05-Thomas Montague Blankenship
Birth: Mar 1840, Franklin Co, VA
Death: about 1907, Redwood, VA @ son Wesley's home- age 67
Burial: Blankenship/Shoemaker Family Cemetery
Occupation: Farmer
Military: Civil War, Confederate Army, Pvt, Troop A, 37th Cavalry
Father: Lewis Blankenship

Marriage: 20 Dec 1866, Franklin Co, VA: page 111/1 @ Lewis' home (he was 26, she was 19)
Spouse: Nancy Jane "Jenney" Shoemaker
Birth: Apr 1847, Franklin Co, VA [1900 census]
Death: 28 Jan 1902, Redwood, Franklin Co, VA- age 54
Burial: about 30 Jan 1902, Blankenship/Shoemaker Cemetery
Father: William Pasley Shoemaker
Mother: Lucy Martin
Deed Book: 24/303

     CHILDREN: Thomas and Nancy Jane had eleven children: [much of this-- and the following descendants-- information compiled by Teddy K Blankenship, Tekamah, NE, great-grandson through James M and Claude J Blankenship, 1996]
06----WESLEY LEE "LEE" BLANKENSHIP [b. 1866, listed below];
06----HENSLEY WADE BLANKENSHIP [b. about 1868, listed below];
06----DELLA FRANCES BLANKENSHIP [b. 10 Sep 1870, Franklin Co, VA: Pg 208/7], m. Samuel P JERRETT [b. 4 Mar 1847, Henry Co, VA; d. 23 Nov 1924, Pleasant Grove, Johnston Co, NC- age 77], Farmer, son of John M Jerrett and Susan E Bradley, had five children: (census)
     07----HARRISON McKINLEY JERRET [b. 14 Dec 1901, NC, d. 19 Jul 1966- age 65, bur. Reidlawn Cemetery], m. Emma SURRETT [b. 15 Aug 1907; d. Aug 1986- age 79], SSN: 243-94-8320/NC, daughter of William T Surrett (1869-) and Mary ___ (1878-1962)  on 7 Jul 1955, Rockingham Co, NC;
     07----LUCY R JERRETT [b. 3 Sep 1903, Spray, NC; d. 2 Feb 1999- age 95], SSN: 245-18-3304/NC, m. Jesse Banner HENSLEY [b.  11 Feb 1897, Caswelll Co, NC; d. 13 Apr 1977, Alamance Co, NC- age 80], son of John Frank Hensley and Eliza Bowman, on 28 Aug 1920, Danville, Pittsylvania Co, VA [film 88892];​​
     07----JENNY F JERRETT [b. about 1905, NC];
     07----ANNE V (or Mary Jane) JERRETT [b. about 1906, NC]; and
     07----ANGIE ZOLD JERRETT [b. 25 Apr 1912, Durham Co, NC; d. 25 Sep 1973- age 61, bur. Woodlawn Memorial Park], SSN: 239-18-7791/NC, m. Claude EVANS;
     Della took the family bible home after "Jenney" Blankenship's funeral. [Minnie Blankenship, daughter of Luther, 1986]. In Kenton's obituary Della is listed as Mr SP Jarrett, living in Reidsville, NC.
06----JAMES MONTAGUE BLANKENSHIP [b. 1872, listed below];
06----WILLIAM S BLANKENSHIP [b. 29 Jan 1875, Franklin Co, VA; d. 1878- age 3];
06----LUTHER "PAP" ELDRIDGE BLANKENSHIP [b. 1877, listed below];
06----KENTON TAYLOR BLANKENSHIP [b. 1880, listed below];
06----DAISIE E BLANKENSHIP [b. 1884, listed below];
06----MINNIE [or NANNIE] A BLANKENSHIP [b. 27 Jan 1886, Franklin Co, VA; Pg 539/28; d. 1928- age 42, bur. Weaver Cemetery], m. Buchanan H BENTON [b. 31 Jul 1867; d. 20 Feb 1945- age 77, bur. Weaver Cemetery] in 1903, lived in OH for many years, had five children:

