SAMUEL BLANCHARD (1629-1707)
Most of this biographical information about Samuel Blanchard is available on the Internet. 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.
Samuel Blanchard was born on August 6, 1629, in Goodworth Clatford, England. Goodworth Clatford is located about two miles south of Andover in Hampshire. Samuel was the fifth child of Thomas and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) Blanchard. He was baptized on August 30, 1629, in Goodworth Clatford.
Samuel’s mother died in 1636 when Samuel was only seven years old. In June of 1639, at the age of ten, and after a 10-week voyage on the ship “Jonathan,” Samuel arrived in New England with his father and step-mother, Agnes Bent Barnes Blanchard, and other family members. His step-mother died on the voyage over.
Nothing is known about Samuel’s early life.
On January 3, 1654, Samuel married Mary Sweetser in Charlestown, Middlesex County (now Suffolk County), Massachusetts. Samuel was 24 years old and Mary was around 17. Samuel and Mary lived on Samuel’s father’s (Thomas’s) farm in Charlestown. (Samuel’s father died on May 21, 1654, shortly after Samuel and Mary were married.) Samuel later built a separate house on the same property.
Samuel and Mary had six children, all born in Charlestown:
Samuel, born on September 29, 1656
Sarah, born on February 15, 1657/58
Mary, born on April 18, 1659
Joshua, born on August 6, 1661
Jonathan, born on May 25, 1664
Abigail, born on March 5, 1668.
Samuel’s father Thomas died in the same year of Samuel and Mary’s marriage – 1654 – and Samuel inherited some things from him. Besides all the “former giftes” that Samuel already had received from his father, he also got £80, of which £30 was to be paid in cattle, £10 in corn, and £10 per year in cattle or corn for four years. Upon reading Thomas’s will, it looks like he gave more to his other sons George and Nathanial (and to his wife) than he did to Samuel. George and Nathanial were the joint executors of the will and they got the farm and buildings. Maybe Samuel already had some land.
Mary’s mother, Bethia Sweetser, and her brother, Benjamin Sweetser, were involved in the formation of the Baptist Church in New England. Samuel and Mary’s children were not baptized as infants. Apparently Samuel and Mary followed the Baptist practice of rejecting infant baptism.
Samuel’s occupation was noted as husbandman or farmer. He served as Constable in Charlestown in 1657.
In 1657 Samuel bought several parcels of land amounting to 25 acres and another of 40 acres from his brother Nathanial, as well as a houselot of ten acres, both in the latter’s share of their father’s farm on Wilson’s Point in Charlestown. Samuel built a house on the property. He and Mary were still living at Wilson’s Point in 1662.
The following presumably occurred in Andover, since it appears in Charlotte Helen Abbott’s “Early Records of the Blanchard Family of Andover”: “Sam (2) and wife Mary, got a legacy in the will of W. Godelin, a roving trader, Feb. 1663, – 16 Lbs. Godelin was about to leave New England, and made the will in 1662, when he was 64. He was drowned, 1666 – probably at sea.”
Samuel’s wife, Mary, died February 20, 1669, in Charlestown. She was only 32 years old. (She and Samuel are referred to in her father’s will, dated 1662, as “daughter Mary Blancher and son Samuel Blancher.”)
Four years later, Samuel remarried, this time to a woman named Hannah Doggett. They were wed on June 24, 1673, in Charlestown. He was 43 years old – almost 44 – and Hannah was around 27. Samuel fathered four more children with Hannah, all born in Charlestown:
Thomas, born on April 28, 1674
John, born on July 3, 1677
Samuel, born on June 4, 1680
Hannah, born on September 26, 1681.
Samuel junior, the first child – and first son – of Samuel senior and his first wife, Mary Sweetser Blanchard, died in 1677 at age twenty, reportedly of smallpox. Three years later Samuel senior and his second wife, Hannah Doggett Blanchard, gave their third son the same name.
In 1675 and 1676 one Samuel Blanchard served with Captain John Cutler in King Philip’s War – the First Indian War – for Mystic Side. Samuel’s name is rendered in records variously as Blanchard, Blancher and Blaincher. If that is indeed this Samuel, he would have been around 46 years old at the time of his service. However, it might have been his son, Samuel junior, the one mentioned in the previous paragraph, who died in 1677. Samuel junior would have been 19 or so.
