Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Benjamin Blish 1753-1825

From A Record of the Revolutionary Soldiers buried in Lake County, Ohio, New Connecticut Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, Painesville, Ohio, 1902.

Typed and submitted by Becky Falin, 1996.

Tolland Co., Conn., was the birthplace of Benjamin Blish, Feb. 22, 1753.

In 1774 he married Phebe Skinner, sister of Capt. Abraham Skinner of Painesville. He served as a private in the Revolutionary War, one month and nineteen days, in Capt. Micah Hamlen's Co., Col. Thomas Marshall's regt. from June 13, 1776 to Aug. 1, 1776; also twenty-five days from Aug. 1 to Aug. 26 at Castle Island; also thirty-one days in Capt. Sylvanus Martin's Co., Col. William's regt., from Sept 29 to Oct. 30, 1777, in Rhode Island; and again at an alarm at the same place for six days under Capt. Israel Hicks, Col. Thomas Carpenter's regt., from Aug 1 to Aug 6, 1780.

About 1780 he moved his family to Middlefield, Hampshire Co., Mass., where they resided till they left for Ohio in Feb. 1804, with his brother-in-law, Capt. Skinner. They traveled on the snow to Buffalo, and on the ice of the Lake the latter part of the way. He bought land and made some preparations for removing his family, returning in the fall to Massachusetts.

On the 20th day of June, 1805, he started with his family for Ohio. Leaving his oldest daughter, the wife of Orris Clapp, his family consisted of himself and wife, six daughters and two sons, aged 21 and 12 years. At first their journey was prosperous, but in passing through New York state, the father was taken sick with the ague, the roads grew very bad; after leaving Buffalo they found great difficulty in obtaining food for man or beast.

They traveled by short stages on the beach of the Lake, sometimes felling a basswood tree, and browsing the horses upon the leaves.

They reached Erie July 16, the horses badly worn and unfit for further use. Here they made an agreement with a man named Ross to bring the family and stuff to Fairport in his boat, in exchange for one wagon. The two boys pushed on with the horses and two dogs, enduring many hardships, before they reached the home of Capt. Skinner on Grand river, shortly before noon on July 20. They had had no weapon of degense larger than a pocket knife.

The family were on the way forty-one days, in jeopardy from winds and waves, sometimes a part of them carried ashore by one of the boatmen in his arms, then walking for miles through woods or on the sand, not knowing the fate of the others, till through the guidance of a kind Providence they all reached Painesville safely, July 30.

They went into one room of a log house with Esq. Merry until they own house was completed in Dec. 1805, on land yet known as the Blish farm, in Mentor. There lived for twenty years Benjamin Blish, rejoicing, even amidst the privations incident to a new settlement, that he had placed his children in a more desirable location than the Green mountains of Massachusetts, where his entire life had been one of severe labor and close economy, with no better outlook for them. He died March 11, 1825, aged 72 years. His wife died Oct. 5, 1844, at 91. They are both buried at Blish cemetery in West Painesville.

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Last updated 3 Apr 2002

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