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THE BLACKWOOD FAMILY
Between pages 450 & 451
The estate of Hollywood, in county Down, near Belfast, Ireland, and known as the Blackwood estate, being an entailed property, fell to the eldest son of the family, and the youngest son, as is always the case where and estate is entailed, was left the alternative of becoming a clergyman in the established church, or of entering the military or naval service of the government. The younger son of the Blackwood family, in 1736, entered the English navy and embarked as an officer under Commodore Anson, in a voyage of discovery and conquest around the world. Previous to this he was married, and he left behind a wife and two sons, James and Robert, with no provision for their support other than his pay as an officer in the navy. The voyage was a successful one, and from his prize money, added to his pay, he was able to support his family. These prizes were taken from among the Spanish fleet and merchantmen, and from enforced contributions levied, as was then the custom, on seaports and cities captured. He again sailed, under Commodore Drake, and on the return of the ship from a seven years' voyage, as they were entering the port of Carrickfergus, Ireland, whence they sailed, he was struck from the bulwarks by the main boom, and sent to a watery grave.
The widow of this brave officer, with her sons, James and Robert Blackwood, were left almost destitute, while the son of the heir to the estate became a wealthy member of the Irish parliament and on June 7, 1800, for his energy in supporting the Act of Union, was created a peer of the realm. The heir to the title and estate of Blackwood is now Lord Dufferin, late governor general of Canada.
The two sons of the naval officer, James and Robert Blackwood, were apprenticed to the linen manufacturing business, in which James became very expert in the making of fine work. Robert followed plain weaving, and after a time invented a machine for warping the linen which worked to perfection. He took a farm and bought yarn at the markets. He also had seven looms in his house, and became quite an extensive linen manufacturer. After engaging in business he married Miss McCullen by whom he had fourteen children. His wife died, and in the course of time he married Ellen Berry, by whom he had four children; one died while young, and the others emigrated to the United States, where they now live. Jane married Neil Shannon, and with him settled in Canada in 1833, and in 1838 they came to Franklin county, and located in Lockbourne. James came to the United States in about 1865, bringing his wife at the same time. They settled near Eddyville, Iowa, on land given his wife by deed. John Blackwood was born in county Antrim, at Crossmary, in Ireland, June 27, 1815. His parents lived three miles from the sea-port of Carrickfergus, a walled city. He obtained a limited education at the free schools of the time, and when sixteen years of age, in company with a neighbor, Hugh Semple, influenced by the glowing accounts they heard of America, sailed for the land they wished to see and know. They left Belfast May 12, 1832, and arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, July 3, of the same year. For some time they wandered the country over, making a temporary home in Pittsburgh. Their intention was to settle in Ohio, of which State they had heard glowing accounts before leaving their native country. During the winter of 1832-3 they worked on the construction of the National road, through the State, under the superintendence of General Scott, Commodore Stockton, and Colonel Brewerton, the engineers. Mr. Blackwood was promoted to the place of a foreman in the work, at which he continued until the work was completed to Jefferson, and the work was suspended by the government in 1835.
After leaving his work for the government he secured a school in the neighborhood wherein he now lives. While teaching school he met and married, Christine Smith, a daughter of Jacob Smith, who was a very early settler in Pickaway county. After marriage he taught school during the winter season, and worked at house-building and carpenter work during the summer, continuing the latter business for about forty years. In 1841 he bought a farm of one hundred and seven acres, part in the southeast corner of Madison township, Franklin county, and a part across the line in Fairfield county. They settled on this farm, where they have since lived, with the exception of five years spent in Lithopolis, Fairfield county. Mr. Blackwood invented a corn planter in 1855, and the time spent in Lithopolis was devoted to the manufacture of this machine, in connection with other agricultural implements, and conducting a blacksmith shop. Though never an apprentice to any trade, he has great ingenuity, and has applied it in many directions. Since he came to this country he has been a close student and observer, and has acquired a good understanding of all subjects that attract general attention.
The children of John and Christine Blackwood were: Reuben, born July 29, 1839, who married Jennie E. Welton, May 22, 1862, and now conducts a hardware and stove business in Lithopolis; James M., born February 6, 1841, who married Barbara Whaley, September 2, 1862, and who is now postmaster, and owns a gracery store in Lithopolis; Sarah A., born July 20, 1843, who married Henry M. Brown, June 23, 1863, and now lives in Iowa; Jacob Smith, born March 16, 1845, who married Maggie L. Glick, September 24, 1868, and they now live near Columbus, Indiana, where they were married; Mary Christine, born August 24, 1847, and who died June 12, 1848; Pauline, born May 28, 1849, who married Samuel W. Woods, near Montmouth, Illinois, February 6, 1868, and have since removed to Cass county, Iowa, where they now live; Samuel W., born July 30, 1851, who now lives at home; Henry Caleb, born July 4, 1853, who is now a salesman in Osborn's carpet store, in Columbus; Marion Elizabeth, born September 5, 1855, who married John L. Green, August 31, 1876, and who now lives in Lithopolis.