This shield is that of the Blackmore family including Blackmar. The heads are called “Saracen Heads” and indicate that the arms bearers went to the crusades. This is also indicated by the crescents. Interestingly, the heads are also called “Blackamoors”. One wonders if the shield derived from the family name or the name from the shield.
The Blackmar family was early in coming to America. Decendants of three separate Blackmore families have been traced who were probably related in Europe one of whom was our ancestor James who was born in Devon, England in 1639 is known to be here as a taxpayer in 1679 Rhode Island. His 1679 tax bill was 1 shilling, 3 pence. Only nine years later it was 6 shillings. Taxes then as now continued to increase, but so also did James' prosperity. His holdings in 1688 were: 8 cows. 2 oxen, 4 heifers, I yearling, 1 horse, I mare, 2 colts, 800 acres of land in commons, and a small quantity of meadow. The young animals show how his wealth was growing. Indeed, by 1690 he was buying other land and was elected a member of the Rhode Island State Legislature.
James married in the ealy 1680s Mary Hawkins who was born 1639 in Rhode Island. They had three children; Elizabeth, John, and Mary. Elizabeth married James Williams, the grandson of Rhode Island founder, Roger Williams. Mary married Thomas Williams, another grandson. John, the middle child broke the trend by marrying, in 1709 Jemima Kinney who descended from the Kinnes of Norfok, England, early settlers of Casco, Maine.
James died in 1709 and his widow carried on, cared for by her son, until her death in 1724. The couple, clearly good friends of the Williams family were interred in the Williams Family Cemetery in Providence, the only other people than Williams' to be buried there. As an indicator of family growth James inventory at death was: Inventory, ￡127 l Viz: wearing apparel, 2 linen wheels, woolen wheel, pewter warming pan, gun and sword, corn, hay, 2 oxen, 10 cows, 2 steers, 6 heifers, 2 two years, a horse, 2 swine.
Son John carried on in the same prosperous manner. He and Jemima had 11 children in 20 years 7 boys and 4 girls; the girls coming last. He dealt in various land transactions and grew his wealth. When he died in 1768, there were only 8 children to be considered for shares in his estate because sons Henry, James, and Theophilus died before their father. Jemima was continued in the estate for her life. Son Nathaniel got 3 acres of land, John Jr. got Ł100 and David and Abner got to split the farm after their mother's death. The girls married "well" and entered their own families with a gift of land and the use of their mothers personal property after her death.
John Jr., our ancestor, may seem to have gotten a bad deal with Ł100 but in those days that amount would equal two years salary and the cost of living was then very different. John was very well off. Certainly there would be enough for a farm and a house, livestock, and more.
John married Mary Mitchell in 1741 and lived in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Mary was from an old family who came to America in the mid 17th century. Location in Rhode Island is a relative thing as no place is very far from any other place. Mary, however, was from Block Island, as far away as possible in the tiny state. The couple has six children; three girls and three boys. Apparently, the parents were conversant with some history and with their Bible. The girls were Mary, Keziah, and Lucretia, the boys Theophilus, Amaziah, and Richard. I have not traced any of these siblings since it is Amaziah on whom I want to focus. He is our GGGgrandfather.Amaziah was a middle child so brother Theophilus was in line for the farm. At age twenty two or three Amaziah joined to fight the British in the Revolution. He served in the company of his cousin Captain Nathaniel Blackmar, a company in which several Blackmars were enlisted. Amaziah was Sergeant and the roster reads like a list of cousins and in-laws. This was true of many of the companies raised in the War.
Just before the war, at age nineteen he married Miss Candace Simmons or Seamons, a minister's daughter, of Woodstock Connecticutt. Their son John was born in 1775. There were no more children until David in about 1781. The intervening war years must have had a strong influence in the life of these young parents. Another boy and a girl (Ira and Chloe) were born and then ten years elapsed before 1796 and the birth of Anthony, our grandfather we will soon follow. For a reason we do not know, Amaziah went with Anthony in 1807 to New York State, a territory only lately opened to settlement following the war. He took him to the owner of a large property in Palatine, Montgomery County, Major John Frey and there apprenticed him to Major Frey for ten years.
Anthony was eleven years old and one can only imagine his feelings as he was left alone far away from a large family in Rhode Island.
