Livingston Lafayette Blackwell (1848-1920)
Livingston Lafayette Blackwell was my maternal 2nd Great-Grandfather, Born in Rockingham County, N.C. July 25th, 1848 and died in Alamance County, N.C. June 19th 1920. I recently discovered his grave site in Pine Hill Cemetery in Burlington, N.C. Livingston Lafayette Blackwell was the oldest son of Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell and Ann E. Cobb, daughter of Henry Cobb and Martha Nunnally. He was the grandson of Thomas Blackwell and Rebecca Watt. He was the great-grandson of Capt. Robert Blackwell and Zillah Rice, daughter of Thomas Rice d.1800 Caswell County, N.C.
Livingston Lafayette Blackwell appeared to have been called "William" by family members and in some records. I suppose this nickname was to avoid confusion with his father Lafayette "Fate" Blackwell and perhaps "Livingston Lafayette" was quite a mouthful to use on an everyday basis. In the Will of Henry Cobb, father of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell's mother, Ann E. Cobb, the following passage appears referring to him as "William L.":
Caswell County. N.C.
October Court, 1861
Will Book S-- Page 441
Will of Henry Cobb, written July 10th, 1861
Item 5th: I bequeath to my grandchildren William L. Blackwell, Joseph H. Blackwell and Martha A. Blackwell, one negro woman named Patience and the two children she now has and all that she may hereafter have together with the property heretofore given, when the oldest of the aforesaid grandchildren shall have arrived to the age of twenty one years. I will that all other property heretofore given and all that may accrue to them hereafter in anyway from my estate by that time, both real and personal, be equally divided between them so as to make them all equal one with the other, and I further will that the grandchildren as aforesaid in the final division of my estate, share equal in proportion with one of my children.
Livingston "William" Lafayette Blackwell, Joseph H. Blackwell and Martha A. Blackwell were the the 3 children of Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell and his 1st wife Ann E. Cobb, who were married in Caswell County, N.C. October 16th, 1847 with J. B. Siddle as Bondsman/Witness. Ann E. Cobb Blackwell died "before" June 18th 1859 when Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell Married 2nd in Caswell County, N.C., Martha E. Siddle, with Thomas J. Mills as Bondsman/Witness.
As the 2nd marriage took place before the writing of Henry Cobb's 1861 Will, this confirms that Ann E. Cobb was deceased prior to the writing of the Will, as Henry Cobb left property to his named grandchildren and made them equal to all his living children in place of their deceased mother. Sadly Henry Cobb does not name his deceased daughter but does name his grandchildren.
Livingston Lafayette Blackwell first appears in the 1850 Rockingham County, N.C. Census, in the Eastern District as follows:
1850 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census
N. L. Blackwell Age 26 Male
A. E. Blackwell Age 27 Female
L. L. Blackwell Age 2 (could be age 1 difficult to read)
This is the only Census record that shows his mother Ann E. Cobb Blackwell as she was deceased by the 1860 Census. In most future official records Livingston Lafayette Blackwell appears simply as L. L. Blackwell.
1860 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census
Raulensburg & Stacyville area
N. L. Blackwell Age 37 Male Occupation-Officer Real Estate-$700.00 Personal Estate-$3500.00
Martha E. Blackwell Age 23 Female
Livingston L. Blackwell Age 11 Male
Joseph H. Blackwell Age 7 Male
1860 Caswell Co. N.C. Census
Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell is now living with his 2nd wife. Martha E. Siddle and two children of Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell's 1st wife Ann E. Cobb. Martha A. Blackwell, sister of Livingston L. and Joseph H. does not appear here as I feel she was living with her grandparents Henry and Martha Nunnally Cobb. Both Martha and Joseph show up in the 1870 Caswell Census living with their grandmother Martha Cobb.
1870 Caswell Co. N.C. Census
Locust Hill Township
Martha Cobb Age 77 Female Keeping house Real Estate-$1000.00 Personal Estate-$200.00
Martha Daley Age 38 Female House Keepng
George Daley Age 28 Male Farmer
Joseph Blackwell Age 17 Male Farm Laborer
Martha Blackwell Age 15 Female At Home
Joseph and Martha's brother, Livingston Lafayette Blackwell appears in the 1870 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census:
1870 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census:
Household of Y. M. Johnston Dry Goods Merchant
L. L. Blackwell Age 21 Male Clerk in Store
Livingston, Joseph and Martha's father, Nathaniel Lafayette Blackwell Is living in the Oregonsville Township in 1870 as well.
