The Life of
(The only child of Rev. William)
The Life of
Only Son of
REVEREND WILLIAM BLACKSTONE
by NATHANIEL BREWSTER BLACKSTONE
Member of N.E. Historic Genealogical Society
THE LIFE OF JOHN BLACKSTONE
The REVEREND WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, having finally married, at the age of 64, to SARAH (FISHER) STEVENSON, widow of JOHN STEVENSON, on July 4, 1659, in Boston, Mass., returned to his haven in Rehoboth, a very remote place in the southwest section of the Plymouth Colony, now Rhode Island.
The following year, his wife, SARAH, who was 35, presented him with his first and only child, JOHN BLACKSTONE, born in 1660. Apparently in WILLIAM's marriage vows to SARAH, it was agreed that she would bring one of her five sons, JOHN STEVENSON, born in 1645, then 14 years old, to assist his mother and step-father around the house, farm and orchards, as WILLIAM was no longer able to cope with farming chores as in the past.
JOHN BLACKSTONE, was only 13 when the one who meant the most in the world to him, his mother, died on June 15, 1673, at age 48. There was not too much time for a father-son relationship with father now 78, and mother having had all of the care and education of little JOHN, teaching him what she knew of her first husband's profession, that of how to skin animals, the preparing of hides, and the making of all kinds of leather goods, as primarily footwear, but also, saddles, harness, head gear, gloves, etc. It was this that he became quite adept at and was his mainstay the rest of his life.
It was only two years later that he lost his father. There where WILLIAM had spent half of his life, he yielded up his breath without a groan, on May 26, 1675, and was buried on his property, next to his wife of 14 years of marriage.
This left little JOHN, of 15 young years, alone in the world except for his 30 year old step-brother, JOHN STEVENSON. Since little JOHN was a minor, the Court appointed guardians for him, and allotted 50 acres of land and five acres of meadow to big JOHN. The balance of the estate, of course, went to little JOHN. However, WILLIAM was hardly cold in the ground when KING PHILIP's Indians laid waste to little JOHN's inheritance. The REVEREND WILLIAM's home of 40 years, his fabulous library, and all was lost to the Indian raid. Not much of anything was left for little JOHN, save the land.
It is assumed that big JOHN rebuilt a home and that little JOHN lived with him until 1690 when JOHN BLACKSTONE, now 30 years old, on one of his trips to Providence, met and in due time married, KATHERINE GORHAM. Moving up to Maine, on the insistence of his brother-in-law, DAVID GORHAM, that land could be obtained reasonable, and that work opportunities were plentiful in the logging business. However, this kind of work was not to his liking and he found he could not take those long cold winters. So, it was decided they would return to Rehoboth as soon as possible, but in the meantime, his first child was born in a log house, in North Yarmouth, Maine, where he was living with the GORHAMS. He named his son, WILLIAM, for his Reverend father, and by early Spring of 1692, headed south with his wife. They decided to leave their son with the GORHAMS, fearing the long trip would be too much for the infant child, as travel would be mostly by horseback and be slow and rough.
Rehoboth did not appeal too much to KATHERINE, so they soon moved to Providence where JOHN set up a Cobbler's Shop, and in fairly short order had a thriving little business going. JOHN had sold his Rehoboth property to a DAVID WHIPPLE to finance his new enterprise in Providence.
Thoughts of their little son way up in Maine weighed on their minds and by the year's end they decided that they had to see him and were soon aboard a boat to Boston, but upon arrival there found they would have to wait a few days for a boat to Portsmouth and were made welcome to stay with a very good friend of his father's, GEORGE VAUGHAN, a very successful and enterprising gentleman. Mr. Vaughan, strangely enough, took quite an interest in JOHN, and saw to it that he and his wife arrived safely in North Yarmouth, where they found their young son, now three years old, well and happy with the GORHAMS and their children.
A few month before the end of 1694, they were again on their way back to Providence where many of JOHN's customers were patiently waiting for his excellent shoes.
JOHN's step-brother, JOHN STEVENSON, died September 16, 1695, leaving his estate, which was valued at L57 5s 2d, to his brother 1653-JAMES STEVENSON of Springfield, Mass., as JOHN STEVENSON never married.
On JOHN BLACKSTONE's last encounter with GEORGE VAUGHAN, VAUGHAN made an offer to set him up in business in Portsmouth lock, stock and barrel, as the saying goes, along with his connections which turned out to be first class clientele. JOHN did a lot of thinking on this and finally by mid-1696 decided to see if his offer still held. Upon his arrival there, he found MR. VAUGHAN's word was as good as gold and was soon doing well enough to send for his family.
Again, KATHERINE was unhappy being in a large city among strangers, and JOHN finally made arrangements with VAUGHAN to have her and little WILLIAM transported to her brother's in North Yarmouth, and JOHN made several trips to visit them, off and on, until early in 1698 when they again decided to return to Providence. This time, little WILLIAM, now seven, remained with the Gorhams.
The following year, 1699, brought them their second son, 1699- JOHN BLACKSTONE, born in Providence, R.I. They all seemed to be well satisfied and happy to settle down here in Providence as here they stayed for the next several years, with an occasional visit to Maine to see their oldest son and, of course, the GORHAMS.
By 1713, they started moving around again, first to Attleborough, then to New Haven, and finally settled, once and for all, in Branford, Connecticut by 1714. Also, at this time, their first son, WILLIAM, found his mate in Dover, New Hampshire and married the widow ABIGAL (VARNEY) CLARIDGE, who was born on July 10, 1669 to HUMPHREY and SARAH VARNEY, and who had been married to AMBROSE CLARIDGE of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
In 1723, JOHN's wife, KATHERINE, died in Branford, Connecticut and was buried there, at age 53, and after 33 years as JOHN's wife. JOHN was now 63 years of age; WILLIAM, 31; JOHN, JR., 24; and JOHN, Sr.'s grandchildren by WILLIAM and ABIGAIL were, PATIENCE, 8 years; LYDIA, 7 years; SUSANA, 6 years; and WILLIAM, JR., 5 years.
By 1724, JOHN found it difficult making out without his wife and again sought the comforting sympathies of his friends in Portsmouth, the VAUGHANS, and although GEORGE, the father, had died, his son, WILLIAM (1701) was, in all respects, a chip off the old block, and made JOHN just as welcome as his father would have. And once more JOHN was set up in the shoe making and repair shop in Portsmouth where he was also handy to his son, WILLIAM and his family, who had now been living for about two years in Rochester, New Hampshire, having been ousted from his Dover property along with 11 other defendants in the RICHARD WALDRON suit of 1719-28.
Here in Portsmouth, he saw his son, JOHN (1699) off to sea in 1728. By 1730, he saw his granddaughter, PATIENCE, married to 1704-JOSIAH CLARK, and his next granddaughter, LYDIA, married to 1707-SAMUEL HALL in 1731.
The fact that JOHN BLACKSTONE died in Branford, Connecticut in 1743 at age 83, makes it doubtful that he saw his third granddaughter, SUSANA, married to JAMES HALL in the same year. 1708- JAMES being 1707-SAMUEL's brother.
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