Blankenship Branch

1662 - Ralph Blankinship, the first Blankinship to immigrate to America, was born in northern England, presumably in Durham, but possibly in Cumberland or Northumberland. When Ralph was 24 he sailed for Virginia. (SOURCE: Various Henrico County Court records between 1694 - 1714). His five sons were born in America usually spelled the surname as Blankenship vice Blankinship.

Ralph's home in Virginia may have looked something like this home, but we cannot be sure. The Kennons were allied in marriage to other such notable early Chesterfield County families as Blands, Randolphs and Tuckers."

A close up of the "Brick House" of Richard Kennon build in 1685 This is the home of the person that supposedly paid passage for Ralph Blankenship with other indentured servents


There is no factual information or documentation regarding Ralph Blankinship prior to his arrival in Virginia. We only know that the Hernrico Co., Virginia court records (Book 2, page 326) shows that Ralph arrived in the year 1686. Others have acquired information which I do not have which indicates the date of arrival as both 1686/87 and 1686-1687. The latter notation would indicate a time frame sometime between 1686 and 1687. However, if the former notation "1686/87" is correct then there is an alternative interpretation of this arrival date based upon the English adoption of the Gregorian Calendar on 2 Sept 1752. Due to the use of this Gregorian calendar all dates prior to its use forced later historians and genealogists to write dates between 1 January and 24 March 1686 as 1686/87. The actual historical document from the 1690 Henrico County Court records says that Ralph Blankinship and 89 other men (all presumably indentured servants) and 70 African slaves were imported or their passages paid for by Richard Kennon in the year 1686. We further know that Robert Paggin (in London, England), and Colonel John Pleasants of Bermuda Hundred, Viginia were Kennon's business partners who presumably arranged for the passage of the indentured servants as well as the slaves.
In Colonial Virgina men were obligated to serve in the local militia which acted as a defense force protecting settlers from Indian attacks, which were quite common then. These Indian attack persisted until the early 1760's when a Viriginia militia force was assembled by the Virignia Governor to fight the Indians that were becoming a serious threat. There is an historical record of Blankenships being called to service in that rather lengthy engagement which preceeded the War of Revolution by about 15 years. We therefore can proudly say that Blankenships have participated in every American war, including the Indian war of Central Virginia during the 1760's.]
Several Blankenships marry into McCoy Families BLANKENSHIP-McCOY MARRIAGES PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY MARRIAGE RECORDS 1822-1909 Blankenship, Elizabeth to McCoy, Allen 09/09/1841 Blankenship, Melvina (age 16) to McCoy, Richard (age 17) 04/25/1878 Blankenship, Nancy to McCoy, Selkirk 06/25/1861 Blankenship, Oliva to McCoy, Louisa 02/13/1860 Blankenship, Rachel to McCoy, John R. 06/30/1859 Blankenship, Rolley 30 to McCoy, Martha 43 02/23/1873 Blankenship, William W. to McCoy, Ellender J. 1866 Blankinship, Rachel to McCoy, John R. 06/30/1859 Blankenships who received Revolutionary War pensions Abel Blankenship, 3:111 (Soldier, Infantry) (Abel, son of Nowell, grandson of John, great grandson of the immigrant Ralph Blankinship) Abraham Blankenship, 3:111 Abram Blankenship, 3:111 Fanny Blankenship, 3:111 (probably Fanny Worsham, widow of Abel Blankenship, above) Sarah Blankenship, 1:64 The 126 BLANKENSHIPs below fought in the War of 1812 against the English. You will notice that some names are repeated. This could mean that a few soldiers served in different military units and therefore were recorded twice. BLANKENSHIPs are first, followed by the BLANKINSHIPs. Source: NARA (National Archives) A Listing of these names can be found on Donald L. Blankenship's website A Major Contributor of the data below was: Bill Blankinship, Huntington Beach, California About 450 Blankenships fought on the Confederate side in Civil War About 260 Blankenships fought on the Union side in Civil War NATIONAL PARK SERVICE Searchable on-line Database of Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Contains data on 130 Blankinships and 363 Blankenships CRONOLOGY 1863 - Devil Anse Hatfield forms guerrilla band. Raids and thefts follow between McCoy's and Hatfields. West Virginia gains statehood. 