     07----MINNIE BENTON [b. about 1906, OH];​

     07----RUFFIN O BENTON [b. 2 Aug 1907, Wood Co, OH; d. 1962- age 56, bur. Weaver Cemetery];
     07----RACHAEL BENTON [b. 25 Nov 1908, OH; d. 22 Apr 1996--age 87, bur. Weaver Cemetery], SSN: 302-01-5951/OH, m. Roy Neal SINGER [b. about 1901, OH; d. 25 Jun 1988- age 87, bur. Weaver Cemetery], son of Jesse H Singer (1872-1914) and Kate ___ (1875-1964), had children:

          08----ROY NEAL JR SINGER [b. about 1931, OH]; and

          08----RONALD EUGENE SINGER [b. about 1939, OH]; 

​     07----ELVIN E BENTON [b. about 1910, OH; d. 29 Oct 1917, Wood Co, OH- age 7];
     07----BEULAH BENTON [b. about 1913, OH].
     Minnie was called "Sweetie," but her birth certificate has her name listed as Nannie A Blankenship.
     Minnie committed suicide around 1940. She sent her family to church one Sunday morning, and, according to the train engineer, walked out onto the railroad tracks with her apron pulled up over her face. Perhaps problems with teenage children brought her to despair. She was buried in Weaver Cemetery, Ohio. [Pat Blankenship Johnson]
06----MARTHA ZORAH BLANKENSHIP [b. 1889, listed below];
06----BESSIE D BLANKENSHIP [b. 26 Jun 1891, Franklin Co, VA: Page 659/19; d. Jun 1982, MI- age 91], m. CR MASON, had a daughter:
     07----NELLIE RUTH MASON [b. 12 Jun 1925, TN; d. 1 Jan 1995, San Bernardino Co, CA- age 69], SSN: 370-24-3458/MI, m. Roy KING and had four children:
          08----TOBY KING;
          08----SHIRLEY KING;
          08----ELOISE KING; and
          08----SKIP KING.
     Mason was an alcoholic, who laid (or fell) down on the railroad tracks and the train cut off both legs. Bessie cared for him until his death, probably in OK. Bessie was a large baby, weighing 15 pounds at birth. She lived in Detroit.

[Ruth Evelyn Blankenship]

     CENSUS:
     1880 Franklin Co, VA census: has Thomas Blankenship 40, Farmer; Nancy Jane Blankenship 31, Keeping House; Wesley Lee Blankenship 14, Farm Hand; H Wade Blankenship 12, Farm Hand; Della F Blankenship 9; James M Blankenship 7; Luther A Blankenship 6; and Kenton Taylor Blankenship 1.
     1900 Gills Creek, Franklin Co, VA census: has (all b. VA) Thomas Blankenship 65, Farmer; Nancy J Blankenship 63; Daisie E Blankenship 15; Minnie A Blankenship 14; Martha Z Blankenship 11; and Bessie D Blankenship 8.
     1900 Leaksville, Rockingham Co, NC census: has Delia Blankenship 32, b. VA (Servant); in the household of Samuel Jerrett 53, b. VA, Hotel Keeper; Annie Jerrett 32, b. VA (Wife)(8 children-5 living); another Servant and several Boarders. 
     1910 Reidsville Ward 2, Rockingham Co, NC census: has ST Jarrett 63, b. VA, Boarding House; Della F Jarrett 39, b. VA (8 children-4 living); Harrisson M Jarrett 7, b. NC; Lucy R Jarrett 5, b. NC; Mary Jane Jarrett 4, b. NC; Annie V Jarrett 2, b. NC; Bessie Blankenship 18, b. VA, Weave-Cotton Mill (Sister-in-Law); John Golden 34, b. NC, Card Room-Cotton Mill (Boarder); and Will Golden 18, b. NC, Spring Room Cotton Mill (Boarder).

