NEW HAVEN / BRANFORD, CONNECTICUT
Thomas removed in 1643 to New Haven, possibly with his new wife Susannah. He took the Oath of Fidelity there in 1644. He is considered a founder of the village of Branford in 1646.
The first settlers of New Haven purchased land from the Mattabesech Indians in 1638, which included the territory of Totoket, later called Branford. In this century, a trading post was set up by the Dutch at the mouth of the Branford River. It is believed that Branford was named after Brentford, England. Farming was the mainstay of Branford life for over 200 years. The community was also an accessible port, with ships trading lumber, livestock, brooms, and produce for molasses and rum from the West Indies.
While Thomas lived as a planter in the early years, he later was occupied as a merchant. His business included marine haulage and the transport of cattle and other livestock for hire. On 16 April 1653, he sold his land at Branford to William Maltbie of New Haven, less than ten miles distant.
On the 7th of August, 1655, “at a court held at Newhauen”, Thomas Blatchley gave the court “some offence and neglecting the imadge of God in magistrats, & goeing away soe irreverently and sayeing he would have justice in another place if he had it not here, wch now lyeing on his conscience, desirs to cleare himself, wherewth the court was satisfied”.
He and his son, Aaron, signed the Covenant on 30 October 1665, committing to the governing rules for the settling of Newark, New Jersey. He also became a member of its governing committee. Yet, unlike all but one of his children, he never went there, and never received any land there. In fact, during Newark’s early years, it appears he was living in Branford.
He signed a church compact in Branford on 20 June 1667. Regarding civil matters, he was elected a deputy from Branford, to the General Court of Connecticut, from 1667 to 1772. In 1670, the General Court granted him 60 acres of land for his services in the war against the Pequot Indians.
Another move took him to Guilford, Connecticut, when, on 23 April 1668, “Goodman Blachley” was admitted an inhabitant there, “if he can provide himself a place to dwell in”.
Thomas Blachly and his family may have moved to Guilford, Connecticut early in 1668 as he was admitted an inhabitant that year, and his son, Aaron, moved “from” Guilford in that same year. A Google map shows the relationship between New Haven, Branford, and Guilford, all along the same road west to east, on the south shore of Connecticut. Later that year, Aaron moved to New Jersey.
In 1667 (or 1669-1670), he was a Deputy at the Connecticut General Court at Hartford. In 1669 he was elected one of the Branford-New Haven boundary commissioners.
In May of 1670, the General Court granted him sixty acres of land near New Haven, “on the usual terms”, for his service in the Pequot War.
WHY SO MANY MOVES?
It was not uncommon for people to move from place to place in their early years in the colonies. Many, if not most, were seeking land, and lived, as Thomas did, as planters. They were also seeking their land and livelihoods in the colony most consistent with their religious beliefs and practices, and sometimes moved from here to there to get away from one form of government, and go to another. For instance, our Hopkins ancestor, John, emigrated out of Massachusetts as soon as he could, to go to the Connecticut Colony with the Rev. Mr. Hooker and his band.
New Haven and Branford were theocracies and, when in 1662 they were merged with the Colony of Connecticut by the order of Charles II, the local leaders feared for their religious principles and determined to establish a new colony. Philip Carteret*, first Governor of New Jersey, offered them liberal concessions and Thomas Blachly was chosen as one of a committee of eleven to organize a settlement.
In 1666, they drew up a “Fundamental Agreement”, a religious foundation, upon which the settlement was to be erected. The first signers, the Branford group of 23, included Thomas Blachly and his son, Aaron. His wife Susannah’s kin, Edward Ball, also signed this agreement. Land was purchased for the Newark colony from the Indians by a quantity of merchandise including axes, guns, coats, blankets, beer, etc. The “Fundamental Agreement” was enforced for about a decade and a half. Thomas Blachly did not himself go to the Newark colony, even though he encouraged others to do so.
