Monday, May 22, 2017

John BLANDFORD/BLANFORD 1611-1687, From England to Massachusetts

John BLANFORD, sometimes written as BLANDFORD, is the 8th great-grandfather of my ex-husband, 9th great-grandfather to our children, and 10th great-grandfather to the grandchildren! He is an end-of-line ancestor on our LEWIS-RICE family tree.

We do not have an exact birth date for John, mainly because we are not certain exactly where he was born. A number of people believe he was born in or near Sutton Mandeville in Wiltshire England. The church pictured here, All Saints, dates from 1270, and is still in use, with a fairly small parish. The surname BLANFORD is generally considered a locational surname, referring to the name of a place, but there are other possibilities. Click on this link for a brief explanation. Since he is listed as 27 years on the ship list, described below, he was likely born in 1611 plus or minus a year.

The first mention we have of him is on the ship, Confidence, as listed on Olive Tree Genealogy website, Ships lists:
CONFIDENCE, of London, two hundred tons, John Gibson, Master. She salled from Southampton the last of April, "by vertue of the Lord Treasurers warrant of the 11th of April,1638."

On this ships list, John, aged 27, is listed as "his servant" along with two other young men, in reference to coming with a wealthy linen merchant, Walter Haynes and his family, of Sutton Mansfield [Mandeville], Wiltshire. This is of course a clue to John's possible birthplace in Wiltshire. Note that a descendant of John BLANFORD married a descendant of Walter HAYNES, leading directly to the RICE line. They all braided together, a not uncommon occurrence in early settlements.

Before the time John was 30, he had acreage in Sudbury, and he married Mary ___ [unknown], likely in Sudbury, Massachusetts. To date, we are not certain who Mary was, in this early time of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Over 20,000 immigrants, mainly Puritans from England, came to the region in the 1630s.

Unfortunately, Mary is seen in the Sudbury town vital records to have died April 10, 1641 in Sudbury, likely in childbirth, although that information is not given. It is possible that John and Mary had a daughter named Mary born approximately 1639, but it is not confirmed as yet. On the other hand, there is confusion in these vital records re John and Mary's daughter, Sarah, whose birthday is given as Jan 2, 1642, parents named as John and Mary. This may be a confusion in transcriptions or possibly in writing down the old/new dates issue. Sarah is the direct ancestor here, so I am continuing to search for more details of which of John's wives was her mother. Currently, on logical analysis, it seems most likely Dorothie was her mother, and the transcription was incorrect listing Mary as her mother.

Children of John and Mary:
   1.  Mary? b. abt 1639, d. Feb 1676 Framingham MA; m. 1) Oct 5, 1652 to Jonathan Paddleford; 2) Oct 5 1663 to Thomas Eames.  Not proven.
   2.  Sarah [ancestor], b. Nov 27, 1642 [?], d. March 16, 1724/25 Ashburnham MA; m. 1) Sep 11, 1665 to Elias/Elijah KEYES d. bef 1679,  5 children; m. 2) abt 1679 to John Maynard, 3 children.

After his first wife's death, John married a widow, Mrs. Dorothie Wright [unknown surname], on March 10, 1641/42 [1642], as seen in records in Sudbury MA vital records [transcribed].
Children of John and Dorothie, all born in Sudbury MA:
   2. or is Sarah their first child? b. Nov 27, 1642, d. March 16, 1724/25 Ashburnham MA; m. 1) Sep 11, 1665 to Elias/Elijah KEYES d. bef 1679,  5 children; m. 2) abt 1679 to John Maynard, 3 children.  The record below was a Sudbury MA record sent to Boston with other early MA vital records:

   3.  Hannah, b. Mar 7, 1643/44, m. Dec 23, 1667 to Javits "Jabez" Brown; no further research done
   4.  John jr, b. Mar 6, 1645/46, d. Nov 18, 1719 Sudbury; no further research done
   5.  Lydia, b. Jan 28, 1646/47; no further research done
   6.  Stephen, b. Dec 3, 1649, d. abt Feb 28 1699/00; m. Jun 9, 1682 to Susannah Long; 2 children known
   5.  Thomas, b. abt 1651; no further research done

The Sudbury Archives hold many documents re John BLANFORD, including listings of Sudbury land grants, land adjustments, and various town issues such as sizing the town commons, naming constables, naming surveyors for different purposes. This excellent resource also provides historical context and editor notes to each document, if/as indicated.

John died on Oct 23rd, 1687, in Sudbury, aged 76 years old. His wife, Dorothie lived until some time before 21 June 1703.  In John's will, his inventory of goods and lands amounted to approximately £167  I still need to write out the will, having just found it, along with his wife, Dorothie's will and inventory; her inventory valued at just over £41. Below is a snippet of John's will, which is several pages long, including inventory and probate, plus witness statements.

And what did I realize as I went through researching Sudbury?  That a number of the names on the list of early settlers in Sudbury intermarried and ended up in the RICE line. Somehow I hadn't noticed that when I first started researching John BLANFORD. Blind, clearly. One of the reasons I write on individuals is that I always learn something more about the ancestors, the resources, the quality of sources, and mapping. Some of the surnames are: RICE, NOYES, KEYES, HAYNES, BENT, HOW, KING, GOODENOW. They all show up within 5 generations.

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If any of these are ancestors of yours, I would be happy to hear from you with your comments or corrected information. I am also very happy to share any details I might have that are not shown on this post. Contact information is found at the very bottom of this blog.

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis