Descendents of James and William

The first Black reunion was thought to be held in Maplewood, PA. in 1909. There seems to be some discrepancy in record keeping so that it is possible to have been in 1907. At that time it was suggested that a history of the Black family, including all known descendants, be compiled. Several worked on the project and by 1910 were able to present a credible history.

Mrs. Aaron Black was one of the earliest historians for this family, followed by Mrs. Friend Black, Mrs. Milton Black, Jane Black Grebe and presently Carol Black Davis and Arleen Moore Bollinger.

The 1910 history states that David and Jonathan Black were the sons of Hugh Black of Scotland. Little is known about this Hugh Black but there is a record of the marriage of Hugh Black and Elizabeth Flatt in Sussex County, New Jersey, in which 500 pounds was posted to William Franklin, Governor of New Jersey, that there was no impediment to the marriage. It was signed by Hugh Black and was dated the 23rd of August 1773. There is no record proving that this Hugh and Elizabeth Flatt Black were the parents of David and Jonathan but the Flatts and Blacks were close neighbors in the area in Sussex County.

A Sussex County Courthouse record proves that Hugh Black was in Newton in 1775. This was about the time that David and Jonathan were born. It was believed that these boys were born in Scotland but according to Census reports of both Wayne County, Pa. and Sussex County and Morris County, New Jersey, all the living children of David and Jonathan state in 1870 and 1880 that their parents were born in New Jersey. These children were John (Jackie) and William, sons of Jonathan, and John W. and Margaret, children of David.

New Jersey census records for the years 1790 through 1820 were lost so Hugh's movements cannot be traced but it is possible that when he returned to Scotland he left his sons with Flatt relatives. Perhaps his wife, Elizabeth Flatt also remained in this country. In 1830 in the household of David Black, a female aged 90 to 100 years was living who could have been Elizabeth.

The name Flatt was shortened in gradual states from Van Vliet which became Fleet and soon interchanged with Flatt in earlier records. The Van Vliets were early emigrants from Holland when the Dutch settled New York and Long Island. In the 1700'x, many moved into the Sussex County area from Hudson County, New Jersey.

The 1910 history states that Jonathan Black married Anna Briant and lists their children as John (better known as Jackie), James William, Patric, David, Hiram, Abby and Aaron. The approximate birth dates given in census records of these children are: John born 1801 or 1802; James b. 1808; Patric born 1812; William born 1814; David born 1820; Abby born 1822 and Aaron born 1824. Later records substantiate all but Patric and Hiram's dates.

Since that early history much research has been done in census and courthouse records and information has been found about Jonathan's children: John, James, William, David and Aaron as well as the children of David, the son of Hugh. No further record was found on Patric, Hiram or Abby, except their listing in the 1830 Censes of Sussex County.

The first actual records were found in the marriage records in the Sussex County Courthouse. Jonathan Black was married on June 15, 1800 to Anna Briant and David Black was married on June 22, 1800 to Sarah Wilson. Both marriages were performed by Justice of the Peace, Thomas Van Kirk.

Jonathan and David lived in an area that was a sparsely settled, hilly section, rich in iron ore where they found employment in their line of work; the making of charcoal, iron furnace work, wood-chipping and mining. On July 25, 1834, David Black purchased 16 acres of land at the foot of Bowling Green Mountain in what is now called Milton, Jefferson Township, Morris County, New Jersey, from William Headley. On February 24, 1847 he purchased 16 acres from Joseph Headley. He farmed this land until December 1848, when nearing the age of seventy he sold the land to his son-in-law, Daniel Chamberlain. He died before 1850 and his wife, Sarah, age 65, lived with her daughter Margaret Chamberlain in 1850. Some of David's children moved to nearby Orange County, New York and then to Michigan and other mid-western states. Others remained in the area, working in the silk mills and other industries. We have records of many of these families.

Jonathan lived at Hopewell, just across the county line in Sussex County and within five miles of David's farm. His neighbors were Matthias Nixon, Benjamin Flatt and J. Maines. These surnames all appear in Black marriages. His oldest son, John (Jackie) married Anne Nixon and moved farther into Sussex County near Branchville.

