"The estate of Hollywood, in county Down, near Belfast, Ireland, and known as the Blackwood
estate, being an entailed property, fell to the eldest son of the family [Sir John BLACKWOOD,
2nd Baronet, of Killyleagh], and the youngest son,
as is always the case where and estate is entailed, was left the alternative of becoming a
clergyman in the established church, or of entering the military or naval service of the
government. The younger son of the Blackwood family, in 1736, entered the English navy and
embarked as an officer under Commodore Anson, in a voyage of discovery and conquest around the
world. Previous to this he was married, and he left behind a wife and two sons, James and
Robert, with no provision for their support other than his pay as an officer in the navy. The
voyage was a successful one, and from his prize money, added to his pay, he was able to support
his family. These prizes were taken from among the Spanish fleet and merchantmen, and from
enforced contributions levied, as was then the custom, on seaports and cities captured. He
again sailed, under Commodore Drake, and on the return of the ship from a seven years' voyage,
as they were entering the port of Carrickfergus, Ireland, whence they sailed, he was struck
from the bulwarks by the main boom, and sent to a watery grave.
"The widow [circa 1760] of this brave officer, with her sons, James and Robert
Blackwood, were left almost destitute, while the son of the heir to the estate became
a wealthy member of the Irish parliament and on June 7, 1800, for
his energy in supporting the Act of Union, [Sir James Stevenson BLACKWOOD] was created a
peer of the realm. The heir to the title and estate of Blackwood is now Lord Dufferin, late governor general of
--"The History of Franklin & Pickaway Counties, Ohio," 1880.
Per the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, and Dr. A.T. Harrison, formerly of
PRONI, in connection with his work on the Dufferin papers, or in his D.Phil. thesis, 'The
1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava: Whig, Ulster Landlord and Imperial Statesman' (New University
of Ulster, 1983):
"The BLACKWOODs are of Scottish settler stock. The family had established themselves in Co.
Down by the early 17th century, and over the next two centuries they steadily increased their
landed property and social and political influence, by 'good sense and sagacity [and sometimes
by sharp practice], by advantageous marriages, by caution in politics and conservative temper'.
Among their marriages were a late 17th and a mid-18th alliance with the Hamilton family of
Killyleagh Castle, Co. Down, formerly Viscounts Claneboye, alias Clandeboye, and Earls of
Clanbrassill, from whom they inherited considerable property.
"By the late 18th century they were a prominent, though far from dominant, landed family in
the county. A large bloc of their acreage lay within the rectangle cornered by the small towns
of Killyleagh, Comber, Saintfield and Crossgar, which nestled in the drumlin topography to the
west of Strangford Lough. The family also held three other estates in the extreme north-eastern
corner of the county. One was on the shores of Belfast Lough, west of the seaside town of
Bangor. This estate centred around the family seat of Ballyleidy, later re-named Clandeboye.
The smallest estate of all was on the other side of Bangor, at Ballyholme, and the last property
- somewhat isolated from the rest - lay on the Irish Sea coast of the Ards Peninsula, composed
of a group of townlands in the neighbourhood of the village of Ballywalter. The estate at its
fullest extent comprised some 18,000 acres, with a rental of c. 7,000 a year in 1800 and of
c. 18,000 a year at the coming-of-age of the 5th and most famous Lord Dufferin in 1847.
"In 1763, the Blackwoods (who had parliamentary influence behind them because they controlled
the return for the borough of Killyleagh) were created baronets. A recreation of one or other
of the extinct Hamilton peerages of Clandeboye and Clanbrassill became the next object of family
ambition, but it was as Barons Dufferin that they entered the peerage of Ireland in 1800. This
was an Act of Union peerage. But the Blackwoods performed the remarkable feat of securing the
peerage, and at the same time perpetuating the myth that they had indignantly refused it!"
John BLACKWOOD of Bangor, County Down, Ireland, UK. Born 1591, probably County Fife,
Scotland. Died 22 May 1663.
married Janet CLERKE
had John BLACKWOOD of Ballyleidy, County Down, Ireland, UK. Died 1698.
married Anna WAUCHOPE
had John BLACKWOOD, Protestant, born before 1671. In 1689, was attainted (charged as
a traitor) by James II's Parliament. James II was Catholic, and was succeeded by his Protestant
son-in-law and daughter, William and Mary.
married Ursula / Ann HAMILTON circa 1700, born before 1678, died 12 SEP 1741. Daughter
of Robert HAMILTON of Killyleagh. Killyleagh Castle was occupied by the HAMILTON family
since the 17th Century Plantation of Ulster.
had Sir Robert BLACKWOOD, 1st Baronet. He was born 5 NOV 1694, died 1774
Sir Robert was created 1st Baronet BLACKWOOD, of Ballyliddy
[Ballyleidy], County Down on 1 Jul 1763. He was later known as 1st Baronet,
In 1800, title changed to the Barons Dufferin and Claneboye.
In 1871, title changed to the Earls of Dufferin.