Regarding King Philip’s War, the following is paraphrased from a Wikepedia entry: Most men of military age were part of the militia. Universal training was prevalent in all colonial New England towns. Many towns had built strong garrison houses for defense, and others had stockades enclosing most of the houses. Each town had local militias, based on all eligible men, who had to supply their own arms. Only the too old, too young, clergy and the disabled were excused from military service.
So, if 46 wasn’t considered “too old,” then maybe this was this Samuel. Captain Cutler, his superior officer, conducted supply trains to the garrisons.
In 1678 Samuel was listed among the inhabitants of Charlestown, Mystic side. There’s a record of “G. Samuel Blanchard” being admitted to full communion in the First Church in Charlestown on September 11, 1681. (The “G.” probably stands for “Goodman” – a title of respect for a man below the rank of gentleman, especially a farmer or yeoman.) Most of Samuel’s children – from both marriages – were baptized at the First Church in the same year.
The First Church of Charlestown was founded in 1632, and it was the only church in Charlestown for its first 170 years. It is still in existence as a member of the United Church of Christ. John Harvard was one of their ministers in 1638, and the church was one of the founding churches of Harvard College.
On June 10, 1686, Samuel and his family moved to Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts. In 1687 he and Hannah bought the rights to property from Henry Jacques and (Marie/Mark?) Groves in Andover and settled there. (The name Henry Jacques is rendered later as Henry Jaquith in Samuel’s will.) Jacques and others evidently sold rights to their land, because they had decided not to stay in Andover. But the Blanchard name had become established in Andover as early as 1679 (one source says that’s when Samuel bought the rights to the Jacques land). In that year, a man named Moses Haggit bought from one Stephen Johnson fourteen acres of upland and seven acres of meadow on the southwest side of a pond called “Blanchard’s Pond.” From him and his descendants the pond received the name Hagget’s Pond, as it was known around 1880 (see a later reference to Samuel’s residence at Haggett’s Pond Road), but it was still known as Blanchard’s Pond in 1720. The land surrounding Haggit’s property kept the name “Blanchard’s Plain.”
The following blurb about Samuel was written by Charlotte Helen Abbott in her undated “Early Records of the Blanchard Family of Andover”: “Old Sam Blanchard had 200 acres – in a bunch, – for his farm, on a road by the Pond, down to Jacob Osgood’s place – that was the late Wadleigh Noyes’ estate. The Winning farm is part of the Blanchard homestead, and the old house stood back of Upton’s – opposite on an old unused road, – once a garrison house – and there when Abiel Upton came to Andover. Upton built a new house near the Winning place. Sam Blanchard is said to be the one who lived on the Chase placed near the Tewksbury line.”
Presumably Samuel continued his occupation as farmer after his move to Andover. It was generally difficult to be a farmer in New England. Because of the dense forests, the hilly land, the stony soil and the short growing season, it took hard labor to make a farm and the prospects for getting rich were not great. Samuel, however, must have been one of the exceptions. He obviously became very wealthy. He was a big landowner and taxpayer. Maybe this was because the soil in Andover was very fertile, and Andover was reputed to be one of the best farming towns in eastern Massachusetts. Farms in those days ranged in size from ten to three hundred acres. Indian corn was the principal grain crop and had long been cultivated, not only for bread, but also for feeding cattle and swine. (In his father’s will Samuel was bequeathed certain monetary equivalents in corn, instead of money.)
Samuel retained ownership of his land in Charlestown after moving to Andover, leaving the management of most of it to his son, Joshua. But he sold three parcels to his son, John, in 1698. In fact, he obviously still owned some land in Charlestown when he died. In his will dated 1704 (see below) he bequeathed his farm in “Charlestown Lands” to his son Joshua – Joshua had already been living on the farm there anyway – and he also bequeathed his wooded lot in “Charlestown Commons” to Joshua.
