The Life of
(The Rev. William's first grandson)
The Life of
First Son of
John and Katherine Blackstone
by NATHANIEL BREWSTER BLACKSTONE
Member of N.E. Historic Genealogical Society
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM BLACKSTONE
The first of two sons born to JOHN and KATHERINE BLACKSTONE was WILLIAM. He was born in 1691 in a log house in North Yarmouth, Maine, a year after his parents were married in Providence, R.I.
It could be said that his youthful days were somewhat frustrating in that his parents could never seem to settle down in any one place for any length of time. Consequently, WILLIAM spent considerable time in his younger years with his Uncle DAVID GORHAM, his Aunt, and his little cousins, in North Yarmouth.
WILLIAM was named for his grandfather, the REVEREND WILLIAM BLACKSTONE (1595-1675) as his father, JOHN (1660) was the only child born to the REVEREND WILLIAM and SARAH (FISHER) STEVENSON BLACKSTONE in Rebehoth, R.I.
The first 2 1/2 years of his life were with the GORHAMS in Maine, the next 2 1/2 in Providence with his parents, then he went to Portsmouth for a spell, and back to North Yarmouth with his mother. In 1698, his parents again returned to Providence, leaving little WILLIAM with the GORHAMS once again, and in the following year, his little brother, JOHN, was born in Providence. From then on, WILLIAM saw his parents only on occasional visits by them when they were able to make the trip up there.
In the meantime, WILLIAM learned all about the lumbering business from his Uncle DAVID; made the acquaintances of ELISHA CLARK, the Dover-Portsmouth ferryman, a SGT. JOHN HALL of Dover; and HUMPHREY VARNEY, a Dover Planter, along with many others, all due to his likeable ways and his ability to make friends, and from whom he gained much knowledge and assistance in his struggle to make something of himself. Strangely enough, WILLIAM was to become directly related to each of the above mentioned in the not too distant future.
WILLIAM was far more blessed with his grandfather's traits of character and his ability to learn, for example, how to get along in the wilderness; or with the Indians, keeping good health habits, and just plain living a good clean life, than he was of his own father's traits. And, here again was a situation similar to his father's, the almost complete lack of father-son relationship. It can well be said that WILLIAM was a self-made man in his own right.
Along about the latter part of 1713, WILLIAM learned that his parents were planning to move again, this time to Connecticut. The following year they did move, finally settling once and for all in Branford, Connecticut. At the same time, WILLIAM found the woman he could not live without and so married ABIGAIL VARNEY, the daughter of his friend, HUMPHREY VARNEY, the Dover Planter. Apparently ABIGAIL had previously been married to an AMBROSE CLARIDGE of Portsmouth, according to page 4 of the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, and also that she was a witness in Berwick, Maine in 1714, neither of which was further explained. The fact that she was 45 when she married WILLIAM, who was only 23 years old, is evidence that she was married before, as in those times, especially, very few young ladies remained unmarried after their teens, and those that did rarely ever married at all. It would seem evident that her first husband was not virile and a woman's ambition in life is to bear children and here was WILLIAM, who had known little of a mother's love and affection, which ABIGAIL, no doubt, gave him in abundance, as the next four years, she gave him three daughters and a son; 1715-PATIENCE; 1716-LYDIA; 1717-SUSANA; and 1718-WILLIAM, JR.
When WILLIAM married ABIGAIL, she already owned land that her father had deeded her, along with what she was probably left by her first husband, however, unfortunately, by 1719 a RICHARD WALDRON, acting as Administrator of his father's estate, instigated a suit against 12 of the settlers of the Concheco area, which finally dispossessed them of their property. The 12 dispossessed were:
1. Benjamin Mason, Shoemaker
2. Elisha Clark, Ferryman
3. William Blackstone, Planter
4. William Stiles, Blacksmith
5. Howard Henderson, Mastliner
6. Peter Cook, Husbandman
7. Richard Hammock, Husbandman
8. Samuel Cosen
9. James Wilmet, Cooper
10. Joseph Canney, Husbandman
11. John Foy
12. Samuel Alley
By May 10, 1722, WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, RICHARD HAMMOCK and JAMES HANSON had bought one share betwixt them to be equally shared in the thirdly third share in the first division lots in the town of Rochester. This being the day that the Town of Rochester was incorporated.
For WILLIAM it all started about 1724, when he had a dream and a burning desire to locate near great high waterfalls, where he could build a big saw mill. A place where water running over a solid rock bed that could easily and inexpensively be dammed up. When standing on high ground and looking eastward, he could see a range of mountains and felt sure that he would find his answer there. He had mentioned his ambitions to his father's friend, WILLIAM VAUGHAN, and was promised his full backing, when and if he was ready for it. The main thing now, was to find the appropriate site, and this he was not too long in doing. An area called by the Indians, "Damariscotta" was where he decided he need not look any further. Immediately reporting to WILLIAM VAUGHAN in Portsmouth, he was again assured of his support, and by early Spring, set out for the Damariscotta area, fully equipped for the first stage of development.