In 1888, title changed to the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava.
married, 1st, Joyce LEESON in 1719, daughter of Joseph LEESON and Margaret BRICE.
Father was a brewer in Dublin, County Dublin.
had 1) Sir John BLACKWOOD, 2nd Baronet. Born 1725 in Ballyleidy, Ireland, UK.
had 2) "Officer" (Leeson?) BLACKWOOD, born abt 1727. Leeson BLACKWOOD witnessed a
will on the island of Jamaica in 1763.
Sir Robert BLACKWOOD, 1st Baronet
married , 2nd, Grace MACARTNEY in 1729, daughter of Isaac MACARTNEY and
Sir John BLACKWOOD became 2nd Baronet, of Killyleagh in 1774. Died 27 FEB 1799.
married Dorcas STEVENSON, born 1726, became the 1st Baroness Dufferin and Claneboye in 1800, died 1808.
had 1) Sir Robert BLACKWOOD of Parliament born 1752, Member of Parliament 1776-1785, unmarried. Fell
from a horse and died 31 Jan 1785 near Belfast, County Belfast, Ireland.
had 2) Sir James Stevenson BLACKWOOD on 8 JUL 1755. Member of Parliament for Killyleagh 1788-1800.
Succeeded to title Baronet of Killyleagh on 27 Feb 1799, and 2nd Baron Dufferin and Claneboye on 8 Feb 1807.
Built Clandeboye House 1801-4. Sheriff of County Down in 1804. Died after 1807.
"Officer" (Leeson?) BLACKWOOD (c1727-c1773) "In 1736 sailed as a young lad..."
Married Miss UNKNOWN circa 1740 and had two sons. 1740 junior officer under George
ANSON (1697-1762), harassing the Spanish in South
America and the Pacific. In 1743, captured the "Senhora del Caba Donga." In June of 1744, returned with treasure.
"Several years later" sailed under "Commodore DRAKE," perhaps Francis William DRAKE (1724-1787).
Accidental death upon returning from "7-yr-voyage." Leeson BLACKWOOD died "unmarried" in 1773.
Had 1) "Poor" James BLACKWOOD circa 1740.
Had 2) "Poor" Robert BLACKWOOD circa 1740.
"The two sons of the naval officer, James and Robert Blackwood, were apprenticed to the linen
manufacturing business, in which James became very expert in the making of fine work. Robert
followed plain weaving, and after a time invented a machine for warping the linen which worked
to perfection. He took a farm and bought yarn at the markets. He also had seven looms in his
house, and became quite an extensive linen manufacturer. After engaging in business he..."
"Poor" Robert BLACKWOOD
married, 1st, Miss McCULLEN by whom he had fourteen children."
1) Alex circa 1780
2) Mary circa 1784
3) James circa 1785
4) Jane circa 1786
5) Joseph circa 1787
6) Robert BLACKWOOD of Gladwyn 1788
7) Hugh circa 1789
8) William circa 1790
9) David circa 1791 and
10) 11) 12) 13) 14) unknown
Robert BLACKWOOD of Gladwyn was born in Ireland about 1788.
married Miss UNKNOWN born circa 1807 and
had Margaret BLACKWOOD born abt 1827 Black Hill, Carrickfergus, County Antrim.
The Irish Potato Famine was from 1845 to 1849, but the after-effects continued into 1851.
Married 4 Mar 1846 William McMORAN Templecorran Parish (includes the townland Black
Hill), County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK. Margaret's first three children were probably
born in Northern Ireland, between 1847 and 1851. Emigrated from Belfast, Ireland, UK on the ship
"Willa". Arrived 8 Apr 1852 at Castle Garden, the Battery, New York, NY.
Robert BLACKWOOD is found in the 1860 US Federal Census, living next to his daughter and
son-in-law, William MCMORAN, in Lower Merion Tp., Montgomery Co., PA, occupation "Weaver". This
occupation seems to corroborate the BLACKWOOD family history of linen weaving (see above). This
biography was found in the family in Pennsylvania, although it appears in "The History of
Franklin & Pickaway Counties, Ohio," 1880.
Robert BLACKWOOD, his daughter Margaret McMORAN and son-in-law William McMORAN are all buried
Odd Fellows Cemetery next to Gladwyn United Methodist Church, Lower Merion Tp., Montgomery Co.,
"Poor" Robert BLACKWOOD's 1st wife died, and
married, 2nd, Ellen BERRY, by whom he had four children;
one died while young, and the others emigrated to the United States,
where they now live." had:
1) Jane BLACKWOOD married Neil SHANNON settled Canada 1833, 1838 to
Franklin Co., Ohio.
2) James BLACKWOOD to US about 1865, settled Eddyville, Iowa.
3) John BLACKWOOD, pictured below, was born 27 June 1815, at Crossmary,
Parish of Kilroot, which adjoins the Parish of Templecorran, (see Margaret) three miles
from Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ireland. Arrived Baltimore 1832, stopping in
Pittsburgh. In 1841 bought a farm in Franklin Co., Ohio, m. Christine SMITH, nine