The Sequalitchew

October 05, 2009

Thirteenth Edition

President: Roger Newman
Vice President: Judy Smith
Secretary/Treasurer: Roxanne Woodruff
Webmaster: Greg Hitchcock

Fall Meeting

Our meeting this fall is scheduled for Sunday October 4th, 2009 at a new location located at the Steilacoom Public Library — 2950 Steilacoom Blvd, Steilacoom, WA 98388. The doors will be open to us around 12:30 pm, bring a sack lunch. Our speaker this fall will be Drew Crooks. His topic will be “Beginings: The Origins of Fort Nisqually and Euro-American Settlement on Puget Sound.”

At our Break time there will be snacks and a raffle for any donated items brought in. Bring your thoughts, ideas, and histories and join us for a wonderful afternoon. Due to the new location we will need to close our meeting at 4:30 pm.

We had been meeting bi-annually (May and October generally) at the DuPont City Hall and on occasion at the DuPont History Museum 207 Barksdale Ave DuPont, WA 98327 We have lost our place at the Old City Hall as the old one has closed and a new one has not provided us a place to meet.Our $5.00 dues are collected each spring, but this past Spring we were unable to gather due to the lack of a meeting site. If you know someone who might be interested in joining, please pick up an application.

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum Candlelight Tour

This event took place on October 2nd & 3rd. Unfortunately my timing with my newsletter is way off this year and the event is passed, but many others are in store for you should you drive up there for some fun family activities. For Ticket Information contact Fort Nisqually (253) 591-5339 or check their website

One of these activities that I do know that will be coming soon will be the following:


DATE: Saturday, October 24TH
SIGN UP AT: Fort Nisqually Website
TIME: 1 – 5 pm
LOCATION: Fort Nisqually Education Center
DESCRIPTION: Learn how to make a sweet grass basket using two Northwest traditional basket materials – Cedar bark and sweet grass. The class begins with a plaited cedar bark base. The body teaches twining using Northwest sweet grass. The rim is a Lummi style. Finally, the necklace cord teaches cordage making. This class is suitable for beginners.
INSTRUCTOR: Judy Bridges
COST: $45.00
AGES: 14 and up

October 2009

The Cowlitz hold their annual PowWow at the following address, but I have missed their timing on this as well. This will give me though the opportunity to show some of their other activities as well. I most love their annual canoe trips though I do not go to them and can not swim much so might be too scared to get in the canoes. I have been trying to find in my mail the one that mentioned Robert Harju and the canoe that he built. I think there was a picture as well, but time is short, so will here just congratulate him for his work. If I find it before I end here I will put it in. Robert Harju and Cowlitz Canoe

St. Mary’s Center 107 Spencer Rd Toledo, WA 98591

Cowlitz PowWow Logo

Contact: Suzanne Donaldson-Stephens (360) 280-2321
Vendors, Curt Stephens (503) 504-0780
Volunteers: Linda Foley Email:

The following events are things I would be interested in and believe others would find very educational:

Chinook Jargon Workshop Roy Wilson 9:00 am
Medicine Wheel Teachings Roy Wilson 10:00 am
Cowlitz Salish Language Workshop   4:00-6:00 pm
Canoe Committee Meeting & Potluck   4:30 pm

All of these take Place on Saturday, October 17th at St Mary’s at the address shown above.

Webmaster: Greg Hitchcock

This article is being written as I was very impressed with all the work that Greg has provided for our Descendants group in the form of these updated web pages providing so much of our history as a group. Just in this past week or so we have received several new contacts due to the easy access in communication. He has provided us with great links that make us a great resource to others searching their ancestry.

As a group on line I was amazed at how quickly we are able to get good quality information from our members and those who have associated with us over these many years. Greg has made our pages simple, yet filled with information. He does have our newsletters linked up as well, so now we can even reach more people. Now if I can only get my work out there on time we could see amazing things happening. Thank you Greg for your great work! Just look at the following responses received through our communications on inquires below.

Roxanne Woodruff

The Benstons

Beinston, Adam [variations: Benston, Bainston] (1823-1912)

HBC/PSAC employee, British: Orcadian Scot, b. November 19, 1823 on Eday, Orkney, North Britain [Scotland,U.K.] to Adam and Jane [Beg] Benston, d. March 26, 1912, nr. Hillhurst, Washington, U.S.A., associated with:

barque Prince Rupert V (1843) passenger
Fort Nisqually (1844-52) laborer
Sastuc farm [Fort Nisqually] (1852-53) shepherd

Adam Beinston was the oldest of four or more boys born into a farming family on the small northern Orkney island of Eday. His mother had died by the time he was nine and his father remarried in 1832.

