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52ancestors

Amy Johnson Crow, of No Story Too Small issued a challenge to the geneablogging world recently: to write a blog post weekly on one ancestor. This could be a photo, a story, biography, etc. To read her challenge please go to Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Mary Dickinson Arbuckle is my fourth great-grandmother. She was Franklin Blazer‘s maternal grandmother. She was born April 4, 1784 in Greenbriar, Virginia to William Arbuckle and Catherine Madison (cousin of President James Madison). Mary was the second child, preceded by oldest daughter, Margaret Thompson Madison born in 1762, and followed by William Jr., Fannie, Nancy, Frances Littlepage, James Madison, Elizabeth, and Catherine Brown. On May 22, 1806 at the age of 22, she married John Griffith Nelson, who was born in Charles, Maryland on January 19, 1777. The couple were married at Point Pleasant, Virginia – now West Virginia. There are some online trees that list a whole brood of children – but as with any online tree, sources must be found, and the only source that mentions the number of children is a newspaper article. Those children include: (William) Arbuckle, Thompson and Eliza Jane (twins), John (who died at age 1), Mary Ann (my 3rd great-grandmother), Catherine, Elizabeth, Nancy, Frances, John William, Susan, Agnes, and Maglin. They moved to Madison county, Indiana where they spent the rest of their life.

The June 8, 1953 edition of the Anderson Herald (Anderson, Indiana; page 1 and 8) says in part:

DAR TO HONOR GRAVE OF SOLDIER’S DAUGHTER

The grave of Mary Arbuckle Nelson, only Revolutionary War Soldier’s daughter known to be buried in Madison County, will be permanently marked Wednesday afternoon in a ceremony conducted by Kik-the-we-nund Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at the burial site in the Gilmore Cemetery, near New Columbus. Mrs. Nelson was the great-grandmother of Mrs. L.V. Mays and Mrs. Morris Lukens, both of Pendleton, and both members of the DAR unit. The grave is one of the few daughters of Revolutionary soldiers in  this part of the country.

Mrs. Nelson was the daughter of William Arbuckle and Catherine Madison Arbuckle. Her father, after serving in the American Revolution, explored the Northwest Territory with the first expedition of George Rogers Clark. He later became commandant of Fort Randolph, Point Pleasant, in Virginia. His daughter, who was named Mary Dickinson Arbuckle, was born while her father was in charge of the Fort.

Mrs. Nelson died Sept. 23, 1847, and was buried in Gilmore Cemetery beside the grave of her husband, John, who died March 4 of the same year. Many of their descendents survive and have been, or are, prominent citizens of their communities.

Mary’s grave with the DAR marker can be viewed on Find a Grave. I have not been to her grave and someday I hope I’m able to visit it.

Items that I need for documentation include: further news articles about Mary and her husband John, their marriage record, corroborating documentation on their children, and land or deed records.

How I’m related: Mary Dickinson (Arbuckle) and John Griffith Nelson > Mary Ann (Nelson) and John Blazer > Franklin and Melissa (Goul) Blazer > Katie J (Blazer) and John Lafayette Johnson > Glen Roy and Vesta Christena (Wilt) Johnson > my mom married my dad > me.

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52ancestors

Amy Johnson Crow, of No Story Too Small issued a challenge to the geneablogging world recently: to write a blog post weekly on one ancestor. This could be a photo, a story, biography, etc. To read her challenge please go to Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  As I had mentioned in my previous post, I’m hoping to write about one ancestor a month; however, I want to start now while I have a moment.

Franklin Blazer is my second great-grandfather on my maternal side. He was born on June 2, 1836. The only source I have for this is his gravestone. When he died he was 33 years old 2 months 23 days. He died on August 25, 1869 and once again, the only source is the date on his gravestone. Some reports indicate he was born in Ohio and others in Indiana. I believe he was born in Indiana to parents John Blazer and Mary Ann Nelson. He was the oldest of five. Following him in the family were Elizabeth born in 1837; John P. born in 1840; Mary Jane born in 1842; and George W. born in 1844. Franklin’s siblings were all born in Indiana.

Franklin married Melissa Goul between 1855 and 1859. I have not located a marriage record in Indiana or Ohio. Melissa was born in Ohio and moved to Indiana after the census of 1850. Melissa’s oldest son (of which she was a single mother in an age when that wasn’t at all common) was born in 1855 in Indiana. Franklin and Melissa’s oldest child, John F., was born September 17, 1859. The couple went on to have several more children: Martha Ann born in 1860, Philip Wesley born in 1862, Katie J (my great-grandmother) born in 1864, and Rachel born in 1867.

By the time Rachel was not quite two, Franklin passed away from unknown causes. I can not find the family in the 1860 Census so I don’t know where they were living. Franklin is buried in Grovelawn Cemetery in Pendleton, Indiana.

My research challenges for Franklin Blazer include gathering source information on his place of birth, finding a marriage record for him and Melissa, making an exhaustive search of the 1860 Census in order to make sure I’m just not “seeing” them, locating any news articles surrounding Franklin or Melissa, locating any land records or deeds for Franklin, and locating any documents concerning his death – especially a will.

My relationship to Franklin: Franklin & Melissa (Goul) Blazer > Katie J (Blazer) & John Lafayette Johnson > Glen Roy & Vesta Christena (Wilt) Johnson > my mom who married my dad > me.

Image from Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small

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Yes – THAT James Madison. Fourth President of the United States. He would be my 2nd cousin, 7 times removed. Alright, so that’s a bit of a stretch!

james_madison

And no, I haven’t been holding out waiting to spring that on everyone. I didn’t know! Just found out yesterday. As I’ve mentioned before, when I bump (or crash head long) into a brick wall, I turn around and go in another direction. It eases the stress level that those walls can create and keeps me from getting too bored. It had been awhile since I looked for the ancestors of my 3rd great-grandfather, John Blazer, so yesterday as I went about my research, lo & behold, I was blessed to finally find out his wife’s (my 3rd great-grandmother’s) maiden name!

John Blazer married Mary Ann Nelson, daughter of John Griffith Nelson and Mary Dickenson Arbuckle, around 1834.

Mary Dickenson Arbuckle was the daughter of William Arbuckle and Catherine Madison (daughter of Humphrey Madison and Mary Dickenson). Catherine’s grandfather (James Madison III) and President James Madison’s grandfather (Ambrose Madison) were brothers – making Catheirne and the President 2nd cousins.

President Madison, according to Wikipedia, was considered the “Father of the Constitution”, one of the founding fathers of our great nation, and the “Father of the Bill of Rights”.

I think it’s fitting that John and Mary Ann (Nelson) Blazer lived most of their married life and died in Madison County, Indiana – named in honor of President James Madison – a cousin of Mary Ann’s and mine. I wonder if Mary Ann realized that she was related to a President of her parents’ generation and if she did, what did she think about it?

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