $650.00. John also said that the farm he resided on belonged to his mother and that she once told him that she would give him the farm as compensation. Most important is that John Bennem Sr. was still living in his son’s household at the time of the statement.
Elias Hendrickson Bennem, son of John I Bennem and Catharine Cornell died 6 April 1871, before his mother’s estate was settled. His only next of kin was listed as his father John I. Bennem who got his portion of Catherine’s estate.
This verifies that John Bennem, Sr. was alive as late as May 1871. Whether he is definitively the John Bennem in the Burial Ledger is not yet known but with all evidence it seems possible since it is now proven that it is Catharine Cornell-Bennem buried there.