Saturday, March 12, 2011 and the will of Nicholas Blake (probated 1547)

I hadn't tried before but a lecture at BIFHSGO this morning inspired me to look into this particular website. I added a transcription of Nicholas Blake's will of 1547 and I am curious to see if I will get any comments on this particular document. I will also add the will of Nicholas' mother and that of his eldest son William Blake (d 1582). These three wills include information that permits one to link these three generations very readily. They also offer the strongest proof against Horatio Somerby's data on the Boston Blake family and their antecedents. Finding people who trace back to Nicholas Blake has been an interest of mine ever since my husband purchased a family genealogy for the Blake family authored by Edward Wales Blake. The first two pages of the pedigree intrigued me when I first saw them back in 2003. The line of descent at Andover had a Nicholas Blake and this reminded me of something my grandfather had said over 50 years ago at that time. Trouble was it was a long time ago and I was only eight years old. In the last year of his life he talked mostly about Upper Clatford and used to rhyme off his ancestors. I thought perhaps all old people did that at the time and perhaps some of them actually do. I remembered watching a movie about Abraham and Isaac as a child and Isaac had a stick with rings carved on it and he would recite the generations that went before him. It simply seemed quite reasonable to me as a child that a person might recite their generations and was likely the genealogist waking up in me momentarily but remained dormant until I traveled to England with my eldest daughter in November 2001. Definitely, Nicholas caught my eye in that book and as a newbie I was impressed that this Blake tree went all the way back to Robert de Blakeland of Calne Wiltshire. However, when I tried to collect evidence for this tree I ran into a snag and made all sort of discoveries including wills that disproved the lineage of this book and every other book which is based on Somerby's Blake familyof Boston genealogy.

I thought I would investigate and see if putting up material on that site might generate interest in Nicholas and Andover and the presence of a number of Blake families at Andover in the 1500s/1600s/1700s who may or may not be related. From such interest I am hoping that people will become interested enough to test their yDNA so that the puzzle of Andover and all those Blake families might be solved.

There is an even deeper interest in all of this and it concerns the deep ancestry of the Blake family which already has members in Haplogroups R1a, R1b, I1, I2a, I2b. Obviously these Blake lines do not have common ancestry in thousands and thousands of years. When did they arrive in the British Isles these various haplogroups that bear the Blake surname? How far back into the early history of the British Isles do these Blake roots go? On paper Blake members are found back into the 1100s but yDNA has the potential to probe deeper into the past and I am hoping that our yDNA project at FT DNA will help to reveal some of that deep ancestry.

Blake yDNA study:

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