1875 - First death in feud -- Asa Harmon McCoy. No prosecution. 1878 - Randolph McCoy accuses Floyd Hatfield of stealing his pig. Bill Staton's testimony in court later wins for Floyd Hatfield. 1880 - Bill Staton murdered by Paris and Sam McCoy in June. Sam McCoy tried in September for Staton death; acquitted. Roseanna McCoy and Johnse Hatfield meet. She leaves to live with him at Hatfield cabin. 1881 - Roseanna returns home, then moves to aunt's cabin where Johnse is captured by McCoy boys. Roseanna's ride to Devil Anse's saves Johnse's life. Pregnant Roseanna returns to Ole Ran'l's home, catches measles, miscarries baby, then moves to Pikeville. Johnse marries Nancy McCoy on May 14. 1882 - Ellison Hatfield fatally wounded by Bud, Tolbert and Pharmer McCoy on August 9. After Hatfield dies, the trio is tied to bushes and executed. Jeff McCoy killed on banks of the Tug. 1887 - Kentucky governor appoints Frank Phillips to capture McCoy boys' murderers. 1889 - Trial of Hatfield clan in McCoy murders begins. T.C. Crawford publishes "An American Vendetta." 1890 - Ellison Mounts executed for Alifair McCoy's murder. (Feb 18). 1891 - Feud ends. Huck Finn 1850, Marion County, MO. "The City of Hannibal" Dwelling #696 / Family #726 Woodson BLANKENSHIP, age 51, born in S. Carolina in 1799 - (father) Mahala, age 37, born in Iowa in 1813 - (mother) Benson, age 21, born in MO in 1829 Martha, age 19, born in MO in 1831 - mar. George Clark 1847 in Lewis Co. MO Nancy Jane, age 16, born in MO in 1834 - mar. Isaac Patton 1851 Marion Co. MO Sarah V., age 14, born in MO in 1836 - mar. Amos L. Morgan 1854 Marion Co. MO Elizabeth, age 13, born in MO in 1838 Thomas, age 11, born in MO in 1839 - (ALIAS Huckleberry Finn) Mary, age 6, born in MO in 1844 Catherine, age 3, born in MO in 1847 [Mo. = Missouri] [NOTE: Woodson Blankenship, age 29, married Mahala Onstat, age 15, on 3 Jul 1828 in Pike Co. MO - "Missouri marriages before 1840" - Ormensher)] Legendary Huckleberry Finn was TOM BLANKENSHIP of Hannibal, Missouri Thomas Blankenship, b. 1839 From Reader's Digest June 1974 pg. 60 "Huckleberry Finn was Tom BLANKENSHIP", wrote Mark Twain in his Autobiography. "Tom's father was at one time town Drunkard, an exceedingly well-defined and unofficial office of those days. In the book I have drawn Tom BLANKENSHIP exactly as he was. He was ignorant, unwashed, insufficiently art as ever any boy had. His liberties were totally unrestricted. He was the only really independent person, boy or man in the community, and by consequence he was tranquilly and continuously happy and was envied by all the rest of us. We liked him; we enjoyed his society and as his society was forbidden us by our parents, the prohibition trebled and quadrupled its value." Below I'll discuss the possibility that the immigrant Ralph may have married Martha (Née) Hudson. This discussion is suggestive only and does not confirm that Martha's maiden name was Hudson. Nor do we have corroborative data to conclude that the maiden name of Martha was Clay. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The first two children of Ralph and Martha Blankinship were named William and Richard. Prior to the Revolutionary War it was the English custom in America to name the first son after the husband's father and the second son after the wife's father. If this was true then Martha, who married Ralph, would have had a father named Richard. There was an established Hudson family line living near Ralph Blankinship when he arrived in Virginia in 1686/87. This Hudson family was Richard Hudson who married Mary Bowman about 1658. It is very interesting indeed that Ralph Blankenship was actually buried on the Bowman/Hudson tract of land known as Roxdale located about one to two miles east of Farrar's Island. It is further identified geographically as one mile east of Dutch Gap along the James River. One has to ask the question of why Ralph was not buried on his own homestead near the present day town of Chesterfield, which was the common English practice. After a few generations these field grave sites were then plowed under. But we know that Ralph was buried at a grave site at Roxdale. The grave is almost exactly in the area of where Interstate I-95 crosses the south side of the James River about 15 miles south of Richmond. The actual burial site at Roxdale has never been located. We really have no reason to explain why the immigrant Ralph Blankinship was buried on the Bowman-Hudson property. So, it seems apparent that Ralph and Martha had some sort of close association with the Hudsons to permit his burial at Roxdale.

