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Benjamin Borden
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Birth: Apr. 6, 1675
Monmouth County
New Jersey, USA
Death: 1743
Frederick County
Virginia, USA

Benjamin Borden was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey, the son of Benjamin Borden and Abigail Grover-Borden. Little is known about his early life, but in April 1726 his name appeared on a deed as an inhabitant of Freehold, New Jersey, where he was probably acting as a land agent and speculator. Borden married a cousin, Zeruiah Winter, and they had at least three sons and seven daughters.

By April 1734, Borden had taken up residence in Virginia in the northern, or lower, portion of the Shenandoah Valley. On October 3, 1734, Borden received a patent for 3,143 acres in an area of what is now Clarke County that came to be called Borden's Great Spring Tract. He raised tobacco and lived there until his death. In addition to acquiring other tracts in the lower Valley near Apple Pie Ridge, Bullskin Run, and Smith's Creek, Borden received 100,000 acres along the branches of the James River in the upper part of the Shenandoah Valley in May 1735 from the governor's Council. According to an apocryphal story, he obtained this large grant by winning the favor of Lieutenant Governor William Gooch through the gift of a buffalo calf. For the next four years Borden gave much of his attention to fulfilling the settlement requirement for the grant of one family for every 1,000 acres. On November 6, 1739, he solidified his claim to this land by receiving a patent for 92,100 acres of what by then was called the Borden Tract.

Borden was among the most important of those land promoters, also including William Beverley, Jost Hite, and Alexander Ross, whose activities helped populate Virginia's first frontier settlements west of the Blue Ridge. By actively recruiting among recent emigrants from the north of Ireland, Borden furthered the emergence of an ethnically and religiously pluralistic society in the region. After his death the duty of settling the Borden Tract fell to his namesake son, who also served as a militia captain and justice of the peace in Augusta County. Legal disputes over surveys and deeds on the Borden lands were not fully resolved until 1885. Other complaints about large land grants also arose. In 1786, residents of Rockbridge County in the upper part of the Shenandoah Valley protested to the General Assembly that the large colonial grants represented "hard and oppressive" monopolies characteristic of monarchies, "where the natural rights of men are so much abused." They complained that the speculators had avoided paying taxes on their land and had sold the actual settlers small tracts at excessive prices. The petitioners requested the legislators to resurvey the tract and dispose of ungranted land at reasonable prices. Borden's reputation had become that of a beneficiary of privilege rather than an entrepreneur opening to ordinary immigrants the possibility of landownership.

Borden was appointed a justice of the peace for the area northwest of the Blue Ridge in April 1734 and was a member of the Orange County Court in January 1735. His name appeared second in seniority in the list of the first justices of the peace for Frederick County in October 1743, but he did not serve in this capacity. Benjamin Borden wrote his will on April 3, 1742, and died probably about the time that the new county's court began to function in November 1743. His will was proved before the justices of the Frederick County Court on December 9, 1743.

( -
thx, Angie)
Family links: 
  Benjamin Fowle Borden (1649 - 1728)
  Zeruriah Winter Borden (1680 - 1750)
  Benjamin Fowle Borden (1709 - 1753)*
*Calculated relationship
Created by: Sue McDuffe:)
Record added: Oct 28, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60781030

7th Great Grandfather
- Angie Swann
 Added: Feb. 15, 2015
Rest peacefully, my 1st cousin 11x removed.
- tamara tillinghast haskett
 Added: Jan. 21, 2015
My dearest 7th Great Grandfather, you are gone but not forgotten. Thank you for the sacrifices you made to ensure your children and the generations to follow were afforded the chance to live a better life. Rest in Peace.
- Donna
 Added: Dec. 29, 2014
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