Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Charles Blake at Abbotts Ann

Descendants of the Charles Blake family at Abbotts Ann are the Blake family from whom I hear most often. The mention of Charles Blake in the Abbotts Ann register in 1737 with his marriage to Mary Prince 4 Sep 1736 is the first one that I have been able to decipher thus far as the first Blake entry. Parish Register 8 at Abbotts Ann is very difficult to read (not sure why it is labeled 8 but it is for the years 1561 to 1740 on two fiche). I intend to transcribe it but have not done so yet. There is a need to do so to see if in the very light faint printing there is any sign of Blake. It is 94 pages in total. The early part of the register (1500s to the mid 1600s) is actually not too bad and I simply haven't investigated it to see if there are any Blake members prior to 1700. I just haven't had a need to transcribe it yet. A quick glance at the first decade of 1700 reveals few entries and this is where I would hope to find the "missing" Blake baptisms for Robert Blake and Elizabeth Russell(m 15 Jul 1694 Andover) because Andover has:

Blake Sarah daughter Blake Robert Elizabeth 1696 March 10
Blake Joannah daughter Blake Robert Elizabeth 1700 February 12
Blake Mary daughter Blake Robert Elizabeth 1702 December 21
Blake Edward son Blake Robert Elizabeth 1711 August 12
Blake Thomas son Blake Robert Elizabeth 1714 July 2
Blake Jane daughter Blake Robert Elizabeth 1717 July 22

The gap between 1702 and 1711 is very suspicious. One would wonder if they have moved from Andover to some other place and then returned. The baptisms and burials in this time frame appear to be quite complete for Andover (a reasonable number of entries at a consistent rate).

Working backwards which is the best way in genealogy, I am looking for a John Blake who was a malster at Abbotts Ann, had a wife Mary and a daughter Mary. Daughter Mary married Thomas Holmes 16 Sep 1780. Possibly she was his only daughter - still to be determined. We visited their gravestones at St Mary the Virgin Church in Abbotts Ann in 2008 and their site is quite easy to find and the graves are most legible. She possibly died in childbirth. She is likely the Mary Blake baptized at Abbotts Ann 13 Aug 1756 and daughter of John and Mary Blake. That would fit in with the will of Thomas King where he mentioned her in 1762.

All of these Blake families at Abbotts Ann appear to be involved one way or another perhaps through the Blake or Gilbert or Carter families. That is yet to be determined. I need now to decide if I move to Abbotts Ann to transcribe or Penton Mewsey. Penton Mewsey is smaller and it too may provide clues as there were a number of Blake families in Penton Mewsey and I have a couple of wills there as well. Penton Mewsey it continues to be once I am up to 1757 at Andover (that is really the direction that I need to go in at this point). I managed to reach 1753 in the baptisms today (11,538 baptisms as of 30 Jun 1753 since the beginning of these parish registers). There are a number of Blake baptisms but they are no longer of interest in the descendancy of Charles Blake or my own ancestor Joseph Blake. It is more to assure that I know every Blake event up to 1757 at Andover that I continue to read the registers and especially I need to read the burials.

I have not yet transcribed the Poor Law Rates at Abbotts Ann that I collected in 2008 at Salt Lake City. A read through yields the following information (and I did look earlier with some notation in my blog back in 2009).

Poor Law Rates - Abbotts Ann

1727 - Robert Blake Churchwarden and assessed 1 s Poor Rate
1728 - Robert Blake assessed 1 s Poor Rate
1729 - Robert Blake Churchwarden and assessed 1 s 1 d Poor Rate
1732 - Robert Blake assessed 3 s 2 d Poor Rate for Coles
1732 - Robert Blake assessed 1 s 1 d Poor Rate for Morrants
1735 - Robert Blake assessed 3 s 2 d Poor Rate for Coles
1735 - Robert Blake assessed 1 s 1 d Poor Rate for Morrants
1746 - Edward Blake assessed Poor Rate for Brewers
1746 - Charles Blake assessed 5 d Poor Rate for Morrants
1747 - Edward Blake assessed 8 d Poor Rate for Brewers
1747 - Charles Blake assessed 5 d Poor Rate for Morrants
1751 - John Blake assessed 5 d Poor Rate for Morrants
1754 - Edward Blake assessed 1 s 4 d Poor Rate for Coles
1754 - Charles Blake assessed 1 s Poor Rate for Stows
1758 - Edward Blake assessed 1 s 4 d Poor Rate for Coles
1758 - Charles Blake assessed 1 s Poor Rate for Stows
1760 - Charles Blake assessed 1 s Poor Rate for Stows
1812 - Ann Blake assessed 1 s 12 d Poor Rate

