Friday, October 24, 2014

Will of Robert Blacke, Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire - Diocese of Bristol Wills on Ancestry, probated 22 Dec 1639

I have included this will of Robert Blacke although do tend not to include any Black family members normally. The reason I did do that was because one of the witnesses was John Blake and he has a brother John Blacke. Robert is married to Jane and has sons Robert and John. His mother is Elizabeth Drue.

Pucklechurch is a parish just six miles from Bristol.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 15 Oct 2014
Source: Ancestry – Diocese of Bristol Wills
Testator:  Robert Blacke,
Place: Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 10 Oct 1639, probated 22 Dec 1639
Condition: 17th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: 789

1    In the name of God Amen I Robert Blacke of
2    Pucklechurch in the Countie of Gloucester Ghownmaker
3    beinge sicke in bodie but in good and p[er]fect memory
4    thanckes be given to Allmyghtie god doe make this my
5    last wil and testament in manner and Forme
6    Followinge viz[ a vit] I give and bequeth my soule into
7    the hands of Allmyghtie god my maker and redeemer
8    And my bodie to be buried in the Church of Pucklechurch
9    aforesaid Item I give and bequeth unto Jane my
10    wefe Five pounds Item I give and bequeth unto Robert
11    my eldest sonn five pounds to be paid unto him at our
12    Ladie day next ensuinge the date hereof And the stocke
13    to be Imployed to his use and maintenance during his
14    mynoritie Item I give and bequeth unto John my sonn
15    Five pounds to be paid unto him at our ladie day next
16    ensuing the date hereof And the stocke to be Imployed
17    to his use and maintenance All the rest of my goods
18    cattles and chattles unbequethed I give and bequeth unto
19    Jane my wefe and to Robert and John my foresaid
20    sonnes to be equally devided amongst them And my
21    wefe to have the use of my goods cattles and chattles last
22    given and bequeathed for and duringe the tyme of her
23    widowhood Item I doe nominat constitute ordayne and
24    Appointe Jane my wefe to be my whole and sole Executrix
25    of this my last will and testament And to see this my
26    Last will and testament Justlie truelie and honestlie
27    p[er]formed I doe nominat ordeyne and Appoint my loving
28    mother Elizabeth Drue and my Brother John Blacke to be my oversears
29    of this my last will and Testament dated the tenth
30    day of October Anno RRs Carolinum decimo quinto 1639
31    In the p[re]sents of
32    those witnesses here
33    undernamed
34    Roger Gregorye
35    Hugh Wickham
36    John Blake

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The British: A Genetic Journey by Alistair Moffat

Over the past month I have managed to read a rather fascinating book by Alistair Moffat titled The British A Genetic Journey. With all my English ancestry I have meant to read this book for awhile. Although he does not use footnotes choosing to write in a less academic style, his text is quite interesting and one can readily look into the literature and discover the science that has been published to which he refers. He paints an interesting story of the peopling of the British Isles. Some of the latest results of Big Y testing are perhaps updating his thoughts but this is an evolving study.

In my family lines, both the yDNA and the mtDNA are ancient to the British Isles according to testing done with BritainsDNA, FT DNA, and Genographic Project 2.0. The I2a2b haplogroup assignment for our yDNA results (FT DNA and I2a1b2 (ISOGG)) has been further broken down in the I2a study at FT DNA and designated as B4 along with two other results. These three results do not match but are said to belong to the same distinct group B4. This is the work of Ken Nordvedt with the three members -  Abijah Sussex being traced back to Devon in the 1600s and Roger Hoyte to circa 1650s at Creed Cornwall and my paternal line traces back to Robert Blayke circa mid 1400s in the Andover Hampshire area (namely Knights Enham). Alistair Moffat refers to this group as the deer hunters as does BritainsDNA. BritainsDNA lists this group as being S-185 but further delineated as S-2640 subtype but no further information on this subgroup. S-185 is just 0.9% of I haplogroup in their study and I haplogroup is just 18.1% of their entire set of results for y haplogroup. If you have 100,000 people tested at BritainsDNA then 18,100 would be I haplogroup and 1,629 of them would belong to I2a2b. Extrapolating that to the total population of the British Isles about 68 million one would have if the percentages actually do match actuality 12 million I haplogroup and 110,000 I2a2b. This subgroup is 3x more frequent in The Irish Republic yielding approximately 84,000 for this area and 26,000 in the rest of the British Isles although the concentration would likely be in the southern to south western part of England according to charts published by BritainsDNA in my brother's results and this does appear to hold true to the results in the FT DNA group where the three members are from Cornwall, Devon and Hampshire for B4 and there are several other groups.

