William Lewis Blair

William Lewis BLAIR (1861 – 1919) was Alex’s Great Great Grandfather; one of 8 in this generation.

William Lewis Blair was born 13 Sep 1861 in Franklin Center, Quebec Canada.  He was baptized at Wesleyan Methodist Congregation in the Russelltown Circuit; Franklin Methodist. His parents were Thomas BLAIR and Rebecca Tryphosa HORTON.

William Lewis Blair Baptism 1861 Franklin

On his 1900 and 1910 census forms, William claimed that both his parents were born in New York  There is a record of Thomas’ baptism 10 Jun 1832 at the Presbyterian Church of Hemmingford, Quebec, but it is at least possible that Thomas was born in New York.   Thomas was born two months before his baptisms on 8 Apr 1832,  William’s grandfather came with wife and four small children from Armagh County, Ireland, in the spring of 1830.  They visited with relatives before moving to Frontier, New York, just across the border from Canada.  In 1837 they moved to Franklin Township, Quebec and got a farm of 200 aces, most all it it well timbered, clears a piece and built a home for themselves.

He first married Betsy Lindsay  3 Mar 1885.  After Betsy died, he married Susan Wilhelmina CRUTCHFIELD at the residence of Mr. Robert Law, (Susan’s brother in law) in Gore Hinchinbrook, by the Rev. James O’Hara on 6 Mar 1889.

William Lewis Blair – Susan Crutchfield Marriage 1889 Franklin

William died 15 Sep 1919 in Lakeport, California.

William Lewis Blair

Betsy Lindsay was born in Jun 1863 in Edinburgh,  Scotland.  Betsy died 25 Jan 1888 of child birth complication.

Betsey Lindsay Headstone — Wife of Wm L Blair. Aged 25 yrs 6 mths. Native of Argyllshire? Scotland.—- Hillside Cemetery Hinchinbrooke Township on Route 202 and is found across the road from Rennie’s United Church.

Susan Wilhelmina Crutchfield was born 21 Dec 1859 (Or 21 Nov 1860) in Ormstown, Quebec.  Her parents were Samuel CRUTCHFIELD II and  Martha FENNELL. Susan died 5 Jul 1920 in Napa, California of a tumor of the spine.

Susan Wilhelmina Crutchfield 1885


Child of William and Betsey Lindsay.  Betsey died nine days later.

Name Born Married Departed
1. Thomas Duncan Blair 16 Jan 1888 Apr 1888
Interred Hillside Cemetery
12 Apr 1888


Children of William and Susan:

Name Born Married Departed
2. Beulah Martha Blair 14 May 1892
Chateaugay or Rouses Point NY
John George Anderson
21 Sep 1925
Fresno, Calif
11 Aug 1974
Lindsay, Tulare, California
3. Horace Horton BLAIR 18 Feb 1894 Anderson’s Corners Quebec Genevieve MILLER
4 Apr 1925
Los Angeles
23 Jul 1965
Oakland, Calif.
4. Harold Alexander Blair 29 Mar 1896
Rouses Point, Clinton County, NY
Grace Pearl Lawson
26 Jun 1926
Albany, OR
3 Dec 1974
San Diego
5. Allen Lewis Blair 3 May 1898
New York
Elaine Spencer
7 Dec 1927
3 Jul 1991
Santa Clara, California

Blair Family 1902:  Beulah, William Lewis, Horton, Allen, Susan Wilhelmina, Harold

Family lore says that William Lewis, wanted to vote for William McKinley, and took out citizenship papers to do so. The papers (or birth records??) were lost when the Franklin Township courthouse burned down.

William Lewis managed other people’s property, and moved around a lot. He came to Lake County, California for his health. His children Beulah and Horace Horton had to stay behind with an uncle and aunt while the family got established in California.

