Jo's World,Wine

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Welcome to Labor Day… As kids return to school tomorrow, teachers all over the country are gong to ask, “What did you do on your summer vacation?”

Remembering how I loved that question, this blog entry is inspired by my lost youth, and the lost youth of so many of my forefathers. It was they that I discovered during my summer vacation… And I found a whole lot of adventure and excitement, that dates back to the 1720’s in my family.

I returned to Maine (my home state) on my summer vacation with Jose, as Jo Ann Clarke Diaz… Going there brought it all home, so to speak.

We first visited with cousins in Falmouth. This is the Clarke side of my family, and before we changed our names to married ones.

My cousin handed a book to me about our family, written by E. Joshua Lincoln, another cousin in our family.

From our visit with cousins, we went off to a family friend’s wedding. Jennifer Lynn Heutz became the bride of Gregory Christopher Waters at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, in Kennebunkport, Maine.  There’s a lot of irony with this, because it was my great grandfather William Blackstone (nine times removed) who founded the Episcopal Church in the United States, for which the book is written, and I’ll talk about in a bit. I can’t even begin to tell you what that’s like, as I stood there in front of that old church and considered the concept.

Next, we went to a Clarke Family reunion, where I grew up on Sabattus Lake. Places like this are why people from the rest of New England and New York state continue to send their kids to Maine “to camp” for two weeks every summer. I was lucky enough to live the life from Memorial Day until Labor Day, with the exception of two weeks in Stoneham, Massachusetts, with other cousins, digging Boston each summer.

Our last day in Maine, we went to Popham Beach, looking for my sister Bonnie amid the crowd of people. We missed each other… I still had my camera, and captured that part of Maine to look at in images, until I can return again with time on my hands.

[Image of Rev. William Blackstone is borrowed from Blackstone Valley, Rhodes Island’s Website.]

The Blackstones and Their Indian Paradise (Old Damariscotta), by E. Joshua Lincoln

I could write a play about this one… About how a Blackstone came to marry a Clarke.  If you know a Clarke or a Blackstone, this is possibly their history.

Meanwhile… I read the book my cousin had given to me. I was talking about our great grandfather the Reverend William Blackstone having founded Boston, and she gave a book to me. She had been given two of them, so she shared one.

And… in the midst of all of this traveling (Thursday through the following Monday), I read the family story about how Patience Blackstone (Granddaughter of William Blackstone) came to marry Josiah Clarke, my great grandfather (six times removed)

Having a great grandfather (nine generations removed) who founded Boston is pretty amazing. Being there and digging deeper was fascinating. Finding a real hero in my family, who married the young girl he rescued from Native Americans, who had stolen her during a horseback journey, was even more thrilling… It was the kind of stuff that becomes a great movie to watch, with tons of real life adventure, not a dreamed-up forest fantasy.

I have a genealogy book that traces the Clarke side of my family. This book allows me to trace the Clarkes to the 1620s, when Pilgrims were landing at Plymouth rock and my great grandfather was being born in Scotland…

It begins with my great grandfather John Clarke, who is known to have been in Massachusetts by 1661. He was living in Salem (1692) during the witch trials.  (I’m so sorry about that, because I know I would have been one of them.)

  • John Clarke (b. about 1620 in Scotland) had seven children (eight generations ago)
    • Elisha Clarke (b. 1665) was born to John Clarke (seven generations ago, the second of seven children)
      • Josiah Clarke (b. 1704) was born to Elisha (six generations ago, the sixth of eight children)

It’s Josiah that became the hero of The Blackstones and Their Indian Paradise.

Another side of my family, that collides with the Clarke side, is the Blackstone family.

  • Another great grandfather ~ Reverend William Blackstone ~ was born to John and Agnes Hawley Blackstone, on March 5, 1595 in Gibside, Whickham, Durham County, England… Although he’s a generation ahead of John Clarke (above), his great granddaughter will marry John Clarke’s grandson Josiah. (Blackstone married much later in life.) William married Sarah Stevenson in 1659 (he was 64 years old).  He was still virile enough to produce one son, John Blackstone. William Blackstone was sent to New England to preach the King James version of the Bible, landing in what we now call Boston, becoming its founder in 1623.
    • Rev. William Blackstone (b. 1595) had one son John Blackstone (nine generations ago)
      • John Blackstone (b. 1660) had one son William Blackstone (eight generations ago)
        • William Blackstone (b. 1691) had four children (seven generations ago)
          • Patience Blackstone (b. early 1700’s) was the oldest of William’s four children (six generations ago), and the damsel in distress in the story.

The Blackstones and Their Indian Paradise

Patience Blackstone eventually married Josiah Clarke (m. 1730).  This segment is the most intriguing story of my family, that plays out like a “Raiders of the Lost Arc” epic. The book my cousin had given to me kept me reading from start to finish (small booklet), without wanting to put it down… on my summer vacation in Boston and Maine. (We flew into Boston, because I wanted to spend some time there, too.)

