Brothers Leave Clutton
Clutton had been the home of our particular Blacker family
from approximately 1650 of which we have record - we do not know
how much earlier - to the period of which we have been
discussing, approximately 200 years. The children of George
Blacker and Elizabeth Bowditch, throughout the decades of the
1820s, the 1830s and the 1840s - during the latter part of which their son
John had moved his family to Monmouthshire - were born, grown up
and for the most part had married. See the family chart
The information in this box is a representation of the chart mentioned above. The following paragraph taken from Chapter 7 will help explain where the information came from.
"Already this story has mentioned any number of folk whose acquaintances would never have been made were it not for an early interest in family history and genealogy. Such men and women as Uncle William of Penrhiwceiber and Aunt Mary Watkins of Mountain Ash and members of their families in South Wales and others such as Frederick Blacker of Clutton, of Beatrice and Stanley Blacker of Bega, Australia, of Fannie Blacker and Florence Blacker Fielding of Pennsylvania, of the two Rowland Blackers of Canada, of Lillian Blankenship and Helen and Dorothy Blacker of Berkeley, California, of Jim and Hazel Blacker of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, of Reid and Jean Blacker of LaGrande, Oregon and possibly others plus now Roland W. Pinger, his wife, Miriam Blacker Pinger and of late their daughter, Barbara Ann Doyle of Berkeley, California. Each of these has contributed to the data of this story, plus members of the Edward Blacker Family organization who number well into the hundreds upon hundreds."
The information contributed by the family members was based upon ther memories of what others had told them. Since then I have been able to search origial documents such as birth, christening, marriage, immigration and census records to correct some of the information. The corrections are shown in bolded text.
Ruth Blacker Waite, 2017
George Blacker (4 March 1795, Cameley - 10 May 1874, Clutton) = Elizabeth Bowditch ( 11 December 1793, Timsbury - 12 May 1865, Clutton)
Researchers for the Blacker Family Organization told the family that Elizabeth was christened in Timbsbury. However I have searched the Timbsbury Parish registers and Bishop's transcript and have not been able to a find any proof that she or any other Bowdich's (Bowditch, Bowdige or Bowdidick) were christened there from 1760 to 1800. I have also searched the records in the Cameley, Clutton, Chelwood and Bristol parishes with no success. In the 1851 census she claimed that she was born in Clutton and the 1861 census she said Timsbury. I have found no proof in any church or civil records that her surname was Bowdich, except a letter from Frederick Blacker written in Clutton on 9 February 1940 to Loyn Blacker. In the letter Frederick claims to have photos of George Blacker, his wife Elizabeth nee Bowditch and their son Charles Bowditch Blacker. I have found no proof, thus far that she is the daughter of John Bowditch and Joyce Cheivers
- John (1818, Clutton) = Maria Gould: Moved to Monmouthshire, then in Wales, about 1847-1848. Monmouthshire was sometimes listed as part of Wales and at other times part of England.
- George (1821, Clutton) = Martha Evans: Followed John to Wales after 10 years. In the 1880 left for U.S. with sons , William and Albert.
- Tobias (1823, Clutton) = Catherine Griffiths: Seems to have remained in Clutton. No evidence to the contrary. Tobias and Catherine Griffiths were married 3 September 1848 in Lambeth, Surrey, England (near London). They were still there in the 1851 and 1861 census. In the 1871 census they were in the civil parish of St. Michaels in Bristol, Gloucestershire. By 1881 they had moved to Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
- William (1826, Clutton) = Sarah: With wife and two daughters moved to the U.S. in the summer of 1854. Later moved to Nova Scotia and returned to U.S. William married Sarah James on 13 December 1846 in Aberystruth, Monmouthshire, Wales. In the 1851 census they were living Llangattock, Breconshire, Wales. On 7 July 1854 thay arrived in New York aboard the ship Tempest, with their daughters Margaret and Elizabeth. In 1860 they were in St. Clair, Pennsylvania with daughters Martha and Elizabeth and a son James. William's brother James was also living with them. By 1871 they had moved to Hopewell, Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada where their youngest daughter Florence was born. In 1874 William sent money to William Henry Blacker, owner of Blacker Monumental Works in Clutton, to have his father's headstone completed and cleaned. In 1880 they had moved to Shenandoah, Pnnsylvania.
