Friday, February 23, 2024

Work on LeBlak continues

 The Le Blak family in England is interesting. They are known to be Norman French by the Calender of Patent Rolls entries. The DNA of members of the Blake yDNA group that I help manage points towards the anticipated I1 haplogroup for this family but no one has a perfect trail back to the Blake family of Calne. Wills of the Calne family are very revealing and I have mostly transcribed all of them and blogged them through the years. Hence I decided given the charts that have been produced for Blake that include a portion of the Andover Blake family I should add a chapter to my book on this family and put all the "proofs" on the table so to speak. 

There is a request for opinions by the National Archives of the UK concerning old wills and I believe I shall write today to mention that with the controversy over Blake I think all Blake original wills should be retained into the future although the scans are more than adequate for me but to put to rest any thoughts of the original not being reproduced correctly it would be a wise move especially given the publication of the book "The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales, for Twelve generations" by Richard K Evans (published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society 2007). One of her 12th generation ancestors is a descendant of the Blake family at Andover. That ancestor did leave a will as did his great grandfather William Blake of Eastontown son of Nicholas Blake which is clearly detailed in the will of William. That will be one of today's projects. The archives did mention they would keep famous wills and other historically significant wills. The heir to the throne, Prince William, Prince of Wales, would appear to carry the ancient Hunter-Gatherer ancestry passed to him by his mother (of course it is very ancient but the very thought that William carries such a blood line is amazing really and he is truly a son of the British Isles from its very founding by ancient peoples. The fraudulent work of Horatio Gates Somerby regarding Nicholas Blake at Old Hall, Enham, has influenced American genealogy for over a century and must be corrected. Another of my aims and I have my grandfather's memory of the discussions that must have occurred following the publication of a book purported to be from the papers of Horatio Gates Somerby in 1881. I propose that this book and more likely the effect of this book on thousands of American descendants of Blake families are greatly influenced by his fraudulent work and the original Blake wills (and associated and I could prepare a list but not in time for their deadline).should be retained for a longer period as they affect the ancestry of the Royal House.

Other than that the day will be a busy one anyway. Up early before sunrise and as always it is a beautiful time in God's world. Lenten is special as we Christians spend it contemplating the gift of Jesus to the world, his death and his resurrection. 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Instead of locking people out

I have been saying for a while that I do not understand why all the people wanting a ceasefire do not do more for the actual people of Gaza. The Muslim population of Canada has huge resources and could have brought a couple of thousand children to Canada from Gaza to protect them from the horrors of war but all they do is complain at us; spoil our Christmas and now tell MPs they are not welcome in their mosques. Israel was attacked; they have the right to defend themselves and Hamas says they will do it again and again. There are still over 100 hostages held in Gaza that the International Court of Justice said must be immediately released unconditionally. That hasn't happened and why do I never hear the people complaining at us say to Hamas - release the hostages. I do not know how many of you went out into the streets of Canada to celebrate the barbaric butchery committed by Hamas against the babies, children, women and men, elderly on the 7th of October last but that was a hate crime bordering on terrorism because it supported a terrorist group. 

I was very pleased to see the judge in my home town of London, Ontario declare that the attack on the  Afzaal family is terrorism. That such a disgusting act happened in my home town is a sorrow to me. But the person complaining on TV and demanding a cease fire in Gaza never even said their name; did he remember it? We would all like a cease fire in Gaza but most of all we want those hostages returned immediately. The deal was that they would get their medication; they did not. Where is the support for these people - the hostages? 

I say to you again. Ask Egypt and the Canadian government for permission to bring a couple of hundred thousand little ones from Gaza to protect and take care of them until Gaza is rebuilt. You can afford it; you have built huge mosques. We do not need to know anything about the little ones between 2 and 8 years of age except you need to have their DNA done and that of their mothers to prove the children on return. Do your part in helping; complaining doesn't help. Tell Hamas to release the hostages immediately and unconditionally. 

