Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Father's Father

John R. Blakey born in MS on June 21, 1871.
His life came to an end 90 years ago on July 10, 1918 at age 47.
As I have been on my ancestral journey, I have learned more about my Grandpa John. Grandpa John left behind a wife, my Grandma Jennie who was 34 or 35 and their 7 children. One child was my father who was almost 5.

Grandpa John was born on Hew Davis Plantation in Woodville, MS on June 21, 1871. He had a twin brother named Andrew who later died with their mother, my Great Grandma Martha Scott ( 1847-1871)

Grandpa John's father, Isaac Blakey a.k.a. Isaac White was left to care for him. Isaac was an Ex-slave and Civil War MS Union Veteran' Private Isaac Blaker.

Great Grandpa Isaac later remarried and fathered Mary, Andrew, Charity, Isaac, Jordan, Julia, Frances, Henry, Beecher, Spencer, Lillie, Martha, Joe, Rosa , Edna, Ollie, Lawhorn, Annie and Archie. Their mother was Rachel Leftridge / Lew (1855 - 1916).

There were 18 or 19 children were born to this union of Great Grandpa Isaac and his 2nd wife Rachel between 1874 - 1906. Oral history states that Rachel had 18 children. Even the census records states 18 children.

I have come across at least one more child in 1880. If the census record is correct Great Grand pa had two sons named Andrew; one by each wife. The sons could have been named after Andrew White Isaac's father.

I found about 6 other names through the census records. I can assume that the names were nick names. Here are some examples. Susie = Lillie. Isaiah = Isaac Jr.

As I can see things from the material that I have gathered. I cannot find Grandpa John on the 1900 Census. I cannot locate Great Grandpa Isaac in 1870.

Both could have a different surname. Grandpa John had at least 6 surnames. Two of those names were John Ada and John White. The Blakey surname has at least 4 different spelling in Grandpa John's life time.

There was some point when my Grandpa John changed his last name. Oral history has it that there were many John Blakeys. That brought confusion.

I have not found a MO marriage record on my Grandparents. I assume that they married around 1902. I came across a record of one of their children who was still born child in November 10, 1902.

Grandma Jennie had relatives living in St. Joseph. Perhaps that is way they moved to St. Joseph. Grandpa John worked as a grader and perhaps other jobs to support his family. I have located him in city directors and census records.

I heard the story of Grandpa John having T.B. He was very sick. He moved to S.D. where some of his siblings resided.

Some time during the mid teens, Grandpa made the journey to Yankton S.D. Story has it, that he was trying to find a house here his family could live. He couldn't find a house.

Grandpa John didn't get to make that trip back to MO. His journey had ended. It was on July 10, 1918 when he passed away.

I thought about about this journey. I made the trip to Yanton, S.D. in October 1981 and July of 1995. I imagined how this journey could have been during the time of my Grandpa John.

I got the honor to learn some things about Grandpa John while in Yanton. There were some relatives who passed down the story to me. It was in 1981 when I met my 2nd Great Aunt Mary, the wife of Spencer.

Great Aunt Mary was my Grandpa John's sister in law. By the way Grandpa John had 3 sister in laws with the same first and last names.

There was a Mary, the wife of Grandpa's brothers Isaac, Henry and Spencer. Yes, that would be confusing. Two lived in the same city.

I noticed some thing unique as I was thinking about the time spand. My Grandpa John passed away 45 years before I was born. I met my 2nd Great Aunt Mary 63 years after my Grandpa's death. I thought that's some thing to know.

Back to the story:
This is what I have learn happened. Grandpa John was getting ready to make the journey back to MO. But he died in a covered wagon. He was buried in Yanton, SD with the Blakey surname. As for my Grandma Jennie. She was told of his death through a letter.

Grandma Jennie was ask to come to SD. She stayed with her family in MO. Grandma Jennie had siblings and friends in St. Joseph.

It was not until last month I made a new discovery. Three months before Grandpa John passed, one child died. at 11 months old. So he was the father of about 12 children. Seven children were living at the time of his death.

I'm amazed by what I have gathered over the years. I have been going back over information. I am rediscovering things that I have over looked. I am finding more to the puzzle on my family saga.

I am thankful that I can search for information on my family history. I pray that what I have come across will be preserved. Who knows, there might be a curious descendant looking for information. They may find it

My Father's Mother

Jennie (Bartlett) Lyles (1883 -1926.)
She lived to about 41 or 42 years.
I have been doing some thinking about the life of my Grandma Jennie. After compiling information, I have come across some things that I have not seen before.

I can make the assumption of what may have happened in her life.

I have been searching birth and death records. I have come across some last month.
I have heard the story that my mother told me. My mother got this from her mother.

Both my father's mother Jennie and my mother's mother Mary were friends. They did not live to far from each other. Their kids knew each other. Grandmother Jennie was said to have had 19 children. I have come across 8 or 9 of her children's death records who died as infants.

On my exploration through the vital records,
I have discovered 12 children from my Grandma Jennie's first marriage with Grandpa John Blakey.

There were about 4 or 5 in her second marriage with Grandpa Chelton Lyles.

Grandma Jennie was born perhaps in May of 1883 in Carrollton, Mo to Elais W. Bartlett Sr.(born ca 1822 - ? ) and Harriett Hooper (1949-1909.)

Grandma Jennie came from a large family. Great Grandpa Elais was the father of about 9 children:

William, Warren, John, Fanny, Lena, Harriet, Sally, Charles and Lucy
during his first marriage to Rachel (1859 - ?). I believe that there could have been more children born between 1870 - 1878.

There were 5 other children Elais W. Jr, Sam, Jennie , Paul and Juanita by my Great Grandma Harriett Hooper ( 1854 - 1909 ). I believe that there could have been other children 1880 -1892.

