Person:Benjamin Skillings (3)

Watchers
  1. Benjamin SkillingsAbt 1671 - 1764
  • HBenjamin SkillingsAbt 1671 - 1764
  • W.  Deliverance (add)
m. Bet. 1713-1717
  1. Isaac Skillings1717 -
  2. Lydia Skillings1717 -
  3. Benjamin Skillings1717 -
  4. Mary Skillings1717 -
  5. Jeane Skillings1717 -
Facts and Events
Name Benjamin Skillings
Gender Male
Birth[2] Abt. 1671 Falmouth, Cumberland, Maine, United States
Marriage Bet. 1713-1717 to Deliverance (add)
Death[1] 11 Dec 1764 Falmouth, Cumberland, Maine, United States


One must be very careful with Benjamin Skillings, son of Thomas Skillings, Jr. He is often confused with his uncle Benjamin, son of Thomas Skillings, Sr. (Person:Benjamin Skillings (2)). Both were born very close to the same date, about 1671 versus about 1665 (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.

Benjamin, the nephew, is first found in Place:Greenland, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States where his mother had fled after his father had been killed by Indians, and where she had remarried. He received a grant of land in 1698 suggesting a birth at least prior to 1677. His last activity in Greenland is a deed dated 17 Sep 1717, with his wife Deliverance. He had 5 children baptized in the Greenland Church (Isaac, Benjamin, Lydia, Mary, and Jean/Jane).

As indicated above, Benjamin was one of the first to resettle Falmouth after its abandonment due to Indian troubles in the 1690's. He is reported in Falmouth as early as 1715. In 1719, Benjamin was selectman for Falmouth, a post he held for 4 years. Also living on the farm in Falmouth is his son Isaac, who inherited the farm when Benjamin died. (The presence of Isaac on the farm with "Father Skillin", and inheritance of it, is hard to explain for those that think this is the other Benjamin living in Falmouth.)

In 1752, Benjamin testified he was 81 [born 1671] and Deliverance testified she was 70 [born 1682]. Yet, 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, p. 202, "December 11 [1764]. I rode to Father Skillin's funeral. He reckoned he was in his 100th year." This would require that Benjamin aged 19 years in the span of only 12. I find the 1671 birth more believable than the second hand report of an old man's memory. Even a birth in 1671 may be too early, as it is reported Benjamin's mother was born in 1654.

References
  1. Willis, William; Samuel Deane; Thomas Smith; and First Parish of Portland (Maine). 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 of Portland. (Portland, Maine: Joseph S. Bailey, 1849), 202.

    December 11 [1764]. I rode to Father Skillin's funeral. He reckoned he was in his 100th year.

  2. Deposition in 1752 stated he was 81, so born 1671. Fits facts better than Rev. Smith's journal which says he reckoned he was 100 in 1764.