The First BLACK Family in Ireland


Joseph Black, Father of Chemistry”








Your heritage in Ireland is the tale of two families, the Blacks and the Eccles. This tale will focus on the Black family, the Eccles will follow.

John Black III, the first Black born in Ireland, was born 1620 in Ballymena, Antrim County. Not a lot is known about him but is said that “He was a soldier against Cromwell.” This was an uprising in 1641 of the native Irish people against the British to reclaim property that had been taken from them in earlier years. John married Miss Martin, who was born in a County Down. He was 101 years old when he died in Belfast, Ireland in 1721.

John IV was born 1647 in Belfast, Ireland and married Jane Eccles b 1653. He became a prominent merchant of Belfast.  As a young man, he did his merchant apprentice, which took seven years. In his last year of apprenticeship he was required to be a “supercargo,” which meant he was to travel on  board a ship to the West Indies, obtain a cargo, and be responsible for getting it back in good condition to Belfast.  In the 1600’s a round trip to the West Indies could take anywhere from three to seven months. These were the days before sailors understood how to take advantage of  ocean currents to speed up their trips. By the end of the 1600’s, John was recognized as one of the most successful and prominent merchants in Belfast.

Records show that John and six other individuals owned ships that traveled between France, Holland, and the West Indies. On one occasion a ship that John was a part owner was taken by pirates. To get re-possession of the ship, they were forced to buy the cargo back. Five of the owners essentially had to buy the cargo twice. John and another owner had purchased insurance, which was fairly new in those days, and they were reimbursed for their costs.

John traveled to Bordeaux, France, to choose wines in 1679-80. His son John V married a Margaret Gordon, daughter of prominent Bordeaux merchant and he became a prominent wine merchant in his own right. John and Margaret had son they named Joseph. Joseph became a world renowned chemist and taught at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is known as the “Father of Chemistry.”

During the Willamite War, a war between the Protestants and the Catholics, John and his family fled to Ayr, Scotland during the “Break of Dromore,” a name given to a battle fought on March 14, 1689. When the battle was over, he and his family went back to Belfast on John’s own ship.

In 1723 John Black II sent a letter to the Laird of Clan Lamont in Scotland to obtain information relevant to the origin of the Black Name and coat of arms of the Clan of Lamont.: The letter, and the Laird’s response, serves as evidence that the Black family originated in the highlands of Scotland.

John and Jane had seven children. All of their children became successful merchandisers, or married merchants. There was one exception, Charles did not choose to follow his father but had the honor of being King Georges Consul General at Cadiz, Spain.

Click on the following for more family information:

The Black Family (Including letter from John Black to the Laird of Clan Lamont) Ulster Journal of Archeology (Volume 8, pages 176 of 188)

John Black IV  –  BLACK Family in Ireland

Joseph Black “Father of Chemistry”

FamilySearch – LDS Family History Site

BlackFamilyTree – 13000, Family Records


John Black, Belfast, Ireland Lineage

John E. Black

Reuben E. Black b 1901 d 1981

Nephi Black b 1870 d 1959

George Black b 1823 d 1850

William Y Black b 1784 d 1873

William Black b 1744 d 1835

William Black b 1696 d 1760

John Black b 1647 d 1725