I have not come across my Grandparents' marriage record. I can assume that Grandma Jennie and Grandpa John met in Carrollton, MO around the turn of the century. Grandpa John's father, Isaac Blakey came for Howard and Chariton County in MO.

The first record that I have come across my Grandparents together is on a death record. There was a still born female child recorded on November 10, 1902 in St. Joseph Mo. I have located records of 12 children born between 1902 - 1917.

Still born female, Edna, John R Jr., Isaac, Paul, Cecil, Juanita, Mary Jane,
(Rev) Olbery Pierson, David W., Hazel, and Baby BLakley. Only 7 lived to be adults.

I have been trying to piece together the puzzle. On June 27, I came across a death record. I looked at an unknown baby death with our family surname. The parents names of this child were my Grandparents.

I found this to be so interesting.
This baby died three months before my Grandpa John died in July of 1918.
This child was 11 months old without a name. I thought that that was odd.
Grandpa John was the informant.

I am still wondering about the story that my mother told me.
Grandpa John was said to have left his wife and moved north.
I can assume that Grandpa's sickness was so bad that he could not live in his area.
Nor did he want to get his family sick. The air up north may have been better for him.

This meant that Grandma Jennie was raised her 7 children. She had family in town.
Grandma Jennie was about 34 or 35 when she became a widow.

Grandma Jennie later remarried to Grandpa Chelton F. Lyles. I cannot locate their marriage record in MO. I have search if they had children. They had about 4 or 5 children.

Dorothy, Davis, F. Chelton, Geniva, and Edgar. Only 2 lived to be adults. This children were born between 1920 - 1925.

What I mean by 4 or 5 children. I came across two death records with two different names, Davis and Dorothy. Two different death dates July 3, 1920 and July 5, 1920.

Could Dorothy and Davis have been twins? Davis was listed as a female. Grandma Jennie was said to have had twins. This is the only records that could have been.

Grandma Jennie gave birth to a baby boy Edgar in 1925. He died April 16, 1926. It would be 8 months later Grandma Jennie passed on December 29, 1926.

What my mother told me according to my mother's mother Grandma Jennie was a hard worker. Grandma Jennie died of a heart attack. She passed leaving a husband and 9 children.

I have wondered about the stories that my parent shared with me. It's what my parents knew about their ancestors that got me to thinking. I still wonder. Is there more that I can find out?

I was fascinated by what my parents shared with me. Now, as I have been searching,
I have been seeing some of what they said. The clues to the puzzle is being put into place.

I am thankful that I have a family history.
I am thankful that I am in the family of God.
I am thankful that I have a family bloodline.

I am thankful for the goodness of God.
I am thankful for good treasures.
I am thankful that God grants me understanding.

John & Jennie

I believe that the mystery has been solved. I've been wondering when and where my grandparents were married. It was on this date back in 1902 that my father's parents John and Jennie tied the knot.

It wasn't until late May when I came across this information. This news made me so happy! I've been searching for both my parents' parents' marriage records for so long. I had no luck.

On May 27, 2009, I discovered that the MO marriages 1805 -2002 were online on ancestry.com. So, I started my search. I found other ancestors. But when I can to my mother's parents and father's parents it took a while for me to make those discovers.

I kept on searching. I found my mother's parents. There names were spelled different. As for my father's parents their names were spelled different too. I believe that I have found what I've been looking for.

I typed in my Grandpa John's last name. It came up with the BLAKEY as BLAKYE. As for Grandma Jennie, her surname was spelled BARTEL. Still I believe that I have the right people.

John and Jennie were married on July 28, 1902 in Clay County in MO. I was so happy that I came across this information I started praising God.

So, I can assume that John married under the Blakey name. But the mystery reminds. Why did John change his name to BLAKLEY?

Search the birth of the BLAKLEY or BLAKEY children born in St. Joseph MO. Out of all the children listed there were two with the BLAKEY name the others were BLAKLEY.

The story goes that there were a lot of John BLAKEYs. Perhaps that was one of the reason why he changed his name. John's offsprings carried the surname of BLAKLEY.

Whatever the case may have been, the name was changed. My father and his siblings were taught to spell our surname the way I spell mine. My name has been established. I have no reason to change the spelling now.

On My Journey Of Transformation
John & Jennie,

My Grandparents,
John (1871 - 1918)
Jennie (1883 - 1926)
They had about 12 children.

Jennie remarried to Chelton LYLE.
They had about 5 or 6 children.
All of Jennie's children have passed.

The Chronicles of Susan

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thoughts On Searching

There is so much to do when searching for ancestors. What I have found out, there are a lot of same name people in the searching. It's weird to see.

Names are similar but in the wrong year and places. It's hard to determine who's who when don't know the right information.

But there the process of time, things can come clearer. There come a break through in the searching.

I like knowing more about my family lineage. There are so many of us. I can't understand how some things have been lost.

Information about things wasn't passed down. Or maybe it was forgotten. I think that there are some things that's still around that can give clues to our past.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I need to work on July's entry. I am still think on how to do this blog. I have been thinking about things. I have been looking at records on for the month of July. What happened?

Here are some historial events in the family.

3 July 1873
Rachael Lewfew/ Leftphege married Isaac BLAKEY at Woodlong Plantation in MS.

10 July 1918
John BLAKEY/ BLAKLEY died in a covered wagon in Yankton, SD.

14 July 1910
Juanita BLAKEY died at about 3 months old.
She wss the daughter of John and Jennie BLAKEY / BLAKLEY

28 July 1902
Jennie BARTLETT married John BLAKEY.
On the marriage record their names
were Jennie BARTEL and John BLAKYE

31 July 1911
Mary Jane BLAKLEY born to John and Jennie BLAKLEY