On Friday, I introduced a case study with one hypothesis.
Was the maiden name of Rebecca, wife of John Spurr, William King and Isaac Davenport, all of Dorchester, BLACKMER?
Here is a quick summary of the puzzle pieces so far found:
- John Spurr married (2) Rebecca, between 12 February 1753, when first wife Ruth Blake died, and 8 June 1756, when John’s and Rebecca’s first child was born with the most likely time frame being 1754-1755.
- Rebecca was probably aged 18-21 when she married John Spurr, given social customs of the day and the 3 September 1779 date of birth of her last child, placing her own year of birth c1733-1736.
- Rebecca (MNU) Spurr married (2) William King of Dorchester on 5 February 1783 in Dorchester. He was born c1728 and the only candidate appearing in Massachusetts vital records that might be him is a William King, baptized on 18 May 1729 in Rochester, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. The Rochester connection might be very important here.
- Rebecca (MNU) Spurr King married Isaac Davenport on 29 July 1793, again in Dorchester.
- Aside from Rebecca’s mention in the probate administration of John Spurr, no further probates have been found for William King, Isaac Davenport or Rebecca Davenport.
- The Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts (1907), edited by William Richard Cutter and William Frederick Adams, includes the Davenport family history and names Isaac Davenport’s second wife as REBECCA BLACKMER.
Today, I’m jumping right in with a look at the first three generations of William Blackmer, progenitor of the early family in Massachusetts.
William Blackmer was likely born about 1640 in England. While he was the only early settler by this name in Massachusetts, the name isn’t particularly uncommon in England, being found in many counties. William’s origins haven’t yet been proved.
William Blackmer married Sarah Banks/Bankes on 17 July 1666 in Scituate, Plymouth, Masschusetts. The death of William BLACKMOR is noted in Scituate records on 21 April 1676. William’s death is the only entry for Blackmer (of any spelling) up to 1850.
William and Sarah (Banks) Blackmer were the parents of four known children, all recorded in Scituate vital records:
- Peter, born 25 May 1667
- John, born 16 December 1669
- Phebe, born 12 August 1672
- William, born 25 February 1675
On 13 September 1679, there was a probate administration for William. William was a young man when he died and left no will. However, there is an interesting deposition in the five page file.
William Blackmore, Estate Administration Deposition
The Deposition of Gillbert Cole John Alleyn & Mary Mashor Testimony aged as may (?)
These Deponents Testifieth and sayeth that they know of an Estate Left in the hands of the Deponent Gillbert Cole of one william Blackmure Deseased and that the Sd william Blackmure and John (Paton?) by the Sd blackmun (Confess??) in his sicknes had made a Covenent betwixt them that whome soever of them two (Other?) & Sd Blackmor Should have the Disposing of the Diseasede partyes Estate and allso they (Did?) (???) tht when the Said Blackmure Layd upon his Death bed of which DeDeseased had Dyed that ye said blackmur in ye Extremity of his sickness Did make one James (?) his Attorney by vurtue of a Leter of Attorny Granted the sd (?) by th esd blackmur Deseased that ye (wood?) might Accte and Doe what hee Could Consorning the (Estate?) which ye sd blackmur should Leave with ye said wood Did Conforme him (?) about it and Did . . . . . . .. . . . .and further theas Deponants saith not
Dated 29 June 1679
The writing is very difficult to read and the remainder with . . . . doesn’t appear to say much except as a closing statement. The important part of this document is that it points to two men being in a vulnerable position facing death and they agreed that if one survived, he would act as estate administrator for the other.
The second page in the file, the administrators’ bond, gives us one more fact about William Blackmer – he is called “William Blackmore Seaman.”
What became of William Blackmer’s young family? Widow Elizabeth (Banks) Blackmer married (2) Jacob Bumpas, 24 January 1677 in Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
- Peter Blackmer married (1) Elizabeth (MNU) by 1690, according to Torrey’s New England Marriages to 1700.
He married (2) Sarah Edwards, 24 October 1711, who he named in his will.
- John Blackmer married Anna Branch by 1700, also listed in Torrey.
- Phebe Blackmer married Ebenezer Holmes by 1695, cited in Torrey.
- William Blackmer died 7 October 1698, unmarried. He left a will disposing of a small estate and appointed Ebenezer Holmes to oversee the bequests.
For the purposes of this case study, only the lines of Peter and John Blackmer need to be followed. Remember when I noted that the birthplace of William King might be important? Well, both Peter and John Blackmer lived in ROCHESTER, Plymouth, Massachusetts. There appear to be definite ties between inhabitants of Dorchester and Plymouth in spite of the 50 miles between them.
First, let’s look at Peter:
Peter, born 25 May 1667, died young like his father, being only 39 years old when he passed away on 17 April 1717. He married (1) Elizabeth, by 1690, and (2) Sarah Edwards, 24 October 1711. However, Peter did leave a three page will, naming wife Sarah and his children. Thee was also an inventory of his estate in the packet, found in File #2102, Plymouth County Court Records.
His last two children were by second wife, Sarah.
Children, all born in Rochester:
- John, born 25 September 1690
- Elizabeth, who Peter curiously states was called Jane in the will of his brother, William. Her birth name is, indeed, Jane, born 8 December 1693.
- Jemima, born 16 November 1695
- Joseph, born 4 September 1697
- William, born 11 October 1699
- Peter, born 21 March 1702
- Stephen, born 27 July 1704
- Samuel, born 12 April 1705; died young
- Samuel, born 20 July 1712
- Mary, born 5 November 1714
Guardians were appointed for William, Stephen, Samuel and Mary Blackmer, but no papers were found for a guardianship for Peter, although he was only 15 when his father died.
Any of Peter’s sons are of an age where they could have had a child born c1733-1736, so possible fathers to Rebecca (MNU) Spurr to follow in Peter’s line are John, Joseph, William, Peter, Stephen and Samuel.
Peter’s brother John also married and had a family.
John, born 16 December 1669, married Anna Branch by 1700. John’s death is recorded in Wareham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he died on 16 September 1750 in his 83rd year.
Children, all born in Rochester:
- Experience, born 5 June 1702
- Phebe, born 24 May 1704
- William, born 20 December 1708
- John, born 22 April 1710
- Branch, born 13 August 1712; died 25 June 1714
Possible fathers for Rebecca (MNU) Spurr in this family are sons William and John.
Part 3 of this case study will be posted in a couple of days. Stay tuned!