David, May 16 1996, WORK IN PROGRESS
Thanks for posting the information and for giving my address to Bill Blackwell, he saw your message and has already sent one himself. It is not that reasearch is needed on James (V) Blackwell's parents as much as it is needed on him period. I have a few bits and pieces which tie it all together but I would like more proof. I am sending you part of the paper I believe I told you about that I am writting on my line. It will give what proof I have at this time. Please post it on the Internet also. I will mention to Bill that I am sending it to you for posting so he will be able to download the information. As for the references, I know I need to do them but at this point in time with so many it seems like a larger task than writting the paper itself. I will make a mental note to do it sometime in the future. PS - The forwarding mechanism worked fine. firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to Robert Blackwell Chart.
Robert V."Van". Blackwell, 3885 Hadley Farm Dr., Marietta, GA, 30066-2646, (770)928-9426.
The history of our family begins somewhere in England in the year 1620. It was in that year that a Robert Blackwell was born. Nothing has yet been found to indicate who his parents were or where he was born, all that is known is that he arrived in Virginia about the middle of 1645.
The year 1645 was a milestone in English history for it was in this year that the first phase of their Civil War ended with the disintegration of the Royalist armies. This brought about a flood of emigration to the New World, reaching a peak in the 1650's and 1660's, when over 300,000 people, mainly young men left England. There is good reason to believe that Robert Blackwell was among this group.
He arrived in what was known then as York County, Virginia, a sparsely settled frontier area still subject to periodic Indian massacres. The year before he arrived such an attack had occurred at the cost of over 500 lives. Shortly after he arrived, probably in the fall of 1645, Robert brought suit against a Richard Bennett who was arrested and when he failed to appear in court, Robert was awarded 330 lbs. of tobacco in payment of a debt. In late 1645 or early 1646 Robert was given a certificate for 250 acres of land as a headright for importing himself and four other men. These were Thomas Badridge (or Baldridge), Richard Jones, William Sheckle and John Rich. Since he was able to afford to pay the fares for this many people he may have come from a family of affluence. In about 1648 Robert is listed in the surviving records as the attorney for a James Goodwin and being involved in the law profession probably provided him with the funds to transport these people. Shortly after he arrived Robert met and married the daughter of Major Joseph Croshaw and to them were born two known children, Robert in about 1646 and James in about 1647.
The Croshaw family dates to the earliest English settlers in the New World. Captain Raleigh Croshaw arrived in Jamestown in late September 1608 as a part of the Second Supply. In 1609 he is described as a member of the London Company and he is listed in 1618 and 1620 as an adventurer in the Virginia Company. After the King dissolved the Virginia Company in 1624 making all the settlements a Crown Colony, Raleigh Croshaw was elected to the House of Burgess for Elizabeth City.
Raleigh Croshaw is believed to have had three sons, Joseph, who was probably born in England c.1612, Noah, and Richard, who was probably born in Virginia c.1622. Raleigh Croshaw's wife and a servant arrived in Virginia sometime in 1620 on the Bono Nova. Raleigh is believed to have died sometime between 22 November and 27 December 1624.
Joseph Croshaw was married five times, the last four being widows and only the last of these wives outlived him. The name of his first wife is not known but she was the mother of six children. The names of only five of these children are known, these being Mary who married Henry White, Unity (or Ursula) who married John West, Rachel who married first Ralph Graves and second Richard Barnes, Benjamin who died without issue and Joseph who also died without issue. His sixth child is the daughter listed above as being married to Robert Blackwell. By his fifth wife, Mrs. Mary Bromfeild the widow of Thomas Bromfeild and the mother of Ann Bromfeild, Joseph had a seventh child, Joseph who died on 28 August 1682 just short of his sixteenth birthday.
The most telling evidence that exists that confirms a marriage between Joseph Croshaw's daughter and Robert Blackwell is a land transaction dated 19 November 1664 when Joseph Croshaw deeded as a gift 700 acres to his grandsons, Robert and James Blackwell, the acreage being the northern part of a 1350 acre patent he received on 27 February 1649/50. The land was in what became New Kent County when York County was divided in 1654 and was described as being on the south side of the York River "in the freshes" and ran to a branch "over against Poropotank Creek to Whiteing's Branch to Arthur Price & stretching SW". The very fact that the land was being given to his grandsons tends to indicate that both of their parents were deceased by the end of 1664. At this time both sons would have been in their late teens and would have been several years short of being considered legally adults.
