In every country, before histories were written, tales of the bravery of some citizens, of the devotion of others to their families, their king, their church, stories of failure or success, or even the misdeeds of other citizens, passed by word of mouth from one generation to another, until after many years it became increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction, and all the stories were accepted as tradition. As it has been with the nations and with others families, so has it been with the Blackford family. In every branch of the family, the tradition of the exiled Scots has accounted for the presence of the name in America.
The tradition always says that three brothers exiled from their native Scotland came to America soon after the first colonies were established. One settled on the Atlantic seaboard, one went South, and one went West. Until very recently American Blackfords accepted this story of their Scotish Ancestry and made no attempt to verify it, but a few years ago an American Blackford girl, traveling in Scotland, found on a window pane in Warwick Castle in Ayrshire as account of the imprisonment there of Benjamin Blackford. This loyal Scot had refused to accept England's king as his sovereign, and, with a diamond, cut the story of his incarceration in the castle, and his sentence of banishment to America, on the pane. So far as this Benjamin Blackford is concerned, the tradition has become history. We have been unable to learn when or where he settled in America, but the name Benjamin has been used repeatedly in many branches of the family. It is logical to infer that they are his descendants.
THIS STORY HAS RECENTLY PROVEN TO BE FALSE,VIA THE DIRECTOR OF ANTIQUITIES AT WARWICK CASTLE, ENGLAND. MAKES A GOOD ROMANTIC STORY THOUGH.
The story of early trials and life in America of the two brothers have not yet been found. When one brother is sufficiently prominent in his native land to become a prisoner of state, and suffer banishment on a charge of treason, it is reasonable to assume that other sons of the same family associated with him and suffer the same sentence.
It was for a long time assumed that Daniel Blackford was documented as being among the first Blackford in our family. However in 1996/97 some information came to light from a will dated 1711 that gives Samuel Blackford b. 1640/50 as the first Blackford in the family in the colonies. He m. first ? Moore and second Ann ? born to them were nine children. It is not clear when he married Anna/Ann Smalley.
Samuel Blackford was born 1640/50. He died Feb. 2, 1712. He married ? Moore. They had the following children
Matthew/Matthias Blackford b. 1662 d. after 1712
Anthony Blackford b. 1663
Samuel married Ann Smalley. They had the following children.
Daniel Blackford b. 1677 d. 1747
Anne Blackford b. 1679
Elizabeth Blackford b. 1681
Providence Blackford b. 1683 d July 14, 1760
Mary Blackford b. 1685 d after 1712
John Blackford b. 1687 d. March 18, 1749
Benjamin Blackford b. 1689 d after 1712
Samuel Blackford b. 1691 d after 1735
Hannah Blackford b. 1693 d. after 1712
John Blackford Sr. married Ruth Sutton. They had the following children
John Blackford Jr. b. Feb. 7, 1712 d. June 26, 1786
Nathaniel Blackford b. 1714 d March 25, 1764
Jeremiah Blackford b. 1716 d. 1803
Sarah Blackford b. 1718 d. after 1749
Susanna Blackford b. 1720 d. 1747
Mary Blackford b. 1722 d after 1749
Ann Blackford b. 1724 d after 1749
John Blackford Jr. married Hannah Martin, daughter of Benjamin and Philoreta Slater Martin. Benjamin Martin died 1755, Piscataway, Middlesex Co. N.J. John Blackford and Hannah Martin married abt 1740.
John Blackford Jr. died June 28, 1786 age 73 years. His wife, Hannah died May 2, 1784,age 66 years, just 10 days after he had made his will. They are both buried in the Scotch Plains Baptist Church Cemetery in Essex Co. NJ.
They had the following children
Zephaniah Blackford b. Feb. 26, 1741 d. before 1784
Rueben A. Blackford b. Sept. 4, 1743 d. May 1804
Mary B. Blackford b. November 22, 1745 d. April 1, 1784
Isaiah Blackford b. October 21, 1748 d. Feb. 4, 1809
Benjamin Blackford b. November 3, 1750 d. 1842
Jeremiah Blackford b. October 10, 1752 d 1825
Esther Blackford b. March 9, 1756 d. after 1786
Ephraim Blackford b. Jan. 30, 1760 d. January 9, 1820 twin
Nathaniel Blackford b. Jan. 30, 1760 d. July 18, 1815 twin
Elizabeth Blackford b. Jan. 13. 1765 d. after 1793
Jeremiah Blackford married Mary Kelly. They had the following Children
John Blackford b. Feb. 9, 1781 d. June 7, 1851
Elizabeth Blackford b. December 30, 1782 d. March 10, 1859
Susannah Blackford b. June 25, 1784 d. in infancy
Reuben Blackford b. December 12, 1785 d. November 11, 14, 1859
Martha Kelly Blackford b. March 6. 1789
Jeremiah Kelly Blackford b. December 14, 1791 d. December 3, 1851
William Blackford March 16, 1793 d. January 13, 1872
Esther Blackford b. July 6, 1796 c. 1859/60
John Blackford m. Elizabeth Buckles, the daughter of John Buckles(1761-1828) and Mary Brooks(1763-1842) John and Elizabeth were married July 24, 1804 Warren Co. Ohio by Joshua Carman, Minister. They had the following children
Jeremiah Blackford b.? died in infancy
Reuben Blackford b.? died in infancy
Joseph Blackford b. ? died in infancy
Mary Blackford b. November 3, 1806 d. May 22, 1895
Catherine Blackford b. 1808
James Blackford b. July 18, 1811 d. January 31. 1852
Susannah Kelly Blackford b.?1811 d. September 1849
Elizabeth Blackford b. 1815 d. 1890 Appanoose Co. Ia.
Thomas Blackford b. June 24, 1819 d. October 18, 1885
Martha Blackford b. 1821
Lavina Blackford b. 1822
William Blackford b. 1824
Rebecca Blackford b. 1828
John Blackford b. 1830 d. 1860/67
Elizabeth Blackford m. Thomas Sweetman 1843 Deleware Co. Indiana. They migrated to Van Buren Co. Ia by 1844 and then to Appanoose County Iowa by 1851 where they spent the remainder of their lives.