Bliss family (Saint John)

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Bliss family (Saint John)

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Branch begins in 1742


Jonathan Bliss (1742-1822), a lawyer from Massachusetts, was appointed Attorney-General of New Brunswick in 1785 and Chief Justice of New Brunswick in 1809. From 1791 to 1801 he was the business advisor of Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), who lived in Saint John from about 1786 until he returned to England in 1791.

Jonathan Bliss was born in Springfield, Mass., the son of Rev. Samuel Bliss (1750-1803). He graduated from Harvard in 1763 and lived in Concord, Mass. He was a member of the General Court of Massachusetts in 1768 and was banished from the state in 1778. He was granted a townlot at Carleton in 1785 and became a Freeman of Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1785. He was admitted as an Esquire. He was appointed Attorney General of N.B. in 1784, was a member of the House of Assembly for St. John County in 1786, the Chief Justice for N.B. from 1808 to 1822 and President of the Privy Council. He died in Fredericton in 1822 and buried in the Old Burial Ground. His first wife, Mary, the daughter of the Hon. John Worthington of Springfield, Mass., died in Saint John in 1799, aged 39. His second wife was Sally, daughter of the Hon. Judge Upham. His children include: John Worthington (1791-1810); Lewis (1793-1882); William (1795-1874); and Henry (1797-1873).

His third son, William Blowers Bliss, married Sarah Ann Anderson, the adopted daughter of the Hon. Sampson Blowers, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia. Sampson Blowers was a good friend of Jonathan Bliss and the two had graduated from Harvard together in 1763. William Blowers Bliss was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in 1834. William and Sarah's children were: Elizabeth Ann (1824-1901), who married the Hon. William Odell (1811-1891); Mary, who married the Rev. Hibbert Binney; another daugther, who married Bishop Kelly; and two sons.

Jonathan's son Henry Bliss was a lawyer and author in London, England.

Jonathan's son Lewis Bliss presented a chancel window to Trinity Church in 1880 as a memorial to the Bliss family.

New Brunswick Loyalists, 1983;
Some Loyalists and Others, 1976;
Graves fonds, political biographies, 1960s


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Arnold, Benedict, General (1741-1801)

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[ca. 1786] - 1791

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Jonathan Bliss served as Benedict Arnold's legal advisor during the latter's time in Saint John (N.B.)

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Blowers, Sampson Salter (1742-1842)

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In 1763, Sampson Blowers graduated from Harvard alongside his friend Jonathan Bliss, with whom he would maintain a friendship even after emigration.

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