In the interim, actually on April 4, 1729, HOWARD HENDERSON, ELISHA CLARK, JAMES WILMET, JOSEPH CANNEY and ABIGAIL BLACKSTONE (in the absence of her husband) filed a complaint to the Governor's Council concerning their dispossession of their property, however, it was of no avail.
The following year, WILLIAM and ABIGAIL's oldest daughter, PATIENCE was married to ELISHA CLARK's sixth-born, 1704- JOSIAH CLARK, and eventually had 10 children. The next year, their next daughter, LYDIA, married SGT. JOHN HALL's oldest son, SAMUEL, of Somersworth.
By 1738, WILLIAM had accomplished a great deal in the Damariscotta area, but it still wasn't ready for VAUGHAN and his saw-mill. WILLIAM was now 47, and felt he had been separated long enough from his family, and having prepared a place for them, set out to bring them back with him. ABIGAIL was now 69; SUSANA 21; and WILLIAM, JR., 20; and for WILLIAM, SR. the world took on a brighter look as he and his family were all together again.
Three years later in 1741 all was ready for VAUGHAN, and he lost no time getting there and soon, he and his engineer, LINSCOT, had dam and mill all set up and going well.
In 1743, WILLIAM, SR. lost his father, 1660-JOHN BLACK- STONE, who died in Branford, Ct.; his daughter, SUSANA, married JAMES HALL (1708) and by now the CLARK and both HALL families had moved into the Damariscotta area.
In 1745, WILLIAM, SR. did his bit with WILLIAM VAUGHAN and others to help win the battle of Louisburg.
In 1746, WILLIAM VAUGHAN returned to England, where he became seriously ill and died at the age of 43. A serious loss to WILLIAM, who was now 55, but doing very nicely in enjoying the fruits of his fondest dream, the development of the Damariscotta area, and his Town of Newcastle, Maine established.
WILLIAM had built a very comfortable home down near where the old Academy once stood and there he lived a happy independent life until he and others in the area were pestered by JONATHAN JONES, the Kings (George II to 1760, then George III) Agent, for taxes on their property, that they had worked long and hard to develop; and had papers from VAUGHAN and NOBLE to prove their right to same. Nevertheless, if they did not pay up, the King's Agent took over their property, as they said, in the King's name.
Actually, these land troubles had been going on for years, like REVEREND WILLIAM's in Shawmut (Boston); RICHARD WALDRON'5 land grabbing in Dover; and now JONATHAN JONES in the Damariscotta Mills area.
WILLIAM was finally driven out, just as his grandfather was, but not until he had vented his feelings on the injusticeness of it all, in his deposition dated October 3, 1763, as follows:
"The deposition of WILLIAM BLACKSTONE of Newcastle, in the County of Lincoln, and of lawful age, testifies and said, that I have lived at Damariscotta Saw Mills for about 26 years and improved with others who worked at said Mills, all the land and meadows on bothe sides of said river, and fresh pond to the nor ward thereof under WILLIAM VAUGHAN, ESQ. deceased, and since his death, myself with sundry others have held and improved said lands and meadows for about 13 years under JAMES NOBLE, ESQ., except what lots of land on said side of river and pond, NOBLE sold to any persons, and have ever since improved said land and meadows under said NOBLE, the whole length of said pond on the West side of said pond, about half way to the Sheepscott River and pond, and never was disturbed in possession by any claimer whatsoever, ‘till June last, 1763, when one JONATHAN COOK, JONATHAN JONES, JOHN JONES and ANTHONY CHAPMAN, have with a great number of men, although forbid, as I have heard, entered on the premises, which was held under said NOBLE, and built a saw mill, fenced in a large tract of land possest under NOBLE, as aforesaid and gives out that they will hold the same by a strong hand, as I have heard. The deponent further testifies that he with with others paid the yearly rent for the above described and premises to above named VAUGHAN and NOBLE, during the above mentioned term and further saith not.
Dated at New Castle, Oct. 3, 1763
WILLIAM died across the bay where he lived near the Bristol-Nobleboro town lines. His son, WILLIAM, JR., lived and died in in Nobleboro county. His sons, (1754) BENJAMIN and (1755) WILLIAM III, like their grandfather, (1691) WILLIAM; craved new lands to explore and develop, and finally landed in the sandy river country while their sisters remained in Nobleboro, to be added to the MERRILL and CLARK families. (1718) WILLIAM, JR.'s sisters, PATIENCE, LYDIA and SUSANA were scattered from the foot of the lake to Bunker Hill and each raised up large families. To these families the HATCHES and JONES came courting.
So, today, thousands of REVEREND WILLIAM BLACKSTONE's descendents are scattered all over North America with in Northern Maine today, but none are to be found in the Damariscotta area.
1766-CAPTAIN WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, since 1790, has left many descendents in the Pownal area, Portland, and scattered from Maine to Florida, and over to the West Coast.