DEATH OF THOMAS BLATCHLEY
Thomas Blatchley’s will was dated 28 September 1668, and it was probated in May of 1669. There is some confusion as to whether he died in Branford, Connecticut in 1672, or in Boston in December of 1674, perhaps on a business trip.
His will was not settled until 1674, when the court described him as deceased in Boston. In fact, tradition has it, that in the later years of his life, he entered the profitable West Indies trade of the times and that his death occurred on a ship about to sail from Boston on a trading venture.
The inventory of his estate, in Connecticut, was presented on 9 June 1674, and amounted to £79. The oldest son Aaron was to have a double share. The New Haven Probate Records, regarding “the late deceased in Boston”, state that “the children and their mother, Susanna, ...agree to division of the rest of the estate equally among the children of the deceased, with 1/4 going to ‘Abygaile Ball’”. The inventory in Boston was valued at £128.
After Thomas’s death, the widow remarried secondly, Richard Bristow.
Susannah Ball Blatchley Bristow died in 1680.
After her mother’s death, daughter Abigail Ball returned to Branford to settle her mother’s affairs and to pass on her share of her mother’s estate to her brother, Aaron Blatchley. The Branford Deeds (Col. 2, pg. 78) show that Abigail Ball, of Newark, “receipted to brother Blatchly of Guilford for her portion from estate of her mother Susanna Blachly.” Also regarding the disposition of her estate, her husband “Richard Bristow of Guilford returns the estate of Susanna Bristow formerly Blatchlye to be disposed of according to her non-cuperative will.”
Richard Bristow died in September of 1683.
CHILDREN OF THOMAS & SUSANNAH (BALL) BLATCHLEY
Aaron Blatchley had signed the fundamental agreement, along with his father, regarding lands in New Jersey, and he moved to Newark in 1668 where his estate was that year rated at £120. While in Newark, he was appointed to “make and maintain gates.” Another of his duties was to “warn town meetings”. Aaron’s name appears on a list of the first residents of Newark, New Jersey. A great map showing the Town Lots of the First Residents of Newark, New Jersey, show that Aaron’s Lot was #20 in the NE Section.
A great short history of Newark, New Jersey.
He did return, however, to Guilford, Connecticut in 1676. His home lot in Guilford was 9 acres and 11 rods. Later on, in 1683, he sold 70 acres in Newark.
Mary Dodd Blatchley died before 1686.
Aaron married, secondly, Sarah, the widow of Robert Foot of Branford (see The Woodruffs of New Jersey, pg. 89). He died in Guilford, New Haven County, Connecticut, on 31 August 1699.
EBENEZER BLATCHLEY I was born at Guilford, Connecticut, in 1677. He moved from Guilford to Dix Hills, Huntington Township, Long Island where, in 1715, he was a private in Captain Thomas Hughes’s company of militia from Huntington.
He was married twice, but nothing is known of his wives.
Dr. Ebenezer Blatchley I died in 1729.
DR. EBENEZER BLACHLY II was born 9 October 1709. His father’s family lived at Dix Hills, Huntington Township, Long Island, New York, where Ebenezer evidently grew up and was married.
The record states that he “moved” to New Jersey, but this term is not used in describing the movements of young married men. We may conclude, therefore, that Ebenezer II was married later in the vicinity of Dix Hills, Long Island, and removed, after his marriage, to Morris County, New Jersey.
Ebenezer II married first, about 1731, HANNAH MILLER by whom he had eight children. Hannah is our ancestress.
HANNAH MILLER’s FAMILY
The only family of Miller that appears to be recorded at this early date in the neighborhood, is the family of John Miller, who lived at East Hampton, about 60 miles east of Dix Hills.
JOHN MILLER came from Maidstone, Kent, England, to Lynn, Mass., in 1649, and later removed to East Hampton, Long Island, with his wife, MARY. The family was of considerable standing with coat of arms, “Temper paratus.” He was the overseer of a large estate.