Very little is known about the younger Robert Blackwell except for a few land transactions, most of the records being destroyed during the last three centuries. Among these transactions is the grant on 24 October 1701 of 174 acres in Pamunkey Neck in King & Queen County (created from New Kent County in 1691) for importing four people. The Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish lists Robert and his brother James as active members and leaders of the Church. St. Paul's Parish was created in 1706 in that portion of New Kent County that became Hanover County in 1721.
The first mention of James Blackwell that can be found to date is from 1677. In January of that year a commission from the English Government was sent to inquire into and to report on the state of affairs of the Virginia colony. The commission made it known to the colonist that they would receive and examine a list of any grievances as long as they were duly signed and sworn to. As a result many grievances were received. Among these was one from Blisland Parish dated 2 April 1677 with James Blackwell being the fourth person from this parish to sign his name. He is next found in the Parish records of St. Paul's Parish of New Kent County in the years 1699 and 1701. Listed in the vestry book for this parish are the births of four of his children. More at one time may have been listed but because of the deteriorated condition of the first portion of the surviving book, all of the listings for the "A's" are missing and a good bit of the "B's" are unreadable, only these four are known for certain and these by incomplete information. Also found in the surviving information is the death of his youngest child and the marriage of his oldest son along with his wife's given name, Lydia. The children and their dates of birth as listed in the Vestry Book are Lydia, 30 ___ ____ (c.1684); _____ probably Lucy), 27 Sept. 16__ (1685?); John, (c.1686) and Mary, 24 Dec. ____ (1687?). Mary is listed as dying on 20 Feb. 1687/8.
Up to this time all that has been known about the wife of James Blackwell was her given name. Recent research has lead me to believe that her family name was in fact Turner. The Blackwell and Turner families had been associated with each for many years. A Henry Turner was listed as a signer on the List of Grievances in 1677 with James Blackwell. In 1704 an Act was passed dividing St. Peter's Parish and creating St. Paul's Parish. The dividing line between the two parishes is the same line which became the border between New Kent and Hanover Counties when the latter was created in 1721. Among the list of property owners listed as being on the border and whose property would then fall into the new parish and eventually the new county was a George Turner and, from the location of his property and the times he is mentioned in the Possessioning list of the Parish, it is evident that George Turner and James Blackwell were in fact neighbors.
Of the two brothers James seems to have been the most active in his community, being one of the Vestrymen for St. Paul's parish and also serving for a period as Church Warden. He took part in the Processioning of his and his neighbors land each time it was done, himself being one of the two overseers of the Processioning. He remained in this role until late in 1717. At the December 1717 meeting of the Vestry Robert Blackwell, James' older brother was elected to the Vestry in the place of James who is described as being "lately deceased". Robert was installed as a member of the Vestry in January 1718 but his service turned out to be very brief. When the Vestry met for it's regular session on 6 September 1718 a Capt. Roger Thomson was elected to the Vestry to replace Robert Blackwell who is also describe as being "lately deceased". It is believed that Robert died having never married.
Because there have been so many records lost from this area from this time period the Processioning list proves very valuable in putting together a complete list of all of the children of James Blackwell as well as additional information about this family. When the land for St. Paul's Parish of New Kent County was Processioned on 17 September 1711 the two overseers were James Blackwell and George Turner, who I believe were brothers-in-law. Others of interest present at the Processioning were James' brother Robert as well as a James Blackwell, Junior, evidently the oldest son of James Blackwell. Also mentioned are a Benjamin Goodman who is believed to be one of James Blackwell's sons-in-law. Besides George Turner mention is also made of a John Turner who the records say had James Blackwell for an uncle. John Turner is believed to be the son of George Turner. Of all of the children of George and his wife it is believed that one of his sons was a James Turner who was married to the Lydia Blackwell who was one of the daughters of James Blackwell and who was already deceased by the time of the 1711 Processioning. This speculation is somewhat substantiated when at the end of the Processioning information specific mention is made of the land of James Turner's orphans on which is living Benjamin Goodman, and James Blackwell is specifically mentioned as being the grandfather of the orphans of James Turner. This same information is verified the next time the land is Processioned in 1715 when the same information as above is given. For some reason no mention is made of these families for some period of time then they are mentioned again in the Processioning of 1732. James Blackwell, Senior had by this time been dead for fifteen years and we now find his sons listed in the Vestry Book, these being John, William and James. Also listed is their brother-in-law Benjamin Goodman. Not much is known about the lives of most of James' and Lydia's children.
