Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Blakely and Eddins DNA, and what it proves

DNA has proved that our Eddins family is related to the Blakelys.

At both Ancestry, FtDNA, and Gedmatch.com, several of our Eddins DNA kits triangulate with kits of Blakely descendants. Our kits match DNA kits from people descended from other children of John & Zilpha.

In the Eddins family, we can trace our line back through James A. Eddins to John & Zilpha/Sylvia Eddins, both with documents and with DNA. The Blakely kits that we match all trace their lines back to Dionysius Blakely. One researcher in particular, Gary Ray Blakely, has done years of research. I find his research and data quite reliable. He and the kits he administers trace back to Dionysius Blakely. The kits of other Eddins descendants trace back to Anna Obedience Eddins who married Edom Moon and Elizabeth Eddins who married Benjamin Wingard.

There are only a few ways in which my line can be descended from the Blakely family.

1. One of John's parents, grandparents, or ancestors was a Blakely.

Can't prove or disprove this yet. I have no info about John prior to his 1777 enlistment in the SC Volunteers Third Regiment.

http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/onlinearchives/RecordDetail.aspx?RecordId=218748

2. Either Dionysius, Bland, or another Blakely male was the father of James A. Eddins  incestuously.

Actually, this possibility is probably precluded by the fact that the name "Blakely" runs through the Eddins family. In all the records I've seen about Zilpha, as extraordinary as she was, there's never been anything to suggest that she was erratic or demented or abused. Rather, she seems to have been one feisty dudess—selling land, running ads to find her errant flock, and marrying a man much, much younger. Is such a woman likely to name her first son after a relative who "took advantage of her"? Hardly.

3.  One of Zilpha's parents, grandparents, or ancestors was a Blakely.

I have no proven info about Zilpha prior to her being named on an 1806 land plat in Lexington County, SC, though it's 99% likely that she was the female in John's household during the 1790 SC Census. It's just that her name is not listed.

The only thing I can prove is that Zilpha says she is the mother of William D. and James A. Eddins, based on a record from a law case.

"STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA:

Know all men by these presents that I, Zilpha Eddins, of Lexington District and the State aforesaid, widow woman, for and in consideration of the natural love I have and do bear towards my two sons, James A. Eddins and William D. Eddins..."

https://books.google.com/books?id=aqsKAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA171&lpg=PA171&dq=zilpha+eddins+1831&source=bl&ots=yFcQ69utag&sig=X3KZkIMGGTftVRM60gI_wfuJPDo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjGk8q49LvUAhVB4D4KHYPEDnUQ6AEIMjAC#v=onepage&q=zilpha%20eddins%201831&f=false

Right now my best theory is that Zilpha was born a Blakely, and that she was John Eddins first and only wife. But all I can prove is:

1. The James A. Eddins line is descended from the Blakelys.

2. Zilpha Eddins was married to John Eddins and the mother of James A.

3. James A. Eddins is related to Anna Obedience and Elizabeth Eddins.

More on my current theory in the next blog.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

John & Zilpha, Bland & Dionysius

Now that I've done some heavy research into the lives of John & Zilpha, Bland and Dionysius, I'm ready to make comparisons in order to draw some conclusions.

1. Birth and death dates

John Eddins born about 1750, died about 1795.

Zilpha Maiden Name Unknown born between 1756 and 1765, died about 1831.

Dionysius Blakely born between 1756 and 1765, died about 1815,

Bland Blakely born before 1776, died after 1790.


2. Military service

John Edins, Bland Blakely and Dionysus Blakely all served as privates in the Third Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers under Col. William Thompson.

https://www.fold3.com/image/9679383

Payroll of 3rd Regiment in Garrison, March 1780. Bland Blakely and John Edins.

3. Land

They all lived in Lexington District, SC, around 1790. Dionysius and Zilpha lived there in 1800.

Dionysius transferred land to John & Zilpha Eddins

Bland and Dionysius lived next to each other in 1790.

Dionysius living next to George and Mary Eddins Turner in two sense; next to John S. Eddins in another.


