Origin of the Blackwell Surname
Blackwell is a habitational name, that is to say a place where people lived.[i] Durham, Cumbria, Derbyshire, and Worcestershire in England are examples of places where there is a Blackwell, England.[ii] Wikipedia lists about 100 “Notable Blackwells,” including Alexander Blackwell (c. 1700-1747) (Scottish Adventurer) to Ben Blackwell (born 1986 – musician and founder of Cass Records).[iii]
World-wide there are approximately 82,742 people who bear the Blackwell surname. The vast majority, over 63,000, live in the United States, with England and Australia being distant second and third (about 10,000 and 4,000 respectively) place majorities. In terms of frequency, Wales has the greatest proportion of people with the Blackwell surname, where one in 3,947 people have the surname. The United States is the second most frequent country where people surnamed Blackwell live (1 in 5,738).
My Direct Blackwell Ancestors
33. Elizabeth Blackwell(1796-1867) – Family Search: LHTN-6XH
66. David Blackwell (1757-1842) – Family Search: 9JT9-XF9
132. William Blackwell (1725-1775) – Family Search: ?? G3WT-PY5 ??
264. James Glenn Blackwell (1701-1760) – Family Search: ?? GSYM-VQ7 ??
528. James Blackwell (1660-1738) – Family Search: ???? G3WT-K21 ????
528?. James Blackwell (1647-1717) – Family Search: ???? G3WT-K21 ????
Note: ?? = Tentative, possible.[iv]
Note: ??? = Very tentative and probably incorrect.
My most recent Blackwell ancestor is Elizabeth Blackwell. She was born in 1796 in North Carolina. She married John Calvin Roberts in 1816 in Roane, Tennessee. She and John had sixteen children. She died in Roane, Tennessee in 1867.
Her father, David Blackwell, was born about 1757 in Virginia. I haven’t had a chance to research David’s life yet, but I believe he was probably in Tennessee during the 1840 Census. If so, his household would have been one of the 65 Blackwell families living in Tennessee. He is probably the David Blackwell in Roane County who was an 82-year-old pensioner whose household included one female aged 30 to 40.
Two other Blackwell heads lived in Roane County during the 1840 Census, Alpha and Hugh. Both were heads aged 30 to 40 and both had females aged 20 to 30 living with them. Both also had children living in the household, so both appear to be typical family units.
David had several sons. Hugh that fits this criteria; another son, identified as “Dicy” in my records, could be the “Alpha” that was enumerated. I need to do more research into these families.
I have not had the opportunity to research any of the other Blackwell ancestors, but it appears that all of my known Blackwell ancestors before David were born, lived, and died in Virginia.
My known Blackwell relatives.
My records have identified 398 direct descendants of James Blackwell (the eldest) in my research, so far.
I have also identified 19 people whose DNA is a known match to mine who also share James Blackwell (the eldest) as an ancestor.
Ancestry’s ThruLines suggests that I share DNA with11 matches through William Blackwell.
- Research the Blackwells of Roane County, Tennessee.
- Analyze Ancestry ThroughLines for matches through William Blackwell.
[i] “Blackwell Name Meaning & Blackwell Family History At Ancestry.Com®”. 2020. Ancestry.Com. Accessed January 5, 2020. https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Blackwell.
[ii] “Blackwell”. 2020. En.Wikipedia.Org. Accessed January 5, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwell.
[iii] “Blackwell (Surname)”. 2020. En.Wikipedia.Org. Accessed January 5, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwell_(surnane)
[iv] I’m pretty sure I have something wrong in this line. Luckily it is very tentative as I haven’t done an in-depth look at any of these ancestors. I expect they problems should sort themselves out when I can look line closely.
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