Archiver > BLANKENSHIP > 1998-05 > 0896307073

From: "Don Blankenship" <>
Subject: Finding out that you are part American Indian - Blankenship Family History
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 18:11:13 -0400

From: Don Blankenship <>
Subject: Finding out that you are part American Indian
Date: Wednesday, May 27, 1998 5:04 PM

Subject: Finding out that you are part American Indian

Recently the host of the BLANKENSHIP RootsWeb listing asked if any
subscriber on the list was known to have American Indian blood, or if they
knew their Blankenship ancestors married American Indians. I responded to
the questionnaire sent by Kay ( ) stating I had no such
knowledge that my Blankenships ancestors were married to American Indians.
I now am resubmitting information for that questionnaire because I just
discovered that I was quite wrong on the matter. Historically documented
materials provided me on 26 May 1998 provide proof that my paternal great
great grandmother Mary Josephine Shockley was of American Indian extraction
through her parents, the BIRDSONG Indian family. The Birdsongs in my family
line apparently migrated from Tennessee to Miller County, Missouri sometime
between 1843-1846. Other Birdsongs families already were in Miller County
along the Osage River prior to the arrival of my line (John & Catherine)
and are recorded in the 1840 census. Below is the decsendency line of this
intermarriage beginning with John Birdsong whose daughter Mary married John
R. Shockley in 1851 in Miller County, MO and whose daugher Mary Josephine
(my great grandmother) subequently married Joel R. Blankenship my great
grandfather. I have omitted the lengthy biographic data for later

If only I had known that I had even one little drop of Indian blood as a
young child growing up in Missouri in the 1940's—how much happier my
childhood days would have been. At that time of my youth I often would beg
my maternal grandmother to tell me I was part Indian, even if she had to
make it up. Knowing that I was part Indian would have made my everyday game
of cowboys and Indians just that much more exciting and wonderful. It was
not until last night that I discovered this fact when another genealogist I
work with sent me the documentary evidence of this aspect of my genetic and
genealogy make-up. I was aware of the existence of the Birdsong Indian
families in the County where my parents were raised, but just never took
notice of it because I did not know I was related to American Indians at
any time in my past. Vigorously pursuing my own genenealgy quest has
provided me new levels of insight I never experienced before.

Someone recently asked me on this Blankenship RootsWeb if all of my
genealogy holdings came exclusively from Colonel Leslie Blankenship's book,
"The History of the Blankenship Family." At first I was insulted by the
question but thought better of it and provided a proper answer. I would
hope this message and the many others from previous submissions I have made
did not lead this person, or others, to think I rely only on a single
source of information. If there is one thing I have learned it is that the
Internet is an inexhaustible genealogy resource in itself. The game plan
that works best is to set out as many hooks as you possible can. Everywhere
you can go on the Internet and post a relevant genealogy query is just one
more opportunity you may possibly get a bite. Sometimes it's a big bite! In
my case, the association made between my Blankenship line and the Birdsong
American Indian family came as a result of exchanging information with
other genealogists and setting hooks by posting messages on genealogy
bulletin boards, Rootweb listings, GenWeb submissions, postings to Family
Tree Maker (World Family Tree, CD-ROM Archives), GenServ submissions of my
GEDCOM files and other archival or bulletin board systems. In spite of all
this, I still am relative new to the Blankenship family line. The best
resource to date for the Blankenship line has been the Blankenship Roostweb
archives available for searching by all of you. The submissions for all
these Blankenship archives come from you, so thanks to all. Be sure to put
the address on all your TO: lines when you are
exchanging info. That way your messages will later be archived and easily
can be searched using keywords.

Below then is my Blankenship family association with American Indians
The ancestors of John & Catherine Birdsong (either one or both of them)
were probably Cherokee, Chicasaw, Choctaw or Creek Indians from Tennessee.
The most likely guess is that they were of Cherokee Indian extraction. This
is because the Cherokees were a civilized tribe who first made peace with
the British in the mid-1600's and later with the early American pioneers in
Tennessee. They earlier had been pushed down from the Great Lakes
region—after some gentle persuasion by white settlers. The Cherokees
adopted the religious practices of the European settlers and they invented
their own alphabet around 1820. Books were even published in their own
language. The tombstones and chronicles of the Birdsong families in Miller
County, MO during the 1800's reflect that they were religious followers of
the Christian faith.