- Mary (1827, Clutton) = MacConey: Married and went with husband to Dublin, Ireland. I have not found a marriage for Mary or any proof of her moving to Dublin. I did find that she had a daughter out of wedlock that she named Mary in 1851 in Bristol. Family sources say that the daughter was nicknamed Polly. Mary(Polly) was living with her grandparents George and Elizabeth in Clutton when the 1861 census was taken. On 9 June 1878 Polly married Ebenezer William Tiley in Bristol.
- Elizabeth (1829, Clutton) = George Moody: We are aware that this family remained and are still in Clutton.
- Upcut (1831, Clutton) : Reportedly immigrated to Australia early. I found a christening for James Upcott the son of George and Elizabeth Blacker on 4 December 1831 in Clutton, Somersetshire and a burial record for him 20 March 1833 in Clutton. He never did go to Australia.
- Charles (1834, Clutton) = Mary Parfitt: Immigrated with wife to Pennsylvania in 1848. He became a captain in Civil War, The date remains questionable. I have not been able to find a marriage between Charles and Mary Parfitt nor their immigration to the United States. Family records say they went St. Clair Pennsylvania. I did find a George and Mary Blacker in the 1860 census in St. Clair. Their daughter Lillian Augusta was born 8 April, 1864 in St Clair. She wrote to Loyn Blacker in 1957 telling him that her father served in the Civil War as a captain and that after the war they moved to Georgia where he worked as a postmaster. I found records supporting both assertions. Mary died 18 March, 1876 in Atlanta. Charles married Willie M Ruskin 5 May 1877 in Atlanta. Lillian married George Filmore Blackenship and moved to Alemeda, California. Charles and Willie had two daughters Jessie and Bessie. I have not found a death record for Charles yet, but the 1915 Atlanta Directory lists Willie as the widow of Charles.
- James (1837, Clutton) = Ann Williams: At the age of 17 came to the U.S. with older brother William in 1854 to Pennsylvania. I found an immigration record for a James Blacker from England, age 20, that arrived in New York on 8 June 1857. I also found the immigration for William, and James is not listed as a passenger there. The 1860 census for St. Clair lists William and his family and Jas (James) Blacker age 23. I have not found a marriage record. However the 1870 census lists James, his wife Ann and three children. Ann's birth place is listed as Pennsylvania. The family also appears in the 1880 census in St. Clair. According to family records he died 19 November 1896 in St. Clair. I have not yet found proof of that, however the 1900 census lists his wife Ann Blacker as the head of the house and a widow.
As we now evolve in time into the decade of the 1850s an
emigration explosion will take place so far as this family is
concerned. Some comment was earlier made as to the possible cause
of the family's dissatisfaction with their homeland. Either the
living problems were real or else, as previously stated, their
dreams of what might become in the future became sufficiently
real to them providing they crossed the 'great waters'.
Glancing thru Henry P. Fairchild's work 'Immigration'
published in 1920, I particularly like a statement summed up in
two or three short sentences: "the life of man is closely bound
up with his environment, and a change of environment is a
momentous event. As a result, there is a marked inertia, a
resistance to pressure, among human beings, and the presumption
is that people will stay where they are, unless some positive
force causes them to move. And no trivial occasion will suffice".
Mr. Fairchild, in turn, quotes from one Sir Francis Galton,
"We may justly claim from this, that exiles are on the whole men
of exceptional and energetic natures, and it is especially from
such men as these that new strains of race are likely to
It is questionable that we rightly classify George Blacker's
other four sons, who in due time became emigrants, as being
exiles, for we may be assured that England was not putting any
compulsion on them to leave. Surely the moving force in this
particular family was economic, which can, indeed, become a means
of persuasion. Perhaps another old cliche is applicable, 'they
went willingly because they had to'. These families were not
alone, for hundreds of thousands of their countrymen either
preceded or followed them to where more opportunities were
Regardless then of reason, decisions were made to head for America as soon as conditions would permit, for three of the remaining boys, while one brother,
He was christened James Upcott Blacker on 4 December 1831 in Clutton, Somerset and buried 20 March 1833 in Clutton. He never did go to Australia.
, dared to go to Australia. Regrettably we don't know the whole story for, if we
did, it is very possible that his going there would not appear to
be quite so daring a venture. Undoubtedly there were influences
which 'pulled' in the direction of the Southern Pacific.
