MATTHEW BLAKISTON (c1702-74), an eminent merchant of London, was elected an alderman in 1750; served the office of sheriff in 1753; and filled the civic chair in 1760.
In 1759, Mr Alderman Blakiston received the honour of Knighthood, and was created a baronet in 1763.
He was twice married: By his first marriage he had one son, who died unmarried; and by the second, which took place in 1760, with Annabella, daughter of Thomas Bayly, MP for Derby, he had an only son, his successor, at his demise in 1774,
SIR MATTHEW, 2nd Baronet (1761-1806), born in the Mansion House during the mayoralty of his father.
He married, in 1782, Anne, daughter of John Rochford, of Clogrennane, County Carlow, by whom he left six sons at his decease, the eldest of whom,
SIR MATTHEW, 3rd Baronet (1783-1862).
As of 2008, the title is held by the 8th Baronet's eldest son, Sir Ferguson Blakiston, 9th Baronet, who lives in New Zealand.
Charles Blakiston-Houston, was MP for Belfast Dock from 1929-33; and his fifth and youngest son, John Blakiston-Houston (1881–1959), was a major-general in the Army.
Beltrim estate in County Tyrone forms part of the Blakiston-Houston estate.
Orangefield Park in east Belfast was the family home of the Houston family in the 19th century. The head of the family, John Holmes Houston, was a partner in the Belfast Banking Company and lived at Orangefield House with his family.First published in August, 2011.
Orangefield was situated at the end of what is now Houston Park and the estate itself extended to almost 300 acres. John and Eliza's daughter, Mary Isabella, was born in 1793 and later married Richard Bayly Blakiston.
The two families joined names, leaving J Blakiston-Houston in charge of the Orangefield estate from 1857.
In 1934, the Blakiston-Houston family offered Belfast Corporation (now the council) part of the Orangefield estate to develop as a public park. The corporation, although keen to buy the land, felt that the price was too high.
After lengthy negotiations, they bought part of the site in 1938 for £20,000. Development work was put on hold due to World War II and plans for the park were only drawn up in 1947.