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William Blevins (abt. 1690)

William Blevins
Born about [location unknown]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Father of
Died [date unknown] [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 6 Mar 2011
This page has been accessed 8,555 times.
US Southern Colonies.
William Blevins resided in the Southern Colonies in North America before 1776.
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Research suggests that this person may never have existed. See the text for details.

Contents

Biography

Some, without source, have claimed that a man named William Blevins, born in about 1690, was the patriarch of the Blevins family that appears in the Monocacy Hundred, Prince George's County, Maryland in 1733, and migrated to the Virginia frontier in the late 1730s. Others have disputed the existence of this William Blevins. One researcher calls it "[a] pervasive, but provably incorrect Blevins story."[1]

The earliest researcher known to claimed that a William was the patriarch of the Monocacy Hundred Blevins is Bill Dwayne Blevins in his 1972 book Blevins Ancestry. The primary focus of the book is on Richard Blevins (abt.1800-abt.1872) and his descendants, but in a brief and speculative introductory section he states: "It is believed that the patriarch of our Blevins line was a William Blevins who came to America in the late 1600's, and temporarily settled in what is now the state of Maryland. Appearing at this time is a William Blevins born c.a. 1690, who is presumed to be the son of the William Blevins."[2] He cites no source for this claim.

Others have republished the same claim since, but none appear to have found any source to support it. At least one has asserted that a William Blevins appears on the taxables list in the Monocacy Hundred in 1733, along with James and Daniel,[3] but that is false. James and Daniel do appear, but there is no William Blevins on the taxables list in the Monocacy Hundred in 1733,[4] nor does any William appear on the 1734 list of men in the Monocacy Hundred who failed to burn their substandard tobacco as required by local law.[5] There is no known record at all of any William Blevins appearing in Maryland at that time.

In fact, according to one Blevins researcher, there is no "extant documentary mention of a man named William Blevins anywhere on the continent" before the 1740s.[6] The earliest known reference is the reported mention of a William Blevins in early surveyor's records in what was then Brunswick County on the remote southwestern Virginia frontier in 1741.[7] These references beginning in the early 1740s to a William Blevins on the Virginia frontier refer to William Blevins (abt.1719-aft.1778). Although some claim that that William was the son of this one, that claim has been proven false. That William's father was James Blevin, as discussed in the Research Notes below.

Therefore, the existence of this alleged William Blevins is at best uncertain and arguably disproven.

Research Notes

Disputed Children

Some researchers, without source, have identified William Blevins as the father of the following children:[8]

This claim has been disproven. These children most likely were all siblings living in the Monocacy Hundred in 1733; but their parents were almost certainly James Blevin and Margery Tosh (1689-bef.1743). For a detailed explanation of the evidence for that claim, see "The Unique Signature Marks of Two James Blevins: A Key Clue to the Origin of the Southern Blevins Family." and the profile for James Blevin.

Although not mentioned either in Blevins Ancestry or The Longhunters, Sarah Blevins has also been attached to this profile as another child, again without source.

Disputed Parents

Some, without source, claim that this William Blevins was the son of William Blethyn and/or Anna Bunch. There is no known documentation of any such relationship. Please do not reattach those parents without first explaining the source for the claim in the comments below and in this G2G discussion.

Disputed Spouses

Some, without source, have claimed that his wife was Mary Bean; and others, also without source, have claimed it was Anna (or Ann) Bunch. There is no known documentation for either claim. Please do not reattach either spouse without first explaining the source for the claim in the comments below.

Disputed Origin

Some researchers, and an earlier version of this profile, have given an exact birth date of 27 Nov 1691, and claim he was born in Lancashire, England. This appears to be based upon the baptismal record of a "Will s. of John Blevin" who was baptized on 27 Nov 1691 at St. Nicholas Church in the Parish of Liverpool in Lancashire, England.[9] There is no reason to believe that the William Blevin, son of John Blevin, who was baptized at St. Nicholas Church in November 1691, ever emigrated to America. However, some researchers have speculated that this baptismal record may be the original source for the disputed claim that this William Blevins existed.

Other researchers have claimed that this William Blevins was born in New England, possibly in Westerly, Rhode Island. As explained in "Unique Signature Marks of Two James Blevins" and the profile forJames Blevin, the Blevin family which was present in the Monocacy Hundred in 1733 did originate in Westerly, Rhode Island, but there is no record of any William Blevins having ever lived there.