We have already discussed a George Blacker and his bride, Sarah Matthews, leaving for Australia the day following their
wedding day in 1858. We don't know whether our Upcut waited until
that year. Perhaps he went earlier and wrote back to this
unrelated George, for they undoubtedly knew each other, both
being from the little village of Clutton. An interesting study
could be made of possibilities, but this story must stay closer
to the known facts. This leads to a comment, not only of them but
of others. Why didn't these young men write their own stories at
the time or, for that matter, even forty or fifty years later?
Many a cemetery head-stone stands at the head of many an
unwritten history and how interesting and valuable these certain
stories would be to us today - whether Australia or America
At this point, it may be well for us to chart the posterity of
George's and Elizabeth's family tree. As the story proceeds we
can follow the name:
In an attempt to maintain a degree of sequence in this story -
at this time we have started on the family of George Blacker and
Elizabeth - and in the last two or three chapters have dealt with
their first son, John's family, they having moved from Clutton to
Monmouthshire. The next in line is son, George, who was born at
Clutton nearly two and one half years following John, George's
birth being 21st of November 1821. In due time he married Martha
Evans, but no marriage date appears to be at hand.
Martha gave birth to six boys. She and George probably, like the rest of us, took the
children as they came. We haven't heard of a better way.
Oh, to have these people of two and three generations ago back
with us for just a few moments - probably with a tape recorder
rather than a pad and pencil. Let me share our problem with this
The Clutton parish register shows this George - our John's
brother - was christened in that parish, as also all of the other
brothers and sisters. George and Martha Evan's marriage seems not
to appear which is not a problem at all for very often the wife
is from a nearby parish and the marriage is usually performed in
the parish of the bride. We don't find the christening date of
the first child (presumably first) in Clutton unless the Vicar
recorded the wrong name of the mother. The child's name is Samuel
E. and there is a record of a baby, Samuel Evans Blacker, son of
a George and Mary. This christening was dated January 2 1842,
which would make our George aged 21 at the time this baby was
born which very easily could be his. We can't claim a child
because of convenience however, though it could easily be that
the Rector put the wrong name (Mary) down for the mother.
Regardless, we are not having to rely on the place of
christening of the oldest son. The second son, James was
christened in Clutton on the 6th of February 1848. We had
approximated the birth year of the oldest, Samuel as of about
1845 on our family group record. We have had christening records
searched up to 1850, therefore, we do not know whether or not the
other children were christened in Clutton. The results of such a
search were it to commence now, would not be returned in time for
this story and is really not that essential, however, it could
Our problem is this: Did George and Martha and children go to
Monmouthshire with brother John or, perhaps, follow him, or did
he not go at all?
When in Wales in 1930 - the account of it has been related
earlier - Uncle William of Penrhiwceiber, at whose home I stopped
for four or five days, invited me to copy data from the Family
Bible which I did as he and I sat at the family dining table. The
Bible was old, but I don't recall now, after 52 years, whether it
was his own Bible or, perhaps, his father's Bible. I would rather
think his, for he was the youngest in the family but one and the
previous generation's Bible could have been inherited by the
older children - if there was such a Bible.
Regardless, here is what I copied:
"John, son of George and Martha Evans Blacker (brother of John Blacker) died March 7th 1860 age 28 months.
Also, Samuel E. Blacker son of George and Martha Blacker who died Oct. 18, 1865 age 20 years.
Also, James son of the above died January 24, 1868 age 18 years.
Also, Henry, son of George Blacker who was a son of George Blacker died April 17, 1894 age 42.
Sarah Ann, wife of above, died September 28, 1926 age 72 years.
Also, William, son of above, died June 27, 1888 age 12 years nine months".
Below these entries in the Bible was a note:
"The two living sons of George and Martha went to America with their father - these were William the eldest and Albert".
In conversing with Uncle William at the time I asked him about
George's wife, Martha, whose death I didn't notice in the Bible
and with George going with his sons to America, I supposed
without his wife, Uncle William said, "Martha died about 50 years
or more ago, about 60 years of age."
Figuring from this comment, our conversation was in 1930 and
fifty years prior to that, would take us to 1880. The fact that
he said she was about 60 years of age. Her birth year as on her
family group sheet was estimated by the genealogical practice
that a wife, on the average, is four years younger than her
husband. His birth date being 21 November 1821, therefore her
birth year would be approximately 1825. Uncle William's saying
she was about 60 years at time of death would bring the death to
about 1885. She was buried in Abertillery about 1880 to 1885.
