Only the first 14 pages of the Blount section of this 328 page book are reproduced here to give an idea of its content. Possibly more will be included later after discussion with Kyle Van Landingham. This book contains a vast amount of information of the two families covered and their descendants.
The first part of the Parker section can also be found at this site also.
The entire book has been transferred to the computer from the printed version by W. F. LaMartin.
Mr. VanLandingham advises the reader that this book was published in 1983 and that much additional information has come to his attention since that time. Please see the brief excerpts from Complete Peerage, Vol. 9, and the Blount Generation Report at this site.
Parker & Blount in Florida
Virginia W. Westergard and Kyle S. Van Landingham
The following Blount family lineage which carries the direct line to James Blount, the immigrant ancestor in America is printed (with corrections) verbatim from Lillian Carpenter's Blount Family History. The major sources for the lineage are the Blount Family Chart, prepared by Miss Helen Prescott, and Burke's History of Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire.
Arms: Barry nebulae of six or and sable.
Crest: An armed foot in the sun.
"Thy Light is My Way."
Another version of the motto is Lux Tua Vita Mia, or "Thy Light is My Life."
This very ancient family has given birth to three distinct lines of peers, viz., the Lords of Guisnes in France, the Barons of Ixworth in Suffolk (which Barony ceased with Sir William le Blount, Baron of Ixworth, who was slain under the banner of Montford, Earl of Leicester, at the battle of Lewis), and the Barons of Mountjoy, of Thurveston, County Derby, England, which Barony expired in 1681. (See Burke's Extinct Peerage.) Its settlement in England is traced to the Conquest, showing the generations as follows:
I. SIEGFRFED the DANE, 1st Count of Guisnes, A. D. 935, died 965 grandson of Harold V, 14th King of Denmark from Gorman I. Married Elstrude of Flanders, daughter of Arnold the Great of Flanders, and sister of Baldwin III, whose great-great-granddaughter, Matilda, married William the Conqueror.
II. ARDOLPH, 2nd Count of Guisnes, married Matilda, daughter of Arnold, Count of Boulogne. Their Son:
III. RODOLPH, 3rd Count of Guisnes, had four sons by his wife, Rosella de St. Pol, daughter of the Count of St. Pol. Three of them accompanied the Norman in his expedition against England in 1066, and contributing to the triumph of their Chief, shared amply in the spoils of the Conquest. The fourth brother returned to his native country, France. The others adopted that which they so gallantly helped to win, and abided there. This line of descent is traced through two of these brothers, whose families merged through the marriage of Sir Stephen le Blount and Maria le Blount in the next century, as follows:
IV. SIR WILLIAM le BLOUNT, the third son, was a General of the Foot at Hastings, and had grants of seven Lordships in Lincolnshire. **See p.219. His son:
V. Sir_______ le BLOUNT, of Saxlingham, Norfolk, time of Henry I. His son:
VI. SIR WILLIAM le BLOUNT of Saxlingham, time of King Stephen. His son:
VII. SIR WILLIAM le BLOUNT, of Saxlingham, County Norfolk. His daughter, Maria le Blount, sole heiress of her line, married SIR STEPHEN le BLOUNT, uniting the families of the two brothers.