Asking Canada to renew funding to UNRWA is an insult to the ability of the Gazan people to put their own food on the table and to Israel which suffered more than 1200 deaths because of some members of that group. Already so many Hamas terrorists in UNRWA exposed for their part in the barbaric murderous rage through Israel on the 7th October last, we can not in all honesty continue to support this group. Gaza has been supported through more than three generations by UN funding; it makes no sense when there are beautiful farms producing all kind of food just across the border in Israel - the same could be done with Gaza I assume, surely the land is not that different; never been there. It is an insult to continue to supply people with all their needs when they are perfectly capable of producing what they need themselves. They just need support to get it going. Obviously the best country to help them is Israel. Bring the children here to Canada (if Egypt and Canada will let you of course; no ideas on that but we did take in children from England during World War II) - the little ones only as they require virtually no screening except for a DNA test by the mother and for the child to match them up later - the bigger children can work to help their parents work on getting their lands into an appropriate format to bring the little children back. What a strange way to raise children; totally dependent on the United Nations for the very food they eat through so many generations.

Working on the Inquisition Postmortem

 A busy day that saw me go to get groceries (salmon for dinner with mashed sweet potato sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese and mixed vegetable on the side). Lovely meal. Lots of exercise as well. Took me seven tries to get the car into the garage. I am not overly good at that although I used to do it a lot better with a larger van; getting old I guess.

Worked on the Inquisition Postmortem and I do not think it has much more than the transcription in British History Online but I wanted to be sure. A few more documents to order and must get that going so that I can learn more about the Pencombe family in Herefordshire. 

Three Latin sessions today and the learning curve is advancing nicely. I actually recognize the endings now in the document. I know a lot of the words because they are all legal terms with which I am familiar but it was the endings that I didn't know as I never declined latin words. Speaking Latin is different for me although some of the hymns that we sang when I was a child in the choir were in Latin but with Duolingo you get that added feature. Looking forward to starting French in the Fall. My ability to read French is still very good but my speaking is dreadful. 

Today is a Blake day and I shall work on the le Blak family. I do have quite a bit of material. Plus I have the pictures of Rouen Cathedral where a Richard le Blak has an effigy but I do not know if he is buried there. When you look at the list from Rouen of people granted the right to set up a market in England it is lengthy with 22 from Rouen, 13 from Amiens, 8 from Almain, 5 from Huy, 4 from Malins/Malyns/Malines, 3 from Leges, 3 from Brabant, 2 from Cahors, 2 from Placenza, 1 each from Deu, Lucca, Florence, Caumbrey and Beuvays. Then interestingly enough 2 from London, one each from Rouecester, Northampton and two are associates not linked to a town but a person. There are 73 on the list in total. Presumably the ones internal to England in the list were considered to be non-English perhaps not sure. But one of the individals from London has the surname Bek which I found interesting. Most of the merchants though are from France - I thought there would were be more from Normandy but close by is Amiens. 

Time for tea and Latin. The morning advances quickly. 

Generally I like to avoid social conservative issues just because I can see no reason for them in the political life of our country. But this latest bit that is being spouted by the Conservative Leader has very bad vibes. Not all women (biologically born) are beautiful (at least do not fit that beautiful perfect look some people have in their minds) and when you enact a legislation that basically limits the use of public facilities to single genders of birth then you leave these women who are not quite so beautiful to everyone except perhaps their friends and family open to abuse in those washrooms or public areas by "catty women" (and sorry they do exist) just because they do not fit into that narrow criteria of beauty. So leave it Conservatives; stay out of social conservative issues. It is a waste of the English language. It will blow up in your face. What happened to all the financial issues? Can you think of any that you could work on instead of this? And I do not even understand all this gender business to be honest but I think people should just be allowed to live their life unless they are injuring/defrauding/whatever other people. 

I will share an interesting test we all took as a family once. It was online I think or it might have actually been a set of questions on paper. My daughters probably remember I have forgotten exactly where we found that (perhaps Readers Digest now that I think about it). It was a set of questions headed by "How Male are you?". I wasn't going to do it because I just think such things are ridiculous personally not to insult anyone but we all did it. Concentration on gender to me is a personality restricting way to look at life. Anyway we all took that test and much to my husband's shock I tested the most male of all of us with him next  and then my daughters. But clearly environment plays a huge role in how you do things - I grew up with two brothers older than me and  two younger with three of them being closer in age to myself. I think, at the time of taking the test, I thought it was very funny but  not surprising. My husband thought it was very deeply flawed because he couldn't see that I had any male characteristics. Probably well hidden (my mother would have certainly corrected any of that) but I think it really showed when he took ill and was so sad about his garden because he couldn't do the work so I did it; I moved many wheelbarrows of dirt from the lane way to the back of yard. I manually dug the garden because I wasn't strong enough to use the gas driven rototiller and every day I was out there at 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. and worked for five hours straight planting, weeding whatever to make that garden look like he loved it to look. I am not a gardener but to me that is more of a male tendency to just put your back to it and get it done; no whining no saying it can't be done. Then the other thing that really shows up when it doesn't do what you want it to do you use brutal force (few women use brutal force) like moving big rocks out of the garden that suddenly appear and such things. I think that we have lost sight of just how loose gender really is because of small families where females tend to be quite female and males quite male but not always. People can become the reverse of what they physically are because of surroundings perhaps no ideas on that really. I would not like to ever get into gender issues personally although I do think it is very important to let children be children and not encumber them with changes that affect their entire life until they can make an adult decision that will satisfy them. For a biological woman not being able to have children because of medical changes made and the same for a biological male undergoing changes that restrict his ability to have children - it simply isn't fair to them in the long run to let them convince themselves they need this before they really know what they are giving up. Anyway just thought I would share it for what it is worth.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Lenten Bible Study