Before she married, Susan Crutchfield (Aunt Susie) was a housekeeper in Worcester, Mass.  When she came home to visit, her brother-in-law Robert Law met them at Chateaugay NY and after their 10 mile drive home to Jamestown, Chateauguay County, Quebec, her sister had prepared a delicious supper of pressed chicken, homemade buns, cake and cookies.

The next time Susie returned from Massachusetts she came on sick leave.  It might have been Nervous Prostration and her sister cared for her for six months.Her niece remembers seeing the doctor pricking Aunt Susie with a pin and she couldn’t tell him where he had touched her.  She fully recovered through time.

Susan was a homemaker, excellent cook and sewer.  Expert at nursing (without training) musical ability, contralto voice and good ear for music.  Choir leader and church organist.  Socially popular, cheerful, amiable, kind, agreeable, Entertaining conversationalist.  fhen

03-03-1885 William L. Blair, of Franklin Quebec, married Lizzie Lindsay, third daughter of the late James Lindsay, of Alyth, Perthshire Scotland. At the Methodist Parsonage, in Huntingdon, by Rev. John Wilson,B.A.

01-16-1888 The wife of W. L. Blair, at Franklin Center, a son.

01-25-1888 Betsy Lindsay, wife of W. L. Blair, died at Franklin Center, aged 25 years 06 months. A native of Perthshire, Scotland.

04-10-1888 Thomas Duncan Blair, son of William L. Blair, died.

03-06-1889 William L. Blair, of Franklin Quebec, married Susan Crutchfield, third daughter of the late Samuel Crutchfield, at the residence of Mr. Robert Law, Gore Hinchinbrook, by the Rev. James O’Hara.  The house was filled with guests and such a table full of useful gifts.  As of the 1960’s, their first house in Frankin Quebec was still standing.

1890/91 – Will and Susie moved to Chateauguay, a small New York town on the border. Today’s population is 2,100. They found many friends there and attended the Methodist Church.  Chateaugay is a suburb of Montreal, but their Chateaugay is a small New York town on the border.

1892 – Next they moved to Rouses Point New York.  Rouses Point today is a town of 2,200.  It was first settled around 1783 by Canadian and Nova Scotian refugees who were granted tracts of land in reward for their services during the American Revolution.  Steamboats were a booming business on this part of the lake; the second commercial steamboat in the world was launched on Lake Champlain with Rouses Point as its first port-of-call. Steamboat traffic continued on the lake for the next 100 years, until displaced by the railroad.

1894 – Will, Susie and Beulah moved in with the Susie’s parents the Crutchfields and Horton was born in Anderson’s Corner, Quebec.

In the 1900 Census, William was gone and Susan was head of household in Mooers, Clinton, New York.   Susan W Blair 39, Beulah Blair 8, Horton H Blair 6, Harold A Blair 4, Allen L Blair 2.    In the same census, William was a lodger in Haverhill, Mass and working in a grain mill.  He consistently states that both his parents were born in New York.

1910 Census – Lakeport, California, William L Blair 48, Susan W Blair 49,  Beulah M Blair 17, Horton H Blair 16, Harold A Blair 14,  Allen L Blair 11  William claimed on this census that both of his parents were born in New York and he moved to the United States in 1890 and was a naturalized American citizen.  William was working as a “jobbing”  Teamster.   On the census form, “working on own account” is scratched out and “employee” is written in.

09-15-1919 William L. Blair, eldest son of the late Thomas Blair, died at Lakeport, Lake County, California, age 58 years 02 days.

07-05-1920 Susan W. Crutchfield, wife of the late W. L. Blair, died at Napa, California, age 59 years 07 months.

04-08-1927 Rebecca Horton, widow of the late Thomas Blair, died suddenly, at Springdale Farm, Ormstown PQ, age 86 years.