Quite likely attempting to secure a better life he joined the HBC at the age of 20, sailed to York Factory, crossed the Rockies and arrived on the Pacific slopes in 1844. He was engaged at Fort Nisqually and its several adjoining farms consisting of large gardens, 6000 sheep and 2000 cattle. Considered a “hardy workman,” he was engaged in a variety of tasks ranging from ploughing to the winnowing and storing of oats, the cultivation of potatoes, cooking, and discharging cargo at the Nisqually wharf. Although occasionally cited for lapses, Adam’s work record was one of uneventful competence: however, on October 31, 1849, his gun burst while he was shooting beef cattle, lacerating his thumb badly. According to Huggins, he lost a finger or two. Latterly, when he was engaged in shepherding at Sastuc station, he became neglectful of his duties and was cited, on January 22, 1853, as being responsible for the loss of many sheep. One month later, on February 28, 1853, he walked away from his job, no doubt to work on his own farm in the Puyallup valley. This was 320 acres opposite the Puyallup townsite, land which he had secured in the late 1840’s as a donation claim. He actually settled on the claim on April 1, 1854. When the 1855 Indian War broke out, he moved from his isolated district to more settled country on the prairie near Hillhurst, where he took out a pre-emption. After the end of the war, his initial claim was absorbed into the Puyallup Indian Reservation. Benston was then offered compensation and made his home in the uplands. In old age, he moved in with his only surviving son, Adam, Jr. who lived in the same area.

Adam Beinston had at least three wives and several children. Three wives lie in Gravelly Lake cemetery, the first having died in 1873, the second in 1898 and the third in 1903. One recorded wife was Jane (c.1828–?), a native or of mixed descent from the Oregon Territory and their two recorded children were William (c.1848–?) and Mary (c.1849–?). Another son was Adam (?–bap. 1850–?), born to a Snohomish mother. Another wife was Sarah, whom he married on June 25, 1850, Steilacoom, Oreg. Territory. His last wife was an American widow, with two grown sons, and who lived with him for a couple of years before leaving him taking much of his portable property.

The town of Benston on the old Tacoma & Eastern Railway line was named after Adam Benston.

PS: OrkA OPR; 1841 U.K. Census, Orkney-Eday; HBCA log of Prince Rupert V, 3; YFASA 24-32; FtVanASA 9; OHS 1850 US Census, Oregon Territory, Lewis Co.; BCR CCCath; ????Source??????The Seattle Post Intelligencer, March 27, 1912, [death] p. 3;
PPS: Washington Territory Donation…p. 78; The Journal of…; Anderson, The Physical Structure, pp. 167-76; Tacoma Sunday Ledger, January 17, 1892, p. 3;
SS: "Pioneer Dead of 1912", WHQ, vol. IV, p. 37; TacP-FtNis Huggins, Letters Outward, Oct. 10, 1905

Beinston, William [variation: Benston] (c.1830–?) HBC/PSAC employee, British: Orcadian Scot, b. c.1830 on Eday, Orkney, North Britain [Scotland, U.K.] to Adam and likely Jane [Beg] Benston (or was it Grace [Gullion]?), associated with:

ship Prince of Wales II (1851)
passenger Puget Sound Company (1852)
laborer at Craigflower farm

William Beinston, brother to Adam Beinston, joined the HBC/PSAC in Stromness on November 22, 1850 as a laborer for five years, and sailed to York Factory the following year. He may have spent some time there for he joined the overland express arriving at Fort Nisqually, two years later, on November 29, 1852. He then appears to have gone to the Craigflower farm on Vancouver Island, although he was listed as having deserted in 1852. He returned south of the border, for, after declaring his intention to become a U.S. citizen, he secured 100 acres and settled in 1854 and 1855 in Pierce county, Washington. Twenty years later he was still active for, on July 15, 1874, ten days after William Northover died, William asked the Probate court to appoint a guardian of Northover’s children; his brother Adam was named.

PS: BCA Diar-Rem Beinston; HBCA log of Prince of Wales II, 2; YFASA 32; FtVanASA 9;
PPS: The Journal of Occurances…; Washington Territory Donation Land Claims, p. 95;SS: Anderson, The Physical Structure… p. 2

Response sent by Bruce Watson
Vancouver, B.C.


In the Shadow of the Mountain book cover

Andy Anderson’s book, “In the Shadow of the Mountain,” contains quite a bit of detail about the William and Sarah Benston family, including a photograph of William and Sarah with their children, Minerva, Mary, Thomas, Ellen, and Isabel. There appears to be no doubt that William worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Nisqually and even Sarah’s father, Thomas Davis, was employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company. So it appears that Anne has firm connections to the Hudson’s Bay Company operations in this region through both family lines, not uncommon since HBC was a major employer in the region at this early time. My great, great, great grandfather, John McLeod, worked for the company and his Indian wife’s father, Scadewa, was also a Hudson’s Bay Company employee.

Response sent by Kelly McAllister


Another response came from Steve Anderson & that I will share at the meeting.