James Blackwell, the eldest son of James and Lydia, is listed in the marriage section of the St. Paul's Vestry book as marrying a Mary Glenn on 18 April 1699. She was the daughter of John Glenn also of New Kent who was also mentioned many times in the St. Paul's Parish Vestry book. James Glenn Blackwell is the only known child of this union although it is believed that a Robert and a John Blackwell may also be children of this marriage.
It would appear that John was the son who received the property of his father, the elder James, which continued in his family until 1772. We know this because of two bits of information which are available. These sources consist of Hening's Statues, Vol. 8, and an article which appeared in a genealogical column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Sunday, 16 October 1910. These articles state that the property was passed by John to his eldest son Josiah Blackwell who in turn passed the land to his eldest son James Blackwell who by an act of the General Assembly of Virginia "broke the entail of said land" and exchanged it with a Mr. Carter for 250 acres and ten slaves in King William County.
James Glenn Blackwell and his wife, whose name is not known, had two known children, John Blackwell who was born in 1725 and Robert born in 1730. These two sons and their descendants are given substantial coverage by Bell in the section on Lunenburg Cousins in his Old Free State. Evidently James Glenn Blackwell and his sons moved to Lunenburg County in the late 1740's. A John Blackwell is listed as paying two tithes on the list of tithes taken by Hugh Lawson in 1748 and on the same list taken in 1749 John is shown paying two tithes once again and a James Blackwell is shown paying three tithes. This James Blackwell is evidently James Glenn Blackwell, now living in Lunenburg County with his sons.
James Glenn Blackwell died at about this time and as a result we find evidence that he had a third son living with him. The Lunenburg County Court Order Book number 8 on page 385 for the April Court of 1751 mentions that the Church Warden of Cumberland Parish indentured a James Blackwell the orphan of James Blackwell to a carpenter named William Bargamy. The Tithe list taken by Hugh Lawson for 1750 shows at that time a James Blackwell was already living with a William Burgamy. Since James was indentured by the court he was still underage at this time which would put the date of his birth at about 1733 to 1735. James was evidently not an outstanding member of society. On page 429 of Order Book 3 for the September court for 1755 we find the following:
Cornelius Cowgill gentleman, sheriff of this County brought here into Court the Body of James Blackwell, who hath remained in the jail of this County for the space of twenty days and upwards, on the execution of the suit of William Uassery, and the said James voluntarily taking the oath by Law Proscribed for Insolvent Debtors, It is considered that he be forthwith discharged from his Imprisonment.
Six years later he had not changed as on page 156 of Order Book 7 for 7 October 1761 shows a suit brought by a James Gentry against James Blackwell for assault and battery. The case was dismissed.
Only a few other records are found which mention James Blackwell. In July 1762 a Charles Newman Blackwell is recorded appearing in court to chose James Blackwell as his guardian, and on 10 March 1763 a William Eddins receives security from James Blackwell for faithfully executing the will of a Charles Blackwell.
On 23 March 1763 the Deed Book shows that James Blackwell sold a tract of land to Abraham Muray and Jonathon Patterson for ~35. Finally, on page 151 of Order Book 9 an indenture from James Blackwell to the above mentioned Abraham Maury and Jonathon Patterson is proved. After 1763 James Blackwell vanishes from the records of Lunenburg County, Virginia. Whether he died or moved has never been discovered but now we must turn our attention to the State of North Carolina. It was a common practice at this time for several families, usually intermarried, to pack up and move to another location. This is what the Blackwell, Glenn and perhaps several other families did just prior to the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
For the most part, the information on the Blackwells are quite slim, but because of their connection with the Glenns we are able to determine that these are the same families that lived in Lunenburg County, Virginia. On 10 May 1769 Tyree Glenn of Rowan County, North Carolina purchased 222 acres of land from John and Mary Howard of the same county on the Yadkin River which they had purchased from John, Earl Granville on 27 Nov. 1753. This land was in what became Surry County in 1771 and it was to remain in the Glenn family for many generations.
