Hobbs – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Hob is a “pet form of Robert” and Hobbs is a patronymic form for Son of Hob, as is Hobson.

Geographical

Worldwide there are approximately 99,273 people who bear the Hobbs surname. The vast majority, over 62,000 in the United States, with England and Australia being distant second and third (about 18,000 and 8,000 respectively). Interestingly, in terms of frequency, the little country of Vanuatu has the greatest proportion of the Hobbs surname, where one in 1,644 people have the surname.

Direct Hobbs Ancestors

5.  Mary Lillian Hobbs Howell (1885-1964) LVSF-NCZ
10.  James Ashley Hobbs (1843-1920) – Family Search: M4G8-BZX
20.  George W Hobbs (1805 – 1858) – Family Search: G3WN-FZC

Historical

1920

During the 1920 Census, my wife’s great-grandfather, James Ashley Hobbs was living in Williamston, Martin County, North Carolina. There were 303 Hobbs families in North Carolina during the 1920 Census, but James was the only Hobbs that lived in Martin County. The 75-year-old widower boarded in the household of James R. Hanell. James died later, in November, that year.

1880

According to an Ancestry search, there were 829 people with the Hobbs surname enumerated in North Carolina and one family in Martin County. That family was my wife’s great-grandfather, James Ashley Hobbs, his wife Delora, two sons, Roland and Charles, and two daughters, Annie and Emily. My wife’s grandmother, Mary Lillian Hobbs, was born in 1884. And her 2nd great-grandfather, George passed in 1859.

1840

According to Ancestry, there were 58 Hobbs families in North Carolina. My wife’s 2nd great-grandfather, George W Hobbs, and his wife Mary were married and were raising three children in Beaufort County. They were the only Hobbs family there during the 1840 Census.

Known Hobbs relatives.

My records have identified 145 direct-line descendants of George W. Hobbs (1801-1859) and 23 known Hobbs descendants.

Sources:

 

 

Blackwell – Surname Saturday

Origin of the Blackwell Surname

Blackwell is a habitational name, that is to say a place where people lived.[i] Durham, Cumbria, Derbyshire, and Worcestershire in England are examples of places where there is a Blackwell, England.[ii]  Wikipedia lists about 100 “Notable Blackwells,” including Alexander Blackwell (c. 1700-1747) (Scottish Adventurer) to Ben Blackwell (born 1986 – musician and founder of Cass Records).[iii]

Geographical

World-wide there are approximately 82,742 people who bear the Blackwell surname. The vast majority, over 63,000, live in the United States, with England and Australia being distant second and third (about 10,000 and 4,000 respectively) place majorities. In terms of frequency, Wales has the greatest proportion of people with the Blackwell surname, where one in 3,947 people have the surname. The United States is the second most frequent country where people surnamed Blackwell live (1 in 5,738).

My Direct Blackwell Ancestors

33. Elizabeth Blackwell(1796-1867) – Family Search: LHTN-6XH
66. David Blackwell (1757-1842) – Family Search: 9JT9-XF9
132. William Blackwell (1725-1775) – Family Search: ?? G3WT-PY5 ??
264. James Glenn Blackwell (1701-1760) – Family Search: ?? GSYM-VQ7 ??
528. James Blackwell (1660-1738) – Family Search: ???? G3WT-K21 ????
528?. James Blackwell (1647-1717) – Family Search: ???? G3WT-K21 ????

Note: ?? = Tentative, possible.[iv]
Note: ??? = Very tentative and probably incorrect.

Historical

My most recent Blackwell ancestor is Elizabeth Blackwell. She was born in 1796 in North Carolina. She married John Calvin Roberts in 1816 in Roane, Tennessee. She and John had sixteen children. She died in Roane, Tennessee in 1867.

1840

Her father, David Blackwell, was born about 1757 in Virginia. I haven’t had a chance to research David’s life yet, but I believe he was probably in Tennessee during the 1840 Census. If so, his household would have been one of the 65 Blackwell families living in Tennessee. He is probably the David Blackwell in Roane County who was an 82-year-old pensioner whose household included one female aged 30 to 40.

Two other Blackwell heads lived in Roane County during the 1840 Census, Alpha and Hugh. Both were heads aged 30 to 40 and both had females aged 20 to 30 living with them. Both also had children living in the household, so both appear to be typical family units.

