April AtoZ American Revolution

a2z-h-smallApril AtoZ Challenge

I’m late, but I’m here. I’ll get caught up the next couple days!

A is for American Revolution

IMG_20180403_184649654I’m a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution under my grandfather Joseph Culpepper, who fought in the state of Georgia.

I am also descended from the following patriots, whose supplemental memberships I have not applied for as yet. The more I research, the more expensive my membership gets. Ouch. The following are my 5th, 6th, and sometimes 7th great grandfathers:

  • William Crane (Crain)

William served in Pennsylvania. He was born in Ulster, Ireland in 1704 and came to America in 1732. He and his wife Jean are buried in old Hanover Presbyterian Church cemetery in Pennsylvania.

  • Isaac Weldon Sr

Isaac was born in 1745 in North Carolina and served in Richmond County, Georgia. His family was originally from Nottinghamshire, England and came to America in the early 1600s. At the time of the revolution, he was a 5th generation American.

  • Amos C Windham

Amos was born in 1741 in South Carolina. He served as a lieutenant, captain, and major in South Carolina. I’ve traced the Windhams back to Virginia in the early 1600s, but am not sure where they came from. I suspect England.

  • Robert Farish

Robert was born in 1738 in Virginia. His grandfather migrated to America in 1714 from Cumberland, England. He served in Virginia.

  • Samuel Truss

Sam was born in 1735 in North Carolina and served in the North Carolina Militia. His grandfather was from Oxfordshire, England.

  • George Williamson

George served in Pennsylvania. He was born in 1748 in Pennsylvania, and his father was an immigrant from Armagh, Ireland.

  • Thomas Hambrick

Thomas served in Virginia. He was just a young boy at the time, born in Virginia around 1765.

  • Reuben Dollar

Reuben served in South Carolina. He was born in South Wales in 1755. His father died there in 1770, which may be the reason he ended up in America.

  • John Clearman

John was born in 1736 in Germany and arrived on the shores of NY in 1761. He served in NY and is buried in New Jersey.

  • John Swearingen

John was born in 1745 in South Carolina and served there. He died at the very beginning of the war at the age of 30.

  • Joseph Culpepper (my official patriot for the DAR)

Joseph was born in 1765 in Anson, North Carolina. He enlisted as a private in the 3rd South Carolina Rangers Regiment. He died in 1816 in Georgia.

  • William Henry Blanks

William was born in Virginia in 1755 and served there. He died at the age of 68 in Georgia.

  • John Hill

John was born in North Carolina in 1750 and served there. He died in Georgia in 1817 at the age of 67.

  • Thomas Young

Thomas was born in Virginia in 1747. He served in North Carolina.

  • John B Rice

John was born in Bute County, North Carolina in 1755. He served for fifteen months as a Private and enlisted again for another three months as a Lieutenant in the North Carolina troops. He died in Nash, North Carolina at the age of 81.

  • James Rodgers

James was born in 1732 and grew up in Virginia. By the time of the war, he was living in Tennessee but there are records of some children being born in Virginia. He was in his mid-forties when the war began and I understand that he assisted the troops with shelter and food. I don’t believe he took part in being a soldier, but he is recognized as a patriot of the revolution, none the less.

  • Captain James Scott

James was born in Virginia around 1728. He served in Virginia. He died about age 71 in South Carolina. With a name like Scott, he’s probably from, oh, I don’t know, Scotland maybe.

  • William Howington

William was born in 1750 in North Carolina and served there. He died in Edgecombe, North Carolina around 1828 in his late 70s.

There are so many more I haven’t had the time to research, along with numerous uncles. I guess that makes me about as American as apple pie, with a little German shortbread, and a big shot of Irish whiskey.

07-9103AThank you, gentlemen, and may you rest in peace. ♥


52 Ancestors – Defective, Dependent, & Delinquent


This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small and this week’s theme is “Defective, Dependent, & Delinquent.”

According to No Story Too Small:  In 1880, there was a special census schedule for “Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes” — the blind, deaf, paupers, homeless children, prisoners, insane, and idiotic.

I don’t have a direct ancestor listed on this special census (that I’ve found), but I have an aunt, the sister of my great grandmother, who went through quite an ordeal, one that ultimately led to her demise.

ora blanks bates

Ora Alice Blanks was born in 1889 to William Henry Blanks III and Martha Lettie “Mattie” Carpenter. She was the second youngest of six girls. To understand her fragile state, one must understand her parents.

