Blackwell Genealogy                                
The Man who brought our Blackwell Family out of England

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George Blackwell 1801 | Children of George Blackwell 1801 |
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| William Blackwell | Children of William Blackwell |
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George Blackwell   10.2  1801 - 1877                 The Primary Family are the four sons and two daughters of George and Mary.

11th Generation 10.2 George Blackwell  
b.   1 Jan   1801 Brimpsfield, Gloucester, England (Confirmed date by information on Tombstone reading and other sources) 
Chr.  Feb   1801 Brimpsfield, Gloucester, England   Also could have been in Badgworth.                       
d.   1 Mar. 1877 Holmes City township, Minnesota, USA - Age 76 Years  2 Months.     (View More Information Below)
Married:  4 Mar. 1824 Cowley, Gloucester, England     Parish of Badgeworth  (Near Cheltenham)
Mary Barradell     Withington, Gloucester, England   Photo Below    View 1851 Census Report on the Blackwell Family
b.  29 Oct. 1797 View Barradell Lineage
d.  12 Nov 1864  Buried in Shurdington, Gloucester, England  Recorded as age 68 at time of death. (Near Cheltenham)
She was the daughter of Robert Barradell and Henrietta .....?
Believed living in Cheltenham at the time of her death with her Daughters, Elizabeth and Sophia and adopted son, William.
(LCB) "His wife (of George Blackwell Sr.) died in the fall of 1864 in England, the same year I left for Canada."   See 1861 Census Note

The Children of George Blackwell 10.2 and Mary Barradell
The Children of George Blackwell 10.2 and Mary Barradell
12th Generation Children of George Blackwell (10.2) and Mary Barradell
10.2.1 Elizabeth Blackwell  
10.2.2 Sophia Blackwell   
10.2.3 John Blackwell     
10.2.4 George Blackwell Jr
Henry Blackwell
10.2.6 William Blackwell - adopted.   Complete Name is  James William Blackwell

Plans for America    Land Document    Death of George Blackwell    Obituary Error


Mary Barradell Blackwel - Wife of George Blackwell 10.2
Mary Blackwell - nee Barradell
Click to Enlarge
b, 1797  d. 1864
Photo 1a

By looking at this photo, I can only surmise that it was taken in England about the time that George and the Children left for America and Canada.  In 1851, Mary would be about 54 or 55 years of age.  I suggest that this is her age in the above photo and that the photo was taken so the family could have it as they would be apart for sometime.  The plan was to have Mary join them in America, but the Indian Uprising put a hold on that plan for a few years and then, while still in England, Mary became very ill.  She died there on 12 Nov, 1864.  She never got to America and never seen her family again. 

From "Harper's Cheltenham Directory and Guide, 1844" I have learned that George Blackwell, who we already knew was a Gardner by trade was living at Gothic Cottage, New Sandford Road, Cheltenham.  The same source shows Mary Blackwell as living at the exact same location and is listed as a "Laundress".  This we also knew.  This is in keeping with the 1851 Census details. 

In the Directory, Harper's Cheltenham Directory and Guide, 1844 it shows 4 Blackwells.

Blackwell George, gardener, Gothic cottage, New Sandford road    This is our George Blackwell 10.2
Blackwell George Richard, marble works, Gratton villa, Suffolk road
Blackwell Nathaniel, grocer, 3 Tivoli place
Blackwell Mary, laundress, Gothic c., New Sandford rd.   This is our Mary Barradell       

View the Harper's Directory
Search the Document for Blackwell Names

In the 1861 Census of England
Report from 1861 Census of England for Mary Blackwell - nee Barradell   
Name: Mary Blackwell
Age: 64
Birth Place: abt 1797 Withington, Gloucester, England
Status: Head of Household
This is obviously our Mary Blackwell (Barradell) as her husband was in Minnesota she would now be the Head of the Household.
Her age of 64 in 1861 means she was born in 1797, identical to our Mary Barradell.  Also, she is listed as being born in Withington.  This is the same location of birth for our Mary Barradell.  We know that this individual died on 12 Nov 1864, three years after this Census and was buried in Shurdington, Gloucester, England.

