Established by Land Grant in 1821
In 1740, Peter Hobson was born in a small town near Carlisle, Cumberland County, England called Wheelbarrow Hall. He married Mary Nickell 11 November 1764 in Cumberland County. Soon thereafter, the Hobsons rented a farm and set up housekeeping. With perseverance, they made a good living until they were able to do better on a larger farm. Peter was also a successful shoemaker.
In his 1891 autobiography, Thomas Black related the following story:
"It was the custom then in England - and I believe the custom still prevails there - for all the men
and women who wanted to hire out to go to the nearest county town on market day, appearing there
with straws in their mouths, as a sign that they wanted employment. One of the farmers in the
neighborhood who was in the shop one evening getting his shoes mended, said to my grandfather:
Peter, I want you to go to Carlisle on Saturday - that being market day - and hire me a lass. The
shoemaker consented and on the day appointed went to Carlisle, found a lass and hired her. Now
this lass proved to be a very industrious, driving, honest, good common sense woman, and Peter,
whose shop it seems, was near enough for him to observe all this, took a fancy to her himself. So,
while she was living there he courted her, and married her, and took her away from the farmer."
Peter and Mary Nickell Hobson raised a large family. Of the thirteen children born to this union, ten survived infancy:
David Black was born in southern Scotland (Aberdeen) in 1747. He married Mary Slack (born 1750) from Holmn Cultram in 1772. On a farm called Mains near Wigton in Cumberland County, England, David and Mary raised a family of four children:
Home of David Black
Mains, England in 1953
Mary Slack Black was remembered as a very good and kindly old lady, rather tall and slender, with a good honest heart and cheerful countenance, who was always kind to her grandchildren. She died 17 May 1825, aged 74 years.
Map of Wigton, England area in 1868 showing Standing Stone and Mains
In 1802, William Black and Margaret Hobson were married. While living at Standing Stone, three sons were born:
John, 16 April 1803
David, 19 July 1805
William, 6 April 1807
The family moved, in 1809, to a farm at Moorhouse Hall in the parish of Wigton, about ten miles west of Carlisle, Cumberland County, England. Twins were born there on
5 November 1810: Thomas and Elizabeth.
William Black died of pneumonia on 11 June 1817 after falling from his horse on the road home from Carlisle, being intoxicated and lying in the road all night. He was buried at St. Mary's Church in Wigton, England.
Thomas Black attended school here
(photo below). The former schoolhouse
is a private home in 2007.
Happenings at St. Mary's Church in Wigton, England:
- David Black baptized 29 Dec 1805
- William Black baptized 5 Jul 1807
- Twins Thomas & Elizabeth Black baptized 16 Dec 1810
- William Black buried 13 Jun 1817
- Mary Black (William Black's sister) buried 16 May 1823
- David Black (William Black's father) buried 22 Jul 1824
- Mary Slack Black (William Black's mother) buried 19 May 1825
St. Mary's Church
and Cemetery in 1953
St. Mary's Church in 2007
(note the absence of the cemetery)
James born 1765
William born 1767
John born 1768
Mary born 1769
Jane born 1778
Robert born 1785
(3 daughters named Nancy died in infancy)
Martha (born 1773) and husband James Little lived a few miles west of Wigton
William (born 1776) married Margaret Hobson
David (born 1780) and wife Nancy Reed kept a public house near Wigton
Mary (born 1789) never married
David Black was described as rather a short, heavy set, substantial man. He was also a farmer and always appeared to be in good circumstances. He died 20 July 1824, aged 77 years.
Margaret born 18 Dec 1771
Peter born 1773
Thomas born 1774
Nathan born 1776