Her father was born in 1846. By the age of thirteen, his mother and father had both died. He served in the Civil War 1861-1865 and after the war, at the age of 21, he married Mattie. Mattie’s childhood was even worse. She was fourteen when her father was killed in the war. Typhoid swept through her family at the same time, killing her baby brother, her maternal grandparents, and a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins. She lost seventeen family members in that year. Yes, you read that right. Seventeen. In one year. I imagine the trauma of losing loved ones at such young ages was hard on both William and Mattie and may have been the bond that united them, but how do you think they functioned as emotionally-damaged parents?

blanks ora blanks shellie bates family 1917Ora and her sisters grew up in Mississippi, and at the young age of sixteen in 1905, Ora married Shelly Houston Bates. A year into the marriage, they had a son. Four years later, another son. And four years after that, a daughter. Two years later in July 1916, they had their fourth child, William Lenard Bates. This is a photo of the family just before disaster struck.

On 29 May 1917, ten-month-old baby William died of enterocolitis, an inflammation of the digestive tract and intestines.

The family moved to Alabama to get a new start because Ora was taking the death so hard. She was seen by a physician. I don’t know what kind of medication was prescribed in 1917, but it may have hastened Ora’s decline. She died 2 Sept 1917, just over three months after her baby, and her death certificate states she died of acute melancholia and convulsions.

Her obituary is as follows:

LAUREL DAILY LEADER September 5, 1917

Death of Mrs. Bates Mourned in Laurel–

The heads of many relatives and friends are bowed in grief at the news of the death of Mrs. Ora Bates of this city. This sad occurrence took place Sunday morning at 8 o’clock, following a nervous breakdown. Three months ago she was taken to Selma, Ala., where all hoped that the change would be of benefit to her. It was in this city that the sad end came, bringing sorrow to her husband, Mr. S. H. Bates, and her three small children, besides a multitude of relatives and friends. The kindness of the Selma Grove of the Woodmen Circle, No. 48, was generously tendered and was appreciated beyond words, Mrs. Bates being a prominent member of the Laurel Grove. Her body was brought to Laurel on Monday afternoon and was met by a devoted delegation of the Laurel Grove of the Woodmen Circle. These ladies accompanied the remains of their much loved member to the Bates home and did all in their power to be of help and comfort at this time when it was so needed. The funeral services followed yesterday afternoon at 4 o’clock, with the interment at the Hickory Grove cemetery. Deepest sympathy is extended especially to Mr. Bates in the loss of his lovely young wife, who was only 26 years of age.

Ora Blanks Bates headstone



52 Ancestors #32 – 32


This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small and this week’s theme is “32.”

For those of you don’t do genealogy, you have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 2nd great-grandparents, and 32 3rd great-grandparents. The family tree grows exponentially.

This generation of 32 people in my past have been on my mind a lot lately due to the feeding frenzy of liberals trying to erase the history of the Confederacy. Personally, I don’t have a problem with the Confederate flag, but I understand that hate groups have adopted it and it may no longer represent the South throughout the rest of the United States. Perhaps it is time for a discussion about where it should and should not be flown.

I do, however, have a problem with the hatred that these history-erasing people, including some of my very own friends, are spewing and the way vandals are destroying flags, graves, statues, and monuments. You’ll see why in a moment. I’ve decided to not write about only one of my 32 grandmas and grandpas, but all of them.

Jeremiah William Crane, born 1828 Alabama

Sarah Frances Grimes, born 1824 Alabama

Amos Windham Mercer, born 1799 South Carolina

Amanda Merron, born 1829 Florida

Archibald White, born 1808 North Carolina

Elizabeth B Farrish, born 1824 Alabama

Leonard H Morrow, born 1812 Tennessee

Silvia Truss, born 1814 North Carolina

Robert Theodore Pickett, born 1836 Mississippi

Lucy Ann Rackley, born 1834 Alabama

William Thomas Fisher, born 1819 Alabama*

Elizabeth Ann Butler, born 1834 North Carolina

Green Keene, born 1834 South Carolina

Sarah Tabitha unknown, born 1833 Alabama

William Lafayette Brown, born 1836 Mississippi*

Sarah Ann Elvira Dollar, born 1836 Alabama

Rev. Joseph M. Culpepper, born 1822 Georgia**

Nancy Yarbrough, born 1822 Georgia

William Henry Blanks II, born 1800 Georgia

Nancy Narcissus Young, born 1800 North Carolina

Rice Benjamin Carpenter, born 1828 Alabama**

Mary Ann Rodgers, born 1828 Mississippi

George Washington Spencer, born 1829 Alabama*

Nancy Virginia “Ginny” Holdcroft, born 1839 Mississippi

James C Howington, born 1823 North Carolina*

Amelia Ann Elizabeth Smith, born 1827 Alabama

Of the six missing names; two were in Dublin, Ireland, their son (my 2nd great) arrived on the shores of Florida in 1861; two were Choctaw Indians in the Choctaw Territory of Mississippi but I don’t know their names; and the final two are unaccounted for as I have not been able to trace them, but their daughter (my 2nd great), was born in Alabama in 1848, so they certainly lived in the South.