A list of proprietors of Andover states that Samuel had been a householder before 1681. Another account says that Samuel owned land in Andover as early as 1662 and that he owned “vast acreages” in West Andover. One researcher said “he owned the whole west side of town and into Tewksbury too.” (Tewksbury is currently located in Middlesex County, just southeast of Essex County.) This would make sense, since the pond on the property that Moses Haggit bought in 1679, which is located a couple of miles west of Andover, was already called Blanchard’s Pond and the surrounding area was known as Blanchard’s Plain. A “plain” sounds like it might include “vast acreages.” Haggett’s Pond, as it became known – and still is – is quite large at about 220 acres, and it is now a reservoir for Andover.
There are some records that show the rank order of taxpayers in the south end of Andover for the years 1679 to 1707. Presumably these were property taxes – some were labeled minister taxes and some were province taxes. Samuel showed up in 1690 ranked eleventh out of fifty-five taxpayers. His taxes for that year were (illegible). As the town grew over the next decade, Samuel’s standing – and apparently his wealth – increased considerably. In 1693 he was ranked eighth out of sixty-nine. His tax burden was five shillings ten pence. The number one taxpayer that year paid seven shillings eleven pence. And in 1699 Samuel was tied with two others for third place out of seventy-seven taxpayers with taxes of ten shillings even (the top taxpayer paid ten shillings six pence). Samuel didn’t show up in 1707 because he had died, but his sons Jonathan and Thomas and Samuel Jr. did.
In 1687 a man named William Chandler petitioned the Court of Sessions for the County of Essex in Ipswich for a license to operate a “publick house of entertainment” and to sell “Sider, bear, wine and strong liquor.” Some other members of the community supported him, arguing that such a house of entertainment was needed on “the rode leading from Ipswich to Balrica.” In 1690, however, Samuel Blanchard and eleven other men signed a petition against granting Chandler a license to sell strong drink. They were concerned that it would corrupt the young generation. They were too late, however. The previous petition had already been acted upon by the court before the petition of Samuel et al. arrived. So Chandler was granted the license.
Also in 1687 Samuel Blanchard was identified as Selectman in Andover. A Selectman was one of a board of officers elected in most New England towns to manage municipal affairs. They were elected at town meetings by the local male property owners. And Samuel’s name appeared on a list of principal town officials as constable in 1687 and 1688.
The early settlers of Andover coexisted peacefully with the Indians until King Philip’s War broke out in 1675. This war was also known as the First Indian War, and it lasted for only about fourteen months. There were some Andover casualties. In 1688 the Indians began another war with the English – the Second Indian War, or King William’s War. This one lasted until 1698. Andover suffered more in this war than in the preceding one. On March 5, 1698, Andover was attacked by between 30 and 40 Indians. They killed five people and burned some houses and barns with the cattle in them. The inhabitants of Andover had to use caution, and they often went to so-called garrison houses for refuge and safety. These houses were sometimes made of thick timbers, sometimes filled with bricks between the studs. Sometimes they were surrounded by a rampart or stockade. During the time of war, there was a garrison house in every neighborhood in the different parts of town. Samuel Blanchard’s house was one of these garrison houses in 1696.
Back in 1906 the New England Historical and Genealogical Register published an excerpt from what they called an “old manuscript book,” which had evidently been started by Samuel Blanchard himself and which was continued by members of his family. At the time, the book was located at the [American] Bible Society on Astor Place in New York City. Samuel’s entry, the latest date of which is 1691, reads as follows:
“Samuel Blanchard was maried to hes wif Mary in the year 1654 upon the 3 day of ienury.
My sonn Samuel was boren upon the 29 day of septembar 1656.
My daughtar Sarah was boren upon the 15 day of febrary 1657.
My daughtar Mary was boren upon the 18 day of aprel 1659.
My son Jonathan was boren upon the 25 day of may 1664.
My son Joshuah was boren upon the 6 day of agust 1661.
My daughtar Abigal was boren upon the 5 day of March 1668
My wife died upon the 20 febrary 1669.
I Samuel Blanchard was marred to my wif hanah upon the 24 day of juen in the yer 1673.
My son Thomas was boren upon the 28 day of Aprel 1674.
