Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thais Opera

My husband and I like to attend the Opera and yesterday the MET production in digital format at SilverCity of Thais was exceptional. Since it started at 12 noon and we were there at 11:30 a.m. to get good seats, a good part of the day was spent "at the opera." We treated ourselves to a bag of popcorn which we haven't done for a long time and munched away quietly during the opera.

In terms of genealogy I didn't really accomplish a lot. I answered some queries online from my ancestry subscription - the query re Blake generated another email and Charles Blake has proven to be an elusive but popular ancestor. I think most of my queries about Blake have dealt with Charles. His marriage at Abbots Ann to Mary Prince in 1737 is the first entry for him at Abbots Ann. The Prince family are farmers (freehold) so a fairly substantial family for the time. Their only son Charles as well married into the Gilbert family which is also a substantial family in the area. But who is this Charles? He is mentioned in the will of John Blake malster at Abbots Ann in 1797 (along with my ancestor Thomas Blake (3x great grandfather)). I can trace my Blake line back through Upper Clatford to Andover and to the beginning of the Register where the first baptism for this family (thus far I am still transcribing the earliest register) is William (b 9 Aug 1615) and son of Richard. I suspect the earliest baptisms were kept in a register now long lost which was probably in a chapel at Eastontown where this family lived. Richard is the son of William who is the son of Nicholas (all this by wills). But there is never a Charles in this family. There is a Robert Blake family at Andover as well and I am still working on this line. They appear to be descended from the Blake family at Knights Enham (Robert is a popular name in that line) and there is a marriage of a Charles Blake and Jane Framtan at Andover 2 Oct 1687 (who is this Charles?). No baptisms for this couple thus far in my looking. Then there is the marriage in 1737 at Abbots Ann of Charles Blake and Mary Prince. One would suspect that Charles is from the established Blake family in the area to have been accepted into the Prince family. Charles Blake and Jane Framtan would have been the right age to be parents of this Charles. But on top of all that John Blake at Abbots Ann, the malster, making the interesting will wasn't baptized at Abbots Ann and no idea where he was baptized (likely in 1714 by his gravestone). My 5x great grandfather Thomas was baptized in 1709, Charles was likely baptized around 1710-15, and John in 1714. Could they be brothers and all sons of Thomas Blake (b 21 Feb 1685) who married Mary Spring 6 Nov 1708 at Andover? Thomas was buried 29 Jan 1714. His widow Mary did not remarry. She was buried 2 Apr 1734 at Andover. Why are they not in the Andover Parish Register although I haven't transcribed line by line yet so can not really say they are not there yet but they do not appear in the IGI as Thomas b 1709 does. As I read the will John makes the same legacy to all of the grandchildren of Thomas and Charles (he doesn't have any grandchildren as his only daughter to survive infancy died at 24). He remembers his sister's children (Elizabeth married a Russel, another unknown married a Marshman possibly and sister Mary married a Gilbert. He leaves his personal belongings to just the children of Charles' Blake first marriage (he does not list the children of Charles' second marriage). I suspect that is because this family has lost their lease on what was a Gilbert farm. Lovely will with so many interesting names but it leads to so many new questions as wills often do!

The other big question that stays in my mind is that Thomas (b 1685) had 10 siblings - John b 1684; d 1684, Thomas is next, Margaret b 1689, John b 1689; d 1729, Richard b 1691; d 1694, Elizabeth b 1693; d 1693, Elizabeth b 1695, William b 1698, Anne b 1701; d 1705, Joseph b 1702; d 1784, Anne b 1705; d 1711. I have the will for Joseph, and his sisters Margaret and Elizabeth (they do not marry) and Joseph's only son Joseph is buried in 1746 as a child. But interestingly he lives at Penton Mewsey which is where my Thomas (b 1709) married Ann Carter. These wills do not mention Thomas' great grandchildren. Who is the John? Is he the father of John at Abbots Ann? That is one of my thoughts actually other than his being descended from Robert Blake's line at Knights Enham. Anyone reading this blog who is interested in Charles Blake might like to pursue the Blake family at Penton Mewsey; I am slowly working through the Registers. I think I know who the earliest Blake is there but still really working on that.

A few queries on Bishops Nympton as well to answer. I still have a large query to deal with but will leave it to the New Year. I appear to be almost fully recovered from my bout of illness - just my bruised ribs to finish recovering. My energy level is coming back as well. Soon we will be out skiing and snowshoeing plus if the cold snap continues the canal will freeze and we will be ice skating on our 8 km skating rink.

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