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.


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