In Search of Nathaniel Blizzard's Father

This was posted by Kelly Thomas on looking for information on Nathaniel Blizzard's father. After reading certain parts of the book, "A History of the Carlon Family and Related Families," I believe his father could be Burton Blizzard, which would make him the brother of William H. Blizzard. Others have suggested his father is Nathaniel Blizzard (As per the “Delaware Governor’s Register, 1674-1851, Vol. 1”….there was a Nathan Blizzard made a constable in Sussex Co. in 1827, too early for the Nathan that died in Chester, was this his father?) Nevertheless, here is the thought...

Sarah Blizzard
Although I've found some circumstantial evidence suggesting that my Nathaniel Blizzard (b. 1825) could be the son of John Rodney Blizzard, I have not found any conclusive evidence. This is the only license that I took when posting the Blizzard tree; all of the other information is a result of many years of research and numerous trips to the Delaware Public Archives. And in all likely-hood, your Thomas is my Nathaniel's uncle. Here's a biography of my Nathaniel Blizzard: Nathaniel Blizzard was born c. 1825 in Georgetown, Sussex County, Delaware. He came from a long line of ship builders and sailors, going back to the 1600s. He was five feet, seven and one half inches tall, had brown hair, brown eyes, and was fair complexioned. In his youth he was a sailor, and applied for seamanship protection papers from the US government. He came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1840s with (two older brothers or cousins?) Coard and David Blizzard, who were also sailors. Nathaniel Blizzard married Hetty H. Bignal of Sussex County, whose family was also employed in maritime occupations (Hetty Bignal's mother was Mary Blizzard (b. 1808). As early as 1855, Nathaniel Blizzard worked as a rigger at the Neafie & Levy Shipyard in the Fishtown, Kensington District of Philadelphia. It was here in 1861 where he worked on the submarine, U.S.S. Alligator. Nathaniel Blizzard lived at nearby 1320 E. Hewson Street. When the Confederate Army invaded Pennsylvania in 1863, he enlisted in Company A of the 51st Pennsylvania Emergency Troops. He was in the army just a few months, and was soon back at work. He worked for Neafie & Levy until about 1866, when he was lured away by the offer of the lead rigger job for the Reaney, Son & Co., a shipyard in the nearby city of Chester, PA. Earlier in 1860, the Reaney family had broken off from the Neafie & Levy shipyard to venture out and start the shipyard at Chester. In August of 1869, Nathaniel Blizzard’s daughter, Hetty (Thomas) was born. She was my great-grandmother. Nathaniel Blizzard worked for Reaney, Son & Co. (Roach’s Shipyard) until August 26, 1872, when he was killed in an accident. He was putting the boiler on the steamship, Garden City, when the shears broke and the boiler fell. Nathaniel tried to leap out of the way, but in doing so fell sixteen feet into the hold of the ship, causing pieces of broken ribs to pierce his lungs. He died a few hours later. The loss was devastating to the family. At the time of Nathaniel’s death, William B. Reaney and others attested, “Mr. Nathaniel Blizzard, the head of the riggers, was a practical and skilled mechanic in whom the firm had the utmost confidence. He leaves a wife and family. The accident cast a deep gloom over the many workman employed in the establishment, to most of whom the deceased was well known.” Nathaniel Blizzard is buried in the Chester Rural Cemetery, Chester, PA.

Other notes per Thomas Sweeny:

1870 census, Lewes, Sussex Co. ,DE
David Blizzard is a 50 year old oarsman of a C.H. boat

Margaret (wife married Jan 20, 1848 in Sussex Co…Methodist Chapel, nee M. Anna Rickards {De. Marriages, Anna, dau. Age 13

William H. Blizzard, son, Age 10  This is what really intrigues me….this  sailor who boarded with Nathan (buried in the Wm. H. Blizzard plot) in Philadelphia (as per the 1850 census) named his son born in 1860…William H. Blizzard.

Then there are the Seaman Protection Certificates {attached}, (U.S. Custom’s House..Philadelphia)  for Nathan & Coard.   Nathan declares in 1851 that he was a native of Georgetown, Sussex, Co., DE and Coard B. Blizzard  (notice the middle initial) in 1848 was “born Sussex Co., DE

Odder still is the Marriage Bond of 1832 of William Blizzard & Elizabeth Derickson witnessed by David Blizzard Parties of Indian River Hundred, Sussex Co., DE .  Who are these people?


The unknown author is me.

Kelly Thomas

Thank you Kelly, I will modify this to add your name as the author. I also have a little more to add as my cousin Thomas Sweeny has been in on this hunt. Thanks Again.

Have you seen Nathaniel Blizzard's childhood indenture?


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