Wednesday, February 26, 2014

John William Blakely - Revolutionary soldier, father-in-law of John Copeland


Family Lineage: 1 Margaret Blakely; 2 George Copeland; 3 Robert Hatten Copeland; 4 Charles Mabry Copeland;5 Charles Thomas Copeland Sr; 6 Charles Thomas Copeland, Jr.

1718 – 1798

( National flag of Ireland)

John William Blakely (or Blakeslee, as the name appears in a number of DAR applications) was born in Antrim, Ireland. His wife, Rachael Orr, was born in England.  Records show that his family traveled with the Copelands and Adairs from Pennsylvaia to South Carolina and it is believed that they first settled in York County and then Craven County, SC

 They had seven sons and three daughters, one of whom (Margaret) married their neighbor and friend, John Copeland. He and his wife both died at age 80. According to historical records only one of their 9 children died before the age of 80 and that son left guardianship of his daughter to his brother-in-law and sister, John and Margaret Copeland.

There is no specific information about John's service during the Revolution except that he was a private in the South Carolina Militia under a Colonel Anderson and drew full pay for services in the Revolutionary War.  At the time he served, he would have been in his early 60s.

A search of historical records shows there were only two Colonel Andersons fighting in South Carolina at that time, and it is probable that John reported to one of them. They were:

  • Glenn Anderson, who served as a colonel in the militia and was in the battle of Cowpens.
  •  Robert Anderson, who served as a captain in Picken's Brigade, after which he was made a colonel in the Upper Ninety Six Regiment, which he commanded until March 30, 1783. .He fought at Kings Mountain, Musgrove Mill, Eutaw Springs and Cowpens.