Disputed Death Claims

The Find a Grave memorial which purportedly relates to this person, referred to in the memorial as "William 'Old Bill' Blevins II" gives a death date of 17 February 1771, but cites no source and includes no gravestone image.[10]

Disputed Indenture to William Byrd

A prior version of this profile identified him as the "William Blethyn" who was indentured as a carpenter to William Byrd, a wealthy planter and the owner of Westover plantation in Charles City County, Virginia. This indentured carpenter, identified as a "Welchman," absconded from his indenture on 21 March 1752, along with another indentured servant named James Morris. According to a notice published in the Virginia Gazette offering a reward for their capture and return, the two runaways were believed to have fled to Carolina, wearing "blue Kerfey Pea-Jackets, dark-grey Wastecoats, blue Breeches, and coarse Yarn Stockings," posing as "Seafaring men."[11] In his book, Leslie Blevins speculates from this clipping that the elderly William Blevins -- whose sons had all settled on the remote southwestern Virginia frontier by the early 1740s -- sold himself into indentured servitude as a carpenter on a tidewater plantation along the James River when he was in his late fifties or early sixties, "to earn money for investing in land."[12] This is improbable.

Sources

  1. Robert P. Blevins, The Blevins Men of Monocacy and Goochland: The Southern Migration of the James Bliven Family," (Acme, Penn.: s.p., 2020), 1; digital image, Robert P. Blevins: Blevins Genealogical Research Publications, (https://www.rpblevins.com/ : accessed 14 June 2021).
  2. Bill Dwayne Blevins, Blevins Ancestry (Mountain Home, Ark.: self-published, 1972), 7.
  3. See, e.g., Leslie W. Blevins, Jr., The Longhunters: A Report on the History and Family of William Blevins Sr. of Virginia, Kindle edition (Xlibris, 2012), 37.
  4. Maryland Hall of Records, Calendar of Maryland State Papers, No. 1, The Black Books, (1943), 42; Digital images, Hathitrust, (https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uva.x000475038 : accessed 8 May 2021).
  5. Grace L. Tracey, & John P. Dern, Pioneers of Old Monocacy: The Early Settlement of Frederick County, Maryland 1721-43, (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987), 368-69 (citing Prince George's County Court Records V:98); Digital Images, Ancestry.com, (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/49295/ : accessed 8 May 2021) [subscription required].
  6. Blevins, Blevins Men of Monocacy and Goochland, 14.
  7. Maude Carter Clement, The History of Pittsylvania Virginia, (Lynchburg, VA: J.P. Bell Company, Inc., 1929), 44; FamilySearch, Digital Images : accessed 25 Apr 2021. It is unclear what original record Clement was referring to, and Robert Blevins claims she was mistaken. He argues that the first appearance of a William Blevins anywhere in North America was in Goochland County, Virginia, in 1743. See Blevins, Blevins Men of Monocacy & Goochland, 14-15.
  8. E.g., Blevins, Blevins Ancestry, 7; Blevins, The Longhunters, 86.
  9. Henry Peet, The Earliest Registers of the Parish of Liverpool (St. Nicholas's Church): Christenings, Marriages, and Burials 1660-1704 (Rochdale, Lancashire: James Clegg, Aldine Press, 1909), 72; digital images, Hathitrust, (https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008728107 : accessed 8 May 2021).
  10. Ancestry, Find a Grave, database, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/138311887 : accessed 8 May 2021), memorial 138311887, William "Old Bill" Blevins II, no gravestone image, no sources.
  11. The Virginia Gazette [Williamsburg, Virginia], 27 Mar 1752, p. 3, col. 1; digital image, newspapers.com, (https://www.newspapers.com/image/40442986/ : accessed 15 May 2021).
  12. Blevins, The Longhunters, 36-37.


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Comments: 22

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I cannot find any source which provides any support for the claim that this William Blevins was the son of an older William Blevins and Ann Bunch. This claim is asserted without any source in Leslie Blevins book, and and the Find a Grave memorial claims he is the son of "William I", but again without any source. Bill Dwayne Blevins in Blevins Ancestry says "[I]t is believed that the patriarch of our Blevins lines was a William Blevins who came to America in the late 1600's," and then that this William Blevins is "presumed to be the son of [that] William Blevins," but no source is cited for any of that.

Unless anyone is aware of any documented source for this claim, I plan to remove the link to these parents. Please weigh in if you are aware of a source we can add to this profile. Thanks!

posted by Scott McClain
Because of the prevalence of questionable information, it will be important to have a =Research Notes= section in which the questionable information (which you remove from =Biography=) will be noted, and links retained to "William I".