Notice anything?? Yes, 26 (28 if you count the Choctaws, 30 if you count the folks living in Alabama) of my 32 3rd great-grandparents were born in the Confederate States, and EVERY ONE of my 16 2nd greats lived there also. From the records I have: six of the men above fought with the Confederacy (noted by *) – two died in battle (noted by **). Three of my 2nd greats (sons of the above) fought with the Confederacy, not to mention the countless brothers and other sons who served and sometimes died. Mary Ann Rodgers named above lost three brothers, three brothers-in-law, and her husband.

Off the top of my head, eight to ten of these families were in America during the Revolution, fighting for freedom – the freedom to say and do as you please. You have the freedom to be “offended” by the Confederate flag. It was given to you by MY ancestors who have been struggling since the 1600s to build a great country, even before it was a country.

Here’s where I have a problem. You don’t have the freedom nor the “right” to desecrate Confederate graves, statues, monuments, Confederate cemeteries, or the flags within their boundaries, and you certainly don’t have the freedom to take away my heritage. You will never accomplish that. You will never change how I feel about the men who fought in the Confederate Army. They are AMERICAN soldiers. They will always have my deepest respect for being willing to die for what they believed in, whether you agree with their cause or not. My heritage will not be erased. It will not disappear. Do you want to know why? Because I will fight to keep it alive in my family, my community, my descendants, and my heart. I will fight with the same veracity shown by my grandparents when they fought for their freedom. After all, their blood runs in my veins, too.



52 Ancestors #23 Halloween weddings


This challenge is set forth by No Story Too Small

This weeks prompt is “Wedding.”

The one wedding date that sticks out to me is that of my 2nd great grandparents William Henry Blanks III and Martha Lettie “Mattie” Carpenter. According to the Lauderdale County, Mississippi Marriage Brides Book 1, page 430, they married October 31, 1867. He was 21 and she was 18. He had lost both of his parents before the age of thirteen, and she had lost her father in the Civil War when she was only fourteen, so I assume they had a deep connection because of that. I wonder if their parenting style was unemotionally cold or over-protective due to their own losses. There is no way they escaped losing their own parents at such young ages without carrying deep emotional scars.

blanks william henry III and mattie carpenter blanks

The reason the date sticks out in my mind is because my trophy husband and I share the same date. After losing both my father and my great grandfather on October 31, we decided we needed some good family mojo on Halloween, so that’s the date we chose. I didn’t know until years later the date was shared. Everything I had seen on William and Mattie said their wedding date was November 1st, but when I finally saw the document, it was actually October 31. I also wonder if our picture will look as awful as their picture in another one hundred forty years. 🙂

crane lori and rob kiss

52 Ancestors #12 William Henry Blanks (plural)

52ancestors-2015This 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

blanks william henry 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.

MISS0066D_Confederate-Pension-applications-Blake-Bolls-1900-1932_00202William 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.


blanks william henry blanks III death certWilliam III died in 1922 at the age of 74 of senility and chronic bronchitis.

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.

blanks wm III and mattie carpenter headstones

On This Day in 1877

Annie Blanks CulpepperOn This Day in 1877, a beautiful woman was born. On November 10, 1877, my great grandmother, Josephine Annie Blanks Culpepper, was born in Kemper County, Mississippi to William Henry Blanks III and Martha Lettie “Mattie” Carpenter. She was in the middle of seven children, six of them being girls. Her father was a teenager when the Civil War took place and fought as a private in the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Company H. Her mother was a young lady of fourteen when she lost her own father at the Battle of Stones River on December 31, 1862. I can imagine as parents, they did their best to keep the peace in the household, but there is a distinct possibility they both had emotional scars from the trauma each had seen and faced during the war.

