Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Looking at the parishes around Bodmin/St Breock

A system constantly in evolution as I extract the data from the Cornwall records. I will now start to extract the baptisms, marriages, and burials from the parishes around Bodmin/St Breock and these include:

St Minver                                    B-126, MM-35, MF-46, B-90
Egloshayle                                  B-42, MM-22, MF-24, B-29
Withiel                                         B-8, MM-3, MF-4, B-4
St Wenn                                       B-43, MM-14, MF-6, B-23
St Issey                                        B-10, MM-4, MF-6, B-14
St Kew                                         B-15, MM-4, MF-8, B-16
St Mabyn                                     B-8, MM-6, MF-11, B-4
St Endellion                                 B-51, MM-10, MF-4, B-23
Padstow                                        B-37, MM-17, MF-19, B-30
St Ervan                                        B-11, MM-5, MF-2, B-11
Helland                                         B-8, MM-8, B-3
Lanivet                                          B-5, MM-5, MF-5, B-5
St Tudy                                          B-2, MM-4, MF-2, B-2

I would estimate a couple of weeks work here. I think it may take six months in total to work on Cornwall. Although I began last year at the end of July I have done almost nothing for six months whilst my back was recovering. As I work on each county I am looking at everything that is available to me from the earliest records up to the latest census (and Free BMD although I do not record any births or marriages for living people in a public way). I tend to stick with the Canadian standard of 100 years for births, 75 years for marriages and 20 years for deaths.

Gradually I am building the trees that I find at Bodmin/St Breock and will continue with these parishes. Then I will move back to Landrake and environs to make sure I have extracted everything from this area into my trees. From there I will select on the basis of numbers of Blake entries in the baptisms/marriages/burials and then collect around these centres.

Do I see a pattern yet in how I will publish these interesting trees? No not yet but the Blake family in Cornwall is there from the beginning of the parish registers. Are they a unique founder in the British Isles? That is really the rationale for this exercise to prove that there were a number of ancient founding lines of Blake in the British Isles that are unconnected. That these lines are descendant of both immigrant Blake lines as exposed in the Britian's Immigrant Database lately published and of ancient lines in the British Isles that took on the Blake surname. Why they took on the Blake surname is an interesting query that especially catches my notice as my own line at Upper Clatford/Andover/PentonMewsey is, as a result of yDNA testing, ancient to the British Isles dating back thousands of years so they have, in the 1300s taken on the surname Blake and why did they do that? Can I find that answer for my own line and also discover the descendants of the Blake immigrants (at least 31 distinct lines) who came to England in the 1200s to 1400s.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

600 plus emails

In case anyone has been writing to me the last six months whilst I have been somewhat out of action, I will get to your email but I have over 600 emails in my inbox. It is a slow process working my way through all of them and apologies for the delay.

I should say though that I do not have material on the Blake family in Ireland other than the books of Martin Blake published in the early part of the 1900s. These books are an excellent source looking at the Galway Blake family which is really quite huge in Ireland (the best way to determine if you are descendant of the Galway Blake family (at least two particular lines) is to do your yDNA. That at least gets you into the ballpark and from there, as the project grows, we hope to be able to come up with interesting results for the many Blake founder lines. I hope to get into the Irish Blake records but I am still beavering away in the counties of England and at the moment looking solely at the Blake family of Cornwall. It is an isolated county and hence much easier for me to look at. I would love to do Hampshire/Wiltshire/Somerset but it is an enormous task and will have to be done in sections as I now believe that there are a number of founder lines (including my own) and some of them are ancient to the British Isles like my I2a1b1a3 and have acquired the surname perhaps through marriage or as a characteristic surname which it is. However, Blake seems to be well established as a surname by the late 1200s/early 1300s so I suspect that adoption of it as a characteristic surname may not have occurred after this time period.

Although I have returned to research once again catching up on six months worth of emails is going to be a rather long task and do write me again as I am tending to respond to my daily emails on a regular basis picking up on the older ones as time permits. It is amazing to think I am retired as I am a rather busy retired person.

This hobby of genealogy has rather taken over my life which is surprising in itself as I was never into genealogy prior to my sudden entry into it. My cousin George DeKay can probably take most of that credit as he wanted me to write a profile of my Pincombe family for the Westminster/Delaware History Book and requested that of me in 2003. That along with the trip to London, UK in 2001 which kindled my interest in the whole idea of actually doing genalogy (although it did take a couple of years and I did fight the thought initially!). I belonged to the camp that said I already know everything about my family and in truth I did know quite a bit as what I had been told as a child matched what I found. What was missing were the details before my great grandparents in many cases completely lost to my parents and grandparents although my grandfather certainly knew his family history very well and what he remembered proved to be absolutely correct and substantiated by records. The same was true of my mother's memories of her families although she did not know all of them but what she did know was quite accurate.