I have taken part in and also led Lenten Bible Studies. This year I receive into my InBox a very special resource sent to me by the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund. It is called "Seeding Health." Every day in Lent I will receive this file and I have to say that it is a perfect Bible Study for me this time. We are talking about the plagues in Egypt when the Pharaoh refused to let the Israelis (Jewish people) return to their home. It is quite beautiful actually and today's prayer especially meaningful:

Creator God,
even though we have seen
the consequences of our actions
in extinctions, extreme weather,
and destroyed ecosystems,
we harden our hearts and there is no health in us. 
Forgive us we pray, and give us the vision
to see a path that leads to the healing of your world.

We must do something about Creation. We owe it the children of today and tomorrow. More than anything else in the world they should grow up in a world that has all of nature like we did. 

Not enough doctors

 While I cleaned yesterday I continued to think about 3 million Ontarians not having a family doctor. When we were young there was a doctor on every corner nearly it seemed in the suburbs. They mostly had their offices in their homes in those days but everything has become so much more advanced toolwise that one needs an office in an area where everything is very accessible and close to hospitals too. Most of the patients were children for sure; the growing up days of the baby boomers. Although I was born just at war's end I went to school with children born during the war because I skipped a year ahead from 3 to 5. But we could see that huge group coming along behind us.  

Life was harder for doctors way back then; my husband's uncle was a family doctor and he died relatively young (in his 60s I think). His hours were very long and his patient load quite heavy as he was outside of the city in a small town (not a huge change for physicians in rural areas except the hospitals are better equipped than in the 50s for sure). But now the family physicians in the city are experiencing these enormous case loads and long hours plus the cost of maintaining an office is very large. So Edward did make an effort when Gordon asked him to go to the Ottawa Branch Meeting of the OGS way back in the early 80s with him. It wasn't something that we ever did; Edward and I. We liked astronomy and were members of the RASC in London and then again here when we first arrived along with the Ottawa Field Naturalists Society. My parents visited right away and took us off to the local Anglican Church (not surprising!) although I had already found it but I knew Edward wanted a United Church. Gordon and Edward did seem to enjoy the meetings of the Ottawa Branch and for the next fourty years that pretty much occupied Edward's spare time (although he was pretty involved in his United Church as Treasurer and singing in the Choir as well!). 

