Welcome to the Cash / Blackburn Branch of Our Family. Ted's father was Howard Cash.  The Cash Branch of the family has been interesting to research.  Ancestors have been found from Native American Indians (Cherokee); from Soldiers of the American Revolutionary War; from passengers arriving in America onboard the Mayflower; and from the royality of Europe.  One of our cousins was elected as the 1st President of the United States; but most of us have just been hard working people and have gained no fame along the way.  Take a look at the Notable People for more information.

DNA: Ted and his brother have had their DNA tested late in 2016.  Some of our ancestors have been verified by finding other descendants that have also had their DNA tested.

Howard's father, John R Blackburn (see note below), was born in Clay County, IL and was a laborer there.  John's father, Eli Blackburn, was a Civil War veteran and farmer; John's mother was Temperance Shepherd.  Eli's mother was Frances Eddings, and we have found much information about the Eddings family.

Howard's mother, Frances Manning, was born in Sedan, KS.  Her father was Henry Palmer Manning (Manning, Blackford and Smiley) and her mother was Mary Frances Jennings (Jennings, Cornelius and Moffett).  We were able to trace the Moffett line back into Scotland in the 1400's.  One of cousins, William Jennings Bryan, was the Democrat party nominee for President of the US in 1896, 1900, and 1908.

Howard Cash's father

Howard's birth certificate says that his father is 'Eliga Cash', but I believe that is not correct.  Below are the reasons that I have made these changes.


1.    30 Oct 1898, Clay Co, IL - Howard's Grandmother Mary Frances Jennings married John R Blackburn.  She had previously married Henry Palmer Manning and had two children with him - Howard's mother, Frances Jane Manning and her younger sister Laura.  John Blackburn had been married twice before (the first wife died, the second one had divorced him).  Frances and her younger sister Laura lived in the household along with 3 children from John's previous marriage.

2.    13 May 1905, Flora, IL - Henry Francis Cash, Howard's older brother, was born.  His mother Frances Jane Manning was unmarried at the time.

3.    14 Aug 1905, Flora, IL - Frances Jane Manning (Howard's mother) married Elijah Cash.

4.    Fall 1905 - a doctor visits the family because of a problem with Henry Francis - he fills out a birth certificate form, listing Elijah as the father.  Illinois did not require birth certificates until 1917.

5.    16 Mar 1906, Flora, IL - A divorce was granted between Frances Manning Cash and Elijah Cash.  Elijah filed for divorce on the grounds that Frances had "carnal knowledge" with John R Blackburn.  Frances, under oath, signed an admission that she had "illegal sex" with one John R Blackburn, before and after she married Elijah.

6.    04 Jan 1909, Flora, IL - Howard Taft Cash is born.

7.    17 May 1910, Flora, IL - census records show a family consisting of Mary Frances (Jennings) Blackburn, Frances Jane (Manning) Cash, Howard Taft Cash, and his older brother Henry Francis Cash.  Mary Frances was listed as a widow.  [Apparently John died between 1906 and 1910 - no death record or burial location has ever been found]

8.    13 Apr 1911, Flora, IL - Mary Frances marries her third husband (George Bentley), and Frances Jane marries her second husband, Charles (Creed) Wilder.

9.    1940, Los Angeles, CA - Howard was living in Los Angeles and had applied for a job with Lockheed Aircraft; they required a birth certificate.  One was filled out by his mother, Frances, and filed with Clay Co, IL on 28 May 1941 showing his father to be "Eliga Cash".  Eliga's occupation was listed as working for the railroad.

10. Elijah never remarried and when he died his estate was divided between his siblings.

11. Jun 1998, Flora, IL - In talking with relatives of Elijah, they were surprised that he had any descendants.  They recalled a story when someone approached Elijah one day and said "you are my father".  Elijah was taken back and reportedly said "get the hell out of here.  I have no children".

12. In speaking with Howard's last living sibling, my Aunt Mae, I asked her if she knew anything about John R Blackburn.  She replied "Mama [meaning Frances Jane Manning] always said 'he was an evil man'".

Thoughts and opinions: Howard's father is most likely John R Blackburn, not Elijah Cash.

1.    John R Blackburn - From court records we know that John R Blackburn had access and opportunity to father children with Frances Jane Manning.  The 1900 census lists him as a "Saw Miller" so I'm guessing that he was a strong man, and not one that would leave his home after the affair with his step-daughter was disclosed.  Therefore, he likely still had access and opportunity.  The only real question in my mind is "when did he die?”  He is in a photo taken probably during the Summer of 1908 and according to the 1910 census he was dead.  John's first wife, Sarah Boyd was only 17 (he was 26) when they married. His second wife, Laura Haynes, was only 18 (he was 34) when they married.  John's third wife, my great grandmother Mary Frances Jennings, was 42 (he was 41) when they married.  Frances Jane Manning was 19 and 23 when Henry and Howard were born.  It would appear that John preferred younger women.

2.    Elijah Cash - Elijah was apparently displeased enough with the "situation" that he filed for divorce.  The 1900 census shows him living in Flora with his mother, and his occupation was listed as "farm laborer", not a railroad employee.  Later in life he seemed quite vocal, at least from the story told, that he had no children.  I can not imagine that he and Frances would have gotten together almost two years after their divorce to conceive a child.  His name on the birth certificate took place 30+ years after the birth and he was likely never aware of the document.

3.    Frances Jane Manning - To save embarrassment, she would be more likely to put Elijah's name on the birth certificate than to explain what really happened.  She took the truth with her to the grave.  Her comment about John Blackburn being 'an evil man' says a lot. 

4.    Ted Cash - I, the author, was horrified when I first learned through divorce records what had happened.  I could not imagine my grandmother doing such a thing.  But, I reasoned, or rationalized, that she was much weaker than John, and that it was more likely that John was the aggressor than my grandmother.  If I had a choice I would rather go with the character of Elijah as my grandfather than that of John, but my conscience says that would not be correct.

5.  DNA Testing - In October 2016 I (and later my brother) submitted our DNA to AncestryDNA.com for testing.  So far [as of 2 May 2020] I have found 667 cousins that match our DNA on the Blackburn / Eddings / Weaver line and 0 on the Cash line.

6.    Conclusion - John R Blackburn is the father of Howard Taft Cash.