Blackwell #5138

Michael Blackwell (1620-1710)

Born in England.  Arrived in Massachusetts by 1643 and

Unknown Spouse

Blackwell 5138

Michael Blackwell was born in England about 1620 and was in Sandwich, Massachusetts by 1643.  His wife’s name is unknown.  He appears to have had at least four children, but a birth record exists for only one of them, a son Michael born in 1648.

Circumstantial evidence, while not conclusive, strongly suggests that Michael Blackwell and “Miles Black”, who also appears in the colonial records of Sandwich, are one and the same person, with the names more or less interchangeable.  Conclusive proof of identity likely would have been found in the Barnstable County land records, but these were destroyed by fire in 1827.

The earliest reference we find has to do with Miles Black who was a creditor in the amount of 7 shillings due from the estate of William Swift[1] in 1643[2].  Also, in 1643 Miles Black’s name appears on the list of Sandwich men aged 16-60, able to bear arms, but Michael Blackwell‘s name does not appear.  On 17 Jan 1652, the town of Sandwich made an agreement with Daniel Wing and Michael Blackwell for the taking of fish in Herring River[3]Miles Black was appointed, 3 June 1656, constable of Sandwich, and on the 1658 list of Sandwich landholders, the name of Michael Blackwell appears, but not that of Miles Black.  Yet it would seem unlikely that the town’s constable was not a landholder.

On 13 Jun 1660: A parcell of meadow was granted to Myles BIacke att Mannomett,  and in the following March he and Thomas Burges, Sr., were brought to court for fraudulently obtaining meadow land there.  These entries are perhaps significant in view of the fact that Michael Blackwell‘s will refers to land adjoining Jacob Burges, principal heir to Thomas Burges, Sr.

There are also two entries that refer to Myles Blackwell.  The first shows that Myles Blackwell served on the Grand Jury of 4 Oct 1664.  The second shows that “Myles (Myls) Blackwell” was chosen surveyor of highways in Sandwich 3 June 1668.  The same source shows that Michael Blackwell served on the Grand Jury of 5 Ju[ne or ly] 1667, and later, Michael Blackwell served 5 June 1671 on a committee to view damage done to the Indians by the horses and hoggs of the English.

In 1672:

Mr. Edmund Freeman Senr., William Swift, Thomas Wing Senr., Thomas Dexter Senr., Michaell Blackwell & William Newland were constituted a committee to go forward in settling & confirming the boun of the township with the Sachem of Mannomet…[4] 

Joseph Burges petitioned the Court on 5 Jun 1673, regarding a way that goes through lands of Myles Blackwell … att Sandwich.  The list of all those who have just rights to the priviledges of the Town in 1675 shows Michael Blackwell and his son John Blackwell, and it does not show a Miles Black.

The children of Michael Blackwell and his unknown spouse are listed as follows:

  1. John, born about 1646 and died 6 Dec 1688, both in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  In 1673 at Plymouth, Massachusetts he married Sarah Warren, a granddaughter of the Mayflower immigrant Richard Warren.  She was born 29 Aug 1649 and died 4 Mar 1693, both at Plymouth.
  2. Michael, born 1 Jun 1648 and died 28 May 1673, both at Sandwich, Massachusetts.
  3. Jane Blackwell, see below.
  4. Joshua, born about 1653 and died 6 Dec 1737, both at Sandwich, Massachusetts.  About 1681 he married Mercy [surname unknown] at Sandwich

With the exception of the son Michael, no dates of the births or baptisms of Michael Blackwell‘s children have been found, and they are estimated here.  The birth order of the sons is inferred from the father’s will, although the daughter Jane Blackwell (whose husband was born in 1644) may have be older than Michael.

Jane Blackwell was born 1650 and died 1715, both at Sandwich, Massachusetts.  In 1669 at Sandwich she married John Gibbs, who born on 23 Sep 1644 and died 30 Apr 1735 both at Sandwich, Massachusetts.  Their lineage is continued under the heading of Thomas Gibbs (1615-1693).


[1] My 10th g-grandfather, discussed under his own heading.

[2] Plymouth Colony Probate, Liber 1, p. 44, in May. Des., 8:170, December 1900.

[3] Frederick Freeman, “Annals of Sandwich” in his History of Cape Cod, 1858.

[4] Frederick Freeman, “Annals of Sandwich” in his History of Cape Cod, 1858.


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