Blackwell Genealogy    John Blackwell 10.2.3  1832 - 1875

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                          12th Generation



                John Blackwell
                                         1832 - 1875

                            Children and Descendants of John Blackwell    Descendants of John Blackwell    Kenneth George Blackwell

12th Generation
10.2.3 John Blackwell   
b. 4   Jan 1832  Cheltenham, Gloucester, England
d. 24 May 1875  Litchfield, Meeker, Minnesota, USA.
Married:  11 Jun 1862
Mary Jane McGannon                                    

b.   8 Jul  1842  Vernon, Jennings, In.
d. 28 May 1929  Providence, Providence, R.I. 


It is very interesting to note that Mary Jane's husband, John Blackwell died on the 24th of May in 1875.
The next day, the 25th of May of 1875, her father, John McGannon, also passed away.  Both, in Litchfield, MN.
It must have been a terrible time for Mary Jane.

13th Generation

Children of John Blackwell (10.2.3) and Mary Jane McGannon
Minnie Blackwell
Addie Blackwell      (Also see VanLoon and Henry Blackwell pages)
Mary Blackwell       (See Downing Page for details on Mary Josephine Blackwell)
George Blackwell
John Blackwell       

Children and Descendants of John Blackwell    Descendants of John Blackwell    Kenneth George Blackwell

Note:  It has been noted that a number of initials kept appearing in the name of Mary Jane McGannon.
I could never understand this until I finally got it from another source.
Her full name is  ...... Mary Jane Taylor Finley Henry Carney McGannon    This is quite a name, especially for a female.

More Information
John Blackwell was born on 4 Jan 1832 in Cheltenham, Gloucester, England.  He and his brother George Jr. (10.2.4) left for Canada in 1849.  They are noted to be in Canada in 1850.  We know it was Montreal that they spent some time in before moving to Ontario as it was noted that they plastered a Cathedral in Montreal.  Also, George Jr. was a Head Butler in Montreal.  In England, he had the position of assistant butler so he had excellent training for the role.   In 1851 (just after the 1851 British Census) George Sr. [10.2] and young son, Henry [10.2.5] arrived in New York.  George Sr. went to Canada not long afterward but Henry stayed in New York until 1854 and joined the rest of the family there.  They then all left for Huron County, Ontario in Canada.  Land was purchased in Huron County by the family (records indicate by John).  
They later moved to Minnesota's Meeker Co.(1857) but George Jr.(10.2.4) later returned to Canada in (1864).
John became the Superintendent of Schools in Meeker County, MN.

We know from land documents that they were buying land in Minnesota in 1857.  John was a mason by trade but found little work in his new home of Litchfield, Minnesota.  He bought a farm and tended to it during the summer and taught school in the winter.  He married Mary Jane McGannon on 11 June 1862.  Mary Jane was born 8 July 1842 in Jennings, Indiana.  Her Father was John McGannon and her Mother was Mary Carney.  (photos)  They were natives of Virginia and Kentucky, respectively.  John and Mary Jane moved to their farm shortly after their marriage.

Their lives were interrupted by the Indian War soon after, and on 17 August 1862, John formed a posse to go to the houses of Jones and Baker to assist the wounded, if any, after an Indian attack.  During this investigation they were fired upon by Indians but they scattered soon after and no injuries were noted.   While searching the remains of one of the homes, a small child was found by John and was removed to safety.  Sometime after this, he went to Anoka with his young wife and remained there until 1865.  He later returned to Ripley (now Litchfield) and opened a music store.  He was very musical and was also fluent in French.  This was ideal for his school teaching years in Minnesota.

Note:  The Jones and Bakers were friends of the Blackwells.  Read the short but interesting article on the uprisings beginning and you will have a better understanding of what John could have encountered. 
(See Dakota Uprising)

The Attack on the Jones & Bakers
Why the Indians went to War
The Dakota Conflict
Almost a Massacre
Bravery saved a Town

John Blackwell and Family
The Children of John Blackwell and Mary Jane McGannon are listed below.

In his career John Blackwell held many offices in the township and was considered an extremely honest and respectable man.  John died on 24 May 1875 of Rheumatism of the heart.  He left five children  -  Minnie, wife of F. P. Olney of Litchfield:   Mary J. (Mrs. Charles Downing of Minneapolis):   Addie, George, and John Jr. were still at home.

