Willoughby Blackard was born in 1758 in Granville County NC. His father Charles Blackard was listed in the 1757 Granville Tax List. Willoughby was probably named after Willoughby Self whose name appears with Charles Black(ard) on many Bute County land records. There was no such person as "William Charles Blackard." This name is a fiction and doesn't exist in any original records. Willoughby's war papers say he was born in Bute County because that region of Granville County was split off to form Bute County by the time he enlisted.
The name Charles Blackard was first recorded in 1756 in Edgecombe County (bordering Granville) working on a land survey for a wealthy Welsh aristocrat named Samuel Williams (aka Samuel Cromwell) so he probably lived there. Williams was a personal friend of the Earl Granville for whom the NC Granville Land Grants was named.
The name J. Blocker was recorded in *exactly* the same area earlier in 1748. He may have been Charles father. Blocker family researchers that I've contacted have no record of their family being in Edgecombe County at this time.
Willoughby's great-granddaughter, Kate Blackard, recorded that the father of WillyBee Blackard was Charlie Blackard who came from Scotland and married a Welsh woman. However, researchers that I've hired in the UK find no evidence of the Blackard family ever in either Scotland or Wales. It is more likely that the family was among English protestants transported to northern Ireland and crossed over to nearby Glasgow to catch a ship to America. Perhaps Charles married into the Welsh Williams family for whom he seemed to be working and that is the origin of the Welsh wife legend.
The 1860 Connecticut census lists 3 Blackard families there who came from Ireland after 1830. This further supports the idea the the English Blackard family had relocated to Ireland prior to coming to America.
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