The Blodgett family in America is of English origin, and in this country holds a well-deserved rank for its patriotic services, members of the family having distinguished themselves in the French and Indian wars, at the siege and capture of Louisburg, in the invasion of Canada, and in the revolutionary war. There were one hundred Blodgetts in the revolutionary war, eighty-eight from Massachusetts and twelve from New Hampshire. In the eighth generation is numbered a United States senator, a judge of the United States district court, a chief justice of the supreme court of one New England state, an eminent judge of the superior court of another, a publicist and statistician of national reputation, a member of the New York chamber of commerce, and in the ninth generation a judge of the supreme court of a third New England state. John Taggart Blodgett is a judge in Rhode Island and a cousin of the father of Harry Thornton Blodgett.
(I) Thomas Blodgett, founder of the family in America, emigrated to New England with his wife and two eldest children, leaving London in the ship "Increase," April 18, 1635. He was then thirty years of age and his wife thirty-seven. They arrived in Boston and settled in Newtown, now Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he died in 1642, and by his will probated in 1943 left to each of his three children, £15. His widow Susan married second, February 15, 1644, James Thompson of Woburn, Massahusetts, May 21, 1720; married, December 13, 1655, Ruth, daughter of Stephen Eggleton. . 3. Susanna, born Newtown, June, 1637; died October 21, 1691; married, November 28, 1655, Jonathan, son of her step-father, James Thompson, of Woburn. Her eldest son Jonathan was the great-grandfather of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford. 4. Thomas, died August 7, 1639; his death being the seventh recorded in Newtown.
(II) Daniel, son of Thomas and Susan Blodgett, was born in England in 1631; died at Chelmsford, Massachusetts, January 28, 1672. He was brought by his parents to America when four years old, and was taken by his mother to Woburn on her second marriage; became a freeman of Cambridge (formerly Newtown), 1652; was one of the original incorporators of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, May 29, 1635, and in the following year settled in the west precinct of Chelmsford, which was set off and incorporated as the town of Westford, September 23, 1729. March 12, 1667, he was one of the committee appointed to allot the proportions of fence to each proprietor of Chelmsford. He married (first) September 15, 1653, Mary, daughter of Benjamin Butterfield, who died September 5, 1666; (second) March 10, 1669, Sarah, daughter of William Underwood. Children, seven by first marriage: 1. Thomas, referred to below. 2. Anna, born November 2, 1655. 3. Daniel, January 6, 1657. 4. Benjamin, 1658; died April 9, 1708; married, February 4, 1683, Mary Pellat. 5. Jonathan, September 18, 1660; married, February 7, 1687, Mary Rowlandson. 6. Samuel, October 12, 162; died July 3, 1687. 7. Nathaniel, October 22, 1664; died October 27, 1666. 8. Nathaniel (2), March 16, 1670; married, July 17, 1695, Elizabeth Warren. 9. William, about 1672; died about 1728; married, June 14, 1696, Mary Warren.
(III) Thomas (2), son of Daniel and Mary (Butterfield) Blodgett, was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, June 25, 1654; died probably, March 30, 1741, aged eighty-seven years. He married (first), June 29, 1682, Mary, born August 10, 1657, died November 9, 1694, daughter of Joseph Parkis, of Chelmsford; (second), July 8, 1696, Mary Drues, of Groton, or Concord, Massachusetts. Children, four by first wife: 1. Rebecca, born April 12, 1684. 2 Thomas, about 1686; died in 1730; married, September 30, 1719, Tabitha Blanchard. 3. Joseph, referred to below. 4. Beniah, October 22, 1694; died February 4, 1773; married Abigail Booth. 5. John, November 26, 1698; married, in 1723, Abigail Blanchard. 6. Samuel, September 27, 1702. 7. Mary, January 4, 1706; probably married about 1733, Moses Foster. 8. Anne, May 9, 1714.
(IV) Joseph, son of Thomas (2) and Mary (Parkis) Blodgett, was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, October 10, 1689; died in Hudson, New Hampshire, December 3, 1761. He is probably the Joseph Blodgett who was one of the grantees of the town of Mason in 1749, and afterwards owned in his own right one of the allotted sections of that town. About 1710 he removed from the west precinct of Chelmsford to that part of Dunstable, New Hampshire, which in 1732 became Nottingham; in 1741, Nottingham West, and is now Hudson. At the date of his removal the place was on the outskirts of the frontier. He married Dorothy, born July 9, 1696, died March 6, 1778, daughter of Joseph Perham. Children: 1. Joseph, born February 9, 1718. 2. Ebenezer, January 3, 1720. 3. Jeremiah, referred to below. 4. Abigail, about 1723; died March 20, 1818; married, May 27, 1744, Samuel Greeley. 5. Dorothy, February 18, 1724; married (first) Mr. Thompson, and (second) Onesiphorus Marsh. 6. Rebecca, February 3, 1728; married Samuel Merrill Jr. 7. Jonathan, December 5, 1730. 8. James, February 17, 1734.
