Sunday, March 6, 2011

Blake family tree

My co-associate with the Blake one name study wants me to produce a Blake family tree for my line to put up on the Blake Heritage website. I already have a Blake One Name Study tree that I started a year or so ago when I first started to think about the Blake one name study. I went in and removed all the births after 1920 at the latest but left in marriages even in the 1920s. Having done that the file has 1071 individuals and 309 families.

 In my close family I have followed the female Blake lines down a couple of generations which isn't usual in a one name study but my ancestor Joseph Blake was the son of an only child and he himself ended up as an only child when his brother Thomas died as an infant in 1734. Joseph died at 37 years of age leaving two sons and I have  not yet found any descendants for William the older son and I am descended from Thomas the youngest son (born posthumously five months after his father and older brother Thomas died). That meant that all the descendants of Thomas were fairly closely related to me being at the most fourth cousins.

Having had absolutely no first cousins as a child and few second cousins, third cousins and fourth cousins do not sound that distant to me! Consequently I did follow all these lines at least down to the early 1900s where I was able to do so. Mostly these families have all stayed in England - a few lines (my grandfather (and grandmother and father) and my grandfather's brother notably) came to Canada and at least one line to Australia. I have met a few of the members of these extended families online but not too many. They are widespread around England; the ones with whom I have corresponded. One wonders what a family reunion would be like of all the descendants of Joseph Blake and Joanna King. They are my 4x great grandparents. They number likely in the thousands now.

The idea of an enormous Blake reunion does quite intrigue me as does the Blake one name study once I decided in my mind that it was doable. Part of this ability is of course the work already done by Barrie Blake in Australia and William Bleak in the United States as well as Charlou Dolan in the United States. The three of them have added greatly to the knowledge on the Blake genealogy. I am a newbie to the entire field of genealogy although now that I am entering my eighth year of endeavour I guess not quite so new. I continue to work on the Blake marriages on Free BMD. It is an enormous task and I have just broken the surface thus far. After that the births and then the deaths and the census. That is just England. I have also extracted the 1911 Canadian census for Blake and will soon do the American Census starting at 1930.

I am still contemplating how to order all this information. I think by country perhaps  to start out the naming and then by province/state/county. I have contemplated this earlier but I was thinking only of England at that time but gradually my focus is moving outward to look at the world as that is the intent of a One Name Study.

I am entering all the wills into the chart that will eventually be produced from this Legacy file which I will export as a Gedcom. I want to enter in all the BMD information from the Andover Parish Registers, Upper Clatford Parish Registers and any others that I have transcribed. It will take me a little while but I have decided to concentrate on that for a bit. My eyes needed a change from reading microfiche unfortunately but I shall soon return to Abbotts Ann.

I think the information that goes up on the Andover Hampshire Blake family (which includes Knights Enham, Abbotts Ann, Upper Clatford, as well as Andover itself (and there are other places in the same area which had Blake families living in them)) will be helpful to a lot of researchers.

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