Birth, marriage, and death records of William and Josephine, and the only record, a list, with the names and dates of birth of their children that reached adulthood.
15 On 8 February in the morning at four o’clock
a boy was born at this location. He was baptized the same day at twelve o’clock in the afternoon
in the St. Martin’s church. He was named Wilhelm Böniz. Father: Anton Böniz master-cooper
Mother: Maria Ana Wagner. Sponsors: Joseph Peintner master-saddler and M. Ana Müller Bürgersfrau (middle-class woman).
Witness: Anton Halbling master-butcher. Endingen, 8 February 1815
Anton Wild chaplain performed the baptism
Alexander Umber, pastor
During the time of confusion while California was transfered from Mexico to the U.S., official acts of marriage (and resulting baptisms) were delayed. William & Josephine had wed informally the previous year. This is their formal marriage and is the third entry in the Sonoma County “Record of Marriages”. William signed as a witness to the first entry, the marriage of Hügal, one of his Rancho Herman partners. Witnesses James Black and Edward McIntosh were neighbors of Josephine’s father, Michael Kolmer, in Occidental, California. Per historian Lynn Rudy, the marriage ceremony most likely took place in Santa Rosa for John Nash was somewhat rotund and would not have travelled to Occidental, and certainly not remote Fort Ross.
On the 23rd. day of Feb AD 1847
in the District of Sonoma Upper California William Bennet and Josephine Coleman both of
the said District were married by me John Nash Chief Justice of the said District and
Edward E McIntosh and Augustuna Black were present as witnesses of said marriage
John H. Nash J.P.
Manuel E. McIntosh
William and Josephine had ten children, all born at Fort Ross, California. Their children’s births (and deaths) were not entered in any official record (county, state, or otherwise) and the only record we have of their names and birth dates is this list made by William. The list is incomplete, for William did not include the unlucky first three who died as infants.
Wm. Benitz of Fort Ross
© Peter Benitz (Benitz Family)