The first Tax List for the new county of Surry was taken immediately after its creation. This list shows a James and a Tyree Glenn each having two tithables. The following year a John and a Jeremiah Glenn are shown on the Tax List. This leads us to believe that there were at least three Glenn brothers living in Surry County, North Carolina at this time.
Tyree Glenn was a witness to a land transaction in August 1774 and died sometime in the following months. His will dated 4 Dec. 1774 mentions his wife Sarah, his sons Jeremiah and Thomas and his daughters Suckey (Susannah) and Aggy (Agness). The will was witnessed by his brother James Glenn.
James Glenn was to die himself a few years later. His will dated 28 March 1777 mentions his wife Patiance and his daughters Lucy, Susanna, Elizabeth, Sarah, Nancy and Martha and his son Tomson (Thompson), It is believed that he had another daughter named Patience after his wife. Among the witnesses to his will was James Blackwell and a Joroyal Barnett. In 1779, a John Blackwell makes a return to the court on the estate of James Glenn. The Tax List for Surry County in 1782 at the end of the Revolutionary War lists Patience Glenn, John Blackwell, James Blackwell, Joel Blackwell and David Blackwell. John Blackwell is found mentioned in the court minutes for the year 1784 and after this date most of the Blackwells disappear from the records of Surry County, North Carolina. It was about this time that Tyree's daughters married, Susannah marrying John Blackwell and Agness marrying Joroyal Barnett.
The families that had lived in Surry County, North Carolina prior to the Revolutionary War that were related by marriage were the Blackwells, Barnetts and Glenns. Of these families it is known that John and Joel Blackwell and Joroyal Barnett were in the War. John and Joel are listed in some sources as fighting in the battle of Kings Mountain probably with the North Carolina Militia. Joroyal is listed as a member of the militia of South Carolina serving with Col. Roebuck's Regiment after the fall of Charleston.
Although it is possible that Joroyal Barnett was already living in South Carolina, John and Joel Blackwell probably did not move until after the war. The area they settled was in the vicinity of King's Mountain, where they had fought. At times when a man fought in an area and liked the land he would move his family there after the war was over. It is quite likely that the two Blackwell brothers did this also bringing some of their other brothers with them.
The first Census of the United States taken in 1790 lists three Blackwells in the 2nd Company of Morgan's District, Rutherford County, North Carolina, John Blackwell with one male over sixteen including the head of the family, four males under sixteen and four females; Joel Blackwell with one male over sixteen including the head of the family and two females and James Blackwell with two males over sixteen including the head of the family, one male under sixteen and five females. Joroyal Barnett is listed in Ninety-six District, Spartanburg County with one male sixteen and over including the head of the family, two males under sixteen and four females.
The 1800 Federal Census lists in Rutherford County, North Carolina a James Blackwell with three males under ten, one male 26 to 45, two females under ten, one female 10 to 16 and one female 26 to 45. Joel Blackwell is shown with one male under ten, one male 10 to 16, one male 16 to 26, one male 26 to 45 and one male over 45. The females on his enumeration show one 10 to 16 and one over 45. It is believed that Joel was about forty years old at this time so this may show that his wife is dead and her parents may be living with him. John Blackwell is shown with two males under ten, three males 16 to 26, one male 26 to 45, one female under 10, one female 10 to 16 and one female 26 to 45. All three of these are listed on the same page of the census return which tells us that they were living very near to one another. Listed on the following page is another John and Joel Blackwell. Both of these are shown as being over 45 which makes them too old to be the correct two in our line, however, there is a very real chance that they are probably cousins of some degree. On this same census Joroyal Barnett is shown in Spartanburg County, South Carolina being shown with three males under ten, one male 10 to 16, two males 16 to 26, one male 26 to 45, two females under ten, one female 10 to 16, two females 16 to 26 and one female 26 to 45.
