JONATHAN BLANCHARD (1664-1742)
Most of this biographical information about Jonathan Blanchard is available on the Internet from books and the writings of other researchers. Unfortunately, there are inconsistencies and differing versions of his life history and it is difficult to know which are the most authoritative and accurate. But there are some common facts, so what is included here is a synthesis of several accounts, and it may not be completely accurate.
Jonathan was born on May 25, 1664, in Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. One researcher pointed out that his birth was not recorded in Charlestown. He was the fifth of six children of Samuel and Mary Sweetser Blanchard. His mother died in 1669, before Jonathan was even five years old. (His father remarried in 1673 and had four more children, so Jonathan ended up with four step-siblings too.)
Jonathan was baptized on January 29, 1682, at the First Church in Charlestown. He was 17 years old at the time. His parents were Baptists and didn’t observe infant baptism.
Jonathan married Anne (or Ann) Lovejoy on May 26, 1685, in nearby Andover. He had just turned 21 the day before. (In the Andover marriage records his surname was recorded as Blanckett.) Anne, who was born in 1659, was five years older than Jonathan.
In June 1686 Jonathan’s father, Samuel, and his family moved from Charlestown to Andover. Jonathan and Anne evidently then lived on his parents’ homestead, which was located between Osgood Road and Blanchard’s Pond (now Haggett’s Pond).
Jonathan and Anne had seven children, all born in Andover:
Jonathan, born on February 28, 1686
David, born on July 8, 1687
Jacob, born on February 19, 1689
Anne, born on April 6, 1691
Benjamin, born on February 14, 1693
Mary, born on December 2, 1696
Stephen, born on January 8, 1702/03.
One Andover historian wrote that “The second son Jonathan came to Andover with the father, a youth of 16.” This doesn’t appear to be accurate because, first of all, Jonathan was the third son of Samuel, and, secondly, Jonathan’s father Samuel and his family reportedly didn’t move to Andover from Charlestown until 1686. Jonathan would have been 22 years old at that time and already married, not a youth of 16. The historian added that Jonathan’s “own mother died when he was ten, and Hannah Daggett from Marshfield or Noddles Island had taken her place with the half brothers.” This contradicts the account above that Jonathan was not yet five years old when his mother died.
Given those inaccuracies, the following account by this same historian, as unclear as it is, might also be suspect: “Jonathan is on the minister’s tax list, in South Precinct, 1692. He is described as a yeoman. He was left the homestead in Andover upon his father’s death. Samuel had left instructions for him to pay his brother Sam £10 to which Jonathan objected. The South Church Manual dated May 25, 1729 refers to a meeting Oct. 1718, when because of a difference between the brothers… Sam and his wife were not permitted full communion. Here these boys grow up, putting in good strokes on forest and highway, ...”
That historian said Jonathan’s occupation was yeoman. A different source says he was a mason.
Jonathan’s father, Samuel, died in 1707. He had been a significant landowner in Andover. In his 1704 will, he made Jonathan the sole executor of his will and left him several parcels of land of undetermined size, including a parcel in what he called his home meadow, which Jonathan already had possession of. The rest of that home meadow, that Samuel had been using for himself, was to be divided equally between Jonathan and his brother Thomas. Samuel also bequeathed to Jonathan a meadow called Half Moon Meadow east of Andover. He divided his right on the commons (whatever that was) as well as his other estate of forage and field meadows among his sons Jonathan, Thomas and Samuel.
Samuel also ordered that his son Samuel pay legacies to his (Samuel Junior’s) sister Hannah Osgood and his half-sister Abigail Stratton and also to “provide his mother’s maintenance.” The mother in this case was Hannah, Samuel’s second wife. (Samuel Junior and Hannah were two of the children of that union.) But Samuel also stipulated that if Samuel Junior refused to carry out these responsibilities, Jonathan was to do it. And Jonathan would also get the remainder of the farm that had been assigned to Samuel Junior.
In a deed dated 1709 (66:31), two years after his father’s death, Jonathan and his younger half-brother Thomas divided the meadow which Samuel had kept for himself while he lived. The line crossed to Stephen Osgood’s land; Jonathan’s was on the west and Thomas’s was on the east.
And in a deed dated December 19, 1710 (37:168), as paraphrased by Charlotte Helen Abbott in her “Early Records of the Blanchard Family of Andover”, “Jonathan (3) Blanchard and brothers, Thomas and Sam, sell to John Osgood, farmer, for 16 Lbs., land laid out to Henry Jaques – alias Sam Blanchard, dec. – north end Great Hill, south side Lt. Aslebe’s Hill.”