Mini-bios:

• John Edins mini-bio: born about 1750 (Va?), married about 1777 - 1780, mustered into Third Regiment SC Volunteers on xxx date 1777. In garrison March 1880. Owned land conveyed from Dionysius Blakely. Farmer. Appeared in 1790 Census in Lexington District, died intestate 1795.

• Zilpha Eddins mini-bio:  born between 1756 and 1765 (SC?), married about 1777 - 1780, widowed about 1795. Appears as HOH in 1800, 1810 Censuses in Lexington District. Married after 1819, shows up in the household of David Winchell, Lexington District, in 1820 Census. Ran ad naming children of John Eddins in 1828. Died in 1831.

Children of John & Zilpha: Elizabeth, Blakely, John S., Fereby, Mary, Martha, Anna Obedience, William D., James A., Ephraim.

• Dionysius Blakely born between 1756 and 1765, mustered into Third Regiment SC Volunteers on July 24, 1776. Married Fanny MNU (some people have her as Ivers). Owned lots of land in Lexington District, SC, some which was conveyed to John & Zilpha Eddins. Owned slaves. Died 1815.

Children of DB and Fanny named in his will: John, Mary (married John Hidle), Nancy (married William Perry), Elizabeth/Dicey/Leodocia (married James Eidson); Sarah; an unnamed daughter (married Hardy Harris); and perhaps one more daughter.

• Bland Blakely mini-bio: born before 1774, died after 1790. Possibly born 1730. Possibly listed in Wilkes County, GA, in 1786. Lived on land in Lexington County, SC, maybe owned it. mustered into Third Regiment October 17, 1777. Had unidentified people living with him in 1790.

Conclusions:

1. Dionysius and Zilpha were contemporaries, not parent/child.

2. Dionysius is not my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, but he may be my fifth great-uncle.

3. They all knew each other, since they lived close to each other several times.


Theories:

1.  Bland, Dionysius, and Zilpha were siblings.

2. Even though I don't know squat about John Eddins before he shows up in the Third Regiment SC Volunteers, I'm guessing he knew the Blakelys before then. He married Zilpha as his first and only wife about 1777, was in the Revolutionary Army for about three years, then returned home and resumed "Life with Zilpha."

I'll explore more of these theories in an upcoming post.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bland Blakely

In researching whether Dionysius Blakely is likely to be my sixth great-grandfather, I came across another person who's probably related:

Bland Blakely.

Probably a fair to middling kinda person....Sorry. Bad joke.

Some trees at Ancestry have Bland listed as Dionysius's wife. Others have Fanny Unknown. Still others have Iva "Fanny" Eller as Big D's wife.

http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=pubmembertrees&gss=sfs28_ms_db&new=1&rank=1&msT=1&MS_AdvCB=1&gsfn=dionysius&gsfn_x=NP&gsln=blakely&gsln_x=NS&msdpn__ftp=South%20Carolina%2C%20USA&msdpn=43&msdpn_PInfo=5-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C43%7C0%7C0%7C0%7C0%7C0%7C&msdpn_x=1&msdpn__ftp_x=1&MSAV=2&MSV=0&uidh=wy5

Since we know from DB's will that he had at least one wife named Fanny, that means that Bland could be either another wife or another person altogether.

Here are the verifiable facts I found on Bland, along with their sources.


• AN EXACT NAME SEARCH of all collections at Ancestry bring up 13 hits, of which we can eliminate five because they are too late. "Our" Bland would have been a contemporary of DB. So only these hits work:


1. AGBI, 1750

2.  1790 Census

3.  A privately owned portrait

4. Five military documents from Revolutionary War



What does each entry say about BB?

1. The American Genealogical-Biographical Index says that BB's birthdate was 1750 based on the entry in the 1790 Census. I personally don't see how AGBI can come to that conclusion, because the 1790 Census indicates only that Bland was over 16.

http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=NpZ12&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&gss=angs-g&new=1&rank=1&msT=1&gsfn=bland&gsfn_x=NP&gsln=blakely&gsln_x=NS&msypn__ftp=South%20Carolina,%20USA&msypn=43&msypn_PInfo=5-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C43%7C0%7C0%7C0%7C0%7C0%7C&msypn_x=1&msypn__ftp_x=1&MS_AdvCB=1&cp=0&catbucket=rstp&MSAV=2&MSV=0&uidh=wy5&pcat=ROOT_CATEGORY&h=1141419&recoff=2%203&dbid=3599&indiv=1&ml_rpos=5


