We’ve all experienced it. You send a message to someone and they don’t understand what you are asking for and the conversation from then on out is just slow. Well, this type of situation led me to find a new line – the Blackwell line.
Remember when I mentioned one of my mom’s DNA matches had a private tree and he wasn’t willing to let me see it? Well, I contacted him again and asked if he would share his list of surnames. He gave me his surname along with his dad’s surname and his dad’s dad surname and so on… Do you see the problem? Those are all the same surnames! haha. Like most people would be in this situation, I was annoyed and closed the message.
For whatever reason, I went back to his message and noticed that he gave me the year they were born. I decided to accept the challenge and create a family tree with that limited data. That limited data was just a single last name and a string of dates – not even first names!
Success! I actually traced his line back to the 1860’s and found a woman named Sarah Blackwell born to John Blackwell and Hannah Varner.
Making the Blackwell Connection
Emma Johnston, daughter of Samuel Johnston and Sarah Bell married a man by the name of William Carroll Blackwell. Could William and Sarah be related? At this point in my research, I had not figured out who William’s parents were. BUT – when I realized that Sarah (possible sister to William) lived in the same county as William I had to take the leap and believe they were brother and sister.
While I still haven’t laid eyes on any documents listing out William Blackwell’s parents, I did notice on the 1860 census that William Blackwell and Emma Johnston who were married at the time were “neighbors” to John and Hannah, as well as Sarah Blackwell and Hiram Adkins and who else shows up on the same census page? Samuel Johnston and Sarah Bell along with their huge family. I’m going to take that “leap” and assume William’s parents are John and Hannah. Take a look… Lines 1-3: Hiram, Sarah Blackwell, and Susan Adkins – This was the DNA cousin’s direct ancestors.
Lines 17,18: William and Emma Johnston Blackwell – Up until now, I knew there was some relation to the Johnston family since there were multiple DNA matches that all had Samuel and Sarah as a common ancestor.
Lines 26-36: Samuel Johnston and family – I listed out in an earlier blog post about how I concluded that my mom is a descendant of this family.
Lines 37,38: John and Hannah Varner Blackwell – These are the parents of William & Sarah Blackwell.
Since that DNA cousin shares the common ancestors of John and Hannah Blackwell, I can assume that Emma Johnston and William Blackwell are my mom’s direct ancestors.
William Blackwell was born in 1824 and died in 1891 in Alabama. Emma Johnston was born in 1845 (NC) and died in 1936 in Alabama. They married in 1860 and from my research, I believe they had 9 kids.