BLANCHARD, Joshua Pettingill

JOSHUA PETTINGILL BLANCHARD crossed the Plains with his bride, REBECCA JANE [RACE] whom he married in Peoria, IL, shortly before the trek west. A search for any trail journal they kept and/or mention of them in a fellow traveler’s document has so far been unsuccessful. The journal kept by John L. Johnson does mention a Mrs. Blanchard who fell in a river while skirting a campfire, but there is a reference  in John’s father’s journal that she was going to Oregon to meet her husband .  So, unless this is an error on the part of the Neill Johnson, this was not Rebecca. The captain of the BLANCHARD group was identified by their daughter as Joshua Nolan(d).  The two Zieber journals (by Eugenia and by her father, John S.) mention Nolan and Hall and Link and Bowman as traveling together.





1.)    BLANCHARD, Joshua Pettingill, son of Amos Blanchard


Born April 28, 1820 in Montpelier, VT.  The 8th generation in the United States, his immigrant ancestor,  Joseph                                                           Blanchard died at Boston, Mass. in  December 1637

Ancestry:  English

 Married:  Rebecca Jane Race January 12, 1851 in Peoria, Illinois.

Came to Oregon:  Started from Peoria, Illinois April 1, 1851, and by ox team; paid $100.00 for transportation for                                                                                              wife and drove team for own transportation, arriving in Oregon City Sept. 14, 1851.

Located: On lots 3,4,5, and 6 of Block 5 and Lots 1,2,7, and 8 of Block B in Canemah, Clackamas County, Oregon

Religious Preference:  Episcopal                   Politics:  (blank)

Occupation: Brick Layer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Died:  May 15, 1884   Buried in the Pioneer Cemetery of  which  he                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    was an  original Trustee.

Remarks: He joined Company B, Regiment United States Mounted Riflemen in Peoria, Illinois, in 1846 and returned in 1848, at close of Mexican War, in which he contracted a complication of diseases from which he never entirely recovered.

       Children of Joshua P. Blanchard & Rebecca J. Race, his wife: (1) William born Aug.  1852 died May 4, 1863;  (2) Evangeline b. March 21, 1854 d. DEC 5, 1873;  (3) Lydia A. b. Sept. 14, 1855 d. Sept. 1, 1877 - married Jerome Palmateer;  (4) Mary Elizabeth b. Aug. 2, 1857 d. Nov. 27, 1900 - married Albert E. Stokes, who died April 6, 1918  children : Will Stokes b. May 11, 1884 d. March 17, 1948, Clyde Sidney b. March 7 1893 d. July 3, 1952, Juaneita Marie b. May 3, 1889;  (5) May b. May 1, 1859 d. May 3, 1942 - married Robert Blanchard (no relation) Dec. 25, 1882 children:  Maud b. Dec. 22, 1883 d. Aug. 25, 1950, Reece b. March 28,1890 d. Sept. 22, 1897, and Naideen;  (6) Emma Jane b. Jan 30, 1861 d. Jan 22, 1883;  (7)  Abraham Lincoln b. March 4, 1863 d. Dec. 16, 1945 - married Ladora Edmiston, children: Lowell, Eldon, and Elva;  (8) Elnora b. Dec. 21, 1865 d. Feb. 15 1866;  (9) Joshua P. Junior b. Aug. 15, 1867 d. Dec. 29,1884;  (10) Ellen b. March 13, 1870 d. Jan 26, 1953 (Member of Oregon Historical Society) -  married Henry Elmer Jones April 26, 1900, children: Orimal Arvey Jones b. Jan. 5, 1902 d. July 13, 1903, Kermit Merle Jones b. Dec. 29, 1905 - married Beryl Reis April 21, 1934,  son: Richard Leslie Jones b. April 13, 1935, Kenneth Blanchard Jones b. Jan 22, 1908 - married Doretha Stewart Dec. 3, 1930 later divorced and married Louva Blaue Sept. 1, 1939.

