Ralph Blankenship I

Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States

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Ralph (Blankinsopp) Blankenship, I

Also Known As: "Blaninship Blankingship Blankensopp Blankinsopp"
Birthdate: (52)
Birthplace: Cumbria, Enland
Death: April 15, 1714 (52)
Roxdale, Henrico County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Ralph William Blankinsopp and Mary Blankinsopp
Husband of Martha "Edith" Blankenship Stanley and Elizabeth Blankinship
Father of Richard Blankenship, I; William C Blankenship; Joseph Blankenship; John Blankenship; Ralph Blankenship, Jr. and 1 other
Brother of William Blankinsopp

Occupation: Farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Ralph Blankenship I


1662 - Ralph Blankinship, the first Blankinship to immigrate to America was born in northern England, presumably in Durham, but possibly in Cumberland or Northumberland. When Ralph was 24 he sailed for Virginia. (SOURCE: Various Henrico County Court records between 1694 - 1714). His five sons born in America usually spelled the surname as Blankenship vice Blankinship.

1686 - Ralph Blankinship immigrated from England to Henrico Co. in southern Virginia. His sea passage was paid for by Richard Kennon, an English aristocrat and representative to the Virgina House of Burgesses. During that era these sea passages actross the Atlantic typically cost about 30 English pounds, or about the equivalent of $3,500 in today's money. Kennon was a wealthy merchant then living at Bermuda Hundred located about 15 miles south of Richmond. Ralph Blankinship presumable became an indentured servant to Kennon for five years. Viginia law dictated that if such servants were under nineteen years of age, they must be brought into Court, to have their Age adjudged; and from the age they are judged to be of, they had to work in servitude until they reached twenty-four. If they were adjudged upwards of nineteen, they were then only to be servants for a term of five Years.

If Ralph Blankinship arrived in Virginia in 1686 then he was an indentured servant until 1691. Ralph possibly was a metal smith. He married a woman named Martha, last name unknown (LNU), and together they had five sons and lived one mile south (SSE) of present day town of Chesterfield, VA. The children of Ralph became farmers in southern Virginia. (Source: Henrico Co., VA Order Book) No birth or marriage records have ever been discovered for Ralph Blankinship and no personal will has been found. There is a Henrico County court ordered death inventory of Ralph Blankinship's personal effects published in Col. Leslie Blankinship's book "The Blankenship Family." The Henrico County court at Varina, Virginia was located 10 miles northeast of Ralph Blankinship's homestead near Chesterfield. The Blankinship homestead was just east of Swift Creek near Coldwater Run located one mile SSE of Chesterfield along the old Indian road which today is known as Route 10. A land survey and map of the homestead is found elsewhere on this web site.

In June 1781, practically the entire British army of Lord Cornwallis was within the boundaries of Goochland County, Virginia just a few miles to the north of the old old homestead of Ralph and Martha Blankinship near present day Chesterfield. During the final days of the Revolutionary War Corwallis' troops moved into Richmond and destroyed nearly all the former official records once held at the old Henrico County Court House near Varina, VA. These were the court records which would have reflected the details of the first Blankinship immigrants. The Henrico courthouse had been moved to Richmond in 1752, some 24 years before the Revolutionary War began. It is interesting that it was Benedict Arnold's invading army that actually occupied Richmond in January 1781. He, as you'll recall was the colonial traitor during the Revolutionary War who defected to the British. The colonialist Henrico County militia was called to active duty as a defensive force to protect against this British invasion. During the brief British occupation of Richmond, many Henrico court records were destroyed. So we probably are very fortunate indeed to have in our possession the few extant documents to validate the immigration of Ralph Blankinship to colonial Virginia. What remains of the old colonial era documents that were not destroyed by the British army clearly establishes Ralph and Martha Blankinship's residence in Henrico County from the period of about 1686 to the time of his death circa April 1714.

There is no factual information or documentation regarding Ralph Blankinship prior to his arrival in Virginia. We only know that the Hernrico Co., Virginia court records (Book 2, page 326) shows that Ralph arrived in the year 1686. Others have acquired information which I do not have which indicates the date of arrival as both 1686/87 and 1686-1687. The latter notation would indicate a time frame sometime between 1686 and 1687. However, if the former notation "1686/87" is correct then there is an alternative interpretation of this arrival date based upon the English adoption of the Gregorian Calendar on 2 Sept 1752. Due to the use of this Gregorian calendar all dates prior to its use forced later historians and genealogists to write dates between 1 January and 24 March 1686 as 1686/87. The actual historical document from the 1690 Henrico County Court records says that Ralph Blankinship and 89 other men (all presumably indentured servants) and 70 African slaves were imported or their passages paid for by Richard Kennon in the year 1686. We further know that Robert Paggin (in London, England), and Colonel John Pleasants of Bermuda Hundred, Viginia were Kennon's business partners who presumably arranged for the passage of the indentured servants as well as the slaves.

In Colonial Virgina men were obligated to serve in the local militia which acted as a defense force protecting settlers from Indian attacks, which were quite common then. These Indian attack persisted until the early 1760's when a Viriginia militia force was assembled by the Virignia Governor to fight the Indians that were becoming a serious threat. There is an historical record of Blankenships being called to service in that rather lengthy engagement which preceeded the War of Revolution by about 15 years. We therefore can proudly say that Blankenships have participated in every American war, including the Indian war of Central Virginia during the 1760's.]