2. In the 1790 US Census for SC, Bland Blackley is living in Orangeburg District, South Carolina. In the household are one male under 16, one male 16 and over, and four females. Neighbors include Dionysius, George Turner, Roof, Geiger, Drehr, Drafts, Fulmer, Corley, Looner (Looney?), Rolls, Metz, Lighsey.


https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/5058/4185996_00242?pid=388712&backurl=http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DNpZ13%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26gss%3Dangs-g%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26msT%3D1%26gsfn%3Dbland%26gsfn_x%3DNP%26gsln%3Dblakely%26gsln_x%3DNS%26msypn__ftp%3DSouth%2520Carolina,%2520USA%26msypn%3D43%26msypn_PInfo%3D5-%257C0%257C1652393%257C0%257C2%257C0%257C43%257C0%257C0%257C0%257C0%257C0%257C%26msypn_x%3D1%26msypn__ftp_x%3D1%26MS_AdvCB%3D1%26cp%3D0%26catbucket%3Drstp%26MSAV%3D2%26MSV%3D0%26uidh%3Dwy5%26pcat%3DROOT_CATEGORY%26h%3D388712%26recoff%3D7%25208%26dbid%3D5058%26indiv%3D1%26ml_rpos%3D6&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=NpZ13&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true


3. I'll have to write and ask permission to see that privately owned portrait right away!!!


4. Five military records

• July 1, 1779, Private in SC Third Regiment, commanded by Col. William Thompson, male

•  August 1, 1779, Private in SC Third Regiment, commanded by Col. William Thompson, male

• August 18, 1779, Private in SC Third Regiment, commanded by Col. William Thompson, male

• Another entry, August 1779, Private in SC Third Regiment, commanded by Col. William Thompson, male

• November 1, 1779, Private in SC Third Regiment, commanded by Col. William Thompson, male


• INDEPENDENT RESEARCHER GARY BLAKELY has added another military record from the National Archives in DC:

"Bland Blakely, Pvt., 2d Comp., Pay roll of 3d Regt for March on Garison 1780

Note: Third Regiment in Garrison at the Siege of Charleston in the year 1780"

http://news.rootsweb.com/th/read/BLAKELY/2007-04/1177286012


• GARY HAS ALSO ADDED a piece of information that may or may not be Bland:

"Bland appears to be on a 1785 Wilkes County, Georgia tax list with one poll and 200 acres."

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/BLAKELY/2016-02/1455583837

And this, same idea:

"Bland Blackley/Blakeley ( Rev War veteran, on 1790 census, 1785 through 1806
Wilkes/Warren Counties in Georgia)"

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/BLAKELY/2007-01/1170034865

Here's a source for the 1785 Wilkes County Tax List. I have been unable to find a source for anything in Warren County or anything in 1806.

http://www.giddeon.com/wilkes/books/early-records-of-ga-vol2/013-070.shtml



• FOLD3 ADDS only Bland's date of enlistment as October 17, 1777.

https://www.fold3.com/image/21643309



THE ROSTER OF South Carolina Patriots in the Revolutionary War, Vol. 1, A - J, by Bobby Gilmer Moss says on P. 73 that "Bland Blackley...served in the Third Regiment under Capt. John C. Smith during 1779 and was later a dragoon in the cavalry under Col. Maham."

https://books.google.com/books?id=95vwdfiI67MC&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=%22bland+blackley%22&source=bl&ots=OCwVbY6d86&sig=-RauoMQxDRjW8X4bgTmW3RCs4Es&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiK58aX2qrUAhWGz4MKHVuWA9MQ6AEIKTAB#v=onepage&q=%22bland%20blackley%22&f=false



What can we know about Bland Blakely after seeing all this info???