2.)  BLANCHARD, Mrs. Rebecca Jane Race

      Born:  November 27, 1828 in Coshocton, Ohio

      Ancestry: Irish

      Married:  Joshua Pettingill Blanchard January 12, 1851 in Peoria, Illinois. Started from Peoria, Illinois, on April 1, 1851, and   Came to Oregon: by ox team, arriving in Oregon City, Oregon Territory,  Sept 14, 1851. She and husband Located: on Lots 3,4,5 & 6 of Block 5 and Lots 1,2,7 & 8 of Block “B” in Canemah, Clackamas Co., Oregon

      Religious Preference:   Episcopal                     Politics:   (Blank)

      Occupation:  Housewife                                   Died:   April 18, 1921, buried in the pioneer Canemah

                                                                              Cemetery alongside her husband and so many of  her children.



3) "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man"   (Oregon Journal  10-5-26)    Note: “Pettingale”  should  read Pettingill and  “Iowa” should read Ohio.


Oregon has a grapevine that is a world-wonder if not a world-beater. Mr. Lockley tells of it and the man who planted it. He then reports a talk he has recently had with an old college chum of his.


Tourists who visit San Gabriel, near Los Angeles, tell wonderful stories of the immense grapevine to be seen there. Right here in the Willamette valley we have a grapevine fully as large and no less remarkable. It can be seen on the old Blanchard place at Canemah and is not over 100 feet from the Pacific highway. Its main stem is over 70 inches in circumference, and its branches are supported by a three-way trellis. Its longest spread is toward the south, and in good seasons it yields several thousand pounds of grapes. Mrs. Henry Jones, whose father planted this grapevine about 70 years ago, was born in Canemah more than 50 years ago. When I visited her recently, she said:


 “My father, Joshua Pettingill  Blanchard, was born at Montpelier, VT, April 28, 1820. My mother, Rebecca Jane [Race] Blanchard, was born November 27, 1828 in Iowa (sic). Father and Mother were married in Peoria, Ill, January 13, 1851, and within three months they were en route by ox team and prairie schooner for the Willamette valley. They started across the plains April 19 (sic), 1851. Captain Nolan was captain of the wagon train. They settled here at Canemah, for in 1851 Father thought this had a better chance of being a city some day than its more ambitious rivals, Portland, St. Helens, and Milwaukie. There were 10 children of us. Father died in 1884, and Mother died 37 years later. I was  married April 29, 1900, to Henry Jones. The marriage ceremony was performed by Rev. P. K.  Hammond, now a resident of Ashland. Two of his sons live in Oregon City and both are practicing attorneys. Go out and eat all the grapes you want from the old grapevine. It is one of the sights of this historic old place.”


4) "Large Grape Vine Growing in Canemah Woman’s Yard"  by Jack Mollard:  (Oregon City Enterprise   May 16, 1935  pp. 1 & 6.)   


I invited myself recently to the beautiful home of Mrs. Ellen Jones, formerly Miss Blanchard, and while I mopped perspiration (It’s a nice little walk to Canemah, you know) she told me of the early days of Oregon City; of Canemah and of amusing incidents that occurred when her father, Joshua Blanchard, crossed the plains in 1851.


Mrs. Jones is the youngest of the Blanchard family. Her father and mother were married in 1851, started across the plains, and arrived in what was later to be called Oregon City in September of the same year. They settled at Canemah, and in the year 1851 Joshua Blanchard planted a small grape vine which today is one of the largest vines in the world. It measures 78 inches in circumference at the base near the ground and has three or four massive branches, each extending a distance of full 60 feet from the main trunk. One season Mrs. Rebecca Blanchard, Mrs. Jones’ mother, picked two tons of grapes from this remarkable vine, packed  and sold them in apple boxes. Mrs. Jones’ mother died in 1921 at the age of  92.


But to get back  to the year ‘51 again and tell of an incident that occurred when the Blanchard family was crossing the plains. It seemed that an Indian had followed the wagon train for three days. Conjectures were many and varied as to what the Indian wanted. The pioneers were frightened and kept a sharp lookout, suspecting all kinds of horrible things, but principally that he was an advance scout for a large war party. Later it developed that he was a lone Indian who wanted to trade some ponies  . . .



The contributor:  Albert Edward Belanger, 128 Middle Road, Brentwood, NH 03833 < > has much more on these folks, including photographs, and would like to exchange information on any of  these pioneers.