It is almost unthinkable that her husband George would have
emigrated to America with his two sons prior to that event.
Two facts now can be ascertained from Uncle William's family
Bible, first, that George and Martha had moved from Clutton
between son James' christening on 6 February 1848 - possibly with
even some later children whose record we have not located - and
the death of Martha whose record we have only calculated.
Attention may well be called here to the fact that in our actual
research work, we have been mainly concerned with families of our
direct lineage whereas, particularly in England and Wales, we
have but 'picked up' data of families who are related more
distantly. Someday, hopefully, for history's sake, more exact
data will be obtained for such families as George's and
George and his sons did reach American despite the fact they
were later comers than some of his younger brothers of whom we
shall write of later in this chapter. This assurance came to us
thru a letter written by George's niece, Fannie A. Blacker,
daughter of George's brother, James, who preceded George's coming
by approximately 30 years. Fannie's letter from Philadelphia was
dated to me on August 30, 1930 and her statement relative to her
Uncle George being brief but to the point says, "I have enclosed
a list of names of my Grandparents' children as was given to my
father (James. L.B.) by his brother George whom my father visited
at the home of his son, William, in Houtzdale, Clearfield Co.,
Pennsylvania about forty years ago".
Letters have been written within the week prior to this
writing in an endeavor to locate descendants of George, William
and Albert. Perhaps there will be need for a sequel to this
history by the time the end of the story is reached. (Letter
returned by postmaster. No Blackers now in Houtzdale. L.B.)
Now, let us give attention to Tobias, the third son of George
and Elizabeth. Actually, the chart contains nearly the whole
story of what we know of Tobias. He was a namesake of his
grandfather and of his second great grandfather. We are aware he
was the third child - all sons so far - who was christened in
Clutton on the 25th of November 1823. A later record will show
him as being born on that date, but such would hardly be likely -
no impossible. Usually mothers don't become that anxious to have
a baby christened the day it is born. If a differential exists in
the two events, it little matters now.
In due time Tobias married Catherine Griffiths and they became
the parents of three children, Louise, Amy and Harry. There has
been no intimation in any of the records that they lived anywhere
else than their home town of Clutton.
Now, to the fourth son of George and Elizabeth, a William, who
was born 7th April 1826 and christened 9 July of the same year.
Such a date-spread between birth and christening is probably a
little longer than normal. A month to six weeks would possibly be
classified as normal.
William married a young lady who, the records tell us, was
named Sarah, but even to this writing
we have not learned her maiden surname.
William married Sarah James on 13 December 1846 in Aberystruth, Monmouthshire, Wales.
We can estimate their marriage year as about 1846
for it is not unusual for a young couple to have their first
child born within the year, and William's and Sarah's little
Isaac was born 24th of October 1847. He was not long for this
life for the records say he died the same day.
It is not impossible that William and Sarah lived in another
parish than Clutton. Perhaps she was not of Clutton, which could
have a bearing on the reason why the Clutton parish register does
not contain a date of their wedding, nor is the birth nor burial
of Isaac found there. We are wholly dependent on family records
for the account of this family and fortunately we have such a
record, as will be explained.
A second child named George was born on the 13th of June 1849.
The reader has undoubtedly observed the frequency of the name
George in the family. It surely proved a popular name, with no
other name competing for being the most popular unless it be the
name William. Just an observation. What the next two centuries
will bring will depend on parents of children yet unborn.
Returning again to William's and Sarah's baby boy, George.
Heartstrings were pulled again with these young parents. Father
William was 23 and the mother was somewhat younger when this
little boy came to partially fill the void left by the burial of
their firstborn. Now over 130 years later, by proxy, their story
brings heartfelt sympathy, for eight months to the day after the
second baby's arrival, the parents felt grief for the second time
when baby George shut his eyes in permanent sleep.
The next two girls fared better, for Margaret who was born on
3 July 1851 was more successful for she lived until she was 35
years of age, and the next little girl of William's and Sarah's,
Elizabeth, was born on the 18th of September of 1852 and lived
to maturity but who, also, passed away at an early age, she at
the age of 28 years. Both these relatively young ladies' deaths
occurred in their new homeland, America. We have no stories
excepting the figures from vital statistics.
These two little girls shared the home with their parents,
William and Sarah, when on the 23rd of December of 1853 a pair of
twins - little girls to be called Mary and Martha - beat St.