     1910 Wood Co, OH census: has (all but parents b. OH) James B Benton 42, b. NC, Blacksmith-Shoeing Horses; Minnie B Benton 24, b. VA (5 children-4 living); Minnie O Benton 7; Ruffin O Benton 3; Rachel Benton 2; Elvin E Benton 4/12.
     1920 Reidsville, Rockingham Co, NC census: has Samul P Jarrett 73 (Ancestry has Janett), b. VA; Della F Jarrett 38, b. VA; Harrison M Jarrett 17, b. NC, Laborer-Box Factory; Lucy R Jarrett 16, b. NC, Laborer-Tobacco Factory; Jennie F Jarrett 15, b. NC; Annie V Jarrett 14, b. NC; and Angie Zold Jarrett 7, b. NC.
     1920 Bloomdale, Wood Co, OH census: has Buchanan Benton 50, b. NC, Manager-Blacksmith Shop; Minnie Benton 39, b. VA; Minnie Benton 15, b. OH; Ruffin Benton 12, b. OH; Rachael Benton 10, b. OH; and Beulah Benton 7, b. OH.

     1930 Reidsville, Rockingham Co, NC census: has (all b. NC) Alice Sowell 41, Weaver-Cotton Mill; Claude Evans 19, Weaver-Cotton Mill (Son) ; Ida M Sowell 9; Ralph G Sowell 7; Angie Evans 16 (daughter-in-Law); Maggie Brooks 24 (Sister); Herbert Brooks 11 (Nephew); Luther F Brooks 7/12 (Nephew).
     1930 Bloomdale, Wood Co, OH census: has (all but one b. OH) Roy N Singer 29, Trackman-Railroad; Rachael Singer 21; Buchanan Benton 62, b. VA, Blacksmith-Own Shop (Father-in-Law); and Ruffian Benton 23, Garage-Own Shop (Brother-in-Law).

     1940 Reidsville, Rockingham Co, NC census: has Della Jarrette 70, b. VA; and Harriane Jarrette 37, b. NC, Plasterer-Martin Plasterers.

     1940 Danville City, VA census: has (all but one b. NC) Claude Evans 29, Loom Fixer-Cotton Mill; Rugie Evans 28; Juanita Evans 10; Eugene Evans 8; Nancy Evans 5; Samuel Evans 2/12, b. VA; Alice Blankenship 52 (Mother-hers); and Ralph Sewell 18, New Worker (Brother).​

     1940 Bloomdale, Wood Co, OH census: has (all but one b. OH) Roy Neal Singer Sr 38, Section Man-Railroad; Rachael Singer 30; Roy Neal Jr Singer 9; Ronald Eugene 8/12; and Buchanan Benton 73, b. NC (Father-in-Law).     
     1940 Nashville, Davidson Co, TN census: has CR Mason 54, b. TN, Peddler-Vetables; Bessie Mason 44, b. VA, Weaver-Cotton Mill; and Nellie Mason 14, b. TN.

     HIS BIOGRAPHY: Thomas Montague Blankenship was born about 1840, twenty years before the Civil War, in Franklin Co, VA. He was a swarthy-skinned, short and chunky stutterer, with black eyes and black hair. The Blankenships were Pentecostal Holiness and Baptists; originally coming into the country through Lynchburg, VA and Bedford County. [Minnie Thurman]
     He married Nancy Jane "Jenney" Shoemaker on 20 Dec 1866 in Franklin County, VA, a small lady who smoked a corn cob pipe. The certification of marriage of son James states both his parents were Irish.
     Thomas worked for 50 cents a day after returning from the Civil War, and eventually had a tobacco farm.  He built the two room pegged log cabin where James and all the children were born and raised. This cabin was about a mile north of Redwood, Virginia, in the "Brushy Hill" community, on Maple Branch Creek. It was built on eight acres in a hollow with a kitchen and bedroom on the first floor, and a second floor kid's loft. Minnie Thurman called them "white cabins" because the mixture between the logs was white instead of mud. This community was predominately Blankenships, Shoemakers, Kinnetts, and Altices. Maple Branch Creek ran by their home where Jenney watered cows. The eight acres were groomed with apple trees, flowers, and two long houses, chinked with white mud.
     The children went to Brushy Hill School at the corner of county roads 702 and 704. This was a one story frame building on stone piers, with wood joists, wood framed roof covered with metal, with a tongue and groove wood sheathed side wall finish. It was a single room with no means of artificial light, heated by a stove with a stove pipe to a brick chimney. The children were raised with the help of a nursing black mammy, who received 16 cents a week and meals while she worked there.
     Tom died of typhoid fever at his son Lee's home in either 1905 or 1907. Tom and Jenney are buried in the Blankenship/Shoemaker Cemetery, a two-acre plot deeded to them by the Kinnicks, Luther's in-laws.

