For well over fifty years, I have given considerable attention to the gathering of historical data which pertains to the 'roots' of those belonging specifically to the Edward Blacker Family Organization. This organization was formed well over 50 years ago by most of the then living children of Edward Blacker. He was born in 1851, Cwmtillery, Monmouthshire, England and died in 1910 in Afton, Wyoming at the young age of 59 years. One of the first, if not the very first, meetings of the family following its official organization, was held on the shores of Bear Lake in Idaho in 1930. Unofficially they had often met before.
The fact is that all the children of this couple - - Edward and Althera Loveday Blacker, after whom the organization was named, were members of the LDS, or Mormon Church. There was no exception to the understanding that it was a family's responsibility to gather the family's genealogy and history.
At a subsequent reunion, in 1937, which had become an annual business and social gathering, my wife, Mabel and I were assigned by the organization to become the family genealogical representatives. Our assignment was to take the initiative in gathering such data which might be peculiar to the families involved.
Undoubtedly, the reason for our being called to such an important assignment was the fact that in February of 1930, following my two years service in the British Mission, I had been given the privilege of traveling to the lands of my ancestors. My father and mother requested that I go to both their ancestral homes and glean what genealogical data I could. They sent an additional $50 check, which had to have been a real sacrifice to them, after already, during the two years, having sent me twenty four such checks, to sustain me on my mission. These were very hard years financially at our home. Fortunately, and they were aware of the fact, visits to both ancestral areas could be made in one trip. I would travel through Gloucestershire, my mother's area, to reach both Somersetshire and Wales, my father's ancestral areas.
We shall never be able to show enough appreciation to our family organization for their continuing our assignment through the years. We treasured the experience, for we were interested and while we, often, informed the group that any time they felt they should release us, most of the family seemed satisfied with what we were doing and asked us to continue.
During those years, we have received a great satisfaction and have been fortunate to have gathered considerable material which we feel obligated to share. While we did considerable research on our own, the area for searching was in England. We soon found, that in many instances, it was more practical to hire professional researchers. The family organization then set up a research budget whereby a few hundred dollars were raised each year for professional research work expense. Our obligation thereafter, certainly, was to share the results. Family members, particularly those who contributed, were hence entitled to any data, which may have come to our files. Hopefully, through this history, all family members may benefit.
Also, hopefully, this account can be made interesting to any reader. Relating the story will not be simple, for a family over several generations becomes greatly scattered and some branches actually disappear from our story for the simple reason that contact is lost.
The intent is to primarily deal with the direct line following the pedigree of the Edward Blacker Family Organization. Full attention is hardly possible to every allied line, which touches the Blacker pedigree. We are well aware that each individual of the present day has inherited traits equally from his or her maternal ancestor of the same generation, as he or she has from the paternal ancestor.
What I am attempting to say is that historically, more attention in this story will be given to the Blacker surname families up and down the family tree, than, in the instance of the Loveday surname or a generation earlier thru the Danks, or the Powells or the Bowditch etc., etc. Each of these ancestral lines assisted in making the present generation what we are as much, so as the Blacker ancestors. This does not mean discrimination but, rather, that full discussion on these allied lines must have more space than can be allowed here. Hopefully, somebody will pick up the gauntlet and write a history of one of these other families and someone else another family until posterity has a chance to learn of all ancestral lines back for at least a few generations.
While researching our direct line of ancestry, we have encountered other Blacker families with no presently found connections. The fact that the Blacker surname is not a common name, leads us to attempt to find a connection. In a case or two, even after our failure to attach our Blacker strain to theirs, we feel it will be of interest to spend a little time in this story to introduce them and to relate the experiences of our getting acquainted. Certainly we have had our lives enriched by our contact with representatives of these fine families from wherever. Mainly, correspondence has played a part in our contacts, rather than personal visits but, regardless, we have never found one who was not willing to share the valuable information they have given of their families.
With so many sources supplying information which will make up this limited family history, there is great danger of the reader becoming confused with its ramifications, for following this story will be much like watching a three-ring circus. Sequence of time and to which family or person the event will apply - - whether directly related or not - - will be pointed out as carefully as possible. Perhaps, at times, seeming repetitions may be better than to leave a misunderstanding.
