The Overall Gang #3 ~ Charles McKay Blackwelder

A lot of time while writing about our ancestors, we focus on those who would be considered successful by current standards. After all, there is usually far more documentation and sources that we can draw from that makes developing the story of their lives much easier. Looking through photos I made a discovery! I have quite a few pictures of my ancestors wearing farmers overalls. The majority of my ancestors spent their whole lives making a home and raising a family on a farm. To them, wearing overalls was a sign of honor, and they were proud of what they did. So to honor these hard-working men I will highlight the life of one of the “overall gang” each week, including the photo and a brief biography of the legacy they left behind.

This week I am highlighting my paternal 3rd cousin, Charles McKay Blackwelder. He was born on October 24, 1915 and was the oldest of the 2 children born to Whitson Blackwelder (1854-1930) and Beatrice Carter (1887-1922). Although he was raised in the town of Old Fort, McDowell County, North Carolina, he spent a lot of his childhood on the nearby farms of his Grandparents and several uncles. His father had become a blacksmith, so being on the farms was a treat for him.

In 1948, he married Blanche Hawley (1920-2004) and they moved out of town near his farming family and rented a farm. They had 2 children, 1 son, and 1 daughter. He tried his hand at farming but found he didn’t enjoy it , nor was he successful with it. At least he tried. He then got a job working on the railroad, and he worked for them until he retired. He died on April 1, 1993, at the age of 77.

I wanted to do this tribute because as I stated above, his love of the farm as a child prompted him to try farming, even though it didn’t work out. Also, I think the photo of him in his little overalls at the age of 2 was just too adorable not to share!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

2 thoughts on “The Overall Gang #3 ~ Charles McKay Blackwelder

  1. Thank you for your featuring my father. I still have that picture somewhere in our family photos. He was a good man, husband, and father. I was not aware that he tried farming though I do remember him working at the Railway Express, NC State Ports, and Corning.
    Chuck Blackwelder

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