Saturday, February 22, 2014

Blogging with the intent of preserving one's memories

Never more than today perhaps have I seen the value of my blogging. This living memory of my own thoughts has once again brought me back to earlier posts on the subject of Robert Blake of Enham.

Paul C Reed published in The American Genealogist (TAG)  Volume 74 in 1999 an article labeled:

Two Somerby Frauds or "Placing the Flesh on the Wrong Bones." Since my husband is a subscriber to TAG I shall check and see if he has access to the original article which I found online a couple of years ago. He did indeed through NEHGS of which he is a member and I have downloaded the article.

Paul Reed is bringing to the forefront once again the fraudulent genealogies produced by Horatio Gates Somerby in particular that of William Blake of Dorchester, Massachusetts. I have mentioned before that Horatio Gates Somerby had taken the Andover line of Blake and mixed it in with the Plainfield/Overstowey/Bridgport Blake line and then had them both descended from Robert de Blakeland of Calne, Wiltshire. Still not sure about the link between the Calne and the Overstowey Blake families but definitely the Blake family at Andover did not have a Humphrey Blake who moved to Overstowey in the time frame that he stated.

Paul Reed has within this article in TAG  his reference to an earlier article published in the New England Historical Genalogical Register (NEHGR) 1996, 150, 141-156 which I shall also download and read (Dorothy ____, The key in our search for Shadrack Hapgood) . At the time that I was looking at this material I was not far enough back to really examine this material in detail. The time has come most certainly to have a longer look at this paper by Paul Reed in NEHGR and his later paper in TAG which deals with Blake at Andover in this time period. 

Paul Reed states within the TAG article "The Robert Blake of Enham (there is no West Enham) who was Nicholas Blake's uncle is ancestor of Mary Blake, grandmother of the immigrant Shadrack Hapgood. The will of this Robert Blayke was dated 16 Dec 1522 [sic] [the footnote [41] points out the discrepancy which I noted that his son Richard's will was dated and probated before the will of his father and his conclusion is the same as mine that this will is indeed dated 1521 as the tiny j which denotes the number 1 does not have a complete i in front of it]." He mentions that the will includes reference to the son of Robert named Thomas Blake, other son Richard who is also executor, Andrew Blake (there is a footnote attached to Andrew stating no relationship stated and that Andrew was recorded in the 1523/4 subsidy of Knights Enham (PRO Subsidy Rolls, E179/174/291, 17 Hen VIII), William Blake (no specific relationship) and a Robert Blake with no specific relationship.

The Nicholas Blake to whom Paul Reed is referring  is presumably the NIcholas Blake who left his will in 1547 but he is not the ancestor of Mary Blake. The ancestor of Mary Blake is Nicholas Blake one of the sons of Robert Blake and a nephew to Nicholas Blake his brother. I believe that Nicholas and Robert are grandsons to the Robert Blake who left his will in 1522. If I have misunderstood the intent of Paul Reed apologies for that but it is not overly clear to which Nicholas he is referring at this point. Nicholas Blake (grandson of Robert who left his will in 1542) married his first cousin Dorothy Blake and they had three children Mary, John and Edward. Nicholas left his will in 1587 and Dorothy remarried to Thomas Noyes which Paul Reed recounts in the article in NEHGR in 1996. This I have in part from Charlou Dolan as I am still in the process of transcribing all of these wills but it is a good time to discuss this information prior to my looking at the wills to determine if indeed these thoughts are correct.

Richard's will (Robert (who left his will in 1521)'s son) was dated 12 Apr 1522 and probated 23 May 1522. Reed states that Richard mentioned his wife, his brother Thomas Blake and Robert Blake his father and his mother (the will of a Matilda or Mawde Blake was entered into the calendar in 1525 according to Paul Reed but is no longer available). Then he mentions that Richard Blake died as a married adult with children in 1522 (I transcribed this will and found that his eldest son was Robert, another child Nichi and an unnamed daughter). My latin skills are very very weak so I must work my way through all of his writings and see if I can discover any holes in my arguments created by documents that he has found. I do find in line 12 of Richard's will that he mentions his mother and gives her 40 pence and a place for her to live as long as she requires the same.I did not find mention of his father but do see now that the one line referring to the indenture has Robert Blake of the first part and himself and his wife must be of the second part inlcuding Nichi. Who is this Robert Blake, is it his son Robert or is it his father? If his father then his father has given his property to Richard and perhaps that is what is being said. That he is entitled to the property because of the indenture but he did give his brother some money for something.

Paul Reed suggests that Richard is younger (born in the late 1490s) which is possible but by 1527 when Jone dies their daughter (if I am correct that Richard is husband to Jone) is already married giving a likely date of birth for Richard in the 1480s. Nicholas and Robert both have children although I suspect Nicholas is rather younger than Robert.

Although Paul Reed's transcription of Richard Blake's will of 1522 has caused me to relook at my transcription and make a couple of changes and accept that he has not referred to a son Robert, I still will toy in my mind with the idea that he is the husband of Jone Blake who left her will in 1527 and the father of Robert, Nicholas and Elizabeth (Mylne). Allowing this will keep it to the forefront of my thoughts as I work through the wills to come for the Blake members in the 1500s at Knights Enham and Andover. 

I have also ordered on Open Library a book that may help to understand all of this. It was published as Part 1, Kempton Ancestry. Charlou Dolan has referred to this book in her writeup. 

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