Jonathan's second son, James, remained in the area and married Eliza Spargo. In 1824 and also in 1844 and 1846, he purchased land there (Morris County deeds). James and Eliza Spargo had twelve children. Only the three older ones remained in New Jersey. After James' death around 1861, Eliza moved to Maplewood, Pa. with the younger children.

On June 22, 1833 in Sussex County, William Black, son of Jonathan and Anna Briant, married Adilla Van Sickle and they moved at once to Pennsylvania, settling in the Kizertown/Forest Mills (Cortez/Maplewood) area. They raised a large family whose descendants we hope to follow in this genealogy.

David, another son of Jonathan, married an Eliza and we have a record of their descendants. Jonathan's youngest son, Aaron, born 1824, married Charity Goble and moved farther south in Morris County and we have records of their three daughters.

By 1850 Jonathan Black had died, but we have been able to follow the records of Anna Briant, the female ancestor of most of the Blacks in this genealogy. In the Washington Township, Morris County Census, she is listed, age 66, in the home of her son Aaron, where his daughter Ann Elizabeth was one month old. In that same census at a later date she is listed at the home of John and Sarah Sheldon, Sparta Township, next to the home of her son James. In 1860 in Newton Township she is listed at the home of Charity Black's brother, Charles Goble. This seems to indicate that she worked as a servant after Jonathan's death. Finally in the 1870 census, an Ann Black age 85 and blind is listed with 70-year-old Catherine Calder. Living nearby are James and Nancy Black Losaw and other Black descendents, leading us to believe that this is our Anna.

The census records of Wayne County, Pa. where William and Adilla Van Sickle Black lived became available to us in 1984. The 1850 census of Salem Township, where Maplewood (formerly Forest Mills) is located was supplied by Alma Black Ubbens and lists the following data: William Black 36; his second wife, Catherine 23; John 15; James 13; Ann 11; Elias 9; Emery 6; Garrett 4; and Eliza 2. We believe these ages should be used to give the approximate birth date of these children. In later census records the age varies slightly, sometimes older, sometimes younger but this often occurs in census records.

Strangely, in this 1850 census, a Henry Black was listed from New Jersey, age 45. This would make his birth date 1805 and there is a space between John (Jackie) born 1801/2 and James born 1808 for the birth of child of Jonathan and Anna Briant. It is possible that the child named Patric could have been Henry Patric or even Patric Henry. There is no later record of this Patric.

A record states that Elder Henry Black of New Jersey organized the Christian Church at Osgoods in 1866 and a second one at Chapmantown in 1867 where he preached for ten years. It was thought that this might be Henry born ca 1861, the son of James and Eliza Spargo Black. However, an inquiry to the Avoy Christian Church at Chapmantown, establised that the Edler Henry Black was an old man when he organized the church there. We have no proof that he was related to our family.

It has been said that Jonathan Black fought in the War of 1812 but no record of this was found in Washington, D.C.; records which are admittedly incomplete. Henry and John, sons of James in New Jersey were in the Civil War as was James Black, the son of William and Adilla.

When William and Adilla settled in the Cortez/Maplewood area in 1833, the area was a vast wilderness, large areas of rock spurs jutting from the Moosic Mountains, with large swampy acreage surrounded by laurel thickets. Wild animals such as bear, panther and wolf abounded and it was not safe to be out after dark unless well armed. Sheep and cattle had to be kept in stockades at night.

William worked at lumbering most of the years, clearing the farms near him. Much of his time was spent shaving shingles, many of which were used for buildings in the area, one of which was the old saw mill built about 1865. William made many trips back to New Jersey carting shingles that were exchanged for produce. He moved several times as he cleared lumber from the land but never far from his first settlement. He finally purchased the farm where Eli Black, his son lived for years. His great granddaughter, Mary Spangenberg continues to live in this home.

Most of the Blacks living in the Maplewood area are descended from William but some are descended from James as will be shown in the following genealogy.

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