Levi Winslow and Alvina Griffin Benson Family

The Benson roots are in New England, primarily Massachusetts. The earliest known is Elisha Benson, born 1731 in Middleborough, MA. In 1755, he married Sarah Steward, who was born in 1732. Elisha’s grandson, Levi Benson, 1790-1867, was also born in Middleborough, MA. His son, Elisha Benson, born 1821 in Vermont, married Emaline Thomas, born 1826 in MA. They were married in 1850. He was in the hotel-restaurant business in Virginia when the Civil War began; he returned to Massachusetts to enlist in the Union Army, serving from 1862-63 in Louisiana and Mississippi. Elisha and Emaline’s son, Levi Winslow Benson (1859-1941), also in the restaurant business, married Alvina Griffin in 1880. Two subsequent generations remained in the restaurant business in Bryantville, MA.

Edward and Richard Griffin came to the area of Manhattan Island from Wales in 1634. Later generations remained in the New York area (Duchess County) until fleeing with the Loyalists in 1783 to St. Johns, New Brunswick. The Griffins have a long history in New Brunswick, some living in Boiestown, Frederickton and Grand Manan Island.

Levi Winslow Benson (1840-1901) - Alvina Griffin (1851-1934)



Benson Family Gallery

Middleborough Town Hall
Levi Winsow Benson (1859-1941)
Alvina Griffin Benson (1860-1934)
Levi Winslow Benson (1859-1941) about 1910, "Catch of the Day".
Elisha Benson (1821-92), Civil War Muster Out Card. Elisha was father of Levi Winslow Benson.
Death card for Elisha Benson (d. 1892), Father of Levi Winslow Benson
Elisha & Emaline Thomas Benson calling card
Plymouth, MA
Griffin Brothers and Sisters, Label on picture incorrect.
Back Row: L to R: Charles, William II, Benjamin (Ben)
Front Row:Amelia Griffin Shaw, Jane Griffin Follenbee, Alvina Griffin Benson
Griffin siblings: L to R, Amelia G. Shaw, Alvina G. Benson, Jane (Jenny) G. Follansbee
Back Row: Charles Shaw, ? ca. 1910
Griffin siblings: L to R Alvina Griffin Benson, D. Benjamin Shaw, Amelia Griffin Shaw, Charles and Jane (Jenny) Griffin Follansbee about 1910
(Photo from Bob Haraden.)
Levi and Alvina Benson’s Children (5 of 7)
Back: Merle, Madeline,
Front: Ruby, Norman, Sylvia 1902
Levi and Alvina Benson, 50th Anniversary,
May 8, 1930
Charles Thomas "Tom" Shaw, son of Amelia Griffin Shaw, a cousin of Ruby Benson
Maude Shaw, maybe Tom’s wife or sister
Levi and Alvina Benson, 25th Wedding Anniversar,. May 19, 1905.
Seated: Norman, Sylvia, Levi, Alvina, Merle.
Standing: Ruby, Tom, Ed, Madeline.
Hanson, MA,
Probably taken at the Benson Cafe about 1907 or earlier, Bryantville, MA
Back left: Alvina and Levi Benson, Edmund, ? w/dog
Third Row: ? M, ? W, ? M, ? M, ? Tom Shaw, ? Merle?
Second Row: ? W, ? W, ? W, ? W, ? W
Front: Ruby, Sylvia and Norman Benson. Thomas Shaw and Merle Benson are seated on the right middle, Madeline and Effie? are seated between Ruby and Sylvia
Benson Cafe, L to R: Alvina Benson,?, ?, Ruth Howe, ?, maybe Madeline Howe, Ruby Benson
Running Board: Merle & Tom Benson, Henry Howe, c. 1910
Sylvia Brewer, Maud Shaw, Martha Jennie Griffin Follansbee, Alvina Griffin Benson, Alwida B. (Lillian) Griffin Brewer,
Front: Ethel M. Follansbee, ?, Gordon Follansbee, c. 1915
A gathering of Bensons and Griffins. L to R: Clara Shaw, Alvina Griffin Benson, Aunt Lena Benson, Sylvia Benson Cole, Aunt Amelia Griffin Shaw, Ruby Benson Brown about 1925. From Aunt Doris's scrapbook: Clara is Amelia's daughter-in-law, Lena is the daughter-in-law of Alvina, Alvina and Amelia are sisters, and Sylvia and Ruby are daughters of Alvina. I wonder why they are carrying flowers?
Levi and Alvina Benson, 50th Reunion Gathering, 1930
Front kneeling: ?, Elsie Brown, Standing Lois and Doris Brown, ?
Second Row: Madeline, Levi and Alvina Benson, Lena Benson,?,?
Back: ?, Sylvia, Tom(?), Ed. ?, Florence(?), ?, ?, Merle
Hanson, MA, Levi, Sylvia, Ed, Alvina, Tom, Ruby, space for Norman, Madeline, & Merle on Levi and Alvina's 50th Wedding Anniversary. May 8, 1930

Benson Reunion 1936
Ruby Brown hosted a reunion of her family at Sunny Acres Farm in Wrentham, MA where she raised chickens and prize-winning gladiolus bulbs.


