I have been working on the brick wall that is Benoni Farrand for a couple of years. Slowly, the fog is lifting. I recently returned from the LDS library in Salt Lake where I spent a week working on this family.
You can find more detail on my tree "Courter Family Tree" (I am still adding documentation there). Below is a short narrative.http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/5416607/person/-1421448061?pg...
Conclusions thus far:
Benoni Farrand was born 25 Jun 1731 in Northhampton MA to Joanna Allis and Thomas Farrand. This is proven by the actual birth register. The name Benoni was given in the 18th century to children born in tragic circumstances and therefore it is likely he was either born out of wedlock or that his mother died.
Within a few months of his birth, his father married Mary Hall. Mary and Thomas lived in Palmer MA where their children were born.
I do not know what happened to Joanna. There appear to have been two Joanna Allis' living in the Connecticut River Valley area around Benoni's birth. One was Nathaniel Allis' daughter Jemima (also called Joanna) who married Eliakim Root but I do not think she is Benoni Farrand's mother. It appears that she lived all her life in Connecticut.
The other Joanna Allis was the daughter of John and Mary Lawrence. Per the vital records of Northampton, Mary Lawrence died the year after Joanna's birth shortly after the birth of a daughter who also died. John married Bethia(h) Field after Mary's death.
I could find nothing to document Joanna daughter of John's death or marriage to Thomas or anyone else. Her birth however is documented in the birth register of Northampton.
After his birth, Benoni Farrand appears to most likely have been raised by his grandfather and stepgrandmother (Bethia Field). When Benoni was 14 he petitioned to change his guardian to Jonathan Field of Sunderlund a cousin or nephew of Bethia Field Allis. The petition is in the probate records. Unfortunately it does not state who his guardian had been.
Benoni fought in the Seven Years War and achieved the rank of Sergeant. He was under Israel Williams and John Burk's command. John Burk's activities are documented in the history of Bernardston MA. After the War, he married Mary Cambell (I think this is the correct spelling since it was the spelling used in the name of one of her grandchildren). Two children were born in Sunderlund, at least one was born in Deerfield. I have not been able to document the birth of the other children.
During the Rev War, Benoni ran into a bit of trouble. He tried to set up a ferry across the Connecticut and the Sunderland town officials took exception to this. (see description on my tree). Sometime in that same period he was tried as a Loyalist and convicted. However, he stayed in Deerfield about 10 years after the War. There is no indication that he lost property or was jailed. I am trying to get the record of his trial.
There are a few scattered records until he removes to Sudbury VT in about 1790. There, he was the town clerk recording land transactions. His name is all over the recording of deeds. Later he seems to have given this position up but still functioned as the clerk in the town meetings, recording the minutes. Sometime in the late 1790's he drops off the radar in that area. He may have relocated with his son Abraham. I have not been able to document his death.
I have also been doing quite a bit of work on Thomas Farrand and Andrew Farrand (Benoni's uncle). We know that they came from Ulster in 1718 and went from Boston to Worchester to Palmer to Kingstown. Most documents list Andrew since he was the older brother. Thomas also seems to have been traveling up and down the Connecticut River before his marriage.
I have not been able to tie the Farrands to a certain location in Ulster or Scotland. There are published trees on the Jamesons of Scotland and MA which state that a Thomas married Margaret Jameson. I have some of this info on my tree but it is all very tentative.
Let me know what you all think. Be sure to look at my tree for dates and details. http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/5416607/person/-1421448061?pg...