Monday, February 23, 2015

John Pincombe (1728 - 1795)

52 Ancestor Challenge - Challenge 8

Blake, King, Coleman, Pearce, Farmer, unknown, Lambden, Sarah (unknown), Knight, Ellis, Knight, Vincent, Butt, Durnford, Arnold, Molton, Cotterel, Bartlett, Alderman, Ann (unknown), Sherwood, unknown, Habberfield, Collings, Rawlings, Tanner, Dove, Morgan, Lywood, Canham, unknown, Peck, Pincombe, Charley, Rowcliffe, Pearse, Rew, Moggridge, Siderfin, Kent, Gray, Hilton, Cobb, Sproxton, Routledge, Tweddle, Routledge, Routledge, (unknown) Buller, unknown, Beard, Hemsley, Welch, Brockhouse, Cheatle, Woodcock, unknown Taylor, unknown, Harborne, Lewis, Roberts, Croxall, Lawley, unknown

My choice for the 52 Ancestor Challenge this week is John Pincombe. He was baptized 13 Feb 1728 at Bishops Nympton the son of John Pincombe and Grace Manning. He married Mary Charley 8 Nov 1767 at Bishops Nympton and until I went to the Society of Genealogists in London, UK I was unsure of his death date but there I found an envelope of transcriptions made by the earlier researchers in the Pincombe one name study prior to the bombing of the Exeter Record Office in World War II. What a find that was and the transcription reads:

 This information from the Principal Registry Exeter.

John Pincombe of Bishops Nympton
John Pincombe, proved (at Exeter CC) 7 May 1795

John Pincombe of Bishops Nympton, yeoman
Will dated 14 Jun 1794
To my wife Mary £200 and goods

To my son John P. an estate called Lambescombe in North Molton
on condition he pays his two sisters £20 each in five years 

To my son Robert Pincombe £ 80 when he is 21 and £ 5 yearly until then

To my two sons William and Robert Pincombe half each of 

the copyhold estate called West Wood in Bishops Nympton when
they are 21

To my son Thomas £ 300 when he is 21 and £ 5 a year until then

To my daughter Grace Pincombe £ 110

Residue to my son William Executor

Witnesses W. Bowden, Grace Down

Seal (a stag)

Proved 7 May 1795 by William Pincombe Executor

Because the will was dated I knew he had died after 14 Jun 1794 and been buried before 7 May 1795 which left me with just one burial for John Pincombe which was 9 Aug 1794 at Bishops Nympton.

John and his wife Mary had six children John, William Mary, Grace, Robert and Thomas. Robert was my 3x great grandfather. Mary married George Zeale 20 May 1794 and this explains perhaps why there isn't a bequest to Mary in the will other than payment by one of her brothers. Mary died in childbirth and was buried 28 Mar 1795 at Bishops Nympton. Grace married Richard Headdon 14 Apr 1806 at North Molton and one of her children married John Bond (Ann Headdon married John Bond 13 Apr 1836 at North Molton). Their son John Joseph Bond was a Mormon and he married Mary Jane Blake (daughter of William Blake and Sarah Barrow) and along with their daughter Lucy Ann made the trek to Utah where their daughter Sarah Jane was born 26 Jan 1865 at Kaysville. Descendants of this family continue to live in Utah.

Linking John back to the earlier Pincombe lines in Bishops Nympton proved to be a long task. I transcribed the entire set of parish registers for Bishops Nympton (952 pages in a word document) and then knowing that I had every Pincombe entry extracted them and put the family together. In general it was felt by several researchers known to me that all the Pincombes who lived at Bishops Nympton in the 1700s/1800s were descendant of John Pincombe and Johane Blackmoore who had married 25 Sep 1655 at Bishops Nympton. This couple had had six children: William, Johan and Wilmote (twins), John, Thomas and Hugh. John died at the age of 13 years. These lines became quite separated from each other over time including living in different villages so that it became difficult to put them back together. However, I did succeed by purchasing all the parish registers needed.

Hence John was the son of John Pincombe and Grace Manning who had married 20 Mar 1725 at Bishops Nympton. Then that John was the son of William Pincombe and Mary Vicary. This William Pincombe was the eldest son of John Pincombe and Johane Blackmoore. Then that John was the son of William Pincombe and Wilmote (unknown). This William was the first Pincombe born at Bishops Nympton in the Parish Registers and he was the son of Richard Pincombe and Ann (unknown). This Richard was the son of William Pincombe and Emotte Snow although I hedge on it somewhat because there is no mention of Richard's son William in William's will of 1602. Then William was the son of Thomas Pencombe and Johane (unknown). Thomas being the son of (unknown) Pencombe who came to North Molton in 1485 with Lord de la Zouch.

I do want to read the North Molton Manor Books if they have survived to learn more about the line at North Molton but the extant records appear to permit this line as written. Earlier researchers came to a somewhat similar conclusion with regard to the Bishops Nympton family being descendant of the North Molton Pincombe family.

I did transcribe the parish registers at North Molton and marriages, baptisms and burials in the 1500s follow.

15 Nov 1539 Margaret Pincumbe married Philip ____ydon
1 Jul 1560 John Pyncombe married Emet Hodge
29 Nov 1561 Ales Pyncombe married William Locke
26 May 1567 Margerett Pyncombe married William Squire
20 Jul 1567 Mary Pyncombe married George Squire

Baptisms and Burials
6 Jun 1543 Agnes Pyncombe daughter of William Pyncombe
8 Dec 1547 Mary Pyncombe daughter of William Pyncombe
8 Jul 1555 Marye Pyncombe daughter of John Pyncombe; buried 7 Dec 1555
5 Apr 1561 Johane Pyncombe daughter of John Pyncombe
18 Jan 1563 Marye Pyncombe daughter of John Pyncombe; buried 3 Feb 1563
29 Jun 1574 Peternell Pyncombe daughter of John Pyncombe
28 May 1592 Phillip Pyncombe son of George Pyncombe
9 Dec 1594 Emott Pyncombe daughter of George and Dorothie Pyncombe
15 Apr 1597 William Pyncombe son of George and Dorothie Pyncombe
9 Nov 1599 Johane Pyncombe daughter of George and Dorothie Pyncombe

18 Feb 1563 Elizabeth Pyncombe wife of William Pyncombe buried
13 Feb 1564 William Pyncombe buried
25 Mar 1565 William Pyncombe buried

 Ancestry of John Pincombe

1. Elizabeth BLAKE
2. Helen Louise PINCOMBE (b 18 Oct 1916) - Westminster Township Middlesex County Ontario Canada
3. John Routledge PINCOMBE (b 10 Sep 1872)- Lobo Township Middlesex County Ontario Canada
4. William Robert PINCOMBE (b 11 Jun 1837)- Molland Devon England
5. John PINCOMBE (b 5 Jul 1808)- Bishops Nympton Devon England
6. Robert PINCOMBE (b 4 Oct 1775) - Bishops Nympton Devon England
7. John PINCOMBE (b 13 Feb 1728) - Bishops Nympton Devon England
8. John PNCOMBE (b 12 Jun 1692) - Bishops Nympton Devon England
9. William PINCOMBE (b 18 Oct 1656) - Bishops Nympton Devon England
10. John PINCOMBE (b 19 Jan 1622) - Bishops Nympton Devon England
11. Willyam PINCOMBE (b 23 Mar 1599) - Bishops Nympton Devon England
12. Richarde PINCOMBE (bc 1570) - East Buckland Devon England
13. Willyam PYNCOMBE (bc 1530) - East Buckland Devon England
14. Thomas PENCOMBE (bc 1500) - Filleigh Devon England

Looking at the ancestry of John one notes that my line was at Filleigh and then East Buckland. The parish registers for these two are simply not available prior to 1685 for Filleigh and 1684 for East Buckland. As I glance through the material I notice that there is a South Molton and District Archive: Local History Society and they have a newsletter. I think I should join this group and will look into that.

Who was the Pincombe who came to North Molton in 1485 with Lord de la Zouche. I have found some earlier records. There is one rather interesting entry in the Calendar of Patent Rolls for Thomas Pencombe. The earliest records in North Devon use the Pencombe spelling.

The online repository that has the Calendar of Patent Rolls (  is a freely searchable set of files made available as a project of Professor G.R. Boynton and the University of Iowa Libraries. It is from the time of Richard II:

1395 20 May Westminster (membrane 5)
Licence, for 100 s. paid in the hanaper by Philip Webbe, chaplain of a
chantry of St. Mary in the parish church of Bromyord, for the alienation
in mortmain by John Falke of a messuage in Bromyord, and by John
Hunte or another there, and by Thomas Pencombe and Robert Stanford
of five messuages and half an acre of meadow in the same place, not held in
chief, to the said chaplain and his successors, in aid of their maintenance.
18 Richard II, volume 5, page 582

Is it significant that this too was a Thomas Pencombe? There is a Bromyard in Herefordshire and ust four miles away is the village of Pencombe. In the Directory of 1851 (E.C. Lascelles) there is not any one of the Pencombe name but there is a farm called Pencombe Court where a farmer William Goode resides. The church there is said to be an ancient stone structure.

