Thanks for getting back to me, Annatjie. As far as I can make out, the first John Benn in Knysna (1812-1877), the one who built the Annie Benn, had a brother William Benn, who was born in 1815. So, William's son, who perhaps was also called William (?), would then have been cousin to the second John Benn (1846-1934).
John Benn 1st left Mossel Bay for Knysna in 1855, in order to repair the shipwrecked schooner, Musquash. At some time between 1855 and 1868, he also ran a small hostelry "with tap."
Does this information fit with anything you've got?
What I would really like to find out is the Benn history before John Benn 1st camt to SOuth Africa. I tried contacting the historian Erna Katz at the Dias Museum in Mossel Bay, but my email was returned. Maybe I can try phoning. I live in the US, so the time difference makes it difficult to call.
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