From the History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties by Beers, 1878 we learn the history of Major Frey:
“Major John Frey was born about 1740; he was reared and always lived in the Mohawk valley. He was also educated at Cherry Valley, and afterward married a niece of Gen. Herkimer. In 1756, when the English and French were disputing for the supremacy in the Canadas, Maj. Frey, then a mere boy, yet animated with a patriotic zeal for his king and his country, shouldered his musket and joined the expedition under Bradstreet to take Fort Niagara, then in the possession of the French. He occupied the position of lieutenant, and, boy as he was, did his country service under the walls of that fortress. He was a justice upon the bench of the first Court of General Quarter Sessions for Tryon county, held in Johnstown, September 8th, 1772. He was a member of the Tryon County Committee of Safety, both before and during the Revolution, and in the spring of 1776 was elected its chairman. He was also the first sheriff of the county elected by the people. In the memorable battle of Oriskany, Maj. Frey bore a conspicuous part, acting as brigade major, fighting by the side of Gen. Herkimer, and barely escaping with his life. He was wounded in one arm, taken prisoner and carried to Canada, where he was kept for nearly two years. Subsequently to the Revolution, the New York Provincial Congress conferred upon him the honorable appointment of brigade major. He was also elected a member of the convention that ratified the federal Constitution, and, at a still later period, held the office of senator in the Legislature of the State. He died in April, 1833, aged about 93 years. His remains now repose in the family burying ground at Palatine Bridge. At the centennial anniversary of American independence, his grave was beautifully decorated with flowers by his worthy descendants and grateful countrymen, in commemoration of his distinguished civil and military services. “
Perhaps Amaziah knew of the Major from his army service. In any case here he was with his son in the center of New York. They drew up a document of apprenticeship which is enlightening as to its details and was probably the common form. Since it is directly related to our ancestor Anthony I will iclude it here from the New York State Archives:
Anthony Blackmar's Apprenticeship Agreement
This indenture made this eleventh day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seven. Witnesseth that Anthony Blackmar son of Amaziah Blackmar being aged about ten years by and with the advice and consent of the said Amaziah, his father hath of his own free will bound himself apprentice unto John Frey of Palatine in Montgomery County to learn the occupation and employ of a farmer now used (practiced) by the said John and to unite with him as apprentice and serve him as such apprentice for the full end and term of eleven years from the first day of April last past and thence next ending and fully to be complete as above; during which all said term the said apprentice shall well and faithfully serve his said master, his lawful commands faithfully execute and obey and keep his tenets. The said apprentice shall do no hurt to his said master nor willfully suffer it to be done by others but shall give notice of the same to his said master to the utmost of his powers. He shall not disburse or waste the goods of his master lend them to any person without his consent. He shall not play at dice, cards, or any unlawful game nor frequent taverns or ale houses. Neither shall the said apprentice commit fornication nor contract matrimony. He shall not depart or absent himself from the service of his said master without permission, but in all things shall and will demean and behave himself as a good and faithful apprentice toward his said master. And the said master in this same occupation and employ of a farmer shall well and faithfully instruct the said apprentice, or cause him to be instructed after the best ways and means. More he can and shall and will also find and allow to his said apprentice meat and drink including housing and apparel both linen and woolen and all other necessaries fit and convenient for said apprentice during the term aforesaid. And also the said master shall and will during the term aforesaid cause the said apprentice to be instructed in reading, writing and arithmatic through the rule of three. And he will after the said (term) has expired will give the said apprentice a good young milk cow and belkside his common wearing apparel a new suit of good common cloth and a new suit of Sunday clothes and the sum of sixty dollars. In pursuit whereof the said parties have hereunto set their their hands and seals this day and year above written.
Sealed and signed in presence of Amaziah Blackmar
Edward Duer his
Anthony X Blackmar
The 1810 census of the United States shows an interesting entry. At the very end of the entries for Plattsburg in Clinton County, New York and written after the list was done is the name “Blackmar”. No first name is given and the only data listed is for two people. I believe these would be Amaziah and Candace. Amaziah died in 1810 and Candace returned to Rhode Island where she died in 1816. In the interval she apparently resided at the Mount Vernon Tavern in Foster, Rhode Island. Her daughter Chloe was married to Abraham Wood and the Woods were friends of the Tavern Owner. We got this information piece by piece after Candace's grave was found directly across the road from the Tavern. The grave is well known to RI historians because of its epitaph. It reads:
Candis Blackmar is my nameWhen I am Quit forgotten.
America is my nation.
Foster is my native place
and Christ is my salvation.
When I am dead and gone
and all my bones are rotton,
Jesus Christ will think of me
She was not and is not forgotten. The stone was erected by her son Ira and purchased from a firm in Providence.
The Tavern is on the National List of Historic Places and a complete history is available from the application and provides good information.
Anthony's apprenticship was not completed as per contract. Written on the folded document's outside is “1816 July 13, Anthony Blackmar moved away.” Ten years was agreed from May 10, 1807 so his leaving was just a bit over a year early. Possibly he left after hearing of his mother's death the previous February. That the leaving was amicable is attested by another note on the document. “ Dec 4, 1876 A note from Mrs. Doolittle of Windsor, Broome Co. NY that Anthony Blackmar was still living and well.”
By jumping that far ahead we skip a big chunk of Anthony's life and the part that joins his histrory to ours. 1830 records do not find him anywhere. He was probably living with another family only the name of the head of the family would appear in census. By 1835, however, he turns up and on the 14th of April that year marries Miss Martha (Patty) Welch in Washington of Luzerne County Pennsylvania. The 1840 census of that place shows him there with Martha and a boy between 10 and 15 years old. The identity of that boy is unknown. He does not turn up later. In 1842 daughter, Abigail was born to them. By 1846, Martha was dead. It is probable that Anthony was up against it trying to provide for a six year old girl and the family split up with Abigail going with Martha's family and Anthony going to work lumbering in nearby Carbon County. We find Abigail living in Susquehanna Pennsylvania with her uncle Diocletian Welch. (What a name to give a kid) She is with them until about 1859 when she married James Moat, a cooper from Windsor, New York. They had four children: Lewis, Nellie, Bertha, and Grace. Bertha is my grandmother. Anthony came to live with them by 1875 and passed there in 1880. The Blackmars of Anthony's line live on in the Crossett family.