The Earliest History of THE BLANKENSHIP FAMILY

Knoxville Sentinel
October 30, l917
Although America is yet young, the origin of many of our larger family groups is lost in the obscurity of early colonial history and it is the object of the genealogist to piece together the scattered and fragmentary records of colonial times, of deed and will book and of family tradition, till a fairly connected account of the ancestral line is secured. Fortunate, indeed, are those families that are able to trace back their line across the sea to the ancestral home in Europe, as conditions of soil and climate, of position in society and the character of the people among which their lot was cast during the remoter centuries may throw light upon certain family traits developed by stress of those conditions. The Blankinship (BLANKENSHIP or Blankingship) family is able, by recent research, to do both with fair accuracy and to give a brief account of the results of this work is the object of this paper.
Apparently all of that name in the United States are descended from two immigrants coming from England and locating, one in Plymouth colony in southeastern Mass. about 1720, the other in Virginia just south of Richmond about 1700. It is from the latter group that most of the families scattered through America have descended, as the Yankee branch became largely sailors and seafaring men, who helped to make New Bedford famous in the days of the early American marine, but seem never to have wandered far afield on the landward side. The Virginia branch were planters and large landholders and its descendants have mainly clung closely to the soil through eight generations, though changing conditions of national life are now sending them into nearly every department of business and professional life.
The progenitor of the family in America was Ralph, who seems to have come to Virginia about 1700, married Martha and became a "planter" in what is now Chesterfield County. He died young (1714), leaving three children, Ralph, John, and James. A fourth, William, is mentioned, but he may have been the son of the Richard, Brother of Ralph, who took part in the settlement of Ralph's estate, but is nowhere else mentioned. It may have been this Richard who went to Plymouth colony, married Ann and had a son, James, who became the founder of the Yankee branch.
Martha, wife of this first Ralph Blankinship, married a second time to one Edward Stanley, a widower, and twelve years after the death of Ralph was again left a widow with considerable landed property, for the four sons mentioned inherited not less than 850 acres on her demise. About half these lands were located on Coldwater Run and the rest farther south on Winterpook creek in Chesterfield County. Of the sons of Ralph, the progenitor, Ralph married Elizabeth and died in 1754 leaving sons: Ephraim, Joseph, William, Francis, Fredrick, Matthew, John, Ralph and Jeremiah, and a daughter, Sarah, who married Cobb. The second son, John, married Elizabeth and died in 1754. His children were William, Isham, Hudson, Henry, Norvell, Matthew, Amy (Turner), Elizabeth (Morisset) and, by tradition, Elisha. This John was also a planter and owned some 780 acres of land, all in Chesterfield County. The third son of the first Ralph was James and his wife Mary. He was also a large planter and bequeathed, on his death in 1748, plantations to his several sons, Drury, Joel and Fore, and Daughter Ann. The fourth probable son of Ralph, the progenitor, was William, who had a large plantation on Winterpook creek, and married Mary, dying in 1745. Of this union were Ralph, Wilmoth, Mary and Frances, who appear to have inherited some 800 acres on Winterpook creek in Chesterfield County. This particular branch seems to have remained largely in Virginia and to have been less prolific and more prosperous than the other. It soon began spelling the name with (ing) for the middle syllable and had many distinguished representatives.
Descendants of Ralph Blankensop
.1 Ralph Blankensop
. d: in Virginia 1620 Northumberland, .England Virginia
..2 Ralph Blankinship
..d: 1714 in Roxdale, Henrico Co., Va. 1660 England 1714 Roxdale, Henrico Co., Va. Age at death: 54 est. +Blankinship Abt. 1676 Henrico Co., Va.
...3 William Blankenship
d: 1745 in Virginia 1695 Henrico Co., Va. 1745 Virginia Age at death: 50 est. .......... +Blankenship
...3 Joseph Blankenship
Abt. 1694
...... 3 John Blankenship
d: 1751 in Chesterfield Co., Va. 1690 HenricoCo., Va. 1751 Chesterfield Co., Va. Age at death: 61 est. .......... +Blankenship m: Abt. 1735 in Virginia d: Abt. 1797 Abt. 1712 Virginia Abt. 1797 Age at death: 85 est.
....4 Isaiah
d: 1810 in Cane Creek, N.C. Abt. 1738 Henrico Co., Va. 1810 Cane Creek, N.C. Age at death: 72 est. +Blankenship m: 1757 in Virginia
..... 5 William Blankenship
d: 1845 1761 1845 Age at death: 84 est. +Blankenship
......6 Hezekiah Blankenship
d: Bef. 1850 in Tazwell Co., Va. Fact 1: Bet. 1816 - 1820 Hezekiah was on the Tazwell Co. Tax List Abt. 1792 Halifax Co. Va. Bef. 1850 Tazwell Co., Va. Age at death: 58 est. +Blankenship m: September 14, 1815 in Tazwell Co., Va. d: Bef. November 1842 in Tazwell Co., Va. Bef. 1800 Tazwell,Tazwell Co., Va. Bef. November 1842 Tazwell Co., Va. Age at death: 42 est. *2nd Wife of Hezekiah Blankenship: +Blankenship m: November 06, 1842 in Tazwell Co., Va. d: Aft. 1850 in Tazwell Co., Va. 1810 Va. Aft. 1850 Tazwell Co., Va. Age at death: 40 est.
...3 James Blankenship
d: 1749 in Chesterfield Co., Va. 1698 Henrico Co., Va. 1749 Chesterfield Co., Va. Age at death: 51 est.
... 3 Ralph Blankenship
d: 1754 in Chesterfield Co., Va. 1700 Chesterfield Co., Va. 1754 Chesterfield Co., Va. Age at death: 54 est.
... 3 Anne Blankenship
d: 1763 in Plymouth, MA 1702 Chesterfield Co., Va. 1763 Plymouth, MA Age at death: 61 est.