Generation No. 1

1. John1 Birdsong was born Abt. 1797 in Tennessee. He married Catherine

Children of John Birdsong and Catherine are:
+2i.Mary2 Birdsong, born Abt. 1834 in Tennessee.
3ii.Louisa Birdsong, born Abt. 1828.
4iii.Sarah Birdsong, born Abt. 1830.
5iv.Caroline Birdsong, born Abt. 1834.
6v.Thomas Birdsong, born Abt. 1838.
7vi.Lucinda Birdsong, born Abt. 1840.
8vii.John Birdsong, born Abt. 1841.
9viii.George Birdsong, born Abt. 1843.
10ix.Benjamin Birdsong, born Abt. 1846.

Generation No. 2

2. Mary2 Birdsong (John1) was born Abt. 1834 in Tennessee. She married
John R. Shockley 30 October 1851 in Miller County, MO, son of Joshua
Shockley and Sara McCubbins.

Notes for Mary Birdsong:
The 1850 Miller County Census lists the family of Mary Birdsong, gives her
age as 16, shows that she was living with her parents John and Catherine
Birdsong and states that she was born in Tennessee. In the Miller County,
Missouri historical publication Osage River Country, it is stated that Mary
Songbird was of American Indian extraction. It is possible, that because of
her birth in Tennessee she may have been Cherokee, Chickasaw or Choctaw
Indian—with Cherokee Indian extraction being the most likely. In the 1840
census, shortly after the statehood of Missouri, it is evident that other
Birdsong's families also were living along the Osage River in the area of
Tuscumbia and Iberia, Missouri where her family lived in 1850.

>From the 1850 census of Miller County, MO:

 294 Birdsong     John              m 53    TN
              Catherine          f 44    TN
              Louisa             f 22    AL
              Sarah             f 20    AL
              Caroline           f 17    TN
              Mary              f 16    TN
              Thomas            m 14    TN
               Lucinda            f 10    TN
              John              m 9     TN
              George            m 7     TN
              Benjamin           m 4     MO

Extracted from the Miller County, Missouri
Marriage Transcriptions from 1838-1870
Groom: Shockley, John
Date: 30 Oct 1851
Bride: Birdsong, Mary

From: Malinda James
Cole County, MO

To: Don Blankenship
Subject: Re: Osage River Country
Date: Tuesday, May 26, 1998 6:36 PM

The Miller County Historical society has a publication called Osage River
Country that has an article that might interest you.

The Legacy of the Miller County Shockley Family 1818-1995 177 years
by Bertha Doubikan Harris.

"John R Shockley was born in 1818. He died in 1901- the son of Joshua
Shockley and Sara McCubbins Shockley who were married in Miller Co. on 30
October 1851. John served in the Union Forces Company I-47th Regiment as a
Sergeant ordered into active service on the 11 of August, 1862. John R
Shockley was first married to Mary Birdson of Indian origin and they had
two daughters Josepine and Isidora Shockley in Miller Co. Josephine
Shockley married Joel Blankinship and Isidora Shockley married Daton.
Josephine and Joel had 5 children, Johnny E.Blankenship married Emma
Hensley, Myrtle Blankenship married Albert Vaughan, Gertrude married Oscar
Jarrett. Floy never married and Nellie married Jasper Lewis-- all lived in
the present Miller County. John R Shockley after the death of Mary
married Lucinda Adaline Holyfield Shockley in 1875. Born to this union
were 6 children. Edward born 1876, married Maude Gardner, Georgia Alice
Shockley born in 1878, married Jay Adams, Annie Lee Shockley born in 1882,
married John Walter Doubikan, Pearley Shockley born in 1883, married Lara
Shackford (Shackleford?).Maude born 1885, married Dr. Ronald Marshall, and
Joe born in 1886, died as an infant. Georgia Alice and Maude had no
children. Edward, Annie Lee, and Pearly raised their families in Miller


Children of Mary Birdsong and John Shockley are:
+11i.Mary Josephine3 Schockley, born 28 September 1853 in Linn Creek,
MO; died 15 March 1939 in Iberia, MO.
12ii.Isidora Schockley. She married (FNU) Daton.

Generation No. 3

11. Mary Josephine3 Schockley (Mary2 Birdsong, John1) was born 28
September 1853 in Linn Creek, MO, and died 15 March 1939 in Iberia, MO.
She married Joel R. Blankenship, son of Elzey Blankenship and Sarah Ramsey.

Notes for Mary Josephine Schockley:
Joel Blankenship's wife Mary Shockley was recorded as being 56 years old
when the 1910 Miller County Census was taken. Her grandson, Lloyd Arthur
Blankenship (b. 14 April 1915) recalls that his grandmother Mary was
commonly referred to as Josephine and that may be what her middle initial
J. stands for.Lloyd Blankenship's grandparents were known to him as "Joe
and Josephine".

