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BLACKWELL, George and Susan Dagg Blackwell

“George Blackwell and his wife Susan Dagg came from Ireland in the 1830’s, to a farm 3 miles east of Haley’s near the Garden of Eden, in Ross Twp, about 1848.  The farm was later owned by Hugh Phillips.  George and Susan both lived to the age of 85 and are buried in Haley’s Cemetery.”

“It’s a long way to Tipperary,

It’s a long way to go… ” 

This song made famous in WW1 would not be popular for another 80-some years when George Blackwell and Susan Dagg Blackwell and  the oldest six of their children emigrated from Tipperary County, Ireland in 1830. But the feeling of being a long, long way from home would be a commonly shared sentiment.

His wife Susan Dagg was also born in Ireland and they came out together to a place called the Garden of Eden.  That place name alone tells how its residents viewed this new land of endless possibilities.  Their descendants would put down deep roots in Westmeath and throughout the Ottawa Valley on both sides of the Ottawa River.  Tipperary Song.

The following is an excerpt from “Irish Migrants in the Canadas as compiled by Bruce S. Elliott. This book is available as an ebook; click on title.

 THE GEORGE BLACKWELL FAMILY of Renfrew County Ontario

” The Blackwell family of Renfrew County, Ontario was part of a group of Protestant Irish who came from Co. Tipperary in the early nineteenth century and settled first on the boundary of Pakenham and Ramsay Townships near the site of the later village of Clayton. The surnames of other families involved were Collins, Loney, Stanley, Lewis, Wall, Dagg, Howard, Owens, Smithson, Hodgins, and Guest.

No fewer than six of these original heads of families in the Clayton area were, like George Blackwell, married to Daggs.  Most of the families were from the parish of Modreeny, a few from the adjoining parish of Borrisokane. The George Blackwell family cannot be found in the parish registers of Modreeny, the home of the Daggs, so evidently they lived elsewhere in the vicinity.

The land these families took up in Canada was of inferior quality, and so it is not surprising that few of them remained where they first settled.  As children began to come of age and more land was needed to establish the new generation on farms, a new move seemed like a good idea.

The group split up around 1850.  Some moved to the Bervie area near Kincardine in Bruce County…..  The remaining families, with two exceptions, moved further up the Ottawa River to the Haleys Station area of Renfrew County, and settled more or less where the townships of Admaston, Bromley, Ross and Horton meet.  Two of George Blackwell’s children joined their friends in moving to Bruce County, while the rest settled in Renfrew County with their parents.”

This full BLACKWELL genealogy has been prepared by Linda Gervais Bromley, with Joyce Laird notes:  BLACKWELL,George & Susan Dagg Genealogy. Also additional information from geneology ntes prepared by Goldie Pearl Farnel Stephens and submitted y Edgar White. Pictures also from Linda Gervais Bromley:


  1. JANE BLACKWELL, b. 1822, Ireland; m. EDWARD COLLINS, 25 Jan 1849; d. 1887.
  2. MARGARET BLACKWELL, b. 1824, Ireland; d. 12 Feb 1899, Horton Twp.  Rosebank Cemetery m. JOHN DEAN Sr.
  3. JOHN BLACKWELL, b. 1830, Tipperary Co. Ireland; d. 09 May 1908, Huron Twp., Bruce County, Ont. m. MARY-ANN CROZIER
  4. RICHARD BLACKWELL, b. 1833, Ireland; d. 11 Jun 1892, Ross Twp. Ont. buried at Haleys. m. ELIZABETH MASON
  5. JAMES BLACKWELL, b. 01 Jul 1834, Ireland; d. 15 Jul 1913, Neepawa, Man.m.  ELIZABETH ARMITAGE
  6. THOMAS BLACKWELL, b. 10 Jan 1838, Ireland; d. 19 Feb 1920, Haley Station, Ont.  m. ELIZA JANE JOHNSTON
  7. ELIZABETH BLACKWELL, b. 01 Jan 1840, Ramsay Twp.,Ont. or Ireland?; d. 03 Dec 1917, Haley Station, Ont. buried in Haleys.  m. SAMUEL JR. MASON
  8. Sarah-Ann-Blackwell-Clark

    Sarah “Sadie” Blackwell Clark, Photo from Murray Clark

    WILLIAM BLACKWELL, b. 31 Dec 1842, Ramsay Twp.,Ont.; d. 07 Aug 1924, Cobden, Ont. m. (1) MARGARET MASON and (2) GRACE PURCIVAL   William Blackwell  and Margaret Mason moved to Cobden, Renfrew County, ON. A daughter Sarah Ann “Sadie” Blackwell would move to Manitoba and she wed a Charles Wesley Clark in 1903 in Minnedosa, Manitoba. Sadie’s grandson Murray Clark has graciously submitted this PDF about his grandmother. Individual Report for Sarah Ann BLACKWELL

  9. GEORGE BLACKWELL, b. 05 Aug 1845, Ramsay Twp.,Ont.; d. 13 Jan 1942, Campbell’s Bay, Que. m. ELLEN GUEST
  10. BENJAMIN BLACKWELL, b. 05 Feb 1848, Ramsay Twp.,Ont.; d. Bef. 1851.
  11. SUSANA OR SUSANNAH BLACKWELL, b. 26 May 1853, Horton Twp. Ont.; d. 1915, Buried in Westmeath, m. FRANCIS SMITH.