David had several sons. Hugh that fits this criteria; another son, identified as “Dicy” in my records, could be the “Alpha” that was enumerated. I need to do more research into these families.

I have not had the opportunity to research any of the other Blackwell ancestors, but it appears that all of my known Blackwell ancestors before David were born, lived, and died in Virginia.

My known Blackwell relatives.

My records have identified 398 direct descendants of James Blackwell (the eldest) in my research, so far.

DNA Relatives

I have also identified 19 people whose DNA is a known match to mine who also share James Blackwell (the eldest) as an ancestor.

Ancestry’s ThruLines suggests that I share DNA with11 matches through William Blackwell.

Follow-up Actions

  1. Research the Blackwells of Roane County, Tennessee.
  2. Analyze Ancestry ThroughLines for matches through William Blackwell.

Sources:

Endnotes

[i] “Blackwell Name Meaning & Blackwell Family History At Ancestry.Com®”. 2020. Ancestry.Com. Accessed January 5, 2020. https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Blackwell.

[ii] “Blackwell”. 2020. En.Wikipedia.Org. Accessed January 5, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwell.

[iii] “Blackwell (Surname)”. 2020. En.Wikipedia.Org. Accessed January 5, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwell_(surnane)

[iv] I’m pretty sure I have something wrong in this line. Luckily it is very tentative as I haven’t done an in-depth look at any of these ancestors. I expect they problems should sort themselves out when I can look line closely.

————- Disclaimer ————-

McAllister – Surname Saturday

McAllister Name Origin

McAllister is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name, Mac Alasdair, meaning “son of Alasdair.” Alasdair is the Gaelic form of Alexander. There are dozens of forms for this surname. My wife’s family line has records both under McAllister and McAlister (one “l”).

Geographical

Worldwide there are approximately 52,878 people who bear the McAllister surname. The vast majority, over 38,000, in the United States, with England and Canada being distant second and third (about 6,000 and 5,000 respectively). In terms of frequency, Northern Ireland has the greatest proportion of the McAllister surname, where one in 526 people have the surname. Scotland is the second most frequent area for people surnamed McAllister.

 

My Wife’s Direct McAllister Ancestors

Historical

1920

My wife’s great-grandmother, Hannah (McAllister) Darling died in 1913.

                     Peter McAllister’s Passport Photo

Her father, Peter McAllister, was estranged from his wife and was rooming at 2237 Salisbury Street in Pittsburgh, PA. In 1920, Pennsylvania had 146 McAllister families (about 6% of the McAllister families in the US). Peter, his wife Margaret, his son John, his son Edward, and his son Joseph constituted 5 of those 146 McAllister families.

Peter was my wife’s immigrant McAllister Ancestor. Peter had three sons, Frank, Edward, and John, all of whom immigrated to the United States in 1886-1887. A fourth son, Joseph was born in New York in 1889. Frank died young and I have only found daughters descended from John. Edward and Joseph both had sons that would have carried on the McAllister surname (and their Y-DNA).

1881

In 1881, Peter, and his wife Margaret, lived at 5 High Church Street in Workington, England, in 1881. He worked as an Engineman and the couple had two children at census time. According to Forebears, in 1881, there were 900 incidences of the McAllister surname in England and another 2,649 in Scotland.

Oral History

Family oral history indicated that the McAllister family was Scots. Although I have not found any ancestors (yet) that lived in Scotland, the family did live in Workington, Cockermouth, and Carlisle, all in the north of England. Workington is only about 20 miles from Scotland across the Solway Firth (part of the Irish Sea) and about a 42 miles drive to Gretna Green, Scotland. Cockermouth and Carlisle are even closer to Scotland.

Family oral history also talked of a “Black Peter McAllister” who was a blockade runner during the US Civil War. Apparently called “Black Peter” because of being bad.  Anyway, second great-grandfather Peter McAllister was too young to have been “Black Peter” (aged 10 to 15 during the Civil War).  However, his grandfather was also named “Peter.” Peter, the elder, would have been born in the late 1700s and is a candidate for having been involved in the US Civil War. I need to do more research regarding Peter McAlister, the elder. It would be great to find information regarding the McAllister’s being involved in the US Civil War.

