Addison and Cassie Ann Mary (Creasey) Blankenship were unlike many of the other collateral Williams relatives of my husband because they were born, bred and died Virginians.
Many of the extended Williams family began migrating west as early as 1805, when a large group of brothers and cousins settled in eastern Tennessee. By the 1830s, many other families headed to Kentucky, Illinois and especially Missouri.
Members of the Creasey, or Creasy, family, related to Roger Williams of Cumberland County, Virginia, also left Virginia, if not before the Civil War then soon afterwards because they were economically bankrupted from Civil War losses. Some were farmers and slave owners; others were not farmers, but businessmen, and they suffered heavy financial losses because of support for the Confederacy.
Addison and Cassie Blankenship were newlyweds as the Civil War broke out. Addison was born in November 1833-1835, probably in Bedford County. He was the son of Abel and Rhoda (Wood) Blankenship, but lost his father at an early age as his mother was widowed by the time of the 1850 census.
Cassie Ann Mary Creasey was the daughter of William H. and Polly (Burgandine) Creasey, also of Bedford County, born 1 February 1835.
Both families had been long time Virginians when Addison and Cassie Ann married on 25 October 1860 on the eve of the Civil War.
Addison Blankenship, like most other young Virginian men, served during the war. He enlisted in Co. K of the 58th Virginia Infantry, organized in October 1861 and known as Kasey’s Greys. They took part in many conflicts and battles, including the Battle of Chancellorsville and The Wilderness campaign. After Addison’s death, Cassie applied for a widow’s pension, based on his service and was granted $25.00 per year.
What was life like for this young couple? I have found nothing about Addison’s actual Civil War day-to-day service, but he obviously survived the war. If he was with his unit for long periods of time, the 58th VA Infantry covered a lot of territory during the war.
Addison and Cassie are each found in their parents’ homes in 1860 and first appear in their own household in 1870.
I noticed a couple of things in this census. First, while the neighbors aren’t rolling in money, they do have amounts listed for real and personal property worth. The Blankenships have nothing filled in in those columns. I don’t know if this is an oversight by the enumerator or if they were actually that broke.
Also, Cassie is listed as the head of the household and Addison is listed after her. Again, I don’t know if this has any significance. Many homes were without males heads in 1870 or maybe the enumerator forgot to ask about Cassie’s husband when she answered the door. Addison’s occupation was farmer.
In 1880, the family lived in Otter Township, Bedford County. Addison “works on farm,” as do the two oldest sons. Some of their neighbors also “work on farm,” but they are mixed in with neighbors who do “farming.” Again, I don’t know if there is any significance to the difference in terms or does “works on farm” apply to someone who works for someone else where “farming” might indicate owning his own farm.
Addison died on 1 August 1900, but he appears in the census one last time, which was taken on 2 June 1900 in Roanoke County, Virginia. It gives no indication of Addison’s illness, as Cassie’s widow’s application says he died of paralysis, but it does show him as a farmer on rented land. (Perhaps they never owned much property. It’s something to check in the land deeds when I get to the Family History Library.)
There are two young grandchildren living with them. Cassie reported that she had given birth to eight children, six surviving. Six children were enumerated in the home in earlier censuses so maybe she was just helping care for the kids while the parents worked.
Cassie survived Addison by only a few years, passing away on 19 February 1907. She is buried in Roanoke County, Virginia with her husband and daughter, Ida.
- John William, born 11 August 1865/66, Bedford County, Virginia; died 11 Oct 1938, Roanoke County, Virginia; married Julia Catherine Patsel, 27 September 1909, Roanoke County, Virginia. She was born 31 January 1881; died 18 June 1944, Roanoke County, Virginia.
- James Addison, born 18 December 1867, Bedford County, Virginia; died 16 June 1945, Vinton, Virginia; married Elvira Anna (Ella) Talbott, 12 April 1905, Bedford County, Virginia. She was born 29 March 1876, Virginia; died 2 February 1944, Ellerson, Roanoke, Virginia
- Thomas Daniel, born c1869 or 18 October 1874, Bedford County, Virginia; died after 1940; married Sarah Una Whitlock. She was born c1881. Both died after the 1940 census, when they lived in Big Lick, Roanoke County, Virginia. Thomas Daniel is 2 months old in the 1870 census, but later records give him a date of birth in 1874.
- Robert Edward, born January 1870/73, Bedford County, Virginia; died 18 December 1918, Bedford County, Virginia; married Ora B. Layne, c1892. She was born May 1877, Virginia; died 26 December 1960, Bedford County, Virginia. They lived in Otter Township in 1900. He was buried at the Quaker Baptist Cemetery in Leesville, Virginia.
- Bennett Mint, born c1874, Bedford County, Virginia; died 1910-1920; married Minnie Eliza Aliff, 19 January 1898, Roanoke County, Virginia (per the delayed birth certificate of their daughter Laura Hazeltine Blankenship.)
- Ida Florence, born 13 September 1876/78, Bedford County, Virginia; died 11 December 1955, Roanoke, Virginia; married David Crockett Patsel, He was born 15 April 1877; died 2 January 1971, Franklin County, Virginia.
I believe all of these children had children of their own, so cousins, if you are reading this, please leave a comment.