Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blake and Routledge families emails and postings on Facebook

The Blake family in Huron County has always rather interested me. As a child we passed by the sign that pointed to Blake, Ontario and sharing the same surname as the town mystified me. I knew that my Blake family had only just arrived in Ontario in 1913 and the village of Blake predated their arrival. Although I had this enormous curiosity about my surname as a child, it didn't inspire me towards genealogy. As a child I thought I knew all my ancestors; after all my grandfather had told me who they were and the eight year old mind can be a closed one in some ways. One simply doesn't look that far back (or forward) at that age I suspect. It did take walking on home turf to stir my mind towards genealogical pursuits. Eventually, it took yDNA to stir my thoughts towards the greater Blake family. Why choose a surname Blake way back when people took on surnames was my earliest query as I learned about surnames? But coincident with that thought were the published genealogies for the Blake family (principally American ones when I first started to research). They all traced back to Robert de Blakeland who lived in the late 1200s (1286 saw a lay subsidy being paid by him in Wiltshire (not yet verified by me)). The name gradually became Blake in the 1300s. The American genealogies theorized that the Blake family of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset (Devonshire) were all related. Since my Blake family was of Hampshire (principally within 2 miles of Andover Hampshire itself) for a period greater than 600 years, this has intrigued me from the very beginning. Finding the Blake Pedigree Chart at the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office a couple of years ago further intensified this thought that perhaps my line was descendant of the Wiltshire Blake family since the heading of the chart clearly stated that the Blake family at Eastontown (near Andover) was descendant of Richard Blake. The question at the moment is Richard Blake also Robert de Blakeland? I have to find the entry in the subsidy that names Blake in 1286 to see if there was a mistranscription at some point in the past but clearly the chart has the same descendants as the published genealogies.

But back to Huron County and the Blake family there. They principally lived in the Seaforth area but were actually found in several other places in Huron County. Are they all the same family? yDNA studies may show that at least the Seaforth Blake branch descends from the County Clare Blake family? Historically the Blake family in Huron County is thought to be of Irish descent. I collected some information on the Blake family when we visited Archives of Ontario and need to pull that out and have a look at it. All of this resulted from a set of emails which came to me looking at the Seaforth Blake family and my interest, of course, soared.

Although I am still mostly concerned with getting my husband better (and he is very much on the mend), I am starting to see that I will have time for genealogy once again in the near future rather than the far future that I was imagining just a week ago. Time has moved forward much more quickly than I could have thought possible. The marvels of modern medicine.

Right out of the blue on the Routledge Clan group in Facebook, along came a descendant of Margaret Tuckey. I have known about Margaret Tuckey since I was a young child listening to the sad stories about my great grandmother Grace Gray's older sisters. They both died in childbirth about eight months apart. What a wrenching pain for this family. Grace herself miscarried her first child (although a 7 months baby it did not survive) and experienced the reverse pain; the loss of a child to be. But that was already ten years after her sisters passed away. Her younger sister Ann never married and herself died at the young age of 33. What plagued this family I wondered as a child. Were they just unlucky but then I thought of my mother with seven children and my child mind told me that they were just that - unlucky in a time when modern medicine didn't exist and if it had existed they would have lived. The second daughter of this family was Margaret Gray and she married Charles Tuckey in 1856 (she was just 18 years old) and she died 26 Mar 1857 but little Margaret lived to adulthood and married William Tomlinson. But my knowledge of this family ended there because this family moved off to Michigan and were lost to family. Perhaps because death followed my mother's family around she talked a lot about all of these people who had died. Her father died when she was eight and her step grandmother when she was six, her grandfather died when she was  two. It tended to occupy her mind all these deaths looking back. But then perhaps it did her father as well. He was just six when his younger brother died, then fourteen when his mother died and fifteen when his younger sister died. Suddenly an only child with just his father for comfort, he must have been a lonely child. Fortunately he had many many first cousins which was hopefully a comfort to him in those teen years. The picture of him at his father's second marriage is one of a sad eighteen year old.

But then along came this query about the Routledge family that had married into the Gray family with a child born to a mother who died in childbirth and the name of that child was Margaret Tuckey. I spent yesterday writing up the history of this family on the Routledge Clan website just to fill in the enquirer with the actual history of her ancestors since fourty years ago a mistake had been made in the surname of the wife of Thomas Routledge. My mother had been quite correct that the wife of Thomas Routledge was Elizabeth Routledge - a Routledge in her own right as well as her married name. But the knowledge of this family ended with Thomas and Elizabeth at that time but my cousin George DeKay went back to England and found the records which took this family back one generation to the parents of Thomas and Elizabeth. Over time, I managed to get them back another generation on both sides and further back on some of the Routledge lines. But I am stuck in the 1600s not able to make the leap back to the Indenture of 1630 which names fathers and sons and the Return of Land 1603 in Bewcastle which also names fathers and sons. There is a list of Routledge families at Bewcastle (the home village has been known to me since childhood passed down by my mother and her father before that) in the Protestation Returns of 1641-42 but again I can not be sure which of the Williams is mine. All the males on the list are 18 years of age or greater but the list does not distinguish between fathers and sons. I repeat the list below where I have added in details from other sources:

Surname    Forename    Father Surname    Father Forename
Routledge    Adam    Routledge    Rowland, wife Gracie of the Nook
Routledge    Bartholomew       
Routledge    Christopher       
Routledge    Edward    Routledge    Nephew William of Todholes (mother is Elizabeth-sister)
Routledge    Edward    Routledge    Of Ash
Routledge    Edward       
Routledge    Francis    Routledge    James and Elener of the Ash
Routledge    George    Routledge    James and Elener of the Ash
Routledge    George       
Routledge    Gilbert       
Routledge    James    Routledge    James, wife Janet of Baileyhead
Routledge    Michael       
Routledge    Nicholas       
Routledge    Quinton       
Routledge    Richard    Routledge    James, wife Janet of Baileyhead
Routledge    Rowland    Routledge    James, wife Janet of Baileyhead
Routledge    Thomas    Routledge    James, wife Janet of Baileyhead
Routledge    Thomas    Routledge    Rowland, wife Gracie of the Nook
Routledge    Thomas    Routledge    John of Black dubs
Routledge    Thomas       
Routledge    William       
Routledge    William       
Routledge    William

You can see the difficulty of three William and I trace back to one of them.   There are no Oakshaw (Yakeshaw) Routledge named in this list but definitely some of these men were of Oakshaw (one of the farm areas in Bewcastle).

I am starting into the two volume set of Border Lands complaints which may help me with the Routledge family sorting. Time will tell. I also have a set of images that I want to transcribe on the Routledge family. That may be my start back into genealogy.

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