IV. ROBERT le BLOUNT, 1st Baron of Ixworth, time of William the Conqueror, 2nd son and brother to William le Blount, General of Foot at Hastings, had the command of the Conqueror's Ships of War, "Dux Navium Militarium." His portion of the spolia opima embraced thirteen manors in Suffolk, in which County he was the 1st Feudal Baron of Ixworth (the place of his residence) and Lord of Oxford Castle. He married Gundreda, youngest daughter of Henry, Earl of Ferrers, and had a son and heir, namely:
V. GILBERT le BLOUNT, 2nd Baron of Ixworth, married Alicia de Colekirke. Their son:
VI WILLIAM le BLOUNT, 3rd Baron at time of Henry II, married Sarah de Mouchensi. Their son:
VII. GILBERT or HUBERT le BLOUNT, 4th Baron, married Agnes de Pisle. Their 2nd son:
VIII. SIR STEPHEN le BLOUNT, Lord of Saxlingham, who was living in 1198 and died in 1235. To him devolved the representation of the family from his nephew, William le Blount, 6th Baron, who was Standard Bearer to Simon de Montford, and fell at the Battle of Lewis, 14th of May, 1204, leaving no issue. Sir Stephen le Blount married, as stated before, MARIA le BLOUNT, heiress of Saxlingham, and had two sons: Their eldest son:
IX. SIR ROBERT le BLOUNT (died 1288) married Isabel, daughter and co-heir of Lord Odinsela, by whom he acquired the Manor of Belton in Tutlandshire. They had two sons, Sir Ralph (from whom are the extinct Lords Blount of Belton and Nicholas le Blount, who took the name Croke, ancestor of the Crokes of Studly Privy), and the 2nd son:
X. SIR WILLIAM le BLOUNT, of Timberlake, County Worcester married Lady Isabel de Beauchamp, daughter of William 1st Earl of Warwick, and widow of Henry Lovet. He died 1315 or 1316. His son:
XI. SIR WALTER le BLOUNT, Knight of Ockha--alias Rock, 1290, in the County of Warwick, married, before 1301, Johanna de Sodington, 3rd sister and co-heir of Sir William de Sodington. She was living in 1331. From her he acquired the estate of Sodington, which to this day continues one of the principal seats of the family. Sir Walter died about 1316, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir William le Blount, who married Margaret, daughter of Theobald de Verdon, and died without issue in 1327, leaving his property to his next brother:
XII. SIR JOHN BLOUNT (died 1358), heir to his brother, married Isolda Mountjoy, daughter and heir of Thomas, son of Sir Ralph Mountjoy whence the title Mountjoy was afterwards assumed by a number of this family. His son:
XIII. SIR JOHN BLOUNT (died 1424), sold Mountjoy estate to his brother, Walter; married (2nd wife) Isabel, daughter and heir of Sir Brian Cornwall of Kinlet, descendant of King John through his son Richard, Earl of Cornwall and King of the Romans. Their son:
XIV. JOHN BLOUNT of Kinlet (died 1442), married Alicia, daughter of Kynard de la Bere of Hertfordshire. Their son:
XV. HUMPHREY BLOUNT of Kinlet (born 1422, died 1477), married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Winnington and widow of John Delves of County Cheshire. Her will is dated 1502. Their son:
XVI. SIR THOMAS BLOUNT of Kinlet (born 1456, died 1524), married Anne, daughter of Sir Richard Croft of Croft Castle, who died in 1509. They had twenty children. Their son:
XVII. WALTER BLOUNT of Astley, died 1561 married Isabel, daughter of Walter Acton; she died 1562. Their son:
XVIII. ROBERT BLOUNT, Esq. of Astley (will dated 1573) married Mrs. Anne Davis, nee Fisher--married at Elmley Lovet in 1562. Their son:
XIX. THOMAS BLOUNT of Astley (born 1564, will dated 1624), married Bridgett_______. Their son:
XX. JAMES BLOUNT, probably killed at Battle of Worcester in 1655. Married a daughter of _______Clare. Their son:
XXI. JAMES BLOUNT, the Immigrant. (Hereinafter referred to as JAMES BLOUNT1)
JAMES BLOUNT l
James Blount was born in England and was living in Virginia in 1655, according to Blount genealogist Helen M. Prescott. He was married in Virginia that year and resided in Isle of Wight Co.. He and his wife (name unknown) had the following children:
1. James, d. 1716/17, Albemarle Co., N.C. He m. Elizabeth _____.
James Blount moved to Albemarle Co., N.C., in what was soon to become Chowan Precinct. The move occurred prior to 1669 for in that year James entered a tract of land on Albemarle Sound. He married in 1665, Mrs. Anna (Willix) Rascoe and had three children:
3. Elizabeth, m. Thomas Hawkins.
4. Anne, m. _____ Slocumb.
5. John, b. Sept. 16, 1669, N.C. d. March 17, 1725. Chowan Precinct, Albemarle Co., N.C. He m. June 11, 1695, Elizabeth Davis.
