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  • Really Too Many Sarahs: Blackman-Booth Revisited

    Julie Helen Otto

    In NEXUS 8[1991]:63-65 I explored some problems of multiple Sarahs in the large Blackman/Blakeman family, descendants of Rev. Adam1, first minister of Stratford, Connecticut. The article examined Sarah Blackman (dau. of Benjamin and Rebecca [Smith]) who married at Stratford 24 Nov. 1737 Joseph Foote; Sarah Blackman (dau. of Ebenezer and Abigail [Curtiss]), born Stratford 3 April 1705, most probably the Sarah Blackman who married Jeremiah Greenman at Stratford [6 Sept.] 1720; and a Sarah Blackman, who married Joseph Booth, perhaps at Stratford, 2 Nov. 1737. Donald Lines Jacobus, in History and Genealogies of the Families of Old Fairfield (1930-32, repr. 1976, 1991, hereafter OF), originally (1:86) married Ebenezer’s Sarah to Joseph Booth, then (1:790) gave Joseph’s wife as [202] Sarah (Thompson) Sherman (1720-1804). Looking at the similar surnames and close dates between the Booth-Blackman (later “Booth-Sherman”) and Foote-Blackman marriages, I suggested a transcriber might have confused them.

    Before I suggested this parallax, however, I should have consulted Mr. Jacobus’s later work The Genealogy of the Booth Family: Booth Families of Connecticut for Six or More Generations (1952, henceforth Booth), pp. 28-29. This omission was kindly brought to my attention by Lloyd Booth of Old Saybrook, Conn. Two Joseph Booths (father and son) married Sarahs. The 1737 Sarah Blackman married Joseph, Jr., son of his father’s first wife, Mehitable Beach. Joseph’s father, Joseph, Sr., did marry (3) Sarah (Thompson) Sherman, but long after 1737; Fairfield deeds show that in 1751 the elder Joseph’s second wife, Rebecca Morehouse, was still alive and conveying her rights in land.

    I think that some earlier writers may have identified Sarah (Blackman) Booth as Ebenezer’s daughter Sarah (b. 1705) because the third and last known child of Joseph Jr. and Sarah (Blackman) Booth was an Ebenezer (bp. privately 18 Aug. 1750, “on account of illness”, prob. d.y. [Booth, p. 29]). The most serious problem here, however, is that Mr. Jacobus dates the birth of Joseph, Jr. as “ca. 1720.” A seventeen-year old husband is a bit young; but for that young husband, a 32-year old wife strains credibility. If he was indeed born ca. 1720, Joseph Booth, Jr. would be about the right age to marry an older daughter of Ebenezer4 Blackman, Jr. (1693-1753) and Mehitable Adams; but the only daughter mentioned in Ebenezer Jr.’s detailed will and estate papers is Abigail (Blackman) Wooster (1728-1811). Deed indices for Stratford, Huntington (later Shelton), and Fairfield showed no Booth-Blackman exchanges offering further data.

    Pre-1737 Sarah Blackmans include

    Sarah Blackman, dau. of James2 Blackman and his first wife ___ (Stiles?), b. Stratford 25 Sept. 1658, d. Boston 17 April 1694; m. ca. 1677 John Coney (1645-1722), the well-known goldsmith, son of John and Elizabeth (Nash) Coney of Boston. Sarah is mentioned in her father’s 1689 will as Sarah “Cunny.”

    Sarah Blackman, b. say ca. 1652-62, d. New Haven, Conn. 20 Dec. 1688, in childbirth; m. (rec. there) 20 Aug. 1677 John Todd (b. 1642), son of Christopher and Grace (Middlebrook) Todd. She was poss. a dau. of John2 and Dorothy (Smith) Blackman of Stratford, but much more work on her identification is required.

    Sarah Blackman, poss. dau. of Joseph3 Blackman (d. ca. 1706, son of John2 and Dorothy [Smith]) and Hannah Hall, who were m. Stratford 14 July 1674; a Sarah Black[man] joined Stratford Cong. Church with “Hanna Blackman wife to Joseph” 26 Dec. [16]87 (TAG 13 [1936-37]: 272).

    Sarah Blackman, b. Stratford 3 April 1705, dau. of Ebenezer3 (John2) and Abigail (Curtiss) Blackman; a candidate for the Sarah who m. Stratford 6 Sept. 1720 Jeremiah Greenman.

