After years of compiling, a family donated a set of genealogy books to the Rushville Public Library.

David Blackledge who is one of the three compilers started his research in 1960. The team of compilers, David, Michael and Mary Ann Blackledge started in 1996 and the first edition was published in 2002 and the second edition books (three volumes) was published in 2014.

Presentation of genealogy books, “Blackledges in America,” a three volume set; “Blackledges in America, A Genealogy of Blackledge/ Blacklidge Descendants with Roots in the United States of America” (Second Edition) by Mary Ann Ryza Blackledge, David William Blackledge and Michael Allan Blackledge was presented to the Rushville Public Library Thursday afternoon. The following donated the books: David Blackledge, Marilyn Forsythe, Judy Bechtold, Carolyn Trump, Nancy Craig, Myra Alexander Pavey and Elizabeth Alexander.

Nancy (Alexander) Craig said, “My cousin, Dave Blackledge, and the compilers of the genealogy books have given us a wonderful legacy for our children. I love to read the stories and see the pictures about our families. The Rush County Blackledge/Blacklidge’s are in Volume I Chapter 4 starting with John Blacklidge (5th generation), then Stephen “Clint” Blacklidge (6th generation) the father of my great grandmother, India Blacklidge (7th generation). India married William Alexander and her brother, Amos Blacklidge married William’s sister, Lenora Alexander, making their children double first cousins.

”India (Blacklidge) and Will Alexander are the parents of three sons: Donald, Hubert and Ivan. Amos and Lenora (Alexander) Blackledge are the parents of two sons: William and Lawrence. Marilyn (Alexander) Forsythe’s is the daughter of Hubert Alexander and Dave Blacklege is the son of William Blackledge. My grandfather is Donald Alexander (8th generation) and his son, Joseph Alexander (9th generation), is my father. My sisters (Judy, Carolyn, Alice, Myra and Elizabeth) and I are 10th generation: my nephew, Donald Blume, is 11th generation, and his sons, Maxwell and Elijah, are the 12th generation that lived in Rush County, Indiana.”

David Blackledge relates the origin of the Blackledge name: “We have found dozens of variations. Our branch that came up from Kentucky to Indiana all spelled it Blacklidge. My Grandmother, Lenora Alexander Blackledge, was a charter member of the Rushville DAR and learned that her husband’s Revolutionary War ancestor was listed as Ichabod Blackledge in his pension record. So, she changed the spelling (to the amusement or disapproval of some folks) for her family. One disapproving cousin told me that those who spelled it Blackledge were just too lazy to dot the “i.”

“Today there is some 1200 Blackledge and 150 Blacklidge families in the United States alone, found in 46 different states and the District of Columbia, in addition to those found in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and scattered elsewhere throughout the world. The trades and professions represented run the gamut from doctors, educators, clergymen, appointed and elected officials, judges and lawyers, farmers and ranchers, industrialists and small-businessmen, tradesmen and craftsmen to the new vocations meeting the needs of this rapidly changing technological and electronic era.”

Some other Rush County Blacklidge descendants have surnames of Frazee, Spivey, Daubenspeck, McIwain and Green.

The set of books will be available for reference only in the Indiana Room of the library.

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