2. Beulah Blair

Beulah’s husband John George Anderson was born in Jul 1859 in Monroeville, Colusa, California.  He was 35 years older than Beulah.  His parents were John George Anderson Jr. and Mary Williams Diffenderffer. His parents were married 27 Jun 1851 in Sacramento, California in a romantic gold rush story. In the 1860 census, he was living with his parents who were farming in Monroeville, Colusa, California

John Anderson first married in 1894 to Ida C. [__?__] (b. Jul 1870 New York)  Ida’s parents were born in Scotland.  In 1879 he was a 21 year old tinsmith living in Alameda County’s second ward (North Oakland).  In the 1900 census John and Ida were living in Salt Lake City where he was a real estate agent and in the 1910 census they were living in Seattle where John was the proprietor of an apartment house.

Beulah met her husband when she did private nursing for him. He had forty acres of oranges in Lindsay (20 valencia, 20 navel) and was a rich man in good years. He thought his daughter Alice was a miraculous wonder. He had no children by his first wife.

John’s father John George Anderson Sr.  was born 13 Mar 1823 in St. Alban’s, Vermont. His parents were William Anderson (b. 1799 in Scotland – d. 11 Dec 1891 in Salt Lake City) and Agnes [__?__]. John died 15 FEB 1910 in Seattle, Washington.

John’s mother Mary Williams Diffenderffer was born 12 Nov 1832 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her parents were Dr. Michael Nicholas Diffenderffer (b. 22 Apr 1812 Baltimore, Maryland – d. Nov 1850 Diamond Springs, El Dorado, California) and Mary Barney Williams (b. 14 Aug 1813, Maryland – d. 8 Aug 1850 12 miles east of the sink of Humboldt River in Nevada.) Mary died 15 Oct 1893 in Chicago, Illinois.

John George Anderson Sr. arrived in Sacramento ca 1850, from New Orleans, via the Isthmus of Panama, then by clipper ship, to San Francisco, then up the River. There he met Mary Williams Diffenderffer. She had arrived in Sacramento from Placerville, where her father, Dr. Michael Nicholas Diffenderffer, died after a long and ardous wagon train trip had brought the family from St. Charles, Missouri. Her mother had died and was buried 12 miles east of the sink of Humboldt River in Nevada. Free Masons brought Mary (age 18) and three younger siblings to the home of the Worshipful Master of their Lodge in Sacramento, where he cared for them.  Mary and John George were married in Sacramento on 23 Jun 1851. Family stories say that they lived in a log cabin where the State Capitol now stands.

In the 1880 census, John George Sr was a hardware merchant in Oakland, Calif.

Children of John George Sr and Mary

i. Cora A. Anderson b. 1852

ii. William M. Anderson 1854 –

iii. John G Anderson 1858 –

iv. James M Anderson b. 13 May 1860 Monroeville, Colusa, California.; m. Alice Wilcox; d. 8 Oct 1943 San Diego, Calif.

Children of James and Alice

a. Milton W Anderson b. 3 May 1887 Missouri,

b. Alice Mary Anderson b. 5 Aug 1891; m. [__?__] Clark; d. 30 May 1981 San Diego

My mom  used to tag along when her mother and Aunt Beulah visited with Alice Clark (then a widow) and her mother.  My mom mentioned that the elder Alice (Wilcox) Clark seemed ancient in her eyes.  I looked up census records, and it turns out she was born 146 years ago,  Nov 1866 in New York

Alice published a book of her botanical Begonia Portraits in 1977. It is still available on Amazon.com

The American Begonia Society says: The color plates are spectacular in Begonia Portraits by Alice M. Clark. Alice published this book privately in 1977.  The volume consists of reproductions of her paintings of favorite begonias, along with her sometimes-quaint, sometimes-amusing, always-informative commentary. In 1980 you could order from Alice Clark, 3643 Jennings St., San Diego, CA 92106 for $26.50 (plus $1.50 tax  for Californians),


I have a copy given to my by Alice with her own hand and autographed to boot! It’s for sale for $1,000,000.00. I love that book.