My wife’s known McAllister relatives.

My records have identified 105 direct-line descendants of Peter McAllister (the elder).

Sources:

 

Vincent-Vinson – Surname Saturday

By Don Taylor

Name Origin Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

It seems that the surname “Vinson” has two separate origins. First is that it comes from the “son of Vin or Vincent.” The second is that it is a corruption or variant of “Vincent.” It does not appear that my wife’s ancestors were from a patronymic society, so Vinson is more likely  a corruption of “Vincent.”

When in doubt, I’ll now use Vincent as the preferred surname, unless there is some uncontroversial reason for using Vinson. That plan suggests I need to relook carefully at my wife’s great-grandmother, Susan R Vinson, whose parents were John and Lenora Vincent.

Geographical

Worldwide there are approximately 283,936 people who bear the Vincent surname.

It is most prevalent in France, with the United States having the second-highest incidence, with over 67,000 Vincent’s in the US.

My Wife’s Earliest Vincent Ancestors

All of my wife’s Vincent ancestors lived in North Carolina. Her earliest known Vincent ancestor was Philip Vincent. It is not clear where he was born, but during the 1800 Census, he was over 45, suggesting he was born before 1755. He lived in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, in 1790. In 1840, Philip’s son, Burkett Vincent, was living in Halifax County with a household consisting of 5 people. His was one of only 22 Vincent families living in North Carolina during 1840. Burkett’s son, John Vincent was born about 1816 in Halifax County and died sometime before 1870. His daughter, Susan R. Vincent (aka Susan Vinson) was born on 22 August 1848. She married Peter Fletcher Howell shortly after the Civil War, on 10 December 1866.

Direct Vincent (Vinson) Ancestors

      1. Great-grandmother: Susan R Vinson (aka Vincent) (1848-1910) Family Search
      2. 2nd Great-grandfather: John Vincent (1816-1870) Family Search
      3. 3nd Great-grandfather: Burkett Vincent (1779-1850) Family Search
      4. 4rd Great-grandfather: Philip Vincent (bef. 1755-c.1807) Family Search

Known relatives.

My records have 155 direct-line descendants of Philip Vincent identified, which is almost 5% of my Howell-Darling Research.

Sources:

Cross-Country Travels

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun
My Life
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.The Weekly Genealogist, produced by NEHGS, regularly has a survey question designed to make you think about your ancestors’ lives. They recently had a question asking if you or your ancestors traveled “across the country” not by airplane. In this case, “across the country” was a trip of more than 1500 miles.

Randy Seaver, in his blog, Genea-Musing, suggested taking that idea, cross country trips, and write about it.[i] I thought about the question and realized that with Detroit to Portland, Oregon, is over 2300 miles, my grandmother, mother, and I have all have had such travels, several times.

My Cross-Country Trips

I’ve made trips across the country several times.

1964 Ford Falcon Estate pic2
1964 Ford Falcon like I traveled in in 1969.
When I was in the service, (Christmas 1969) three of us drove a Ford Falcon station wagon from San Francisco to Minneapolis. One person drove, one sat in the passenger seat, and one person slept in the back. Each person would rotate positions every three hours. We only stopped for gas and made the 2000 mile trip in less than 34 hours.

My second cross country trip was when I left Oregon to go to training in Vallejo, California, in 1972. After training, we knew I was heading to a ship at sea, so my wife and son moved from Oregon to Minneapolis. I drove Mary (my first wife), and our son Matt, the 1600 miles back to Minnesota, where they lived during my time at school. I flew from Minneapolis to San Francisco to training and again to the Philippines for my first cruise aboard the USS Kitty Hawk.

The next cross-country trip was when I moved Mary-Alice from her home in Maine to Minneapolis. Just a little over 1500 miles, it only barely qualified for this list. That trip was in her Dodge Caravan, loaded to the top with stuff. We arrived in Minneapolis just after the “Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991.” Before I had told Mary-Alice that Minnesota was colder than Maine, but we didn’t get as much snow. When we got to Minnesota, Interstate 94 was two ruts heading up out of the Saint Croix river valley because of the 28 inches of snow the Twin Cities had received. She gave me that look, that said, “We never had this much snow in Maine in October.”