1. Bland Blakely was a man—or a very masculine woman who passed as a man (1790 Census and war service).

2. Bland could ride horses. He was probably a farmer. (Cavalry and 1790 Census)

3. Bland was educated (signed payroll lists at Fold3.com)

4. He was born before 1774 (1790 Census)

5. He had a family, or people living with him (1790 Census).

6. He served in the same unit at Dionyius Blakely and John Edins (Roster of SC Patriots).

7. He may have lived in GA before he lived in SC.


That's all we can know for sure, but it's a better than fair-to-middling start.  









Monday, June 5, 2017

This land is his land, this land is his land

The purpose of this post is to look at land dealings of Dionysius Blakely to see what light they can shed on my theory that he's my sixth great-grandfather. 

Part 1

EXCITING NEWS!

I found a piece of solid gold evidence on the latest research trip to AL! The genealogy books in Gadsden's Public Library are arranged by the Dewey Decimal System and author. Because of this, I found a book by distinguished researcher Brent Holcomb that I'd never seen before. And it was a beaut. It's what lead me to DB as a candidate for my gggggggrandfather. The books at the Birmingham Public library are organized differently. 

Never underestimate luck and serendipity. 

It's the first time ever I've seen the "Eddins" and "Blakely" names connected in the same entry! Here's the source and the item:

Some South Carolina County Records, Vol. 1, by Brent Holcomb & Silas E. Lucas, Southern Historical Press, 1976. The pertinent entry is from the Lexington District Deed Book M, p. 121 - 123 (p. 56 in H & L book):


"SC: A. H. Fort of Lexington District, for $100 paid by Mary Wing & Elizabeth Wing of same...100 acres on waters of Twelve Mile Creek adj. Martin Lybrand, Widow Warren and others...granted to Dionasious Blakely and conveyed to John Eddings, who died intestate, after whose death the widow, who had intermarried with David Winchel, petitioned the Court of Ordinary to affect partition, and J. A. Fort was the purchaser...

A. H. Fort (LS), Witnesses: Wm Fort, Lydia Fort. Lexington District, Proven by William Fort July 3 1840. Deed dated 14 Jan 1840. 

Lexington District: Mrs. Phebe Fort, wife of A. H. Fort, relinquished dower on 3 July 1840 before L. Boozer. Recorded 3 July 1840. 

(Plat included in deed showing land adj. to George Souter, West Caughman, Martin Lybrand. Plat dated 17 Feb 1837, John D. Sharp, Dep. Sur.

Woot! Woot!


Part 2

PROXIMITY CONNECTIONS


• In the 1790 US Census for AL, Dionysius lives in Lexington County. George Turner, who was married to Mary Eddins, was a neighbor. 

• In the 1800 US Census for SC, Dionysius lives a few doors from Silvia/Zilpha Eddins and George Turner.

• In the 1810 Census for SC, Dionysius has moved to adjoining Edgefield County, and so has John S. Eddins. 


Part 3

DIONYSIUS'S LAND DEALS

This is basically a list of land deals from the SC Archives online databases. They start in 1785, when DB was 25 - 30, and they continue until 1806, when DB was 45 - 50. Most of them are plats. They are listed chronologically. You can see each transaction by going to the following website and plugging in some variation of Dionysius's name. If you don't care about all of them, the most important information to my search is at the end.

http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/onlinearchives/search.aspx


3/1/1785

• BLAKELEY, DIONYSUS, PLAT FOR 100 ACRES ON TWELVE MILE CREEK, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT

6/9/1786

• JOHNSON, JOHN, PLAT FOR 100 ACRES ON SALUDA RIVER, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT...FOR DIONATIOUS BLACKLEY.

12/12/1786

• BLACKLEY, DIONATIOUS, PLAT FOR 500 ACRES ON CONGAREE CREEK, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT

5/1/1787:

• HAMPTON, RICHARD, PLAT FOR 6,820 ACRES ON CONGAREE CREEK, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT...100 ACRES FOUND TO BE GRANTED TO DIANATIOUS BLACKLEY.