James Blount received another tract of land in 1684 which became Mulberry Hill plantation. This property passed to his son, John Blount.
James Blount was a member of the Governor's Council and the House of Burgesses of North Carolina. He also participated in Culpepper's Rebellion.
James Blount died in 1686 in Chowan Precinct, Albemarle Co., N.C. His will, dated 1685, was probated July 17, 1686.
Thomas Blount moved with his father to North Carolina between 1663 and 1669. He was married to unknown and had two children:
1. James, m. 1st-Katherine Tyler, 1712 2nd-Mary Tyler.
2. Sarah, m. _____ Pierce.
On May 13, 1685, in Perquimans Precinct, Albemarle Co., N.C., Thomas was married to Mary Scott, the widow of Joshua Scott and the daughter of Jeremiah Perry who died in 1694. Thomas and Mary had the following children:
*3. THOMAS, JR.3
4. Benjamin, d. before June 1740. He m. Elizabeth Everett.
5. Jacob, m. Elizabeth Long.
6. Essau, twin of above, scalped by Indians.
7. Christian, m. John W. Ludford.
8. Eillah, m. Kellum Tyler.
9. Anne, m. _____ Wilson.
10. Zilpha, m. John Edwards.
11. John, m. Elizabeth _____.
Thomas Blount lived for a time on his wife's plantation in Perquimans Precinct, He moved to Kendrick's Creek in Chowan Precinct, on the south side of Albemarle Sound in the winter of 1698-99. His plantation was known as Cabin Ridge and was located in present-day Washington Co. Thomas Blount was a planter, carpenter, shipbuilder, blacksmith and worker in metals. He made the cast to stamp the first set of weights and measures ever brought into North Carolina. Blounts Mill, located at Kendrick's Creek and later known as Lees Mill, produced boards for the first courthouse and also for the first church at Edenton. Thomas was a member of the first vestry, 1700-01, of St. Paul's Church, Edenton, and served on the board until his death. He was also a member of the N.C. House of Burgesses. He obtained land by transporting people to the colony and in 1697 entered 260 acres in Bath County at Ragged Point on the south side of Pamlico River. At the time of Thomas' death he also owned a Middle plantation and tract of land called Cabin Neck. Thomas Blount participated in the Indian War in 1699 and represented North Carolina in Indian treaties.
Thomas died at Cabin Ridge Plantation on the east side of Kendrick's Creek, in 1706. His will, dated Sept. 3, 1701, was probated March 28, 1706. His widow, Mary, married Thomas Lee and died in 1716. Her will was dated Sept. 26, 1716 and was probated Oct. 31, 1716.
She left her son Thomas one-half the manor plantation with the manor house. Thomas subsequently, on Jan. 24, 1716/7, sold the "340 acres on the east side mouth of Kendrick's Creek, where my father lived and by him bequeathed to the disposal of my mother, who by her last will and T. gave same to me in pursuance of the will of my father," to Thomas Lee.
