For some reason, the name McBlair appears to be fairly unusual. There are very few references to the surname, however the family itself has a very storied history. Which makes it both easier and harder to research. Easier because virtually every bit of information pertains to them, but difficult because they re-used first names, including those to whom they married. It requires breaking up data by date and doing a lot of cross referencing.

  • Michael McBlair
  • m. Pleasance Goodwin (see Goodwin Family)
    • Lyde Goodwin McBlair
    • Lyde Goodwin McBlair
    • m. Mathilde Lookerman
    • Alicia Thompson McBlair
    • m. Edward Lloyd VI
      • Edward Lloyd Jr.
      • m. Mary Lloyd Howard
        • Edward Lloyd III
        • Alicia Lloyd
        • Comm. Edward Lloyd
        • m. Elizabeth R. Robinson
          • Edward Lloyd Jr.
          • m. Constance R. Matlack
        • Charles Howard Lloyd
        • m. Mary Chesley Donnell
        • McBlair Lloyd
        • John Eager Lloyd
        • m. Marguerite Theobald
        • Elizabeth Howard Lloyd
        • De Coucy Lloyd
        • Mary Lloyd
      • Elizabeth Lloyd
      • m. Charles Key
        • Edward Lloyd Key
        • Mary Taylor Key
        • m. Frederick Alexander McDonald McBlair
        • Philip Barton Key
        • Francis Scott Key
        • m. Beatrice Tiffany
        • Alicia Key
      • McBlair Lloyd
      • Alice Lloyd
      • m. Gen. Charles Sidney Winder
        • Charles Sidney Winder
        • m. Corinne H. Pope
        • Edward Lloyd Winder
        • m. Mary Dorsey Parker
          • Alice Lloyd Winder
        • Elizabeth Lloyd Winder
      • Sally Scott Lloyd
      • m. David Trimble
        • Isaac Ridgeway Trimble
        • m. Margaret E. Jones
    • William M. McBlair, USN, CSN
    • m. Virginia Myers
      • Louisa Pleasance McBlair
      • William McBlair
      • m. Alice Switzer
        • Alice Switzer
        • m. Lee B. Hildebrand
        • Virginia Switzer
        • m. William H. J. Garesche
          • Virginia McBlair Garesche
          • William McBlair Garesche
        • Eugenia Switzer
        • m. James Keith Payne
          • James Keith Payne Jr.
            • Brooke McBlair Payne
          • Nancy McBlair Payne
      • George Myers McBlair
      • m. Erwin
      • Samuel Marx McBlair
      • Caroline McBlair
      • Virginia Hartstone McBlair
      • m. Norfolk Garrison
    • Thomas Parkin McBlair
    • m. Mary Walsh
      • Robert Walsh McBlair
      • Mary Pleasance McBlair
      • Alice McBlair
      • Harry McBlair
    • John Hollins McBlair
    • m. Augusta Gadsby
      • John Gadsby McBlair
      • Virginia Gadsby McBlair
      • m. Henry Wadsworth Smith
        • Wadsworth Ramsay Smith
      • John Hollins McBlair Jr.
      • Julia Ten Eyck McBlair
      • Charles Ridgley McBlair
      • m. Florence May Parr
        • Charles Ridgley McBlair, Jr.
      • Andrew Jackson McBlair
      • m. Evelyn Rachelle Lentzy
    • Augustus McBlair
    • Elizabeth Campbell McBlair
    • m. James Murray Lloyd
      • Edward Lloyd
      • Murray Lloyd
      • Charles Tilghman
    • Pleasance Maria McBlair
    • m. Henry Moore
    • Emily Augusta McBlair
    • Charles Henry McBlair
    • m. Francis Duncan (see Duncan Family)
      • Duncan McBlair
      • Margaret McBlair
      • Alicia McBlair
      • Charles Ridgley McBlair
      • m. Elizabeth Martin (see Martin Family)
        • => Anna Elizabeth McBlair (see Walker Family)
        • Richard “Reggie” McBlair
        • m. Alice ___
          • Buck McBlair
          • Lester McBlair
      • Robert McBlair
      • Alexander McDonald McBlair
      • m. Mary Taylor Key

The Lineage
Richard Lee Higgins Jr. => Richard Lee Higgins Sr. => Nellie May Walker => Anna Elizabeth McBlair

The easy part was Anna Elizabeth. I knew she was a McBlair. I knew she was in this family. I didn’t know how she entered the mix. At first, there were several possibilities. Fortunately, a living relative had some history on parts of this family line, which drastically narrowed down options. I’m very confident that I have this correct. It was actually her brother that created the link. The living family had tons of information about him, we knew Anna was his sister, and where “Reggie” fit into the family tree was an easier and simpler conclusion. Thus … as much a success as one can get without a time machine.