My son John was boren upon the 3 day of July 1677.
My son Samuel of my wif hanah was boren upon the 4 day of Jun 1680.
My daughtar hanah was boren upon the 26 day of Septembar 1681.
Samuel Blanchard sennar was boren in the year 1629 Agust the 6 day.
I Samuel Blanchard landed in New ingland on the 23 day of Jun in the year 1639.
I Samuel Blanchard cam to Andovar with my famaly upon the tenth day of iun in the yer 1686.
I bought my horce of John whelar upon the 18 day of march 1691.”
In 1692 Samuel Blanchard was identified as a taxpayer living in the “South End of the Towne” of Andover.
In 1692 the witchcraft hysteria spilled over from Salem into Andover. The town named over forty witches among its citizenry ranging in age from eight-year-old children to gray-headed men and women, parents and grandparents. The most infamous of the accused was a woman named Martha Carrier. Eight of the accused were condemned and three – including Carrier – were hanged. Thankfully, no Blanchard’s name appears on the list of the accused, and there is no knowledge of any Blanchards being actively involved in the witchcraft trials. They were active citizens but kept to themselves on the west side of town.
In 1694 Samuel served again as Constable. One wonders if, in that capacity, he wouldn’t have had some sort of involvement in the witchcraft trials. Maybe it happened before his watch. Samuel also served as Selectman in the same year.
In 1694 “Sam Blanchard, senr.” was identified as one of five selectman and overseers of the poor.
Like his father’s, Samuel’s last will and testament survives too. It was dated November 21, 1704. Here’s the text of it:
“The Last will & Testament of Samuel Blanchard of Andover Age about seventy & five –
I Samuel Blanchard being in bodily health through ye goodness of God to mee Doe make & ordaine my Last Will & Testament as followeth –
And In ye first Place I humbly committ my Soul unto ye Hands of Almighty God who gave it mee and my Body to ye Earth to a Decent Buryall att ye Discretion of Executor and friends and as for my Current Estate yt God hath graciously given mee I doe Dispose of it as followeth - -
In the first place my will is that my beloved Wife shall have an honorable & sufficient Maintance out of my Estate (with her own labour) as long as shee shall remaine my Widow - -
I give to my Eldest son Joshua Blanchard all my parcel of that farme which he now dwells upon Being in Charlestowne Lands together with my wood lotte yt fell to mee on Charlestown Commons and I give to him all yt he hath of mine in possession.
To my Son Jonathan I give to him all my Land on ye Easterly & the Northerly side of a line marked from a pond hole (where my pasture fence Joyneth) a straite line to ye stone wall land Joyning to ye highway till it comes to Abraham Moore Land Southward
Also I give to him all that parcel of my home Meadow (so Called) which I have Long Since possessed him of and all my Meadow Called halfe moon Meadow which lyeth Eastward of the Town of Andover –
Also I give to him a parcel of Land Lying on the South side of the Town highway Being Length wise by said highway Which land shall be forty poles wide att Each side the Bredth of which land is now apriced on ye southerly side of said highway
All the rest of this Land between this and Stephen Osgood I give to Thomas Blanchard
I Give to my Daughter Stratton fifteen pounds - - -
I Give to my Daughter Osgood Twenty pounds - -
I give to my Daughter Dorothy Storer (which is my grandchild) ten pounds which shall be payd to her by my son Joshua when shee Comes to be nineteen year’s of Age - - -
All yt part of my home meadow which I have yet reserved for my selfe shall be Equally Divided between Jonathan & Thomas - the Dividing Line to run cross ye meadow where it Comes to Stephen Osgood Land - - - -
“My Son John shall Enjoy what I have given him by a deed of gift, and what else of my Estate he hath in his hands -
To my Son Thomas I give all ye Land at ye East End of my home Meadow by a straite Line from a white oake on ye South side of meadow to a marker piece on ye north side until it Comes to Stephen Osgood Land All yt upland & Meadow house & fences upon yt land I give to him my son Thomas =
Also he shall enjoy all yt of my Estate in his hands and yt I have possessed him of besides what I have given him In this my will –
My Right on ye commons belonging to Six acre [Lan] (which Rights may appear by Deeds from Henry Jaquith & Mark Graves) I give an Equal Right in them to Jonathan, Thomas & Samuel –
And all my other Estate of meadows both of forage & of field I doe give to Jonathan Thomas & Samuel
My two Cowes I give to Thomas in Case they outlive mee & my Younger Wife:
Last My black horse I doe give to my Dear Wife
I Doe order my Son Samuel to pay the two legacies to my Daughters Stratton & Osgood and his Mother's Maintenance according to this my Order before he be possessed of the Land & Estate which I have given him which is all ye part of my farme not Disposed of as aforesaid - and all ye Meadow which I bought of Billerica Men [see note ** below] - And in Case my Son Samuel Shall refuse to Doe (that is to pay those Legacies to his two Sisters as aforesaid - Then my will is yt Thomas shall pay his Brother Samuel twenty pounds for his full portion - and Jonathan shall have ye remainder of the farme yt was assigned to Samuel - and said Jonathan shall pay these Legacies & provide his mother's Maintenance which Samuel Should have Done.