A traditional story, related by Hon. Abraham Shepherd to John Gray Blount, tells of the
experiences of Thomas Blount's sons in the Indians Wars:
Four of these sons were engaged in the bloody war with the Tuscarora Indians in 1711
and 1712, who then inhabited the country watered by the Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse Rivers as
high up as the falls. Essau was scalped and kllled by the Indians in the most barbarous
manner in consequence of which, his twin brother Jacob swore revenge and kept his oath
until he became a terror to the whole nation. Towards the close of the war when his
feelings had become in some degree softened, he took in battle the son of the Indian King
as prisoner, saved his life and kept him with himself until the conclusion of the war when
he carried him to his father and delivered him up. This boy was so much pleased with and
attached to his deliverer that he took the name of Blount and at his father's death became
"King Blount" the last king of that nation so long as they remained in North
Four of these sons were engaged in the bloody war with the Tuscarora Indians in 1711 and 1712, who then inhabited the country watered by the Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse Rivers as high up as the falls. Essau was scalped and kllled by the Indians in the most barbarous manner in consequence of which, his twin brother Jacob swore revenge and kept his oath until he became a terror to the whole nation. Towards the close of the war when his feelings had become in some degree softened, he took in battle the son of the Indian King as prisoner, saved his life and kept him with himself until the conclusion of the war when he carried him to his father and delivered him up. This boy was so much pleased with and attached to his deliverer that he took the name of Blount and at his father's death became "King Blount" the last king of that nation so long as they remained in North Carolina
THOMAS BLOUNT, JR.3
Thomas Blount Jr., was born in 1687 in Perquimans Precinct, Albemarle Co., N. C. He married Anne Elizabeth Reading, daughter of Lionel Reading, after 1708.
Lionel (Lyonell) Reading was an early settler of Beaufort Precinct, Bath Co., N.C. He purchased 640 acres on the south side of Pamlico River in Bath County from Col. Thomas Pollock on Feb. 23, 1701/2. On Oct. 20, 1706, he purchased a lot "containing half acre and four pole lying on the front street of Bath Town,. . ." from John Lawson and Joel Martenson. Lionel Reading was a member of the General Assembly of N.C., July 25, 1711. His will, dated July 12, 1708, mentions his wife, Mary, sons, Nathaniel, Churchill and Thomas, and daughters, Sarah, Mary and Ann. An excerpt from his will states
"Item, I give to my daughter, ANN, one Negro woman, called Diana, with one bed and Furniture, one Iron Pott, with Five pound current money and four Cows and Calves, to be Delivered at the age of fifteen years, or at ye day of her marriage with her Mothers Consent." Lionel Reading's will was probated Feb. 18, 17
Thomas Blount, Jr., moved to Beaufort Precinct, Bath Co., where he lived until his death in 1729. He owned large tracts of land on Blount's Creek. Thomas is described in one book as a "wild young man" who was indicted for a riot. In March 1727 he was indicted by the N. C. General Court for "Assault & grievous battery. . . on Robert Campain. . . (and) the Sayd Thomas did beat Batter bruise and Sorely wound With Sticks Clubbs and fist insomuch that his life was despaired of. . ." This indictment for trespass and breach of peace was finally resolved in Nov. 1728 when the Attorney General nolle prossed the charges and Thomas was discharged from the indictment.
Following Thomas' death in 1729, his widow Ann administered his estate. Churchill Reading, her brother and Thomas Worsley, Jr., went on her bond for 1,000 pounds.
Thomas and Ann Elizabeth (Reading) Blount had the following children:
1. Reading, b. ca. 1710, Beaufort, Precinct, Bath, Co., N.C. Will dated Nov. 27, 1776, m. unknown. Had five sons: Reading, Jr., Joseph, Nathaniel, Jesse, and Bryan.
2. James, m. and had the following children: James, Benjamin, Hiram, and Barbara.
4. Jacob, b. 1726, Beaufort precinct, Bath Co., N. C. d. Aug. 17, 1789, Blount Hall, Pitt Co., N. C. He m. 1st-Barbara Gray, 1748; she was b. 1726; d. Apr. 8, 1763. 2nd-Hannah (Salter) Baker, 3rd-Mrs. Mary Adams. Children by 1st wife: William, Governor of Tennessee and Signer of U.S. Constitution, Ann, John Gray, Louisa, Reading, Thomas, Jacob, and Barbara. Children by 2nd wife: Harvey, Willie, Governor of Tennessee, Sharpe, and two others.
Ann Elizabeth (Reading) Blount married as her second husband, John Caldom (Coldhan, Caldon, Caldrom). They had one son, Churchill Caldom. John Caldom died in 1740 and his wife proved his estate.
