THE HUGH BLAIR & MARY (DAWSON) BLAIR FAMILY:
1706 - 1783
Hugh Blair Mary Dawson
Word of caution to the reader: When you go back this far into your family's history, family lines tend to get very complicated rather quickly due to similar family names and errors in research. Although I've tried to exercise caution in what I print, please be open both to the possibility of errors and the fact that someone else could appear with better documentation than mine that takes our family line in a different direction. I've tried to provide notes with other researcher's opinions in order to guide us to what really is "true".
Connection to blog chart: Hugh & Mary (Dawson) Blair are the great-grandparents of William McCall Blair, who married Mary Ann Kirby.
(Note: One source, Kay Balsley, believes that Hugh was the son of John Blair and Mary Blythe. She believes that Hugh was born about 1700 in Ireland).
Hugh Blair was the immigrant to America; he was born in 1706 in either Scotland or Ireland (One source says about 1718 in Scotland or Ireland; another source says he was born about 1725/1726; another source says about 1718 in Galloway, Scotland). He married Mary Dawson about 1738 in Ireland (One source says they were married in Guilford county, North Carolina). They went to North Ireland in 1741 due to religious persecution. (Note: Scottish people from Northern Ireland were called Scotch-Irish; this distinguished them from the natives of Ireland). He was a Presbyterian minister from 1741 - 1783. He served in the North Carolina Continental line for nine months. (Note: The Revolutionary War was basically from 1775 to 1781; the Boston Tea Party occurred on December 16, 1773. In December of 1767, Daniel Boone came from Rowan county, North Carolina to find a way over the Blue Ridge Mountains to the headwaters of the Big Sandy river). Hugh and Mary came to Pennsylvania from Ireland in the summer of 1746. They resided in: Lancaster county, Pennsylvania; South Carolina; and Guilford county, North Carolina. Watauga was the first settlement in Tennessee; Jonesboro was Watauga's oldest town. A "Hugh Blair" is listed on the "Watauga Petition". Hugh's parents were James Blair Sr. and his wife Mary _______ (one source says Hugh Blair's parents were John Blair, who was born in 1700 Ireland and his wife, Martha Blair. Hugh's grandfather was listed as William). Hugh died about August, 1783 in Surrey county, North Carolina (One source says he probably died in Guilford county, North Carolina). Hugh made his will in Surrey county, North Carolina in May of 1783.
The Children of Hugh & Mary (Dawson) Blair:
(Note: One source says that some of Hugh and Mary's first children were born in Ireland).
I. Hugh Blair Jr.: He was born in 1744 in Ireland. He married Jane McCaleb on August 8, 1778 in Guilford county, North Carolina. He resided in Washington county, Tennessee. Hugh Blair Jr. signed a petition to North Carolina from the 'Western Country" (now Tennessee) in 1776 (according to Ramsay's Annals of Tennessee).
II. Jean Blair ("Jane"): She was born on August 20, 1746 on the boat coming to America (to Guilford county, North Carolina) from Ireland on the Atlantic ocean. She married (1) James (or John) Endsley about 1767 (Jane's great, great granddaughter, Lula Cummings, had an Endsley for a husband - Roy Endsley) and (2) John C. Cummings Jr. about 1780. When Jane was seventy years old, she went to Bedford county, Tennessee. She died on April 21, 1839 from lightning and is buried at the Round Hill cemetery in Belfast, Tennessee, which is in Marshall county. John and Jane (Blair) Cummings had one child:
A. John Blair Cummings: He was born about 1785.
III. Mary Blair: She was born on February 17, 1748 in Rowan county, North Carolina. She married James Leeper on November 6, 1766 in Rowan county, North Carolina. Mary resided in Bedford county, Tennessee. Her death occurred on March 29, 1828 in Marshall county, Tennessee. They had the following child:
A. Allen Leeper: He married Elizabeth Ewing. They had the following child:
1. Elizabeth Leeper: She married William David McClarey.
IV. Lt. John Blair: He was born on April 28, 1749 in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania (One source says in 1750, possibly in South Carolina. Another source says Guilford county, North Carolina). He was known as "the miller of Leesburg". He owned what later became known as "Strain's Mill" in Washington county, Tennessee. He was a private at the Battle of King's Mountain in the Revolutionary War (One source says he was a Revolutionary soldier from Maryland). Did he work his way up to Lieutenant? He married (1) Jane (Jean?) Gamble on February 9, 1771 in Guilford county, North Carolina. She is the daughter of James Gamble. John Blair married (2) Hannah Caruthers on November 26 (06?), 1793 in Washington county, Tennessee. John's first wife, Jane Gamble, died on May 13, 1793 in Washington county, Tennessee. John resided in Washington county, Tennessee. He died on December 17, 1819 in Jonesboro, Washington county, Tennessee (Will Book 1, page 126 in Washington county, Tennessee. Jonesboro. His will is dated November 21, 1819).
V. James Blair: He was born in 1740 in Ireland. He married (1) Sarah Elizabeth Cunningham and (2) Sarah Lowery. He died about the time of the Revolutionary War. (Was James married twice or was this the same woman, one time using maiden name and another using name from her first marriage?).
VI. Martha Blair ("Mattie"): Mattie was born in 1751 in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. She married William M. Cunningham on December 31, 1771 in Guilford county, North Carolina. She resided in Blount county, Tennessee. Mattie died in 1838 in Bedford county, Tennessee.
VII. Elizabeth Blair ("Betty" or "Betsy"): Betsy was born in 1742. She married Moses McQuiston (some say "McChristian"). He was the son of Robert McQuiston and Jane Ruth. Betsy stayed in North Carolina.
A. Mary McQuiston: She was born about 1788 in Guilford county, North Carolina. She married George Cummings.
1. Harriet Saunders Cummings: She was born about 1810 in Wilson county, Tennessee.
1. John Blair of Guilford county, North Carolina and some of his Descendants, compiled by Lucy Echels Blair (1979, LaMesa, Texas).
2. Annals of Tennessee by Ramsay.
3. Discussions/ letters/ Blair genealogy chart of Marvin Smith Blair.
4. Will Book 1, page 126. Jonesboro, Washington county, Tennessee. (Will for John Blair, the "miller of Leesburg").
5. Marvin Smith Blair letter dated February 25, 1997 (contains article on "Blair Genealogy" from the East Tennessee Historical Library).
6. Preston E. Groome, Blairlin III (1993), 360, Some Descendants of Hugh Blair.
7. John McClarey (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
8. Tom Green (related through the James Blair - Jane Carmichael line). (E-mail: TBGreen3@prodigy.net).
9. Bob Blair
1. E-mail from Tom Green (TBGreen3prodigby.net): (in reference to Hugh Blair who married Mary Dawson: "Some researchers believe that Hugh Blair was the brother of Major Thomas Blair, born 1738, who married Jane Ruth, but I doubt this connection. I believe he may have been an uncle, and brother of John Blair, the father of my Major Thomas Blair. I descend from his daughter, Martha Blair, born February 12, 1777, who married her first cousin, John Blair, born October 22, 1767. He was the son of John Blair, born about 1742, a brother of my Major Thomas Blair".