(V) Jeremiah, son of Joseph and Dorothy (Perham) Blodgett, was born in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 20, 1721; died there, in 1796. From October 15 to November 26, 1745, he was one of the twenty-four men scouting under the command of John Goff Jr. from the Merrimac to the Connecticut rivers. He married Miriam Provender, who died in May, 1800. Children: 1. Jeremiah, born May 9, 1751; died 1776; married, April 15, 1774, Lucy Nevins. 2. Ebenezer, January 29, 1753; died 1776; married, May 19, 1775, Sarah, daughter of James Blodgett. Both Jeremiah and Ebenezer served in the revolution. 3. Asahel, referred to below. 4. Hannah, September 24, 1757; died about 1845; married, October 31, 1776, Stephen Chase Jr. 5. Sarah, May 16, 1760; died February, 1777. 6. Isaac, May 2, 1762; died January 21, 1777. 7. Beniah, March 3, 1765; died January, 1830; married Betsey Hamblet.
(VI) Asahel, son of Jeremiah and Miriam (Provender) Blodgett, was born in Nottingham West, New Hampshire, June 19, 1755; died in Dorchester, New Hampshire, June 3, 1842. He enlisted in Captain William Walker's company in December, 1776, and served for three months, when he returned home in order to assist his father in the management of the farm, as he was the only surviving son old enough to do so. In 1805 he sold his farm at Hudson and bought one at Dorchester, whither he removed in the spring of 1806 and w,here he died. One of his grandsons, the Hon. Rufus Blodgett, of New Jersey, says, "I remember our grandfather quite distinctly, though I was but eight years old at the time of his death. As I recall him he wa a man of stern nature, very firm convictions, and so far as I have been able to judge of strict integrity. It is possible he possessed more native talent than any of his descendants, * * * but they, both male and female, were a strong people intellectually, though they lacked early education and business training." He married (first), December 13, 1781, Catharine, born June 12, 1761, died December 20, 1795, daughter of Ebenezer and Abigail Pollard. He married (second), in 1796 or 1797, Lois Pollard, sister to his first wife, born August 18, 1771. Children, seven by first wife: 1. Catharine, born November 24, 1782; died December 10, 1805; unmarried. 2. Asahel, May 15, 1784; died April 11, 1863; married, about 1804, Polly, daughter of Phineas and Martha (Hamblet) Blodgett. 3. Ebeneer, January 14, 1786; died March 19, 1870; married June 21, 1827, Sally Cheever. 4. Isaac, August 12, 1787; died October 29, 1816; unmarried. 5. Sibyl, November 13, 1789; died March 6, 1863; unmarried. 6. Lois, February 17, 1792; died June 6, 1877; married, about 1845 Wales Dole. 7. Caleb, December 13, 1793; died October 5, 1872; married, September 7, 1824, Charlotte Piper. 8. Rufus, November 12, 1798; died March 20, 1881; married, about 1826, Ruth Webster Fellows. 9. Lucinda, November 18, 1800; died August 9, 1879; unmarried. 10. Abner, December 5, 1802; died October 5, 1889; married, December 9, 1832, his second cousin, Persis, daughter of Jabez and Rachel (Pollard) Blodgett. 11. Beniah, April 25, 1804; died April 8, 1817. 12. Jeremiah, referred to below. 13. Betsy, May 10, 1810; died February 23, 1892; unmarried.
(VII) Jeremiah (2), son of Asahel and Lois (Pollard) Blodgett, was born in Nottingham West, March 10, 1806; died in New Haven, Connecticut, August 2, 1881, and was buried at Wentworth, New Hampshire. His childhood and youth were passed at Dorchester, whither his father had removed when he was but a few months old. At twenty-six years of age he had acquired enough money by brick making to purchase a good farm in Dorchester, and in 1842-43 he represented that town in the New Hampshire legislature. In 1845 he removed to Rumney, New Hampshire, where he was appointed deputy sheriff for Grafton county, and in the following year removed to Wentworth. His appointment as deputy sheriff raised much bitter feeling against him among the friends of the rival candidate, but by the end of his term of five years service he had won his former opponents over into the number of his warmest friends and supporters. He was prompt and efficient as a public officer, yet generous to a fault, performing his unpleasant duties with the least possible annoyance and expense to the parties in litigation, and often relinquished his fees rather than add to the burdens of the poor. He wa a member of the constitutional convention of 1850, presided over by Franklin Pierce, which contained among its members some of the most distinguished men of the state, and he was also a member o the convention of 1876 which reported the preset state constitution. In 1855-56-57-58 he was the candidate of the Democratic party for the office of registrar of deeds for Grafton county, and during the administration of President Buchanan was offered the post of inspector at the Boston custom house, which he declined; later he accepted the appointment of mail route agent between Concord and Littleton. He was the representative of Wentworth in the legislature from 1870 to 1872, and in 1875-77 was a member of the governor's council. He was endowed with an unusually sound discretion, and lived an active, useful life, but he seemed to enjoy serving others better than himself. He cared little for worldly gain, loved his books, and being a great reader, with a remarkably retentive memory, his store of general and varied information was equalled by few. He possessed great force of character and firm determination of purpose, and yet he was as tender as a child, and his sympathy for others caused him to make sacrifices for their benefit. His attachments, particularly to his family and kindred, were strong and enduring, and so keen wa his perception of character that he who once gained his full confidence and respect always retained it. He married (first), November 23, 1833, Amanda, born April 8, 1813, died February 9, 1849, daughter of Deacon William and Hannah (Brown) Johnson, of Wentworth; her grandfathers were both revolutionary soldiers. He married (second), in September, 1850, Anne Blodgett, born in Rumney, February 16, 1804, died in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 8, 1889, daughter of Samuel and Ann (Blodgett) Burns. Her mother was a daughter of Jonathan Blodgett, of Hudson and Rumney. Children, all by first marriage: 1. Rufus, referred to below. 2. Jeremiah, born April 7, 1836; died May 18, 1836. 3. Louisa Johnson, March 31, 1837; died May 24, 1837. 4. Beniah, April 19, 1838; died September 5, 1852. 5. Louisa Johnson, September 15, 1841; died November 12, 1891; married, June 27, 1877, John Atwell, of Peacham. 6. Jeremiah, April 18, 1844; died December 9, 1859. 7. William Johnson, October 9, 1846; died October 26, 1868.