John Blount was born in Beaufort Precinct, Bath Co., N. C., ca. 1715-20. He married Martha Lewis and had the following children:
2. Churchill Coldham
4. Lewis, m. Mary Smaw, widow of Wm. Smaw, 1799.
7. Chloe, m. Ben Grist.
John Blount received a grant of "my Plantation at Swifts Creek," from the will of his uncle, Churchill Reading, who died in 1734/5.
On Dec. 7, 1749, John Blount purchased from his brother, Reading Blount, 300 acres of land, on "the east side of Chocowinteh Swamp, on the South side of Pampico River, in Beaufort Co., for 300 pounds. This land was part of a larger tract of 645 acres which Reading had received by patent on Sept. 9, 1749.
The will of John Blount of Beaufort Co., is dated Sept. 6, 1765. it is in very poor condition and partially unreadable. He bequeathed his "manor plantation to his wife Martha, mentioned his son Churchill, and named his son Jacob as one of the executors. The will was probated in 1765.
Jacob Blount was born in Beaufort Co., N. C., about 1740 and served as an executor of his father's will in 1765.
On Oct. 9, 1769, Jacob sold to his brother, Lewis, 200 acres of land in Beaufort Co., for the sum of 20 pounds. This land was part of a larger tract conveyed by Reading Blount to John Blount, Dec. 7, 1749.
On Feb. 27, 1773, Jacob Blount and Martha Blount sold to Reading Blount some 200 acres for 100 pounds. This property was in Beaufort Co., "on the south side of Pamptico River and east side of Chowinity Swamp joining the lands of Reading Blount. . .being part of a larger parcel of land containing 685 acres as by the patent bearing date the 29th of September, 1749."
Jacob Blount and his brother Churchill moved from North to South Carolina during the early 1770's. A deed from Beaufort Co., N.C., dated Feb. 26, 1774, between John and Ann Patten and Reading Blount, states that "Churchill C. Blount is departed from this province. ."
Jacob Blount was the father of:
James Blount was born in Beaufort Co., N. C., about 1760-65. He moved to South Carolina with his parents during the 1770's. James Blount, by tradition, was a soldier in the American Revolution and served under Francis Marion. James appears on the 1800 census of Prince William Parish, Beaufort District, S.C.
James Blount was married to Mrs. Martha (Radford) Spears and had the following children:
1. Jacob Jehu, b. 1786, Beaufort District, S.C. He m. Hannah Richardson. She was b. ca. 1796. Jacob Jehu Blount moved to Florida in 1835 and is shown on the 1840 census of Columbia Co., and on the 1850 census of Hamilton Co. Jacob Jehu died prior to 1860 for in the Hamilton Co. census for that year Hannah, age 64, is residing with her son, Hugh B. Blount. Children of Jacob Jehu and Hannah (Richardson) Blount:
1. William Spear John Joiner, b. Aug. 16, 1826, Beaufort Dist., S.C. He m. 5 times. William S .J. J. Blount resided in Hamilton Co., according to 1860 census. He later lived in Suwannee Co., Fla. By his 2nd Wife, Sidney Bryan, b. ca. 1820, he had the following children:
1. Jacob, b ca. 1849.
2. Phillip, b. ca. 1852
3. Judson O'Connor, b. Dec. 12, 1855, Hamilton Co.. Fla. d. Feb. 2, 1891, Bartow, Fla. He m. Ruby Dexter. She was b. Feb. 14, 1861; d. May 15, 1939. Judson O'Connor Blount and wife had 2 children:
1. George Dexter, b. Feb. 16, 1881, Live Oak, Fla.; d. Denver, Colo. in 1906, where he was a prominent attorney. Children:
1. Deane, b. July 12, 1912. Resided at Thousand Oaks, Calif.
2. Mary Dexter, b. Dec. 31, 1921 She. m. _____ Lisum. Resided at Fairfax, Ca1if.
2. Roy, b. Oct. 24, 1883, Live Oak, Fla.
4. H. B "Arch," b. ca. 1857, He m. 1st- _____ ; she d. May 17 1884 2nd-TEXAS (PARKER) SUMMERLIN Apr. 27, 1888, Polk Co., Fla. See AED. One child by 1st marriage:
1. Hugh G., b. ea. 1877 d. Sept. 25, 1898, Guantanamo, Cuba, Spanish American War. He enlisted June 18, 1898, at Arcadia, Fla., served as 1st Corporal, promoted to Sergeant Major. He served in Co. C., 3rd. U S. Volunteer Infantry.
