This ancestry challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small and the theme for this week is “Same.”
That being said, may I present…
My great great grandfather William Henry Blanks III
William III was the son of William Henry Blanks II and Nancy Narcissus Young, and the grandson of William Henry Blanks I and Jane Hill. Seeing a pattern here?
The Blanks family’s American roots date back prior to 1660 Virginia. I’m not sure where they immigrated from. William the elder was born in Virginia in 1755. He was a captain in the NC militia during the American Revolution. He died in Greene Co, Georgia in 1823 at the age of 68. Greene County is in the middle of the northern part of the state, and in 1800, was on the border of Creek Indian land. The War of 1812 saw a lot of fighting between the Americans and the Creek. What in the world possessed these people to live on such a wild frontier?
William II was born in Georgia in 1800 and was a young boy during the War of 1812. He died in Mississippi in 1859.
William III was also born in Georgia in 1846 and shows up in the Lauderdale Co, MS census in 1850 at the age of four. Note: In 1830, the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed, giving the Choctaw and Creek Indian land, now Alabama and Mississippi, to the Americans. This is why we see such a migration to the area between 1830 and 1850. Land was cheap and the gov’t wanted to get it settled. Anyway, William III was the youngest of seven children and was only 11 when his mother died and 13 when his father died, leaving everything to him and his 16-year-old sister Nancy. I can only imagine how emotionally damaging those deaths were for him at that young age.
William III served the Confederacy in the Civil War under the command of John Cochran in Lauderdale County, MS. He enlisted in 1862 and was still in active service at the close of the war in 1865. On Oct 31, 1867, he married Martha Lettie “Mattie” Carpenter in Lauderdale Co, MS. He was 21. She was 19. Mattie’s father was killed in the war in 1862 when she was only 14, so she knew all too well how hard it was to lose a parent. I assume that was one of the deep connections William and Mattie shared. William and Mattie had 6 girls: Ida, Ada, Annie, Sarah, Ora, and Velma, and I heard there was a boy, John, who died as a small child, though I have no paper trail of him, only verbal history.
Mattie died at the age of 84 in 1933 of cerebral hemorrhage.
They are laid to rest at Hickory Grove Cemetery in Laurel, Jones County, MS.