OBITUARY - Iberia newspaper 23 March, 1939
Mary Josephine Schockley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Shockley was born
Sept. 28, 1853 at Linn Creek, Mo. She later moved to Macon Co Mo. where
she resided for a number of years. Then she moved to Iberial Mo and lived
there until her death, Wednesday, March 15, 1939. Being at the time of her
death 85 years, 6 months and 18 days old. In 1872, she was married to Joe
(Joel) Blankenship and to this union 9 children were born. Four children
having died in infancy and one son Floy preceded her in death about a week
ago. Surviving to cherish her memory are one son. Johnny E Blankenship of
Watkins, Mo, three daughters Mrs Albert Vaughan of Iberia, Mo, Mrs Oscar
Jarrett of Jefferson City, Mo, and Mrs Jasper Lewis of Watkins. She also
leaves to mourn her passing one half brother Ed Shockley and three half
sisters Mrs J Adams, Mrs Walter Doubikan, and Mrs R A Marshell. She is
also survived by 22 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren. In early
life, she joined the Christian Church and about 14 years ago, she and her
son Floy joined the Hickory Point Baptist Church at the same time and
remained a faithful member until death. Funeral services were conducted by
Reb. Merle Bandy at the Hickory Point Baptist Church Friday, March 17 at 11
am . Burial was made in the church cemetery. Adams and Casey Funeral
service were in charge.

Notes for Joel R. Blankenship:
JOEL BLANKENSHIP, known by most people as Joe, was a farmer who lived near
Iberia, Missouri. He had one brother, William Thomas Blankenship who also
resided in Miller County, MO. William Thomas was recorded in the Miller
County Census Index of 1910. It is not certain when Joel or his brother
William Thomas came to Miller County but it is possible that they arrived
there around 1864 with their parents. Joel was noted in the1910
Miller County Census as being 59 years.

Joel R. Blankenship appears in the 1880 Osage Township (St. Elizabeth,
Missouri) census (214-214) with the following notation:
Blankenship, Joel R. 28 Male Tenn Tenn Tenn
Mary J. 25 female MO Tenn Tenn Tenn
John E. 5 MO Tenn MO
Etha M. 2 Female MO Tenn MO

We know that the information in the 1880 census is incorrect in registering
the locations of birth for Joel R. Blankenship some of and his family
members. The data above states that Joel was born in Tennessee and that
his parents also were born there. We know that his wife Mary Josephine was
born in Missouri and the census states that both her parents were born in
Tennessee. The 1880 census data for Joel R. Blankenship was obviously
recorded incorrectly. It is knownfrom independent sources that John E.
Blankenship was born in Missouri, that his father was born in Russell
County, KY and his mother was born in Linn Creek, Missouri. Census takers
often were unable to meet directly with the people they reported on
andbecause of this they often relied on information provided them by
neighbors. In this case we see that the data recorded for Joel R. showed he
was born in Tennessee whereas we know from collateral information he was
actually born in Kentucky. For instance, we see in the 1900 census that
William Thomas Blankenship, brother of Joel R., is properly noted as being
born in Kentucky and that his parents Elzey Blankenship and mother Sarah
Ramsey also were born in Kentucky. The 1910 census data is correct in
reporting the place of birth of Elzey Blankenshp, father of Joel.

There are seven townships in Miller County, Missouri. Tuscumbia is Equality
Township; Ulman is Glaize or Auglaize Township; Eldon is Saline Township;
Marys Home near Eugene Mo is Jim Henry Township; St Elizabeth is Osage
Township; Iberia is Richwood Township; Franklin Township is south of Eldon
and the western most township in Miller County. It borders on Morgan Co.

The 1880 census data shows that Joel and his family were at that time
living in Osage Township which includes St. Elizabeth as the primary town
for this small population center. Joel and his family must have later moved
to their farm four miles west of Iberia (Richwood Township) sometime after
the 1880 census was taken because they are shown as living there in the
1910 census. They lived a mile or two east of a hamlet named Watkins, MO.

More About Joel R. Blankenship:
BIOGRAPHIC: Farmer near Iberia, MO

Children of Mary Schockley and Joel Blankenship are:
+13i.Johnny E.4 Blankenship, born 06 November 1874 in /near Iberia,
Missouri; died 11 November 1960 in /near Iberia, Missouri.
14ii.Etha M. Blankenship, born Abt. 1877.

Notes for Etha M. Blankenship:
Etha resided in Miller County all her life.

