I opened a can of worms and got a headache!!

Ever feel you’re just opening a can of worms when you go back and see if there’s new info on an ancestor?

Well, I usually do. Here’s a case in point: Israel Blagg. ( Beware sarcasm below!)

I’d pretty much figured the BLAGG line to be finished. It’s been well researched by people much more into this than me for YEARS, and went back to the “original” immigrant. But hey, I figure, let’s just update some of the children, find a few death certificates and census details. And into the can of worms I went!

First, A little google search find that the 1882 death date I had was sometimes showing up as 1897. Next, I notice the death locations and birth dates are flipping around between a few places. So, off I go to ancestry.com to check a few trees and see if something there clears this up. And nope….it just made it worse. I now start seeing Israel listed with two separate sets of parents (at least the fathers are brothers I think –yeah….right). Well, must just be a little confusion since they list both Israel’s with the same children and the same wives. At least it’s one person…….

SO, I take a look at what I have for sure. No real docmentation on parents, my info is all from other people’s trees that don’t specify documentation. Uh-oh. Here comes trouble I think. Ok….at least I know he’s got a grave stone shared with his wife. Well……maybe. His second wife Nancy Edgerton Blagg (of course not my ancestor..she’s either unknown or about 4 different possible names) is buried. Well…maybe. Here’s what’s on findagrave (which I love as a research site…seriously it’s a great resource):
Birth: Jun. 28, 1816 Death: Feb. 6, 1897
Nancy was married to a John Kell and later married Israel Blagg.

Blagg Cemetery
Siloam Springs
Benton County
Arkansas, USA
Created by: Peggy Gann
Record added: Oct 24 2007
Well, pretty straight forward. No picture but good information. (and peggy is an expert on the Blaggs…she’s got some great resources out there so the info is trustworthy.) I double check another site and confirm the information is accurate. And the same cemetery has this:

Birth: Mar. 20, 1812
Rockingham County
North Carolina, USA Death: Jan. 20, 1882
Siloam Springs
Benton County
Arkansas, USA
Son of John and Elizabeth Whitworth Blagg. Husband of Nancy Edgerton and unknown. Believed to be the father of, at least, 14 children.

Blagg Cemetery
Siloam Springs
Benton County
Arkansas, USA
Created by: Peggy Gann
Record added: Nov 3 2001

It matches what I’ve always thought. I check here http://arkansasgravestones.org/cemetery.php?cemID=157 to see if it’s lsited elsewhere. There’s Nancy….no Israel tho. Ok, on to the next site to check. Um…wait…there’s a picture. “Wife of J. Blagg” (mumble about picture quality) Caption says “J. Blagg” (scratches head). Well, I know there’s a transcription listing here http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~arnwags/cem/AR/benton/Blagg_Duckworth.htm.

I get:
BLAGG E. J. Mar 20, 1812 Jan 20, 1882 (dates match….but “E. J.”???)
BLAGG NANCY Jun 28, 1816 Feb 6, 1897 wife of IJ (IJ here???)
E. J. or I. J. ( I reach for the Advil)
Let’s go look at some forums!!! That’ll straighten this out….
I check on ancestry.com first. Type in Israel in the Blagg surname forum….and I look puzzled as “Israel John Blagg 1812-1882” pops up. (BUT HIS MIDDLE NAME IS “JOSEPH” I mutter!) ( I cringe for a moment remembering all the mixup between Isreal Joseph and his brother Josephus I already sorted out) Other than a post from Peggy about maybe two people being mixed up…the posts aren’t helpful…they branch off into other descendants I’m not in line with.
I find one more post from Peggy: his obit — Isriel Blagg, an old and honorable citizen died at his residence on Flint Creek last Saturday morning. Age seventy years. –Fayetteville Democrat 2/2/1882. NO MIDDLE NAME!!!!!! UGH!!!!!
Ok….genforum here I come!!!
After reading a bunch of posts..including some really long charts that make little sense to me….I decide to post my problem on there. I see no documentation for the second Israel Blagg death date and wonder where that is coming from. The John middle name is bugging me tho. I check my census images…..great…..I’ve got “john” Blagg living with Nancy and children…..SO is Israel really Israel John…not Israel Joseph??? I’ve got him as just Israel, as I, as John, and as Dowell on the census names. Dowell kind of looks like Israel tho. I find a few new land records all just Israel. I’m noticing he changes his birthplace a lot (but then which ancestor doesn’t!!!!!!)
I remember something not adding up about an Indian Removal Petition he signed. (Turns out he was 7 years old when it was signed. He’s listed by himself on the Alabama Tax list the same year. I shudder as I become resigned to there being two people). Then I find an 1810 census image with Israel Blagg. He’s too old to be either of my suspects….I think I have a third person.
At this point I put up another post on genforum about the 1810 census. And decide to write this. LOL
Here’s the pretty certain facts (for my research notes):

William M. Blagg b.6 Mar 1842 is the son of:
Seriously, PROBABLY, the son of:
ISRAEL JOHN BLAGG b. 1812 or earlier, died 1882. Married Nancy Edgerton Kell (a widow) around 1850. His first wife is possibly Mary Patsy Eaton who may or may not have been a Native American with a totally diffirent name. Nancy’s daughter Mary Kell becomes Williams first wife (not my ancestor). Whether she dies and he remarries or they divorice is not known since I have this note:
Both Nancy Blagg and Kell are listed on the Dawes roll census card 477. If I read it correctly their daughter Mary Freeman (married name) and her children are applying. Both of them are listed as parents. This raises soome issues….like did Kell run off and leave nancy? Did her daughter Mary Leave William Blagg and remarry?
There is a second Israel Joseph Blagg who apparently dies in 1897 and is buried in Timberhill Boubon County Kansas ( everything says Timberlane Ark, but there is no such place and the Blaggs do turn up in Timber Hill at least). I have NO IDEA where this death info comes from. It’s just posted on the internet.
There’s a nagging doubt tho for me because I’d been told by my grandmother Israel’s middle name was Joseph, not John, and also, the Burbon County death place fits better with the families locations. Except for Nancy’s grave…..(slams head on desk)….

Anyway….William’s AN Israel’s son….don’t know now which one really or who his mother is.
Just to add to the confusion check out these ages:
1850 census Israel would be widowed and between wives–
Name: T Blagg ( image is an I, not T, I think)
Age: 45
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1805
Birth Place: Nk
Gender: Male
Home in 1850(City,County,State): Beatie, Benton, Arkansas
Household Members: Name Age
Fatima Blagg 17
Hester Blagg 20
James Blagg 18
Jessee Blagg 1
Manerva Blagg 14
Martha A Blagg 7
Mary E Blagg 4
T Blagg 45
Thomas S Blagg 5
Wm R Blagg 12 ***** (mine’s suppsoed to be William M.)

1860 Census
Name: Israel Blag
Age in 1860: 49
Birth Year: abt 1811
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: Flint, Benton, Arkansas
Gender: Male
Post Office: Double Springs
Value of real estate: View Image
Household Members: Name Age
Israel Blag 49
Nancy Blag 43
William Blag 18 *****
Mary Blag 13
John V Blag 8
Benjamin Blag 6
Nancy Blag 1
So…Thomas and Jessie..missing…William’s age and Israel’s age…different……maybe these are TWO people….of course…which William is mine….Time to dig out my really old notes from conversations with Grandma!!! Seriously…..I have a headache! HELP!!!!

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