George Blackwell & Elizabeth Lyons & Descendants

(This branch is the first Westmeath Township Blackwell Family)
George Blackwell 1860-1920

George Blackwell 1860-1920

Fourth- born Richard and his wife Elizabeth Mason had a son GEORGE BLACKWELL (1860-1920)This grandson would be the first of his line to settle in Westmeath Township, on  Lot 14, Concession 8 that was earlier purchased by his father.  Smith-Blackwell Land Sale, 1874.

Blackwell Homestead, South east part of Lot 14m Con. Westmeath Township, on Hawthorne Road.

Blackwell Homestead, South East part of Lot 14 Con. 8, Westmeath Township, on Hawthorne Road.


Sarah Lyons Blackwell 1860-1939

Sarah Lyons Blackwell

George was from a family of ten, and owned and operated a sawmill in Westmeath.  He married SARAH LYONS (1860-1939). Three of the family; Richard Allen, Nina Margaret and George Irvin would move to  Michigan, USA.  And two of the family would marry two of the O’Brien Family. Also see LYONS entry.

George and Sarah Blackwell Family From Left: Pearl, Father George Blackwell, Mother Sarah Lyons, Nina, Hattie, Allen, John Henry and Irvin.

George and Sarah Blackwell Family
From Left: Pearl, Father George Blackwell, Mother Sarah Lyons, Nina, Hattie, Allen, John Henry and Irvin.


  1. HARRIET “HATTIE” E. BLACKWELL, b. 22 Oct 1885; d. 12 Sep 1970. She married (1) Henry “Harry” Severin (1886-1941) in Westmeath in 1915. They had one son Elmer who died as an infant at 5 mos. in 1916. Buried in Eyre Cemetery, Sudbury, Ont. Hattie remarried (2) John A Farnel at Copper Cliff in 1951. John died in 1958.
    Nina & Bill McKenzie and Hattie & John Farnel

    Nina & Bill McKenzie and Hattie & John Farnel


    John Henry Blackwell

  2. RICHARD ALLEN BLACKWELL, b. 17 Oct 1890, Westmeath Twp.; d. 05 Jan 1959, Detroit, Mich. Richard Alan Blackwell, used to have a saw mill on the Ottawa river and also delivered ice in the summer to families for refrigeration. Allen married Margaret Ann Snowdon (1887-1938) also from Westmeath. They are buried at Cherry Hill Cemetery, Dearborn, Michigan.  See SNOWDEN entry.     Allen Blackwell & Margaret Snowden  had one son and three daughters:   i.  Ellard George Blackwell (1912-  ) m. Edith Pike and is buried at Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak, Mich. USA.  ii. Mary Sarah Eveleen Blackwell (1913-  )  m. Austin Le Lachear. iii. Margaret Bernice Blackwell (1914-1934) m. John Hans Fischer born London, England in 1911. iv. Dorothy Blackwell ( 1916-  ) m. Carmen Edgar McCray and lived in Michigan.

    Allen and Nina Blackwell

    Brother & Sister -Allen and Nina Blackwell

  3. NINA MARGARET BLACKWELL, b. 1894; d. 1966, Detroit, Mich. Mina married WILLIAM ARTHUR SMYTH 06 Jan 1914, son of WILLIAM SMYTH and SARA BEACH of the Beachburg Beach family, with a second marriage to William “Mac” MacKenzie;  and would live out her life in Michigan. Nina and Arthur had 3 children. One daughter died at birth; first  son was Arthur Vairin Smyth (1920-  ) and second William Darcy George Smyth (1925-  ). This branch is  American.
  4. John Henry "Jack" Blackwell

    John Henry “Jack” Blackwell

    JOHN “Jack” HENRY BLACKWELL, b. 15 Jan 1894, Westmeath Twp.; d. 15 Dec 1949, Wallaceburg, Ont. buried in Capreol, Ont. where he was fire chief for many years. He married a local Westmeath girl GLADYS MINERVA O’BRIEN, daughter of William Henry “Black Bill” O’Brien. See O’BRIEN entry. Jack served with the Canadian Firefighters in England in WW11.  Jack & Gladys had two sons:

(1) Everett Jeffrey Blackwell m. Lois Blackwell (no relation), and together they had 3 sons and 2 grand children and 4 great grandchildren.      Submitted to this entry by Teasha Blackwell.

(2) John Mervyn Blackwell (1925-  ) m. Shirley Clara Martin (1927-  ) and lived in Fernie, British Columbia.

