Monday, December 3, 2012

Sussex Will of John Blake 1579 and Blake yDNA study

I am working away on the Will of John Blake of Slindon Sussex which he wrote 12 Dec 1578 and was probated 23 May 1579. Along with getting ready for Christmas, this will will take longer than usual I suspect plus it is an older one and the writing is small although blown up on my computer screen.

The latest results in the yDNA study for the Blake family are quite fascinating in that they match the earlier result known to be from Ireland pre 1500. I am hoping to hear back from the tester to see if he would share the ancestry of his line.

There is much to be learned about the I2a2b haplogroup to which the three members of the British Isles group belong. Thus far it is postulated that this group arrived in the British Isles between 8000 and 12 000 years ago and that they were probably originally in the eastern side (perhaps East Anglia area or further south) but coming up from the present day Danish peninsula having crossed through Europe from the Balkans where they would have wintered during the last Ice Age. At some point in the deep past (but presumably after a decision was made to go with the Blake surname so a thousand years ago) this group became separated from each other with one group passing towards the middle and north of present day England and crossing over into present day Ireland and the other group processing down into the southern part of England which would include my line in Hampshire. More Blake members testing in the south of England with a paper trail back into the 1500s would be so wonderful and would give more credence to this deep ancestry of the Blake family. On the other hand the similarity could simply be coincidental although surprising that two separated groups of people would choose the same surname!

The Blake project as a whole is growing slowly and I would like to see it at 200 members before I start to really try to breakdown the groups and work genealogical data into them. Plus it gives me time to work on extracting all the data that I can for each of the "distinct" Blake areas in the British Isles. I am still working on the English marriages 1837 on and have not yet touched Ireland, Scotland or Wales in the British Isles. Nor have I looked intently at Canada, the United States and especially Australia and New Zealand with the highest frequency of Blake occurring in Australia.

This is an ambitious project to take on the Blake one name study. I knew that when I took it on but I do see myself as a caretaker only acquiring data and perhaps coming up with interesting family flow through these results but I suspect I will only make a dint in the accumulated data for the Blake family worldwide. I will archive all that I have done with the Guild of One Name Studies when I am ready to hand on the torch for this incredible family and if I am very lucky someone will come along before that time and pick up where I have left off. Since one of my talents is reading the old wills and documents I will probably concentrate mostly on that material but also I want to try putting together the family lines reaching back from Civil Registration into the Parish Registers. In this process I am equipped to look at Hampshire and West Somerset at the moment as well as parts of North Devon plus the parish registers online for Norfolk at the Family History Library. Ancestry assists me with this project in that many London and Dorset parish registers are also online. Find my Past has a number of county registers online that I have not yet pursued.

Although I created this blog to be my living memory I am happy that others have found it useful in their family studies.

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