Why I Haven’t Jumped on the DNA Bandwagon….

Most genealogist today are getting excited about having their DNA done.  I haven’t yet joined the bandwagon and today I thought I’d share my reasons:

Not Sure I’d Learn All That Much New:  I saw this chart the other day on DNA:

Autosomal % chart


So okay let’s use this chart, which they go on to explain isn’t exact, but rather I could get 25% of my DNA from my maternal grandmother and not any from the other three grandparents. Since I am a weird combination of my maternal great grandmother and my paternal great grandmother, I know I would see DNA from both those branches, but let’s just stick with the set percentages as a case of argument.

The main reason a person does DNA is to find out their ethnicity.  Am I Native American, English, Irish, Scottish, French, Jewish…?

Well, now let’s look at my research:

My parents were both born and raised in TN. So 100% of the DNA I got from them would be white American. 

Now my grandparents were all four born and raised in TN.  They each give me 25% of their white American blood.

Now my great grandparents.  All eight were born and raised once again in TN.  They each give me 12.5% of their DNA, which is once again, white American blood. 

Now to my 2nd great grandparents.  Finally some diversity.  One was born in GA, one in VA and the other 14, yup,  you guessed it! TN born and raised.  So each of them give me 6.25% of my DNA.  Perhaps that one ancestor from GA had some native American blood (not according to family legend, but when your blood is as white eccentric as mine is, a girl can hope. :) )

So now let’s go to my 3rd great grandparents. They each contribute around 3.12% of my DNA.  A percentage so small, that most companies call it trace DNA.  One was born in VA, one GA, 2 SC, 5 NC, one I haven’t found yet, and 19 were born in TN.  Even my trace DNA was born in the Southern United States.

So if I understand what I have been reading about DNA, the likelihood of my DNA test pointing to anything beyond European DNA is highly unlikely.  I know I have some 7 and 8th great grandparents who were French Huguenots.  So maybe if they have really strong DNA, I’d show up with some French blood?  I know I have one branch that is from Germany.  In fact, my 7th  great grandfather was born there in  1697.  Perhaps my German blood would withstand the test of time.  My daughter is certainly loving her German II class.

Now I do have one 5th great grandmother who was said to be full blooded Native American. You think her Native American blood would be strong enough to counteract all my English, French and German blood to show up on a DNA test?

I Have No Desire to Give my Tree to Ancestry or Any Other DNA Testing Site:  Yes, I know. I have shared family information with people who have put bits and pieces on there on my behalf. I just have no desire to do it myself, nor pay for the privilege.  It’s really not my thing.  And what good is a DNA match if there is no tree to find out how the match occurred.

I Have No Desire to Add 400 More Descendants to an Already Crowded Tree:  No, I am not a genealogy snob.  I love my cousins and interact with 2nd, 3rd, even one 8th cousin on a daily basis on FB.  But the reason to do DNA is to meet another cousin that is researching your line and HOPE that he or she has information that you don’t already have.  So far, I have managed to research my family tree fairly easily with conventional methods and met those cousins without DNA.  I realize that few people’s families are as concentrated on one place on the globe as mine have been, nor do most places have as good records as Tennessee has for genealogist, and I am blessed by the work of many genealogist before me in a way that people who chose to do DNA are not blessed.  One needs to keep in mind, I went to school with a majority of my 2nd cousins.  I know all of them by name and we grew up very close.

I am 100% Convinced That It Isn’t Just a Fad:  I see so many people say, “I just got new results from X and they are different than before. Where did my Jewish genealogy go?”  Maybe the tests are getting more accurate. Maybe less.  I can’t say, but I can say this: Twenty years ago, all my genealogy friends communicated on a minute by minute basis via Rootsweb.  Today, most of that communication has moved to Facebook.  Is DNA just another genealogist fad?  I am not sure.  But I am sure that I am willing to wait a bit to see.

Now, What I Am Not:  I have heard many times from people who say if  you know that much family history, you are selfish to not do your DNA and share.  I am not a selfish genealogist. Around 15 hours of my week, each and every week is committed to helping other people, especially newbies with genealogy research. I am a Rootsweb mailing list volunteer (even if all the list gets these days is spam). I run a cemetery blog for the county my family is from and have a county Facebook page for the county as well.  I blog about my family and if a cousin needs help with research, I gladly share what I have, even when I know they have nothing to give back in return.  I share documents I find on my Facebook page on a regular basis and tag the correct family member who I know are into genealogy so they can have copies (with source citations).  This also includes research information as well as family photos.

I Am Not Paranoid:   I realized that identity theft is about stealing my credit card number and pin, not about knowing who my third great grandparents were.  So I do protect my credit card and pin number.  I have blogged about my third great grandparents on a regular basis.  I also don’t have a problem with telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That is why one blog told about an ancestor who died after an abortion, one was a horse thief and another a Revolutionary Soldier.  There is a saint and a sinner in all of us.

I Am Not Closed Minded:  I realize that for many people DNA does hold the answers they need to solve genealogical problems. A few months ago, I was contacted by a young woman who I believe is a first cousin.  She asked some questions about her parent, and I told her what I knew. She was vague about why she was asking and I tried to answer in a way that let her know I knew the truth.  If she were to tell me the real reason she asks, I would suggest to her a DNA test.  Personally, I’ve seen her Facebook photo, she really doesn’t need the DNA test. 

So for now, if you ask, I’ll tell you, I am first a Tennessean, second an American, thirdly like most people in the Deep South, I am European.  For now, that’s good enough for me.

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Faithful Father….

Last week I wrote a post about my mother, so it seems only appropriate that I share my father’s story as well.  My parents could not have been two more different people.  My dad was soft spoken, quiet, often moody. My mother is boisterous, loud, incredibly outgoing. As a child, they managed to complement each other so much I never realized the differences between them until I had two children of my own. #1 is like his grandfather; dark hair, moody, a bit of a clean freak.  #2 is like her grandmother; light hair, never meets a stranger, loves the lived in look.  But like their grandparents, they are the perfect compliment to each other.

For many people being so different might have been the reason they would have went their own ways, but for my parents, they each knew their strengths and weaknesses and they took care of each other. The one trait they both had in common is their work ethic. Both of my parents were incredibly hard workers their entire lives.

When my brother was born, there was no such thing as Supplement Security Income, or Disability.  Parents of children with handicaps just had to pay the bills for hospitals however they could.  And for my parents, that meant Dad worked two, sometimes three jobs while I was growing up. If my brother had to spend 5 days in the hospital with the mumps like he did at age twelve, Dad was going to have to pay the hospital.  And so he worked hard.

But Dad still managed to be there for his family. Growing up, I don’t ever remember a Sunday that my Dad was not at church.  As a Deacon and a Sunday School teacher, making sure we were at church was important.  My Dad was an incredible man and his family (Mom, Bubba, Me and the Siblings as I call Mom’s youngest three brother and sisters) were incredibly important to him. Despite the fact that he worked long hours he still found time to take us camping every weekend when I was a small kid.  Mom, Dad, me and my brother,  the three younger siblings, all their kids,  a few neighbor kids, two campers, two tents, two station wagons and off we’d go to Old Stone Fort to camp every weekend.  Those were the best memories of my childhood. Our entire family camping, swimming, cooking out. 

One weekend we got to the Fort and set up camp. We had a special campground we always tried to get because it was in the crook of three trees, so we could basically all camp together as three campgrounds formed into one.  That weekend it stormed terribly and our tents were knocked down. We had to move to a covered picnic area for the night because we didn’t have enough places to sleep. Mom and Dad were in our camper with my brother and all six of the smaller kids when the Camp Ranger came by to tell us we had to move. You couldn’t camp under the picnic area.  Dad opened the camper door just a little so as not to wake the children, but when he heard what the man had to say, he opened the door. Kids were sleeping on the floor, on the pull out cabinets, in the bed… The man looked at mom and dad and simply said, “Be gone by the time I do my morning rounds…” Dad never said a word.  That was just how he was.  Soft spoken, often quiet.  He just let you come to the right conclusions all on your own.

My Dad never lost his temper with us as kids (at least not very often). It was Mom’s job to be the disciplinarian. I realize now that wasn’t exactly all that fair to her. He got to be the hero, and she was always the bad cop.

A few months before I was born, my dad ran his finger into a printing press, making his middle finger slightly crooked.  When I was a kid, if I was misbehaving, he would point that middle finger at me. I knew the translation was simply “if you don’t behave, I am going to beat you to death.”  Which was funny, since the only time my dad ever spanked me in my entire life was because of something I didn’t do and I took the punishment for my two younger cousins.  But as a kid, I knew that finger meant I had crossed his line and if I didn’t calm down, Momma was going to spank me. Remember she was the bad cop.