The Mojave Desert in Bloom – Photo by Geoff Stocker.

In 1998, Mary-Alice and I moved to Long Beach, California (about 1900 miles). I drove the car and Mary-Alice drove her van. We kept in contact with little radios. When we got to the Mohave Desert, she kept asking where the desert was. We drove through it during a “once-in-a-century” flower bloom. It was gorgeous, entire hillsides yellow with flowers.

In 2000, Mary-Alice and I moved from Long Beach to Boston, Massachusetts. Our van was over-loaded with stuff and relatively old, so I was afraid to try the shorter 3000-mile northern route because of the mountains on the way. So, we took the 3200 mile-route through Phoenix, El Paso, and Dallas. That was a brutal trip. We stopped at a weird motel in Tennessee and had a difficult time finding our room. Little did we know that the 200 rooms were downstairs from the 100 rooms.

I made the trip between Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, as an infant, twice with my mother. I don’t remember either trip and rely only upon my mother’s telling of the stories.

My Mother’s Cross-Country Trips.

Back in 1950, my mother got a job with an outfit that sold magazines door to door. They had a crew of kids, my mother was 18, and moved city to city. I know they started in Detroit and ended in Portland, Oregon, in just a few months, stopping at cities and towns all along the way. I still wasn’t born yet but was born a few weeks after her arrival in Portland.

In 1953, my mother was pregnant with my sister, Glennis. Mom like the hospital I was born in and decided she wanted her second child to be born in the same hospital. She hitch-hiked from Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon (1700 miles) with 3-year-old me. Wow—What a trip that must have been for her.

My mom and Budgar traveled between Minneapolis and Phoenix (over 1600 miles) many times.

On one occasion she traveled between Phoenix and Minneapolis by herself and then continued with me to Clarksburg, West Virginia (about 2600 miles in total).

My Grandmother, Donna

My Grandmother was a fantastic traveler. She was born in Albion, Michigan and lived there until about 1914 when she went to California to be one of Max Sennett’s Bathing Beauties and to be in the movie, “Birth of a Nation.”

She traveled from California to Massachusetts in 1915 and lived in the Boston area for a few years.

In 1919, Donna traveled from New York to Decatur, Illinois to join the cast of “Chin Chin.” She then toured with the show to Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts before the show ended.

Known locations Donna was at during the “Chin Chin” Tour.

In 1922 & 1923, “Donna Darling and Company” went on the road. They started in New York and went to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

In 1924, Donna went on another tour heading west from New York to include Montana, Oregon, and California with stops all over in between.

In 1926, Donna had another tour heading west from New York and including Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wisconsin, Michigan.

In 1927, Donna had another tour heading south from New York and across to New Orleans and back.

During her travels, virtually all of the trips were via train. A typical day, she’d board the first train out of a city, take the train with her crew, cast, and sets to another town, typically 2 to 4 hours away. The crew would unload and install the sets at the theater. She would then do a show or two that day. After the show, they’d head to a hotel for the night then head out again with the first train to another town. Sometimes, on longer travels, I’m sure they’d sleep on the train while heading to the next city. She had a train stuck in the snow in Nebraska for several days, a trestle washed out in Arizona (where they needed to carry their scenery past the wash-out on their backs), and had an earthquake break the tracks in California.

As I get more and more of her vaudeville career documented, I’ll create maps showing her travels and some of her many travel challenges.

Others

Oxen Team pulling covered wagon – Photo by Don Harrison (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I don’t know anything about my biological father’s life travels, nor do I know about his parents’ travels. I know that grandpa Dick was in the service and probably traveled cross country with that. He served in Panama, so I’m sure he at least traveled from Minnesota to the Gulf (or a coast) as a minimum. My great-grandmother Mary (Manning) Brown never traveled 1500 miles (to my knowledge), but she did travel the 1000 miles, from Kentucky to Minnesota, by oxen-driven wagon. That trip was with her grandparents, Enoch & Minerva (Toliver) Mannin.  I think a 1000 miles trip by oxen-driven wagon is much tougher than twice that distance by train or automobile, so it should count.

ENDNOTES

[i] Internet: Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver – 27 July 2019 – “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Ancestors Trans-Continental Travel (not by Airplane)