    Sarah Blackman, date of birth not given, appar. dau. of Joseph4 Blackman (Joseph3,John2) and either Elizabeth Seeley (m. Stratford 14 Sept. 1697) or Esther Wheeler (m. there 29 Jan. 1704/5, unrec. dau. of Joseph and Mary [Powers] Wheeler); Sarah was liv. 1 Dec. 1714 when mentioned in the will (proved 28 Nov. 1716) of her father’s maternal aunt Mary Hall (ca. 1635-1716, d. unm.), who referred to “cousin” Joseph Blackman (1675-ca. 1738) and “Sarah dau. of my cousin Joseph Blackman” (OF 1:250); had Mary in this phrase meant her bin-in-law Joseph Sr. (d. 1706) she would have prob. described him as “deceased.”

    Sarah Blackman, dau. of Benjamin4 (Joseph3, John2) and Rebecca (Smith) Blackman, b. ca. 1710-15, living 1758; m. Stratford 24 Nov. 1737 Joseph Foote.

    Sarah Blackman, under age on 2 Jan. 1732/3, dau. of John4 (Joseph3, John2) and Jemima (Hurlbut) Blackman (m. 1701) of Fairfield; Ephraim Jackson [Sarah’s bro.-in-law] was appointed guardian. By 1737 Sarah might have been of marrying age.

    Note: In the discussion of the high-toned names given to their children by Timothy and Beula (___) Blackman, I mentioned Diantha Blackman, bp. at North Stratford (now Trumbull) Congregational Church 1 March 1758, said by most people (including myself) to have m. Ripton (Huntington, now Shelton) 24 May 1781 Nathan Wooster (1757-1820), and d. Huntington 9 Oct. 1846, in 89th yr. (g. s., Huntington Center Cem.) a date that matches Timothy’s Diantha. But two 1789 deeds (Shelton, Conn. Deeds 1:445, 2:510) prove that “Dianthy,” wife of Nathan Wooster, was a daughter of Ebenezer and Mary (Judson) Blackman of Ripton, and a sister of Eli Blackman, “Rebecker” (Blackman) DeForest (wife of Nehemiah), Molley (Blackman) Lewis (wife of Everitt), and Ruth Blackman (prob. Ruth [Blackman] Blackman [ca. 1760-1840], widow of her likely first cousin Lt. Elisha Blackman [1760-87], eldest son of her uncle Lt. Nathaniel Blackman [1738-1819] of Ripton and Jericho, Vermont, by his first wife Sarah Davis).

    The life of Diantha (Blackman) Wooster was a maze of cousinships: her father (Ebenezer5, husband, mother-in-law (Abigail [Blackman] Wooster, sister of Ebenezer) and son-in-law (Philo6[Enoch5]) were all children or grandchildren of Ebenezer4 and Mehitable (Adams) Blackman of Stratford and Huntington - Diantha married her first cousin, and Hepsa Wooster (1783-1855), one of their daughters, married Philo, her first-cousin-once-removed. Diantha Blackman (bp. North Stratford 1 March 1758), daughter of Timothy and Beula and third cousin of Diantha (Blackman) Wooster, probably married (as “Antha” Blackman), Elihu Leavenworth at Woodbury, Conn. 6 Oct. 1772 and named her first son Jehiel, probably for his uncle Jehiel (b. 1761), son of Timothy and Beula. “Diantha” indeed was used several times among apparent descendants of Timothy.

    Delving in Stratford deeds and microfilmed registers of Christ Church (Episcopal), Stratford, at the Connecticut State Library, I found a bit more data on Benjamin Blackman, Jr., son of Benjamin and Rebecca (Smith) Blackman and brother of Sarah (Blackman) Foote. He was bp. at Christ Church 27 May 1722. On 23 Feb. 1759[/60?] his sister Martha “Dayton alias Blackman” conveyed to Samuel Fulsom her right to land in Stratford “Since Distributed & set to my Brother Benjamin Blackman now abroad in some foreign parts.” The younger Benjamin could well have served in the French and Indian Wars.

    Julie Helen Otto, co-editor of NEXUS, is compiling a genealogy of the descendants of Rev. Adam and Jane (___) Blackman of Stratford, Conn.

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