Facts and Events
One must be very careful with Benjamin Skillings, son of Thomas Skillings, Sr.. He is often confused with his nephew Benjamin, son of Thomas Skillings, Jr. (Person:Benjamin Skillings (3)). Both were born very close to the same date, about 1665 versus about 1671 (neither precisely known). It also appears that the confusion arises from a comment in Source:Journals of the Rev. Thomas Smith and the Rev. Samuel Deane, pastors of the First Church in Portland : with notes and biographical notices and a summary history by the editor William Willis, on p. 55, "About this time 1715, Mr. Skillin and Bracket settled on their father's old farms at Back Cove." The "Mr. Skillin" is Benjamin, and the father is assumed to be Thomas, the immigrant. So, all the activities of Benjamin in Falmouth, ME as well as those of Benjamin in Marblehead, MA are assumed to be the same person.
I eagerly await Thomas Shaw Henley's upcoming updated book on the Skillin Family, because, based on research done by Charles Thornton Libby and expanded by himself, the farm under discussion was "originally the Ryder Farm, obtained by Thomas Skillin Jr, NOT the farm of Thomas Skillin the immigrant." Hence, the activites of Benjamin in Falmouth, ME are the son of Thomas Skillings, Jr., and the activities of Benjamin in Ipswich, MA and Marblehead, MA are the son of Thomas Skillings, Sr.
Once this is made clear, the facts about the two Benjamins seem to sort themselves. Without this distinction, it seems like one Benjamin is in multiple places at once, and has conflicting wives.
There is an additional controversy involving Benjamin that needs to be refuted. Some sources indicate a wife named Elizabeth in Marblehead. This is purportedly in addition to the Susanna and Mary that are explicitly named in the birth records of the children of uncle Benjamin, and in addition to the Deliverance who is the documented wife of the nephew Benjamin for at least 1717 - 1752. As near as I have found, this fact stems from a gravestone in Marblehead, VR Marblehead, p 2:667: Skillen, Elizabeth, Mrs., 1772. G.R.2. However, this is so consistent with ibid., p 2:392: Skillins, Joseph, and Elizabeth Foster, June 7, 1767 and Skillin, Joseph (Capt. C.R.2) and Ruth Searl, June 22, 1773 that this must be the first wife of Joseph Skillings, not a wife of Benjamin. So I don't know where this assertion comes from.
Consider the following quote from The Skillings Family by William Sargent:
Benjamin, b. 1664, identified as youngest according to depositions by Joseph and Deborah. Bur. 11 Dec 1764 when it was "reckoned he was in his 100th year". Often confused with nephew Benjamin of Marblehead (s/o Thomas and Mary (Lewis) Skillings). It was the nephew who probably married Elizabeth.
This is about Benjamin, the uncle. He was the youngest child of Thomas and Deborah Skillings. The birth date of 1664 is probably calculated from the death of 11 Dec 1764, but that death date corresponds the nephew Benjamin living in Falmouth, ME. There is no evidence I can find that the uncle Benjamin ever left Massachusetts, after going there with his mother, the widow of Thomas the immigrant, where she married George Hadley in Ipswich in 1668, when Benjamin was still very young. The children of the uncle Benjamin were born and married in Marblehead and Ipswich, some occurring at a time when Benjamin was allegedly in Falmouth, ME. If Benjamin had returned to Falmouth, wouldn't the marriages of his children likely reflect this migration? And as indicated, I can find no evidence that either Benjamin married an Elizabeth.
--Jrich 00:07, 8 September 2008 (EDT)