William Bentley, immigrant ancestor, first appears in this country in King's Town, Rhode Island. He was a currier by trade, and is first mentioned on the records, July 29, 1679, when he and forty-one others of Narragansett sent a petition to the King, praying that "he would put an end to these differences about the government thereof, which hath been so fatal to the prosperity of the place; animosities still arising in people's minds, as they stand affected to this or that govenment."
In April, 1705, he had liberty granted by the town to set up a house, convenient for the carrying on of his currying trade. Jan. 20, 1712, he and his wife, Sarah, deeded son James one hundred and twenty-eight acres of land; June 14, 1714, he bought eleven acres; and Nov. 1, 1715, he deeded to his son Thomas the eleven acres mentioned above. In 1720 his will was executed and proved, with his wife and son Benjamin executors.
To his eldest son he left five shillings, and a like amount to sons James and Thomas and daughter Jane Whitman. To his wife the remainder of his personal property.
He married Sarah _____. They both died in 1720.
1. William, mentioned below.
3. Thomas, married June 6, 1706.
4. Benjamin, died 1744.
5. Jane, married Jan. 6, 1700.
(II) William (2) son of William (1) Bentley, lived in King's Town, Westerly, Richmond, Rhode Island. He married (first) at Stonington, Conn., April 12, 1703, Mary Eliot. He married (second) Aug. 1, 1734, Bathsheba Lewis, widow of Israel Lewis. She died in 1760.
He was made a freeman in 1712. He made his will Aug. 18, 1748, and it was proaved Aug. 12, 1760. His wife Bathsheba was executrix. To his eldest son John, he left five shillings, he having had his share, and a like amount to sons George, Caleb, Ezekiel; daughters Elizabeth Potter, Tabitha Sweet, Ruhama James and Mary James. To his wife all his household goods and movable estate. His wife was to sell the homestead and house when son Benjamin came to the age of fourteen and divide the proceeds equally among the five youngest children, William, Thomas, James, Greene and Benjamin. To his wife was left also the income of the entire estate, to bring up the five youngest children.
He died in 1760.
Children of first wife:
John, George, Caleb, Ezekiel, Elizabeth, Tabitha, Ruhama, Mary.
Children of second wife:
William, born May 29, 1735; Thomas, James, mentioned below; Greene born Mar 23 1741-42; Benjamin, June 11, 1744.
(III) James, son of William (2) Bentley, was born at Kingston, Rhode Island, June 6, 1739. He appears to have settled before the revolution at Cornwall, Addison county, Vermont. In 1790 he had four sons under sixteen years in his family and four females.
Another James, probably his son, of the same town, had one son under sixteen and two females. Thomas and Andrew also had families in that town. James, James Jr. and Thomas served in the revolution.
He built a house on the bank of the creek near the house of Hop Johnson, and after 1789 he lived with his daughter, Mrs. Johnson. He was one of the first settlers of Cornwall in the part which was set off in 1796 to Middlebury, Vermont. Some of the children mentioned in the census may belong to the Johnsons.
He died in 1829, aged about ninety-three, according to the town history, but either the age or date is slightly in error apparently. James Jr. returned to the farm after the war and his son Harvey lived there.
James, mentioned below; Samuel, Thomas.
(IV) James (2) son of James (1) Bentley, was born about 1760. He served in the revolution and was a farmer at Cornwall and Middlebury, Vermont.
(V) Charles, son of James (2) Bentley, was born in Vermont, and died at Chateaugay, New York.
Hiram, Charles, Lucius, John, Jeanette and another daughter.
(VI) John, son of Charles Bentley, was born at Madrid, New York, Sept. 28, 1817, died at Chateugay, N.Y., in August, 1896. He had a common school education, and for many years drove a stage coach between Plattsburgh and Malone, N.Y., before the railroads were built. He was made superintendent of traffic on the Rutland railroad when it was built and had his headquarters in Ogdensburg. Afterward he was freight agent at Chateaugay, a position he held until shortly before he died, a period of twenty years. In politics he was a Republican.
He married, Oct. 15, 1848, Eunice Goodspeed, born at Chazy, N.Y., May 18, 1825, died at Chateaugay, Sept. 22, 1905, daughter of Charles Goodspeed.
1. William Henry, born in West Chazy, Oct. 13, 1849; conductor on the Rutland railroad; lives in Ogdenburg; married Emma McBride; children: John and Leta A. McBridge.
2. John Edwards, born in Chateaugay, Aug. 24, 1852; resides in Chateaugay; was with the Central Vermont Railroad Company for twelve years; married Cornelia Roberts.
3. Abbie Louise, born in Chateaugay, Sept. 25, 1854; married Dr. Brewer of Utica, N.Y.; children: Anna and Frederick.
4. Charles Leslie, mentioned below.
5. Elbert Eldredge, born in Chateaugay, Feb. 11, 1860; resided in Chateaugay; died March 15, 1910.
6. George Gurley, born in Chateaugay, July 9, 1864; druggist at Chateaugay.
7. Alice, born in Chateaugay, April 24, 1868; superintendent of music in the public schools of Washington, D.C.
(VII) Charles Leslie, son of John Bentley, was born at Chateaugay, Oct. 24, 1857. He was educated in the public schools and in Franklin Academy. He was postmaster of Chateaugay for six years. He is one of the proprietors of the electric cold storage plant in Chateaugay. He was one of the founders of the state bank in 1887 and was its vice-president, and he retained this office when the bank became the First National Bank of Chateaugay under a federal charter. He was one of the organizers of the Chasm Power Company and is president of the concern. He is  also engaged in the manufacutre of excelsior, and is one of the owners of the Globe Excelsior Company and the Chateaugay Excelsior Company, both of Chateaugay.
He is a thirty-second degree Mason, member of the Frontier Lodge of Chateaugay, and of Rochester Consistory at Rochester, N.Y.
He married (first) in 1877, Mary Mott; (second) June 22, 1907, Ella Dawson.