Thursday, November 10, 2011

JOHN BLAND 1572-1668

Detail from pre 1666 London Map

This detail shows Sythe Lane, where John Bland was born, and the Church of St. Antholin, where he was buried. Location: Sythe Lane, London, England

John Bland/John Smith
Name: John Smith Bland
Sex: M
Birth: 1572 in Of Sythlane, London, Middlesex, England
Death: Before 6 January 1667/68 in Nantucket, Massachusetts
John Smith and family came to Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1630 on ship James with Winthrop Fleet. Three years later removed to Newbury and then to Watertown, Massachusetts.

John Smith, SR was a proprietor of Watertowne, Massachusetts in 1636. Farmer December 7, 1636. His land, adjacent to that of John Benjamin in 1645. Thomas Levit and Isabel Levit (sometimes Isabel Bland, daughter of John Bland of Martha's Vineyard, late deceased), both of Hampton, New Hampshire, constitute their son John Levit their Attorney in the settlement of the estate of John Bland, by an instrument dated April 16, 1691. In support of their claim they file the following depositions:21:316 Deposition "Hampton in New Hamsphire in New England , The deposition of Nathaniell Drake aged about 78 years, and Abram Drake, aged bout seaventie years, who sayeth they have known John Bland, sometime a liver upon the Land, commonly called Matthew's Vineyard, formerly a liver at Glouchester, in England, we have also known Isabelle Bland, now the wife of Thomas Leavitt of Hampton, in New Hampshire . We have known them both ever since we were children, and the said Isabell Bland, now the wife of Thomas Leavitt, was always accounted to be the dauther of the above said John Bland; and we have heard the above said John Bland to own the above said Isabell to be his daughter and never heard nothing to the contrarie, never since we can remember; and the above said John Bland was sometimes called by some persons, John Smith, but his name, and his ancestors name, was called Bland."Nathaniel Drake and Abram Drake appears 27th April 1671 and made oath to the truth of all above written before me, Henry Green, Justice of The Peace. Dukes County Records Vol 1, page 282. Transcripts Vol B., p 216 January 18 1867. By Ri chard L Pease, Clerk of Courts, Edgartown, Massachusetts January 18 , 1867. Samuel Smith aged 29 and Benjamin Gould, aged 42 years both of the Vineyard testify to same effect.

References: History of Martha's Vineyard Vol 2 pages 41-46.

Immigration: ship "Bullet"

John Smith and Isabela were both born about 1579, most probably in England. John was admitted as freeman at Watertown on December 6, 1636. On the earliest known list of the proprietors of Watertown (1636/7), are four with the name Smith, John Sen'r, John Jr, Thomas and Francis. His homestall of 18 acres was bounded south east by Bank Lane; south west by R. Browne and W. Barsham; north west by Division line; north east by S. Hosier. In 1645, John Sr's. land was described as being adjacent to John Benjamin's land. It is probable that John and Isabella were the parents of John and Thomas, and perhaps of Francis and Daniel. Isabella Smith, wife of John, was buried in Watertown on October 12, 1639, age 60 years. John died in Watertown on July 12, 1639, also aged 60 years.

Text from source: History of Martha's Vineyard - Annals of Edgartown Pages 42,43, 44, 45, 46.Mr. John Bland has bought of John Pease of Martins Vineyard a parcell of Land about ten acres & two acres of medo Lying against Mr Blands house at Mattakeekset. March 23, 1646. Mem: Mr. John Bland bought of Philip Tabor March 2, 1647 all his rights that he then possessed.

He was a resident of Colchester, England, prior to his emigration to NewEngland, and it seems that for reason which will be explained later in this sketch, he had adopted the alias of John Smith, under which name he would in all probability successfully defy identification. He is undoubtedly the John Smith associated with the Mayhews in the first movement from Watertown, of whom we hear no more in subsequent Vineyard History, as he resumed his correct name when he established himself here. Certain it is, that there was some controversy about him and his identity as two of his early acquaintances, Nathaniel and Abraham Drake of Hampton, New Hampshire, deposed that "he was sometimes called John Smith, but his name and his ancestors was Bland." (deeds, I, 282) His known family consisted of Joanna his wife and two daughters Annabel and Isabel, both married, and that his station in life was above the average of his neighbors here is evidenced by the prefix of distinction, Mr., which uniformly precedes his name in the records. His wife is given the prefix of Mistress also, and with Nicholas Butler he is the only one besides the elder and younger Mayhew so distinguished by a title which had a definite significance in those days. (Records, Commissioners of United Colonies, II, 205, 261. For"healpfulness in Phisicke and Chirurgery att Martin's Vineyard" and "for her pains and care amongst the Indians there for Phisicke and Surgery." His wife was paid a gratuity by the Society for Propagating the Gospel.