Personally I do better in didactic situations not social; I tend to find social situations to be a nightmare to be honest. I was volunteer secretary at Edward's Church (I didn't actually volunteer). The bonus was I was behind a table and could mostly be away from people and just be helpful if needed. After all religion was part of my very being which I knew very well and I had my own deep seated Anglicanism as my support in time of trial. But I had promised to go to Edward's Church with our daughter. Learning Edward's ancestry of dissenters opened my eyes actually and let me see my Anglican Church through Edward's eyes; not that I agreed with him (my faith is very different from his approach to faith although towards the end of his life he did come to see that my faith was a strength that he could hang on to); I do not think I have a Protestant bone in my body; Catholic through and through. With people like Roger Williams, John Bowne, Hannah Feake, Elizabeth Fones, Anne Winthrop, Rev Obadiah Holmes etc. (the reach back into history in his line was formidable in terms of the talent that was there coming down to him and it expressed itself in him as a scientist although the opportunities (unless one went to the United States) were not overly available at that time. He just really wanted to stay in Canada although as we traveled more and more to the United States one could see that he was rethinking some of that and was very supportive of any such thoughts in our children (although they prefer Canada as well but one has to go where the opportunities are for sure as is the case of my older daughter). One could also see where he got his Protestantism from (I was amazed at all the dissenters in his tree actually as he moved back in time)! But I do believe that families should worship together and whatever works for them is great (I am pretty much a wishy washy person and go with the flow unless I have a strong opinion which does occur but I could be a closet Anglican (still went to early Church at the local Anglican Church for a number of years) and in a way I am back in that closet again except I have You-Tube Services!). For Edward I think he felt the need (plus he did go to the United Church when we first met and I did go to Metropolitan United with him in London when we lived there) as we moved through parenthood and he was following in his father's footsteps (he was only two when he died) and being treasurer and in the choir; it was definitely good for his view of himself to seek that association out I think. Edward was a strong person actually; very capable and really quite brilliant and along with his classmates Canada definitely failed them back in the 70s by not hiring their own students first to academic positions in the universities. Edward's father was also an elder but that is no longer quite the same in the United Church. My maternal uncle was also an elder actually as well as being involved with the Missions and Services in the United Church in both London and Toronto. Plus Edward's father was a farmer and Edward did love his hobby of tilling the soil. I had not thought to do any writing up of Edward's work because he felt he had done all that he wanted to do. But I could go back to reprinting items on his blog I am thinking from his many talks. I was doing that but then got back into my own one name studies. But perhaps that would be a good idea and I would be more relaxed about any missing ideas that he expressed but did not write up on his website. A contemplative day I guess as I move forward in my own research but thinking of ways to keep Edward's research in the present. Most of his American ancestors came to Canada as settlers in 1800 and after. The latest one was in the 1820s - William Rathbun - at the annual reunion of that family he learned that William was said to have "an itchy foot!" which was really something quite stunning to learn from the members of the American family actually. William was remembered and that was 150 years later perhaps.

Although the girls did try hard to be with him for his genealogy endeavours it wasn't easy to be young in so many graveyards but they did their best including writing it all down for him from the stones that he selected. When he received his Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for all of his volunteer work but especially his genealogical work they were pleased to see that all that work that he did was rewarded.  

I am very busy working away on the books for my mother and my grandfather. As a member of the Guild of one-name studies we have a newsgroup that keeps us attached as a group and people often share ideas and thoughts. We were into mediaeval tracing the other day and that is basically where I am at with both of these books at the moment. It is exciting times in England between 1200 and 1500 and then you start to see more wills, the parish registers and land documents but there is still a surprising amount of material to pursue before 1500 although it is in Latin and so I continue learning Latin and it is amazing how much I am able to do with it. Published genealogies and Pedigrees can be somewhat suspicious and we did discuss that. It is hard to undo what has been in print for hundreds of years but correct the errors of Horatio Gates Somerby I will do and a few other items which simply do not make sense. But the Somerby work is the greatest problem because it has been copied so many times especially by Blake descendants in America.

For the next book after these two, I know my grandmother had no interest in writing a book on the Buller family but I may give it a go when Blake and Pencombe/Pincombe are done. She loved her father and mother very much (mother died when she was 11; three years before her father). But his injuries in the First Boer War made life difficult for him although he tried very hard she said. Her mother was just 37 years old and her father was 49 years old. So it would be interesting to put her family into words. They are in fact very interesting. My family would likely enjoy having all of that encapsulated into a book.

What would the second book be? I could consider Rawlings but one of my cousins in Australia has done a lot of work on that as well as our mutual cousin (he has his MBE apparently) who wrote me maybe a dozen years ago now and said who is Ada on the 1881 census with William Rawlins and his wife Elizabeth (Lywood) Rawlins (her grandparents actually who apparently didn't mind taking in their illegitimate granddaughter!)?  I had mentioned my grandmother Edith Bessie (Taylor) Blake aka Ada Bessie Cotterill Rawlings in a post that he saw and that began a detailed correspondence over nearly a decade so I think I should leave Rawlins to them. Although I do have a good writeup on my paternal grandmother already (about 120 pages actually). I will have to think of which surname to work on next. I am not that interested in collecting cousins, my sister does an excellent job on that. For me it is the deep ancestry that yDNA and mtDNA leads me to and the surname trail back into the past. Although I never really did any genealogy all those years that Edward did, I appear to be spending my retirement (was going to knit baby clothes for packages to the north; and some sewing as well) doing an entirely different thing than I had intended. 2003 was definitely a watershed year in my life when George DeKay (my cousin) asked me to write the Pincombe Profile. 