Several Blankenships marry into McCoy Families BLANKENSHIP-McCOY MARRIAGES PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY MARRIAGE RECORDS 1822-1909 Blankenship, Elizabeth to McCoy, Allen 09/09/1841 Blankenship, Melvina (age 16) to McCoy, Richard (age 17) 04/25/1878 Blankenship, Nancy to McCoy, Selkirk 06/25/1861 Blankenship, Oliva to McCoy, Louisa 02/13/1860 Blankenship, Rachel to McCoy, John R. 06/30/1859 Blankenship, Rolley 30 to McCoy, Martha 43 02/23/1873 Blankenship, William W. to McCoy, Ellender J. 1866 Blankinship, Rachel to McCoy, John R. 06/30/1859 Blankenships who received Revolutionary War pensions http://www.dhc.net/~revwar/index-b6.htm Abel Blankenship, 3:111 (Soldier, Infantry) (Abel, son of Nowell, grandson of John, great grandson of the immigrant Ralph Blankinship) Abraham Blankenship, 3:111 Abram Blankenship, 3:111 Fanny Blankenship, 3:111 (probably Fanny Worsham, widow of Abel Blankenship, above) Sarah Blankenship, 1:64 The 126 BLANKENSHIPs below fought in the War of 1812 against the English. You will notice that some names are repeated. This could mean that a few soldiers served in different military units and therefore were recorded twice. BLANKENSHIPs are first, followed by the BLANKINSHIPs. Source: NARA (National Archives) A Listing of these names can be found on Donald L. Blankenship's website A Major Contributor of the data below was: Bill Blankinship, Huntington Beach, California About 450 Blankenships fought on the Confederate side in Civil War About 260 Blankenships fought on the Union side in Civil War NATIONAL PARK SERVICE Searchable on-line Database of Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Contains data on 130 Blankinships and 363 Blankenships CRONOLOGY 1863 - Devil Anse Hatfield forms guerrilla band. Raids and thefts follow between McCoy's and Hatfields. West Virginia gains statehood. 1875 - First death in feud -- Asa Harmon McCoy. No prosecution. 1878 - Randolph McCoy accuses Floyd Hatfield of stealing his pig. Bill Staton's testimony in court later wins for Floyd Hatfield. 1880 - Bill Staton murdered by Paris and Sam McCoy in June. Sam McCoy tried in September for Staton death; acquitted. Roseanna McCoy and Johnse Hatfield meet. She leaves to live with him at Hatfield cabin. 1881 - Roseanna returns home, then moves to aunt's cabin where Johnse is captured by McCoy boys. Roseanna's ride to Devil Anse's saves Johnse's life. Pregnant Roseanna returns to Ole Ran'l's home, catches measles, miscarries baby, then moves to Pikeville. Johnse marries Nancy McCoy on May 14. 1882 - Ellison Hatfield fatally wounded by Bud, Tolbert and Pharmer McCoy on August 9. After Hatfield dies, the trio is tied to bushes and executed. Jeff McCoy killed on banks of the Tug. 1887 - Kentucky governor appoints Frank Phillips to capture McCoy boys' murderers. 1889 - Trial of Hatfield clan in McCoy murders begins. T.C. Crawford publishes "An American Vendetta." 1890 - Ellison Mounts executed for Alifair McCoy's murder. (Feb 18). 1891 - Feud ends.

See this same site for stories about the earliest Blankenships and for a claim that Huck Finn is really a story about a Blankenship.


additional information and documentation of Ralph's beginnings.


If one draws a 20 mile radius around Blencarn we find all the Blenkinsop castles that are later described at this BLANKENSHIP ORIGINS web site. The sister hamlet of Skirwith lies one mile northwest of Blencarn It is where the Blenkinships who migrated to Quebec, Canada in 1820 originated. So my theory is that a landed family, perhaps living in Penrith in Cumberland County, England sometimes around the period 1150 to 1200 AD chose as their surname the manor, estate or hamlet of BLENCARN. This family presumably owned Blencarn during that historical period. The name changed over time as we'll read more about below. Eventually one branch of this Blenkinsopp family migrated 20 miles north of Blencarn to Greenhead near Haltwhistle in Northumberland. It is there in 1240 AD that we see the first real evidence of this surname in English history when Ranulph Blenkinsopp is awarded a castle and commons which has been identified since that date as "Blankinsopp Castle."


Death inventory of Ralph Blankenship

Ralph of Northumberland County (?),England landed in James City, Virginia on July 23 1640. It is positive that he gave up "head right which was fifty acres of land in Virginia to Pay for his passage to the New World. However , it is believed that he moved up the James River and settled in Henrico County, a few miles east of the present City of Richmond.No Other records have been found of this move, but it is believed he was married and reared several children. Apperently all who bore the name Blankenship, Blaninship and Blankingship in the United States are Descended from one Immigrant, Ralph,Who came to "James Crittle" county,Virginia in 1640. Ralph Blankinsopp was a young adventurer lurred to Virginia by Promises of free land.He Belong to that Great English Middle Class who found England Crowded in the early sixteen hundreds and were ever alert to new opportunties elsewhere in Europe or the New World. Ralph had some education but very little money.His head-right would have entitled him to fifty acres of land in James Crittle" County if he had paid his own passage to America.If not then he would have to forfeit his land to the ship owner to pay for his passage. Since there is no record to show that his head-right was clamed it is almost a certainty that is what he did. Survival became the most important thing, but Ralph did find a way he create an estate. He had either been married and brought his wife over from England or else married soon after he reached this country.

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Ralph Blankenship I's Timeline

Cumbria, Enland
Age 30
Henrico County, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 31
Henrico County, Virginia
Age 32
Cumbria, England
Age 34
Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States
Age 38
Henrico County, Virginia, United States
Age 40
Henrico, Virginia, British Colonial America
April 15, 1714
Age 52
Henrico County, Virginia, United States