My Debts shall be Demanded of my Son Joshua after my Decease - and all my Debts and Legacies Shall be payed in full degree as my Estate is found in - -
Lastly I doe Nominate Ordaine & fully Impower my son Jonathan to be my Sole Executor to Give my Last Will & Testament
Witness my hand & seale November 21 In ye year of our Lord God One Thousand Seven hundred & four being ye Third year of ye Reigne of our Sovereign Lady Anne by ye Grace of God of England Scotland France & Ireland Queen
Signed Sealed & Declared
In the presence of us SAMUEL BLANCHARD -&(Seal)
“Codicil I Doe further make this my Will that there shall be a strait Line from ye norEast Cornor of yt turning Yard forth on yt south side of the town comon highway to a grown white oak being at ye west end of ye caseway towards Jonathans house & to Jonathans line - and than leaving a sufficient way leading to my home Meadow - Stephen Osgood & Thomas house at ye East End of ye turning yard south there shall be Measured on ye East side of yt way from the Comon Highway southward twenty poles & from thence Eastward to Jonathans line and this piece of land shall also be twenty poles from yt foresaid White Oak - southward there shall also be a piece of land on ye North side the comon highway measured out beginning att ye east side of ye lane yt goeth from ye Andover Orchard house this piece of land shall be eight poles by ye side of ye comon highway & in bredth fore Poles for the whole length - and these two pieces of land I do give to my son Jonathan which he shall bestow upon one of his sons whom in his discretion he shall [ ] –
This addition I Declare to be ordered to which I have signed & sealed before in Experession Above, witness my hand & Seale 8 mo. 1705 -
Signed Sealed & Declared Essex ss Ipswich May 5 1707-
In presence of us Then James Johnson &
Ambrose Blunt of Andover
James Johnson Appeared & made Oath that present & Saw
Eliza Johnson Samuel Blanchard Sen., Late Andover Doe Signed
Ambrose Blunt Seale & heard him publish & Declare ye within written
Testimone with ye codicil annexed to us to be his last will & Testament & when he so did he was of good understanding & memory to ye best of ye Discerning & att ye same time they sett ye hands to his Estate & also saw Eliz Johnson affix her hand as a Witness att ye same time for his Estate upon which This will is proved Approved & allowed being signed by ye Executors herein Named who appeared accorded to [trial] & gave bond to pay Debts & Legacies Sworn Tatteer Daniel Rogers Registrar”
(MA, Essex Co., Probate, no. 2612.)
//A “pole” is 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet in length. Same as a rod or perch.//
** Based on this description of his property, Charlotte Helen Abbott, in her “Early Records of the Blanchard Family of Andover,” noted the following: “This looks as though Sam (2) lived on the Boynton side of the Pond, and left the garrison end, to build a new house.”
Samuel died on April 22, 1707, in Andover, at age 77. He is buried West Parish Cemetery in Andover. His gravestone is the oldest one in that cemetery, however, it is generally thought that his body was moved to West Parish Cemetery sometime after his death. In fact, his stone predates the establishment of that burying ground. He was probably initially buried in his backyard, as was the custom at the time. (There are no other gravestones of that age in West Parish Cemetery, and most of the other Andover Blanchards are buried in the South Parish Cemetery.)