[Minnie Thurman, niece of James, daughter of Luther]

     HER BIOGRAPHY: Nancy Jane "Jenney" Shoemaker was dark complectioned, with black eyes and black hair. She had a brother, Ike, and a sister, Betty Shoemaker Bachner, of Dayton, Ohio. The Shoemakers were Dunkards, a religious sect similar to the Amish, and were, in part, of Irish descent. When Thom had to go to war "Uncle Wood Shoemaker" looked after everyone.
     A Dunkard named Ray preached for two hours at Jenney's funeral. Her casket was carried up the steep Harvey Road to the Blankenship/Shoemaker Cemetery. This road was named either for Harvey Shoemaker or for a Harvey family that resided there. The Dunkards sang "Angel Band" at te funeral, 'An Angel band around me now and gear my weary soul away.' They had a kettle of apple butter , a bunch of chickens, and a hog to kill. Minnie Thurman claimed the Blankenship/Shoemaker Cemetery was deeded from Kinnett's land, which was Ike Shoemaker's inlaws. Thomas and Nancy are supposedly buried there.
     The Dunkards took James home to Indiana with them for a visit. He went back to Virginia when his brother Lee was ill, but returned to Indiana because of Minnie Alice Huber. He used a horse and buggy for the 30-40 mile trip to Roanoke, Virginia, and then took the train to Wheatfield, Indiana.
[Pat Blankenship Johnson]


     MILITARY: Tom fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, joining at the age of 15. His arm, claimed to be wounded in the war, was left permanently injured. This information has yet to be confirmed with the National Archives. The following shows how many Blankenships from VA fought in the Civil War and how difficult it is to determine which Thomas Blankenship belongs to us.

[Pat Blankenship Johnson]

     37TH BATTALION, VA CAVALRY: A postwar roster of this battalion shows a Thomas Blankenship enlisted in Co A, and died before 1910 in Franklin Co, VA. The 37th was organized as Dunn's VA Partisan Rangers Battalion on 2 Aug 1862 [Act of 1862]. Apparently not recognized by Confederate War Dept, it was mustered into service as the 37th VA Cavalry Battalion in Nov 1862. Roster of Confederate Soldiers lists this soldier from North Carolina.
     This battalion contained four companies and was assigned to W E Jones', McCausland's and W L Jackson's Brigade. During April of 1864, it totaled 300 effectives and by June had increased it's strength to the companies. It was involved in various operations in western VA and east TN, then saw action in the Shenandoah Valley, disbanding in mid-April 1865. The battalion was often referred to by the name of it's commanding officers: Ambrose C Dunn, James R Claiborne, Edgar C Phelps, Ned T Bridges, CC Peck, and John H Tabler.

[Teddy Blankenship]

     PENSION: A TG Blankenship 64, farmer, 40 year resident of Franklin Co, born Bedford Co, VA, applied for a disability pension on 1 May 1902, claiming he enrolled at Richmond in 1863 in Co G, 56th VA Regiment. He was taken prisoner and taken to Point Lookout, MD.

