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.

My Male Ancestors – Birth, Death, and Age at Death

Brown/Montran Research
Roberts/Barnes Research

One of the reasons that I enjoy Randy Seaver’s blog, Genea-Musings is that he regularly makes me realize the missing branches I have in my tree leaves have lots more to do on my tree.  His recent “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” asked folks to look at their tree and determine the age of death for their male ancestors. (He had done a similar thing for female ancestors the week before.)

Using Heredis, it is really simple to generate such a report. I clicked on myself, then clicked on Documents/Ancestor Report and the system generated the data. Then I went to Report Export, I selected Excel from several options.  After the information exported, the Excel spreadsheet opened automatically.

Because the ahnentafel numbers for the individuals are exported, it is easy to select just the male ancestors by deleting all of the odd numbers. I immediately saw that my 3rd great-grandfather, Enoch Mannin, lived the longest – 88 years. The ancestor who died the earliest was my great-grandfather Hugh Ellis Roberts, who died at an extremely young 24 years of age.

Next, I began seeing my gaps.  I have three people with a range of dates for their life.  For example, my great-grandfather John F. Montran was born sometime between 1860 and 1875 and died sometime before 1911. So, he could have died at 35 or died at 51 years or anywhere in between; I don’t know.

Then, I realized I have six ancestors for whom I have no death dates. More work.

Finally, I realized I have nine ancestors in the past five generations that I know nothing about.  No names, let alone birth or death dates. So, Randy’s challenge reminded me of how much more work I still have to do. But the good news is that I have 11 of my male ancestors identified as to their age at death. Even better, I have eight more this year than I would have had last year (all of my Roberts line.).  I even have one more than I would have had last week, So things are definitely looking up.

Chart of Male Ancestors, Dates of Birth and Death

Ahn. #
Birth Date
Death Date
Age at Death
Hugh Eugene  Roberts
° 9/1926
† 27/3/1997
Bert Allen  Roberts
° 7/9/1903
† 1/5/1949
Richard Earl  Brown
° 14/9/1903
† 19/1/1990
Hugh Ellis  Roberts
° 2/7/1884
† 30/8/1908
Joel Clinton Barnes
° 23/6/1857
† 30/6/1921
Arthur Durwood  Brown
° ~ 1864
† 27/8/1928
~ 64
John F  Montran
° <> 1860 & 1875
† < 1911
< 35
2nd Great-Grandfathers
Asa Ellis Roberts
° 28/2/1835
† 8/10/1887
Samuel Vaden Scott
° 1860
† 1931
Nelson Barnes
° 24/3/1816
† 21/2/1884
Nimrod Lister
° <> 1824 & 1827
† < 1909
< 82
William Henry Brown
° 1842
John William  Manning
° ~ 1845
† 25/4/1888
~ 43
Unknown (Montran)
Franklin E  Barber
° 10/1836
† 7/4/1917
Third Great-Grandfathers
John Calvin Roberts
° 3/3/1795
† 4/1873
Unknown Marshall
William H. Scott
Adrico J. Haley
Unknown (Barnes)
Unknown (Lister)
Barney Brown
° ~ 1814
† <> 1860 & 1870
<> 46 & 55
William M  Sanford
° ~ 1822
Enoch  Mannin
° 1819
† 7/4/1907
Unknown (Montran)
Unknown (Barber)
Stephen  Blackhurst
° ~ 1804
† 24/12/1869
~ 65
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Blackhurst a rare name in my family tree.

Surname Saturday – Blackhurst

by Don Taylor

Name Origin

Blackhurst is a surname based upon habitation, that is to say it is based upon where a person lived or came from. In this case “Blackhurst” derived from Old English blæc meaning ‘black’ and hyrst meaning ‘wooded hill’.


According to Forebears, there are only about 2,387 individuals with the Blackhurst surname in the world today, mostly in the United States and England.[i]

Back in 1840, there doesn’t appear to have been any families with the Blackhurst surname in the United States.[ii] By 1880 there were only 62 families in the United States and 11 of them were in New York. The 1920 Census reports only 74 Blackhurst families in the entire nation.

