The Man who brought our Blackwell Family out
John Blackwell 1775
George Blackwell 1801
Children of George Blackwell
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George Blackwell Jr.
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George Blackwell 10.2 1801
Primary Family are the four sons and two daughters of George and Mary.
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)
Mar. 1824 Cowley, Gloucester, England Parish of
Badgeworth (Near Cheltenham)
Withington, Gloucester, England
View 1851 Census Report on the Blackwell
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
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
Children of George Blackwell 10.2 and Mary Barradell
The Children of George Blackwell 10.2 and Mary Barradell
Children of George Blackwell
(10.2) and Mary Barradell
Complete Name is James William Blackwell
Death of George Blackwell
Mary Blackwell - nee Barradell
Click to Enlarge
b, 1797 d. 1864
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
family. He almost succeeded.
Because of this, I have included
of the initial story in a brief overview in
show the effort and heartbreak
that was involved.
Note: 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.)
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
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
the form of hardship, loneliness and
physical labour. However, we Blackwell's
of today, and the related families
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.
1849 the two eldest sons, John 10.2.3 and George Jr. 10.2.4 who were 17 and 15
years of age respectively,
England by Ship. We think they set
sail from Liverpool as it was the common departure point at that time.
arrived in Montreal.
This exodus explains why these two individuals did not show
up in the 1851 Census
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
almost immediately to be with his two older sons.
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
father and brothers in Canada. We understand the two older boys
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
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.
with Henry in Douglas County. This is supported by a letter written and
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.
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
in England, Mary Barradell - Blackwell and the remaining children,
(10.2.1) the eldest child of the family and
Sophia (10.2.2) the next
the young adopted son,
who was six years of age at
the time (1851),
remained in England
to continue on until it was time
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
She finally died in the fall of 1864 (LCB) and a short
later, possibly in 1865, Elizabeth
also passed away. (LCB) That left Sophia and
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,
Henry Blackwell, George Blackwell Jr. and their father, George
Sr. were well
established in Minnesota. It is believed that Sophia
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
Document: Land Purchase in the District of Alexandria, MN
- Click to enlarge photo - Image 1
The Indians also had some ideas of their own.
Many families had been slaughtered on their
and the rest had to take
shelter for a considerable time in the fortified towns.
The Indians were
the un-kept promises that the Government had made and
act. The slaughter was terrible. The Blackwells were in the thick
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
Amanda Van Loon and raised a large family in the Holmes City area. Sophia
William 10.2.6 came to Minnesota sometime after 1866 and prior to
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
He died in 1917 in Puyallup, Washington. (LCB)
Dated May 20, 1868
Shows original signature of George Blackwell (10.2)
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
Blackwell Lake, Holmes City, MN.
Blackwell Lake is named after George Sr. or his
son Henry Blackwell
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
Map Drawings he prepared as well as
other positions he held with both the State and Civic Government.
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.
Cheltenham 1851 Census - Blackwell
Age Occupation Birth Place
Elizabeth Blackwell 24
Henry Blackwell 11
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
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.
To see a small review on Cheltenham,
The home of the Blackwells during the 1851 Census
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
common use after 1840 in England.
English Locations important to the Blackwells
Trinity of Badgeworth Parish of Brimsfield Parish of Withington
Sophia Blackwell Geo. Blackwell Sr.
VanLoon Cemetery George
Photos of Cemetery and Tombstone by Ken Blackwell
Inscription on Tombstone
of George Blackwell 10.2
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.
The Alexandria Post,
Post: Alexandria, Douglas County, Minnesota
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
The deceased was a most
estimable citizen and one of the earliest settlers in the county. Funeral
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Blackwell, George 59
Blackwell, Henry 20
Blackwell, J 28 M
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
John Blackwell 10.2.3 is in his own household.
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
is what he called himself.
His tombstone says - George Blackwell.
Signed deeds in our possession show his signature as
George Blackwell in his own
One obituary states his death was on March 2 when his tombstone reads March 1,
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
For some time it was thought to be a John Blackwell born in
Cheltenham in 1806. However, we now have the facts and it
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 10.2.3.4.1.1.2) for finding the documented truth about
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
area but the ages do not
agree with documents. Possibly they
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
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
of Gloucester that were related. This is just a guess based upon what would be considered normal and
part of the website will be covered in Phase 2.
Burial Place of George Blackwell
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
Gloucester, England Recorded as age
68 at the time of her death.
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