Friday, March 14, 2014

The Mystery Of My Grandparents Blakey

Friday, 14 March 2008

The Mystery Of My Grandparents Blakey

I received a comment from someone who said "it would be really fascinating to hear more about your gr-grandparents" Well, here is more... It is a bit long. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One of my fascinations in mysteries has been researching my family history.

In the beginning of my search, I had no idea who my Great Grand Father was. I assumed that his name was John Blakey. But through the years of searching and contacting a cousin in Yankton, South Dakota, I found out that Isaac Blakey was my Great Grand Father. So I thought who was John BLAKEY? Possible Isaac's brother.

It was not to long after my mother's mother passing in Nov 1975, when I came across an article about a family reunion: Slavery Descendants to Have First Reunion.


Some of the follow was from another blog post: I thought to share it again.


As I have been re reading some of my old letters from my cousins and others who have came across my path, I am discovering more and more. My mind is wondering...why did not I see that before.

Here is an example... I told you that I thought that our Great Grandpa was John BLAKEY. We found out that his first name was Isaac. Two days ago a revelation hit me. My Great Grandpa had a "full" brother named John. [I believe that they had the same mother and father.]

I knew that my Great Grandpa had a brother named John but I didn't realized something. I thought that John's last name was not BLAKEY. His last name was WHITE.

That's the other name that is in our family. Our Great Grandpa Isaac was the only known person in his family with the Blakey surname. [His family= parents and siblings]

Here is a bit of our oral history from our family reunion booklets. " The White-Blakey Family traces their generations back to the year 1843. After arriving in New Orleans, from Africa on a slave ship, a mother and her three sons and a daughter were sold at a slave auction and given a bill of sale.

Nothing was ever mentioned of the father, but this happened in many slavery cases. The two oldest Isaac 12 and John 10 were sold to a man by the name Blakey and he took them to Forest Green, Mo.

John remained there but Isaac at the age of 16 ran away and joined the Union Army. He fought for three years and nine months until the Civil War ended and the emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and Slavery was abolished.

Isaac then returned to New Orleans to find the rest of his family who had not been sold with him. He was told that his mother and brothers, Spencer and Dick and his sister, Matt had been sold to a slave holder named White and shipped to Natchez, MS.

He went there and located them easily. He convinced them that Forest Green, MO was a better place to live, so they moved there were where John [Blakey] was still living there...."

I came across more discoveries on this leading. That article that I mention...."Slavery Descendants To Have First Reunion" took place in the early 1970's in Sioux City Iowa. That article confused me some.


The Mystery of...

My Great Grandpa Isaac and His Wives:


Isaac was believed to have been the only one in his family with the surname Blakey. Story goes the family was divided by slavery. There was a husband and wife; John Blakey and Frances White who were the slave holders.

There was an assumption that Frances received some slaves as a wedding gift from her father, John White. The Whites were wealthy people from Virginia. Frances, husband, John Blakey died August 25, 1844.

The Blakey estate was in probate court. Isaac was born about 1845 to 1847. There were others born as well. The slaves had to have been sold and the money divided to the heirs of John Blakey.

I had a researcher send my a newspaper clipping. On that clipping listed the slaves who were advertised to be sold in Feb 1858. There should be records of this selling. I have not search the probate records in Howard and Chariton Counties yet.

In my Great Grandpa's pension records, "Isaac and his mother were sold at the breaking out of the war around 1857- 1861. They were south." This was according to Y.C. Blakey who was one of Frances Blakey son, Y.C. was 10 years older than Isaac.

I always wondered how Isaac ran away to join the Union Army in MS. He was between 12- 16 when he was sold. There he and his mother went south. It was believe to have been in Natchez, MS.

It was in Natchez, MS where Isaac enlisted in the army as Private Isaac Blaker. He was a farmer. This is how Isaac became a free man. I had other researchers who were helping me out at some points during my research.

This researcher believed that Isaac and his mother were sold to relatives of Blakey slaveholders. Hew Davis was related to the Blakeys. There was some connection there in MS.

Also the thought of a slave boy running away from MO to join the army in MS was highly impossible. This researcher believed that Isaac was already in MS. That was how he got there.