In 1654, John Bland was chosen one of the seven magistrates to assist the elder Mayhew in the government, but beyond this it is not known that he held any office. He participated in all the divisions of land up to the time of his death and his possessions are thus recorded in the town books: --These are the petickelers upon the Vineyard of my Known Lands and are above Intended: Twenty acres of Land Lying near the North pond with two acres of Meadow Joyning: which Land and Meadow More of Less Bounded By the pond on the East, the Comon on the South, the Comon on the West, John Blandon the North: with Ten acres of Land Lying in the Planting feild Bounded with . . . . with one Ten acre Lott upon the Line Bounded with . . . . with two acres of Meadow Lying at Chapequideck Bounded By . . . . : with a full Right of Comonage a Father: Adam Bland born 1528 in Orton, Westmorland, England
Mother: Joan Atkyns born 1528 in London, England
Marriage 1 Isabella Drake born 1579 in Elmstead, Essex, England
Married: about 1604 in Colchester, Essex, England
John Smith born 5 January 1620/21 in Hampton, Hampshire, England
Thomas Smith born 14 April 1605
Daniel Smith born 27 April 1606
Abraham Smith born about 1607
Isabell Smith born about 1610
Annabella Smith born 1613
Francis Smith born about 1620
found on

John Smith
Born about 1572, Colchester, Essex, England
Married about 1599, Colchester, Essex. England, to Isabella Drake
Died 06 January 1667, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Originally, his surname was probably "Bland". Apparently he changed it in honor of his stepfather (James Smyth, who was married to Arrina). He used the name Smith in Watertown (John Smith Sr.), and Bland in Martha's Vineyard.

Possible Immigration: 17 August 1635 "JAMES" of Bristol. Sailed June 4, arrived August 17,
'...having one hundred passengers, honest people of Yorkshire, being put into the Isles of Shoals, lost three anchors: and setting sail, no canvas or ropes would hold, but she was driven within a cable's length of the rocks at Pascataquack, when suddenly the wind, coming to N.W., put them back to the Isles of Shoals, and, being there ready to strike upon the rocks, they let out a piece of their mainsail, and weathered the rocks.' [Winthrop: Journal I, 156; Mather: Journal][Charles Edward Banks, "THE PLANTERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH: 1620-1640 Passengers and Ships", Genealogical Pub. Co., Inc., Baltimore (1972) 974.w2p, pg.135]
http://www.pcez.c om/~bigshoe/du/Stub/bland.html
John Bland alias Smith
born about 1575, Colchester, Essex, England
died 6 January 1667/68 Edgartown, Dukes, Massachusetts
lived Martha's Vineyard, Dukes, Massachusetts by 1646
married (1): Isabella Drake Colchester, Essex, England about 1594
married (2): Joanna unknown [after 1639]

"John Bland, alias John Smith was living at Edgartown, on Martha's Vineyard, in 1646 and was undoubtedly the John Smith (in) association with the Mayhews in the first movement from Watertown to the Island, where he was always a 'Bland' "
found on

John Bland was baptised on 28 September 1572 at St. Gregory by St. Paul London. Information from Adam Bland history
found on

John Bland
John Bland was born in 1572 in Colchester, Essex, England. He was christened on 28 September 1572 at St Gregory Parish, London, London, England. He died 6 January 1668 in, Nantucket, Nantucket, Massachusetts and was buried 1668 Lancaster, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He was an eminent merchant of London before coming to North America. John Bland was one of the Earliest settlers of Martha's Vineyard, having owned land there as early as 1646. He frequently called himself John Smith, even prior to his arrival in New England. Probate records include the John Smith name. John Bland was a member of the Virginia Company. The Virginia Company was formed with a charter from King James I in 1606. The Company was a joint stock corporation charged with the settlement of Virginia. It had the power to appoint the Council of Virginia, the Governor and other officials, and the responsibility to provide settlers, supplies and ships for the venture. The initial reaction to the Company was favorable but as the mortality rate rose and the prospect for profit grew dim, the support for it waned. The leadership resorted to lotteries, searching for gold, and silkworm production to increase profits. The charter was finally revoked in 1624 and Virginia became a Crown colony, largely as a result of the Indian Massacre of 1622. found on

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