I found a rather interesting article about I2a2b online discussing why this group is so small in the published results (I also think that part of this is because it is a very ancient group to the British Isles and the numbers are still not really large for people testing their deep ancestry in the British Isles). For instance, not one of my 3rd and greater Blake cousins in England has tested. I do not have any 2nd cousins in the Blake line in England (my father was an only child and the only Blake grandson of Edward Blake of Upper Clatford but Edward did have brothers with sons (their father was John Blake of Upper Clatford) and he had uncles with sons (their father was Thomas Blake of Upper Clatford and he was the son of Joseph Blake of Andover)).

Lately, with all these discoveries of ancient burials I wonder if one day my own line will be found - an exciting prospect. But having said all of this I still do not have a match at FT DNA, the matches at BritainsDNA are for SNPs only. No Blake, other than my brother, has tested in my known line as far as I am aware. There are several matches using the limited markers of the Blood of the Isles database. Should I actively pursue my 3rd and 4th cousins living still in England in the Andover area? What would they think if I wrote to them? telephoned them? I am still considering that idea. We are going to be in that area next April following Who Do You Think You Are in Birmingham - at least that is the plan. To spend a couple of days in the Andover area including Upper Clatford. Would any of my grandfather's cousins' children be interested in seeing what I have collected? I am basically a rather shy person and the idea of cold-calling people is foreign to me. I keep thinking about my grandfather and what he would have thought if he received a call out of the blue. A few more months to think about that.

The mtDNA of my most ancient ancestress and mine as well (verified with my brother's testing) is H11a2a1. We tested back in 2007 and have watched as H11 has unfolded with the published literature giving a deeper look into H11. This is a small part of the much greater H haplogroup. H11 is about 1% of all H and my own group a much smaller part of that greater group of H11. My best matches are in Ireland and Scotland but also there are some individual matches in Russia of the coding region but they lack the extra mutations that my line has in the British Isles. Tracking the members of my H11 study at FT DNA the further you are away from Ukraina where this group likely wintered during the last Ice Age then the more mutations you have acquired. My own line has three of the four distinct ones found in the British Isles (perhaps my line has reverted on one of these mutations making it somewhat easier to spot matches!).The added mutations perhaps helped them to survive as they are named Pioneers by BritainsDNA. BritainsDNA does not look at H11 individually in their writeup. It is a very very small group in the British Isles. The Blood of the Isles database has 18 with the full four mutations and two matching myself with just three mutations in HVRI (HVRII matches in both groups). There are 16 exact matches with the larger group at FT DNA. I have one match with my brother. This is my one line that I have only family lore to go on back from my great grandmother Ellen Taylor. There is some hint that she may have been Irish so perhaps from the Planters in County Antrim where there are a couple of matches on Oxford Ancestors database or from Scotland where Sorenson has a single match.

I will write a book report in my other blog on this book. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Returning slowly to transcription

I will be slowly returning to transcription and hope to be back at it full time again by early December. Instead of eight hours or so a day at my computer I find time for a couple of hours only. Thank you to everyone for your kind words. During this long interval of months I have been once again rethinking my approach on my studies of all my lines and my new methodology will not emerge until after the New Year. My this year has passed fast in actual fact.

I did test with Ancestry DNA and was quite pleased with the results. I have a 5th cousin once removed on my Buller line and we did not match when I tested her at Family Finder and downloading all the results and taking them into Gedmatch did not reveal anything. Tested at Ancestry DNA and we still do not have a match but we do have a mutual cousin that we both match and that can only be on the Buller side. I just happen to be a third cousin to this individual. The matches at Ancestry appear to be more distant in their estimation than FT DNA in that she is judged to be a 4th to 6th cousin whereas a known 4th cousin at FT DNA was said to be a 2nd to 4th cousin. All in how they do it and we benefit from their effort nevertheless.

My  ethnicity estimate was rather interesting at Ancestry and possibly the closest to what my estimate would be and that was 64% Great Britain, 14% Ireland (yielding 78% British Isles), 11% Europe West (probably accounts for my German matches everywhere), 6% Scandinavia and I have no ideas on that ancestry. Trace Regions Iberian Peninsula 1%, Europe East 1%, Italy/Greece 1%, Finland, Northwest Russia 1%, and Melanesia less than 1%.

Back to exercise as I do that about eight times a day for an hour at a time; plus amazingly I can still run so do 3K morning and evening. We also walk 4 K or so per day and the hours pass quickly. It is amazing how much a back problem can affect your entire life style!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Will of Richard Blake, Innholder, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire - Diocese of Bristol Wills found on Ancestry, probated 29 Apr 1724

Richard Blake is the testator and he is an Innholder at Chipping Sodbury. He mentions his son Thomas and his wife Mary in his will below.