Anna Elizabeth McBlair
Born: June 22, 1870 in Westmoreland County, Virginia
Married: Oct 26, 1892 to Samuel Walker in Alexandria
Died: Sep 15, 1930 in Alexandria Virginia at 9am from carcinoma uterus with complications from diabetes

I did find a differing record from another genealogist named Valerie, who claims first hand knowledge that contradicts my lineage of Anna. She thinks that Anna’s parents were an Alexander and a Mary. I doubt this because of other personal knowledge about Anna’s mother and her brother from closer sources. She was known as “Big Mama” and the history is that after her first husband died, she remarried a man named “Brin who “delivered oil”. Well, an Elizabeth Martin remarried a Mr. Burne after being married to a Charles McBlair. Lines up. Anna’s marriage certificate says her father was Charles and her mother was Lizzie. And her death certificate also lists Charlie McBlair and Elizabeth Martin. So, all that, plus I have yet to see a single source from Valerie’s assumptions, makes me doubt that she was correct in placing Anna with Charles’ brother Alexander. I think she jumped to that conclusion because of the order of names in a census. Anna was indeed the child of Charles McBlair and Elizabeth (Martin).

In 1870, I have a weak possible record of her living in the Dublin District of Somerset County Maryland with a Charles and Elizabeth ‘Blair’, and being shown to be born in Virginia. The census was taken July 18th. She was born on June 22nd, a month earlier. So, possible. Maybe. And it kinda ties into why she seems to disappear for ten years and then reappears in a strange place.

By the way, that marriage record referenced above shows her being born in Mathews Co. VA. But her death certificate says she was born in Westmoreland County. Thinking out loud, Westmoreland Co is in the Northern Neck of Virginia (where my father resides now), basically across the Chesapeake Bay from Somerset Co., assuming you make a small trip up the Potomac River first. (And assuming the 1870 census is a match). He family owned and operated sailing ships, so they were water people. Mathews Co is on the next neck down in Virginia. (Necks are Virginia-speak for peninsulas of land jutting into the bay). It’s further across the Chesapeake and quite further by land. I’m not entirely sure that census above is my Anna, especially since the name is listed as Blair. But the two Virginia counties are semi-close, stacked almost on top of each other, and even if incorrect, doesn’t screw up the lineage. It’s just a possibility that I think may fit.

Jump ten years to 1880, where Anna was 10 and living with her grandparents Charles and Fanny in Washington DC, which I find interesting. Where are her birth parents? Also living in the home were Charles/Fanny’s daughter and son, Margaret and Alexander. Anna is shown to be born in Virginia, her father and mother also born in Virginia. Now, here lies an inconsistency, for 20 years earlier, Charles R. was listed as being born in Maryland. (Alexander in DC, for the record). And if the 1870 census for “Blair” is true, that Charles was also born in Maryland.

OK, I found one clue to the mystery above … Anna’s mother Elizabeth (Martin) remarried a Mr. Burne on January 12th, 1882. Less that two years after Anna was noted as living with her grandparents. On that marriage record, Elizabeth is listed as being a widow. So Charles died sometime before 1882, and probably before 1880 when Anna was living with her grandparents. Now why she was with the g’parents and not her mother, I have not a clue. But I do know that she and her mother remained somewhat close later in life, as there was verbal history of them together.

Charles Ridgley McBlair
Born: About 1848 in Maryland or possibly Virginia
Married: … to Elizabeth Martin
Died: Before 1882

The biggest question here is … how do I know that Ridgely was Charles’ middle name? I have a lot of “R”s, and there is another Charles Ridgely McBlair, son of John Hollins McBlair and Augusta Gadsby, who was born around the same time (and was semi famous for inventions and such). At some point, I wrote that down, but currently cannot find the source. I must have done it for a reason, and that’s something high to the task list to find out. Perhaps the R is something else.

In 1860, Charles R. is shown living with Charles H. and “Fanny”. He is listed as being age 12 and born in Maryland. Which is why he is placed as he is in the tree. However, right below him is a Robert, also aged 12, but born in Massachusetts. Alexander is after that, aged 11, and born in Washington DC. Only Charles and Robert are marked as being in school. So, who exactly are Robert and Alexander, and am I 100% sure about Charles’ parentage? Other than the fact that his daughter eventually lives with Charles H and is called “granddaughter”? I think I am, but one never knows.

In 1870, Robert and Alexander are shown with Charles H and Fanny. They are 21 and 20, respectfully. One is a clerk and the other a student at law. Nothing in either census states “son”. Charles, who would have also been 21, is not there. However, in the Dublin District of Somerset County Maryland, there is a Charles Blair (age 23), married to an Elizabeth (age 18), with a child Anna (age 1). This Charles was born in Maryland, Elizabeth was born in Virginia, as was Anna. Charles was a farmer. Dates line up, but this is a rough possibility.

On his daughter’s death certificate, he is listed as being born in Virginia. That information was given by Sam Walker, his eventual son-in-law.