Lately I received an email from someone in Sweden who has traced his ancestry back into the 1700s and probably they were on the land back into the 1600s. However, he matched my 5th cousin with his yDNA test. We both found that rather interesting and he wanted to know if at some time there was a Pincombe who had moved to Sweden and since we were talking 1600s I really do not have any ideas on that but did put forward the notion that we might both be descendant of the Vikings! He was writing to my cousin but I have not yet heard back from him. Since I tried to write this cousin many years ago unsuccessfully it would be interesting to see if he will respond now.

This particular email came at a time when I had really set aside the yDNA Pincombe project because of the non match between Pincombe and Pinkham. The two earlier researchers had put these two families together but the yDNA results for Pinkham descendants in the United States was remarkably different from my cousin's results. I think I need to just sit back and wait to see what comes out of this project.

This is my mother's maiden surname and in memory of her I have attempted to carry on her research into her own family line. She knew her line back to John Pincombe and Grace Manning having seen it in a family Bible which has been since lost to time. I never saw that particular Bible. The one that I saw was the property of my great grandfather William Pincombe and contains the only document that is now extant for his marriage to Grace Gray the records having been destroyed when the local church burned to the ground with all the records.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

St Breock baptisms

St Breock baptisms prior to the mid 1800s are on Find My Past and I extracted about 100 of them. Now that I have so much information for the Bodmin/St Breock area I think my next step should be to do the rest of the parishes in the area of these two parishes and then merge families. Carrying on in too logical a fashion could create a lot of work for me later sorting items and finding duplicates. Whenever I get a large centre now in Cornwall I shall do that.

There are a number of distinct families in these areas through more than one hundred years of parish registers and they are using similar forenames so need to have a good look at them to see if I can find a founding family for them. That is the intent of all this effort after all. Now just need to get someone to test their yDNA for the Blake line in this area!

I still think yDNA hasn't sold itself yet in the British Isles. I suspect people are more interested in the autosomal DNA as it helps to relate collateral lines coming down from a common ancestor. The yDNA though is still I think the best test to do. I have to agree with the speaker at Roots Tech 2015 on that one for sure. She put yDNA as first, atDNA as second and mtDNA comes in a weak third. Do mtDNA if it interests you in finding out your deep ancestry was her comment. Since that was my original purpose in doing DNA in the beginning I certainly belong in that category - wanting to know the route out of Africa for my mtDNA and of course our yDNA through my brother's testing.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bodmin and St Breock, Cornwall Marriages

Working on the St Breock marriages and there are 54 with a male Blake and 61 with a female Blake from the beginning of the registers in the 1500s to the late 1800s/early 1900s. There were 49 male Blake marriages at Bodmin and 42 female Blake marriages at Bodmin. As I work through all of these marriages I will eventually plot them on a map of Cornwall just to see if anything interesting emerges from such charting. St Breock and Bodmin are just seven miles apart and my grandfather used to walk to Kimpton to visit with my grandmother before they were married and that was 5 miles so it is rather reasonable that these two places would be well known by people living in these villages.

Would all of these families be descendant of John Blake from Breton coming to Bodmin earlier in the 1500s? Would a number of people have chosen the surname Blake just because of their fair colouring? On the reverse of that would a number of people have chosen the surname Blake for their swarthy colouring?

Blake appears to be a surname that was occurring around England by the end of the 1200s and with a lot of particular areas in England by the 1300s and 1400s. With the parish registers we are into the middle to latter part of the 1500s so would people have just spontaneously chosen Blake as their surname or are all of these individuals descendant of particular Blake lines from the continent?

My own line in Hampshire is sitting there in the mid 1400s with earlier Blake members in the Andover area back into the early 1300s but linking these requires a look at the Manor Records hopefully that will be true.

But the yDNA of my Blake line is pointing to an ancient line in the British Isles so at some point my line took on the surname Blake presumably and why did they do that? Along with being interested in the surname Blake I have acquired a rather strong interest in uncovering this mystery in my line back in the 1300s. Finding an Irish Blake at Salisbury is rather interesting and his forename Richard most interesting given that Robert Blake born circa mid 1400s has a son Richard and the Richard Blake from Ireland is found at Salisbury 7 Sep 1441 on the England's Immigrants database blogged earlier:

Not sure how long it will take me to work through these parish register records on the OPC Cornwall database as I have 124 parishes with baptisms, 159 parishes with marriages, 140 parishes with burials, banns in 46 parishes and non comformist baptisms in 32 parishes. I am now working on about the 12th in each of these columns (baptisms, marriages and burials).

I also want to continue working on the wills hoping to do 3 to 4 per week and still writing my 52 ancestor challenge every Monday. There are probably not enough hours in the day to do everything that I would like to do! However, will just beaver away at it all and see what happens.