The progenitor of the Blackburns came from England in colonial times according to the History of San Luis Obispo (1883). Joseph Blackburn was born at Charleston, Kenawa County, Virginia in 1788. Joseph married Margaret Drew in 1807 in Maryland. Margaret Drew was born on February 06, 1782 in Washington Co., Maryland, and was the daughter of Michael Drew and Elizabeth Woolfe. They moved to Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, Virginia. Biographies of his sons list him being born in Virginia, but may have been West Virginia at the time of his birth. Joseph served in the War of 1812 (the year his eldest daughter, Mary Ann was born) and was wounded at the battle of Fort McHenry, in the desperate defense of the city of Baltimore in 1814 (the year his son, Judge William Blackburn, was born), when the British were repulsed and their invasion thwarted. Joseph was a butcher by trade. In 1822, Joseph and his family moved to Springfield, Clark County, Ohio. The Alt family story is that he drowned in St. Mary’s River, Michigan abt. 1825. Margaret Drew Blackburn Bell’s obituary says that he died in 1824. Per Patricia Boswell, there is a will on file in Clark County for a Joseph Blackburn.

Notes for JOSEPH BLACKBURN:Family lived in Harper’s Ferry, Jefferson, VA until 1822 when they moved to . was a Butcher by trade and he Research and source notes: Deborah Sweet -1) Per Pricilla Boswell, with sub-sources:1)”Family Roots” by Catherine Schilder, 2)Clark Co. Ohio Marriage Records 1818-1865, 3)1830 Clark Co. Ohio Census, 4)Denise Castellucci queries, Genforum, posted5/8/1998.The Alt family story is that he was a Butcher by trade and he drowned in St. Mary’s River, Michigan abt. 1825.Later info from Priscilla gives the death dates and place as shown.2) Deborah Sweet – note – born in Charleston, Kenawha Co., Virginia – Priscilla has this as Virginia. It may simply be a slip, as this is actually located in West Virginia. It is possible that at one time, perhaps before West Virginia was formed as a separate state, it was located in Virginia. I need to double check with her about this.

3) Per Priscilla – there is an 1824 will on file in Clark Co., Ohio for Joseph Blackburn

James Hanson Blackburn[Much of the information here was taken from a biography in History of San Luis Obispo (1883)]
James Hanson Blackburn was born on September 8, 1820 in Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, Virginia. His parents were Joseph Blackburn and Margaret Drew.

In 1822, when he was only two years old, his family moved to Springfield, Clark County, Ohio. His father, Joseph, died two years later. This left his family dependant on their mother Margaret to support them with little help from the older children.

The struggle was necessarily a hard one, but such as laid the foundation of a future character of self-reliance, frugality, industry and forethought upon a natural energy and inate principles of right.”

James lived in Logan County, Kentucky about 1834 to 1837 to attend school. In 1837, he moved to Oquakee, Illinois where most of his family lived, including his brother Daniel Drew Blackburn. His brother worked as a carpenter at the time. At age 17, he also worked as a carpenter although he never served an apprenticeship to the trade. Instead he became handy enough with the tools and working with his brother while going to school acquiring a fair education. (more…)

[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.


[This is my great-grandmother, Ethel Gertrude Redding/Redden’s side of the family from Nova Scotia.]

One of the most elusive ancestors of mine is Catherine Anna Barbara Ruppert who was born in 1775 who ended up in Nova Scotia and marrying John Jacob Hiltz in February 24, 1794 or prior to 1807. She is listed as Susanna Barkhouse, or Susanna Ruppert. This ancestor is the mother of Anna [Catherine] Barbara Hiltz (b. July 1801) who married John Redden (b. November 9, 1799). John Redden is my great-grandmother’s great-grandfather.

Susanna is also listed as Anna, Catherine, or Barbara for a given name. She is even listed as Anna Barbara ROBAR in a Lunenburg marriage record to John Jacob Hiltz. Almost everywhere I look there is conflicting information.



Louisa Bond

From the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, they list the passenger list for the ship the Gale [apparently their source is Kaulbeck, Ruth E., The Historic Saga of LeHeve (LeHave), Lower Sackville, NS, 1970, pp 86-87.] , which departed from Rotterdam on June 9, 1752. The ship arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 6, 1752. The master on the ship was Thomas Casson. Why is this important? Because it lists a Christop Naks as one of the passengers and a Palatinate Farmer. According to

"I believe passenger Christoph Naks is actually Johann Christopher Naas,
born September 8, 1728.  He settled in Chester, Lunenburg County,
Nova Scotia, Canada; married Elizabeth Westhaver and had 7 children.
He died June 24, 1802, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada.  He was my


maryann, originally uploaded by denisecastellucci.

Mary Ann Blackburn Morgan is my great-great-great grandmother, who was the sister of Judge William Blackburn. She was born about 1811 or 1812 in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Her family moved to Springfield, Ohio in Clark County in 1822.
Then they moved to Oquakee, Henderson County in Illinois.

Judge William Blackburn Judge William Blackburn is my great-great granduncle on my maternal grandmother’s side. He was the younger brother of my great-great grandmother, Mary Ann Blackburn. William was born to Joseph Blackburn and Margaret Drew on February 14th, 1814 in Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, Virginia. He was the oldest brother of Daniel Drew Blackburn, Maria A. Blackburn, James Hanson Blackburn, and Jacob A. Blackburn. Of my ancestors, Judge William Blackburn has much written about him as he was truly a remarkable man.

William Blackburn was 6’4″ and was described as “gentle and good humored.” Some called him, a “peppery judge.” He was able to rise in stature with limited education and terse common sense. In the book Pioneer Times In California, Judge Blackburn was described as a person who looked dignified, but had a sense of humor. 
“He was very tall in person, and very dignified in his aspect. To look at him you could hardly fancy that he ever laughed, yet beneath this appearance of austere diginity lurked the most uncontrollable desire to create merriment and fun. He was a sharp, and naturally witty, and had a keen sense of the ridiculous. His opponents always feared him, for in controversy he was sure to give them some cut, when it was least expected, that would put them in the most ridiculous point of view, and, while doing this, not a smile would disturb his own absurd dignity.”

As a young man, he spent some time as a cabinetmaker in New Orleans before arriving in Branciforte, California in 1845 with the Swasey-Todd Party. According to James Gregson, William Blackburn met up with the Greenwood Party at Fort Hall in 1845 travelling with pack horses. The cost of joining the Greenwood party was $2.50 per person. 

He settled briefly in Zayante, California (Rancho Zayante which is in the present Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park). He went to work in Santa Cruz as a lumberman, and was a witness at a trial of Williams for killing Naile in April 1946.

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