The Tales of a Blair Family    

Patrick BlairPatrick Blair was born May 13, 1793 in the parish of Raloo in County Antrim, northern Ireland.  Raloo is a small parish  about seven miles Northeast of Belfast.  Although he and several generations before him were born in northern Ireland they were all Scottish by blood, hence they were generally referred to as Scotch-Irish.

Patrick was married in Ireland to Janet Drummond and together they had six children.  Janet died in Ireland and Patrick remarried a widow by the name of Mary Sloan Bell.  Mary had three children from a previous marriage.   In 1835, Patrick, Mary, the six children from Patrick's marriage to Janet Drummond and the two children who had been born to him and Mary crossed the Atlantic to Canada. This was a common port of entry for people coming from Ireland at that time.  Often they traveled aboard ships that carried timber from North America to Ireland and emigrants on the return voyage.  From Canada they crossed the border into the United States and  settled on a farm in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. This farm was located next to the farm of his late uncle, Samuel Blair, in Woodcock township.  Mary's three children from her previous marriage were left with relatives in Ireland.  It was five years before she was able to return for them.  Patrick and Mary had five more children born to them after their arrival in America.

Mary Sloan  was the daughter of John Sloan and Polly McCullough.  She was married first to Francis Bell who was the son of David Bell and Margaret Agnew.  By her first marriage to Francis, Mary had three children; John S., Margaret, and David.  These children were nearly grown by the time their mother returned to Ireland to get them.  It is not known why these children remained in Ireland or who they might have lived with there. John S. Bell settled in Crawford County, near Patrick's farm, after a stint of seven years in the California gold fields.  Upon his return he married Matilda Balliet on May 15, 1873.  He took up farming and was a breeder and dealer in thoroughbred short horn and Durham cattle.  David Bell moved West and lived near his step-brother and cousins in Ogle County, Illinois until the start of the Civil War.  In 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army.  He served with a couple of his cousins in the 34th Illinois Infantry, Co.H.  He died May 1, 1862 from  wounds received at Pittsburgh Landing during the Battle at Shiloh.  His cousin, Silas Jackson Blair who served in the same Company was killed in the same battle.  David's body was brought back to Illinois and was buried in White Oak Cemetery in Forreston, Illinois.  His step-brother, Matthew Blair, is buried beside him.  Margaret married John G. Wilson and lived out her life on her husbands farm in Woodcock Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. There seemed to have been quite a close bond between the step-siblings, half-siblings and full siblings of Patrick Blair's family.

Patrick was a farmer who lived out the remainder of his life in Woodcock Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania.  He died August 4th, 1871 and is buried in Mt. Blair Cemetery, next to his second wife Mary Sloan Bell.

Patrick and Mary's gravestones

Patrick and Mary Blair's gravestones in Mt. Blair Cemetery, Woodcock Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania. The picture was taken at dusk.  They read as follows:

Patrick Blair
A Native of Ireland
Born, May 13, 1793
Died, August 4, 1871
Aged 78 ys, 2m, 21ds

Mary Blair
Wife of Patrick Blair
A Native of Ireland
Died April 7, 1873
Aged 68ys, 9m,21ds