I only heard my Dad cry one time in my entire life and to this day the sound terrifies me.  When I was nine, our house was destroyed by a tornado.  When the storm was over, Daddy told us to stay under the mattress we had survived the storm under and he went out to survey the storm damage. We lived on a family farm and all our neighbors were family.  When Dad went outside the forest that surrounded our house was destroyed.  Dad was convinced we were the only people left alive. He began to cry.  Mom went to him. She said as soon as she saw what he did, she thought we were the only people alive as well.  My Dad had always been the pillar of strength and hearing him cry shook my world as a child. 

My parents were the most charitable people I ever met. Many times when they helped someone, only the person and my parents knew about the help. Dad was a member of the Kiwanis and he and mom were very active in helping families with children with Cerebral Palsy in any way they could.  I remember one Christmas we were going to visit the home of a man whose son was severely handicapped with CP. He had a younger daughter. I don’t know what had happened to the man’s wife, but he was raising the two children all by himself and he had let my dad know that there wasn’t going to be any Christmas at their house that year, so Dad and Mom had collected gifts and we were on our way to visit the family. I loved going there to play because the little girl was about my age, and I was looking forward to taking gifts to her. 

We arrived at the house and off to the bedroom she and I went to play.  When we got to her room, she asked me if I had heard about Santa?  Then she proceeded to tell me that Santa had had a bad sleigh wreck and he had been killed and wouldn’t be able to bring gifts that year. I ran to Daddy quite upset, because I still very much believed in Santa.  When I told Daddy the story, he quickly realized what was happening and he quickly recovered. He picked me up and put me on his knee and pulled the little girl over and told us that yes, Santa had had a wreck. But the elves were reporting that he had merely hurt himself and that he had entrusted Daddy with the gifts for this family and that he would be more than ready to make his ride on Christmas Eve for all the other kids.  We passed out the gifts to the family and left.  I don’t remember ever seeing the family again after that night. I am sure we did from time to time.  But that night, my Dad was a hero not only to me and the little girl, but to her father as well. I often wonder if things ever got better for that family.

When my father died, I was totally unprepared for his funeral. Well, not really the funeral. Dad had planned the entire thing and all Mom and I had to do was buy flowers for the casket and show up.  What I was unprepared for was the crowd! For hours, people came by to tell me and my husband how Dad had touched their lives and had been instrumental in their Salvation.  Over the years, my soft spoken quiet father had witnessed to thousands of people from all walks of life.  Even working in a printing company where the machines are loud and little talking is ever done, Dad had found a way to share the love of Christ with his coworkers.

If my Mom was fearless, it was because my Dad was always faithful. Faithful to the very end….

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Slaves of Reverend John Dillahunty….

John Dillahunty Inventory Page 19

John Dillahunty: inventory (17 Jun 1816), Davidson County, TN Book 7, Page 19. Viewed online on 13 Mar 2015 searching “Tennessee, Probate Court Books, 1795-1927″ at http://www.familysearch.org. ; Official copy held by Davidson County, TN, Will Book 7, Roll 0428, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville TN.

John Dillahunty’s inventory (above) mentions the following slaves: (information in italics came from John’s will dated 31 May 1810)  Ages are from the inventory dated 1816

Dinda: very old-Due to her good conduct, she was emancipated by his will at the death of her mistress.  She was to live with his daughter Rachel and her husband Joseph Johnson and work for her maintenance.
Venus: 33 years old-was given to Rachel (his daughter) and her husband Joseph Johnson.
York: 13 years-was given to John Dillahunty (son of William Dillahunty) He was to be hired out by Sally Dillahunty until John came of age. The money arising from hiring out York would be divided between Isaac and William Dillahunty as their share of the estate.
Stephen 10 or 11 years- was given to John B. Dillahunty (son of Thomas Dillahunty-John’s son)
Amy and Lee: small children Amy was given to his daughter Mary Ann West.  Lee is not mentioned in the will. It is possible that he was born after the will was written but before the inventory was taken.

Posted in Dillahunty, John, Genealogy, Slave Narratives, West, Mary Ann | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Fearless Female….

This week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is to post about a fearless female in your life and I can think of no one more deserving of this title than my mother.