From this information we can conclude that the Blackwell family was made of at least five brothers. James seems to be the oldest, he was probably born about 1754 in Lunenburg County Virginia. John was born about 1755 also in Lunenburg and married Mary Glenn the daughter of Tyree Glenn. Next was a David Blackwell. He is still found in Surry County, North Carolina as late as 1800 and he and his descendants may have remained there. Zachariah Blackwell was born about 1759 and is found on the South Carolina census with Joroyal Barnett in both 1790 and 1800. Finally, Joel Blackwell was born in Lunenburg County, Virginia about 1760.
About the time of the Revolutionary War another event occurs which affects the families of these men and their descendants for the next century. After serving faithfully as members of the Church of England before the War, afterwards these men are found in the records of the Baptist church. John and Joel Blackwell as well as Joroyal Barnett are listed as pastors involved in pioneering church work in the mountains in the border area of Rutherford County, North Carolina and Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Bethel Baptist Association was founded in this area in 1789 and listed among the names of the pastor and ordained ministers was Joroyal Barnett, Joel Blackwell, John Blackwell and Zachariah Blackwell. This association decided to divide in 1800, the new group becoming the Broad River Association. Among the ministers listed in the minutes for this association in 1802 were Joroyal Barnett, Joel Blackwell, John Blackwell and Zachariah Blackwell.
Joel and Zachariah Blackwell evidently remained in this area and their descendants can still be found there. James Blackwell also remained in the Rutherford County area dying there in 1837. Listed as his children when his estate was settled were John, Joel, David, Josiah, James, Thomas, a daughter married to Jacob Dilbeck, Susannah married to John Dilbeck, a daughter married to Thomas Liles and daughter Agnes. John Blackwell moved from the area in the mid-1830's and with his three youngest sons settled in Walker County, Georgia. James Blackwell was probably married sometime during the Revolutionary War to Sarah Price the daughter of John and Sarah --?-- Price. Their oldest child seems to have been Agnes, who was born around 1776 in Surry County, North Carolina. Their oldest son was Josiah also born in Surry County, North Carolina in about 1777. The other known children were James b.c. 1790, David b.c. 1784-92, John, Joel, Thomas, Susannah, Alie (Alice?) and one daughter whose name is not known.
My direct line continues with Josiah Blackwell who is at least the most colorful of all my ancestors. He was in Spartanburg County, South Carolina with his parents and other of his relatives in the early 1800's. Sometime about 1801-2 he married Sarah Barnett the daughter of Joroyal Barnett and his wife the former Agness Glenn, the daughter of Tyree Glenn of Surry County, North Carolina. Joroyal at this time was probably the pastor of the Boiling Springs Baptist Church which had Josiah and others of his family as members. Josiah at this time evidently lived on land he owned in common land with a George Lewis and this is where he began to raise his family. His first child was Joroyal H. Blackwell born 16 Jan. 1803, and following close behind was Starling Willis Blackwell, born 23 August 1804. In early 1807 Josiah received a grant of 70 acres on a tributary of the Lawson fork called the Stanton Branch and was adjacent to the land that he already owned in common with a George Lewis. It was in this same year that his third son, David Glenn Blackwell, was born. In 1810 his first daughter, Mary, was born and Josiah and his family are shown on the Federal census for that year. He is shown as being between 26 and 45, Sarah is shown as being between 26 and 45, with three sons under 10. However, he must have had someone living with his family at this time because instead of the one daughter under 10 you would expect there are two females shown under 10 plus one female between 16 and 26. Who this may have been is not known but it may have been the widow and children of George Lewis. Josiah and Sarah had just three more children, Agnes born about 1812, James Barnett born 14 February 1814 and Martha Patsy born 28 January 1818.
