The Ed Koch Queensboro (59th St) bridge that connects Long Island City to Manhattan over the East River was once called the Blackwell’s Island Bridge after the Blackwell family that were one of the first settlers of Long Island and the area of Ravenswood (Long Island City).
The Blackwells were of English origin. The family’s immigrant ancestor, Jeremy Blackwell emigrated to America in 1635 on the Truelove, the 3rd ship to follow the Mayflower. The same year, Jeremy followed Rev. William Leverich from a settlement in Cape Cod to Newtown, NY which included what is now part of Long Island City.
What became known as Blackwell’s Island was part of a marriage contract between Jacob Blackwell and Mary Hallet who were married in late summer of 1711. Jacob was described as having ‘extraordinary character’ and before his death was said to be 6′ 2″ tall and weighing 429 lbs. Jacob’s house in Ravenswood was also said to be a headquarters for George Washington. One of Jacob’s grandson’s had 16 children so I imagine there is quite a number of descendants of this Blackwell line in existence today.
House built by Jacob Blackwell