Annie grew up on a farm in Daleville, Mississippi, and with eleven aunts and uncles in the area, one must assume she had plenty of cousins to play with. She witnessed amazing technological changes as home comforts such as indoor plumbing and electricity moved from the nearby city of Meridian to the country, and paved roads reached homes throughout the area at the turn of the century before the Model T made its first appearance in 1908.

culpepper Sam CulpepperIn 1899, she met handsome William Samuel “Sam” Culpepper, and they married when she was 21. She said about him, “Sam was really a handsome man with rosy cheeks, dark curly hair, and teeth as white as pearls.” Sam was described as a kind fellow who always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. He loved fishing, squirrel hunting, and playing the family’s old pump organ. He was a sawyer by trade and followed the sawmill business, often being gone for weeks at a time. Fortunately Annie and Sam had five boys and four girls between 1900 and 1921, and the boys were taught to run the farm in their father’s absence. He was said to have been a strict but loving father.

culpepper Sam and Annie CulpepperAfter their youngest child married and moved out in 1938, one would have expected they lived out their retirement in comfort, but sadly, Sam suffered from high blood pressure, and his life was cut short by a stroke at the age of 66, on December 10, 1939. Annie never remarried. In her later years, she moved to Mobile, Alabama and lived with their sons who had relocated there.

She passed away at the age of 84 on November 15, 1961. She is laid to rest next to her husband at Mt. Nebo Cemetery in Kemper County, Mississippi.


culpepper annie j blanks headstoneHer obituary is as follows:

Funeral arrangements were being completed today for Mrs. Anne Blanks Culpepper, 84 of Mobile, a former resident of the Martin community who died yesterday at Mobile.

Mrs. Culpepper was a member of the Duffee Baptist Church and had been active in its various organizations until she suffered a broken hip three years ago. Her two daughters are Mrs. Mae Howington of Meridian and Mrs. Aaron Spears of Enterprise. She is also survived by five sons, Joe Culpepper of Susqualena; Earl and Clinton Culpepper, Meridian; Fred and Frank Culpepper, Mobile; and two sisters, Mrs. Woodie Logan and Miss Velma Blanks of Laurel.

The body was to arrive in Meridian this afternoon and will be at Stephen’s. The service will be held at 2 o’clock tomorrow at the Mt. Nebo Baptist Church with Rev. Herman Pilgrim in charge, assisted by the Rev. Vernon Blackburn. Interment will be in the Mt. Nebo Cemetery.

This post is brought to you by On This Day available at Amazon.


On This Day in 1800

On This Day in 1800, my 3rd great grandfather, William Henry Blanks II, was born in Greene County, Georgia.

downloadIt’s pretty easy to trace your great grandfathers when your 2nd is WHB III, your 3rd is WHB II, and your 4th is WHB I. Sadly, I don’t usually give the middle grandfather much thought. I have photos of the Civil War soldier 2nd great, and the 4th great was a Revolutionary War soldier, so I have lots of info on him. Somewhere in the middle, my poor 3rd great doesn’t get much attention, Well, today on his birthday, let’s show him some love.

William Henry Blanks II was born October 12, 1800 (Same day as my daughter’s birthday!) in Greene County, Georgia. In 1800, Greene County was in the middle of the northern part of the state and was right on the border of the Creek Indian Territory to the west. Keep in mind, the War of 1812 in the north was fought between the Americans and the British, but the war in the south, particularly Alabama and Georgia, was fought between the Americans and the Creek Indians who had been armed by the British. This was the edge of the frontier in 1800.

William Henry’s father had been previously married to Mariah Robertson and had two girls and a boy – Mary Polly, Littleberry, and Nancy – in Virginia. Sometime between 1795 (last child’s birth in VA) and 1799 (wife’s death in GA), the family had moved south to Georgia. Following Mariah’s death, WHB I immediately married Jane Hill. They had five children – two boys and three girls  – William Henry, Matilda, William Ezekiel, Martha, and Seleba. William Henry’s mother died in 1817 and his father in 1823.

At the age of 19 in 1819, William Henry married Nancy Narcissus Young, and over the next twenty-five years, they had five boys and three girls  – James Lafayette, Thomas Young, Jefferson Franklin, female who died, Richard Lane, Martha Ellen, Nancy Ann, and William Henry III. The female who died at birth was the twin of Richard Lane. The last child was born in 1846 in Georgia, and the 1850 census shows the family living in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. I don’t know why they moved. His wife died in 1857. William Henry died September 9, 1859. I do not know where they are buried.

Will of William Henry Blanks II – Note: His wife is already dead, so he leaves everything to his two youngest children – Nancy 16 and William 13.

last-will-and-testamentThe 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 Nancey & 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 peice also my daughter Martha English I give the same one dollar to be by each and all of them held in peas for life. My daughter Nancey 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 rasing to be laid out on them at the will of their Guardian he to give Securtiy 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 Nancey & William to have their brother Thomas to hold their business in charge.

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


This post is brought to you by On This Day.