Perhaps one place we can all start looking into is DNA testing. While it might not necessarily help us find out just who Capt. John Blakeney’s parents were back in Ireland (or England), it can possibly help many of us prove our direct link back to Capt. John in cases where the paper trail has gaps.
I’m sort of in that situation, although my connection seems pretty certain. Thomas Blakeney (often referred to as James Thomas Blakeney in online family trees) was the son of Capt. John’s son Hugh. Is he listed in Hugh’s will? Well, no, since the ultimate fate of Hugh is also a bit sketchy.
Long story short, Hugh left for Tennessee/Kentucky, while his son Thomas eventually left for Smith County, MS. The fact that Hugh had a son named Thomas is proven by contemporary court records for William Welsh, father-in-law of Hugh Blakeney. The records list, by name, not only Hugh as the husband of his daughter Nancy, but also their son Thomas.
Census records and other circumstantial evidence pretty much prove that the same Thomas in the 1820 census for Chesterfield County, SC is the same Thomas who shows up a decade later in Mississippi.
Having taken the Ancestry DNA test a couple of years ago, however, bolsters the case pretty much without question. I have matched descendants of other of Capt. John’s children, including many with no ties to Mississippi.
If anyone who stumbles across this site or post has also taken a DNA test, either Ancestry or another one, please let us know if your results helped prove your connection to the Chesterfield County Blakeneys.