The third and forth generations of these Virginia Blankenships were a restless lot and, possibly influenced by the French and Revolutionary wars and the consequent opening of new lands to settlements to the south and west, many emigrated into adjoining states and founded families there. John and Henry entered farms in West Virginia; Thomas and Samuel located in York county, South Carolina; Jacob in Georgia; children of Hudson moved to Kentucky; Womack, a Revolutionary soldier, entered his bounty lands in Ohio, while two Brothers, apparently, Isham and Elisha went to North Carolina, an later to Tennessee, and their history has been more carefully worked out.
Isham (or Isum), son of John, son of Ralph and Progenitor, married Sarah and, following his brother, Hudson, moved from the old home in Chesterfield county to Bedford county at the close of the French and Indian war (1764) and purchased 570 acres of land "on the ridge between Tomahawk and Ivy creeks" and sold the same for $4,000 in 1779. Soon after with his brother Elisha, apparently, he moved to Rutherford County, North Carolina, and bought a farm (1782) "on Big Cane creek", later possibly moving to South Carolina. He had seven sons and three daughters, of which we have only the names of William, Gilbert, Spencer, David, James, Elizabeth (Watson), Mary (Farmer), and Frances (Bradbury or Adams). About 1806 Isham with four sons and three daughters moved to Monroe county, Tenn. apparently accompanied by his Brother Elisha. Of Isham's sons, William located in Williamson County, Illinois, and left many descendants there. Gilbert improved a farm near Morgantown, Loudon county, Tennessee, and became a wealthy farmer, dying in 1875 at the age of 84. He was married three times and his children were Payton, Isham, Fields, John, and Blackmore. Many of Gilbert's decedents are living in Loudon Blount, and Knox counties, Tenn., and a number in Green county, Missouri. Spencer, another of Isham's sons, purchased a farm on Bat creek, Monroe county, Tenn. at the foot of "the Knobs," married Mary Brewer and brought up a large family consisting of Berton (Ky.?), William (Polk county, Tenn), John (ga.), Lewis (Monroe county, Tenn.), Isum (Illinois), Spencer (McMinn County, Tenn.), and Mary Ann M. Moser (Monroe county). Names of two or three other children unknown. Elisha, by tradition a brother of Isham and a Baptist minister, served in the Revolution, moved to Tenn. and left a large family, the names of the children being David, William, Elisha, Spencer, Gilbert, John, Wiley, Stephen, Elizabeth (Moore), Susan (BLANKENSHIP), Margaret (Dicus), Sarah (Whiteside), and two other daughters marrying Hunt and Bedford. Many of these decedents are located in Bradley county, Tenn., but others are scattered through Georgia Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and elsewhere. Following their ancestor a strong religious vein runs through this group and a number of preachers crop up in each generation. It thus appears that nearly all the Blankinship or BLANKENSHIP families in Tenn. have descended from Elisha and two sons of Isham, Gilbert and Spencer, and have many relatives there of other names arising from the three sisters of the latter, though most of the Watsons emigrated to Green county, Missouri.

Please check back often

Choose the Blankenship Family you would like to Visit

Jake Blankenship Clint & Mary Blankenship Washington State Blankenships Wm. Blankenship Ralph Blankenship English Blankenships

Choose the Related Family You Wish to Visit:

Baughman McCardell Fogus Blankenship Workman Anderson
Go to top Links About me HOME