Thursday, September 2, 2010


The Blake family (my maiden name) continues to attract my genealogical research. I mentioned the Wiltshire chart that I purchased and I have done some more research and thinking about it and derived the following argument with regard to it.

The marriage of William Blake and Avice Ripley is placed in the Roger Blake/Mary Barnard family in this chart. I have now added William as a son to the Roger Blake/Mary Barnard family in my charting although he is not mentioned in the Visitation but is on the chart (the will of Roger Blake does not list all of his sons only his eldest Roger). I will try to find more evidence for the names of Roger's sons when we are at Kew and reading all those wills. No Ripley wills on line at Kew in this time period that would be of an assistance. Then having the line go down from William Blake and Avice Ripley to Margaret Blake marrying John Blake of Andover works with the existing will information and Visitations. However the line actually goes from William Blake/Avice Ripley to John Blake on the Wiltshire charty .

The Wiltshire chart uses the visitation of the Blake family in Surrey. They begin with John (rather than going back to the earlier Visitations of their family in Hampshire which shows John as the son of William Blake at Eastontowne. Did they do that because there was some doubt as to their direct line back? The Hampshire Visitation is not my William Blake as the children listed on the Hampshire Visitation are not as per the will that I have for William Blake (hence my first thought that there were two William Blakes at Eastontowne). Although he could have married twice he doesn't mention that in his will and he is known to be the son of Nicholas Blake not Roger Blake.

Two William Blakes is possibly the source of the error on the Wiltshire Chart. William Blake as the father of John wasn't repeated on the Visitation in Surrey but the family crest included the Baynard coat of arms which isn't in my line at Andover and is probably the line for Margaret Blake married to John Blake. The probable error was then carried onto the large chart although with some confusion because Margaret is named as the daughter of William in the chart as well as having the line from this same family go down to her husband John Blake!

The Surrey Blake family by not including William as the father of John were perhaps trying to eliminate that confusion of which William Blake. Possibly that is why they had the College of Arms create this massive chart for them looking for their ancestral line. The coat of arms in the Surrey visitation is said to be incomplete but the fourth lower right quarter is the chevron of the Baynard family (I think they have fleur de lis in the chevron but do not know positively.) I wonder if the order has any meaning in heraldry as they are numbered in order with Blake first then Dorrant then Billet and then Baynard which does logically follow the actual line of descent.

Although this family knew their founding families in the crest they must not have remembered Margaret Blake as the daughter of William Blake and Avice Ripley (although the chart does mention that she was the daughter of William Blake aforesaid and he is the only one that that could apply to!). The circle around Margaret's name includes the comment: daughter of William Blake aforesaid; the circle around John's name simply states that he is from Eastontown Andover and eldest son. Indeed he is the eldest son of William and Elizabeth Blake of Eastontown according to that William's will. I think that the line was simply drawn in the wrong place between the two generations (in both the Visitation of Hampshire and the Wiltshire Chart). Margaret, I believe, is the daughter of William Blake and Avice Ripley with John being her husband and the son of William and Elizabeth Blake all of Eastontown. The Hampshire Visitation does not state the name of the wife of William but the children are likely those of William Blake and Avis Ripley. Finding the will of this William may help to solve this mystery.

Perhaps now is the time to transcribe my Wiltshire Blake wills from the 1500s. I put them aside (and they have just popped back into my memory!) because I did not see any "real" connection between the Blake family of Andover and that of Calne until I found the Surrey Visitation last winter.

It will be interesting to see if I am correct. The Margaret Blake/John Blake line has their eldest son Thomas Blake married to Eleanor Hall and they are one set of the 12x great grandparents of Diana, Princess of Wales.

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