The portbury-hundred website ( lists Richard as #98, born in 1668 and died in Chipping Sodbury 9 Apr 1724 at the age of 56 years. Richard married to Mary is listed as having three children: Joseph (died 18 May 1715 in Chipping Sodbury, Samuel (born 1692 and died in 1715 at Chipping Sodbury) and Richard born in 1700 and there is further information on Richard. This Richard is said to be a son of Ambrose Blake who was known to be born at Pynhills (Wiltshire) around 1620. Richard is said to have two brothers Henry and Ambrose both of whom have descendancies in the chart above. The great grandson of Richard was said to be the Richard who married Anne Augustine Harwood, daughter of Rev Charles Harwood, Dean of Chichester. There is some information on this family already blogged:

Earlier I did conclude that this line as written in the portbury-hundred website seems to be a reasonable lineage but one is left to wonder why did Richard not mention his son Richard in his will below. A couple of possibilities include he is a well established merchant in Bristol already, he has received his portion to set him up as a merchant or he has inherited from another relative and is passed by in this will. Presumably Thomas will remain with the Inn in Chipping Sodbury which his mother is inheriting. No will is listed for this Thomas.

There are other Blake wills at Chipping Sodbury. However, I can not clearly fit them into this particular lineage.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 1 Oct 2014
Source: Ancestry – Diocese of Bristol Wills
Testator:  Richard Blake, Inholder
Place: Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 16 Apr 1724; probated 29 Apr 1724
Condition: 18th century English, legible copy

1    In the name of God Amen I Richard Blake
2    of Chipping Sodbury in the County of Glouc Inholder
3    being Sick in body but of sound and disposing mind
4    and memory do make my last will and Testament
5    in manner and Form following
6    Imp[rim]is I will that my debts and funeral Expences shall
7    be paid by my Executrix hereinafter named
8    Item I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Thomas
9    Blake the sum of five pounds
10    Item all the rest and residue of my Goods and Chattles
11    of what kind soever I give and bequeath unto my dearly
12    beloved wife Mary whom I do hereby constitute and
13    appoint sole and only Executrix of this my last Will and
14    Testament And lastly I do hereby revoke recall and
15    make utterly null and void all and every Former and
16    other will Legacy bequest or Executor by me at any
17    time heretofore made given appointed or named
18    ratifying and confirming this and no other to be
19    my last Will and Testam[en]t In Testament whereof I have
20    hereunto set my hand and Seal this Sixteenth day of
21    April Anno d[omi]ni 1724
22    The Mark of
23    Rich
24    Richard Blake
25    Signed Sealed published pronounced
26    and declared by the above named
27    Richard Blake as his last Will
28    and Testament in the presence of us
29    who set our hands in the pre[se]nce
30    of the Testator
31    Georg Hardwicke
32    Jno Shellard
33    Joseph Hughes

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Blake Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 4, 2014

Blake Newsletter Volume 3 Issue 4 2014
Table of Contents
1.    The Surname Society
2.    Blake Wills Project
3.    Family Tree Reconstruction
4.    Pipe Rolls of Hampshire
5.    Blake yDNA Study

1.    The Surname Society
A new society is in the process of formation and I am involved as a founding member. The Surname Society will provide to its members a profile page for each surname in which they might have an interest. In particular, in phase 2 of the development of this society, there will be the ability to form a “Blake Society” which will replace my wordpress site for the Blake Family. There is an online questionnaire asking about one’s interest in the formation of The Surname Society if it interests you to respond to that:

2.    Blake Wills Project
I have been sidelined for the past six weeks with a bout of arthritis aggravated by sciatic pain. I really accomplished very very little the past six weeks as staying on my feet and walking a lot was the best that I could do. However, I am gradually improving and hope to return to my transcriptions around the beginning of October.

3.    Family Tree Reconstruction
I published the descendants of Joseph Blake (baptized 1730 Andover and married 1757 Upper Clatford) and he was my 4x great grandfather ( ). Extensive record collecting has Joseph as a descendant of Robert Blake who left his will in 1521 at Enham (and he was elderly). I am still busy filling in the family lines for this Andover Blake family but hope to publish the full tree later. I then moved on to Cornwall and started work on the Blake family at St Erney near Landrake but illness got in the way. I have published my partial work and continue to work away at this particular Blake line in Cornwall. This can be seen on my blog:

4.    Pipe Rolls of Hampshire
The Pipe Rolls of Hampshire for 1301-02 (Hampshire Record Series Volume 14 – ISBN: 1859751083)
Place                   Surname    Forename       Date
Wargrave                Blak          John              1301-2
Havant                  Blak         Laurence       1301-2
Wargrave                Blak, la    Alice              1301-2  (Richard le Blak)
Wargrave                Blak, le    Richard          1301-2
Merdon                  Blak, le    Thomas          1301-2
Waltham St Lawrence    Blak          Hamo             1301-2
Waltham St Lawrence    Blak          Walter            1301-2 (Hamo Blak)
Staplegrove                     Blake, le    William         1301-2
See blog post on this information:

5.    Blake yDNA study
No new information for our Blake yDNA study. We are always looking for new testers who have the surname Blake and the project can be found at FT DNA.

Submissions to the newsletter please send to