I was trolling through Vermont cemeteries looking for a subject for today’s article when I came across four graves in the Alburgh Tongue Cemetery in Grand Isle County, all children of “B.S. (or Benajah S.) and Asenath Phelps” … hmm. The children were: Belinda, Cynthia, Horace and Ruth. The grave stone pictures are hard to distinguish as far as dates but it appears that at least three of their children were very young when they died. Their parents Benajah Spelman and Asenath (Fletcher) Phelps are buried, however, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin… double-hmm.
I found that Benajah lived a very long life, dying at age one hundred and three in Colorado Springs, Colorado – again with the “hmm”. Talk about an intriguing history to investigate — so off I went on the search for more about Benajah.
Benajah Spelman Phelps was born on March 24, 1800 on South Island, Grand Isle County, Vermont to parents Abel and Mary (Pelton) Phelps, their second son. His fourth great-grandfather, William the immigrant, was born in 1599 and Benajah’s great-grandfather Captain Abel Phelps was a Revolutionary War veteran. Benajah’s father was a veteran of the War of 1812. In fact, the island where the family lived was in the middle of Lake Champlain, scene of significant battles which occurred in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and will be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. Please check out our new site: www.digginghistorymag.com. Samples are available by clicking magazine image. Regular monthly issues currently available for only $1.99. – Updated 1/20/18.