8/12/1793

• BLACKLEY, DYONISUS, PLAT FOR 101.5 ACRES ON TWELVE MILE CREEK, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT

• BLACKLEY, DYONISUS, PLAT FOR 716 ACRES ON LONG BRANCH, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT

• BLACKLEY, DYONISUS, PLAT FOR 55 ACRES ON FOURTEEN MILE CREEK, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT

4/18/1801

• BLACKLEY, DIONYSIUS, PLAT FOR 264 ACRES ON SHOTTS BRANCH OF 12 MILE CREEK, LEXINGTON COUNTY, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT,

2/17/1806

• JOHNSON, HENRY, PLAT FOR 967 ACRES ON TWELVE MILE AND CONGAREE CREEKS, LEXINGTON COUNTY, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT

• WILLIAMS, JOSEPH, PLAT FOR 935 ACRES ON LICK FORK OF RED BANK CREEK, LEXINGTON COUNTY, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT...

• BYNUM, GRAY, PLAT FOR 1,000 ACRES ON SAVANNA BRANCH, LEXINGTON COUNTY, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT

5/30/1806

• HARMAN, JOHN, PLAT FOR 229 ACRES ON BRANCHES OF TWELVE MILE CREEK, ORANGEBURGH DISTRICT

The one that interests me most is the one from February 17, 1806, because names indexed are:

BELOO, RICHARD; BLACKLEY, DYONISIUS; BYNUM, GRAY; CURLEY, LAWRENCE; EDDINS, JOHN; EDDINS, SYLVIA; JOHNSON, HENRY; ROFF; ROFF, MRS.; STARK, ALEXANDER B.; THURMAN, PHIL; WILLIAMS, JOSEPH

Now, John and Sylvia Eddins are my fifth great-grandparents. And here they're listed with Dionysus Blakely, which indicates a connection of some sort. But there's a discrepancy here: John and Sylvia ARE my ggggggrandparents, but John died about 1795, and the year of the transaction is 1806. 

Awkward.

The discrepancy can be explained in one of four ways:

1. The transfer happened between 1795 and 1806 but wasn't recorded until 1806. Lots of precedence for this. 

2. The transfer happened around 1806 between (among?) Dionysius Blakely, Sylvia Eddins, and her son John Eddins. This son usually went by "John S. Eddins," but not always. 

3. Zilpha disinterred hubby John 10 years after his death and went ahead with the deal. Not likely, but stranger things have happened.

4. Any combination of the above. 

Talk about awkward!!!


Part 4

CONCLUSIONS FROM LAND DEALINGS

1. The Eddins family lived in close proximity to Dionysius Blakely for at least 20 years. Probably longer. 

2. Dionysius Blakely conveyed land to John and/or Zilpha Eddins, though we don't know exactly when. Probably between 1806 and 1840. Probably 1806, since Dionysius died in 1815. 

3. The two families lived near each other in at least two SC counties: Edgefield and Lexington. 


PART 5

ACTION PLAN

• Travel to SC asap.

• Find the document by which DB conveyed land to JE & ZE. That will tell us a lot about their relationship. 

Can't wait!!






Latest info on David Winchell, 2nd of Zilpha

A few years ago, I wrote a post about David Winchell, who was the second husband of Zilpha Eddins. Here's what I could prove at that point from both primary and secondary sources.

1. He was born between 1775 and 1810 (two Censi).

2. He was a farmer (1820 Census) and he may have been a doctor (Bob Eddings).

3. He married Zilpha before 1828 (Zilpha's ad).

4. He was younger than Zilpha. (1820 Census)

5. He lived in Lexington District, SC, until at least June 1830 (deed).


Since then I have since discovered a few more facts about David Winchell from other primary and secondary but reliable sources. What can we add to our knowledge of this man that can be proved?

1. In the 1840 US Census for SC, D. Winchell is living in Lexington County. In the household is one person 50 - 59. He is employed in manufacture and trade. He can read and write. 

Neighbors: John Corley, John Gross, Harman, Wise, Meetze, Dennis Gibson, Jacob Lites, Thomas Rall, William See. 

2. From Some South Carolina County Records, Vol. 1, by Brent Holcomb & Silas E. Lucas, Southern Historical Press, 1976.

Lexington District Deed Book M, p. 183-184 (p. 61 in H & L book)

"Benjamin Poindexter of Shelby County, AL, for $160 paid by A. H. Fort of Lexington District...40 acres on Rocky Creek, adj. A.H. Fort, John Gartman, Samuel Rall, & David Kyzer, being part of a tract granted to William Caldwell for 450 acres...9 Jan 1840. Benjamin Poindexter (LS), Witnesses: Thomas K. Poindexter, D. Winchell. Proven by Poindexter 7 Dec 1840 before John Fox..."

