Our Blackstone Connection to our Blackstone Blood line was only accomplished through thousands of research hours, investigations, travel, and DNA. Without many of the hard laborious work by many we would never have resolved the great mystery of our Blackstone bloodline.
How the Quest Started
Depends on who is telling this story really. Since I am telling the story it will begin with what I know. My Aunt Alice, known as "Dumpy" daughter of Laura Ethel Arnold and Benjamin Joseph Blackstone began telling me how she was trying to find her fathers relatives in Missouri. He had told her that he was born in Taney County, Missouri and that he was raised by an Indian woman, Martha Payton and an Irish man by the name of Isaac. The problem was there was no Isaac Blackstone in Missouri and the Indian woman did not claim them as her children. She called them Blackstone orphans. There was no records of any child ever being born in Taney County with the name of Benjamin Joseph Blackstone. After years of research and correspondence by many, my cousin Glenda took over and achieved quicker results with the internet. She found a lot of documents but most of them only proved that we were not related to this Isaac and Indian woman, Martha Payton. It was her idea to do a DNA search with my Dads blood since he was a son of Benjamin and Laura Ethel Blackstone. We were all excited about this new DNA findings but then became disappointed as there were not enough people with the last name of Blackstone in the DNA POOL yet.
But today there is! Before my father died I began to do research on www. 23andme.com and ancestry.com and corresponded with people that shared DNA with my father, Robert E. Blackstone. What I found was an amazing story.
According to the DNA Benjamin Joseph Blackstone and his 3 sisters were born into the Catholic family of William A. Blackstone and Mary France Blackstone. William and Mary had been living in a county close to Kansas City, Missiouri. William and Mary moved to Kansas City during the Civil War when the North took up their county as their base and gave everyone just a couple of days to move out if they were for the South. When William and Mary moved to Kansas City they moved right on the Missouri River. William built a home that they could take in borders during the week and on the weekend the farmers could bring their goods to sell on the River in a flee market type setting that William built. Unfortunately Mary's brother died in the war and his wife and 5 kids came to live with them in the boarding house. When William and Mary had their 3rd child they gave her up for adoption to a good friend of theirs, Isaac johnson and Martha Peyton. Benjamin was about 6 when Isaac died. He was shot in the back in the White River. It took Martha and the kids all day in a wagon to retrieve the body. Isaac and Martha had a handyman that worked for them by the name of Lamar. Lamar stayed with Martha until winter when he was shot over some wood fence posts. Martha had given Lamar some money to buy some wood posts for some needed fencing from a man and his son that were peddling fence posts. There were two posts that Lamar did not want and the young boy and him had words over it. The young boy shot Lamar and Lamar took his rifle out and leveled it on the seat of his horse and shot the young boy in the back as he ran. It killed the boy instantly and Lamar lived 24 hours and then he died. Martha grieved herself and became so depressed the family stepped in and took the kids. The kids got separated but kept in touch. Martha told the children that upon her death she would leave a trunk with information about who they were and about their parents. After Benjamin was old enough he traveled all over the state of Missouri looking for any Blackstones that he could find searching for any information that could lead him to his identity. He worked with fighting chickens and worked on the railroad in construction. His oldest sister, Annie had married a German man with the last name of Frowein and they moved to Illinois. She sold candy to the railroad workers when she met him. When Maggie came to visit her she met her husband with last name of Stone. Her husband was a plumber. After they had children, he poisoned her and remarried. It was never proved but Maggie had told her sister before she died that she thought he was poisoning her. He left their children at an orphanage and never came back for them. He died in Arizona. Annie tried to adopt the children but she had 13 of her own and the state would not allow her to as she already had so many kids.
(A personal Theory based on stories) Isaac Johnson was running with Jessie James and the gang. When Benjamin was a young boy Jessie came to the house and took apples off the tree and threw coins on the ground. Isaac saddled up and rode off with Jessie and his gang. When Jessie was killed Benjamin got to see Jessie in his coffin and identified him as the man that came to the house to see his father. Isaac hired Lamar to be there and help around the place as he was gone several weeks at a time. Lamar and Martha were closer in age that Martha and Isaac. Lamar and Martha fell in love. Martha did not grieve and fall apart after Isaac died. She fell apart and grieved after Lamar died. Lamar may have been the one that shot Isaac. Isaac was found shot in the back while crossing the White River on horseback. The horse returned to the barn without Issac. As Ben recalls, it took all day to find the body and bring it back home in their wagon.