(VIII) The Hon. Rufus, son of Jeremiah (2) and Amanda (Johnson) Blodgett, was born in Dorchester, New Hampshire, October 9, 1834, and is now living in Long Branch, New Jersey. After receiving his early education in the public schools, he graduated from the Wentworth Academy, and then while quite young began learning the trade of a locomotive builder at the Amoskeag Locomotive Works, of Manchester, New Hampshire. He followed this trade for several years in New Hampshire, and afterwards at New Haven, Connecticut, and in 1866 was appointed master mechanic of the New Jersey Southern railroad. He became the superintendent of the road in 1874 and in 1884 was appointed to the position which he still holds, that of superintendent of the New York and Long Branch railroad. He has ranked among the prominent citizens of New Jersey for more than a quarter of a century, not only as a railroad manager, but also as a politician and a business man. As a life-long Democrat he has held many of the most important political offices in the gift of his party, and he still exerts a powerful influence in shaping the acts and policies of the councils of the New Jersey democracy. He was elected a member of the New Jersey assembly in 1877 and was re-elected in1878-79, and in the last named year wa the candidate of his party for speaker. He was one of the district delegates of New Jersey to the national Democratic convention, which in 1880 nominated General Hancock for the presidency, and in 1896 was a delegate at large to the convention which nominated William J. Bryan. During the presidential contest of 1884 he was chairman of the Democratic state committee. In the Democratic state convention of 1886 he was the strong rival of Robert Stockton Greene for the nomination as governor, but after an exciting and bitterly fought contest he was defeated on a very close vote. In 1887 he was elected United States senator and served as such until 1893, in which year he was elected mayor of Long Branch, a position which he held by successive re-elections each year until 1898. He was one of those who organized the First National Bank and the Citizens' National Bank of Long Branch, New Jersey, and of each of these institutions he was chosen president at its organization. He is a present president of the Citizens' National Bank, of Long Branch; a director of the First National Bank, of Princeton, New Jersey, and of the First National Bank, of South Amboy, New Jersey, and he is also president of the Tintern-Manor Water Company. On his maternal side his great-grandfathers, Samuel Johnson and William Brown, both rendered distinguished service during the revolution, the one in the army and the other in the navy, or which service each received a pension from the government up to the time of his death. Samuel Johnson was born in Sutton, New Hampshire, and died at Wentworth in 1847. William Brown was born in England about 1753, and came to this country in 1772. He enlisted on board the American frigate "Boston," and sailed from Marblehead, under Captain Samuel Tucker. Afterwards his vessel was used to transport to Europe John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams, the former minister to France.
Mr. Blodgett married (first), November 27, 1861, Amanda M., born in Peacham, Vermont, July 23, 1836, died there, January 28, 1879, daughter of Charles and Mary (Harriman) Hoyt, of Wentworth. He married (second), July 28, 1879, Chastina (Clark) Simpson, widow of Henry F. Simpson and daughter of Enoch and Ruth (Harriman) Clark, born in Piermont, New Hampshire, December 14, 1833. Children, both by first marriage: 1. Amanda Louisa, born in New Haven, Connecticut, August 18, 1862; died there, January 8, 1863. 2. Harry Thornton, referred to below.
(IX) Harry Thornton, son of the Hon. Rufus and Amanda M. (Hoyt) Blodgett, was born in Manchester, New Jersey, August 25, 1867, and is now living at Long Branch. For his early education he attended the district school at Manchester, and after graduating from the Chaltel high school at Long Branch, he spent a year in the same place under private tutors. He then took up the study of telegraphy in the main office of the Central railroad of New Jersey, being attached to the southern division, and here he remained until his father became superintendent of the New York and Long Branch railroad, when he took a position under him and has gradually worked up to the place which he now occupies as assistant general ticket agent. Like his father he is a Democrat, and after being twice elected councilman for the second ward of Long Branch, he declined a third election. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum. He married, April 14, 1890, Bertha, daughter of Stephen and Lena (Schwartz) Gerner.