I shall have to think about a second book to write at the same time as Buller. - there are some interesting choices like Cheatle which is a Leicestershire name and pretty much only there until the 1800s. A Cheatle married a Welch and produced the wife of Henry Christopher Buller. Lawley in Shropshire is another one still on my grandmother's side (the name appears to have originated in Ireland and I do know there is a percentage of Irish as several of my siblings have between 11 and 18% Irish). Why did they come to Shropshire in the mid 1700s? One wonders that. But with my searching over the past twenty years I have encountered a number of these families written up and because we corresponded our line is included. Interesting to contemplate.

The cleaning all accomplished yesterday and on to Pencombe today. Exercise (I do think I am an addict) but then one of the first things that I did when we were in the process of moving here was to take a break from moving in and walk around the large block  (no sidewalks then and the road was incomplete) with my three year old. I decided that was going to be the greatest thing having that 2 km trek to do every day until my little one was off to school (and me to work or school to do my masters!). What a treat I thought. That was April of 1978; we moved here on the 26th of April. Some friends from London lived closeby (yes we did have friends when we moved here) and that was when we noticed these carriage houses (they also had one). I fell in love with it immediately and we have been here ever since (not  much ambition where houses are concerned; Edward traveled a lot then and it was just a comfortable size for me to look after when he wasn't there). I no longer do the walk around as my daughters do not think it is good for me to go alone and to be honest I agree (older people should not wander around alone but COVID did show us how much exercise we could create in our own homes and yards). I have my treadmill, my stationery bicycle, weights, yoga mat and runners so I can do it all inside or in the backyard and can walk/ski around outside when they are here. Teatime and Latin next. Then on to breakfast. 

My own English ancestry (grandchildren can inherit between 0 and 25%; and I am not sure that my grandchildren inherited very much of my English ancestry; the youngest perhaps as he has autism but mostly he reminds me of his mother (he has an enormous resemblance to her) but occasionally I get a glimpse of my brothers there; just rarely)). My English ancestry sinks rapidly into the past having merged with Edward's 9th and 10th generation mostly European and maybe 5 to 10% British Isles ancestry; then Edward's 8th and 9th early American colonial ancestry in our children and now with our grandchildren French Canadian ancestry merges in back into the early days of Quebec and our son in law's family has found First Nations ancestry in their lines (I do want to get back into that research as well! never enough time) so way back into thousands of years ago on this continent for at least one line. Amazing really when you think about it. Which reminds me that is exciting naming Louis Riel as the first Premier of Manitoba. We are, in my lifetime, seeing The First Nations and the settlers walking together just as Tecumseh and Brock walked together. Our Governor General Mary Simon brings the long history of her Inuit peoples to her capacity as the King's representative in Canada and she does it so very well. With three grandparents born and raised in England and a father born there I am likely going to be a royalist supporter for sure! Will we always have a King? I think having a Head of State that isn't political is better myself. Politics can be such a downer sometimes. Although Conservative most of my life; I have voted Liberal the last ten years. But frugality in government is needed; better management of money but that is also on the companies that do work for the government. Do not cheat; do the job or resign from it if you cannot do it - let someone else do it. COVID was a difficult time; decisions had to be made quickly. Things had to be cobbled together to get efficiency but cleaning it up should be a process begun in the past. Part of the problem is the negativity in Parliament. Get the job done; work together instead of trying to score points. I am not impressed by point scoring. I am impressed by good government; good management of money. And I continue to blame all of the parties for celebrating a Nazi  in Parliament. You do so much mud slinging surely you could have caught that before it happened. Stop concentrating on belittling Justin Trudeau; he has done the job for ten years and quite well actually. He was absolutely perfect during COVID. He brought his citizens home from around the world without really any problems. He organized that very well in terms of filing income tax for instance. I have to be honest it surprised me; Liberals can not generally be counted on to be efficient. That is the Conservative strength generally but Social Conservatism is dead in the water for me. I will not support it. Jesus said to love your neighbour as yourself and those words come from God. The prefatory of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms begins with "We believe in the supremacy of God and the rule of law." God has many terms including The Great Spirit, Creator. Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms represents the best wishes of a people for a government that supports all the people. 

Must get to work; the day moves onwards.