My mom was the middle child of eleven children. My grandfather had been married before he married my grandmother and had three living children with his second wife.  He was eighteen years older than my grandmother. My grandmother had grown up in an orphanage having lost her father at age 2 and her mother at age 10. 

Momma was eighteen when she married my father.  She had quit school to work to help her elderly father pay the family’s bills as many children did in those days.  Eleven months after my parents were married, my brother was born, premature.  He was a blue baby.  Mom and Dad had no idea just how sick their little boy was when they bought him home.  In those days, you paid for the child’s six weeks checkup when you left the hospital. Their first clue should have been when the nurse told them he wouldn’t live to be six weeks old.

This baby boy could not suck and so my mom and a friend fed him with an eye dropper around the clock for the first few months of his life. And my brother grew and thrived.  One day when he was a few months old, mom was changing a diaper and got some of the baby powder in his eyes. He did not cry.  Mom called the doctor, frantic as any new mother would. It was then she learned that her child was blind. Not because there was anything wrong with his little eyes, but because his brain was dead in the places where our eyes and brain talk.  The doctors thought he might be able to see light.  He could not talk, but his hearing was incredibly good. This was difficult on the young child and mom would often take him to a neighbor’s house, just so she could wash dishes, because the sound of the dishes hitting together would make him cry.  He hate clapping with a passion.

My grandfather’s health was failing and he would rock my brother and try and teach him things.  My brother only learned two words.  My grandfather died when my brother was sixteen months old.  Momma and Daddy were now trying to help my grandmother, who was a new widow, raise three young children and an invalid child of their own.

When my brother was four, my mother became pregnant with me.  The doctor’s decided that summer, that if they could break both his hips and reset them, that maybe it would slow his scoliosis and he might be able to learn to walk.  He was in a full body cast that whole summer from the waist down.  Mom would take him to the doctor and then go and see her doctor. She never told his doctor she was pregnant, nor did she tell her doctor he’d had surgery. 


Shortly after I was born, Mom took my brother to the doctor and was told that if she loved me, she would lay my brother in the busy street in front of the hospital and walk off.  Mom jerked us both up and walked out of that doctor’s office never to return. Unfortunately in 1966, lots of people felt that way. My parents were not one of them. 

They determined that not only would I have a “normal” life, but so would my brother.  And they determined from that moment on, not to let other people tell them how to raise their children.  And so we went spelunking, deep sea fishing, camping, all the normal things families did in the 1960-70s. We just did it with a wheelchair in tow.  I became his eyes, telling him about the places that we went.  We were active in church, I was a girl scout, I played violin… 

Mom wasn’t able to work outside the home, so instead she worked inside the home. By the time I started school, those younger siblings were starting their own families. While they worked, Momma kept the kids at home.  Three generations of our family learned if you napped with Bubba, you slept on his left arm or he would beat you to death with it.  We learned to walk pushing a wheel chair. We learned that wheelchairs have feet rests, not so the person riding has a place to put their feet, but because they are the perfect height to ram into the person in front of you. No need to say excuse me, wheelchairs have the right of way. You don’t move, we just ran you down.

In 2001, my dad found out he had lung and bone cancer.  That same year the doctor’s decided that my brother needed a tracheotomy and a feeding tube.  Nine months later, my father passed away leaving Mom to care for my brother all alone.  We were blessed that the last request my father had made was for home health nurses to help mom and she was blessed with some of the best.

My brother passed away with Mom caring for him.  For 44 years, she had cared for him night and day, day and night.  She had only been separated from him a few times in all those years.  She had fearlessly cared for him from cradle to grave.

Yes, when I think of a fearless woman, I think of my mom.  And I think of this poem written by Erma Bombeck.  It was published in the Today Newspaper Sept. 4th, 1993

God Chooses Mom for Disabled Child

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.
Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth; son; patron saint, Matthew.
“Forrest, Marjorie; daughter; patron saint, Cecelia.
“Rudledge, Carrie; twins; patron saint…. give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.
” Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicapped child.” 
The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.” 
“But has she patience?” asks the angel. 
“I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she’ll handle it.” 
“I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence. She’ll have to teach the child to live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.” 
“But, Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.” 
God smiles. “No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.” The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?” 
God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, there is a woman I will bless with a child less then perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says “Momma” for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.” “I will permit her to see clearly the things I see—ignorance, cruelty, prejudice— and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.” 
“And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in midair.
God smiles.  “A mirror will suffice.”