Samuel’s gravestone is made of white granite imported from England. There is a photograph of the entire stone – which had obviously been removed from the ground for some reason – that was taken in 1909. The gravestone is elaborate and very well preserved, which might be indications of his wealth and standing. It has some interesting images carved in it, and the words and the epitaph read as follows:
HERE LYES Ye BODY OF
WHO DEPARTED THIS
LIFE ON Ye 22d OF APRIL
1 7 0 7 IN Ye
78th YEAR OF HIS AGE
Ye MEMORY OF Ye JUST IS BLESSED
The Latin words at the top of the stone are explained in the online Encyclopedia of Death and Dying (www.deathreference.com) as follows: “The Latin term memento mori has long served as a reminder of mortality. Literally meaning ‘Remember you will die,’ the term has traditionally been linked with striking images and stories of dying. Exceptionally clear examples of this tradition can be seen in New England graveyards, where tombstones from the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries often contain two phrases: ‘Memento mori’ and ‘Hora fugit,’ which means ‘The hour flees.’ These lines explain the accompanying images of hourglasses, skulls, bones, and winged death's heads. The gravestones thus ask passersby to remember not only the deceased but their own mortality as well.”
What follows below is an analysis by an unknown person of the inscriptions and carvings on Samuel Blanchard’s gravestone. The rather incoherent and ungrammatical analysis is presented below as originally written.
“MEMENTO = REMEMBER
MORI = DEATH
FUGITO = TO FLEE
HORA = HOUR, TIME, SEASON, TO LIVE FOR THE MOMENT
(REMEMBER DEATH TIME FLIES)
Aetatis Suae = Aet = AE = In a certain year of ones age.
Skull with wings = resurrection
Skeleton = mortality
gourds = breasts
Graven Images by Allan Ludwig , Erotic Symbolism’ in addition to the geometric heart symbol being the emblem of the soul’s love of God and of the soul itself the Puritains symbolized the power of eros more directly both pictorally and in their literature. In literature, breasts could symbolize the Scriptures, the Church, the Ministry or the devine milk needed to nourish the soul. For example, Jonathan Edwarswrote, ‘Milk represents the work of God from the breasts of the church, that is not only represented as a woman but of old was typlified by heifers, the goats, etc. Milk by its whiteness represents the purity of theword of God; it fitly represents the word because of its sweetness and nourishing nature...’
‘A Christian dictionary defined breasts as follows: Without breasts, as having yet no established Ministry.
The stone carver is attributed to Joseph Lamson of Charleston, Ma. but initials N L next to the hourglass suggest his 14 year old son Nathaniel Lamson may have apprenticed with his father.”
End of quote.
A list of Samuel’s funeral expenses can be found in a couple of separate online book sources. Prior to the Revolution it was customary to give rings and gloves at funerals, to the clergyman, pall holders and bearers. The number of pairs of gloves depended in some degree on the circumstances of the deceased and his family. After the burial, the relatives, bearers and neighbors would return to the mourning house for a supper. It was customary to provide strong drink for that occasion. In a book called "History of Andover: From Its Settlement to 1829" by Abiel Abbot, Samuel’s funeral expenses were enumerated as follows (in pounds, shillings and pence):
The following additional information is from the West Parish Cemetery website: “Samuel Blanchard’s home was on the site of 36 Haggetts Pond Road, 2 ½ miles from the cemetery. Samuel was a Proprietor and house holder before 1681, Selectman in 1687.”
Others think his home was along Lowell Street (the current Massachusetts State Route 133) near the Tewksbury line (Ames Pond).
Samuel’s second wife, Hannah, died on July 10, 1725, at age 79. She is buried in the South Parish Burying Ground, as are most of the other Andover Blanchards. She was member number 56 of the South Church, and her stone is the second oldest in the cemetery. (The oldest stone belongs to Anne Lovejoy Blanchard, the wife of Hannah’s stepson, Jonathan Blanchard.