Nicholas at this particular Christmas season and surely brought a
touch of real joy to the home. We can imagine the excitement of
little two year old sister and, particularly the four year old
Margaret, for she was old enough to realize the joy of new
arrivals. The thrill of the parents would be hardly describable
for they had been so very disappointed on two previous occasions.
And what a choice of names for little Mary and Martha. We can
imagine now that perhaps the parents selected their names as
namesakes of the two sisters of Lazarus of old who proved to be
so solicitous to the Savior in their little home in Betheny.
Again joy which was so brief, turned to sorrow when
approximately but three weeks - on January 15th of 1854 to be
exact - little Mary closed her eyes not again to be awakened in
this life and, to add more grief to further tragedy, but seven
weeks following her little twin sister, Martha passed away.
Double sorrow this time for the parents and now again the two
remaining little sisters, Margaret and Elizabeth were the only
remaining children to comfort their bereaved young parents who
must have wondered about it all. Surely they could have felt that
they now had had more than their share. Now there were four of
their children - two boys and two girls - in the cemetery and all
within six and a half years and the parents, themselves, were
only 27 and probably 24 or 25 at most. Already they had endured
what surely would have seemed a lifetime of sorrow, but what
could they do? There was no choice.
They made a decision and probably wondered whether it was
right. There is no way for us now to know whether the decision
had been determined earlier or whether they now felt driven to
it, but they decided there was nothing left for them in Clutton.
We are well aware the economy of the period was not good, for
people had been leaving Clutton for work elsewhere for some time.
Surely William and Sarah must have felt that if they were ever to
have any luck, it had long ago run out.
According to one family record, William's younger brother,
Charles, had already gone to America - to Pennsylvania to be
exact. Charles had already gone to America - one report says as
early as 1848, which seems a little early for Charles then would
have been only 14. A second family source which shall be examined
shortly says that William and Sarah became the first Blackers to
emigrate to America, referring, of course, to our branch of the
Clutton Blackers. The possibility exists that William, himself,
may have this distinction of leading his family.
If William didn't leave a person record - and we have no
evidence that he did - our first question is, why not? Had these
young people - and other of their respective time - left their
story in writing, what an interest it would be to us these many
years hence from them. With this realization of the importance of
record keeping, will it be said of any one of us by our
descendants down the way a few generations, "If those of our
ancestry or family, if not direct ancestry, back in the twentieth
century had only left their story". The lesson is clear. Our
determination must be, "We won't fail them."
From the dates of the death of the little twin girls, we have
evidence that William and Sarah could not have left Clutton
before the summer of 1854. After their arriving in America the
family record reports that Sarah gave birth to a little boy who
was named Paul on the 2nd of November 1855. His birth place is
given as St. Clair, Pennsylvania. For this evidence it seems safe
to conclude that the family emigrated 1854-55.
From the fact that William moved into an American coal-mining
state may be the only clue as to the type work he did after
coming to this country. No account we have gleaned from his
family mentioned his work. All we have are family vital
statistics which are of interest in and of themselves. While we
are happy for them, it is regrettable that we are so close to and
yet so far away from a living story.
William and Sarah did not find respite, even in America, from
the ill-fortune they had with their babies. Their first
American-born Paul who was born, as mentioned earlier, on 2
November 1855, died on 15th of January 1856 - 2 1/2 months old.
Their next, a son names James Henry, was born 20th of July 1857
and lived to the age of 37, passing away 27 July 1894. Their next
three a boy, a girl and a boy respectively, William John, born 2
Dec 1859 and passing away two months later on 7 February 1860;
Ann, born 28 August 1862 and passing away 16 months later on 28
December 1863; and their second George - this time George William
- who was born 28 February 1867, but who passed away nine months
later on 25 November 1867.
Between the death of baby Ann, the second of the last
mentioned three children and the birth of George William just
mentioned, there was a family move, this time from St. Clair,
Pennsylvania up into Canada to Nova Scotia. The reason for the
move we don't know, but it was there that George William was born
and died. It was also in Nova Scotia that William's and Sarah's
last child, Florence Helen, was born on the 20th of May 1869. It
is to this little girl some seventy years later that we shall
turn to for considerable of the family information we have
gleaned. One more paragraph before we get to some of her
Unless we are able to discover remnants of this family who
knows the reason for George and Sarah and family moving to Nova
Scotia, we perhaps, will never find out. It would most likely
seem that it could not have been coal mining that took him there,
for a gazetteer, while it mentions a little coal mining, states
that agricultural products, forestry and fishing industries
appear to be pronounced. Of course William would have needed but
one coal mine to have gone to, so on second thought, we can't
rule out coal as his enticement. The family may not have been
there overly long for family records tell us he, William died and
was buried back in St. Clair some 14 to 15 years later.
Now to the baby of the family, Florence. It was from Fannie
Blacker, then of Philadelphia and subsequently of Pottsville,
Pennsylvania, with whom we had correspondence in 1930, and of
whom this story referred to earlier, that we learned that Fannie
had a cousin, a Florence Fielding, daughter of Fannie's Uncle
William, who lived in St. Clair. After corresponding with
Florence, we quote parts from some of her letters:
Feb 27th, 1940
My Dear Mr. Blacker,
Entry for the work done for William Blacker of America"
"At this time I wish to apologize for not answering your most
welcome and very interesting letter and also to say I was very
much interested in those letters from F. Blacker of Clutton,
(this is the Frederick this history dealt with in chapters two
and three. L.B.) he seems to have quite a lot of information
about the Blacker family. He said that a William Blacker had sent
his father one pound eleven shillings, one and one-half pence to
renovating and engraving his father's name (on an already
existing tomb stone. L.B. Well now, I must tell you that William
Blacker was my father and that money was sent from Nova Scotia. I
did have the receipt up until a short time ago. He also said he
(Frederick) had been to see a George Blacker when quite a small
boy. My father was back in England, In think it was in the summer
of 1873 and at that time Grandfather was hale and hearty, (She is
referring to her grandfather George Blacker - and Elizabeth
Bowditch who had been dead for seven or eight years). Cousin
Polly Blacker kept house for hm. She was Aunt Mary's daughter and
had always lived with Grandfather and Mother, in fact, they
"I am enclosing a letter which, as you will see, came in 1906
from Aunt Elizabeth's son (he would have been either Charles or
Walter. See chart above). We had corresponded for some years. In
that letter you will see where Aunt Mary had advertised in the
Clutton paper for information of W. Blacker, T. Blacker and E.
Blacker which were all dead. (This account will be briefly
reviewed in this account of Aunt Mary b. 1827 who married and
moved to Dublin. L.B.)
"I am also enclosing a clipping of my father's death. He died
52 years ago (William, L.B.) and the clipping is rather yellow
with age. As about those photos I had told you of I am very
sorry. I have had them put away, at the present time I can't just
get to them but just as soon as I can I will only be too glad for
you to have them. I am about the only one here since Cousin
Fannie has gone. (Fannie died in 1936. L.B.) (Also, two of the
pictures she is referring to were of her grandfather and
grandmother, George Blacker and Elizabeth Bowditch. L.B.)
"You said you had not had any snow in Wyoming. (We were then
living at Evanston. L.B.) Well, we did not have any until the
14th of this month (Feb) but we have had plenty since then. I was
snowed in. While it had been very cold but it did not snow. We
have a great deal of sickness. I, myself, had been in for over a
month but am alright again. I want to thank you for your photo.
So you are a school teacher. I have a girl who is a teacher
staying. She has been with me since my husband died ten years
"Again I do want to say how sorry I am that I am so long in
answering your most interesting letter and hope you will write
again and I will try and be more prompt and hope you will pardon
"I am very Sincerely yours,
Florence H. Fielding
P.S. Please remember me to your wife."
And directly to another letter received at a later date:
October 1, 1940
"Mr. Loyn Blacker,
My Dear Mr. Blacker.
"After quite a long time I have gotten down to answer your
very fine letter and I must say while I have thought many times
about writing in answer there are times when it is almost
impossible for me to write. My eye sight is not so very good so I
am going to ask your pardon this time and will try and do better
next time. (At this time she was 71 years of age. With my 75 I
know what she meant. L.B.)
"I have made out a list of my brothers and sisters names, also
the names of Cousin Fannie's brothers and sisters, their births
and deaths as far as I could do so. (On a separate sheet she
"These are the names of my brothers and sisters. There were
six born in South Wales and four are buried there. My father,
William Blacker was born in Clutton England, born April 7th,
1826; died in St. Clair April 15, 1884.
"Isaac born Oct 24 and died 1847.
George born June 13th 1849 died Feb. 13, 1850.
Margaret born Jan. 31, 1851, died Jan 7th 1886.
