John Blackwelder & Elisabetha Maushardt

The immigrant ancestor of most of the Blackwelder families in America was John Blackwelder, who was born Johannes Schwarzwalder on 29 January 1684 in Monchweiler, Wurttemberg, Germany. His parents were Jacobus Schwarzwalder and Margaretha -----. Monchweiler was in Germany's Schwarzwald (or Black Forest). On 27 November 1708, in Durrn (a town in Wurttemberg, about 60 miles north-northeast of Monchweiler), Johannes Schwarzwalder (a wheelwright) married Elisabetha Maushardt. Elisabetha, a daughter of Andreas Maushardt and Barbara -----, was born in 1688 (possibly in Lienzingen, a few miles to the east of Durrn).

Johannes and Elisabetha had at least six children, three of whom survived infancy: Johann Adam (born 30 September 1719), Gottlieb (born 8 November 1722), and Anna Margaretha (born 29 Oct 1725). The Schwarzwalder family were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Durrn. Elisabetha died in Durrn on 27 March 1734. Johannes remarried there on 7 May 1737 to Christina, widow of Johannes Keller.

Not longer after his marriage to Christina, they applied to leave Germany for America and, on 29 March 1738, were granted a permit to do so. They sailed in the ship Friendship, which arrived in Philadelphia on 20 September 1738. Not long after arriving, they anglicized the surname from Schwarzwalder to Blackwelder. According to the declaration of importation found in Brunswick County, Virginia Order Book 3, p. 27, dated 3 April 1746, "John [Johannes] Blackwelder made oath that he imported himself, his sons, John [Johann Adam] and Caleb [Gottlieb] and daughters Elisabeth and Margaret [Anna Margaretha], and his sister Catherine Blackwelder directly from the Marquisite of Durlach of Germany into the Province of Pennsylvania . . ." There was no mention of his wife Christina and it is not known if she made the trip to America or if she died after their arrival. No record of a daughter Elisabetha has been found in the Durrn church records nor is anything else known about her.

On 25 August 1742, in Williams Township, Bucks County (the part of which became Northampton County in 1752), a Johannes Schwarzwalder married Elizabeth Bernhardt, daughter of William Bernhardt. It is not known whether this Johannes Schwarzwalder is of the same family that immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1738.

The Blackwelder family next appeared in Brunswick County, Virginia in 1744. A patent of land granted to Martin Phifer dated 16 June 1744 described the land as "adjoining Blackwelders". Martin Phifer (son of Caspar Pfeiffer) married to John Blackwelder's daughter Margaret on 1 October 1745. According to Patent Book 25, pp. 159-160, John Blackwelder was granted 290 acres of land on 12 January 1747 "in the County of Lunenburg on both sides of Horsepen Branch of Allen's Creek". (Lunenburg County was formed from Brunswick County in 1746. The part of that county in which the Blackwelders lived was subsequently divided into present-day Mecklenburg County, Virginia in 1764.) John Blackwelder, Caleb Blackwelder, and Martin Phifer appeared in tax lists of Lunenburg County from 1748 to 1752. (John Adam Blackwelder's name did not appear in these tax lists.)

On 7 September 1756 (see Lunenburg County, Virginia Deed Book 4, p. 313), John Blackwelder conveyed his 290 acres of land on Horsepen Branch of Allen's Creek to Caleb Blackwelder. The deed was signed by John and Margaret M. Blackwelder. The date of John's marriage to Margaret not known. Nor is the date of John's death. There was a marriage of a Margaret Blackwelder in Cumberland County, Virginia on 26 November 1763 to Thomas Wilks, so presumably John died in southern Virginia between 1756 and 1763.

Margaret (Blackwelder) Phifer and her husband Martin moved from Lunenberg County, Virginia to Anson (now Cabarrus) County, North Carolina around 1757. Martin Phifer was living on Cold Water Creek as early as 1758. On 29 October 1760, he was granted 278 acres of land on Cold Water Creek (see Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Deed Book 1, p. 152). (Meckleburg County was formed in 1762 from Anson County. Then, in 1792, Cabarrus County was formed from the part of Mecklenburg County where Martin Phifer lived.) Martin died in 1791; his wife Margaret in 1803. They had at least four children.

