John Bly (1780-1840) & Charity Adams (1783-1860)

UPDATED JULY 2017

John Bly and Charity Adams are my 4x great grandparents, parents of my 3X great grandfather James Henry Bly.

John Bly was born in December 29, 1780 in Amherst, Virginia. David Bly, presumed to be his father, gave permission for him to marry. See comment section for thoughts from cousins on John’s parents. If you have any thoughts to add, please comment!

Charity Adams was born in about 1783 in Kentucky. She was an orphan by 1800 when she married. It’s noted by some that her father was named William. See comment section for thoughts from cousins on Charity Adams. If you have any thoughts to add, please comment!

John Bly and Charity Adams were married on September 25, 1800 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. John was 19 and Charity was 17. It is said that John had permission of David Bly to marry and that Charity claimed to be an orphan, and no one signed for her. I haven’t seen this record, so if you have it I would love to see it.

On the 1810 US Census, John Bly was head of a household in Rockcastle, Kentucky.  The household had 5 members: 2 males under age 10 (David was 10 and Martin was 4); 1 male 26-44 (John was 30); 1 female under age 10 (Henrietta was 1); 1 female aged 26-44 (Charity was 27). Listed next on the census is David Bly, so that may have been John’s father. That household had 3 members: 1 male over age 45; 1 female aged 10-15; 1 female over age 45.

On the 1830 US Census, John Bly was head of a household in Putnam, Indiana. There were 11 in the household: 1 male under age 5 (James was 5); 1 male ages 10-14 (Bryant was 16); 3 males aged 15-19 (Abraham was 20, John was 18, and Joshua was 17); 1 male ages 40-49 (John was 50); 2 females age 5-9 (Susan was 3 and Elizabeth was 8); 1 female aged 10-14 (Millicent was 10); 1 female aged 20-29 (Henrietta was 21); 1 female ages 40-49 (Charity was 47). Listed next on the census is the household of Martin Bly, their son.

US General Land Office Records show a January 5, 1831 Land Grant for 80 acres in Putnam County, Indiana for a John Bly. I don’t know if it is for this John Bly, his son John Bly, or an unrelated John Bly.

John Bly died August 7, 1840. He was 59. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

On the 1840 US Census, Charity is head of household in Clark, Montgomery County, Indiana. It’s a household of 4 people: 1 male aged 15-19; 1 male aged 20-29; 1 female aged 15-19; 1 female aged 50-59. Listed next on the Census are the households of William Bly and Abraham Bly.

On the 1850 US Census, Charity, age 65, was living with son Abraham, age 39, his wife Mary, age 36, and their 9 children, and Mary’s father. They were farming in Clark, Montgomery County, Indiana.

On the 1860 US Census, Charity was 77. She lived with her son James Bly, age 35 (my 3x great grandfather), his wife Jane age 21, and their 3 children. The family was farming in Medicine, Mercer County, Missouri.

Charity died after she was found on the 1860 US Census, in Medicine, Mercer County, Missouri. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

The children of John Bly & Charity Adams:

Note: I have found very little to connect children to John Bly and Charity Adams. Here’s what I have on potential children.

John Martin Blye – Martin was born October 6, 1806. He married Elizabeth Carman on March 10, 1835 in Montgomery, Indiana. On the 1850 US Census they were in Franklin, Montgomery, Indiana with 7 children. He died March 1, 1894. He was 87. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Henrietta Bly – Henrietta was born about 1809. She married James Harris on December 4, 1831 in Montgomery County, Indiana.

Abraham Bly – Abraham was born October 31, 1810 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. He married Mary Ann Carman on January 22, 1835 in Montgomery County, Indiana. They had at least 8 children. Later he married Elizabeth Hancock on April 29, 1868 in Warren County, Iowa. He died February 17, 1886 in Iowa. He was 75. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Joshua Bly – Joshua was born in 1813 in Kentucky. He married Mary Baker on September 21, 1837 in Hendricks, Indiana. On the 1850 US Census they lived in Center, Hendricks County, Indiana with their 6 children.

Bryant Bly – Bryant was born on June 24, 1814. He married Charity Moore on January 25, 1842 in Montgomery County, Indiana.  They had at least 11 children. He died on March 25, 1882. He was 67. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Millicent Emilia Bly – Millicent was born November 1, 1820 in Barren County, Kentucky. She married Joel Adams on May 14, 1840 in Montgomery County, Indiana. They had no children. She married William Brittain in 1848 in Montgomery County, Indiana. He had 6 children and they had 4 children together. She died February 6, 1872. She was 51, Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Elizabeth Bly – Elizabeth was born on November 12, 1822 in Montgomery County, Indiana. She married Gabriel F. Keath on November 13, 1838 in Montgomery County, Indiana. She died on June 19, 1840 in New Maysville, Putnam County, Indiana. She was 17 years old and had given birth to a daughter. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

James Henry Bly – My 3x great grandfather James was born in 1825 in Kentucky. He married Jane Brittain on May 31, 1854 in Caldwell County, Missouri. They had 4 children. He died January 11, 1864 at home in Steady Run, Iowa, after becoming ill while serving in the Civil War. He was 38 or 39. His Find A Grave memorial is here.Read more about him here.

Susan Bly – Susan was born in 1827. She married Leroy Brock on April 2, 1848 in Montgomery County, Indiana. They had 8 children. She died prior to 1880, when her husband was found a widower living in Niantic, Macon, Illinois.

5 thoughts on “John Bly (1780-1840) & Charity Adams (1783-1860)

      • I believe she was half Cherokee since the first white child to be born south of the Green River was David Chapman, born on October 25, 1791. There were only 3 counties in Kentucky when Charity was born there. The Green River was the boarder for most of the northern border of Lincoln County. She probably listed herself as an orphan to hide her mixed-blood Cherokee heritage. The Cherokee used southern Kentucky as hunting grounds a there were a lot of intermarriage between whites and Cherokee at that time period.

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      • I think Charity Adams was a Melungeon. The “orphan” myth was common when they started to blend in to white society. Historically, Melungeons were associated with the Cumberland Gap area of central Appalachia, which includes portions of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and eastern Kentucky. Melungeons have been defined as having multiracial ancestry.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melungeon

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  1. I saw on Ancestry that his father, David, was born in England, as well as his mother, Mary. Then I saw that David was born in either North Carolina or Virginia, and his mother, Mary, was born in Albemarle. I also saw in the google book “Portrait and biographical album of Polk County, Iowa, containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county,” that tradition holds that David was from England. And it also states that John Bly’s settlement was contemporaneous with Daniel Boone which is false. Daniel Boone settled an area he called Boonesborough in Kentucky in 1775. Amherst County has no marriage bond or church records of David Bly and Mary. I ordered the complete book, “Marriage Bonds and Other Marriage Records of Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1800”.

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