Sunday, March 23, 2014

No will today

I am busy working on the will of Richard Blake of Christchurch from 1558 and the script is somewhat challenging so will not appear today. Concurrently I am working on the will of Sir Francis Blake from Durham and it is 11 pages long so also not likely to appear for a couple of days.

I think going back to a logical alphabetical approach to doing the wills will serve me well. My mind has moved on from the Blake families in Somerset and Wiltshire although I am sure it will return to them as I work on Gloucestershire. I have just the single will from Durham and then move on to Essex which I am rather keen to work on to be honest. This Blake family is rather unique I think and the wills date from 1728 to the mid 1800s. I did the oldest will for Blake in Essex back in 2012 and it was for Thomas Blake of Little Baddow. American Researchers for the Blake family associated the Blake family at Little Baddow with the Blake family in Somerset and subsequently with the Blake family in the American Colonies in the Boston area. Although this was refuted by other American Blake Researchers, the association does continue in some genealogies. There are fourteen wills for the Blake family in Essex and then I move on to Gloucestershire where the oldest will is from 1550 and belongs to Martin Blake and a second one for John Blake in 1555. These could prove to be interesting. Again there are twenty wills for Gloucestershire. Hampshire from the PCC is complete but I will continue working on the Hampshire wills from the Hampshire Record Office and I have 25 at hand with more requested from the Family Search Photoduplication website. In total there remain almost ninety wills that I will request over time (five requests per month permitted). These are difficult wills mostly from the 1500s and early 1600s at the moment so I will work on them as I continue my transcription of Blake wills proved at the Perogative Court of Canterbury (PCC). With Hampshire PCC complete, I would then move to Hertfordshire where there are five Blake wills to do.

I continue then from Hertfordshire alphabetically although I will leave the wills labeled location miscellaneous to the end. This is a very large collection (24 subfolders) of wills from all over the British Empire (now Commonwealth) and also includes some random surnames that are of interest to my husband and myself for some of my lines). I would like to complete this project at the end of 2014 but I think that is probably rather optimistic and the end of 2015 is probably more reasonable but setting the bar high pushes me a little harder and so I will continue to think in terms of the end of 2014.

Bright sun today which will melt some of that snow but we are promised more snow this week. Too bad it did not come in March break when the children could have enjoyed skiing - it was too icy - as the fresh snow makes for great skiing but it is minus 13 celsius now and we are promised minus 19 celsius this evening. It must be the longer days though as I always feel as if spring is just around the corner when we are reaching the end days of March!

No comments: