(this information from Robert S. Gary) Wife: Sarah Blakely: Born: Jul- 8-1769 in: Pennsylvania, Died: Oct-10-1851 in: Laurens County, South Carolina, Ref: 75,235, SCGS, father: John Blakely, mother: Rachel Orr. According to Sarah's death notice in the Baptist Newspaper, she married Lewis Miles who died 28 years before her. Gave no evidence of other marriages. The notice identified her father.  Husband: Daysor David Gill, Born: 1750 in: South Carolina, Died: 1815 in: Georgia, Ref: 75, SCGS, one known son: Thomas Gill who died in 1823, Ref: 235. (note by FOC: if  Days was born in South Carolina as early as 1750, I believe he could only be the son of Thomas Gill son of James Gill of Richland Co.  No other Gill was in South Carolina that early, except the random Mariner Gills in Charleston, to the best of my knowledge.)

I could find no will or probate records of a John Blakely in Laurens Co. from c1815!  Nothing in the Columbia Archives microfilm, and nothing that I could find in the Laurens Co. deed records, nor probate records.  There was a Jonathan Blakely who died intestate in 1814, but the probate bundle contains a list of heirs, and they do not include a Sarah.  More to come on this point.

Mr. Andrea apparently found an Equity record that I could not find (not surprising, kudos to him!): Days Gill married Sarah Blakeley, in Equity Roll dated 18 May 1815 on estate of late John Blakeley (Laurens Co., SC, see Jacob Gill of Laurens Co.) Widow Rachel Blakeley vs. children... deceased son, Jonathan Blakely, his widow now Rachel wife of Richard McKelvey and ch., Margaret & Agnes & Martha Blakeley minors, ... Thomas Blakeley ... Wm. Blakeley ... Robert Blakeley in Tenn ... Catherine wife of Hugh Wilson in Georgia ... Margaret wife of John Copeland, Benjamin Blakeley out of SC and address unknown ... deceased daughter Sarah wife of Days Gill & her son Thomas Gill (Laurens Co., SC record). Andrea record #104.

This record is again stated below:


Laurence K. Wells, Editor and Publisher, Published quarterly at Kingstree, South Carolina, Copyright 1974 by Laurence K. Wells

The subscription price is $12.50 per annum. All subscriptions begin with the Winter issue. Issues are not sold separately. Correspondence may be addressed: Box 694, Kingstree SC 29556.


The following data were abstracted from a book in the Laurens County courthouse, but they are pertinent to a much larger area. In the early years, an Equity court was held in Laurens for "the united districts of Greenville, Laurens, and Newberry," which was called the Washington Equity District.

Pages 36a-37a. (Estate of JOHN BLAKELY, SENR). The petition of Thomas & William Blakely sheweth that John Blakely, Senior, of Laurens District, sometime in the year l798 departed this life intestate, owning a tract of land containing 100 acres, adjoining lands now belonging to Charles Little, your petitioners Thomas and William Blakely, and the heirs of Jonathan Blakely deceased, leaving at the time of his death a widow Rachel Blakely and the following children and grandchildren, to wit, (see Bible entries below)

Rachel Blakely, widow of the said John Blakely, on or about 24 Dec. 1814 conveyed to your petitioners the undivided third part of the said tract to which she was entitled. Petitioners pray that guardians may be appointed for the minor children of said Jonathan Blakely, and that a Writ of Partition may be issued.

William Irby, Deputy Sheriff, swore that he personally served Andrew Spears, Thomas Gill, David Spears, James (sic) McKelvy & Martha his wife with copies of the petition, and left copies of the same at the houses of James Blakely & John Copeland. 18 May 1815.  {FOC: Apparently Thomas Gill was 21 or older in 1815, or born <1794.}

Commission to William Falton Esquire, John Howard, John Bailey, Samuel Taylor, & Samuel Vance, ordering them to make the partition. 4 Dec. 1815. Commissioners' Report dated 14 Feb. 1816 recommends sale of the land, appraised as worth $200.

{End of record in SC Magazine of Ancestral Research}

Clearly the records that I (FOC) found below are not of the father of Sarah Blakely:

John Blakely Laurens Co. records:

11 feb. 1807 John Blakely purchased from Wm. Atkins 146a for $400 Bk H p197 on Beaverdam Ck. (feeds into Enoree R., N ctrl part of Co.)

9 May 1812 John Blakely sells to Mary Gordon 117 acres for $200 Bk I p266 on Duncan's Ck.  (NE part of Laurens Dist.)

8 Aug. 1812 John Blakely purhcased from Mary Gordon 200a for $300 Bk. I p274, on Drin? Course Ck.

7 Jan. 1813 John Blakely, Sr. purchased from John Gailbreath 143a for $475 Bk K p144 on Reedy River (south part Laurens Dist., joins Saluda R.)

9 Apr. 1813 John Blakely sells to James Blakely 138 acres for $200 on Reedy Creek, Bk K p11.  

4 Dec. 1820 John Blakely sold to Thomas Davis 60 acres for $82 Bk. K p308.  

8 Mar. 1820 John Blakely purchased from Andrew Todd 100 acres for $500 Bk K p280 on Enoree River (north border of old Laurens Dist.)

2 Aug. 1824 John Blakely purchased from Whitehead Wilkes 314a for $850 Bk L p167 on North Ck.

A John Blakely estate had Benj. Jones appointed administrator in 1868, Box 162 #6.

No will, no probate bundle, for a John Blakely in the time frame of interest that I could find.

This information is from Kelly, slightly edited by FOC.

In referring to John Blakely who married Rachel Orr, I have no idea when or where he was born. The line out of a family bible states, "John came to Cumberland, PA in the 14th year of his age and stayed there for a time." I don't know where he came from. This information was obtained from a Dona Garrettson who is also a descendant and has vast quantities of information. I don't know which side of the revolutionary war they fought on.

As far as I know there weren't multiple wives many of the birth dates are guesstimates and have not been verified.

This information is all I have on John and Rachel, I've been trying to discover more information, as have several other people who I'm in contact with, to no avail.

There is one more thing: There is a story about an Orr Brother and sister who came from Ireland before the mid eighteenth century. The brother missed the ship. He arrived six months later, his sister had worked out part of her passage and helped her brother with his. His name was William (Orr), he married Mary Gill and settled in PA, his sister's name is thought to be Rachel. (This is just a story and has not been verified)

I also recently came across Orrstown Presby Cem in Franklin Co., PA where a lot of Orrs are buried, but I haven't any further information yet.

I've run across John Blakely's originating from Antrim, Ireland, England, PA and Conn. I'm leaning towards our Blakely being from Ireland. My husband's Great Aunt who was a descendant believed she was of Scotch-Irish ancestry.

More info: Guilford Co, NC records May 1785 pg 142 a deed of Sale from William Orr, James Orr & Samuel Watt executor of William Orr to James Gill for 200 acres of land.

Children of John Blakely and Rachel Orr:

1. Robert b. 24 Aug 1743/44, Cumberland, PA d. 14 May 1828 Washington Co., TN married Martha Dillon. Lived in NC until 1779 then moved to NW Terriority then to Washington Co., TN. Both are believed to be buried in Old Providence Presbyterian Church Graveyard in Greene Co., TN. (This is my husband's line)

2. Johnathon b. 28 Feb 1744/45 d. Sep 1809

3. Thomas, b. unknown in York Co., PA d. abt 1845 in Laurens Co., SC m. Margaret McGaffrey(Mcgaffey)

4. James, baptized 8 Apr 1755 Adams Co., PA, d. Jan 1837 Laurens Co., SC m. Nancy Sparks. Believed to of served in The Revolutionary War. The Clinton Sketch said, "James was captured by the 'Tories' and left for dead, but recovered.

5. Margaret, b. May 1759 in Adams Co., PA, d. 2 Feb 1844 Laurens, SC. m. John Copeland abt 1773.

6. William b. 12 May 1760(baptized 25 Jun 1760 Rocky Springs Society) in Cumberland, PA. d. 12 May 1847 Laurens Co., SC. m. Nancy Boyd 11 Dec 1791. Was a soldier of the American Revolution. Was in the SC militia at the age of 16. In the Battle of Stone River and with the regulars at Charleston. Buried at Old Providence A.R.P. Church in Clinton, SC.

7. John baptized 22 Aug 1762 d. 1851 in Blount Co., Alabama; m. {Jan Jennie Blair. - note, Charles Blakeley's research indicates John's spouse was Jane McDowell, daughter of James McDowell of Laurens Co.}

8. Catherine Baptized 12 Mar 1765, d. unknown m. Hugh Wilson moved to Georgia.

9. Benjamin b. 14 Jun 1767 Lancaster Co., PA

10 Sarah b. 8 Jul 1769 PA d. 10 Oct 1851 in Laurens Co., SC m. Days Gill.


Return to Days Gill Blakely records.
Return to Laurens Co., SC, Blakely page
Return to Gill state selection page
Return to Gill home page.

Copyright ©1998, Dr. Frank Oliver Clark. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy.  However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same. Please send any errors, corrections, conjectures, updates, etc. to Dr. Frank O. Clark.