I read what you said about the girls not be kept, but I'm curious as to why Lee and Harrison weren't kept? Also why WERE younger sisters Nancy and Georgia kept? If John was wealthy, couldn't he afford to support all of them? Especially if it was a big farm, boys are always wanted. True, Harrison must have died young since he didn't appear in any further census records, but Levi survived and went on to be a farmer throughout his life.
What about John's will, he only provided for Benjamin, John jr., Nancy and Georgia, the only children that went solely by the Blankenship name. Could this have something to do with the others going by Keys or Topping?
My ancester Lee/Levi- why didn't he, as an adult, take on his rightful last name of Blankenship instead of continuing to go by Topping?
Then the big question: if Matilda was Adkins, where did the names Keys and Topping come from? They weren't the last names of the families that raised the unwanted children. Do any of your family members have info on that?
Also, what happened to the children of Sarah after both she and John died? If Matilda was swindled out of the farm, who raised them?