Although there is absolutely no proof (a will for Robert Blake would be helpful) it would appear that Robert Blake held leases which were then acquired by Edward Blake and Charles Blake (and John Blake for a short period). There is an Edward Blake son of Robert Blake baptized at Andover 12 Aug 1711. There are missing years in this family at Andover when you would have thought they would be having children namely 1703 to 1710. Is Charles a son of Robert? That is the real question. Is John a son of Robert as well and is this the John who wrote the will in 1792 which was probated in 1797 at Abbotts Ann? The reference to Russell family in John's will is very interesting. Robert's wife was Elizabeth Russell.

John's will transcription:

Although I would like to still collect more proof I would hypothesize that Charles, Edward and John are all brothers and sons of Robert Blake and Elizabeth Russell. Continuing to look at the names in his will - Marshman, Gilbert and Russell may reveal the marriages of the daughters of Robert and Elizabeth Blake - Sarah, Joannah, Mary and Jane.

Indeed Mary Blake married William Marshmont (according to the IGI) 2 April 1727 at Old Alresford (this has been mistranscribed and should probably be Abbotts Ann). Is Marshmont Marshman? His kinsman was listed as William Marshman and there are a number of other Marshman members mentioned. The other daughters/sisters I will continue to investigate once I read the Abbotts Ann registers.

These wills at Winchester HAM (Hampshire Record Office) would help us to understand the Robert Blake family at Andover.

1522B/04 Will of Robert Blake (Blayke) of Knights Enham, Hampshire 1522

1542B/06 Will of Robert Blake of Enham, Andover, Hampshire 1542

1545B/022 Will of Robert Blake of ?Wallop Street, Lockerley, Hampshire 1545

1554U/03 Will and inventory of Robert Blake of Street, Lockerley, Hampshire 1554

1601B/08 Will of Robert Blake of Knights Enham, Hampshire, husbandman 1601

1605A/07 Will of Robert Blake of Andover, Hampshire, victualler 1605

1620A/009 Will and inventory of Robert Blake of Kings Enham, Andover, Hampshire, yeoman 1620

1662B/08 Will and inventory of Robert Blake of Fyfield, Hampshire, gent 1662

I believe that Hampshire Record Office will permit Photographing of the wills. That is a project in the back of my mind but it will be at least two years hence from now.

For everyone who has read through this long debate, I am left with the strong impression that Robert Blake and Elizabeth Russell are the parents of the Blake family which moved to Abbotts Ann in the 1720s from Andover where the last child was baptized there in 1717. I wonder if they were at Abbotts Ann or Penton or other places nearby Andover from 1703 to 1710 because they did not baptize any children at Andover in this time period.

However, all said and done I have not yet determined where Thomas Blake, William Blake and Ann Blake fit into this scenario (they are my ancestral line - Thomas is my 3x great grandfather). They live at Upper Clatford. Thomas Blake (likely father of Joseph Blake (father of Thomas, William and Ann Blake aforementioned)) is not a brother to Charles, Edward and John. He is the son of Thomas Blake who married Mary Spring 1708 at Andover and was their only child apparently as no other children are baptized at Andover by this couple and Thomas (not an infant) is buried in 1714. Unless they moved about and baptized children elsewhere and, of course, I can not know that. Unfortunately there are no wills, no poor rate at Andover for Thomas Blake. What did he do for a living? I think perhaps he was a draper or something like that but time will tell on that one. Ann Blake was to inherit under the will with some restrictions but it would appear that Ann Blake ends up on the property after all that was mentioned in John Blake's will.

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