2. Eliza J., m. James Whidden.
3. Hugh B. "Arch," b. ca. 1833, S.C. He m. Mary Malinda Bryan, daughter of Milton James and .Mary (Stewart) Bryan. She was b. 1841, and m. 2nd Wm. M. Hunter, Jr..
4. Samuel J. C., b. ca. 1837: m. Lydia North, daughter of John C. and Rebecca North. She was b. 1843.
2. Radford, d. in Savannah. Had one daughter:
3. JOHN CHURCHILL GOLDING READDING7 (Hereinafter referred to as
a JOHN CHURCHILL GOLDING READDING BLOUNT)
4. Polly, said to have married and "went west."
References for genealogy commencing with James Blount1 to James Blount6: Blount Family History, by Lillian Carpenter; Blount Family Chart, by Miss Helen M. Prescott; Notable Southern Families, vol. I, by Zella Armstrong Related Royal Families, compiled by Marilu Burch Smallwood, 1966; Blount/Picken Genealogy by Robert F. Pfafman, 1966; Wheeler's Reminiscences of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians, by John H. Wheeler; Blount-Blunt Family Travel Maportran by Edith Blount Tunnell; Abstracts of North Carolina Wills and Inventories, by Grimes; North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, by Hathaway; The Blount Family of England, North Carolina and South Carolina by Virginia Lightle Blount, 1969; The John Gray Blount papers, Vol. I compiled by Alice B. Keith Blount and Stephens Families, 1782-1933; compiled by Wm. H. Stephens and Mary Louise Chapman; The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. II, William L. Saunders, ed.; Beaufort Co., N.C., Real Estate Records, Vol. I, 1695-1729, pp. 1, 13, 19, 62; Real Estate Records, Book 3, 1748-1763, p. 35; Real Estate Records Book 4, 1763-1778, pp. 241-242, 385-388; Will of John Blount, Clerk of Court, Beaufort Co., N.C.; Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia Vol. I, IV, Folks Huxford; Data from George Dexter Blount in files of State Historical Society of Colorado; 1800 census Beaufort Dist., S.C.; 1840 census, Columbia Co., Fla.; 1850, 1860 census, Hamilton Co., Fla.; **From p. 210 ; Burke's Extinct Peerages stated that Robert le Blount was "Dux Navium Militirium." Carpenter followed the Prescott Blount Family Chart which referred to William le Blount as "Dux Navium Militarium."
a JOHN CHURCHILL GOLDING READDING BLOUNT b., March 12, 179l, Augusta, Ga., d. Feb., 22, 1879, Bartow, Fla. He m. 1ST-Elizabeth Varn, daughter of Benjamin Varn. She was b. Apr. 22, 1796, Beaufort District, S.C., d. Oct. 12, 1861, Tampa, Fla. 2nd-Elizabeth Marsh, Nov. 2, 1862, Polk Co., Fla. She was b. ca. 1834. d. Feb. 11, 1866, Ft. Blount, Fla. 3rd-Leacy (Whidden) Collins, daughter of James and Mary (Altman) , Whidden, widow of Henry M. Collins, July 19, 1866, Polk Co., Fla. She was b. Nov. 4, 1834, Ware Co., Ga.
John Churchill Golding Readding Blount, known throughout his life as Readding Blount (also spelled Redding, Reddin, Reading), was born while his parents were living at Augusta, Ga. During the winter of 1791, they moved to Beaufort, S.C., where Readding grew to manhood. In 1812 he returned to Georgia and settled near Savannah, where he was stationed while serving as a soldier in the War of 1812. The 1820 and 1830 census for Prince William Parish, Beaufort District, S.C., show him as a head of family.