St. Paul - Shurdington, Gloucester, England
The burial place of Mary Barradell - Blackwell
Photo 2

George Blackwell Sr.
George Blackwell Sr. (10.2) was the man who had the dream of America:  Sailing from England to New York was a dangerous affair.  It was a commitment to a new beginning and the dangers were accepted.  George Sr. lived with his son Henry and his family near Holmes City, MN. until his death in 1877.  

On October 7th, 1871, George Blackwell signed the allegiance to the United States and became a citizen of the United States.  The document, in my possession, shows the original signature of George Blackwell.  There has been confusion that he was named John W. Blackwell but this is in error.  Numerous documents show his real name to be George Blackwell, including, the inscription on his tombstone.  He himself referred to himself as George Blackwell as far back as the 1851 Census in England.  It should be noted that his father was John Blackwell of 1775.  Possibly, that is where the confusion lies.  John of 1775 did not come to America.  A late celebration by a newspaper reprinted a faulty obit of George Blackwell and that was possibly later picked up by family members as being accurate.  It is the only explanation.  See Below

Plans for America:
Plans for America  The plans to go to America started to take shape and George Sr. (10.2) had to consider a number of problems.  There was the cost, the various ages of the family, and later, the ability to have the rest of his family make the trip due to the poor health of his wife, (Mary Barradell) and as well as the threat of the Indian War.  As head of the household, George Sr. (10.2) would have to work out a way to achieve this goal for his family.  He almost succeeded.  Because of this, I have included much of the initial story in a brief overview in order to show the effort and heartbreak that was involved.  

It is believed the family were middle class at the least and it appears all were very well educated.  We also think other Blackwells that were related went to America first, but we can not confirm at this time.  Although home was in Cheltenham, various Parishes were used for birth records, marriages etc.  All the locations mentioned here are physically close together, and that explains why each of the children were born, or at least baptized in the locals mentioned.  There are a number of different Parish locations listed.
Gloucester Area Map All areas are around Cheltenham in Gloucester, England..  (R.E.B.)

From the research that has been done we have been able to learn about the movements of the family between the years 1849 and 1916.  Like all major changes in a family's life, it starts with a single dream.  That dream was to leave England, and start over in the New World of America, not unlike many other people in those days.  However, it had it's price to be paid.  It was costly in the form of hardship, loneliness and physical labour.  However, we Blackwell's of today, and the related families that joined through marriage, can look back with considerable pride in what our ancestors achieved in the face of great hardships.  It is fortunate for us that they did succeed.

In 1849 the two eldest sons, John 10.2.3 and George Jr. 10.2.4 who were 17 and 15 years of age respectively, departed England by Ship. We think they set sail from Liverpool as it was the common departure point at that time.  We also know they arrived in Montreal.  This exodus explains why these two individuals did not show up in the 1851 Census in Cheltenham, Gloucester, England.  We also know that their father, George Sr. 10.2 and their young brother Henry, 10.2.5 departed by ship as well in 1851.  (after the Census of 1851)  They sailed to New York and young Henry worked there until 1854 but George Sr. went on to Canada almost immediately to be with his two older sons.  See
Compendium of Northern Minnesota for exact details.
As they did appear in the 1851 Census we can assume they left early in the summer time as the fall and winter is a dangerous time to be on the Atlantic. 

In 1854 Henry left New York and joined his father and brothers in Canada.   We understand the two older boys were in Montreal for sometime prior to George Sr's arrival but when Henry arrived in 1854, they all left for "Queensbush" area.  This was timber country in Huron County , Ontario where they invested their money and bought 450 acres.   It was always thought that the family left George Jr. in Canada, and went to Minnesota, however, we have proof that all of them left for Minnesota and arrived in 1857.  George Jr. went to Meeker County with John while George Sr. lived with Henry in Douglas County.  This is supported by a letter written and sent between two Keller sisters in later years that tells about John and George Jr. walking across the country to a new area.  View Letter   It was an important letter in other ways but this information is confirming the facts as laid out in the Henry Blackwell Biography.  See  also Obit of Henry Blackwell   It should be noted that Henry, 10.2.5 was 11 years old in 1851 so that meant he lived in 19th Century New York alone for his 12th, 13th, and 14th birthday before he went to Canada to rejoin his Father and Brothers.  It is possible that relatives may have been in New York but no indication of that is known at this time.