Fourth Row Standing: Elton "Bud" Brown is in the back by the left porch pole, Frank Joseph Bagnell, Maude Ellen Logan Bagnell (Maude's mother was Sarah Ellen Griffin who married Hugh Logan), Charles Gordon and Margaret E. Follansbee, Ed Benson standing by the right hand pole

Row Three and one half: Ruby Brown is in the almost back row in the middle (polka dot dress);

Third row standing: Lois Brown is on the far left; Richard Shaw Fratus ( age 26 in photo, 1910-–1973), Alice Brewer, Ralph C. Brewer, Alton Shurtleff. Ruth Howe Shurtleff, Maude Shaw, ?, maybe Clara Cook Shaw Fratus, Joseph Forcha Fratus, ?, ?, Martin Bannican, Isadora Frances Benson Bannican (daughter of Ed and Sylvia Benson)

Second Row Seated: Alice Elizabeth Bell Fratus ( age 17 in photo 1919-2013) with 6 months old Marjorie L. Fratus, Mrs. Charles Thomas "Belle" Shaw, maybe Phoebe Griffin, maybe Forest Colon Griffin, probably Amelia Griffin Shaw (she would be 88), Levi Benson, Alvina Benson, ?, Sylvia Maud Benson Cole

Front Row, ?, ?, ?, maybe George Shurtleff, son of Ruth Shurleff (age 6), Barbara Fratus (age 6), Doris Brown is on the grass in the front right

Others present : Forest C. and Phoebe Griffin from Cambridge, Mrs. Florence Dewhurst, Austin Shaw (43). and Mildred N. (44) Fratus and child Barbara A. (born 1930, age 6 in picture), Plymouth., Marin N. Stott, Brookline, MA, Mr. and Mrs Joseph Forcha Fratus (In 1940 census a Joseph F. (born 1878). and Clara Cook Shaw(born 1875) Fratus have a border, Benjamin Shurtleff in their home. Clara is the daughter of Thaddeus P. and Amelia Shaw, they married in 1900), Mr. and Mrs Richard Shaw (1910–1973) and Alice Elizabeth Bell Fratus and Marjorie L. (Simpson)(March 28, 1936–2017), Rockland; MA. Mr and Mrs Martin and Isadore Frances Benson Bannican, Whitman, MA; Helen C. Perkins, Frank Joseph Griffin 1891 Canada census is below. He is born in Nova Scotia. He  came to US in 1902 and was naturalized in 1915. He worked on the docks in Boston. His wife is Mary Ellen Griffin

Forest C.(1876–1956) and Phoebe Griffin with children John B. Griffin (1898–1912) and Evelyn Bernice Griffin (Grimes) (1901–1991) from Cambridge, Forest was the son of John and Ida Griffin. John was the son of Thomas and Leah Savage Griffin. Forest siblings included Mabel and Eugene Foster Griffin

Phoebe Ann Strout Griffin

John W. Griffin (1837–1911), husband of John W. and Ida E. Bracy Griffin.
Ida E. Bracy Griffin (1856–1947), wife of Jown W. Griffin
Mabel Griffin (1881–1906), Sister Of Forest Colon Griffin, daughter of John W. and Ida E. Bracy Griffin.
Eugene Foster Griffin (1884–1960), brother Of Forest Colon Griffin and Mabel Griffin, children of John W. and Ida E. Bracy Griffin.
Siblings Tom, Sylvia, Ruby and Norman Benson, 1920s
Tom, Levi, Tom’s wife, Lena, Alvina and Norman Benson, ca. 1930

Levi and daughter Ruby Benson and cousin Bill Griffin (big game hunter from Frederickton and New Brunswick). c. 1934.