In 1718 Jonathan and his half-brother Samuel apparently had a little spat regarding a payment one owed the other as specified in their father’s will. Charlotte Helen Abbott related the incident as follows in “Early Records of the Blanchard Family of Andover”:
“South Church Manual, May 25, 1729, - Referrs to a meeting Oct. 1718, when because of a difference between the brothers, Samuel and Jonathan Blanchard, Sam and his wife were not permitted full communion.
The parson and the brothers do not agree exactly, and Phillips [the parson] asks the Church to overlook the matter, and to signify their willingness by raising their hand. Only two did so. He then asked if they would accept Sam, if he – Sam – did his utmost to settle the affair in reason, and the majority signified ‘Aye’.
Jonathan, as it happens, was left the homestead at his father’s death – (Sam) and he was to pay Sam 10 Lbs. according to his father’s will, but he objected to doing so. Sam went with two witnesses as commanded by the Church and offered to let Jonathan off on payment of 8 Lbs. instead of the 10 Lbs. due him. He hoped ‘it would be more for peace to do so than to bind my brother to a certain sum.’
The parson thanked Sam for his resolve, also thanked God, and told Sam that he would be no loser by the act. On May 31, Sam and his wife, Sara, were admitted to full communion.
Jonathan was evidently a greedy man, and had a pull with the Church. The parson evidently sided with Sam and wanted the case settled legally. A curious picture of the interference by the Church in business matters.”
Jonathan’s wife, Anne, died on leap day, February 29, 1723/24, at Andover. She was 64 years old. She is buried in the South Parish Burying Yard in Andover. The adjoining church, known back then as the “Meeting House of the South Parish of Andover,” was built around 1710, and Anne had been one of the first 35 townspeople to join the church. Jonathan did not join. Anne’s was the first burial in the cemetery for somebody born in Andover, and hers is the oldest surviving stone in the cemetery.
One Blanchard researcher wrote that around 1725 Jonathan moved to Woburn, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. In that same year he married again, this time to Hannah Wyman of Woburn, widow of Timothy Wyman. In a record of Woburn births, deaths and marriages, the marriage intention of Jonathan Blanchard of Andover and the widow Hannah Wyman (Wimen) of Woburn was recorded on February 27, 1725. That doesn’t jive with the following information that other researchers wrote about their actual marriage date, however, since the intention to marry should certainly precede the date of marriage. Namely, one source says they were married on February 1, 1725, possibly in Woburn. A different source says they were married in Malden (also in Middlesex County) and gives the marriage date as February 15th.
There are no known children of this union, and it is unknown whether Hannah had children of her own. (still being researched).
Jonathan was assessed 9 shillings for the 1733 Billerica minister’s rate as a non-resident owner living in Andover.
On March 13, 1734, Jonathan gave land in Andover to his youngest son, Stephen, for the parental love which he felt for the “many Good Services which he has Done Me in time past.” And in 1742 Jonathan sold Stephen land for £500 in hand and secured by bonds.
Jonathan made his will on August 13, 1742. Charlotte Helen Abbott paraphrased it as follows in her “Early Record of the Blanchard Family of Andover”:
325:161 – Will of Jonathan (3) Blanchard: - To eldest son, Jonathan (4), 3 parts of 60 acres ‘between Hird’s Land and land I gave son Stephen; all my land on S side Wood’s Hill; 2 lots of meadows in Billerica; upper meadow – Dane lot – Leviston lower lot.’ Jonathan was to pay grandchildren: Timothy Moore, Ben Moore, Abigail Maxwell, 15 Lbs.
To Ben (4), went the meadow in Tewksbury; 7 acres of land in Josiah’s bequest – and same between Haggett’s and Stephen (4) Blanchard’s land; some on Wood Hill swamp between Joseph Blanchard’s and Stephen’s. Ben’s meadow has 1 ½ acre -; also land NW of my house – all land between Stephen and Ben. Ben was to pay grandchildren: Mary Fenwell, Anne Moore and Priscilla Moore, 15 Lbs.
To Stephen (4) went the Billerica meadow, upper Leviston lot. He is to pay the grandchildren – i.e. the children of daughter Anne, dec. – Timothy, Ben, Mary Ann and Priscilla, 5 Lb. goodbills; to the grandchildren – the children of son Joseph, dec., - Abigail Maxwell, 5 Lbs (a married woman).
To sons, Jonathan, Ben and Stephen, all moveables.
Ebenezer Abbott, exec.
Aug. 13. 1742 (Thos. Blanchard, Jr; Jos. Blanchard, Sam Blanchard)
Probate Nov. 18, 1742”
Sons David and Jacob weren’t mentioned in Jonathan’s will. David had already died at the time the will was written – in 1732 – and Jacob may have died as well. His death date is not known.
Jonathan died October 19, 1742, in Malden or Andover. He was 78 years of age. He is buried in the South Parish Burying Yard in Andover.
Johathan Blanchard's gravestone in South Parish Cemetery