In Dec. 1835, Readding and his family moved to Columbia Co., Fla., where they settled at Alligator near the Suwannee River. Readding and his family can be found on the 1840 Columbia Co. census where he is listed as owning 10 slaves with 5 persons engaged in agriculture. Tax lists for Columbia Co. show Readding as owning 4 slaves and 80 acres in 1845-46, 6 slaves and 80 acres in 1847, the same in 1848, and 5 slaves and 16O acres in 1851. The 1850 census for Columbia Co. says that he owned 5 slaves that year.
During the Second Seminole War, Readding served in Capt. Stewart's Co., 2nd Regiment Dancy's Fla. Militia, Mounted, as a private, enlisting at Lancaster, E. F., Nov. 29, 1840 and serving until March 6, 1841 when he was mustered out at Lancaster. He reenlisted March 6, 1841 at Lancaster, as a private in Capt. Stewart's Co., 2nd service, and was mustered out at Alligator, E. F., Apr. 9, 1841.
The Blounts moved to South Florida in 1851 and the following excerpt from an articles written in 1908 by Benjamin F. Blount, a grandson of Readding Blount, is printed below.
In October, 1851, my grandfather, Readding Blount, with four sons, viz.: Riley R., wife and four children, Owen R., wife and two children, Nathan S., unmarried, and John J not grown, Streaty Parker, his son-in-law, wife and two children, John Davidson, wife and on child, making 21 whites and about a dozen Negro slaves constituted our colony that came from near the town of Alligator (now known as Lake City) and located about one mile west of the present courthouse in Bartow. My father (Riley) purchased a small improvement from the noted Capt. James Green and paid him $40 for it.
The country was absolutely new, as there were not then more than a dozen families in what is now Polk County.
Two or three families lived in the section known as Socrum, and a few in the neighborhood of Fort Meade. These, with our colony and a garrison of United States soldiers and 100 or more Indians of the Seminole tribe composed the population of the territory now included in Polk County. Game and fish were in abundance. Wild beasts and smaller vermin were numerous. It was no uncommon thing for a bear to run the dogs and hogs under the house in the daytime, . . .Every family had to keep a good pack of dogs and plenty of guns and ammunition. Dogs were not used to run deer and turkeys, as they could be shot at any time as needed. Venison was kept on hand for the dogs, but the people got almost as tired of it as the Israelites did of quail and manna in the wilderness. If a man ate a fox squirrel he kept it a secret to avoid being laughed at.
There were only two trading posts available to us, Tampa and Fort Meade. The market was very good for all kinds of country produce, and our needs in the clothing line were easily supplied--there was not much traffic in gents' furnishing or ladies' dress goods. Hickory stripes, osnaburgs, homespun, calico, brogan shoes, ammunition, tobacco, soda, salt, coffee, flour, and occasionally a few yards of linen checks and Kentucky jeans, thread and buttons comprised the usual dry goods and grocery stocks. We had no preaching but the people would visit around on Sunday and tell each other of the incidents of the week. Men carried their guns wherever they went. It was not uncommon to meet an alligator 10 to 12 feet long in the middle of the road ready to dispute the right-of-way, and if you had no gun he always kept the road.
Readding Blount was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church, having joined in Columbia Co., in 1 841. On Sept. 3, 1854, the Peas Creek Baptist Church was founded. This group was Missionary Baptist, and Readding's wife, Elizabeth, became a member shortly after the church was organized. On Jan. 8, 1855, she "came forward" and stated her intention "to become a member. . .as soon as her letter of dismission could be obtained which was unanimously agreed to." Church minutes reveal that following her death in 186l, the Rev. J. M. Hayman preached a funeral for her on Jan 5, 1862.
Land entry records in Polk Co. show that Readding Blount obtained land in Section 12, Township 30 South, Range 24 East, the entry dated Oct. 13, 1855.