1591-NATHANIEL BLACKSTONE started in Maryland, and scattered his descendents all over the South and West.
Today, census records available disclose the fact that there are approximately 900 heads of households in the United States with the old and distinguished BLACKSTONE name. The U. S. Census Bureau estimates that there are approximately 3.2 persons per household in America today, which yields an approximate total of 2,880 people in the United States carrying the BLACKSTONE name.
Verification of the information matter by which this writing is based will be found in the following:
The Blackstones and Their Name (5 pages onion skin).
The Blackstone Family, by L. M. Sargent & Lorenzo Blackstone — 1849. (Typewritten — 34 pages).
The Blackstone Family. (As above in pamphlet form).
Rev. William Blackstone — The Pioneer of Boston 1896 By John C. Crane.
The Blackstones and Their Indian Paradise — 1952 by E. Joshua Lincoln.
Mormon Genealogical Library — Miami.
Miami Public Library — Genealogical Dept.
Boston Evening Transcript, under Genealogical Notes and Quiries. (Various dates, #'s Vols., etc.)
Dictionary of English & Welsh Surnames — Beardsley.
Nassau, B.W.I. — Public Library
History of Rehoboth, Mass. — Tilton — 1918
Old Bristol & Noblesboro, Maine. — Vol. 1.
History of Rochester, N.H. — McDuffee — Vols. 1 & 2.
Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & N.H.
History and Antiquities of Boston — Drake — 1856.
Pioneers of Massachusetts — C. H. Pope — 1900
Boston (Births, Baptisms, Marriages & Deaths — 1883.)
History of Dover, N. H. — Scales — 1923
Piscataqua Pioneers — John Scales — 1923.
Three Episodes in Massachusetts History — 1892.
History of Rehoboth — Bliss — 1836.
Daggett's History of Attleborough, R. I.
Winthrop's History of New England — L. M. Sargent
Cushman's History of Newcastle, Maine.
Notes on the Dover Combination of 1640 —Quint — 1879.
Historical Society Collections of Dover — Vol. 1 — 1894.
Landmarks in Ancient Dover — Thompson — 1892.
Rambles about Portsmouth — Brewster — 1859-69.
Portland Centennial Celebration — Hull — 1886.
History of Walpole, Maine — Frizzell — 1963.
History of Winthrop, Maine — E. S. Stackpole — 1925
York, Maine — Charles Edward Banks — 1931-35.
Members of Boston, Massachusetts Military Co. — 1895.
Nantucket, Mass. — Hinchman — 1934.
Blackstone's Commontaries on the Law, — Gavit — 1892.
Old Kent Co., Maryland — George A. Hanson — 1876
Maryland, First Census of, — 1907
Pennsylvania, First Census of, — 1790 - 1908.
Maryland Calendar of Wills — Richardson — 1913.
Research is constant, thus many more references will be added.
OTHER BOOKLETS AVAILABLE
ON OR ABOUT
ORIGIN OF THE NAME - THEIR CREST AND COAT - OF - ARMS
Blackstone Ancestors from 1510
BIOGRAPHY OF THE REV. WILLIAM BLACKSTONE (1595 - 1675)
The First Settler of Boston, Mass.
BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN BLACKSTONE (1660-1743) 6.00
The Rev. William's only child.
BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM BLACKSTONE (1691-1779) 6.00
Rev. William's first grandson.
BIOGRAPHY OF SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE (1723 - 1779) 8.00
Any Blackstone's own personal direct line, on back
to 1510 (if records are complete) or, on back to the first Blackstone emigrant
(regardless of spelling) to the New World, the Americas. Send for three (3)
Family Forms (no charge); fill out completely and return with the required
fee $200. Refunds will be made, for each generation under ten that are not
available. Any more than ten, no extra charge.. Notification will be made,
with refund, for each generation not on record. Charges are based only on
the number of your generations available.
Our researching is ever constant, and notification will be made of any corrections or additions that come to our attention. Your sincere cooperation, is earnestly solicited in this matter.
PLEASE INDICATE BOOKLETS DESIRED, AND RETURN WITH FEE:
( ) ORIGIN OF THE NAME - THEIR CREST AND COAT-OF-ARMS
( ) BIOGRAPHY OF THE REV. WILLIAM BLACKSTONE (1595-1675)
( ) BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN BLACKSTONE (1660-1743)
( ) BIOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM BLACKSTONE (1691-1779)
( ) BIOGRAPHY OF SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE (1723-1780)
( ) PLEASE SEND ME THE FAMILY FORMS TO BE
FILLED OUT BY ME FOR INFORMATION AS TO MY
DIRECT LINE. (No charge)
STATE _________________________ZIP CODE__________
[Note: there was no address to send this to on the
original and Nathaniel B. Blackstone died in 1981. Please do not ask me where
to get these pamphlets as this is all there is.]
James R. Dangel
1504 Sawmill Creek Road
Sitka, Alaska 99835 USA