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Genealogy Go Over Week 8


Yup, I am behind. This week can’t blame Thomas or his tiaras. Instead have to blame a lack of caring on my part.  Winter has hit the Deep South, schools have been closed, having a hard time finding motivation to work, clean house, do much besides watch the snow and pray for spring…. I hate this time of year. So much to do, no motivation to get it done. So I do the very necessary parts and don’t worry about the rest. As soon as the weather warms, I get motivated and work double time. So if the laundry piles up a little, no worry, soon I will be cleaning out closets and all those missing clothes we do wear make getting rid of the ones we don’t far easier.

So here it is my week 8 progress.

Conducting Collateral Research:

For my Go Over, I started with my mother’s family, the Joseph Morgan family of Jackson and Davidson County, TN. I am working on scanning all documents I have, citing all documents I have, and making sure that everything is in EVERNOTE. And then finding as many records that I don’t have that are online so that when I do get to go to the state Archives, all I need to do is research not found online.

So anyone with a Morgan surname in Jackson County, TN and the 5th and 6th Districts of Davidson County, TN are being researched. I am convinced that Joseph is related to these people and someday I intend to figure out how.  For now, I know he is not a descendant of Job Morgan, though I do believe he could be a nephew.

At the rate I am going with this project, I will need another 40 Go Overs to get all the information I currently have scanned and moved into my computer program.  It’s amazing the records I have found that were never put into TMG.

Reviewing Offline Education Options:

Frankly, I haven’t done anything on this.  I attend my monthly DAR meetings and I research and try and listen to online options.  Beyond that, I just don’t have that much time to give to this.  I prefer to listen to online experts in my free time than to go to local societies. My experience with these are they are often done by someone locally (I don’t have ancestors from this area), who have very limited genealogy experience.  Often I find I leave wanting to take them aside and give them resources to look at before their next talk.  Perhaps this is me thinking I always know more than the other person (a good complaint about me), but I find my time is the most valuable asset that I have and I’d rather listen to a talk from Rootstech on my computer over sitting in a cold library listening to an older woman talk about deeds and wills and how they can be important to our research.

Now there are exceptions.  A few years ago I got to attend a talk by Megan Smolenyak on DNA.  It was worth the time and money I spent on the lecture and I really enjoyed it. Met several friends there that I didn’t know even did genealogy.  So let’s just say, that will I won’t say I won’t go to a local genealogy lecture, it has to be one that I feel is worth my while to attend. 

But I do keep up with what our local libraries are doing via email and Facebook and if one of those lectures comes up, I will make time to go. In the meantime, I will continue to get my genealogy information online, most likely at 2 am when I can’t sleep, because the beauty of a streaming lecture is it can be viewed whenever is convenient for the listener.  From any where in the world!

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Will The Real William Blaylock Please Stand Up?….

Charles Blaylock died in Wilson County, TN and left a will there in 08 Jun 1853:

I Charles Blalock being ? and weak in body, but strong in mind and in my proper senses do make this my last will and testament, Revoking all others. I do will that all my just debts be paid. Then I do will and bequeath to my beloved wife Rebecca Blalock, the plantation whereon we now live to have her lifetime, with a sufficient quantity of provision for the year with hogs a plenty to make meat for another year and one half of the present crop and the old mare ? and one cow and calf with all the household and kitchen furniture. I do will and bequeath unto my beloved son Whitson Blaylock half the present Crop now growing and 1 Roan or ? Colt. I will that at the death of my wife Rebecca Blalock, that the plantation with the remaining effects be sold, and divided between our children.  I will that all the balance of my stock and ? be sold and after the crop is made all the remainder is sold, and the money if any is left after my debts are paid, I will to my beloved wife Rebecca Blalock, this given under my hand this the 8th day of Jun 1853.
Charles Blalock

Here is the Charles Blalock family in 1850:

1850 Charles Blaylock

Notice the son is enumerated as William in 1850, but is called Whitson in his father’s will dated 1853.  Was he William Whitson, or was the census taker confused? Or did the Blaylocks have an older son? Here is the 1840 census for Charles (also known as Charles Jr. to distinguish him from Charles Blaylock who was not his father.)