3. From Some South Carolina County Records, Vol. 1, by Brent Holcomb & Silas E. Lucas, Southern Historical Press, 1976.

Lexington District Deed Book M, pp. 468-469 (P. 82 in H & L book) 

"Thomas Derrick for $600 paid by Samuel Derrick...184 acres on Big Rocky Creek, waters of Saluda River, part of a tract originally granted to Thomas A. Green for 379 acres on 23 November 1835...10 May 1841. Thomas Derrick (+; his mark). Witnesses: Catherine Sawyer, David Winchell. Proven by David Winchell 10 May 1841 before George Sawyer, ME..."

What does the research now prove about David Winchell?

• He was born between 1780 and 1790. 

• He lived until at least May 10, 1841.

• He was educated. 

That's it so far.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Who's your daddy? Dionysius Blakely maybe?

The name "Blakely" runs through our family like a river. There have been at least four Blakely Eddinses, a few James Blakelys, and at least one Blakie, who was a girl. Family Tree DNA has shown us as fourth or fifth cousins to various Blakely families, but we never knew who our MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) was—until now. 

Maybe.

His name was Dionysius Blakely—or other variations of both first and last names. My theory is that he was my fifth or sixth great-grandfather. I'm writing this blog entry to find out what facts can be proved about him, and whether he is the logical choice for GG5. Here goes.

Readily available primary evidence, other than land plats, which I will deal with in another post:

• The Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution says that "Dionysius Blakely...enlisted in the Third Regiment on July 24, 1776. NA 853...(National Archives M853 Roll 16)"

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/49323/FLHG_RosterSCPatriots-0097/92506?backurl=&ssrc=&backlabel=Return&rc=1093,1978,1293,2020;1091,2287,1250,2329;1095,2593,1232,2634;1291,2643,1449,2685;1091,2725,1231,2766#?imageId=FLHG_RosterSCPatriots-0099

This image includes the information that it was the Third Regiment commanded by Colonel William Thompson. 

https://www.fold3.com/image/21643392

What does this tell us about him? 

The minimum enlistment age during the Revolutionary War was 16 with parental consent. If Dionysius enlisted at 16, his birth year would have been 1760. He could have been born earlier since most of the recruits were 20 - 25, but at least we now have the first estimated date of birth. 

Source: two articles. Read both if you have time.

http://militaryhistorynow.com/2013/08/23/the-young-and-the-restless-the-astonishing-ages-of-the-revolutions-key-figures/

• In the 1790 US Census for SC, "Dioniscious Blackly" is living in Orangeburg District. In the household are one male under 16, two males over 16, four females. Total in household is seven. Neighbors: Bland Blackley, George Turner (married to an Eddins), Dreher, Martin, Steiger, Rolls (Rawls), Amick, Dailey, Jacob Lightsey, Looner (Looney?), Fulmer, Corley, Roof.

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/5058/4185996_00242?pid=388713&backurl=http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26db%3D1790usfedcen%26h%3D388713%26tid%3D24121874%26pid%3D5097623042%26usePUB%3Dtrue%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26rhSource%3D7590%26requr%3D2550866976735232%26ur%3D0%26lang%3Den-US&treeid=24121874&personid=5097623042&hintid=&usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true

What does this Census tell us? Dionysus was over 16, born before 1774. Seven members in the household, four of whom were women.

• In 1799 Dionysius signed a petition for a ferry across the Saluda River with a bold hand. This is how we know he could write, and how he spelled his own name. So cool to see his actual signature!!!

http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/onlinearchives/ViewImage.aspx?imageNumber=S165015179900048000a.jpg&recordId=251823