Levi Benson about 1917-18. Motor Home, self-built. He took a trip to Florida from Massachusetts in it.
Adults: Back Row: Tom, Lena (Tom’s Wife), Alvina Benson, Ruby Benson Brown
Madeline between Tom and Lena.
Children: ?
Policemen: John Ibbitson, Ed Churchill, E. W. Benson, Napoleon Angie, Fred Brown, ?. Fred Brown was a brother of Harold Brown, who married Ruby Benson, sister of E. W. Benson. 1920s
Wretham, MA, Benson and Griffin reunion, ca. 1927
Front Row: R to L: ?, Elsie, Doris, Lois, Florence Brown
Ruby Benson's High School Class 1911, Hanson, MA. Ruby second row, at left, in white blouse
Merle Benson (1889-1945) about 1920
Merle was Ruby Benson Brown’s brother
Lena & Tom Benson (1883-1960) about 1920
Tom was Ruby Benson Brown’s brother.
Merle Chestger Benson (1889–1945), Son of Levi and Alvina Benson, brother of Ruby Benson Brown. He married Lydia Margaret Bauman.
Sylvia Benson
Sylvia Benson and Sylvia Merritt
Sylvia and Norman Benson
Merle and Lydia Margaret Bauman Benson, (?-1939)
Lydia was Merle’s second wife. Married after 1930.
Benson Cousins, 1916, Back, l-r, Ruby (1911) and Madeline (1915) (Merle and Letiticia Benson's), Isadora (1903) and Hosea (1901) (Ed Benson's children), Frances (1907) (Merle and Letiticia Benson’s ), Ruth Howe (1912) (Madeline Benson Howe's daughter), Elton Brown (1915) ( Hosea's lap), Harold (1913) and Elsie Brown (1914) in front (Ruby Benson Brown's children)
Ed Benson with cousins, Alice and Ralph Brewer. Alice is a cousin-in-law of Ruby Benson, 1932
Ruby Benson Brown, ca 1912
Harold Foster Brown, ca 1912
Harold & Bud Brown with Gramma Alvina Benson 1921
Ruby Benson Brown (1894-1977)
Ruby Benson Brown (1894-1977)
Ed (1880-1960) and Sylvia Hernandez (1877-1954) Benson about 1950. The following old pictures are ancestors of Sylvia Delano Benson
Isadora Frances Benson (1903-67), about 1921
Daughter of Ed and Sylvia Benson
Ed Benson, Isadora Benson and Doris Brown
Sylvia Brewer (1899-2002), a cousin of Ruby Benson, Her mother was Alwilda Blanche (called Lillian) Griffin Brewer, ca. 1903
Sylvia Brewer, a cousin of Ruby Benson Brown about 1915
Hosea Benson. 1940
Son of Hosea Delano Benson (1900-80)
Hosea Benson. 1940
Son of Hosea Delano Benson (1900-80)
Gordon Follansbee (1904-98
Gordon Follansbee (1904-98)
Ethel M. Follansbee (1900-96)
Margaret E. and Charles Gordon Follansbee, middle two, standing. At right is Florence Brown Caldarone and daughter, Judy. At left might be Dorothy G. Follansbee and her husband. Their children likely in front. 1953

Hosea's Restaurant, Hosea Benson in doorway, Pembroke, MA, 1950s

Hosea's Restaurant, Pembroke, MA, 1940 Hosea was the son of Ed and Sylvia Benson.
Merle Benson's restaurant on School Street in Bryantville, MA. Young Hosea says, "I do recognize this restaurant on Rt. 27 in Bryantville across from the Mayflower Grove. Merle took the restaurant over from Levi Benson, his father. Merle died in 1945. It was torn down in the '50s." In the book on Mayflower Grove--1901-45, Robert Wessa recalls that he and his friend Pee Wee were playing near the café. Pee Wee's waitress mother, called them to meet James Cagney on his way to his summer home on Martha's Vineyard.
Olive Griffin Stevens (Jan 6, 1835-Oct 26, 1908), Milbridge, ME, Husband, Robert (1825-90+) Seaman. Children: Thomas (1853), Joel (or Noel) (1857), Mary (1858,) John (1861), Robert Jr. (1866). Half-sister to Alvina Griffin Benson (wife of Levi Benson)

Elwilda (Alwilda) Blanche (“Lillian” Griffin Brewer-12/7/1861-1/1/1920
Lillian was a sister of Alvina Frances Griffin who married Levi Benson. They were the parents of Ruby Emeline Benson who married Harold Brown. ca. 1885. See her photo at right. Lillian married Chester Brewer

Elwilda (called-Lillian) Griffin Brewer (1861-1920).
Lillian was an aunt of Ruby Benson and wife of Chester Brewer.
The six children of Lillian (Griffin) and Chester Brewer, Bar Harbor, ME, about 1920
Back row: Ralph (Feb. 21, 1889--July 6, 1951), Irving (Dec. 27, 1883--April 24, 1966), Harold (March 4, 1881-May 19, 1952)
Front: Shirley--(Aug. 6, 1890-May 10, 1934), Sylvia--(Oct. 22, 1899--Oct. 17, 2002),
Reginald--(July 21, 1901--Jan. 17, 1950)
Madeline Benson Howe, (1890–1933), daughter of Levi and Alvina Benson, sister of Ruby Benson. She married Henry E. Howe. They had daughter Ruth Howe, seen in photos below.
Ruth Howe (1912-1984), daughter of Henry & Madeline Benson Howe
Ruth Howe, daughter of Henry & Madeline Benson Howe about 1920
Browns, Bensons, Winters, Caldarone, 1956
L to R: Bud Brown, Pat Winter, Ed Benson, Nancy Winter, Judy Caldarone, Bob Winter, Becky Brown, Hosea Benson (proprietor, son of Ed Benson), Sandy Winter, Lois Winter, Martha Brown–at Hosea's restaurant in Bryantville, MA. Bud, Hosea, and Lois were cousins.
Frances (Benson) and Olin (Hutch) Hutchinson
w/ pictures of their sons, Bob and Billy, 1956

Sylvia Benson Cole (1896-1953), c. 1950
Cape Cod 1958--William (Bill) Hutchinson, a Benson cousin, with his parents Olin and Francis (Benson) Hutchinson and daughters Holly, 3, and Margaret, 1. Francis was a daughter of Merle Benson, brother to Ruby Benson.
Sisters Ruby Benson Brown and Sylvia Benson Cole--late 1940s
Sisters Sylvia Benson Cole and Ruby Benson Brown. Daughter of Ruby, Lois Brown Winter, Havana, Cuba, 1947.

Cuban Rum Factory Trip, L to R at right end: Ruby Benson Brown, Lois Brown Winter and Sylvia Benson Cole. During this trip the weather in Havana was very hot, so the factory had made available a punch at various points on the tour for the convenience of the tourist. Ruby Brown indulged quite liberally. As a teetotaler, she failed to recognize the prescence of the rum in the punch. By the end of the tour she was quite enibriated and mail members of the tour and ru staff had to lift her onto the bus. Several years ago we told the story to the proprietor of the Cuban restaurant El Meson, in Rice Village in Houston. They decided they would create a rum drink and call it the "Ruby Brown." We haven't been back to see if they did so

Pat Winter (foreground), Sandy W. with Isadora Benson Bannican, Bob Winter, Martin Bannican, Nancy W., Uncle Ed Benson, 1958
Oliver Brewster Delano (1818-?)
Great-uncle of Sylvia Hernandez Benson,
Husband of Hannah Read Holt
Hannah Read Holt (wife of Oliver B. Delano)
Great-aunt of Sylvia Hernandez Benson
Louis M. Bailey (1826-1924), Husband of Deborah Brewster Delano,
Great-uncle of Sylvia Hernadez Benson
Deborah Brewster Delano Bailey (1825-1915),
Wife of Louis M. Bailey, Jr.
Great-aunt of Sylvia Hernandez Benson
Harriet E. Delano "Aunt Hattie" Kenrick,
Daughter of Olivier B. & Hannah Read Delano
Believed to be Charles A. Kenrick, son of David and Harriet E. Delano Kenrick. Name in photo probably misspelled.
Great-aunt Lucy ?
Probably José Hernandez (1847-), husband of Isadora Delano and father of Sylvia Hernandez Benson
Lucy C. Delano, (1857-)
Daughter of David and Martha (or Sylvia) Delano
Wife of Claude M. Chandler
Edgar Chandler, (1885-)
Son of Claude and Lucy Delano Chandler
Uncle Mell
Walter E. Delano (1871-)
Son of David and Martha Delano.
Dora Delano ?, and Walter Scott Delano (1882-1961). Walter is the son of Otis and Elizabeth Delano. His siblings include: Wintrhop O. Delano (May 1875–September 1875), Grace M. Delano (April 22, 1881–Dec. 3, 1881), Walter Scott Delano, (May 5, 1882–June 3, 1961), Harold Kelton (May 3, 1891–)
Melzar Parker Delano (1867-)
Son of David and Martha Delano. Married Annie Rogerson, 1891.
He was a carpenter.

Grace Marie (or Marion) Delano, born April 22, 1881,in Duxbury, MA, to Otis and Elizabeth Frances Osborn Delano. She married Percy Lewis Walker (1874–1958) on September 29, 1909, in Duxbury, MA. She was a school teacher in Wilmington, Vermont, in 1900. They had four children: Donald D., Kenneth M., Percy Lewis Jr., and Unknown. Grace died December 3, 1968 and is buried in Duxbury, MA.

Students in the class: Seward and Cora Brown are siblings of Harold Foster Brown.