Begonia Portraits by Alice Clark

In 2011, KOLZ Begonia Research Center announced they now have a watercolor of Begonia involucrate on display, done by the late Alice M. Clark, one of only 5 of her paintings not housed at the Hunt Institute in Pennsylvania.\

A Begonia species Begonia Alice-Clarkae was named for her.  Here’s a picture.

Begonia Alice Clarkae

Alice’s grandson is the famous surf photographer, Jeff Divine. I was the envy of my surf-rat friends when I announced he was my cousin (didn’t mention how many times removed).  Our meeting at Alice’s La Jolla house in 1975 helped inspire me to be a surf photographer during my high school days.  In 2010, Surfer Magazine wrote:

His [Jeff”s] name has appeared in SURFER Magazine more times than Andy Irons’, Kelly Slater’s and Tom Curren’s combined, but you wouldn’t recognize his cutback or his off-the-top. His surfing, while accomplished, never put him on a podium, much less in the magazine. But his body of work is so unforgettable, so absolutely important, that it’s hard to imagine the sport of surfing without it.

Here’s the splash screen of his website.

Jeff Divine Surf Photography

v. Minerva Anderson 1866 –

Children of Dr. Michael Nicholas Diffenderffer and Mary Barney Williams who were left on their own in the California Gold fields in 1850

i Mary Williams Diefenderfer (Age 18) See above

ii. Barrach Diffenderfer Age 14 (1836 Somerset, MD – 1890)

iii. Catherine Rogers Diffenderfer  Age 12 (1838 – 1890)

iv. Amelia Handy Diffenderfer Age 10 (1840 – 1890)

v. Michael Nicholas Diffenderfer Age 8 (1842 – 1890)

In the 1920 census, John was farming in Lindsay and living with his niece, Henrietta Pratt.

In the 1930 census John and Beulah were farming in Lindsay, Tulare, California

Beulah went into nurse’s training at St. Luke’s hospital in San Francisco.   In the 1920 census, she was a nurse living in residence in Oakland California.   Most of the other young women were in their early twenties and listed as students.  She was 27 and was listed as a nurse.

09-21-1925 Beulah M. Blair, only daughter of the late William L. Blair, formerly of Franklin PQ, married J. G. Anderson, of Fresno California. At Fresno California.

Child of Beulah and John

i. Alice Anderson  m. Don Corliss

2. Horace Horton BLAIR (See his page)

He went out to teach right out of high school and then went to San Jose Teacher’s College.

3. Harold Blair

Harold also became a teacher.   Harold took two classes in the summer of 1922, “Teachers Course in Albebra and Geometry” and “Principles of Education” at Oregon State Agricultural College, Corvallis Oregon.  Also, three classes in the summer session of 1923 at the University of California, Berkeley. And, three classes in the summer session of 1928 at “State Teachers College of San Diego.”   Email from McMinnville College, says that Harold graduated from there, although no date is given.

Harold’s wife Grace Lawson was born in  20 Jan 1903 in Breckenridge, Indian Territory. Her parents were Henry W. Lawson and Mary A. Romang.   In the 1910 census she lived in Puyallup, Pierce, Washington. In 1920 she lived in Chehalis, Lewis, Washington. Grace died 15 Jan 1986 in San Diego, California.

Grace’s father Henry W Lawson was born 25 Dec 1866 in Centralia, Boone, Missouri. His parents were Richard Henry Lawson (1825 Kentucky – 1888 Stuttgart Arkansas) and Mary Pauline Jones (1828 Kentucky– 1896 Stuttgart Arkansas). He married Mary Annie Romang  on 24 Mar 1891 in Stuttgart, Arkansas, Arkansas. Henry died 19 Feb 1936 in Centralia, Lewis, Washington.

Richard Henry Lawson

Reverse of Lawson Photo

Grace’s father grew up in the Old Lawson homeplace near Yoder (Almyra/Stuttgart) Arkansas

Grace’s mother Mary Annie Romang was born in 13 Mar 1874 in Delphos, Ottawa, Kansas. Her parents were John Peter Romang (1842 Gsteig, Canton Bern, Switzerland – 1919 Oklahoma) and Catherine Schafroth (1845 Lindbach, Canton, Bern, Switzerland– 1895 Stuttgart, Arkansas). Mary Anne died 19 Feb 1958 in Chehalis, Lewis, Washington.

