[Margaret Drew Blackburn Bell is my great-great-great-great grandmother. She is also the mother of my great-great-great granduncle, Judge William Blackburn.]

“Died, in great peace, at Santa Cruz, April 6th, Sister Margaret Bell, aged 76 years and 2 months. Sister Bell was born in Maryland, 1781, where she married Joseph Blackburn, 1807. They moved to Virginia — lived there 15 years, then moved to Ohio, where she lost her husband in 1824. After six years, she married James Bell, who died in 1835.

Soon after the death of her second husband, she moved to Illinois, where she resided till 1852, when, in order to be with her children, who had come to this land before, she left Illinois and came to California. She lived a widow 22 years.

She was a member of the M.E. Church 47 years. She was a devoted Christian. Unlike many who came to this land, she lived in constant enjoyment of the divine love — her last days were exceedingly peaceful. She attended her class but a few days before her death, where she appeared very happy, as if preparing for her home in heaven. To that home she has gone no doubt. The writer conversed with her but a short time before her death, and she gave the most satisfactory evidence of her acceptance with God, and expressed readiness to depart and be with Christ, which she thought would be far better.

While engaged in prayer with her, she praised the Lord aloud. With a calm and earnest smile she said, “The world and its things how — mighty small, But Jesus, O how precious ; here I have no continuing city, but soon I shall have a home in heaven. Praise the Lord.” Of her it may be said, “Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors and their work do follow them.”

Sister B. was remarkable for Christian tempers ; always mild, kind, and patient, evincing a Christian resignation to the will of God. She earnestly prayed for her relations who were unconverted. We hope her prayer will be answered.

She has left a large circle of relations and friends to mourn ; but they mourn not as those who have no hope. We think of her funeral, which was the largest ever witnessed in Santa Cruz, will not be soon forgotten. — A. Higbie

Santa Cruz, April 9th, ’57

Research and source notes: Deborah Sweet –
1) Per Priscilla Boswell, sub-sources (listed under notes for Margaret’s
1st husband, Joseph Blackburn)
Margaret was living in Harmony Township, Clark Co., Ohio, close to
Jacob & Mary (Drew) Ault, on the 1830 Census. There was 1 male, 5-10 yrs;
1 female, 10-15 (Maria); 1 female, 20-30 (Mary Ann); 1 female, 30-40
(Margaret). This census age for Margaret seems to be too young, as she
should be 48.
2) New info from Priscilla, June 2001
a. Obituary of Margaret Drew Blackburn Bell; dated April 9,1857
She died April 6, 1857, aged 76 years and 2 months. The obit
lists her as being born in Maryland in 1781. (Note: This is a year off of
the birth and baptism recorded in the church records.) She married Joseph
Blackburn 1807in Maryland. They lived in Virginia for 15 years and then
moved to Ohio where she lost her husband in 1824. In 1830, she married
James Bell who died in 1835. Soon after his death, she moved to Illinois
where she resided until 1852. She then left for Santa Cruz, CA to be with
her children.
b. Denise Castellucci writes: “We have a copy of a diary that was
written by Margaret’s grandson, Joseph W. Morgan dated May 23, 1849. He
wrote that he was in Oquawka, Henderson Co., Ill. learning his trade as a
blacksmith with Joshua Dough for 10 months. Dough then left for
California. Joseph Morgan then went to work with Dough’s brothers in
Burlington, Iowa on March 25, 1850. He worked there a year and a half,
then returned to Oquawka. On May 5th, 1852, he writes that they left
Oquawka and camped in South Henderson. On October 24, 1852, they arrived
in Santa Cruz, CA. Given the date of the diary and the date the obituary
has her coming out to Santa Cruz, I believe Margaret made this journey
with the Morgan Family, even though the diary doesn’t list who came with
him. He does write that ” ‘we’made the trip”.
Priscilla cites: Family Roots by Catherine Schilder
Clark Co. Ohio Marriage Records 1818-1865
1830 Clark Co. Ohis Census, Harmony Twp. p.106
Denise Castelluci queries posted May 8, 1998 on
Genforum, and direct e-mail from same.
Joseph Blackburn Clan webpage

Christening: March 16, 1782, Evangelical Reformed/Lutheran Church, Frederick, Frederick Co., Maryland

2. i. MARY ANN2 BLACKBURN, b. 1812, Virginia; d. WFT Est. 1851-1907.
3. ii. WILLIAM BLACKBURN, b. February 14, 1814, Harpers Ferry, Berkeley County, Virginia; d. March 25, 1867, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co., California.
4. iii. DANIEL DREW BLACKBURN, b. April 08, 1816; d. WFT Est. 1817-1906.
5. iv. MARIA A. BLACKBURN, b. Abt. 1817, Harpers Ferry, Berkeley County, Virginia; d. WFT Est. 1819-1912.
v. JAMES HANSON BLACKBURN1, b. September 08, 1820, Harpers Ferry, Berkeley County, Virginia1; d. Aft. 1883, Watsonville, Santa Cruz Co., California1.
6. vi. JACOB A. BLACKBURN, b. June 12, 1823, Springfield, Clark County, Ohio; d. January 23, 1898, Watsonville?.