Josiah and his family are listed in the census records of 1820 for Spartanburg County, South Carolina as well as being mentioned numerous times in the minutes of the Boiling Springs Baptist Church. At this time Joroyal Barnett, Josiah's father-in-law was the pastor of the church and remained so until his death on 6 June 1812. It appears that another of Joroyal's daughters was married to a Blackwell, Nancy Barnett married James Blackwell, a younger brother to Josiah sometime before 1809 when she joined the Boiling Springs Baptist Church by letter. A week after her father's death a report was made to the church body concerning Nancy Blackwell. She was found to be in a "pregnant condition, her husband being absent for a long time". Three ladies were appointed to interrogate her Mary Lewis (George Lewis' widow?), Elizabeth Lewis (a sister-in-law) and Sarah Blackwell (her sister). At the July 1812 meeting the ladies reported that Nancy Blackwell had confessed her guilt and she was then declared out of fellowship with the church. During the next few years Josiah himself is brought before the church body numerous times for drinking and/or using bad language. Each time he confesses his guilt and asks forgiveness and is restored to fellowship. In the 12 February 1814 meeting of the church there is a conflict between Josiah and a Jacob Belcher. Evidently Josiah thought Jacob Belcher was trying to persuade some of the young men to enlist (the War of 1812 was in progress at the time). After Jacob Belcher and Josiah were unable to agree to settle their dispute, a decision was left to the church which voted in favor of Jacob Belcher.
Land records show that during 1825 and 1826 Josiah began selling his property and in October 1826 he and his wife requested and were granted letters of dismission from their church. The next record we have of Josiah and his family is in 1829 when they are listed as members of the Wahoo Baptist Church in Clermont, Hall County, Georgia. At the time of this move and shortly before arriving in Hall County, Georgia. Sarah Blackwell evidently died as she is not listed joining the Wahoo Baptist Church with Josiah in 1829 and she is not found on the 1830 census for Hall County .
Josiah remained a widower through 1850 as is shown by the census for that year, but soon afterwards he met and married a thirty-six year old widow, Mary --?-- with a two year old daughter, Martha. Despite being in his mid-70's Josiah and Mary were blessed with two children, Drusilla in 1851 and William in 1853. Also in 1853 Josiah's oldest son Joroyal petitions the court to have his father declared legally insane. Josiah's drinking and bad language continued to be a problem even up to this time and after being forgiven and restored to fellowship many times the church finally reached its limit with him and he was excluded from membership at the 4 Mar. 1854 church meeting. Josiah was still living at the time of the 1860 census, which listed Mary Blackwell, age 46 as the head of the household, Josiah, age 83 is listed as insane, Martha (Mary's daughter by her first marriage), age 12 and born in Tennessee, Drusilla, age 9 and William, age 7.
As one would expect, there was much hard feelings between Josiah's second wife and his children (she was about the same age as Josiah's youngest son). It has been reported by members of the family that Mary was jealous of Josiah's first wife and the family still had some dishes that had been brought to America from England by the Barnett (Bernard) family, which she took outside and broke. Another incident involved a beautiful, prize horse that Josiah owned. Mary accused Josiah of worshipping the horse more than he did the Lord and told him the Lord would do something to the horse. A few days later when Josiah went to feed the horse he found it dead and when his son, Joroyal came to investigate he found poison in the horse's trough. It is believed that Josiah died in about 1863 although no exact date is known. Mary and the children disappear and research to date has not discovered where they moved.
When Josiah moved to Georgia both of his oldest sons were already married and initially they remained there. On 26 June 1826 Starling Willis Blackwell married Lucy Seay who had been born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina on 10 December 1803. They and their two oldest children Mary, born 19 October 1827 and Dempsey Smith Blackwell, born 19 April 1829 are found on the U.S. Census for Spartanburg County, South Carolina for 1830. They remained there until the middle of the 1840's and had five more children during this period, Sally(Sarah Ann) 29 August 1832, Josiah W. 6 April 1836, Reuben S. 12 October 1837, Starling Christopher 20 December 1839 and William Glenn 17 December 1842. Their last child was born after they had relocated to Hall County, Georgia. Cynthia Rebecca was born 20 June 1846.
This is a work in progress by Robert Van Blackwell. May
Robert V."Van". Blackwell, 3885 Hadley Farm Dr., Marietta, GA, 30066-2646, (770)928-9426.
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