                  John Blackwell 
                    1832  -  1875
Photo by: Mary Jane Wilkins - Blackwell
                Click to Enlarge


The 1860 Census shows the family listed as follows:

FAM #               NAME              AGE      SEX   OCC.          CO/ORIG       TWP  

164            Geo Blackwell             59         M      Farmer          England         Acton
164         Henry Blackwell            20         M      Farmer          England         Acton      
164             J. Blackwell                28         M      Mason          England         Acton    


The 1870 Census shows the family listed as follows:

FAMILY #   NAME                    AGE    SEX     OCCUP        COUNTRY/ORIGIN       TWP
68            Addie Blackwell            4         F                                              MN                        Lfld
68            George H Blackwell       0        M                                             MN                        Lfld
68            John Blackwell             30        M      Reg Deeds                England                    Lfld
68            Josephine Blackwell      1        F                                              MN                        Lfld
68            Mary Blackwell            27        F            HK                            IND                        Lfld
68            Minnie Blackwell           6        F                                              MN                        Lfld
Note:  The Mary shown in the 1870 Census is actually Mary Jane McGannon


 The 1875 Census shows the family listed as follows:

Family #        Name                Age   Sex    P.O.B.    F.P.O.B.     M.P.O.B      TWP
    169.........Ada Blackwell..........9......F........MN.........England......Indiana.... ..Lfld
    169.........George Blackwell.....5......M......MN....... .England......Indiana...... Lfld
    169.........Inda? Blackwell........7......F........MN....... .England......Indiana...... Lfld
    169.........John Blackwell........43.....M......England..England......England..... Lfld
    169.........John M Blackwell....4......M.......MN....... .England......Indiana.... ..Lfld
    169.........Mary Blackwell.......33......F.......Indiana...Virginia......Kentucky.... Lfld
    169.........Minnie Blackwell.....11.....F........MN....... .England......Indiana.......Lfld

In the 1870 Census a misprint for John Blackwell's age is shown as age 30.
It should have been 37 or 38 depending on what month Census taken.
There is a 3 year difference between the ages of John Blackwell and Mary Jane McGannon.  

Second Marriage of Mary Jane McGannon

After John's death, Mary Jane remarried on 7 January 1881 to Mr. Frank Belfoy.  Mr. Belfoy was a lawyer by profession and a native of Prescott, Ontario, Canada.  He was born on 1 November 1827.  He came to Forest City in 1868 and there established the pioneer journal of Meeker County called "The News".  He edited this paper and also carried on his legal practice.  In 1869 he removed to Litchfield and in 1874 he sold the newspaper to Daggett & Joubert.  He then dedicated himself to his legal practice.  He died on 16 July 1881.
He and Mary Jane had one child; 
Frank Belfoy Jr. who lived at home with his surviving parent.
Mary Jane died in 1929.

Meeker County
Named for Bradley B. Meeker.
Associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, 1849-53.
Member of the territorial legislature, 1851
Member of the constitutional convention of 1857.

Information on Mary Jame McGannon

The Second Marriage of Mary Jane McGannon - Blackwell

Married:  Frank Belfoy
b.  1 Nov 1827
d. 16 Jul 1881

Married:  7 Jan 1881

They had one child:
Frank Belfoy Jr.
b. Abt Jan 1882
d. unknown

Meeker County
Named for Bradley B. Meeker.
Associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, 1849-53.
Member of the territorial legislature, 1851
Member of the constitutional convention of 1857. 


Time Line
It was John 10.2.3 and his brother George 10.2.4 that left England in 1849.
Their father, George 10.2 left just after the census was taken in 1851 along with his young son, Henry 10.2.5, age 11 at the time.   We know John and George Jr. arrived in Montreal in 1849.   George Sr. and Henry arrived in New York. in 1851.  George Sr. soon went to Canada while Henry stayed on in New York.
Henry later moved to Canada in 1854.  At this time, they headed for Minnesota as a family.

See what George Sr. and Henry saw - NY Photo Album


To Continue to the Next member of the George Blackwell Family - Next
Elizabeth - Sophia - John - George Jr. - Henry - William