Back in England, Mary Barradell - Blackwell and the remaining children,
Elizabeth (10.2.1)  the eldest child of the family and Sophia (10.2.2)   the next eldest and the young adopted son, William (10.2.6)  who was six years of age at the time (1851), remained in England to continue on until it was time for them to join the rest of the family in America.  However, due to the Minnesota Indian War and the fact that Mary became quite ill for a number of years meant she was unable to make the journey.   She finally died in the fall of 1864 (LCB) and a short time later, possibly in 1865, Elizabeth also passed away. (LCB) That left Sophia and William alone in England.  Sophia would have been about thirty-six years of age at the time and William would have been about twenty.  By this time, John Blackwell, Henry Blackwell, George Blackwell Jr. and their father, George Sr. were well established in Minnesota.  It is believed that Sophia and William left for America not long after the death of Elizabeth.  We do know that when George Jr. and his new wife, Lois Clarinda Twichell did not see Sophia and William before they left for Canada in 1864.  It is believed the two remaining children arrived around 1866 at the latest.  Note:  William goes by his full name in America - James W. Blackwell.  He married Emma Hill (widow of Steven VanLoon) in Alexandria.  Sophia married George W. Frost, a Civil War Veteran who was involved in the Capture of Jefferson Davis.


Document:  Land Purchase in the District of Alexandria, MN - Click to enlarge photo  - Image 1

Document of Ownership of Land

The Indians also had some ideas of their own.  Many families had been slaughtered on their homesteads and the rest had to take shelter for a considerable time in the fortified towns.  The Indians were upset about the un-kept promises that the Government had made and decided to act.  The slaughter was terrible.   The Blackwells were in the thick of it.   George Jr. 10.2.4 married Lois Clarinda Twichell in 1863 in Anoka, Minnesota.  John 10.2.3 had married Mary Jane McGannon and was living in Litchfield.  Henry 10.2.5 eventually married Amanda Van Loon and raised a large family in the Holmes City area.  Sophia 10.2.2 and William 10.2.6 came to Minnesota sometime after 1866 and prior to 1871.  (We think in early 1866)  Sophia married a Mr. Frost and settled near Holmes City in 1871.  Sophia died in Alexandria, MN. in 1901.  We now know that William was actually named James W. Blackwell.  See his information Here  He died in 1917 in Puyallup, Washington.  (LCB)

   Land Document
Dated May 20, 1868
Shows original signature of George Blackwell (10.2) 
      Photo 4

New York Harbor in mid 1800s

New York Harbor - Photos published 1883
What George Blackwell (10.2) and young Henry Blackwell (10.2.5) would have seen in 1851 at New York Harbor.
More Photos can be seen Here
Photo 3

Blackwell Lake
Blackwell Lake - Named after George Blackwell 1801 - 1877
Blackwell Lake, Holmes City, MN.
Blackwell Lake is named after George Sr. or his son Henry Blackwell
Photo 5

It is believed that Blackwell Lake is named in honour of Henry Blackwell, the fifth born son of George Blackwell (10.2) The reason we think this is due to Henry's survey work for the Government and Map Drawings he prepared as well as other positions he held with both the State and Civic Government.  However, having said that, it is also possible the lake is named after George Blackwell (10.2) (Henry's Father) in recognition for his early pioneer experiences in the area.  It had been reported that it was named in George's Honour.   We are unsure.  It should be known that it is one of three lakes that are called Blackwell Lake and named after members of this Blackwell Family.  The other two are in Canada.