John Miller had two sons, George and Andrew. George was one of the purchasers of Montauk Point, Long Island, in 1658. He married Mary Hedges of Montauk, Long Island.
George, and possibly Andrew, had several children. Ebenezer Blachly II was probably married to a granddaughter of George or Andrew Miller.
From The Families of Thomas Blachly, 1958.
His second wife was Mary Miller; perhaps a sister of his first wife. Thirdly, he married a widow, Mrs. Francis. His fourth wife was Miss Estill, and his fifth, and last, wife was Miss Nichols.
Dr. Ebenezer Blachly II died in 1795 at The Ponds, in Milford Twp., Passaic County, New Jersey.
DR. EBENEZER BLACHLY III was born 13 February 1735/36, possibly at Mendham, Morris County, New Jersey, or at Huntington, Long Island, New York. The McVea Family Records question the birthplace.
Dr. Ebenezer Blachly III married MARY COOPER WICK on June 19th, 1758.
Dr. Blachly was the third generation of Ebenezer Blachly to be physicians and was widely known. He was one of the founders of the New Jersey Medical Society in 1766, and was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War.
Dr. Blachly was the first physician in Paterson, New Jersey, where he settled about 1791. He was later near Mendham, Morris County, New Jersey. At Mendham, he had a health resort at a locally famous mineral spring.
He also had a large house and conducted a medical school. He trained Dr. Hezekiah Stites Woodruff in medicine. Hezekiah, in time, married his daughter, Mary.
Dr. Blachly died 19 April 1805, which date is on his tombstone, at Mendham, New Jersey.
MARY BLACHLY was born 7 March 1759.
She married on 11 May 1776, DR. HEZEKIAH STITES WOODRUFF. Nothing much is known about Mary, but this is where the Blachly family links into our main family of Woodruff.
The Families of Thomas Blachly. Typewritten and unnumbered, 1958.
Register, Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford. (Hartford, Connecticut, 1939) pg. 4.
James Savage. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England (Boston, 1860) Vol. I, pg. 198.
The Compendium of American Genealogy, First Families of America (Chicago, 1942) Vol. VII, pg. 887.
Genealogies of CT Families, from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. I.
Donald L. Jacobus. List of Officials, Civil, Military and Ecclesiastical of Connecticut Colony (New Haven, 1935) pg. 5.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 58, pg. 357.
H. F. Seversmith. Colonial Families of Long Island, New York (Washington, 1939).
R. R. Hinman. Early Puritan Settlers (Hartford, Connecticut, 1852) pg. 241.
First Presbyterian Cemetery, 99 Main St., Succasunna NJ 07876. Records and searches available onsite, 1700s to present. Woodruff, Wick, etc.
The Branford Deeds (Col. 2, pg. 78) – Abigail Ball to Aaron Blatchly.
McCray, Fred W. David Blakesley, his ancestors & descendants. Typewritten, 1947. [Kent is supposed to have been the English home of the Blachlys.]
Genealogies of Alling Ball Family, – check Susannah Ball (and Edward Ball) lineage.
New Haven Probate Records, Vol. 1, Pt. 2, pgs. 57, 77 (old pgs. 53, 73).
Photo of Dr. Blachly III’s tombstone (d. 19 April 1805, Mendham, NJ).
Pierson, Aldus H. “Blachley’s Important Family in Morristown’s History”. In the Morristown Daily Record, Saturday, August 2- (?).
Ibid. “Blachleys Famous Family of Physicians in Morristown” [NJ]. January 2, 1943 (or 1843).
Stebbings, Shirley Hathaway. Edited by John A.S. Pitts. Blatchley physicians and pioneers: a family history of descendants of Thomas Blatchley, 1635-1929 (Baltimore MD: Gateway Press, 1983. At Salt Lake City, Utah, Family History Library, Call No. 929.273 B613s. Fiche #6019985.
Wills: Thomas Blatchley, 1674, Boston; and Susannah Blatchley Bristow.
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Last Updated - 1 April 2012