     OTHER CIVIL WAR BLANKENSHIPS: The Roster of Confederate Soldiers [1861-1865], Vol. II, lists eleven Thomas Blankenships, two from AL, one from NC, two from TN, and six from VA, six listed here:
     Thomas Blankenship, Pvt/1st Lt, Co C, 34th Battalion, VA Cavalry; enlisted 10 Jun 1862 at Dick's Creek, Tazewell Co, VA. Present thru 1 Oct 1862. Promoted to 2nd Lt on 8 Apr 1863. Absent sick in hospital on 10 Mar 1864.  Promoted to 1st Lt on 23 Jul 1864. Age 37, farmer, 1860 Tazewell Co, VA census.
     Thomas G Blankenship, Co G, 56th Infantry, enlisted 15 Oct 1863 in Richmond;  present on all rolls; POW Rice's Station 6 Apr 1865;  took oath and released from Point Lookout, MD on 23 Jun 1865; resident of Franklin Co, VA;  dark complexion, brown hair, hazel eyes, 5' 9-1/2".
     Julia A Blankenship 65, born Bristol, TN, 50 year resident of Franklin Co, widow of Thomas G Blankenship (who died of heart dropsy on 20 May 1909) applied for a widow's pension on 27 Apr 1912. They were married on 15 Dec 1868 by Rev Chas Anthony in Pittsylvania Co, VA.
     Thomas H Blankenship, Cpl, Sgt, Co A, 46th Infantry, born Richmond 1843, enlisted 21 Apr 1861 Richmond, OJ Wise, war; sick Sep thru Nov 1862, abs with wd to rt arm Nov 1862, pres Feb 1863, Apr 1863, Dec 1863; WIA Bake House Cr line 20 May 1864; Chimb with diarrhea 28 Jun 1864 to 2 Jul 1864;  AWOL 4 Jul 1864 thru Dec 1864; pres Feb 1865; WIA Hatcher's Run 29 Mar 1865; paroled 25 Apr 1865, died in Richmond 13 Feb 1885.
     Thomas M Blankenship, Pvt, Co G, 57th Regiment; enlisted Petersburg, 27 Sep 1863, absent sick Feb 1864, present thru Dec 1863, died 8 Mar 1864 pneumonia, bur. Lynchburg, VA 1864. Lewis and Jesse Blankenship were also in this company.
     Thomas O Blankenship, Pvt, Co C, 9th VA Infantry; was captured the spring of 1865 in Richmond, VA, appears on record of paroled prisoners of war, amnesty oath administered, Richmond, VA 1865; residence, Chesterfield [Co, VA].

     1880 DEED: [Franklin Co, VA Deed Book 34/460]
     This deed made the 17th day of September 1880, between Lucy Blankenship of the County of Franklin Virginia of the one part and Nancy Jane Blankenship of the second part, witnesseth that the said Lucy Blankenship for and in consideration of the sum of fifty dollars to her in hand paid, dost hereby grant and convey unto the said Nancy Jane Blankenship and the heirs of her body one certain tract or parcel of land bought [land not described] by said Lucy Blankenship of Isaac Shumaker, to have and to hold such the said Nancy Jane Blankenship and the heirs of her body forever.
     It is commanded that if the said Nancy Jane Blankenship shall desire to sell and convey the said land, she may do so by writing executed according to the laws of Virginia, and that the said Nancy Jane shall have the right to dispose of the said land by last will and testament duly executed, and that the said land shall be held by the said Nancy Jane Blankenship free from the control and from the debts and contracts or other liabilities of her husband, Thomas M Blankenship.
     If the Said Nancy Jane shall die without having disposed of said land wether by deed or last will and testament the same shall descend to the heir of her body, witness the following signature and seal:
     Witness....... JA Brown, signed Lucy Blankenship
     Deed examined and delivered to Thomas M Blankenship, 12 April 1904

     BARKING DOG: Tom and the boys were working in the tobacco field when it began raining. Their custom was to go up in the barn and stretch out to sleep or rest in the hay and wait out the rain. They were in the barn with the rat terrier dog, waiting out the rain. The dog was used to being teased by the boys, they would growl, he would growl, back and forth they would growl till he would get enough and pounce on them. Tom went to sleep and began snoring loud, jumping snores. Finally the dog had enough and pounced all fours right on Tom, who was all stretched out on his back. The instigator was found out and received a thrashing.

[Pat Blankenship Johnson]

Descendant of Lewis Blankenship

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