Elizabeth born Sept 18th, 1852 died June 29th 1888.
Mary and Martha born Dec. 23, 1853 and died, Jan. 15th 1853.
Martha died March 10th, 1854.
Paul born Nov. 2nd 1855, died Jan. 15, 1856.
James Henry born July 20th 1857 died July 27, 1894.
William John born Dec 2, 1859, died Feb 17th, 1860.
Ann born Aug 28th 1862 died Dec 28, 1863.
George William born Feb 28th 1867, died Nov. 25th, 1867.
Florence Helen born May 20th, 1869.
"Paul, James, William and Ann were born here in St. Clair.
George William and myself were born in Nova Scotia and the other
six were born in South Wales.
Hope you will be able to make this all out. You can see I am the
only one of my brothers and sisters living.
"These are the names of Cousin Fannie's brothers and sisters or
Uncle James' children.
"George Blacker, dead
Mary Blacker, died Dec. 1929
John Blacker, dead
Bessie Blacker dead
Ena Blacker dead
Henrietta Blacker born Jun 30, 1869. Dead.
Adessa Blacker, born Sep 13th, 1871. Living.
Frederick Blacker, living.
Fannie and Charles Blacker, born Nov. 28, 1875. Both dead.
William Blacker, dead.
Harry Blacker, living.
James Milton Blacker born March 1885, living.
Those were all born in St. Clair, Pa.
Fannie died Jan 17, 1936.
Charles died May 2nd, 1939 in Soldiers and Sailors Home, Erie,
The last two were twins."
The balance of her letter follows:
"Some of those cousins I never knew. I have not always lived
here. You asked if I could tell which of the Blacker family came
to this country first.
"Well, my father was the first to come in the summer of 1854.
He came with my mother, sisters Margaret and Elizabeth and Uncle
James came with them.
"At the time my father came here he was in his 27th years so I
think I go by the ages of my sisters as they are in the family
Bible in 1861. My father was in the Civil War.
"As far as In know my grandfather, George Blacker never was
out of England. My father was back in England in 1873 the year
before Grandfather died. I was just a very small girl at that
time but I do remember him bringing me a doll Cousin Polly had
sent me. She lived with Grandfather at that time. She afterward
married Eben Tiley. Walter Moody was also my first cousin. His
mother was my father's sister, Elizabeth. He and I corresponded
for quite a few year.
"Now I don't know if I have told you that Uncle Charles and
James went to live with my father and mother when they were quite
young boys. Uncle Charles was 15 years and Uncle James was eleven
years old. It seems at that time work was very poor in England
and Wales was not much better. Uncle James always lived with them
(her parents. L.B.) until he married here in St. Clair.
"Now, if you would like to, let me know about who was married
of Uncle James boys and girls I think I will be able to tell you.
I don't know if I have told you all I know, except of the
"I had three boys but the good Lord did not let me keep them
long. He knew best but it is not so easy to think that some times
but in those times we should. When those dreadful wars are going
on I often wonder will they ever cease. Quite a number of young
men from here have enlisted in case there is trouble. So many are
high school graduates but can't get any work. It seems as if
everything is turned upside down, even our seasons. We had very
little hot weather. If we had three weeks all told it was all we
had. Now we are having heavy frost at night. For myself I don't
like the cold weather but we must take what comes.
"I am beginning to think you will think that when I do get
started to write there is no end.
"So with the very best wishes to your wife and self,
I am very Sincerely,
Mrs. Florence H. Fielding"
318 S. Nicholas St.
St. Clair, Penn.
Two or three points of interest, plus the genealogical data.
"My father was the first to come in the summer of 1854." This
contradicts another source which will be brought up in due time
as we discuss a younger brother of William's, but for now we will
set it aside.
A second point, which we will get from Florence, is that
youngest brother James had lived with William and Sarah since he
was 11 years of age and, also, brother Charles had lived with
them for the time he was 15. This would imply that they were
living with William and Sarah during their reasonably early years
of their married life, particularly during the years they were
losing their babies. Perhaps this consideration can be also put
on the back burner.
Florence didn't volunteer the names of her three little boys,
nor the dates of their deaths. Her parents had twelve and lost
eight as infants - a batting average of 33%. Florence had but
three with her batting average 0%. Two generations of sorrow.
Surely their reward must be a crown.