1870 Rockingham Co. N.C. Census:
N. L. Blackwell Age 46 Male Deputy Sheriff Real Estate-$1000.00 Personal Estate-$200.00
Martha Blackwell Age 36 Female Keeping House
Mary Blackwell Age 9 Female
John P. Blackwell Age 7 Male
Rufus H. Blackwell Age 4 Male
Bernard Blackwell Age 2 Male
On November 18th, 1877 in Caswell Co. N.C., Livingston L. Blackwell,27 years old resident of Rockingham Co. N.C. married Bettie Ann Willis, 20 years old resident of Caswell Co. N.C., daughter of Benjamin A. and Lucinda Campbell Willis. They were married by F. L. Oakley, Baptist Minister of Primitive Order at the home of Benjamin A. Willis In Anderson Township
In 1880 we find Livingston Blackwell living with his father-in-law Benjamin A. Willis and Mother-in Law Lucinda Campbell Willis, his wife Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis and their 1 year old son, Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell.
1880 Caswell Co. N.C. Census
Anderson Township June 14th, 1880
Benjamin Willis Age 56 Male Farmer
Lucinda Willis Wife Age 53 Female Keeping house
Willis Son Age 13 Male Farm hand
Livingston Blackwell Son-in-law Age 32 Male Farm Hand
Annie Blackwell Wife Age 22 Female At Home
Benjamin Blackwell Son Age 1 Male
In 1885 Livingston L. Blackwell is listed as Postmaster at Fitch's Store in Caswell County according to the N.C. Postal Museum
Fitch's Store Postmaster--Livingston L. Blackwell 31 Dec 1885
In the 1900 Caswell Co. N.C. Census on June 7th, 1900, we find Livingston L. Blackwell In Caswell Co. N.C. as a boarder in the home of Laura Siddle, sister-in-law of his stepmother Martha E. Siddle, In Locust Hill Township.
Also in 1900 we find Livingston L. Blackwell's daughter,Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell, living as a boarder in the household of Nat and Hat Willis
1900 Caswell Co. N.C. Census
Yanceyville Township June 7th, 1900
Nat H. Willis Head Age 45 Male Farmer
Hattie L. Willis Wife Age 42 Female
Cannie Blackwell Boarder Age 12 Female Born February 1888
Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell is the fourth child of Livingston L. Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. She married James Monroe Morton May 18th, 1905 in Caswell County.
Livingston L. Blackwell's wife, Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis must have died between 1880 and 1900 as their daughter Cannie is now living with her mother's Willis relatives, Nathaniel H. Willis, son of Thomas H. Willis and Harriet Mitchell and his wife, Hattie L. Willis, daughter of Thomas J. Willis and Sophia Lea. Nathaniel H. Willis is the 1st cousin of Cannie Blackwell's mother, Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. Thomas H. Willis, father of Nathaniel H. Willis and Thomas J. Willis, father of Hattie L. Willis, were first cousins making Nathaniel H. Willis and his wife Hattie L. Willis cousins as well as husband and wife.
It is apparent that my Grandmother Hattie Belle Morton Lunsford, daughter of Cannie Blackwell and James Monroe Morton, received the name "Hattie" from Hattie L. Willis, who raised her mother Cannie after Cannie's mother died as my Grandmother had told myself and other family members that her mother Cannie was "raised by Nat and Hat Willis".
Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell, daughter of Livingston L. Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis, married James Monroe Morton, oldest son of Vincent Lea Morton and Isabella F. Oliver, daughter of Reuben Oliver and Nancy Lea and was a grandson of Elijah Morton and Mary Lea, daughter of Gabriel Lea and Elizabeth Ashburn. Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell and James Monroe Morton had two daughters, Hattie Belle Morton who married William Perry Lunsford and Gladys Elizabeth Morton who married Owen "Dody" Faucette.
James Monroe “Pug” Morton was born September 2nd , 1850 in Caswell County, NC. The firstborn child of Vincent Lea Morton and Isabella Frances Oliver. James married Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell May 18th, 1905 in Caswell County. At the time of the marriage James was 54 years old and Cannie was only 17 years old as stated on their marriage certificate. James and Cannie had two children , Hattie Belle and Gladys Elizabeth.
