William H. Blue -
Retired NBFA President
From the President's Desk: Leaders Needed To Carry On Our Work
"As much as we love to work for the NBFA, there comes a time when we old folk need to cut back in our activities to cut down the stress and concerns of our lives. I know that I’ve felt it and the same has been expressed to me by other NBFA leaders. I’ll gladly admit that I am turning 92 years old in July, but I will not disclose how ancient our other leaders have become. So, if any of you of the younger set would like to take on a more active role in preserving the life of the National Blue Family Association, please contact us."
Read letters from Bill Blue and Sarah Bitter about the future of the NBFA >
Keep the NBFA Going!
We're looking for a few good women and men who want to shape the future of the NBFA, join the leadership team and help preserve our Blue connections and family histories.
All that's required is an abiding interest in the NBFA!
Send expressions of interest to Ted Blew at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the NBFA
The National Blue Family Association has been in existence since 1982, when sixteen correspondents started the association. We ended 2017 with about 125 members. We have had seventeen National Reunions, one every two years from June 1984 through June 2018.
Anyone with an interest in the BLUE surname and its variants is welcome to join the National Blue Family Association.
The major Dutch BLUE family descends from a couple associated with the Dutch West India Company, Frederick Janss and Grietje Janss van Groeningen. They are believed to have originated in the northern part of The Netherlands and appear in the records of the Dutch Reformed Church in Recife, Brazil, in the year 1646. By 1651 they were in New Amsterdam, where Frederick Janss received a grant of land from Peter Stuyvesant. Their son, Jan Frederickse (John, son of Frederick) took on the surname BLAUW after the British took over the colony. Many of Jan’s descendants migrated to New Jersey, then westward to Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Virginia (West Virginia). From these locations they spread throughout the United States and Canada.
The Blue Families of North America
Most of the BLUE families in North America belong to either the Dutch BLUE family or the Scottish BLUE family. There are Irish BLUEs, but most of these originated in Scotland. Other BLUEs are of German, French or African origin.
Because of the influence of numerous languages, varying degrees of literacy and legibility and , the surname meant to describe the color of the sea and the sky has now come to be spelled in numerous ways, from Blauuw to Blew.
The great majority of the Scottish BLUE families in North America originated in Argyllshire, the maritime county in southwestern Scotland. Some of these came by way of Ireland, and spent a generation or two there before coming to North America. The earliest known Scottish BLUE family to emigrate was that of Malcolm BLUE (1700-1766) and his wife, Sarah SMITH, from Cantyre, Argyllshire, who came in 1748 and settled on the Cape Fear River in North
Carolina. In the following decades many more Scottish BLUEs arrived, settling in Ontario and the Maritime Provinces of Canada, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. At this time we have identified about thirty Scottish BLUE families. Research in Scotland may eventually lead to the connecting of many of these families.
In The News
The African American Blew Family of Stoutsburg
Read this fascinating story of the connection between an African American family in Hopewell NJ and our Blaw ancestors. First published in the Hopewell Valley Historical Society Newsletter, Vol.xxxv, No.2, Winter/Spring 2017.
Tales of Blawenburg
Check out David Cochran’s excellent ‘Tales of Blawenburg’ blog. I learned of this wonderful local history resource recently while enjoying David’s ‘Blawenburg History’ presentation in the Blawenburg Reformed Church, during which he featured some fascinating information about John, Frederick, Michael and Thomas Blew” - Ted Blew
NBFA Family History Tidbits
"This block bears many links to the early Blaw families...The current location is...25 Broadway, at the approximate site of the Post Office which took over the gallery floor of the Cunard Lines Headquarters Building. It lies just south of Trinity Church."
"The descendants of our original Somerset County NJ settlers have gone far and wide and the stories that they have are many. However, none is more tragic than the story of the Donner Party."
"I truly did not know what to expect in Blawenburg. We went first to the Blaw/Nevius Cemetery. The gravesites are in a wooded lot surrounded by farmland. The place was a tangle of low branches, thorny vines and worst of all, Poison Ivy."