Stuttgart  is the county seat of the northern district of Arkansas County, Arkansas,   the population of the city was 9,376 in the 2006 census estimate.

Stuttgart Arkansas, Arkansas

Stuttgart was founded by Rev. Adam Bürkle  a native of Plattenhardt, Germany. He moved to the United States in 1852 and founded a settlement at Gum Pond after living in Ohio. In 1880, he opened a post office and had thus to name the village. In memory of his native home he called it Stuttgart after Stuttgart, Germany,  In 1882 the Texas and St. Louis railroad was opened. Stuttgart became a city in 1884, and in 1904, rice farming was first introduced in the Stuttgart area.  Hard clay underlying the area’s topsoil makes Stuttgart a good place to grow rice, which grows best in flooded fields made possible by the clay.

The town proclaims itself the “Rice and Duck Capital of the World”. It is headquarters to Riceland Foods, the world’s biggest rice miller. Stuttgart is also home to Mack’s Prairie Wings, known around the world as the premier waterfowl sports outfitter, through their store and online presence. During Thanksgiving Week, Stuttgart holds the International Duck Calling Contest that brings in people of all ages from around the world to show off their talent of using a duck call.

April 28, 1904 – Henry, Mary, Richard J, Katie, Clarence, Effient (Effie), Gracie P Lawson

Children of Harold and Grace

i. Stella Blair

ii. Mary Blair

iii. Kathryn Blair

4. Allen Blair

Allen enlisted 30 Apr 1917 and was GM1 (Gunner’s Mate 1st Class) in the US Navy during World War I. He was discharged 16 Aug 1919.  In 1920, he was a machinist in the Vallejo U.S. Navy Yard.  By the 1930 census he was an accountant at Standard Oil in San Francisco. Allen died 3 Jul 1991  in Santa Clara County, California.

Allen’s wife Elaine Spencer was born  27 Jan 1902 in  San Francisco, California. Her parents were William F. Spencer (b. about 1870 Nova Scotia Canada) and Marguerite (Margaret) Habrie (b. 1872 France).  They were married in 1896.  William immigrated in 1890 and Marguerite in 1898. In the 1910 census, William was a carpenter in San Francisco. William’s parents were from Scotland.

Elaine had an older sister, Marie L. Spencer who was born 17 Jan 1898 in California.  Like her sister, she was also a school teacher. She lived in an apartment overlooking Lake Merritt in Oakland.   Marie died 31 Aug 1980 in Santa Clara County, California.

Allen and Elaine were married 7 Dec 1927. In the 1928 San Francisco directory, Allen and Eliane were living at 1289 2nd Avenue, an apartment building on the corner of Irving Street, today across the street from the UCSF parking structure.

In the 1930 census, Elaine she was a public school teacher and did not have any children yet.  She was still teaching public school in the 1948 San Francisco city directory.  Elaine died 25 Sep 1964 in San Francisco   Allen and Elaine are interred at the Golden Gate National Cemetery 1300 Sneath Lane San Bruno, California.

In the 1931 thru 1948 San Francisco directories, Allen and Eliane were living at 1137 Rivera Street in the Parkside section of San Francisco’s Sunset District.  Their home was located at  22nd Avenue across the street from Lincoln High School.  It was built in 1929, it’s likely they were the first owners.  Here’s the Zillow listing.

1137 Rivera Street San Francisco Source: Google Maps

Allen’s occupation is listed as Clerk in these city listings, a little less fancy than “accountant”, but maybe the three leter “clk” fit better in a small space.

Child of Allen and Elaine

i. Barbara










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5 Responses to William Lewis Blair

  1. Pingback: Thomas Blair | Miner Descent

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