Cannie was afflicted with what they called in the old days “spells”, which was most probably epilepsy. This was not a very socially acceptable condition to have in those days as it was thought of as being “touched” , “demented” or “possessed” in some way. I have heard family members relate stories of how when Cannie would feel a “spell” coming on she would run into the woods so her children or others wouldn’t see her when she was having a seizure. It was obviously a great source of embarrassment to her and she went to great lengths at these times to conceal her affliction. In those days the medicine of choice for this malady was Laudanum, which was a powerful narcotic and could be very addictive. On one fateful day perhaps after having a “spell” when my grandmother Hattie Belle was perhaps 3 years old and her sister Gladys still a baby, family members found Cannie lying unconscious on the floor with her little girls at her side rubbing her face trying their best to wake her. Sadly she never awoke having taken too much Laudanum, which overpowered her vital functions and caused her death. More than one family member passed down this story to me and I feel it to be an accurate portrayal of the death of my great-grandmother.
This left my great-grandfather James Monroe Morton, now approaching 60 years old with two small children and no mother to raise them. My great-great-grandmother Isabella took in the little girls and after her death their Aunt “ Nannie” Morton Stephens , sister of James Monroe Morton, raised the girls. Tragically their father James Monroe Morton, fifteen years after their mother’s death, was kicked in the head by a horse and lay upon his bed for a couple of months and finally died from the injury. Now the girls were true orphans, having lost both parents. He was apparently was able to make a will before he died t
Ada Elizabeth Blackwell is the second child of Livingston L. Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. Ada Elizabeth Blackwell never married.
I have acquired Ada Elizabeth Blackwell's Death Certificate from Caswell County. Born June 30th 1882 d. Oct 21st 1965.
Never married. Father's name: William "Billy" L. Blackwell.
Mother's name :unknown. Informant: Mrs. Sam Bason, Yanceyville, NC.
Her father's name, William L. Blackwell, could only be Livingston Lafayette Blackwell, referred to as "William L. Blackwell" in the 1861 Will of Henry Cobb, father of Anne E. Cobb, Livingston's mother.
Benjamin, Ada, and Cannie Blackwell are all Boarders in 1900, Willie Media is living with James M. Ward and Talitha Ward in the 1910 Census, after there mother Elizabeth Willis had died.
Caswell County Census Records
Household of Mary Martin
Bennie L. Blackwell 21 Boarder
Ada E. Blackwell 18 Boarder
Ada's Sister, Cannie Blackwell is living in the 1900 Caswell County Census as a Boarder 12 yrs old with Nat and Hat Willis.
House hold of Henry J. Dailey
Ada Blackwell 28
Martha E. Dailey 80 Mother
Russell Hatchett 7 Nephew
House hold of Henry Hatchett
Ada Blackwell 37 Cousin
Ada Elizabeth Blackwell is the elusive daughter of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell and Elizabeth Willis.
She is living with her brother Bennie L. Blackwell (Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell) in the 1900 record
She is living with her Great-Aunt Martha E. Blackwell Dailey, sister of of Anne E. Cobb, both daughters of Henry Cobb and Martha Nunnally. Martha married George Dailey.
Willie Media Blackwell was the third child of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell and Elizabeth Willis.
She married Charles Henry Philip Isley, 25 December 1912 in Caswell County, son of Edwin Alexander Isley and Julia Anne Clayton. She was born 30 April 1861 in Person County, North Carolina, and died 15 July 1940 in Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina. daughter of Martin Van Clayton and Elizabeth Long
Caswell County 1910 Census
James M. Ward M 56y
Talitha E. Ward F 56y
Willie M. Ward F 26y
Willie Media Blackwell was adopted by James M. & Talitha Elizabeth Ward when she was 12 or 13 years old. She took on the Ward surname and married Charles Henry Philip Isley, 25 December 1912 in Caswell County, North Carolina. She was born 10 July 1884 in Caswell County, North Carolina, and died 10 January 1950 in Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina.
They had children:
1. MAURINE WILSON ISLEY, b. 15 February 1914, Caswell County, North Carolina; d. 25 August 2005, Alamance County, North Carolina.
2. HELEN ELIZABETH ISLEY, b. 21 June 1916, North Carolina; d. 14 October 1996, Alamance County, North Carolina
3. MILDRED CHARLINE ISLEY, b. October 6th, 1919, Caswell County, North Carolina. She married WILLIAM BENNETT ATWATER 10 June 1945 in Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, North Carolina. He was born 29 July 1907, and died 1 March 1984 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia
4. CHARLES HENRY PHILLIP ISLEY, JR., b. 22 December 1921, Anderson, Caswell County, North Carolina; d. 24 December 1921, Anderson, Caswell County, North Carolina.