Caleb Blackwelder deeded the land received from his father to William Philps on 19 January 1760 (see Lunenburg County, Virginia Fiduciary Book 4, p. 41). He then moved with his wife Betsey Phifer to Anson County, North Carolina around 1760. Caleb and his family belonged to the Dutch Buffalo Creek Lutheran Church, formed in 1745. This was later known as St. John's Lutheran Church, now located near Mount Pleasant in Cabarrus County, a few miles east of Concord. Caleb died 1794. He and his wife Betsey are buried at St. John's Lutheran Church. They had at least eight children. Most of the Blackwelders of Cabarrus County are descended from Caleb Blackwelder and Betsey Phifer.

Not much is known about John Adam Blackwelder. He married Catherine ----- (probably in Virginia in the 1740s). On 24 June 1762, he received a grant of 156 acres of land in Anson County North Carolina (in an area that soon became Mecklenburg County and then Cabarrus County in 1792). They had sons John and Charles, and possibly a son Christian, as well as a daughter Mary. (I am still seeking proof that Mary was a daughter of John Adam.) Mary was married around 1769 in Mecklenburg (now Cabarrus) County, North Carolina to John Shaver. (These are my 4th-great-grandparents and their descendants can be found on my John Shaver website.) On 26 September 1794, John Adam Blackwelder and his wife Catherine deeded the 156 acres of land on Little Cold Water Creek (which he was granted in 1762) to their son Charles. The date of John Adam's death is not known, but letters of administration were ordered in Cabarrus County for the estate of his wife Catherine on 16 April 1805. Sale of the property was held in July 1805.

Most of the Blackwelder families of the United States are believed to be descended from John Blackwelder and Elisabetha Maushardt. This web site is intended to be a compendium of the research done on them and their descendants.

Blackwelder Surname Distribution (1990 census)

A lot has been published on this family in various historical books, family histories, and the Internet, much of it accurate, some not so accurate. As is often the case with family histories, once something is in print, it often is considered to be "gospel". It is my hope that this web site will facilitate a critical examination and discussion of the facts, legends, and myths surrounding this Blackwelder family and to allow us Blackwelder researchers and descendants to learn more about our origins and our relatives' contributions to early America. The best way to separate fact from fiction and to resolve conflicting information is to go back to the primary sources (see Understanding Sources, Citations, Documentation and Evaluating Evidence In Genealogy, by Richard A. Pence ). These include records of marriages, births, deaths, and burials, census listings, Bible records, tax lists, probate and land records, etc. The information in the descendant listings on this web site will include documentation of the primary sources as much as possible, and transcriptions of many of those sources will be presented in links below. This is a working document and not necessarily definitive, since much of it is based upon information found on the Internet or in published secondary sources. It will be modified and (hopefully) improved as more researchers provide input and, most importantly, evidence. (One final note: Genealogy is a hobby of mine - one that I do in my spare time, balancing the demands of a family and a full-time career. I will do my best to respond to correspondence promptly and keep this web site current.)

Most of the Blackwelder descendants in North Carolina still live in and around Cabarrus, Rowan, and Iredell Counties. For a detail map of the counties and townships in this area, click the following image :

Here are listings of descendants (through six generations):

[Note: To view the Adobe Acrobat files, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. This can be downloaded free from You can download the files to your disk to view them, or use your web browser with the appropriate plug-ins.]

Children of John Blackwelder & Elisabetha Maushardt (Adobe Acrobat document; 120 KB; 21 Feb 2003)
    Descendants of John Adam Blackwelder (#4) & Catherine ----- (Adobe Acrobat document; 151 KB; 21 Feb 2003)
    Descendants of Caleb Blackwelder (#5) & Betsey Phifer (Adobe Acrobat document; 981 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
    Descendants of Margaret Blackwelder (#6) & Martin Phifer (Adobe Acrobat document; 198 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
    Index of Names (Adobe Acrobat document; 220 KB; 8 Mar 2003)

Explanation of Format of Descendant Listings [See here for explanation of numbering system for descendants.]

