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NC/VA Blackard Family History
Posted by: Andy Blackard Date: August 03, 2000 at 07:23:09
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A lot of the following is what I've been told and remember. I may have a few things wrong so forgive me but here's what I know:

A story has been passed down in my branch of the family that 2 Blackard brothers immigrated to America from Scotland by way of Wales in the mid 1700's. According to family legend, one served in the Revolutionary War and was captured by British forces. There is a heritary trait in our family (that even I have) of a whorl of hair on the crown of the head that we call the "Scotish twirl." The story goes that one of the British soldiers, being Scottish himself, recognized this and asked young Blackard, "Boy, where are you from?" When he replied "Scotland, sir." the soldier secreted him away while the other prisoners were executed.

Another story is told that one son of one of these 2 first American Blackards was a champion exhibition boxer. It is said that he followed the progress of the railroad westward performing for prize fights in frontier towns and eventually reached California resulting in the group of Blackards that live there today.

My great grandfather, Aaron Yates Blackard was a landowner in Stuart County VA. He may have been born in Patrick County, VA?? He was born in 1833 and died on Nov 3 1914. Age 81 years. His gravestone is still standing in a private cemetary on what was once the Blackard estate. It reads:

"In active military service, served in war company 24,2nd Virginia Confederate America"

My father has a copy of his discharge papers signed by Gen. Robert Lee.

There is an abandoned wooden highschool bldg still standing there in Stuart County that was called the "Big A School" because the land and timber for its construction was donated by Aaron Blackard.

I know of 2 sons: Bob and Reilly. I believe that Bob Blackard is the grandfather to a group of Blackards living in the Madison/Mayodan townships of NC.

My grandfather, Peter Reilly Blackard, moved to North Carolina and settled in Julian on land subdivided from an old game hunters reserve called the Bobwhite Plantation, bob white being a hunter's name for the quail.

Reilly's first wife Amanda died of TB and he was remarried. He had 13 children in all, some not living to adulthood. The uncles/aunts that I am most familiar with include Alton, Brooks, Tom, Aaron, John, Benton, Daisy, Lessie, Ira and my father Andrew Louis Blackard, the youngest child and (terribly spoiled) 7th son.

My father served in WWII as an anti-aircraft gunner in the Navy and was in many campaigns including Iwo Jima. He and his brothers Alton and Brooks (all deceased) were tobacco farmers in Julian NC. My father was a farner and also a notable quail hunter and marksman. He travelled to Scotland during the war and was unable to find anyone of the name Blackard there.

One uncle John Peter Blackard still likes in Ridgeway VA where he moved from Martinsville, VA. One aunt, Ira, still lives in VA also.

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