5. MEDIA "POLLY" COBB ISLEY, b. 15 May 1923, Caswell County, North Carolina.
6. RUSSELL EDWIN ISLEY, b. 15 July 1925, Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina; d. 15 December 1994, Alamance County, North Carolina.
7. MAX ISLEY, b. 8 June 1929, Anderson, Caswell County, North Carolina.
I spoke personally today with Mildred Isley Atwater of Yanceyville, N.C., 91 years old, the daughter of Willie Media Blackwell Ward Isley and she confirmed that she was adopted by the Wards and was in fact a daughter of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell and Elizabeth Anne Willis and a sister of Ada Elizabeth Blackwell, Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell, and Cannie Elizabeth Blackwell.
Charles and Willie Media Isley are buried in Pine Hill Cemetery in Burlington, N.C. Their son Charles Henry Philip Isley Jr. is buried at Bethel United Church of Christ in Caswell Co, along with her adopted parents James M. and Talitha Ward.
Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell is the 1st child of Livingston L. Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. He married Ella Willis Robertson,daughter of Marcellus Robertson and Rebecca Poteat.
In the 1920 Caswell County Census we find Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell, son of Livingston L. Blackwell and his 1st wife, Elizabeth "Bettie" Ann Willis. Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell married Ella Willis Robertson.
Bennie Blackwell M 41y
Ella W Blackwell F 34y
Onzo C Blackwell M 17y
Annie Blackwell F 15y
Harry Blackwell M 12y
Howard Blackwell M 10y
Carrie Blackwell F 7y
Ben L Blackwell M 4y2m
Ada R Blackwell F 1y8m
There were three other children born to Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell and Ella Willis Robertson.
Robert Irving Blackwell, Bessie Malloy Blackwell and Geneva Blackwell.
The 10 children of Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell and Ella Willis Robertson were:
Robert Irving Blackwell. He was born on 04 Jan 1923 in Caswell County, N.C.. He died on 02 Apr 2006 in Wilmington, N C. He married 10 Sept 1949 Barbara Righter Terrell
Alamance Co NC Marriages Book 13 Page 55
Claude Onza Blackwell b.1903, married 11-11-1922, in Danville Va., Nettie Elna Poteat b. 1902, daughter of Edward Preston Poteat and Nettie Bracken Foster.
Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 Reference Number 650, p122
Benjamin Lafayette Blackwell, Jr. b1915/16. married Minnie Doss
Harry Adron Blackwell He was born on 20 Apr 1907 . He married Tinnie Walker. They were married on 01 Nov 1930 in Unknown . He died on 18 Jan 1990
Howard Blackwell b.1910
Annie Blackwell b. 1905. married 07-10-1920, in Danville Va., George F. Poteat b. 1894, son of James A. Poteat and Laura Foster
Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 Reference Number 440, p14
Bessie Malloy Blackwell. married 08-18-1940 William Henry Thompson.
Alamance Co NC Marriages Book 10 Page 333
Carrie T. Blackwell b.1913, married Ernest Lea Jeffreys, Son of Eli Cleveland Jeffreys and Emma Camelia Lea.
Geneva Blackwell. married a Haigler
Ada Rebecca Blackwell b.1918 married 04-06-1946 William L. Riggsbee.
Alamance Co NC Marriages Book 11 Page 1805
So the family of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell and Elizabeth "Bettie" Anne Willis is now complete.
In 1910 Livingston L. Blackwell married his second wife, Sarah Angaline Hunley in Alamance Co. N.C.
Alamance County, N.C.
December 27th, 1910
Livingston L. Blackwell Age 62, son of N. L. Blackwell and Ann Blackwell
Mrs. Sarah Ann Hundley Age 42 daughter of Henry Hundley and Jane Hundley
In the 1880 Caswell Co. N.C. Census, Livingston L. Blackwell's 2nd wife, Sarah Angaline Hunley is found in the Caswell County Poorhouse with her Mother, Jane Hundley and her brother, William Yancey Hundley.
1880 Caswell Co. N.C. Census
Yanceyville Township June 2nd, 1880
Jane Hundley Age 47 Female
Angeline Hundley Age 15 Female Daughter
Wm. Y. Hundley Age 13 Male Son
In 1920 we find Livingston L. Blackwell listed as "William Blackwell" living in Alamance Co. N.C. in the Household of Nathan "Natt" Hunley, his 2nd wife Sarah Angaline Hunley's son.