John "Jack" Blackwell

John “Jack” Blackwell


Basil Thomas O’Brien

  1. CLARA-PEARL BLACKWELL, b. 12 Jan 1900, Westmeath Twp.; d. 09 Jan 1968, Westmeath, Ont. would marry THOMAS LESTER O’BRIEN (1893-1978), a son of “Black Bill” and brother to Gladys O’Brien wife of  brother Jack. O’Brien, Lester & Pearl Blackwell.                                                             They had seven children: (i) Basil Thomas was a  veteran of WWII and married Nora Clyne and settled in Vancouver, B. C. (ii) Doris O’Brien m.  (1919-  ) m. Richard Leontardy and lived in Burnaby, B.C.  (iii) Vera O’Brien (1921-  ) m. (1) Amos Dupuis and (2) Jack Brown in Vancouver, B.C. (iv) John O’Brien (1924-  ) m. Laveda Nunas in Vancouver. (v) Audrey (1927- ) m. Robert Millar in Vancouver. (vi) William Earl O’Brien (1933-  ) m. Alda Ethier and was killed in a car accident  in 1960 at age 27 and is buried at Westmeath. (vii) Harris George O’Brien (1939-  ) m. Linda Gervais and raised 4 children in the Village of Westmeath.

    Clara Pearl Blackwell & Lester O'Brien

    Clara Pearl Blackwell & Lester O’Brien

  2. GEORGE-IRVIN BLACKWELL, b. 07 Aug 1901, Westmeath Twp.; d. 22 Dec 1959, Alaska. Buried Royal Oak, Memorial Cemetery, Mich. Irvin m. Eva Smyth in 1921 in Westmeath. See SMYTH entry.
Irvin Blackwell

Irvin Blackwell

Photos from

Susana Blackwell & Francis (Frank) Smith & Descendants.

The youngest daughter of George Blackwell and Susan Dagg Blackwell was also named SUSANA BLACKWELL(1853-1915). Her marriage to FRANCIS SMITH (1847-1920) would result in a family of nine,  – and two daughters, OLIVE and ADDIE would married two MCBRIDE brothers. See SMITH entry.


Emerson Trevor McBride

Daughter OLIVE JANE SMITH (1876-1952), and ALEX MCBRIDE were:

    2. EMERSON TREVOR MCBRIDE, b. 25 Jul 1897, Ross Twp. Ont.; d. 02 Aug 1934.

Daughter ADDIE MYRTLE SMITH (1884-1907) and HENRY MCBRIDE (1877-1926) was: ARNDELL MCBRIDE (1903-1980).  See MCBRIDE entry.

Frank Blackwell  & Sarah McMullen & Descendents

The ninth-born child of George Blackwell and Susan Dagg was GEORGE JR. and he married  ELLEN GUEST.  Their son FRANK (WILLIAM FRANCIS) 1873- 1934,  would father well-known Westmeath Township Blackwells. WILLIAM FRANCIS “FRANK” married SARAH MCMULLEN in 1900, daughter of WM. MCMULLEN. See MCMULLEN entry.

Archie & Muriel Blackwell in front of their store in Westmeath Village.

Archie & Muriel Blackwell in front of their store in Westmeath Village.

The children of Frank Blackwell, (grandson of George and Susan Dagg Blackwell), and Sarah McMullen were:

  1. CLARA P. BLACKWELL, b. 26 Sep 1902
  2. WM. G. WALLACE BLACKWELL, b. 17 Sep 1904, Shawville, Que.; d. 18 Jan 1942, Cornwall, Ont. buried at Pinecrest Cem.
  3. ARCHIBALD (ARCHIE) TREVOR BLACKWELL, b. 17 Sep 1909; d. 1982 Blackwell, Archie and Muriel . ARCHIE married MURIEL DAVIS (1909- 1973), in Ottawa, Ont. daughter of JOSEPH DAVIS and HATTIE STINSON.  See DAVIS entry.

Archie and Muriel Blackwell had a general store in Westmeath for 26 years.  In 1947, they purchased waterfront property on the Rapid Road, and built 7 cottages, known as “Cedar Grove Cottages”, on the shore of the Ottawa River

The children of ARCHIE and MURIEL are: TREVOR FRANCIS (1930-1952) who was killed in a logging accident in Beachburg, and ERIC GEORGE BLACKWELL (1932-  ). Eric married LAURINE MARGARET FLORENCE HORRICKS 20 Jun 1959 in Pembroke, Ont. The children of ERIC BLACKWELL and LAURINE HORRICKS are: i.    TREVOR  ii.  TERRY .

4.    FRANCIS BLACKWELL, b. 30 Jan 1915; d. 03 Dec 1995, Lakeview Nursing Home, Cobden.

5.    DOROTHY HELEN BLACKWELL, b. 09 Jul 1921. She married (1) OTTO BRETZLAFF and (2) LENNOX ROY  JEFFERY (1917-1985) 24 Sep 1941.  Children of DOROTHY BLACKWELL and LENNOX JEFFERY are:  WILLIAM ROY “Bill” JEFFERY, b. 05 Nov 1943; m. SHARON EDMONDS, 30 Jun 1967; BARBARA ANN JEFFERY, b. 24 Jan 1948.

Jefffrey, Dorothy and Lennox

Dorothy and Lennox Jeffrey at their 50th Anniversary.