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:

Brashears – Surname Saturday

Roberts – Brashears

Brashears Name Origin or Meaning

None of the sources I have provide a meaning for the surname Brashears. Ancestry indicates that it is an Americanized form of French (Huguenot) Brasseur[i]. Forebears indicates that virtually all of the people with the Brashears surname live in the United States. Likewise, ForeBears indicates it is an Americanized form of Brasseur and is almost entirely in the United States. Today, individuals with the Brasseur surname live mostly in France and Belgium[ii].

Geographical

Worldwide there are approximately 3,003 people who bear the Brashears surname.

It is most prevalent in the United State where over 99 percent of the people with the Brashear surname live[iii].

My Earliest Brashear Ancestors


Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com
I don’t know where any of my Brashears ancestors were born. I believe that my fourth-great-grandmother, Rebecca Brashears, was born about 1771. She married Elias Roberts about 1786 and the two located to Tennessee in the 1790s.

Her father, Robert Samuel Brashears, appears to have been born about 1731.
His father, Robert Cager Brashears, was possibly born about 1700[iv].
His father, Samuel Brashears, was possibly born about 1670[iv].

I have not determined an immigrant ancestor, so where my Brashears came from would be entirely speculation. That said, Rebecca Brashears is number 6 on my Roberts research list, so, hopefully, I’ll be able to research her in depth by next June (2020).

My Direct Brashears Ancestors

65 – 4th Great Grandmother: Rebecca Brashears (1771-1859)
130 – 5th Great-grandfather: Robert Samuel Brashears (1731-1819)
260 – 6th Great-grandfather: Robert Cager Brashears
520 – 7th Great-grandfather: Samuel Brashears

Brashears Descendants

My records have 362 direct-line descendants of Samuel Brashears identified in my tree.

I have no known living Y-DNA descendants of Robert Samuel Brashears[v].

I have no known living mtDNA descendants of Rebecca Brashears[v].



Sources:

Ancestry – Don Taylor’s Roberts-Brown-2019 Tree accessed 6 June 2019.

Endnotes:

[i] Internet: Ancestry.Com – Name Origins – Brashears. https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=brashears

[ii] Internet: Forebears – Results of a name search for Brasseur. https://forebears.io/surnames/brasseur

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Speculative dates based upon nothing but the age of their children.

[v] If you are a descendant of Samuel Brashears that carries his Y-DNA or a descendant of Rebecca Brashear that carries her mtDNA, I would love to hear from you.

Surname Saturday – Beardsley

Darling Line
By Don Taylor

Name Origin

According to Forebears, the surname “Beardsley” is a derivation of “Bardsley,” which was derived from being from a place, ‘of Bardsley.’ Bardsley is a parish between Ashton and Oldham, near Manchester. The American Bardsleys, and all the North English Bardsleys, and perhaps all the Beardsleys, hail from the Lancashire parish[i].

Ancestry suggests the name may be based upon an unidentified place, possibly in Nottinghamshire, where the surname is particularly common[ii].

Of course, I need to see things in order to understand the relationships of locations in England. Using Google Maps, I learned that Forebears puts the Beardsleys up near Manchester and Ancestry suggests a location 60 miles southeast of Manchester.  Oddly enouth, my Beardsley are from Ilkeston and Stratford-upon-Avon (50 and 90 miles from Manchester).

Locations of Beardsleys based on Forebears and Ancestry are in Gray and the locations of my wife’s Beardsley ancestors births. 

It seems odd to me that William and his son were born so far apart. It makes me wonder if my data regarding their birthplaces is incorrect.  Additionally, I’m relying mostly upon the research of others for those specific locations (sources I’ve found only say they were born in England). In any event, I haven’t had a chance to research these individuals in depth yet. However, the Interregnum may explain the relocation.

Geographical

Worldwide there are approximately 12,390 people who bear the Beardsley surname.

It is most prevalent in the United State where over three-quarters of the people with the Beardsley surname live. Little Montserrat (a small island in the Lesser Antilles has the highest density of Beardsleys with 1 in 1,220 people having the surname.

Earliest Beardsley Ancestors

My wife’s ninth-great-grandfather, William Beardsley was born about 1604 in Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England. I, of course, like to imagine that young William Beardsley was named for William Shakespheare, a contemporary of the town of Stratford on Avon. Likewise, little William was about 12-years-old when Shakespeare died, so I speculate that William had seen, or at least knew of Shakespeare. William moved to Ilkeston, Darbyshire, England sometime before 1630 where he married Marie Harvie.

There, he had a son, Joseph Beardsley, who was born in Ilkeston, Darbyshire, England in 1635.

It was sometime before 1665 that William, Marie, and Joseph located to the Colonies and settled in Stratford, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Flag of the United Kingdom
Immigrant Ancestor

The Interregnum of England took place from 1649 to 1660. (The between the execution of Charles I and the arrival of Charles II and the start of the Restoration[iii]. It was the time of Oliver Cromwell. More research is needed to know if they arrived in the Colonies before during, or after the Interregnum. In any event, it was a time of great upheaval in England and that chaos might have been the cause for leaving England for the new world.

So, both William and Joseph were immigrant ancestors from England.

Joseph married Abigail Phebe Dayton in Connecticut in 1665. They had a daughter, Hannah Beardsley, who is my wife’s seventh-great-grandmother.

My wife’s direct Beardsley ancestors:

  • Grandfather: Robert Harry Darling (1905-1969)
  • Great-grandfather: Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1917)
  • 3nd Great-grandmother: Elizabeth Jane Swayze (1818-1896)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: David Swayze (1796-1850)
  • 4rd Great-grandfather: David Swayze (1762-1838)
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Amos Swayze (1739-1813)
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Mathias Swayze (1699-1728)
  • 7th Great-Grandmother: Hannah Beardsley (1671-1742)
  • 8th Great-Grandfather: Joseph Beardsley (1634-1712)
  • 9th Great-Grandfather: William Beardsley (1602-1661)

Known relatives.

Although I only have 11 Beardsley in my data, my records have identified 271 direct-line descendants of William Beardsley.

Sources:

Endnotes: