Blackerbys have long history

Published 3:51 pm Monday, May 10, 2010

At least five generations of the Blackerby family have lived on the stretch of land now occupied by Liberty Baptist Church, Chelsea Youth Fields and several homes, including that of Wallace and Shelby Blackerby.

“My grandfather’s house was right over there where the church parking lot is,” Wallace Blackerby said. “We tore down the house when we built this one.”

Blackerby has several old photographs and a 646-page book, which help tell the story of his family.

“The largest clan of Blackerbys is in Alabama,” author Patt Roach of Abilene, Texas wrote.

She credited Wallace and Shelby Blackerby with making research of the Alabama Blackerbys possible.

“She came and spent a week with us when she was researching the book,” Shelby said.

Wallace, Shelby and their sons, Phillip and Bob, spent many hours copying tombstone inscriptions. They helped search census records. Inez and Emma Blackerby (Wallace’s mother) copied old, unorganized records in the courthouse attic.

Roach traveled to England on their quest, where she found the Blackerby name recorded as early as 1574. Records show the earliest Shelby County Blackerbys in America as James Blackerby I and II in Virginia in 1664. Son/grandson Joseph, (Sr.) settled in South Carolina.

Around 1822 Joseph Blackerby Jr. moved to the Chelsea area — to Weldon, located at the end of Whistenhunt and Salser Road, which runs by Quinn Graveyard, Wallace Blackerby said.

Abner married Nancy Salser. Their son Henry C. Cunningham Blackerby was born at Salsers in 1828.

During following generations family homesteads spread out to encompass hundreds of acres. Although some of the acreage has since been sold, family members, including Wallace’s son Bob, still own and live on much of it.

Henry’s son Albert and wife Katie Bell Eubanks lived on the present-day Liberty Church property. Albert’s son Lawson and wife Emma Lee Partain lived next door, where their son Wallace and wife Shelby now live.