Fanny (Taylor) Blackhurst (1806-1889)

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I sometimes tell the story that, “I am the oldest Taylor in my generations, that there are no Taylor’s older than me related to me.” (I need to tell the story of how I got the surname Taylor on this blog sometime.) Anyway, that was true until I learned that my third great-grandmother was named Fanny Taylor. So, I did have an ancestor surnamed Taylor, but I didn’t inherit her surname.  I did, however, inherit her mitochondrial DNA. Recently, I was very pleased to learn that my sister’s daughter had a little girl who will carry on Fanny’s mitochondrial DNA. She is the only female of the next generation, that I know of, who can carry on the mtDNA. However, Fanny had five other daughters that I haven’t had a chance to follow.  If you, or someone you know, carry Fanny Taylor Blackhurst’s mtDNA, I would love to hear from you via the comment form below.

Roberts-Brown 2017 – Ancestor #63

List of Grandparents

  • Grand Parent: Madonna Mae Montran
  • 1st Great: Ida Mae Barber
  • 2nd Great: Sarah H. Blackhurst
  • 3rd Great: Fanny Taylor

Fanny (Taylor) Blackhurst (1806-1889)

Flag of the United Kingdom
Immigrant Ancestor from the United Kingdom

I don’t have a clue about when Fanny was born nor who her parents were.  She was indeed born sometime between 1800 and 1811.  Her marker indicates she was born in 1806 and that is consistent with the 1870 and 1880 censuses. However, in the 1860 Census she is reported to be 59 years old, suggesting a birth in 1800 or 1801.  Similarly, the 1841 English Census indicates that Fanny was only 30 years old, suggesting a birth year in 1810 or 1811.  In any event, she was born in England, and both of her parents were born in England also.  I have a lot more research to do regarding Fanny’s life on the other side of the pond.[i],[ii],[iii]


Fanny married Stephen Blackhurst on the day after Christmas, 1825 in Rotherham, Yorkshire, England.


Fannie and Stephen probably had eight children.  I am not convinced that “Eleazer” was not Louise with a nickname applied.  If that is the case, then they only had seven children and the entire family came to America.

Children of Stephen and Fannie Taylor Blackhurst

Children: Sex Birth Death
Ellen Blackhurst F 19 Oct 1829
Kingston upon Hull,
Yorkshire, England
17 Feb 1905
Sheridan, Calhoun, Michigan
Elizabeth Blackhurst F 21 Oct 1831
Sheffield, Yorkshire,
14 Feb 1915
Calhoun, Michigan
Mary Blackhurst F 20 Dec 1833
Sheffield, Yorkshire,
14 Feb 1900
Springport, Jackson, Michigan
William Stephen Blackhurst M 13 May 1835
Sheffield, Yorkshire,
10 Mar 1914
Avalon, Livingston, Missouri
Eleazer Blackhurst ? Bet. 1837-1839
Louise Blackhurst F 14 Aug 1840
17 Mar 1927
Albion, Calhoun, Michigan
Phoebe Anna Blackhurst F 15 May 1842
Sheffield, Yorkshire,
17 Aug 1929
Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Sarah H Blackhurst F 29 Dec 1847
Sheffield, Yorkshire,
08 Aug 1928
Detroit, Wayne, Michigan


The family was still in England in 1847, as evidenced by Sarah’s birth in Yorkshire. In 1849 or 1850, the family immigrated to the United States, and they settled in Auburn, Cayuga County, New York.  The New York Census of 1855 asked respondents to indicate how long they had been in the US and it confirms that the Blackhursts had been here for five years. [iv]

Sometime between 1855 and 1860 the Stephen and Fanny moved to Sheridan Township, Calhoun County, Michigan. Stephen was farming, Fanny keeping house, and William, Louisa, and Sarah were in Sheridan with them.[v]

Fanny’s husband, Stephen, died on the day before Christmas, 1869 – two days before their 44th wedding anniversary.[vi]  The 1870 Census finds Fanny as the head of the household with daughters Louisa and Bessy living with her along with their children and Bessy’s husband, Isaac.[vii]

In the 1880 census, Fanny’s son-in-law, Isaac Earl, is the head of the household along with Bessie and their daughter Mary Flora. This Census tells us that Fanny’s parents were born in England. [viii]


Marker - Fannie (Taylor) Blackhurst - Photo by Genealogy Bug Kate
Marker – Fannie (Taylor) Blackhurst

Fannie Taylor Blackhurst died in 1889 at the age of 83. She was buried at Riverside Cemetery, in Albion, Calhoun County, Michigan.[ix]


Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Renew research regarding Fanny’s time in England before her immigration to the United States.


[i] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Fannie Taylor Blackhurst – Memorial 12173135.

[ii] 1860 Census, Family Search, Stephen Blacklin – Sheridon, Calhoun, Michigan – Line 7. Accessed 25 August 2013.

[iii] 1841 England Census, Ancestry.Com, Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull, Parish of Holy Trinity, Pages 21 & 22. Stephen Blackhurst.

[iv] 1855 New York Census, Family Search, Stephen Blackhurst – Auburn, Cayuga, New York. Accessed 25 August 2013.

[v] 1860 Census, Family Search, Stephen Blacklin – Sheridon, Calhoun, Michigan – Line 7. Accessed 25 August 2013.

[vi] Michigan Deaths and Burials Index, 1867-1995, Ancestry.Com, Stephen Blackhurst (1799-1869). Birth c. 1799, England – Death 24 Dec 1869, Sheridon, Calhoun, Michigan.

[vii] 1870 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, Fanny Blackhurst – Sheridan, Calhoun, Michigan, Page 30, Line 24. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.

[viii] 1880 Census (FS), 1880 Census – Isaac Earl – Sheridan, Calhoun, Michigan.

[ix] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Fannie Taylor Blackhurst – Memorial 12173135.

Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor (DFAW)

Application Submitted – DFAW

I’ve been doing genealogy for quite a number of years.  And I think I’ve done well.  However, in some respects the “proof of the
pudding” is acceptance into a lineage society. 
Also, one of the biggest problems that I have is my first three
generations.  My mother never married my
father. My maternal grandmother was married to someone other than my mother’s
natural father and my mother’s birth certificate indicates her mother’s husband
as the father and not her natural father. 
Finally, my grandfather changed his name several times. He was born
Clifford Brown, went by Clifford Durand and Richard Earl Durand during
different times of his life and lived much of his later life as Richard Earl
Brown.  I think I have these twists and
turns documented but I don’t know if they are documented enough for a lineage
society to accept. 
Logo of the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor
I took a look at several societies for which I believe I
should be eligible to join.  One society
seemed perfect for me, the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor
(DFAW).  Their purpose is to “record and
preserve the history and genealogy of the founders of ancient Windsor, their
families and descendants.”  Although a
lineage society, they do not require documented descent from a founder for
membership. After joining, you may submit lineage forms and documentation to
their genealogist and, if approved, receive a certificate that you are a
descendant. I should be able to do so.  My lineage is from Henry Wolcott, the Wolcotts to Mary who married Chester Parsons, the Parsons to Mary who married William Sanford, the Sanfords to Marion who married Henry Brown, and the Browns down to my grandfather. 
So, I’ve put together my Application for Membership, along
with my check, and am sending it off in today’s mail.  I am looking forward to becoming a member of
the DFAW.  I’ll continue to blog about my
experiences with them.