After Martha died Annie took the train from Illinois to Oklahoma to get the trunk that Martha had promised them following her death. She took her grand-daughter with her on the long trip. The trunk was supposed to contain information to clear up many unanswered questions. When Annie arrived she was told that Martha wanted only Benjamin to retrieve the trunk. Annie had to go back without the trunk. She got in touch with Benjamin and told him. Ben knew how much Annie wanted to know about who her parents were and how important it was to her. Ben had been married to Laura Ethel and was living in Texas working the railroads as a construction supervisor. They already had two children. It didn't cost him anything to take the train back up to the Oklahoma/Missouri border. As soon as the weather was good he went to retrieve the trunk. When he got back home with the trunk he told Laura he was going out to the barn to open the trunk. She was anxious to find out more about his family. When he came back to the house he told her that he had burned everything in the trunk. He told her it was just trash. She was a bit disappointed but not nearly disappointed as Annie was. Growing up Annie had corresponded for years with her mom Martha trying to find out why she claimed she was not their mother and why she orphaned them out to relatives of hers.
Ben never told Annie what he found. She went to her grave not ever knowing. Why would Ben do this? Why would he burn the content of the trunk and go to his grave never telling Annie nor his children his secret. The only answer is....He was ashamed that his parents did not want them and gave them away. He never wanted his family to know the pain he felt, the feeling of not being wanted or loved enough to keep. No love from Martha and No love from his biological parents. He thought this information would hurt Annie so he never told her. Instead he let her believe she was part Indian. Even Martha did not want to claim the children when the Government was giving away land to the Indians and their families she documented that they were not her children. On the roster they were listed as living with the Indians as orphans with the last name of Blackstone. She was planning on keeping Benjamin but when she remarried she sent him away as her new husband did not like him or want him around. He went to a boarding school run by Bushyhead. Bushyhead was the son of an Indian Chief and pretty high up. He grandmother and Martha's grandmother were sisters. Bushyhead was a cousin of Martha's. Martha's family was wealthy. Isaac and Martha owned rental homes that they rented out to the snowbirds further north. Isaac would hunt wild hogs and bring them across the river tied to his horse. He would feed the renters and the family. When the children went to live with the Indians after Isaac and Lamar died they mostly worked for the families they lived with. The youngest of them was Kate. She was just a baby. She was adopted by a family. We know that William A. Blackstone knew about Isaac's death because up until his death they had given Isaac and Martha 4 of their children. After Isaac died Mary and William had another child that they did not keep. William only had one boy, Benjamin Joseph Blackstone. All the rest were girls.
The other side of the story.
On her death bed, Mary France Blackstone told her family that she had birthed several children that were stillborn. She may had not known that they were alive. She birthed 10 children. When William and Mary first had to face giving their children away they were running a boarding house. It was beginning to look like an orphanage with Mary's sister n law having to move in after the civil war with her 5 kids. At that time they must have felt they only had one choice, to give their children to a wonderful man, Isaac. For some reason Isaac was not able to have children of his own and loved kids. He had been married to Martha's sister, Sarah, for several years without yielding any children from the marriage. When Sarah became ill and passed away he married her younger sister, Martha. Martha's father was a white man and her mother was half Indian. Her father was a wealthy man. William and Martha probably thought their children would be comfortable and knew that even if something happened to Isaac, Martha's family had money. When Annie was a young girl she remembered her grandfather holding her hand and they went into a large cave that had lots of gold inside. Annie always told her children that they were part Indian. But they never were. The DNA proved that they were never related to Martha Payton's relatives or any Indians. And as far as the gold in the caves....probably belonged to the resistance of those times...Cantrell, the James Gang, ect.
I will post the documents that I got from William Blackstone's decedents from ANCESTRY.COM here soon. The family trees of our DNA relatives do not include our names on their family tree..... but DNA along with stories tells the truth.
To my father, my aunt beloved Alice, her sister, Maggie, Jessie, Josie and Dorothy....their brothers Victor, Ernest, Doc, Joe, Jimmy, Dude and Burt. We found them. Their were a total of 13 children who all contributed with stories handed down from their father Benjamin Joseph Blackstone. He did tell them that they were not Indian but Irish.
To my cousins that helped find and publish documents...Genevieve, Donna, Debbie, Glenda and her children, Rose Mary, thanks for all you did to get us there.