Now we turn to the next of George Blacker's and Elizabeth
Bowditch's children, this one Mary born in 1827. There is little
information of her and from two or three family reports from
those who knew of her there is sadness here. Seemingly Mary did
not stay close to her family. She had a little daughter out of
wedlock who was also named Mary, who was raised by her
grandparents. The little girl grew up and was well spoken of by
Uncle William in Penrhiwceiber and, particularly, by Frederick
Blacker of Clutton, as well as others of the family. The little
girl carried the nickname of Polly, a common English diversion of
Mary. She married a Clutton man by the name of Eben Tiley.
Reportedly little Polly's mother early went to work in Bristol
where she met an Irishman by the name of MacConey, whom she
married and he took her to Dublin where they made their home.
Word has it that she stayed from her own family for many years -
one claimed fifty - when, in her older age advertised, as
Florence reported in her letter, for information of W. Blacker,
T. Blacker and E. Blacker. Whether she ever made definite contact
with her family we do not know. Florence leads us to think that
at the time of Mary's advertising, these relatives were all dead.
This sad experience demonstrates the innate and eventual yearning
for one's own family. Happy is the person who can stay close to
his family, not necessarily in miles for that cannot always be,
but close in heart.
To the next member of the George and Elizabeth family, this
time, daughter Elizabeth born in 1829 in Clutton. Her girlhood,
undoubtedly, was much like any other young lady of her time.
Other than a few dates we have no information of her excepting as
goes the old adage - in fact scripture - "By their fruits ye
shall know them" for which the Savior is credited. Elizabeth
married George Moody of Clutton and they had two sons Charles and
Walter of whom we have record. Walter later lived in Bristol, but
Charles remained in Clutton, and apparently, was a well respected
member of the community. From two or three sources from our
family his name has been mentioned with credit. Referring again,
Uncle William Blacker of Penrhiwceiber spoke well of Charles
Moody of Clutton. The reader will recall in the letters of
Chapter Three of this history that Frederick Blacker of the
Monumental Works in Clutton, on more than one occasion referred
to Charles Moody as being a good conversationalist and a
respected person. Also, in this chapter Florence Blacker Fielding
referred to him. It is regrettable that we do not have more to
write of Elizabeth. She died on the 29th of June 1880.
The next child whose turn it is to now discuss in the family
of George and Elizabeth is none other than Upcut or Upscutt. We
have nothing to report other than that he was born on the 9th of
November 1831 and that from a couple of reliable family sources
we have been informed he left Clutton for Australia. For any
member of the family who would like an interesting project, it
could be on this young man and his trip to Australia and his
progeny if he left any. We have found not a clue as to the date
of his emigration. His story has not been spoiled should that be
of any satisfaction to the one who is willing to pick up the
gauntlet for his search.
At the commencement of this chapter, it had been concluded
that it should contain the basic stories of the other children of
George Blacker and Elizabeth Bowditch excepting John, their
eldest who is the direct progenitor of the members of the Edward
Blacker Family Organization and who left Clutton with his family
for greener pastures. While it is suspected, it hasn't been
completely proven that John was the first of his brothers and
sisters to pull up roots from the old ancestral hometown of a
couple centuries, when they finally headed for Monmouthshire.
There is strong evidence - in fact almost an assurance - that
John's next younger brother, George and family, also moved to
Abertillery, Monmouthshire and stayed there for several years
prior to him and his two youngest sons leaving for American,
probably as late as the 1880s.
The story of John and family as, also, allied families - the
Lovedays and Danks - introduced through the marriage of John's
son, Edward, has been reviewed in the two previous chapters. It
became the intent of this chapter to deal with descending-in-age
children including George, the second son, on down the family to
include Tobias, William, Mary, Elizabeth and Upcut. Of these
children, as the above states, George eventually reached America.
There remains two opinions by two branches of the family as to
which of the boys came to America first, William or Charles.
There is no question but that youngest son, James, came with
older brother, William in the summer of 1854.
It seems that the urge to cross the Atlantic didn't affect the
only two girls of the family. As has been related daughter Mary
did cross the Irish Sea to Dublin, but if Elizabeth ever had the
urge her brothers had, she failed to convince her husband, George
Moody, that it was the thing to do. One of two things: both
George Moody and Elizabeth may have been homebodies and didn't
want anything to do toward tearing up their roots or, perhaps and
quite possibly, Moody could have been involved in a profession or
occupation which had a more enticing future than what the Blacker
boys had going for them.