Jan “John” Blaw

Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Death 14 Nov 1757 (aged 91)
Blawenburg, Somerset County, New Jersey, USA
Burial Burial Details Unknown
Memorial ID 143472098 · View Source
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John BLAW and his wife Margaret first appear in the records of the Jamaica Dutch Reformed Church in 1710, when their sixth child, Peter, was baptized. His name also appears in a 1716 Jamaica deed and he registered an "earmark" for his cattle at Jamaica in 1717. By 1742, John and his family had moved to Somerset Co., NJ. More details of his life may be found in "Descendants of John BLAW (BLUE), d. 1757 Somerset Co, NJ", 4th edition, 1990.

John BLAW (bp.1677-1757), m. Margaret (Marytje/Grietje) _____. John Blaw was baptised at the Brooklyn Dutch Reformed Church in Kings Co, NY. He later became a yeoman farmer in Somerset Co, NJ. The term yeoman, by which he is described in his will, implies that he was a land owner and worked his own land. His will, however, did not mention land, only personal property, since he had distributed his real property to his children before his death in 1757. Judging from the inventory of his estate, John Blaw was a fairly wealthy man; his personal estate was valued at almost £1000. Included in this estate were "a negroe man & woman" valued at £30.

Prior to 1742, John Blaw purchased 400 acres of farm land from Abraham Van Horn, a merchant of New York City and a large New Jersey landholder, and 95 acres adjacent to this tract from Nicholas Lake of New Brunswick, NJ. This land is located about one-half mile south of Blawenburg, Montgomery Twp, Somerset Co, NJ, on the Great Road leading to what is now Mercer Co. On 10 January 1741/2, John Blaw sold the east half of this plantation (247.5 acres) to his son, Michael Blaw. This gave Michael the part of the tract that lay east of the Great Road and John kept the land to the west of the road. Michael ran a mill at the point where the Great Road crosses Beden's Brook, and it is believed that Blaw's Mill was the origin of the name Blawenburg. On the same day, John sold the west half of his plantation to his son Frederick. This fact was discovered from a record of a mortgage deed signed by Frederick in 1768.

It is through John Blaw's will that the identity of his son, John, is established. He named John co-executor of his will, and in accepting the duties, son John, signed the paper using a distinctive mark. A similar mark is found on the will of John Blew (1.1, below). Furthermore, John Blaw willed to his son, John, a silver "drink beker". This later appears as a "Silver Cup" in the 1790 will of his grandson, John Blue (1.1.1, below), see photograph on title page. An additional connection is established by the mentioning of silver spoons in the wills of John Blaw (1.) and John Blew (1.1). John (1.1.1) was the only one of four sons of John (1.1) who did not receive a silverspoon. This was probably because he, as the eldest son, had already been given the most important family heirloom, the Silver Cup.

The earliest records of John Blaw (other than his baptismal record) are found at the 1st Dutch Reformed Church at Jamaica, Queens Co, NY (on Long Island), where the baptisms of his last three children are recorded. The records of the Town of Jamaica contain a deed of land between Jacamiah Denton and Nathan Smith, in which the land is described as being bounded on the north by John Blue. Also, in 1717, John Blue's earmark for his cattle was registered as "a slitt in each ear and a happeny on the fore side of the near ear". Thus, it is clear that John Blaw (Blue) was a farmer in Jamaica, NY before moving to Somerset Co, NJ.

Records of this family have been found in several other Dutch Reformed Churches. Michael was baptised at the Brooklyn Church, and some of the children of Michael and Frederick appear in the baptismal records of the Harlingen Dutch Church, several miles northeast of Blawenburg. No records for son John, or his family, have been found in Somerset Co. During this time period, the Dutch Church at Harlingen was split by the Frelinghuysen controversy, and the records of both congregations are incomplete. Cousins Hendrick and Altie Blauw were put out of the church and it's possible that some of this family joined them. Alternatively, it may be that they were Baptists, even at this early date. They were not members of nearby Hopewell Baptist Church, however, they may have attended without becoming official members. Later generations in Virginia and Ohio were members of the Primitive Baptist Church.

The Silver Cup, which was made by Jurian Blanck, Jr, of Brooklyn, NY, provides a vital link between the Blaws of New Jersey and their New York ancestors. The cup has the initials I*F inscribed on its base. In 1676, Jurian Blanck was a near neighbor of Jan Frederickse in Brooklyn, who later adopted the surname Blaw or Blaau (see Extended Family A at the rear of this book). This Jan Frederickse had a son Jan baptised on 9 December 1677 at the Brooklyn Dutch Reformed Church. It is believed that the I*F on the cup stands for Jan Frederickse, and that his son Jan was John Blaw (1.), herein. New York records indicate that Jan Frederickse came to America in the year 1652.

The surname of Margaret, John Blaw's wife, has not been discovered to date! She has been erroneously called a Van Leeuwe based on a Jamaica baptism in 1704 when "Jan Blauw and Maria Van Leeuwe were sponsors at the baptism of Aeltie, daughter of Frederick Hendricks and Dina Hendricks". There is no indication that Jan and Maria were man and wife.

John BLAW died in Somerset Co. NJ and his will is on file at the NJ Archives in Trenton.

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See more Blaw memorials in:

  • Created by: Sue McDuffe:)
  • Added: 8 Mar 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 143472098
  • W.M. Ullman
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jan “John” Blaw (9 Dec 1665–14 Nov 1757), Find a Grave Memorial no. 143472098, ; Maintained by Sue McDuffe:) (contributor 47122067) Burial Details Unknown.