There are a number of Blackwelders who have not yet been placed in this Blackwelder family. If you know where they belong, please let me know.
Miscellaneous Blackwelder Descendants (Adobe Acrobat document; 240 KB; 8 Mar 2003)  [Note: The prefix for these descendants is "z".]

Some individuals with the surname Blackwelder are of African ancestry, probably descendants of slaves owned by the Blackwelders in the southern states (primarily North Carolina): Black Blackwelder Descendants (Adobe Acrobat document; 155 KB; 8 Mar 2003)  [Note: The prefix for these descendants is "x".] (I'd welcome correspondence from these families, too.)

Alabama Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 136 KB; 19 Jan 2003)
California Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 175 KB; 5 Jan 2003)
DC Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 105 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
Florida Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 155 KB; 26 Jan 2003)
Georgia Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 132 KB; 23 Mar 2003) 
Idaho Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 88 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
Illinois Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 113 KB; 27 Jan 2002)
Kansas Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 148 KB; 26 Jan 2002)
Kentucky Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 92 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
Minnesota Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 97 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
Montana Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 92 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
North Carolina Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 419 KB; 15 Mar 2003) 
North Carolina Notes (deaths) (Adobe Acrobat document; 231 KB; 23 Mar 2003) 
North Carolina Notes (Cabarrus Co.) (Adobe Acrobat document; 306 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
North Carolina Notes (Cabarrus Co. births) (Adobe Acrobat document; 235 KB; 23 Mar 2003) 
North Carolina Notes (Cabarrus Co. marriages) (Adobe Acrobat document; 242 KB; 23 Mar 2003) 
North Carolina Notes (Cabarrus Co. deaths) (Adobe Acrobat document; 198 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
North Carolina Notes (Iredell Co.) (Adobe Acrobat document; 338 KB; 23 Mar 2003) 
North Carolina Notes (Mecklenburg Co.) (Adobe Acrobat document; 251 KB; 23 Mar 2003) 
Oklahoma Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 119 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
Oregon Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 91 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
South Carolina Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 127 KB; 20 Feb 2003)
Tennesee Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 129 KB; 2 Mar 2002)
Texas Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 159 KB; 12 Jan 2003)
Virginia Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 127 KB; 22 Dec 2001)
Washington Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 95 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
Miscellaneous Notes (Adobe Acrobat document; 117 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
World War 1 Draft Registrations (Adobe Acrobat document; 93 KB; 8 Mar 2003)

1790 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 86 KB; 29 Dec 2001)
1800 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 73 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
1810 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 73 KB; 29 Dec 2001)
1820 US Census Adobe Acrobat document; 75 KB; 29 Dec 2001)
1830 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 98 KB; 29 Dec 2001)
1840 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 92 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
1850 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 118 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
1860 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 166 KB; 15 Feb 2003)
1870 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 166 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
1880 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 221 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
1900 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 260 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
1910 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 279 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
1920 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 307 KB; 8 Mar 2003)
1930 US Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 347 KB; 8 Mar 2003)

1895 Kansas Census (Adobe Acrobat document; 75 KB; 25 Jan 2002)

See my library of digital images (photos, newspaper clippings, etc.) related to this family.

There is a Blackwelder Family Genealogy Forum on the Internet devoted to genealogical research of this and other Blackwelder families. Also, see Greg Matthew's Blackwelder Kin web page.

I am a 4th-great-grandson of Mary Blackwelder (#41), who married John Shaver. Their family is the subject of  John Shaver & Mary Blackwelder
of North Carolina, Tennessee, & Arkansas.

Other links:

 Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
 Search the Social Security Death Index
 North Carolina GenWeb Project
 Township/Census Division Maps

This web page is a result of my own research over 30+ years, and includes the collective works of many, many others to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude. I would like to acknowledge them here.

If you would like to comment on any information contained within, or wish to correspond with me about this family, please send me an e-mail message at: Additions and corrections are greatly appreciated. I am especially interested in receiving information obtained from primary sources (census listings, Bibles, cemeteries, vital records, probate and land records, etc.) and photographs and digital images relating to the Blackwelder family so that I can incorporate them into this page. Also, I would like to provide links to other pages on the Internet that deal with Blackwelder genealogy.

Mark B. Arslan 

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Last updated on 23 March 2003 at 10:44 p.m.