Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blake Newsletter

The Blake Newsletter is complete and will be published tomorrow. The Table of Contents includes: BritainsDNA, Galway Blake Family, Blake yDNA study, and Wills Transcription. The length continues at two pages. Submissions are always welcomed and the length can be longer but I decided that if only I was contributing then it would remain at two pages.

My ambition for 2014 is to complete the wills at hand but with over a thousand that is perhaps somewhat optimistic but will give it a good try! Once completed then I will move on to other transcription projects that I have at hand which includes nearly 1000 images collected at Kew from various ancient documents which involve the Blake family. My strongest interest continues to be in the ancient Blake families of the British Isles but also I hope to do some family reconstructions based on the wills, census and parish records. That will continue to be ongoing.

In the New Year I hope to restore my Blake one name study website which is rather empty at the moment. When we changed internet providers the site did not get properly saved and consequently has to be rebuilt. I need to rethink how I am building it to get the maximum usage out of the available space. I am acquiring a lot of information that I would like to share but some of it could be best shared by uploading it to Internet Archive once it is in an acceptable *.pdf format. That then leaves the space available for more current work particularly on family trees.

I feel that 2013 has been a successful year for the study of the Blake Family. A lot of new information has become available and the yDNA study continues to grow. I think that my theory that there are many founders may prove to be quite accurate given the work already done on the Calendar of Patent Rolls. That Blake is a characteristic surname rather than associated with land is, to me, a step forward. I think that it hinders research on the Blake family to restrict ourselves to thinking of all Blake as descendant of Robert Blake/Robert de Blakeland of Quemberford, Wiltshire. The chart at the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office basically eliminates Robert as the founder of that particular line given that the founder is a Richard Blake/Blaake/Blague who lived during the time of Edward I/Edward II. Even though there is an error in that chart which has Richard being the donor of land to the Knights Templar, this is a donation that actually exists in the records at Kew and it was a Roger Blake of Madebrook, Hertfordshire who made the donation. Finding Richard le Blak as a merchant from Rouen, Normandy seeking to set up a market in England in 1274 was an amazing find in the Calendar of Patent Rolls. Being able to link that Richard to the Richard in the Blake Pedigree Chart at the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office would be equally amazing but not yet done.

We can only continue to move forward in our pursuit of the Blake family and I am always really happy to find like minded people searching out the past of this ancient and fascinating family of the British Isles.

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