In 1840, Charles Jr had one male 0-5, one male 5-10, one male 20-30 and he was 40-50.  He had one  female 0-5, one female 5-10, one ten-fifteen and his wife was 40-50.  Going on the ages in 1850, we have to assume Charles was 40ish and Rebecca was 50ish in 1840.  Their son William was the male that was 5-10 and that meant they had a male 0-5 and a male 20-30.  In 1850, we find a Whitson Blaylock living in Shelby County, TN with a George and Jane Blair, but he is 22, so he would have been about 12 in 1840.  Could he be the 20-30 year old that is enumerated here, and his age is incorrect in 1850?  We will probably never know.

1840Charles Blaylock

In 1860, we find Rebecca Blaylock living in the household of Benjamin Posey. We know that her daughter Surania or Lurania Elizabeth married Benjamin Posey in Wilson County, TN in 03 Jun 1847.  By 1860, they had six children and were living in Civil District 4 of Wilson County, TN.  Charles and Rebecca had three daughters on the 1840, census.  I believe they are Martha, who married Hiram Dill, Elizabeth S., who married Benjamin Posey.  I do not have any idea who the third daughter was just yet.  There is a H. Moseley and a W. Patton that bought stuff at Rebecca’s estate sale and it’s possible that one of them is the third female.

It’s also possible that the 20-30 year old is the father of some of the small children living in the house and non of them belong to Charles and Rebecca at all. Something that we often overlook today is three generations living in the same household. 


We find William Blaylock married to a Mary Jane and living in the 5th District of Wilson County, TN.  I can only assume that this is the son that was living with Charles and Rebecca in 1850.  Here is that family in 1860.  Notice that a son has been named Charles and a daughter Martha. Perhaps these are family names?


Rebecca Blaylock dies in 1860 in Wilson County, TN a Martha Dill and and E. Posey buy most of her property. We can only assume this is her daughters Martha who married Hiram Dill and Elizabeth as she is now going by, who married Benjamin Posey.  No mention of William or Whitson purchasing anything is found.

So now both of his parents are deceased and that leaves William and Mary Jane as my focus.  Could this William Blaylock be my Bill Blaylock who has an affair with Susan Markham producing a child in 1866 and another in 1876?

In 1870, Mary Jane Blaylock is enumerated in Wilson County, TN.  William is not living with her. Our first assumption would be to believe that her husband has died, but I was not able to find any probate records between 1860 and 1870 in Wilson County for William Blaylock.  However on 27 Jun 1870, William Blaylock was arrested for Lewdness in Wilson County, TN.  I doubt that this was 8 year old Willie W. Blaylock, so it must have been his father. Was the reason that Mary Jane is enumerated without her husband is that he is in jail or did he die?  If he is in jail, I have never been able to find where he was incarcerated.  It also appears that Mary has taken in boarders, but I don’t know who Harriet and Andy Gray were.



In 1880, W. B. Blaylock (Blaylark), age 44, is enumerated in 20th Civil District of Wilson County, TN as a laborer.   He is living alone.  On the page before him are Susan Markham and her two daughters.  Is this the same man?

1880W. B. BLaylark

In 1880, Mary Jane Blaylock is enumerated in 4th Civil District of Wilson County, TN.

1880M. J. Blalock

In March 1906, I found an inventory of the estate of C. T. Blaylock in Wilson County, TN.  Mary Blaylock purchases several items.

Mary Blaylock died 16 Jan 1911. She is buried in Castilian Springs in Sumner County, TN. 

So here is the question.  Why doesn’t William Blaylock have a probate. If he died between 1862 (Willie was born in 1862) and 1870, he was only 30-38 years old.  If he died intestate, he should have had have an administrator’s bond, but I could not find one for him in Wilson County, TN. This could be because the index books are in bad shape and perhaps the index is incomplete.  He did not have a will.   

We know that William had small children, so the next place for me to look is guardianship records. These are online for Wilson County, TN, but are not indexed.  So they will have to be read page by page.

So did William Blaylock die, or did he have an affair and his wife kicked him out. Was my Bill Blaylock the same man that married Mary Jane and had 6 children with her? Was Bill Blaylock the father of Virginia Caldonia Markham born ca 1866 and Lockie Etta Blaylock born ca 1876, or was W. B. Blaylock an entirely different man altogether?

