Where, Oh Where is Susan?

I have searched for Susan Markham for over 20 years.

Here’s what I know from family legend.

  • I am not going to like what I find.
  • Susan had two daughters. They were Markhams, but they were also Blaylocks.
  • Bill Blaylock was Irish. His daughter Lockie stated she had a sister name Jennie and a cousin named Jennie and they all lived together.
  • End of family legend.

    1880 census has Jeff Lannom and his wife Jennie Markham as head. His mother-in-law, Susan is 32 years old and has a 4 year old daughter named Nola living with her. Susan states she is single (I don’t think she was ever married to Mr. Blaylock.

    In 1900, I can not find Susan at all. Lockie has married James Brewer and is listed as Lee Brewer age 24 on the Wilson County, TN census. Jennie is listed as Jane Lannom, age 37 on the Maury County, TN census (parts of this census are hard to read, it’s possible Susan is there and overlooked in indexes.)

    In 1880, Bill Blaylock is listed as W. B. Blaylark, age 44 living alone. I think it is possible that he is the same William B. Blaylock who was married to Mary J. Unknown, son of Charles and Rebecca Blaylock, but I don’t have proof.

    I can not find Bill Blaylock in 1900, but by then his wife (if my guess is correct) states she is a widow. In 1880, she was married with no husband.

    In Jun 1870, William Blalock was arrested and charged with lewdness. That fits with him no longer living with his wife and being the father of Lockie who was born ca. 1876. Jennie was born ca 1866, but I am not sure if Bill is really her father or not.

    I tried tracing the other Markhams in the area, and found a Ben or Berry Markham. Following him back in time took me to Dekalb County, TN where a Mary J. Markham (possible wife of Bartlett Markham) was living with her daughter, Susan J. born ca 1841 and other children. About 7 years older than our Susan, the age fits better for her to be the mother of Jennie than does the 32 she lists as her age in 1880.

    I searched the Rutherford County marriage records from 1881-1914 and did not find a marriage for a Susan Markham. Next I want to check the Wilson County marriages, but haven’t had time to order the films.

    Susan as far as we know only had the two daughters. Nothing in the family lore states that Susan Markham and Bill Blaylock were married, though both girl’s descendants state they were both Blaylocks and Markhams. If so, Susan and Bill carried on at least a 10 year affair, and if he’s the person I think he is, they did so while he had an entirely different family with his wife. Did Mary Blaylock find out about her husband’s affair. Did his daughter live with his family? Who was the cousin named Jennie they supposedly lived with?

    I have never found Susan and the 4 year old Jennie living together on the 1870 census. Unless they were under a different name, it appears they were not enumerated. The only document I have of Susan Markham was the 1880 census. I have no idea where she is buried, or when she died.

    Anyone with the knowledge of any information, please comment on this blog. I would like to lay Susan Markham to rest someday.


    2 thoughts on “Where, Oh Where is Susan?

    1. Hi, not too much to add except that I checked Ancestry’s Tennessee statewide marriage index and didn’t see any obvious Sus* Mark*, Suk* Mark*, Sus* Bla* candidates in the 1881-1919 time frame anywhere in the state. You can access ancestry for free at your local LDS family history center.


    2. Thanks Pat,

      That pretty much confirms what I thought, but I don’t think that covers all counties during the full time period. I will have to double check.

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