The children all died of Scarlatina, a form of Scarlet Fever, which they called a "throat distemper". The disease began ravaging New England families in 1735. It was not uncommon for families to be decimated by the disease. In Andover four families lost a combined 14 children in 72 hours. In an age without antibiotics there was nothing the family could do other than try to comfort the sick children.
Mary was pregnant at the time of the epidemic and gave birth to a son, who they called David, in February of the next year. David died two months later. It was very common for parents at that time to "recycle" a name, Benjamin and Mary did this twice. They would have one last child, called Abiel, born in 1741, tragically he would die before his second birthday.
The move was a new beginning for his children as well as Benjamin, each married and began their families in Hollis. Benjamin Jr. eventually left Hollis and moved north to Canterbury, NH. Benjamin Sr. is said to have gone with him and died there around 1770, but there does not seem to be any evidence of this. There is no record for his wife Mary after the birth of her last child.
The first town meeting of Hollis was called in 1746, Benjamin was elected fence viewer. He or his son Benjamin Jr. held various post until they left Hollis for Canterbury.
children of Benjamin and Mary:
Mary b. 10 Nov 1719 m. Edward Taylor, they lived in Hollis and had five children between 1749 and 1757
Benjamin Jr. b. 13 March 1720/21 my ancestor
Anne b. 1722 m. Jonathan Danforth of Billerica in 1743, sadly he died in 1747 in Hollis
their children lived in Hollis. Jonathan was one of the first to recieve land in Hollis before 1741. He was a surveyor and laid out town boundaries for the new town.
Jacob b. 11 May 1723 m. Rebecca Lawrence of Dunstable in 1745 d. unknown, has at least two children, both boys named Jacob the second born in 1753
Joshua b. 28 May 1726 m. Sarah Burge in Hollis in 1747 they had at least six children born in Hollis between 1748 and 1760
Jonathan b. 7 Feb 1727/8 d. 16 Oct 1739
Dorcas b. 28 March 1729/30 d. 13 Oct 1739
David b. 14 Feb 1731 d. 19 Oct 1739
Elizabeth b. b. 17 May 1733/4 no further info
Abiel b. 25 Sept 1737 d. 19 Oct 1739
David b. 19 Feb 1739/40 d. April 1740
Abiel b. 20 Oct 1741 d. 28 Jan 1743
Thomas Blanchard of Goodwith Clatford
Samuel Blanchard and Mary Sweetser
Jonathan Blanchard and Anne Lovejoy
Benjamin Blanchard and Mary Abbott
Benjamin Blanchard and Keziah Hastings
Jonathan Blanchard and Hannah Chadwick
James Blanchard and Phebe Carter
Chloe Blanchard and Samuel Thornton
"History of the Town of Hollis, New Hampshire from its first settlement until the year 1789", A. Williams and Company, Boston, 1889
James Otis Lyford, "History of the Town of Canterbury, New Hampshire,1727-1912", Rumford, 1912