Further Circumstantial Evidence:  On 24 Oct 1883, William Blaylock (son of Jane and William)  married Novella Brown.  In 1900, I believe they are enumerated as William and Novella Brown.  No record for William and Novella Blaylock was found. Why did they change their names?  Was it a mistake by the census taker?  Were they avoiding the name William Blaylock because of his father’s reputation? By 1910, they are enumerated as Harvey and Novella Brown.  If this is the same family, why did they stay with the name Brown?

Following our week 9, genealogy do over, we should look at the FAN to see what we can find:

Martha J. and Hiram Dill:
Martha and Hiram stayed in the 5th District and are enumerated there in 1900.  In 1910, Hiram is enumerated in the 5th District, but his wife’s name is Sallie.  Martha must have died between 1900 and 1910, and is most likely buried in Wilson County, TN.  TN did not start keeping death records until 1914 statewide.

Elizabeth S. and Benjamin Posey:

I lose track of these two after Rebecca’s death. I could not find them for sure on the 1870 census, though there are several Benjamin Posey’s mentioned.

William and Mary Jane’s Children:

Martha A. Blaylock:

Born circa 1852. She is last found living with her mother in Wilson County, TN in 1880.  Most likely she married after this census.

Charles T. Blaylock

Born circa 1853.  His inventory is taken in 1906 in Wilson County, TN. Mary Blaylock purchases several items.  It’s possible that his sisters are married to some of the men making purchases.

Charlotte Blaylock married Eli Wilson:

Born circa 1856.  In 1910, they are living in Sumner County, TN and her mother is living with them.

Joseph E. Blaylock

Born circa 1856.  He is last seen living with his mother in 1880. It’s possible that he married after this census.

Nancy Blaylock:

Born circa 1861.  She is last found living with her mother in 1880.  Most likely she married after this census.

Willie W. Blaylock.

Born circa 1862.  It’s possible that he married Novella Brown and they went by Novella and William Brown after 1880.

In  1900, Mary states she is the mother of 7 children and 4 are still living. We know that Charles and Martha lived past 1880. It’s probable that Willie is the same person as William Brown, so that just leaves us with who was the fourth child to live past 1900.

Posted in Blaylock, William, Genealogy, Markham, Susan | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

So that they will not be lost….

I know the heartache of looking for over 25 years for an ancestress who lived in the late 1800s, yet no records of her except the 1880 census exist. She was a very poor share cropper and her story would be lost to all time if it weren’t for me, her 3rd great grand daughter who was born 120 years later. So I can’t imagine what it would be like to try and trace a black ancestor through the wills and deeds of some unknown master, when you really don’t even know where to begin or what name to look for.  So when Schalene Dagutis of http://tangledrootsandtrees.blogspot.com/p/slave-name-roll.html  decided to start a slave name roll call of slaves we have found in the homes of our ancestors, I decided I would participate. Who knows, maybe someone out there is looking for this very family.

In September 1850, James Edde wrote his will in Lincoln County, TN:

     Know all men these present that James Edde of the County of Lincoln and the State of Tennessee being of sound mind and believing from my age and feebleness of Body that my departure from time is not far distant.  I therefore make my just Will and Testament as follows:
     I Will first that my just debts be paid and then I first give unto my son Hiram Edde one dollar in addition to what he has already received and secondly I give unto my son Moses P. Edde one dollar in addition to what he has received and thirdly I give to my daughter Fanny M. Enochs one dollar in addition to what she has received and fourthly I give my daughter Patience Rees one dollar in addition to what she has heretofore received.
     I Will that my plantation remain  in possession of my wife and my minor heirs until the youngest child become of age that is to say during my wifes (sic) widowhood and if my wife should marry this Will to be void as to her but remain as to my minor heirs.
     I Will that my boy Ben. and boy Cain and my woman Kisiah and Hanner, remain upon the plantation for the benifit (sic) of my Wife and the raising of the minor children, the balance if any to be sold or divided the balance of the negros aside from those above named to be sold or divided.
     I Will that my son Mitchell have the privaledge (sic) to remain upon the plantation with his mother until my youngest child becomes of age and have the fourth part of all property that is raised with the hands, I have left with my wife.  He is to have the privaledge (sic) of raising stock for himself and not to be transferred to no other person.
     I Will also the Negros that I Will to remain upon the plantation with my wife and minor heirs fall immediately into the hands of my executives when the youngest child comes of age for the be sold or divided as the balance and  I further Will that if my Wife is living when my youngest child becomes of age and remains a widow she is to occupy my dwelling and have sufficiency for her comfortable support and somebody to wait on her her lifetime or Widowhood apart from the above Will.  And appoint my sons Mitchell and William my executives to this my last Will and Testament.
     Jas Edde <SEAL>
Signed sealed in the presents of us, Sept. 8th, 1850.
     Witnesses: John Bird and Daniel Brown
     Recorded 10th July 1857