If the birth and death places are retained, it will also be important to explain what made someone born in "New England" move to Virginia. Such things did happen, but only rarely; different kinds of people came to New England and Virginia and for different reasons. It's also possible that all of North America was referred to as New England at the time!

posted by Jack Day
Agreed, I will do that. I am still running down a few rabbit trails and then will take a stab at an overhaul of the profile.
posted by Scott McClain
Hi all - I plan to start working on cleaning up this profile and substituting primary sources where possible for the claims rather than relying on the unsourced Find a Grave profile and Leslie Blevins' book, which seems to draw some pretty speculative conclusions from the primary sources he is working from. If anyone following this profile is interested in collaborating on that effort, please weigh in - thanks!
posted by Scott McClain
edited by Scott McClain
hello, i would like to thank you for your information on the Blevin's line. They can be confusing. I have a tree on family search and it seems that anyone can add or remove information, i have had to restore my Blevins line twice now and my Sizemore line also. I have been able to use your alls information to help me . THANK YOU.
posted by Becky (Lawson) Gouge
Southern Colonies Project is now managing and protecting this profile. Current managers will be kept on the trusted list and are encouraged to collaborate, as are all members. Please do not make changes without first contacting the project by leaving a message on this profile and waiting for our reply. We will be making the corrections to this line.

Thank you!

Paula, Leader of Southern Colonies Project

posted by Paula J
There was a William Blevin, son of John Blevin, who was christened on 27 Nov 1691 in Saint Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire, England:

"England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NRK7-64C : 30 December 2014, William Blevin, ); citing Saint Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 1,068,887.

posted by Pat (Fuller) Credit
Yes, you have three duplicates for Colonel William Blevins. The best way to sort this out and correct it is to delete two of them. The best information on this group comes from Rob Blevins, author of Blevins Men of the Holston. You can find his posts on the Blevins list by googling the appropriate names.

Colonel William Blevins b ABT 1740 was the son of William the Elder of Pittsylvania VA. His mother may or may not have been Agnes Walling. Colonel William died in 1805 in Sullivan TN. His wife was Ann Dunn, per the will of her father, Waters Dunn. Pittsylvania County deeds indicate he had older brothers, but the only sibling I've identified is Catherine, wife of Elisha Walling Jr, who is proved by John Redd's letters to Daniel Draper.

posted by C (Hickerson) H
Hi,

I added a link to a board that has some info + a link to a copy of the Watuagah Purchase that was signed by William Blevins, (probably the William Blevins (Colonel) lived b. 1735-d.1805) now we have two candidates who perhaps could fit this one Blevins-333 and Blevins-299 and perhaps even a third one Blevins-922, only problem is things first need to be sorted out and corrected...

Greets and hope it helps,

Bea :)

posted by Bea (Timmerman) Wijma
My book "THE LONGHUNTERS" traces the Blevins family that became Longhunters in VA, TN, KY and NC during Daniel Boone's time. Researchers have also traced this line back to before time of JESUS and I hear this is very rare that any family line can be traced that far back in time. My book traces the Blevins line back to Merfyn Frych ap Gwraid and I have the data on yet another 28 generations back in time. Message me about this if your line is or connects to the Blevins line.

Merfyn Frych Ap Gwriad (Merfyn the Freckled) (born ca 764-780, died 844) was a King of Gwynedd and possibly also of Powys who styled himself King of the Britons.

posted by L (Blevins) B
Based on dates, this family relationships on this profile are incorrect. Please see Bllevins-39, this is the correct family relationships
posted by Robin Lee
THE LEGENDARY WILLIAM “OLD BILL” BLEVINS.

Legends have spread far and wide concerning William Blevins the old hunter and there is no name on the long hunter rolls that is any more familiar than the name of William Blevins. The following is just one example;

Here is one story that’s often been told about William “Old Bill” Blevins:

Once William Blevins had to go through the mountains to bring some salt to his cattle. He came upon them all gathered in a small clearing and was just in time to see them stampeded by a panther that had just killed a small heifer. As soon as the panther saw Blevins approach it leaped for him and succeeded in reaching his belt, which it quickly tore from him, but Blevins, with a quick swing of his knife freed himself, the beast paying a big penalty for its rash deeds.

posted by L (Blevins) B
Blevins-1285 and Blevins-39 appear to represent the same person because: same parents and birth
posted by Robin Lee

B  >  Blevins  >  William Blevins

Categories: Maryland Colonists | Uncertain Existence