This retelling of that story is a very abbreviated form, and dedicated to both the Clarke and Blackstone families. It’s important to continue to hand down these stories, from one generation to the next. (Isn’t the Internet a fabulous place for these things?)

While this might be an ordinary story of that time, it’s an extraordinary look back into the early settling of  New England by Old England and King James, and the challenges that the settlers faced daily.

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<div style=”padding: 15px; float: right;”><img src=”https://www.wine-blog.org/images/wblackst.gif ” alt=”” /></div>
[Image is borrowed from <a title=”Blackstone Valley, RI” href=”http://www.tourblackstone.com/about2.htm” target=”_blank”><strong>Blackstone Valley, Rhodes Island’s Website</strong></a>.]

Welcome to Labor Day… As kids return to school tomorrow, teachers all over the country are gong to ask, “What did you do on your summer vacation?”

Remembering how I loved that question, this blog entry is inspired by my lost youth, and the lost youth of so many of my forefathers. It was they that I discovered during my summer vacation… And I found a whole lot of adventure and excitement, that dates back to the 1720’s…
<p style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”color: #888888;”><strong>The Blackstones and Their Indian Paradise (Old Damariscotta), by E. Joshua Lincoln</strong></span></p>
I could write a play about this one. How I came to read this intriguing book, and place my generation’s grandchildren into this current chapter. If you know a Clarke or a <a title=”Reverend William Blackstone” href=”http://www.dangel.net/AMERICA/Blackstone/REV.WM.BLACKSTONE.html” target=”_blank”><strong>Blackstone</strong></a>, this is possibly their history.

6 Responses to “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”

  1. Harry says:

    Hi, I am very disappointed in reading the book, The blackstones… I was expecting to find some information about Natives in Damariscotta (Indians) and after reading I found very little about the Indians. I spent a lot of time searching for this book.

    Do you have any information about the Natives inDamariscotta. My son is doing a report for College. Please help.

    Thank you

  2. Tom Packard says:

    I read your blog with interest. I live in the wine region (Finger Lakes) of New York, I am related to the Clarks of Harpswell. Capt Isaac Clark was my GG Grandfather. Isaac’s father was Samuel. Samuel’s father was Josiah. Josiah’s father was also a Josiah. (This makes it a challenge to trace ancestry). My grandmother and father both grew up in Freeport. I have been to Popham beach many times. The first time I remember was in the 50’s. I went again last year – boy has it changed.
    I am going to look up the book you mentioned as I am struggling with tracing that side of my family. It seems that Josiah was first married to a Mary Wingate and then married Patience Blackstone. According to all that I have found Josiah (1704) was only 18 when his son Josiah(1722) was born and Mary(1691) was 13 years older than her husband Josiah. It’s all too confusing. Any help in this area would be appreciated.
    Tom Packard

  3. Jo Diaz says:


    It appears that we could be related. I don’t have the same genealogy list you have, though, because my Josiah doesn’t have a first marriage to Mary Wingate. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, it’s just not in genealogy book written by Marlene A. Hinkley of Bath, Maine, copyright 1968. A book to read about Josiah Clarke is “The Blackstone and Their Indian’s Paradise (Old Damariscott),” by E. Joshua Lincoln, copyright 1052.

    My lineage:

  4. Hugh Clarke: England about 1594
    John Clarke: Salem, MA about 1620
    Elisha Clarke (1665)
    Josiah Clarke (1704) – married Patience Blackstone
    His children (Ichabod Clarke, Elisha Clarke, James Clarke, John Clarke, William Clarke, Stephen Clarke, Benjamin Clarke, Abigail Clark, Lydia Clarke, Ebenezer Clarke)
    James Clarke (Of the above, James Clarke is my next generation)
    George Clarke
    James Clarke (1767)
    James Clarke (1811)
    Honorable James Wilson Clarke (1848)
    Joseph Clarke (my grandfather – 1883)
    David Clarke (my father 1920)
    Jo A. Clarke
  • Jo Diaz says:


    “The Blackstone and Their Indian’s Paradise (Old Damariscott),” tells about the Clarke perspective, but doesn’t give you very much information about how Native Americans lived back then. It does talk about how Josiah Clarke went into the woods to capture back Patience Blackstone that had been kidnapped by two Native Americans. He killed one of them and hung the second one. At the time, Native American’s had the property in Damariscotta with a waterfall. Patience’s father wanted to settle that land as a paper mill… harnessing the waterfall. He was successful, because he did find the Native American that Josiah had hung (upside down) from a tree, and saved his life. So, that Native American, who had been helped William Blackstone (grandson of Rev. William Blackstone), gave his a secret code to getting to the Native Ameicans in Damariscotta and establish his wood mill.

  • Harry says:

    Jo: greetings and thanks for response. Do you know what tribe of Indians were in Damariscotta? Who were the ones your family had interactions with? Thank you and I hope you can help us. Oh by the way, our son is working on a report for College that he is a little late on.

  • Jo Diaz says:

    Harry, it’s possible it was the the Penobscot
    Tribe: http://www.penobscotnation.org/ That’s the only one I know of in Maine.

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