See   1851
Cheltenham 1851 Census - Blackwell Portion

     Name                  Age    Occupation    Birth Place
George Blackwell      51      Gardner      Brimpsfield  
    Mary Barradell         53       Milliner       Withington      
        Elizabeth Blackwell   24       Milliner       Brockworth  
            Sophia Blackwell      22       Milliner       Badgworth  
                Henry Blackwell        11       Scholar       Leckhampton
                    William Blackwell      6         Scholar       Charlton Kings

John of 1832 (10.2.3) and George Jr. of 1834 (10.2.4) are not shown in the 1851 Census.  They left England in 1850 for Canada.
The father, George Sr.(10.2) listed in the Census, took Henry (10.2.5) and left for New York after the 1851 Census was taken.
Note the ages of George Blackwell and Mary Barradell in 1851.  The Census was taken early in 1851 so their ages appear less then their birth year indicates.  This is common in Census reports. 


Cheltenham 1748
To see a small review on Cheltenham, Click Here
The home of the Blackwells during the 1851 Census

Stamps of the Day  -  Pennie Blacks
The Penny Black Stamps Issue Date is 1840
If Mary and the Children sent a letter to their
Husband, Father, Sons and Brothers in Canada or the United States, they would have used these stamps. 
They are called the Penny Black Stamps and were in common use after 1840 in England.
Photo 6

English Locations important to the Blackwells

       Parish of Brimpsfield - Possible place of Christening of George Blackwell of 1081  
   Trinity of Badgeworth  Parish of Brimsfield  Parish of Withington
  Sophia Blackwell       Geo. Blackwell Sr.       Mary Barradell

      Photo 7                    Photo 8                   Photo 9

Minnesota Locations

VanLoon Cemetery  George Blackwell 10.2
Photos of Cemetery and Tombstone by Ken Blackwell

 Photo 10                  Photo 11

Inscription on Tombstone of George Blackwell 10.2

In Memory of our loving father - George Blackwell
Died Mar 1, 1877 - Age 76 Years 2Mos.
Text Box: In Memory of our loving father - George Blackwell 
Died Mar 1, 1877 - Age 76 Years 2Mos.

Important 'Error' made in a Newspaper Obituary caused misinformation.

The Alexandria Post listed a notice of the death of George Blackwell.  Notice how it is written.
It is believed this caused some Blackwell Family Members in later years to conclude that it
was John Blackwell that was our founding father in the new world
.  See Explanation.

The Alexandria Post,
The Alexandria Post: Alexandria, Douglas County, Minnesota  (reporting error)
Friday, March 16, 1877, page 4, col. 4.
BLACKWELL.—On the second of March, at the residence of his son Henry, in Holmes City, John W. Blackwell, at a very advanced age. The deceased was a most estimable citizen and one of the earliest settlers in the county. Funeral services by Rev. Wm. M. Wells.

Obviously, this is in error.  Of all the Obits that I have found for George, this is the only one that refers to him as John.  I wonder if they confused it with the Son of George, John Blackwell of 1832 who died two years earlier.  They also have the date of death wrong; it was March 1, not March 2. 
I have a Theory that may offer a reasonable explanation how this error corrupted our historical beliefs.
The newspaper ran a promotion called LOOKING BACK 50 YEARS.  It so happened that this obituary was reprinted in that special issue.  As a result, it is quite possible that after 50 years, some Blackwells who tried to trace their genealogy picked up on this information and took it as fact.  The internet did not exist then (1930s) and doing genealogy was not as it is today.  It is easy to see how the reports and letters that came out in the 1930s listed the main Blackwell as John Blackwell.  We have since proven this to be an error.  However, even with many Blackwells thinking that George was originally named John has no variation in our History.  It only had made for an improper name, nothing more.