15iii.Floy Blankenship, born 05 April 1888 in Iberia, MO; died 03 March
1939 in Iberia, MO.

Notes for Floy Blankenship:
Buried at Hickery Point, Missouri. He never married. He resided in Miller
County all his life.

Iberia newspaper 9 March, 1939

FLOY BLANKENSHIP, son of Joe and Mary Josephine Blankenship was born near
Iberia, MO April 5, 1888. He entered into rest at his home in Iberia
Friday afternoon March 3, 1939 at the age of 50 years, 10 months and 29
days He became afflicted with asthma 31 years ago and has been a patient
sufferer every since. He has always made his home with his parents. His
father died about 21 years ago and since that time he has lived with his
mother, who has administered to him in his suffering with all the love and
care that frail and tender hands could do. Surviving to cherish his
memory are his aged mother, one brother, John of Watkins, Mo and three
sisters Mrs Albert Vaughan of Iberia, Mrs Oscar Jarrett of Jefferson City,
and Mrs Jasper Lewis of Watkins, also many neices ]nephews. Funeral
Services were held Sunday, March 5th at the Hickory Point Baptist
Church. Burial was made in the church Cemetery.

16iv.Nellie Blankenship, born 1894. She married Jasper Lewis.

Notes for Nellie Blankenship:
Lived in Watkins, MO in 1939. She resided in Miller County all her life.

17v.Myrtle Blankenship, born Aft. 1894 in Iberia, MO. She married
Albert Vaughan.

Notes for Myrtle Blankenship:
She resided in Miller County all her life.

18vi.Gertrude Blankenship, born Aft. 1910. She married Oscar Jarrett.

Notes for Gertrude Blankenship:
Lived in Jefferson City, Illnois in 1939.

Generation No. 4

13. Johnny E.4 Blankenship (Mary Josephine3 Schockley, Mary2 Birdsong,
John1) was born 06 November 1874 in /near Iberia, Missouri, and died 11
November 1960 in /near Iberia, Missouri. He married Emma J. Hensley,
daughter of Thomas Hensley and Arvesena (LNU).

Notes for Johnny E. Blankenship:
John E. BLANKENSHIP, most often referred to as John E., was a farmer. He
and his wife Emma lived on a small farm outside Iberia, Missouri in Miller


More About Johnny E. Blankenship:
BIOGRAPHIC: Farmer near Iberia, MO

Notes for Emma J. Hensley:
Obituary for Emma J. Hensley:
Funeral Services were conducted at the Iberia Baptist Church at 3 pm Monday
for Mrs Emma Josephine Blankenship, 71, who died Saturday at Waynesville
General Hospital. The Rev J M (one word missing) under the direction of
Hedges Funeral Home of Iberia. Mrs. Blankenship, the daughter of Thomas J
and Arvesena Hensley was born December 22, 1881. On December 23, 1899 she
was married to John Blankenship. They were the parents of three sons and
two daughters. In August, 1912 she was united with the Hickory Point
church and was a faithful member throughout her life. She is survived by
her companion, John; five children, Barney of the home, Ora of Iberia,
Lloyd of Los Angeles, California, Isa Hopkins of Iberia, and Ruby Ponder
of Granite City, Illinois; four brothers Milton Hensley of Iberia, Arthur
Hensley of Granite City, Illinois, Johnny of Kansas City and Harvey of St
Elizabeth: 11 grandchildren and six great grandchildren, besides a host of
other relatives and friends
She spent her entire life on a farm near Iberia.

Children of Johnny Blankenship and Emma Hensley are:
19i.Isa5 Blankenship, born 23 August 1904 in Iberia, Missouri; died
March 1982 in Lakewood, CA. She married William Everett Hopkins.

20ii.Ora Blankenship, born 11 January 1907 in Iberia, Missouri; died
July 1977 in Iberia, Missouri. He married Mattie O. (LNU) 31 December

More About Ora Blankenship:
BIOGRAPHIC: Farmer near Iberia, MO. Wounded in WW-II in Germany.

21iii.Ruby Blankenship, born 22 June 1909 in Iberia, Missouri; died July
1995 in Iberia, Missouri. She married Earl Ponder.

22iv.Barney Blankenship, born 02 May 1913 in Iberia, Missouri; died
April 1975 in Iberia, Missouri.

More About Barney Blankenship:
BIOGRAPHIC: Farmer in Iberia, MO. Remained single all his life.

23v.Lloyd Arthur Blankenship, born 14 April 1915 in Iberia, Missouri.
He married Kathyleen Kallenbach 11 August 1938.

This thread: