This photo of Cynthia belongs to descendents
of her son Darius in Minnesota.
Cynthia Lane was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1812, the daughter of
Benjamin Lane. She met Elijah
Benjamin in Ontario and they married in the late 1820s.
Elijah and Cynthia Benjamin became owners of the east half of CL 4/27 Ernestown Township, having purchased
the land from Cynthia's father, Benjamin
Lane for 50 pounds [Deed registered on December 9, 1828].
In 1845, Elijah deeded the west quarter of CL 4/28, Ernestown Township
back to Ezra Lockwood. This property had originally been deeded by Ezra to
Elijah in 1842. The latter sale was registered on July 18, 1849, with
In 1851 and 1852, the Elijah Benjamin family was living in a 1 and 1/2 story wood frame
house (24x41) in Ernestown Twp (CL 4/27). Also on the property was a
wood workshop. According to Fenwick Connoly's FAMILY HISTORY,
Elijah, "once married, lived on the Lane farm 1 mile west of Odessa, where
all their family were born."
Most records indicate that Elijah and Cynthia had
15 children -- 14
boys, and 1 girl. Different sources disagree on the names and birth
dates of the boys.
In the 1850s, Elijah moved his family to rural Papineau, Illinois, where
they took up farming. This is believed to have occurred in 1856.
On October 13, 1856, Elijah and Cynthia deeded CL 4/27 to Henry Benjamin
of Kingston Township, excluding one acre whish was deeded to Elijah's
eldest son Jacob in 1851. (Some sources believe that Henry and
Elijah Benjamin are brothers. In 1872 Henry Benjamin sold this land
to Elijah's son, William Henry Benjamin, and in 1882 William Henry
acquired a mortgage of $700.00 on the whole of CL 4/27 (200 acres) from
his brother, Elijah Wesley Benjamin.)
Two sons are known to have died in Canada before the family moved: Marshall in 1842,
Anson in 1842. Two older sons, Elijah Wesley and William Henry,
continued to live in Ontario for the rest of their lives. A third
son, Joseph, remained in Ontario for some time, but later joined the
family when they moved to Minnesota and later Nebraska. It is not
known if Joseph ever lived in Illinois.
The children that
moved to Illinois
included Andrew, Sidney, Hiram, Cynthia "Eliza," and John. Though
they don't appear
on the 1860 census, it is known that Jacob and Stephen also eventually
moved to Illinois.
Stephen also moved to Illinois with his family at about the same time;
Stephen's sons are
often confused with Elijah's, since some of the boys were given the