Michael Blackwell
(Abt 1620-1710)


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Michael Blackwell

  • Born: Abt 1620, England 596
  • Marriage: Unknown
  • Died: 6 Jan 1710, Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts about age 90 596

bullet  Noted events in his life were:

• Background Information. 596
The question that arises about Michael Blackwell is was he also known as Myles Black. The list of men from Sandwich who for 16 to 60 that were able to bear arms included the name of Myles Black, and doesn't include Michael Blackwell. Rev. Frederick Freeman, author of The History of Cape Cod, 1858 says, "The Blackwells of Sandwich were generally called Black. Even sincy my remembrance the latter names was used for those who wrote the name Blackwell and in some instances of record, the same Liberty was take. The 'pojenitor' himself is in one instance at least on record as Black."

Other records show that "Mycaell Blackwell", on 7 Jun 1648 served on the grand inquest. The following October "Micaell Blackwell" served as a grand juror in the infanticide case of Alice Bishop. Another record shows that an agreement was made 17 Jan 1652 by the town of Sandwich "with Daniel Wing & Michael Balckwell for the taking of fish in Herring River."

On 3 June 1658, "Myles Blacke" was appointed constable of Sandwich. On the 1658 list of Sandwich landholders, the name of Michaell Blackwell appears, but there is no Miles Black to be found. It is unlikely that the town would appoint a person as constable that did not own land. On 13 Jun 1860, "A parcel of meadow was granted to Myles Blacke att Mannomett." In the following March, he and Thomas Burges, Sr., were brought to court, being accused of fraudulently obtaining meadowland there. These two entries are important because Michael Blackwell's will refers to land adjoining Jacob Burges.

More entries in the town records show:
• "Myles Blackwell," served on the Grand Jury, 4 Oct 1664
• "Myls Blackwell" was chosen surveyor of highways in Sandwich, 3 Jun 1668
• "Miacaell Blackwell" served on Grand Jury, 5 Jun 1667
• "Micaell Blackwell," 5 Kim 1671. Served on a committee "to view damage done to the Indians by the horses and hoggs of the English"
• 3 Jun 1673, Joseph Burges petitioned the court regarding "a way that goes through the lands of "Myles Blackwell . . . att Sandwich"
• In 1680 and 1673, "Michaell Blackwell" served on the Grand Inquest

The list of "all those who have just rights to the priviledges of the Town" in 1675 shows "Michaell Blackwell" and his son John Blackwell, but there is no reference to Miles Black.

Michael Blackwell's will, dated 29 Nov 1709 of "Michael Blackwell of Sandwich" gives "… unto my grand son John Blackwell, the eldest son of my son John Blackwell, deceased, all those lands, marsh and meadow ground . . . in the town of Sandwich, lying on the Northeasterly side of Skussett River . . . on part of which upland ye dwelling house of my sd. Grand son now standeth . . . adjoyning in part upon the messuage in ye tenour or occupation of Jacob Burges . . . as well as one parcell of meadow lying adjoyning Jireh Swift . . . and by the land of Irish Swift . . . on condition that my said grand son John Blackwell dye leaveing a male heire surviving, lawfully begotton of his own bodie. And that he do also pay unto Caleb Blackwell his naturall brother, the sum of 5 pounds . . . And if it shall so happen" (that said John dies without a male heir, then the testator directs the youngest brother Nathaniel, shall inherit). The will then provides that if John Blackwell survives his brothers, Caleb and Nathaniel, and finally die without male issue, the then male children of my son Joshua Blackwell shall inherit all. "Item: . . . unton my grand son Benjamin Gibbs, on half part of all upland at Waynonsett . . . lands in Sandwich adjoying land formerly belonging to John Gibbs and other lands in Sandwich and lands I formerly bought of Robert Bartlett in Plymouth township. Item: . . . unto my grand son Samuel Blackwell, son on my son Joshua Blackwell, the other half of my lands before given to Benjamin Gibbs. Item: . . . unto my daughter Jane Gibbs, that nine pounds which her husband formerly borrowed and me and which he yet oweth to me. Item: . . . unto the three sons and six daughters of my son Joshua Blackwell or to so many of them as shall survive mee, all that shall remain of my personal estate . . . to be equally divided between them. Item: . . . to my said son Joshua Blackwell the other half of my land that I bought of Robert Bartlett . . . and I do confirm unto him and unto his son Michael Blackwell all those lands, swamp & meadow ground to which I have given by deed of gift, dated 3 Aug 1705, only that he pay to my grandson Nathaniel Blackwell 10 pounds & to each of the sisters of ye said Nathaniel Blackwell, being the daughters of my said son John Blackwell, deceased, the sum of 40s in current passable pay within one year after my decease."

Michael's son Joshua Blackwell was named sole executor. The will was signed by a mark and was witnessed by William Bassett, Sr., William Bassett, Jr., and Nathan Bassett. The witnesses were sworn 26 Jan and administration ordered 29 Jan. 1709/10. The date of Michael Blackwell's death is 6 Jan 1710.

~New England Historic and Genelogical Register, July, 1963, pages 180-183


© Nancy Lucía López

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