During the Third Seminole War, Readding served as a private in Capt. L. G. Lesley's company, Fla. Mtd. Vols., enlisting Jan. 3, 1856, at Ft. Blount, and mustering out Aug. 20, 1856, at Ft. Meade. He then enlisted on Aug. 23, 1856, in Capt. F. M. Durrance's company, at Ft. Frazier and was discharged Dec. 21, 1856, at Ft. Frazier.
Readding Blount was opposed to secession during the days before the Civil War. However, when secession became a fact, and Florida joined the Confederacy, Readding did all in his power for the success of the Confederate government. Many of the old Confederate soldiers remembered Mr. Blount s many kindnesses to their families while they were away at war. Readding's advice to his son, Nathan, who differed with him on the question of secession and was a Major in the Confederate Army, was: "Son, do your duty faithfully to your country as a soldier."
In the Nov. 1861 election, Readding Blount was elected to the office of County Commissioner for Polk Co.
During his later years, Readding was engaged in the farming and cattle business in Polk Co. The 1860 census shows him owning 10 slaves and the 1861 tax list stated that he owned 11. It also reveals that he owned 160 acres of land. The 1866 and 1869 tax lists state that he owned 160 acres.
Readding Blount's will was dated Feb. 13, 1879 and named Nathan S. Blount as executor. His wife Leacy was given one-seventh of his real and personal estate. The six minor children by his second and third wives received the other five-sixths of the estate, in equal shares. The remainder went to the five oldest children, all middle-aged people with families of their own.
Readding vas buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Bartow beside the graves of his first and second wives. The will was probated March 6, 1879. Nathan Blount, the original executor, died Oct. 20, 1880, so Leacy Blount, who had remarried to Peyton Merritt, was appointed Administrator cum testamento, joined by her husband. A new inventory and appraisement took place Dec. 10, 1880 and Peyton and Leacy Merritt served as Administrators until March 7, 1882. They served as guardians for the minor children until June 5, 1888.
*aa l. Riley Readding, b. Feb. 14, 1824, Beaufort District, S.C.
*ab 2. Owen R., b. Dec. 3O, 183O, Beaufort District, S.C.
*ac 3. Nathan Snow, b. Dec. 29, 1832, Beaufort District, S.C.
ad 4. Mary Eve, b. Dec. 2O, 1834, Beaufort District, S.C. She m. Feb. 24, 1848, Columbia Co., Fla., STREATY PARKER. See AE.
*ae 5. Jehu Jacob, b. May 3, 1839, Columbia Co., Fla.
af 6. Jessie C., b. ca. 1864, Ft. Blount, Fla. She m. Jan 29, 1880, Manatee Co., Fla., Owen Summerall.
ag 7. Elizabeth M., b. ca. 1866, Ft. Blount, Fla.
*ah 8. Martha Jane, b. ca. 1868, Bartow, Fla.
*ai 9. Henrietta, b. Oct. l, 1872, Bartow, Fla.
*aj 10. Daniel Stanford, b. Apr. 6, 1874, Bartow, Fla.
*ak 11. Grace Augusta, b. ca. 1876, Bartow, Fla.
References: Blount Family History; J. N. Blount Memory Book, History of Polk County, by M F. Heatherington; 1928; Article by Benjamin F. Blount, Bartow Courier-Informant, Dec. 17, 1908; Obituary of Readding Blount, Tampa Sunland Tribune, March 15 1879. Seminole Indian War File of Readding Blount; File 57, Polk Co. Probate Records; Minute Book B. Polk Co., pp. 106, 112; Columbia and Polk Co. Tax Lists; Minutes of Peas Creek Baptist Church; Polk Co. Historical Commission Book 1, pp. 79-125; Oak Hill Cemetery, Bartow, Fla., Buckingham Cemetery, Lee Co., Fla., 1820, 1830 census, Beaufort
Dist., S.C., 1840, 1850 census, Columbia Co., Fla., 1860 census, Hillsborough Co., Fla., Information from Estella (Leverette) Lamb, Tampa, Fla.