Note:  If it was not for the adventurous and determined spirit of George Blackwell Sr. we would never have made the move to our present roots that we enjoy today.  It was a courageous move in those days that only the brave at heart would attempt.  Many of that generation had to have that kind of attitude for the purpose of simple survival.  His sons shared the same dream and as this website will show throughout,  it was achieved as a family that was dedicated to itself as an entity as well as individuals.  A lesson we should attempt to maintain in the future.  That is why we had to be sure that we honoured the correct individual, namely, George Blackwell (10.2)

The Seal of the State of Minnesota

Douglas County:  Named for Stephen Arnold Douglas - Member of Congress from Illinois 1843-47, U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1847-61; candidate for president in 1860.  Advocated Minnesota statehood as chairman of Senate Committee on Territories.

What's in the Census:  The 1860 Census shows George Sr. (10.2) - age 59 and Henry (10.2.5) - age 20 residing together.  Family # 164 - Listed as Farmers. John (10.2.3) is shown as residing apart from his father and brother and is listed as Family # 186 - Listed his trade as a Mason. 
Census reprint seen here.

From the1860 Census
     Family No.        Name                 Age        Sex     Occupation        POB         Township
    164            Blackwell, George    59           M        Farmer            England        Act.
    164            Blackwell, Henry      20           M        Farmer            England        Act.
     186            Blackwell, J              28           M        Farmer            England        Act. 

George Blackwell 10.2 and son Henry Blackwell 10.2.5 are shown in the same household.
This is because George (10.2) resided with his son, Henry, until George's death in 1877.
John Blackwell 10.2.3 is in his own household.


General Information:
Death of George Blackwell  George Sr. 10.2 died in the house of his son, Judge Henry Blackwell.  10.2.5 (George lived with Henry in Holmes City Twps)  It is not known why one newspaper of the day called him John W. Blackwell when the 1851 Census called him George and also that is what he called himself.  His tombstone says - George Blackwell.  Signed deeds in our possession show his signature as George Blackwell in his own hand.  One obituary states his death was on March 2 when his tombstone reads March 1, 1877.  This is obviously a simple newspaper error.  Other obituaries state March 1.  His funeral was officiated by Rev. Wm. M. Wills.  Reported by the Alexandria Post in the March 16th, 1877 issue.   Died March 1, 1877.

Accurate Birth Date established   It was important to establish an accurate birth date for George as he is the topic of concern due to many errors being made in the past in who the "Main Individual" was that spearheaded the family to come to America.  For some time it was thought to be a John Blackwell born in Cheltenham in 1806.  However, we now have the facts and it takes only a little simple math to figure out.  George was actually born in Jan of 1801.  His tombstone says he died on March 1 of 1877 at the age of 76 years and 2 months.   John could have been a brother or some other relation but he was not the same person as George Blackwell of 1801 (10.2) 
(Thanks to James Blackwell for finding the documented truth about George Blackwell.)

Additional Information Documents from Litchfield, Minnesota dated 1857 show George Blackwell and a John Blackwell age 24.  The age dates are supported by the 1851 Census.  Other Blackwell's are in the area but the ages do not agree with documents.  Possibly they are related.  We know that other Blackwells were in Gloucester and they could have came out as well.  Could it be that some of them came out to America first and also were in Minnesota, causing George Sr.  and his sons to mover there?  Also, should that be the case, it could have been more of a comfort to George Sr. to leave his wife and daughters alone back in England in the care of another related Blackwell family.  We know that many Blackwells were in and around Cheltenham and other areas of Gloucester that were related.  This is just a guess based upon what would be considered normal and logical actions.  This part of the website will be covered in Phase 2.

Burial Place of George Blackwell (10.2)  George Blackwell Sr. 10.2 is buried in Van Loon Cemetery near Holmes City, MN.  Marry Barradell is not with him as she died on 12 Nov 1864 in Cheltenham, England and is buried in Shurdington, Gloucester, England  Recorded as age 68 at the time of her death.

Sources:  My thanks to Joyce Cummins in England for her valued help in confirming some important facts.
Special Thanks to James Blackwell for his work in confirming George Blackwell (10.2) as our founding father and to his brother, Ken Blackwell for his work in his research and photos that confirmed what we believed to be true.  With out the help of James and Ken, this website would not be what it is today.  My thanks to them.



"If you want to go quickly, go alone"
"If you want to go far, go together"

                                   Old African Saying