Approaching the overall story with its crux being Edward Blacker, from whom our immediate family organization gets its name, most of the data will go back in time from his birth date, 1851. Though research we follow back to approximately 1650. Other than the direct line where information is available, a few related lines will be reviewed for certainly closely related families will be most important to us.
It is with regret that most of our correspondents, who have supplied the great bulk of family data which will be contained in this account, are no longer alive. Some were contributing as early as the 1920s and 1930s while others were more recent. With my now approachment of 75 years of age, an obligation of sharing what has been in our files over the years, is resting uncomfortably heavy. In sharing, appreciation must be extended to William Blacker of Penrhiwceiber, Wales; Mary Blacker Watson of Mountain Ash, Wales; Fannie A. Blacker of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Florence Blacker Fielding of St. Clair, Pennsylvania, Frederick Blacker of Clutton, Somersetshire, England and Colonel Roland W. Pinger of Berkeley, California. The latter is a son-in-law to the Blacker family, the husband of Miriam Blacker, a cousin to Florence Fielding. Both Mirium and Florence were cousins to Grandpa Edward Blacker. Col. Pinger was a man of note at the University of California, Berkeley, and is credited for organizing the department on military science and tactics. At one time he was held for 37 days by bandits in China while on army duty there. The entire Blacker family never had a more dedicated friend.
With unquestioned relationship, but which has never been proven, is Mrs. J. E. (Beatrice) Blacker of Bega, New South Wales, Australia. She is now deceased, and was an in-law to her Blacker family. Also, in the same category as Beatrice's family (both families originating - - but separately - - from our common ancestral home-town, Clutton) is Rowland Blacker, also now long deceased who lived in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Also deceased, but from a Blacker family of whom we know of no relationship, is Major Latham C. M. Blacker representing a Blacker family of some note, of Carrickblacker, County Armagh, Ireland. His family, also, has a prominent branch in County Wexford in south Ireland, mostly contemporary with the other Blackers of north Ireland, just mentioned. Also, from the history of these families, we have been introduced to their ancestral home and allied families of Yorkshire, England, who stem back for a certainty to as early as 1300 A. D.
Also, now long deceased is Mrs. Kate Blacker, widow of a Dr. Blacker of Bristol, Gloucestershire, England - - no proven relationship - - from whom I received a valuable printed copy of the history of the last two above mentioned families of Ireland - - its receipt being in 1940. Ten years earlier I had typed a borrowed copy direct from that family. More details of these matters will be forthcoming.
Now, to those who probably are still living and to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for contributions are, Stanley Blacker, son of the above mentioned Beatrice and her husband, John, of Australia. Also Rowland Blacker a nephew of the above mentioned deceased Rowland who lived in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Both these men, Stanley and Rowland, corresponded and supplied family data. With Stanley's aid, over 50 family group sheets were started of his family and progenitors. There exists, almost a certainty, of relationship to these last mentioned men as evidences will be presented in the forthcoming story. Regrettably it is now (1983) 25 to 30 years since there has been correspondence, but they each are of the age where it is entirely possible they are still living.
Our acknowledgement and gratitude goes to Jim and Hazel Blacker of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, who have assisted with data from their families. Jim's grandfather, James, who came to America in 1854 when he was 17 years of age, was a brother to my generation's great-grandfather, John Blacker. Family charts in the up-coming story will show the relationship more clearly. For the past ten years we have continued regular correspondence with Jim and Hazel.
Also, appreciation is extended to the many of you who have provided us with family data for family charts and for your encouraging letters. Our thanks is also extended to our daughters, Beth, for the design and lettering of the cover, Ruth and Mary for corrective editing, to Lois for her binding these pages together with her office equipment and also, my wife, Mabel for the many suggestions toward the completion of this history.
It is hoped this history will be helpful to family members of the present and future generations to more clearly visualize and appreciate our family, particularly, of the past generations who have contributed so much to our lives and our living conditions what they are today.