Thursday, 11 August 1921, Kansas (IL) Journal
Redman-Bennett Reunion Next Sunday, August 14 (1921) at Richwoods
The first annual reunion and homecoming of the Redman and Bennett famili es will be held next Sunday at the old Redman homestead in the Richwoods c ommunity, south of Kansas. Some old time speakers are to be there and te ll how people lived a hundred years agao. All relatives and friends are i nvited to be present.
In connection with this reunion and homecoming, W. E. Redman of paris h as written an intensely interesting historical sketch which he has distrib uted to the members of the two families. In the preface he says:
"The object in writing this little history is for the fellowship and clos er communion of the Redman and Bennett families, also for the benefit of t heir annual reunion and homecoming. For almost two
hundred years, these families have been closely united together by marriag es and relationships, emigrating together from the Old Country to the Unit ed States, and settling in the State of Virginia.
These familes were prosperous farmers and lived in Virginia until after t he Revolutionary war when they began to colonize and emigrate further wes t. Our ancestors were the first to go; they moved to the
state of Kentucky, settling in Spencer county. The second colony emigrat ed to Eastern Ohio and formed a large settlement there. A third colony, c onsisting of several Redmans and Bennetts, emigrated
to the new state of Indiana to make settlement. As there was no trace n or history of them, it was the supposition that the entire party was massa cred and killed by the Indians.
Years passed by and emigration spread westward. Illinois was admitt ed to the Union as a free state, and all its lands were open for settlemen t. Our forefathers took advantage of this; they colonized, and in the ye ar of 1831 they left their homes in Spencer county, Kentucky, coming to t he new state of Illinois, and entering land in Edgar and Clark countie s. Thie region of the country has long been known as the Rich Woods, a nd the home of the REdmans and Bennetts. Our ancestors were of Scotch-Iri sh and German descent, but for nearly two centuries have been Americ an by birth."
W. E. Redman of paris and Charles O. Hawkins of St. Louis for the past fi ve years have been collecting data on the family history of the two groups .
The first Redman of whom any trace can be found went with William, the Du ke of Normandy (afterwards known as William the Conqueror) when he start ed the conquest of England in 1066.
For this service the Duke gave him a castle called Levens, which lat er on was known as Redman Hall. This was situated in what was later Westm oreland, England.
The authentic history of the Redmans begins with Sir Mathew Redman of Levi ns, born 1132 and died in 1210.
The title extended to eleven generations until 1450.
The first REdman who came to the United States was John Redman, born in En gland in 1610. He settled in Virginia in 1635. He was given five hundr ed aces of land by the government in ____ county. He
afterwards traded the land to his brother, Richard, for land in Westmorela nd county, Virginia. Richard settled in Charles City county, Virginia, a nd was killed by the Indians in 1639.
The four generations from John's family each has a history that has been t raced. The different wars they have taken part in are mentioned.
Solomon Redman, born in 1752, was a Revolutionary soldier, and was a gre at grandfather of W. E. Redman of Paris.
The Redmans were progressive farmers, owning large plantations. They we re also slave owners and all took an active part in the Revolutionary wa r. In 1799 an emigrant party of one hundred under the leadership of Capta in John Hawkins left Virginia and went over the Allegheny mountains for t he west. In the crowd wee the Redmans, Bennetts, Kesters, Briscoes, Lee s, and Drakes, all of whom have
descendents in Edgar and Clark counties. They settled in Spencer count y, Ky.
Basel Bennett, who came to the United States with John Redman, is close ly related to the Redmans. Marriages with the two familes have been trac ed back for four hundred years. They were also slave owners and owned lar ge plantations.
Richard Bennett was governor of virginia in 1653.
Solomon Redman was of Scotch-Irish descent; born in the state of Virgini a, October 10, 1752; married miss Sallie Gage of Virginia, who was bo rn in Virginia, December 21, 1755. To this union were born the
following named children: Joseph Redman, James Redman, William Redman, Fa nnie Redman, Sally REedman and others daying in infancy. In the latter pa rt of the eighteenth Century, Solomon Redman, Basil Bennett, some of the K esters and others formed a colony and migrated to the state of Kentucky, m any of them settling in Spencer County. Joseph Redman, the oldest son, w as born in Virginia, August 6, 1774; died August 10, 1849, married Lucy B ennett, who was born in Virginia, September 24, 1790; died November 11, 18 51. To this union were born fourteen children.
Basil Bennett--was of German descent, born in Virginia in the early pa rt of the 18th century; married Matilda Dawson of Virginia. To this uni on were born the following named children: John Bennett,
Lucy Bennett, Basil Bennett and others.
In closing his interesting story, Mr. Redman says:
"I find no history were the Redmans and Bennetts ever owned slaves, as ma ny of them were opposed to slavery and raising their families in a slave s tate.
"In the year of 1831, Joesph Redman and John Bennett, of Spencer County, K y., organized a colony to move to the new State of Illinois. Everything w as to be in readiness for this colony to start by September 1, 1831. The re were amny things to be done; wagons to be covered, household goo ds to be packed, and all stock ready for this long drive. In these two fa milies there were 23 children, many
of them young men and women. There were other families with children in t his party. When the final day to sart had come, everything was in readine ss. Relatives and neighbors met to say good-bye and wish them well. it w as a beautiful September morning. The final good-bye was said, and the em igrant party were seen winding their way down the Turn Pike toward the Oh io River a distance of 25 miles. When they stopped for dinner, they had m ade half of that distance. They stopped at the Old Water Mill, to exchan ge grain for grinding, and to let the stock rest. Everyone was busy, t he children were excited,
but happy, for several of them had never seen a river, city or village. T he City of Louisville was in sight, and it was a wonder to them. They a ll congregated at night on the bank of the river, some to fish, othe rs to watch the boats and view the city. it was almost mrning before a ny of them retired.
"The next morning all were loaded on the ferry boat and started across t he river. it was a mile wide and took almost an hour to ferry across. Af ter crossing the river, the emigrant party took a northwestern route acro ss the state of Indiana. Their progress for traveling was slow, but final ly they reached the little town of Vincennes, wheree they ferried across t he Wabash River. They then traveled north to palestine where the Gener al Land Office of Illinois was established. There they made some land ent ried--Joseph Redman entering land in Edgar county and John Bennett enteri ng land in Clark county. The county line divided their farms.
Their destination was reached at last. The found their land a dense fore st of heavy woodland of oak, walnut and sugar trees--splendid timber for b uilding purposes. They found a few neighbors who had
preceded them a few years to this neighborhood, who gave them a happy welc ome. There was no time lost; a site was soon selected for a building plac e, and everybody got busy at work.
"Joseph Redman had some little advantages in erecting his building as he w as a master carpenter and had trained his sons to work in timber and prepa re the woodwork of houses. With the assistance of a few neighbors, they s oon erected a large two-story dwelling, with a fireplace. The logs for t he construction of this house were almost cut from the ground upon whi ch it was erected, and for many years it was the best finished and most co mmodious building in the settlement.
"John Bennett built a builiding similar to this just over the county li ne in Clark county. These tow houses were in the center of what is now ca lled Rich Woods, and has long been known as the home of the Redman and Ben nett families. These dwellings were used several years as a place of wors hip, as there was no church house in the neighborhood.
"Joseph Redman and wife, John Bennett and wife, were the frist to join t he Concord Baptist Church in Rich Woods after it was constituted a church. "
Following is the committee on invitations: Mrs. Mabel Pinnell, Kansas, Mr s. Lillie Bussart, Paris, S. D. Bennett, Martinsville, Laura Redman, Westf ield, Mrs. Lizzie Tibbs, Cloverdale, Ind., Mrs. Zona Sninkle, Casey; Mr s. Susie Cornwell, Westfield; Benjamin REdman, paris; Mrs. Myrtle Kirkha m, Kansas; W. F. Hawkins, Casey; Jas. A Shields, Dudley; Mrs. May Brisco e, Westfiedl; W. Harry Redman, Martinsville, Ralph Redman, Terre Haute; Mr s. Jennie Tate, Dudley; Mrs. Lucinda Menk, Paris; Mrs. Lyda Lee, Westfiel d, Glenn Redman, Mattoon.