Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Search for Benjamin Harrison Bentley

I copy my pictures on little SD disks that fit in my digital camera. I know I can put the pictures on my computer or disks and delete them and reuse the SD disks, but I cannot hit the delete button on the SD disks. I have about a dozen of them now. It was how I was able to reconstruct my pictures when my computer crashed last November. Just before the reunion I copied the pictures to my computer and organized them. I have one disk that is the running things that happen throughout the year like birthdays, holidays, etc. Then I have another disk where I am putting cemeteries (like Dr. Can's) and old picture work. Since the pictures are dated, I was able to easily separate them into subjects. One of the first in the year was my trip to Cleveland in January so I was able to put pictures in folders by January 19 Uncle John Vint, January 20 Aunt Hazel, January 21 Otho & Pat Holcomb and January 21 Uncle John's again.

There was a post card picture that I didn't even remember copying on Day Two. I copied pictures at Hazel's on my trips last year and I didn't remember seeing anything new at her home. In fact, I took her pictures on that trip. I wrote to Lisa and Nancy to see if they remembered the picture. They suggested (from the carpet around the picture where I had laid it on the floor) that it might have been at Aunt Ernestene's when we stopped and picked up Candy and Ernestene and had a brownie before we went to Hazel's. I thought I would check with Candy at the reunion and ask her, but she wasn't able to come because of work and Bernie's graduation from High School. I wrote to her when I got home.

She said that the picture, which was one of those post card ones, was sent to her grandfather, Benjamin Harrison Hall, from his namesake uncle Benjamin Harrison Bentley. She went on to say that the lady in the picture was a girlfriend, but not the lady he had married. She thought the wife's name was Lenora, or something like that.

The post card says " Hello Ben, Here is your Name Sake and his Best Girl and See how you like her fine I hope. Be good as ever, Your Ben" It was sent to Mr. Ben H. Hall at Baker, Kentucky.
I went into my database expecting to find this man easily, but he wasn't there. I started with Ernestene's father who had received the card. I hadn't entered them in the family tree yet, so I went back to a sheet I had on that family and started filling in the blanks. According to a sheet that Ernestene had given me Benjamin Harrison Hall's parents were Solomon and Allie Jane Hall. I thought since this was an uncle then Allie Jane must have been the Bentley sister. The sheet also said that Solomon's parents were Matthew Bentley and Servilla Hall. I did have Matthew C. "Mack" Bentley and Servilla Caroline Hall in my work already, but I had it marked that I had not searched for all of their children. I started through my normal checks of census records, etc. and I was coming up blank except for Matthew and Servilla in the 1880 census. I found a Matthew and Diadema in 1910 and 1920, but I didn't know if that were the same Matthew.
I searched for the better part of two days finding bits and pieces on this family.
June 19, 1880 Letcher County Family 407 was
Bentley, Matthew 29, head
Caroline 23, wife
Miranda, 6 daughter
Daniel, 4 son
Noah M. 2 son
Mary F, 3 months, daughter
John, 30, brother
Samuel, 19, brother.
That matched what I had for Matthew and Caroline and the brothers matched for Matthew. Then I went dry. Finally, I found that Mack and Didama Belcher had married.
In 1910 they were in Greenup County.
Bentley, Matthew, 58, head, marriage 2, married 20 years, Farmer
Diadema, 54, wife, marriage 2, had 7 chilodren, 7 living
Anderson B., 21 son
Thomas T, 17 son
Cynthia, 15 daughter
In 1920 they were in Leatherwood, Greenup County, Kentucky.
Bentley, Matthew, head, 54, farming, general farm
Diadame, wife, 66, farm laborer, home farm
Alexander, George, son-in-law, 35, farm laborer, home farm
Rausie E., daughter, 27, farm labore, home farm
Cecle, grandson 9, farm laborer, home farm
Betrese, granddaughter, 6
Ralph, grandson, 4 years 1 month
Alta, granddaughter, 1 year 7 months
Carrie, granddaughter, 0 months
Bentley, John M. cozen, 70, widowed
Now at this point I am thinking that "Rausie" must be a daughter of Servilla and Servilla had died and Matthew remarried. I have also not found Benjamin Harrison. I might have stopped here, but families are usually correct on who they say their aunts and uncles are when the families are close like the relationship between Benjamin Harrison Bentley and Benjamin Harrison Hall. So I went back again.
I tried finding birth and death records for the Benjamins, Matthew, and Servilla. I started reseaching under the name Mack instead of Matthew. I found Mack died of cancer of the stomach in 1923. I struck out on the rest, but I found a census record for Mack Bentley with a wife of "Dame" in Millstone in 1900.
Bentley, Mack, head, Nov 1851, 48, married
Dame, wife, May 1852, 46
Mary E., daughter, May 1879, 21
Sarah J., daughter, Feb 1884, 16
Bitha, daughter, Oct 1885, 14
Anderson B., son, Jun 1890, 9
Rausy E., daughter, Nov 1891, 8
Tom T., son, Jan 1893, 7
Cynthia A., daughter, Nov 1893, 6
I always look to see who the neighbors are when I am doing a census page. Family 223 is
Hall, Servilla, head, Jan 1854, 48, widowed
Ally J., daughter, Apr 1883, 16
Nerve, daughter, Jan 1886, 14
Benjamin H. son Sep 1889, 10
Finally, I have found Benjamin. Now I know that Servilla did not die and that Mack was having children with both Servilla and Diadema for part of his marriage to Servilla. The families are:
Matthew C. "Mack" Bentley & Servilla Carolina Hall
Ally Jane Bentley
Marinda Bentley
Noah Milburn Bentley
Daniel Boone Bentley
Mary F. Bentley
Manerva Bentley
Benjamin Harrison Bentley
Matthew C. "Mack" Bentley & Didema Belcher
Sarah J. Bentley
Tabitha Bentley
Anderson Bunker Bentley
Rose Ellen "Rausy" Bentley
Thomas T. Bentley
Cynthia Ann Bentley.

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