• In the 1800 US Census for SC, Nace Blakely lives in Lexington, Orangeburg District. In the household are one male under 10, one male 16 - 25, one male 26 - 44 (Dionysius). There are two females 10 - 15, three females 16 - 25, and one female 45 and over. Of these people, three people are under 16 (two females, one male), and two people over 25 (presumably Dionysus and his wife). There are six slaves. Nine white, six black, 15 people total. Neighbors: George Turner (wife's maiden name Eddins), Elizabeth Clakley, Kelly, Roof, Sylvia Eddins (my ancestress), Brenan, Hydle, Corley, Lightsey, Roll (Ralls), Souter, Weisinger, Liephart (Leaphart), Boughniet (Boughnight).

http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1800usfedcenancestry&h=495491&indiv=try&o_cvc=Image:OtherRecord

What does this Census tell us? Dionysus was nicknamed "Nace." His birthdate was between 1756 and 1774; the 45+ woman, presumably his wife, was a little older than he was. He owned slaves. He was rich.

• In the 1810 US Census for SC, Dionitious Blataty (reads as "Blakley") is living in Edgefield County. In the household are one male 26 - 44, one male 45 and over (Dionysus), two females 10 - 15, three females 16 - 25, and one female 45 and older (his wife). There are two people under 16; there are three people over 25. There are 14 slaves. Eight white, 14 black, 22 people total. Neighbors: Busby, Collum, John, John Eddins (son of Sylvia/Zilpha), Abney, Corley, Cates, Efford, Dennis, Funderberg, Green.

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/7613/4433170_00093?pid=601334&backurl=http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db%3D1810usfedcenancestry%26h%3D601334%26indiv%3Dtry%26o_cvc%3DImage:OtherRecord&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true

What does this Census tell us? Dionysus was born between 1756 and 1765. He owned or had owned land in two SC counties (Lexington/Orangeburgh and Edgefield). The oldest female (presumably his wife) was born before 1765. The number of slaves he owned had more than doubled, so his wealth had increased as well.

• On 1/11/1815 Dionicious Blakely owned/had owned/sold 18 slaves to James Eidison, John Blakely, William Perry, Hardy Harris, and John Hidle for a total value of $4,670.

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/60512/43943_343959-00043?pid=2573&backurl=http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26db%3DSCSlaveRecords%26h%3D2573%26tid%3D%26pid%3D%26usePUB%3Dtrue%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26rhSource%3D3599&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true

$4,670 in 1815 dollars is worth somewhere between $943,000 and $2,800, 000 in today's dollars, according to MeasuringWorth.com. He was certainly loaded!

• Dionysius died about 1815 in Edgefield County, SC, where his will was probated on December 29, 1815. The will names his legatees: wife Fanny and son John, who administrated the will; and others.

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/9080/007649207_00355/463621?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fdb%3dUSProbateSC%26gss%3dsfs28_ms_db%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26msT%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26gsfn%3dd%26gsfn_x%3dNP%26gsln%3dblakely%26gsln_x%3dNS%26MSAV%3d2%26MSV%3d0%26uidh%3dwy5&backlabel=ReturnSearchResults

• Among Dionysius's will and probate record is one document that Fanny administered on December 19, 1815.

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/9080/007649207_00355/463621?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fdb%3dUSProbateSC%26gss%3dsfs28_ms_db%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26msT%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26gsfn%3dd%26gsfn_x%3dNP%26gsln%3dblakely%26gsln_x%3dNS%26MSAV%3d2%26MSV%3d0%26uidh%3dwy5&backlabel=ReturnSearchResults#?imageId=007649207_00360

Another document that mentions that wife/administratrix Fanny is deceased by 11 January 1816. Son John Blakely became administrator in her place.

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/9080/007649207_00355/463621?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fdb%3dUSProbateSC%26gss%3dsfs28_ms_db%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26msT%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26gsfn%3dd%26gsfn_x%3dNP%26gsln%3dblakely%26gsln_x%3dNS%26MSAV%3d2%26MSV%3d0%26uidh%3dwy5&backlabel=ReturnSearchResults#?imageId=007649207_00357

• Dionysius's legatees were his wife Fanny (died by January 1816), son John Blakely, daughter Sarah, and his other daughters, whose husbands dominated the proceedings. Daughters were Leodocia/Dicey/Elizabeth (James Eidison/Eidson), Nancy (William Perry), Unknown female (Hardy Harris), Mary Polly (John Hidle). There was perhaps one more daughter.

https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/dionysius-blakeley/about/background

So, to summarize:

Dionysius Blakely was born between 1755 and 1760, most likely in SC. During the Revolutionary War he served in the South Carolina Volunteers' Third Regiment under Col. Thompson. He was married to Fanny MNU, who was just a little older. They had at least five children, one boy and four girls: John, Nancy, Mary (Polly) Elizabeth, and Unknown. He was rich and owned slaves. He owned land in at least two counties. He could write. He died between January 11 (sale of slaves to sons-in-law) and December 19, 1815 (Fanny's document).

