This afternoon I chanced to be at the City of Ottawa Archives and decided to look through the BIFHSGO Library (shelf reading). An interesting couple of books caught my eye and I spent a couple of hours reading from various books. One in particular may be interesting to this Blake discussion. It is a surname book that I have not encountered before: The Origin of English Surnames by P.H. Reaney published by Routledge and Kegal Paul, London: 1967. Blake is included under Nicknames from physical characteristics. Now this has been the thought about Blake for a considerable time but a slightly different thought where he attributed colour-names as referring in particular to complexion or hair colour. "Blache and Blach are palatal forms of OE blac which in ME occurs both as blacke and blake (now Black, Blake) the latter name being indistinguishable from ME blake from OE blac and meaning bright, shining, pale, wan" and this is similar to the meaning of the French word Blanck, Blank or blanc which means white or fair as opposed to the use of neir as black in Ancient French or in modern French noir. Interesting especially given the thoughts that I2a2b crossed the channel from the Normandy area and some believe at the time of the 1066 invasion. Since they did not receive estates at that time one can assume that they were liege men to the powerful lords and barons that accompanied William. As you read through the Calendar of Patent Rolls you continue to see them listed as liege men to some of these Norman Lords until John Blake is appointed as as Excise agent 6 Nov 1286 at Clarendon (not his location but the location of the Court) where he is collecting custom on wools, wool fells and hides in the port of Shorham. I will extract all the entries and locations and produce a blog on this information. Up until this point in time I have been accepting the idea that Blake moved outward from Wiltshire down towards the Channel but Shorham is on the Channel near Brighton! Presumably he lived near there but possibly not.
With respect to the I2a2b haplogroup and there are now three testers in the Blake surname study at FT DNA:
two people whose ancestry does not converge earlier than more than 500 years ago and likely longer are an exact match (one Irish and one English). My paternal line belongs to a similar grouping with these two but the common ancestor of my line with the other two is likely thousands of years ago. Amazing that they would pick the same surname except for the thought that being a colour name which refers to complexion or hair colour a group of young men coming from a similar location could have been called le Blac/le Blake just because they looked somewhat alike and to give them a surname at a time when surnames were being taken in France. Of course this family could have crossed over at any time after 1066 or before; there is absolutely no way thus far to determine that particular fact.