Our Blackhurst ancestors came from Yorkshire, England. Steven Blackhurst (1801-1869) in 1848 and settled in New York State. By 1880, there were still only 11 Blackhurst households in New York and only 62 Blackhurst households in the entire United States.[iii] However, there were still 599 Blackhurst families living in England and Wales according to the 1881 Census.[iv]

Forebears indicate that there are several similar surnames.[v]

Blackhirst – primarily in the United States.
Blokhorst – primarily in the Neatherlands.

My Direct Blackhurst Ancestors

#124 – Stephen Blackhurst 1775-1845 – 4th Great Grandfather.
#62 – Stephen Blackhurst (1801-1969) – 3rd Great Grandfather. Immigrant Ancestor.
#31 – Sarah H. Blackhurst (1847-1929) – 2nd Great Grandmother.
#15 – Ida Mae Barber (1875-1953) – Great Grandmother.
#7 – Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976) – Grandmother.
#3 – My mother (Living).
#1 – Me.

My known relatives.

My records show 52 known, direct, descendants of Stephen Blackhurst over ten generations. Of my 99 known ancestors, that I have identified, three have the Blackhurst surname.

Ancestry DNA  indicates that I have one person, with a DNA Match that has Blackhurst in their family tree. Unfortunately, it is only 7.2 centimorgans on one DNA Segment and is likely a 5th to 8th cousin. She does have ancestors from Lancashire, England, which is next to Yorkshire, England where my Blackhurst ancestors came from but a genealogical connection isn’t evident. If you have Blackhurst ancestry, why not check out Ancestry DNA and see if you are related to one or both of us?

———- DISCLAIMER ———-

Ancestry DNA, Cousin Bonnie, & Rachael Fugate Manning

I recently connected with a third cousin I hadn’t known of through Ancestry DNA. We knew we were a match, but my cousin’s tree was private. After contacting her, she shared her tree with me and we quickly determined our common ancestors are our 2nd great grandparents, John William and Eliza Jane Fannin Manning. I am descended from their daughter Mary and cousin Bonnie is descended from their other daughter Phoebe. Now that I saw her tree information, the question arose in my mind, what do I do with this new information?

Twenty years ago, I probably would have accepted what Bonnie had in her tree, incorporated it into my tree (duplicating much information), and felt that I had a breakthrough finding lots of new information. Today things are a little different. Instead of accepting her work, I reviewed her sources and citations. Did she have sources I didn’t have? Of course, I expected her to have many things regarding her ancestors before our common ancestor and she did. So, I dutifully made notes of those sources and citations so that I may go through them personally and glean what facts I might.

1870 Mortality Schedule entry for Rachael Mannin
I also reviewed her sources and citations for individuals that we had in common. The vast majority of them were the same as I already had. For example, we both cited the same census records. She did have a couple sources that I didn’t have. One was a US Census Mortality Schedule showing the death of Rachael Fugate Mannin (John William Manning’s grandmother). It provided a cause of death that I didn’t have before. I had the dates for her death from a family bible, but finding collaborating evidence in a census schedule is great. I should have looked for a record in the Mortality Schedule but hadn’t. There were a couple other little things I noticed, for example, she cited John William Manning in the 1850 Census. I hadn’t. I had his father, Enoch, in the census, but hadn’t made an entry in 4-year-old John’s record showing he was living with his mother and father in Bath county, Kentucky and that I had accounted for him in the 1850 census. It is a little thing, but I like to be thorough.
Then, I used my genealogy software to find another ancestor who died during the year preceding the 1870 census. I had one, 3rd great grandfather Stephen Blackhurst. He was in the mortality schedule, which shows he died of dropsy of the bowels (ascites) a new fact regarding another ancestor.I am very happy for the DNA Match with cousin Bonnie and the new facts that sharing information can bring. Thank you Bonnie!


If a person died in the year preceding the 1870 Census, be sure to check for that individual in the mortality schedules.

————-  DISCLAIMER  ————-