October Ancestry Challenge – William Henry Blanks II

oct ancestry challenge-001The October Ancestry Challenge 2013 – 23 posts/23 days/23 ancestors.

We’re in week three!

Ancestor #10 – William Henry Blanks II and kids

William Henry Blanks II was my 3rd great grandfather. He was born in 1800 in Greene County, Georgia. His father, grandfather, great grandfather, 2nd great, and 3rd great were all born in Virginia, dating back to 1660.

His grandfather was Henry Blanks. The following is Henry’s will.


HENRY BLANKS 1794 will

Will of HENRY BLANKS-Pittsylvania County, Va., dated September 15, 1794-, recorded October 20, 1794.

“IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN I HENRY BLANKS of the County of Pittsylvania being sick and weak of body but of sound sense and memory and considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof have thought fit to make this my last Will and Testament in the manner followeth.

ImprImis I recommend my soul to God who gave it me and my body to the earth to be interred at the discretion of Executors hereafter named,

Item I lend to my beloved wife during her widowhood my house hold and kitchen furniture, all my stock of horses, cattle and hogs, the tools and plantation utensils belong to the plantation whereon I live together wilth use of the same during her widowhood after my just debts are pay’d

Item I give to my Sons JOHN and JOSEPH two hundred and ten acres of Land that I now Live on joining Bannister river to be equally divided between them. Also it is my will and desire that the above mentioned household and Kitchen furniture and all my stock of horses, cattle and hogs, the tools and plantation utensils belong to the Plantation should be equally divided between my Sons JOHN and JOSEPH and my Son in law WILLIAM PARSONS and POLLY his wife , WILLIAM FARTHING and TABITHA his wife .

Item I gave to my Son JAMES of Georgia a horse now in his possession to him I give the same to his heirs forever

Item I give to my Son WILLIAM of Georgia a mare cow & calf and a sow now in his possession to him I give the same to his heirs forever

Item I give to my Son in Law BENJAMIN WATKINS and his wife SARAH five Shillings and of my movable Property after my wife’s widowhood

Item I give to my Son in Law DANIEL BAYTS and his Wife ELIZABETH a cow and calf now in their possession to him I give the same to his heirs forever

And lastly this is my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me made. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this fifteenth day of September one thousand seven hundred and ninety four.

Signed, Sealed and published in the

presence of us who subscribed the same

in the presence of the said Testator

Thomas Anderson, Francis Anderson

Elkanah Echols, Richard Anderson

AT A COURT held for Pittsylvania County the 20th day of October 1794– within written last Will and Testament of HENRY BLANKS deceased was exhibited into Court and proved by the Oaths of two of the witnesses hereto and Ordered to be Recorded. And on the motion of NAOMI widow and relict of the said Testator Certificate is granted her for obtaining Letters of Administration of all and singular the Goods and Chattels, rights and Credits of the said Testator with the said Will annexed she having first taken the Oath by Law prescribed and together with JOHN BLANKS, JOSEPH BLANKS and JOHN OWEN the securities entered into Bond and acknowledged. the same By the Court Teste Will Tunstall C. C. -Pittsylvania County, Va., Deed & Will Bk. 10, p. 75.


blanks william henry blanks I Georgia Journal 27 Jan 1824 pg 3William Henry II’s father William Henry I was born about 1760 in Virginia and was captain in the NC militia during the American Revolution. He served 1779-1780 and defended Charleston, SC under Brigadier General Caswell. In 1799, after five generations in Virginia, the family moved to Georgia, but as evidence of the above will, there was already some family there. After William Henry I died in 1823, his son sold all of his belongings. The newspaper clipping is from the Georgia Journal, 27 Jan 1824, pg 3.

William Henry II married Nancy Young in 1819 and had 8 children in Greene County, Georgia. Sometime between 1840 and 1850, he moved his family to Lauderdale County, Mississippi. I don’t know the reason, but every one of them went.

His two eldest sons James Lafayette Blanks and Thomas Young Blanks became Reverends and also served in the Confederate Army. His third son Jefferson Franklin Blanks moved to Arkansas between 1857 and 1860. Next, he had a fourth son Richard Lane Blanks and two daughters Martha Ellen and Nancy Ann. Finally, his youngest child was my 2nd great grandfather, William Henry Blanks III.

blanks william henry III and mattie carpenter blanksWilliam III married Martha Lettie “Mattie” Carpenter and remained in Lauderdale County until he retired. He spent his golden years an hour away in Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi. His death certificate states he died of senility and chronic bronchitis in 1922. His wife died eleven years later, following a stroke.

blanks family bibleI find it strange that all of the children remained in Lauderdale County except for Jefferson. I wonder what was so intriguing about Arkansas  in the late 1850s to make him leave his family. Jefferson married, had seven children, and raised them in Arkansas.

His youngest son was Jack Bruce Blanks. Jack also moved away from his family and married a girl in Louisiana and opened a general store. I don’t know which one in this photo is him, but I love this old picture. blanks jack bruce general store

According to William II’s will, his youngest children Nancy Ann and William III were his favorites. He left them his entire estate. He left $1 to each of his other children.


The Last Will and Testament of William H Blanks… State of Mississippi Lauderdale County August 18,1859.

Know all persons by these present that I do this day bequeath to my daughter Nancy & son William the sum total of my Estate being in consideration of my parental affection and love for them. My sons James, Thomas, Jefferson, and Richard I do give unto one dollar a piece also my daughter Martha English I give the same one dollar to be by each and all of them held in peace for life. My daughter Nancy and son William are by the Law of the Land old enough to choose their own guardians. Let them choose who they please their money is to be for their education and raising to be laid out on them at the will of their Guardian he to give Security for his management of the same, all of the above do request as the Last Will on Earth hoping the same may be satisfactory to all people on Earth in Testimony on which setting my hand and Seal Witness by undersigned. W H Blanks

W J Brown, P H Higgins

Jas F Ginnen                                                                  

P. S. It is my wish for Nancy & William to have their brother Thomas to hold their business in charge.

Will Book 1, Page 17 Lauderdale County Courthouse, Meridian, Mississippi.

2 responses to “October Ancestry Challenge – William Henry Blanks II

  1. Pingback: October Ancestry Challenge – Ora Alice Blanks Bates | a day in the life of patootie

  2. Pingback: A to Z Challenge – U is for U.S. Military | a day in the life of patootie

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