1920 Alamance Co. N.C. Census
Burlington Township, January 21st, 1920
Nathan Hunley Head Age 29 Male Finisher-Finishing Plant
Alma Hunley Wife Age 18 Female Operator-Hosiery Mill
Maxine Hunley Daughter Age 1-3/12 Female
Buddy Hunley Son Age 2/12 Male
Sarah Blackwell Mother Age 51 Female
William Blackwell Step-Father Age 71 Male Painter-House
Ode Roberson Boarder Age 24 Male Finisher-Finishing Plant
Bessie Roberson Boarder Age 25 female Operator-Hosiery Mill
Sarah Angaline Hunley had three children prior to marrying Livingston L. Blackwell, Nathan Lee "Natt" Hunley who married Alma Woods, Clem Hunley who married Clara May Robertson, and Ida Hunley who married Wesley Carden. Livingston L. Blackwell and Sarah Angaline Hunley had a daughter Willa Blanche Blackwell who married a Westermeyer. Based on her tombstone Willa Blanche Blackwell Westermeyer was born November 19th, 1902 and died January 31st, 1978. Blanche Blackwell was born 8 years before Livingston L. Blackwell and Sarah Angaline Hunley were married. Blanche Blackwell married Charlie Westermeyer from New York but Blanche lived and died in Burlington, Alamance Co. N.C. Blanche had two children, Reva May Blackwell Dryden and Coy Amber Blackwell.
Through this research I have a newfound Great-Grand Aunt in Willa Blanche Blackwell Westermeyer and two new 1st cousins 2 times removed in Reva and Coy Blackwell.
Livingston Lafayette Blackwell went to meet his maker on June 19th, 1920 in Burlington, Alamance Co. N.C. after a long and interesting life.
Burlington, Alamance County, N.C.
November 20th, 1920
Death Certificate #47
L. L. Blackwell 71 yrs. 10 mos. 26 ds.
Date of Birth: July 25th,1848
Death: June 19th, 1920
Time of Death: 8:00 AM
Cause of Death: No Diagnosis
Contributory to Death: Eating Green Apple
Father: Fayette Blackwell
Mother: Annie Cobb
Informant: Natt Hundley
Burial: Pine Hill Cemetery, Burlington, N.C.
Undertaker: W. Levi Burke
Livingston Lafayette Blackwell's great-grandfather Capt. Robert Blackwell was involved in the action against the insurgents . Capt. Robert Blackwell in 1771 served 77 days in Captain Nathaniel Hart’s Company of Orange County Militia during an expedition against the Insurgents of North Carolina(against The Regulators and The Battle of Alamance) Robert Blackwell served in Capt. Nathaniel West's Company, Orange Co, NC militia in 1771, 1st Lt. Capt Ramsey's Company in 1777. He was a member of the NC House of Commons 1796-1797 owned 1394 acres "Stony Fork", on Moon's Creek Caswell Co, NC.
Capt. Robert Blackwell was promoted to Captain in 1777 during the Revolutionary War
The Colonial Records of North Carolina Volume Page 597
Col. John Williams to Gov. Caswell
(From Executive Letter Book)
Camp at Quankey, 28th Aug’t , 1777
Your Excellency will herewith receive a list of officers, ordered on the recruiting service. I have directed them to apply to you for instructions. Capt. Joel Brevard and five Lieut’s. of my Reg’t have resigned their Com’s. Mr Robert Blackwell, First Lieut. in Capt. Ramsey’s Company, a very obliging officer, ( & a man of property ) I beg leave to recommend to your Excellency, to fill the vacancy of Capt. Brevard: also Mr. James Tatum, and William Washington, two Cadets, in my Regiment, to fill the vacancies of Ensigns; if you think proper to do it, please to enclose the Com’s directed to me on our march; which we will begin on Monday next, it being the first day of Sept’r. I am Your Excellency’s most ob’t H’ble Serv’t,
Capt. Robert Blackwell’s brother in law Dr. Lancelot Johnston was a noted Surgeon during the Revolutionary War as well.
Here endeth the life and times of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell. May he rest in peace.
Written By: Latham Mark Phelps
Snow Camp, N.C.
2nd Great-Grandson of Livingston Lafayette Blackwell (1848-1920)