Saturday, July 7, 2012

Routledge and Blake one name study

I will continue working on the Routledge document of yesterday having revised the first six lines but it continues to be difficult. The letter w is so elaborate that initially I did not see it as a w although is obvious now.

There is a Google hangout today that I will attend at 11:30 on TNG. This rather interesting software may well be the answer to my producing a Blake one name study website that is readily maintainable and could easily be transferred to another in the future or simply archived for the day that someone comes along (as I did) and decides to take on the Blake surname as a one name study. A name which through history has had some really fascinating family members and the history of this family is sometimes intertwined with the history of the British Isles (the surname being found in all the major demographic areas throughout the centuries - England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales). Within England itself the surname is found in a number of counties including Hampshire my own home county for Blake with my line being within 2 kilometres of Andover from the late 1400s on. Where they were before that time is a mystery although they could have been there. I need to read the manor records which was my aim a couple of years ago but I have become distracted by the greater story and my not having been yet to the Winchester Record Office where I need to look at a lot of wills and other records. I have considered just ordering images but I already have so many images that I made a decision to work through all of them first and that meant leaving my own line and working on the other Blake lines for whom I have acquired material.

I have had a couple of requests for Blake information where I was able to suggest on the one hand that a family line that goes back to Northern Ireland with the ancestor was in the military and appears to deadend there in terms of further back tracing could have been a soldier from England and finding the attestation papers would be helpful in that case. Possibly a member of this family will be able to test for the Blake yDNA study since the requester does have male relatives carrying the Blake yDNA. This remains the best method of determining the Blake line. Ultimately there will be many many branches but gradually over time it may be possible to link families together in the far past where subtle changes have occurred in the allele count of various markers moving these families away from each other. It is only by having many many Blake samples that such determinations could be made. The study with 39 sets of Blake results has already shown interesting patterns. Even making the assumption based on location that your line would thus have that yDNA is risky considering the way that the British population has moved particularly in the last century and a half. I encourage all Blake family lines to test and see where they fit in the chart and to add to that chart. I really do not have any preconceived ideas about the origins of the Blake family. For my own line there is no family lore that has them being associated with any particular group whether invading England or defending England. That history simply does not exist in my line; the only item that I have is that Nicholas Blake lived in what is now a rubble of stones (perhaps this too is gone from my grandfather's day) called Old House at Enham.

The website will have a spot where one could write such pieces of family lore and we could aim over time to learn as much as possible about the Blake family. I may lead the study but I am but one of thousands who are potentially interested in their Blake family name.

One of our most famous sons was William Blake Poet Laureate (appointed 1813) (1757 - 1827) and I quote one of my favourites which I sing as the anthem "Jerusalem":

And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green and pleasant Land

His ancestry not yet fully known, William Blake was born in an apartment above his father's hosier shop in Soho the 28th of November 1757. His father was James Blake and his mother Catherine Hermitage/Harmitage. They were married at St George Hanover Square, Mayfair, Westminster, London the 15th of October 1752. His mother was a widow at the time of her marriage with her first husband having also been a hosier and thus the two shops were united as well. More later on this rather fascinating Blake line.

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