Charles Henry McBlair
Born: Dec 24, 1809 in Maryland
Died: Nov 15, 1890 in Washington DC

From Wikipedia … Charles H. McBlair, eleventh adjutant general of Maryland, was born in Baltimore, Md., 24 December 1809. Entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman, 4 March 1823; passed midshipman, 23 November 1829; commissioned a lieutenant from 12 July 1831, and ordered for duty as sailing master on the U.S.S. “Ontario” in the Mediterranean; returning to the United States, was ordered, successively, to the U.S.S. “Warren”, to the Mediterranean Station, to the U.S.S. “Mississippi”, and in October, 1842, to command the U.S.S. “Poinsett.” He served in the Mexican War (1846–1847), and commanded the bomb-barge “Stromboli;” detached from command of the “Stromboli,” 2 September 1848. Ordered to the Coast Survey during 1849, 1850–1852; transferred to command of the steamer “Walker”, 15 July 1852; ordered to duty as light house inspector, 14 December 1852; promoted to commander, 18 April 1855, and ordered to command the steamer “Michigan”, on the lakes, in September of that year; in January, 1861, was member of the naval examining board at Annapolis; resigned from the U.S. Navy, to take effect from 22 April 1861. Was appointed from Maryland as commander, Confederate States Navy, 19 October 1861; was transferred temporarily to Army service, as captain and chief of artillery, and officer in charge of batteries at Fernandina, Fla., in December. 1861; appointed to temporary rank of colonel, to report to General Trapier, 13 January 1862; was on duty as colonel and chief of artillery. Department of Middle and East Florida, from December, 1861, to March, 1862; served on the C.S.S. “Capitol,” in the Mississippi river, May, 1862; commanding C.S.S. “Morgan,” September, 1862; appointed again commander, 23 October 1862, to rank from 26 March 1861; was in command at Mobile Bay, 1862–1863; commanding C.S.S. “Gaines”, December, 1863; commanding C.S.S. “Tuscaloosa”, 1863–1864 and C.S.S. “Huntsville”, Mobile Bay, April, 1864; surrendered with General Joseph E. Johnson, at Greensboro, N.C.; was paroled, 28 April 1865, and returned to his home, “Bonnie Brae”, Baltimore County, Md. Commissioned colonel and aide-de-camp, on staff of Governor Oden Bowie, 20 April 1869; was appointed colonel and assistant adjutant general by Governor Bowie.

Charles H. McBlair was appointed adjutant general of Maryland, with the rank of major general, 8 February 1871, and was re-appointed 5 February 1872, serving under Governors Oden Bowie, Whyte, and Groome, (pro tem). He died in Washington, D. C., 15 November 1890.

On March 13, 1871, the Maryland House of Representatives passed a bill absolving Charles H. from disabilities imposed by his participation in the “late rebellion”.

Michael McBlair
Born: Abt 1776
Immigrated: 1789 from Belfast Ireland
Married: 1802 to Pleasance Goodwin in Baltimore (Presbyterian)
Died: December 15, 1861

There is quite a bit of history for Michael, too much to be included here. So please click over to the McBlair Papers for all the details.

From the Naval Historical Center home page, US Navy Officers: 1798-1900 — “M”
McBlair, Charles H.
– Midshipman, 4 March, 1823.
– Passed Midshipman, 23 March, 1829.
– Lieutenant, 12 July, 1831.
– Commander, 18 April, 1855.
– Resigned 22 April, 1861.
McBlair, Thomas P.
– Purser, 11 November, 1839.
– Died 17 February, 1857.
McBlair, William
– Midshipman, 16 November, 1824.
– Passed Midshipman, 20 February, 1830.
– Lieutenant, 31 December, 1833.
– Commander, 14 September, 1855.
– Dismissed 20 April, 1861.

Walker Family Bible
Shows dates and places of birth, marriage information, and other family information for Samuel Walker, Anna Walker (McBlair), Nellie May, Lemuel Edward, Charles William, Thelma Madoline, Anna McBlair, Mary, Elsie, John, Gilbert, and Samuel.

Anna E. Mcblair in the Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940
Name: Anna E. Mcblair
Gender: Female
Marital status: Single
Race: White
Age: 22
Birth Date: 1870
Birth Place: Matthews Co., VA.
Marriage Date: 26 Oct 1892
Marriage Place: Alexandria, Virginia
Father: Charles
Mother: Lizzie
Spouse: Samuel Walker
FHL Film Number: 30205
Reference ID: No 3

Misc Sources
There are a large number (105) sources about this family that helped shape this page. There are census records, birth and death registers, newspaper articles, etc. To many to document individually, but all are available in my archives for further research.

I show Michael McBlair coming from Belfast Ireland, but have no real physical documentation to prove it. There is reference to this event, along with his brothers, in the “McBlair Papers”. Obviously I need to dig deeper into his past, and that of his family. (By the way, those papers make clear only he “made it” in the States, his brothers faring less well).

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