He left behind the slaves Kisiah, Hanner, Ben and Cain to the benefit of his wife, the rest to be sold immediately.  On 29 Dec 1858, Mitchell Edde, James’s son, sold to  Daniel A. George,a portion of the slaves.

   This indenture made and entered into this 29th day of Dec. 1858 between Mitchell Edde of the one part and Daniel A. George of the other part and both of Lincoln County, Tennessee witnesseth that the said Mitchell Edde for and in consideration of the sum of One Hundred and Seventy Five Dollars to him in hand paid (the receipt of which is hereby acknowledge) hath bargained and sold doth hereby transfer and convey to said Daniel A. George all the rights title and interest which he said Mitchell Edde has under the Will of his father James Edde Deceased, to the following described property- being an interest of one eighth in the same-  To Wit: one tract of land situated in Civil District No. # 1, Lincoln Co., Tenn. containing by estimation 170 acres be the same more or less.  Bounded on the North by the land of Jno. Bird, on the East by the lands of Daniel Brown Deceased, on the South by the land of ? Sikes Deceased.  On the West by the land of Susan Parks and Samuel Bobo, said land being now in the possession of the Widow of said James Edde, and to be held by her until her right expires under the Will of said husband James Edde Deceased.  Also the one eighth interest in the following Slaves and their increases.  Benjamin aged about 60, Cain aged about ??, Kizza age about 50, and Hannah aged about 20, those said slaves being now in the possession of said Widow and to be held by her until her rights expire under the Will of her said husband.  Also the entire interest which the said Mitchell Edde may have in the stock of every description under the Will of his father aforesaid.  To have and to hold the entire interest in said land and Negros and stock of the said Mitchell Edde, to the said Daniel A. George, his heirs and assigns forever- and the said Mitchell Edde hereby binds himself, his heirs and personal representatives, to warrant and forever defend the title to the above described one 8th interest in said land and slaves, to the said Daniel A. George his heirs and assigns against the lawful claims of all persons whatsoever- In witness whereof the said Mitchell Edde has hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year first above written.
     Mitchell Edde <SEAL>


When James wrote his will in 1850, the United States was also taking a slave census that year.  Here are the slaves James Edde had living on his plantation in 1850 in the 2nd District of Lincoln County, TN:

1850slave James Edde

So what happened to these slaves?  Well, we know that Sarah Edde was still alive in 1860, because she is enumerated on the 1860 Lincoln County, TN Federal Population census,  so the slaves were still in her possession then. Her youngest daughter was born ca 1841, and would have still been considered a minor. 

Here is the family in 1870 Lincoln County, TN. I could not find a marriage record for Hannah in TN. Not sure if she married and is living elsewhere or has already passed away.  If we look at the children of Benjamin and Keziah Edde, we notice that Booker was born ca 1831, Mary Jane was born ca 1839, F. M., was born ca 1849 and they are not mentioned in the Edde will, yet it appears that they were living on the Edde farm in 1850.  We have to assume that they were meant to be sold off after James’ death, since he says, “balance of the negros aside from those above named to be sold or divided.” Yes, it appears that in 1850, when he wrote his will, James Edde intended to sell six year old Mary Jane and 2 year old F. M. Edde away from their mother and father.  Why he did not plan to keep the teenaged Booker is unclear.

It looks like after being emancipated, Ben and Kizzie reunited their family.  I do not have the probate records for James Edde, so we have to assume that his Executor sold these slaves after the death of James Edde.  Most likely members of the family purchased them, as it is assumed they stayed in the area.

1870 Cain Edde

By 1880, Cain and Rhoda are living in Moore County, TN.  Benjamin and Keziah are living in Bedford County, TN and are enumerated under the surname Eady as is most of my family living in the area. 

They are 79 and 71 years old.  From slaves to free in their old age. 

Posted in 52 Ancestors, Edde, James-Patience Prewitt, Genealogy, Saturday's Stories, Slave Narratives | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments