Benjamin Castor 1741-1826

Benjamin Castor was born in 1741, 1750 or 1756, depending on which reference is being used. DAR papers report the earliest date. Examination of the ages of the children suggest that 1741 is the likeliest birth date for Benjamin. Noah Thompson's Early History of the Peters Creek Valley tells us that Conrad Custard was his father. If this is so, then Benjamin was probably born in Tinicum Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania along Tinicum Creek. This is a wooded and hilly area close to the Delaware River and has much natural beauty. About 1764, Conrad and some of his children moved to Brock's Gap, Virginia. At that time, Brock-'s Gap was in Augusta. County, but is now part of Rockingham County, Virginia. This is mountainous country. About 1776 or earlier, Benjamin arrived in Western Pennsylvania and settled about fifteen miles. south of Pittsburgh. This was later to be known as Jefferson Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Benjamin was known by the surname of Custard, but as time went on, he became known as Kaster, Caster or Castor.

Benjamin served in the Frontier Rangers from 1776 to 1778. He was appointed Constable in 1778. He enlisted 18 March 1782 in the 2nd Battalion of the Washington County (PA) Militia in Captain William Bruce's Company , and is shown on the rolls of the Militia 22 June 1782 and 7 July 1784.

He was granted 350 acres of land by Virginia for settling. This was revoked when the boundary dispute between Virginia and Pennsylvania was settled in Pennsylvania.'s favor, but Pennsylvania then granted Benjamin 333 acres on 15 September 1784. He received his final patent for the land 25 April 1786, and he called his land "Custard's Delight". This is located in AIlegheny,County, Jefferson Township, about four miles east of Finleyville, Pennsylvania.

In 1797, Benjamin and Ruth sold 52+ acres of Custard"s Delight to their son-in-law, Sampson Piersol for 50 pounds. In 1798, Benjamin appears on the tax roll owning one dwelling valued at $10. Sampson Piersol appeared on the same tax with a dwelling valued at $42. Benjamin was a farmer and cattle drover. He was a wood carver and made fine, hand carved furniture and violins.

We know very little of his wife, except that her name was Ruth. We have recently obtained a copy of the Will of James Thompson of Washington County, Pennsylvania (probated 1786) which leads us to believe that Ruth his. daughter.

Benjamin died shortly before 28 January 1826, as his will was proved on this date. Ruth survived Benjamin. Ruth Castor appears on the 1829 tax roll of North Sewickley Township, Beaver county, Pennsylvania. where her son, James, lived. Perhaps Ruth lived with her son, James during her widowhood. Ruth died in 1833 according to a deposition given by Samuel Heath. It is stated by Noah Thompson that Benjamin and Ruth are buried in the cemetery at James Chapel Methodist Church, (the Stone Church) located in Union Township of Washington County, Pennsylvania, close to the Benjamin Castor home.

Their children:

  1. Conrad Caster born about 1760-1765, tradition says he married Hannah McDonald; lived Montgomery County, OH; died 1814 leaving widow, Elizabeth (surname unknown).
  2. Susannah Castor born 1766, married Sampson Peirsol about 1784; lived Marion Township, Beaver County, PA; died 15 February 1837.
  3. Rebecca Castor born 1769 in Washington Co., PA, died abt 1855 in East Liverpool, Columbiana Co., OH married John Babb before 1790 in PA, lived in Hampshire Co, VA until 1800; then Columbiana County, OH.
  4. James Kaster born 31 August 1776, married Ruth (surname unknown), lived North Sewickley Township of Beaver County, PA., died 11 September 1847.
  5. Benjamin Kaster born 20 September 1778, married Orpha Heath; married second Catherine surname unknown); died December 1870, buried Moorefield Cemetery, Hickory Twp, Mercer County, PA.
  6. William Castor born 2 December 1783, settled in Preble County, Ohio, married Polly Chotter 17 July 1804, married Chloe Niccum 18 March 1845, married Mary Flagg (widow) 31 October 1867, died 31 July 1878.
  7. Paul Castor married Elizabeth (surname unknown), settled Richland County,Ohio; died 1847.
  8. Gabriel Castor born 1786; married Catherine Huffman; died 1863.
  9. Sampson Castor born 21 January 1789; married Sarah Huffman; died I8 April 1869.
  10. Edward Castor born 4 November 1789; married Catherine Snee 18 May 1810 Trinity Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh, PA, lived Allegheny County, PA; died 12 October 1841 Hancock County, OH.