Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Y DNA and deep ancestry

I am in the process of writing up an article for our Blake Newsletter ( which will be published 1st of April 2011. It will be the second issue of this first volume. Barrie Blake created the January issue discussing Heraldry (display of ermine) which can be found at the website mentioned above). Heraldry is a very important part of the Blake Family knowledge because coats of arms were used by a number of the different founding lines. I hope that in one of Barrie's newsletters he tells us something about why particular items were chosen for the individual Blake coats of arms. In the case of my line, why the sheafs of wheat. I might think it was because they were landowners but perhaps there is a deeper significance.

In the course of writing up the article on Y DNA and deep ancestry, I have ended up producing two newsletters and will let Barrie choose the one that he feels best suits our newsletter style. The other one I will then put into my blog because it has a lot of links to a European website that I have just been observing and it is incredible for its depth of study on the European lines and their origins.

I plan to return to the Abbotts Ann Parish Registers after completing the newsletter and will also continue working on my gedcom to be put up on the Blake Heritage site. I would like it to be very complete in terms of all the wills that I have transcribed thus far and the BMB records that I have gleaned from the parish registers that I have transcribed.

Carrying on with yesterday's discussion on the various papers, original records that I am examining once again as I work through my additions to my Blake family tree, I mentioned the paper in The American Genealogist written by Paul Reed. He mentioned that "The Robert Blake of Enham, who was Nicholas Blake's uncle is ancestor of Mary Blake, grandmother of the immigrant Shadrack Hapgood. The will of this Robert Blayke was dated 16 Dec 1522 and though no date of probate was attached, it is listed in the year 1522 in the manuscript calendar. He mentioned his son Thomas Blayke, his son Richard Blayke (executor), Andrew Blayke, William Blayke (no specific relationship stated) and Robert Blayke (no relationship stated). The son Richard died the same year as his father. Richard's will, recorded in Latin, was dated 12 April and proved 23 May 1522. He [Richard] mentioned his wife, my brother Thomas Blayke, Robert Blayke my father and my mother."

Shadrack Hapgood was the son of Joanne Scullard and Thomas Hapgood who married  25 Oct 1641 at Andover Hampshire England. Joanna Scullard was the daughter of Shadrack Scullard and Marye Blake who married probably in 1603. Although the IGI lists their marriage as being in Andover (patron entry), there isn't a marriage in the Andover register for this couple. Perhaps they married at Knights Enham as that was Mary's birthplace. The Knights Enham (extant) registers do not begin until later in the 1600s. Mary's parents were first cousins with Nicholas the son of John Blake the younger and Dorothy Blake the daughter of John Blake the elder. Both Johns were sons of Robert Blake (brother to Nicholas Blake (d 1547)). The reference to Mary being a descendant of Robert who left a will in 1522 does not appear to fit the details. Paul Reed says that Robert was an uncle to Nicholas (d 1547) so must also have been an Uncle to Robert the brother of Nicholas and this Robert left a will in 1542. However, has Paul put together a scenario that might shed some light on this family in the early 1500s.

This Robert (d 1522) has a son Thomas and a son Richard (who also died in 1522). The Andrew Blake it is noted has no specific relationship. William and Robert also carry the notation no specific relationship. The puzzle of when the death of Richard occurred relative to his father's is perhaps solved by his comment that the actual will was written in December 1521 although not entered into the calendar until probate perhaps. Richard's death was sudden perhaps whereas his father may have already been ill and perhaps succumbed shortly after his son's death. The interesting part in all of this is Thomas. There is a Thomas who leaves a will at Andover in 1541. If Paul Reed is correct and this Robert is a brother to the father of Nicholas (d 1547) and Robert (d 1542), then we have a second line of Blake which dates back to before 1500 at Andover. The name of the one brother would be Robert and the name of the second brother unknown (but married to Jone who left a will in 1527).

In this same will we have three Blake members with no relationship stated: Andrew, William and Robert. In 1522. Nicholas (d 1547) and Robert (d 1542) are probably adults given the calculations I went through in a blog a couple of weeks ago. Nicholas was possibly born in the late 1480s and Robert a similar time period. I wonder why Paul Reed refers to Robert as an uncle of Nicholas. I do not see anything in this text that proves that Robert was his uncle. On the next page of the article Paul Reed's quotes the will that Jone Blake (mother of Nicholas and Robert) left dated 28 Mar 1527. Nicholas' name is written before Robert so one might assume he is the eldest.

One other piece of information in the paper, mentions that Robert Blake's widow was Matilda or Mawde who died in 1525 leaving a will which no longer survives There is a marriage of Robert Blake to Maude Snell as a patron entry on the IGI. I suspect at this point only the manor records for Knights Enham/Kings Enham can provide the answers I am looking for with regard to any connection between Robert Blake married to Maude Snell and Blake married to Jone

Finding that this Robert Blake has sons Richard and Thomas is rather interesting though given that there are wills at Andover for a Richard (d 1522) and a Thomas (d 1541). Wills at Andover in this time period listed in the Hampshire Record Office Catalogue for Blake:

1522B/03  Will of Richard Blake (Blayke) of Knights Enham, Hampshire  1522

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

1528B/06  Will of Joan Blake 'of Enham' [=Knights Enham?], Hampshire, widow  1528

1541U/06  Will of Thomas Blake of Andover, Hampshire  1541

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

1546B/017  Will of Agnes Blake of Quarley, Hampshire, wife of Harry  1546

1546B/018  Will of Harry Blake of Quarley, Hampshire  1546

1547B/008  Will of Walter Blake of East Tytherley, Hampshire  1547

The first five wills in this list have already been put into family grouping but who are the other three people who left wills in the Andover area in the 1540s? Who is Harry (Henry?) Blake and who is Walter Blake? To really put the family together in the 1500s I think we need to know the origins of these two Blake families as well. As soon as the opportunity arises I shall attempt to get hold of those two wills.

If Paul Reed is correct in naming Robert as an uncle of Nicholas (d 1547) then how early was this family at Knights Enham - again a query that might be best answered by the Manor Records. Do they, as some researchers have in their trees, trace back to Henry Blake married to Margaret Billet at Calne? Is their line second cousin to Robert Blake married to Avis Wallop (and first cousin to his father Robert Blake married to Avice Malwyn)? This is the point at which Somerby created a history for the Blake family at Andover. He claimed that William (brother to Robert Blake married to Avice Malwyn) had sons William and Robert. This Robert would be the Robert married to Maude Snell and one is left to presume that the husband of Jone (d 1527) was William. Looking at this from the naming of children - Nicholas named his eldest son William and Robert named his third son William (first son was Robert and second son was John (the elder)). Nicholas' son William named his eldest son John and his second son William. There was always a William Blake in these lines down to the mid 1600s. The Robert Blake line coming down not so often.

However, Horatio Somerby gave children to William supposed brother of Robert that were incorrect - Nicholas was correct but Humphrey was wrong. The wife of William was not Mary as he stated but would have been Jone who left a will in 1547. This is the beginning of the falsification as the history backwards is verified by the College of Arms Chart and the Visitations. The need to eliminate this falsification is shown by the number of family books that are published by descendants of the Blake family particularly in the United States who lift the information on the parentage of Humphrey from this book attaching it as shown in the book to their own line back to Humphrey. Paul Reed's article is greatly appreciated for bringing that to the attention of Blake researchers. However, he has introduced a new query into the study with his comment that Robert (d 1522) was an uncle to Nicholas. Perhaps I will write a query to TAG, as we are subscribers, which might generate a little discussion now that I have clearly put together his thoughts in my mind at least.

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