Sunday, August 4, 2013

From the Galaxy of Holliman Cousins - Blakeneys Continued

by Glenn N. Holliman

More on the Blakeneys, a branch of the Alabama Hollimans....

Below, two distant cousins by marriage, Reed Blakeney of Social Circle, Georgia and yours truly, met last springtime.  I am holding a copy of Reed's excellent work, Sipsey, a historical novel based on the life of Thomas Blakeney (1807-1896) of Newtonville, Fayette County, Alabama, a book we examined in our last article.

Unlike a similar work, Margaret Mitchell's famed Gone with the Wind, Reed's tome has not yet been snatched up by Hollywood, but I frankly think Sipsey is a better read.  This too is a story of the Old South, not a romance of fancy, exaggerated fiction, but rather a gritty, sometimes violent, sometimes loving, always anguished and accurate portrayal of the antebellum South that passed slowly from an 1830s Alabama frontier to the turbulent years of a Civil War.

Below, Reed in his working room where the background wall posts photos of his Blakeney ancestors.  The Blakeneys and Hollimans lived on neighboring farms in 19th Century Fayette County, Alabama and intermarried on occasion.

Below, one of Reed's most famed ancestors was Thomas Blakeney, the inspirational character for SipseyThomas Blakeney entered life 1807 in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, the son of Revolutionary war hero, Captain John Blakeney who rode with Frances Marion.  

He moved to Alabama prior to 1831, and married Sarah Roberts (1807-1861) about 1831 in Tuscaloosa.  This couple had eight children, one being William Blakeney, who died 1863 in the War.  

Thomas remarried Martha Nevins in 1862 from which there were no more children.  He prospered in Fayette County, owning 2,800 acres, a cotton gin and at one time seven slaves.  Thomas died June 2, 1896 in Newtonville, Alabama. However, there is more to Thomas Blakeney's story, a fascinating chapter of passion, cultural turmoil and redemption.  With the research of Dr. Rhodes Holliman, we will take this story further in the next article.

This and the Blakeney's ties to the Alabama Hollimans and descendants will be explored in the next posting. 
Have questions about Holliman family history? You are invited to join the Hollyman Email List at and the Hollyman Family Facebook Page located on Facebook at "Hollyman Family". Post your questions and perhaps one of the dozens Holyman cousins on the list will have an answer. For more information contact Tina Peddie at, the list and Facebook manager for Hollyman (and all our various spellings!). Mrs. Peddie can assist also in any DNA research.

Since early 2010, I have been publishing research and stories on the broad spectrum of Holliman (Holyman) family history at . For stories on my more immediate family since the early 20th Century, I have been posting articles since early 2011 at .

Let's save the past for the future! If you have photographs, letters, memorabilia or research you wish to share, please contact me directly at Several of us have an on-going program of scanning and preserving Holyman and related family records. Write please and tell us of your items. Thanks to the Internet, we are able to scan, upload to the web (with your permission) and return the materials to you.

A seminar is to be held at the Rose Hill Inn, Fayette, Alabama, October 18 and 19, 2013 for more serious students of Holliman and related families.  Just write me for more information. GNH

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