Most interesting to me: he always lived near at least one member of the Eddins family.

In the next blog post, I'll discuss the land deals associated with Dionysius Blakely.

My fragrant cousin has just informed me that there is a new baby in the family. Her name is Blakely. And the river of time flows onward...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's in a name? A heritage of caring

My cousin's middle name is Cooper. He has always wondered where it came from. Our family names are passed down over many generations, but "Cooper" is not one of them. I never figured it out until I overheard a chance remark during the most recent family reunion. 

"You know, they're buried at Coopers."


Coopers—Cooper? Is that the connection? Turns out.


In the AL Censuses, Moses D. Pinson's branch of our family shows up in Chilton County's Chestnut Creek area. Son Tom and daughter-in-law Rebecca ("Lizzie") are buried  in the Chestnut Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Verbena, Chilton County. The church was at one point starting to fail, but a determined group cared enough to revive and rebuild it, and now it's as vibrant as ever. Find their Facebook page here:


https://www.facebook.com/chestnutcreekchurch/


We'll come back to them in a minute.


Wikipedia says:


"Today, Verbena is a quiet community on the outskirts of Clanton. The town is located on U.S. Route 31 nine miles south of Interstate 65 exit 205. It has a USPS Post Office (ZIP Code 36091), several small specialty stores, and numerous churches...Other communities in the area that are typically considered to be a part of Verbena are Cooper (pronounced 'Coopers' by many locals)..."



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbena,_Alabama

So there's actually a physical connection between our family and Cooper/Coopers, because of the kin buried there. 

But who was Cooper?

Answer:

"Verbena, Town Long Famous For Its Culture, Hospitality and Refinement Of Its Citizens Print
Written by Chilton County News   
(This article appeared in the Chilton County News first in February of 1931 and again in a reproduction of that issue in November of 1983.)

"...Among the early white settlers, after the Indians had been driven from this par of Alabama in 1938, were the following: The Coopers, Dennis, Nelsons, Price, and Poseys {BTW, Dennises and Poseys are also related to us}...

...Peter Cooper owned most all the land on which Verbena is now situated...

...Mr. Cooper was known as the wealthiest man of his county. He owned more than a thousand acres of land, and had a sufficient number of slaves to operate all the machinery on his farm, including his saw mill, grist mill, and ginnery, located on Chestnut Creek, near the junction of Sandy and Chestnut Creeks. He lived to a ripe old age and died at his home in 1884, after rearing a large family..."

https://web.archive.org/web/20110728154607/http://verbenahistoricalsociety.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53:verbena-town-long-famous-for-its-culture-hospitality-and-refinement-of-its-citizens&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=50

Moses D. named his youngest son Peter Cooper Pinson. The families are not related, but Moses D. obviously cared about his Chilton County neighbor. 


Peter Cooper Pinson became a salesman with J.C. Penney and worked his way up. As the company flourished, he flourished and became wealthy. But he never forgot his family or where he came from. When Tom died in a railroad accident, P. C. sent money to Lizzie every month, and eventually he bought her a house. 


Remember the Chestnut Creek Baptist Church? When the Church needed money for a Sunday school building, Peter Cooper sent it. When the roof needed replacement in 1931, he paid for that, too. And he helped so many other Alabama folks that there's an arch in the CCBC cemetery commemorating his good works—even though he's buried elsewhere. 


My cousin's mother greatly admired Peter Cooper, but she had other plans for his first name. Hence "Cooper" as his middle name. 

Mystery solved. 

Right now my cousin is helping to care for his mother. And so the heritage of caring continues with the person who currently bears the name "Cooper." 


I think the earlier Cooper men would be pleased by that.