Some interesting things: What I have learned about Great Grandpa Isaac Blakey.


He fought on the Union Side in MS: November 1, 1863 - May 13,1866. At 5' 3" Private Isaac Blaker. He was stationed in Natchez, MS and Vidila LA. He moved his family back to MO in March of 1880. By 1890 Isaac was 5'10" and 180 pounds

Isaac's father's name was Andrew White from VA. There was not much mentioned about him.

Isaac's mother's name was Julia White born 1820 in VA. No record found of her death. She was buried in Forest Green, MO. She was listed in the 1880 census as a widow. The number of Julia children....I don't know. I came across at least 15-16 children through searing on this family history. Some could have been nicknames of the children.

You can read more on the discovery of the Family Mystery

The mystery of Isaac brother, John Blakey; He was John WHITE who died September 10, 1918. He was buried in Forest Green. According to what was written on his death record, his parents were Andrew White and Julia White both from VA.

Isaac was listed on his death record as an African. He died Dec 23, 1917 and was buried on Christmas Day 1917.

Isaac's married his first wife Martha Scott from Mississippi. Not much is know about about Great Grandma Martha. She was said to have been part American Indian. Isaac knew her about 2 years before they were married.

She later died giving birth two twin sons, John and Andrew on Hew Davis Plantation in Woodlong, MS on 21 June 1871.Andrew later died. John was my Grandpa.

After Isaac's first wife passed away about two years later , he married his second wife, Rachel Lefew / Lafayette / Leftridge. I am not for sure which one was her maiden name. She was half Spanish.

Rachel gave birth to 18 children. I did come across more than that. Some of their children died very young. She did give births to twins.


I still wonder some things about... my Great Grandpa Isaac.


Who helped take care of his son, John for two years after his mother died? Perhaps Martha's parents or siblings? I have not found Isaac on the 1870 MS census.

I thought about how Isaac started looking for his parents and siblings after the war. It appears that Isaac know where to locate his family in MO.

I wonder why Isaac choose to keep the BLAKEY surname? I think that there was much more to it. I do see some friendship in the relationship between Y.C. Blakey and the former slave owner who sold Isaac. Y.C. testify that Isaac was a Blakey. That was the family name.

Isaac had contacts with his former slave owners. They could have helped him in the search.

When Isaac moved back to MO, he lived not to far from his former slave owners.

I always wondered why Isaac was stated as an African on his death record. He was born in MO. Here is a blog to that mystery. I thought that that was an Unusual Thing

Isaac had to prove who he was to receive military pension benefits around 1899. He was injured in the war.....a wound to his left leg.Isaac searched for people who knew him before the war and during the war.

There was a minister who came to testify for my Great Grandpa Isaac. There was a surname difference in Isaac's record. His name was Private BLAKER. The minister said he knew Isaac as Isaac BLAKEY.

The minister proved who Isaac was. They recalled some of the events that they went through during the Civil War. They wrestled and played marbles together. I thought that that was some things to take notes on.

Great Grandpa was a deacon in the church where this minister preach at. Great Grandpa was a deacon. I believe that he did called upon Jesus as Lord of his life.


I made the journey to Yankton SD in 1981, I was on a search for more information.


I posted a series of blogs on this site. While my stay in Yankton, I got to see a rare photo of my Great Grandpa Isaac with his second wife Rachel.

As I reflect back on that trip in 1981, I thank God that I made the journey. I had a glimpse of some of my ancestors in photographs. The thought of being an offspring of a person who fought in the Civil War. What an honor.

When the time comes, I believe that I will get to see my ancestors who called upon the Lord in heaven. I have a much deeper relationship with God through the discoveries of some things. Life has a lot of mysteries.

I would have never thought of the many different name changes in my family tree. I thank God that He gave me the desire to go deeper into the mystery of my family history. I even found out that I am on God's Family Tree in the process of seeking my bloodline.


From my book of thanks and blessings:


I am so thankful that God has given my leads to find out more on my family history. I am thankful that God give me the desire to wonder. I am so thankful for the people God has placed in my life.

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