Friday, April 4, 2014

Blake Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 2, 2014

4 Apr 2014      Blake Newsletter , Volume 3, Issue 2

Will Transcriptions

I continue working on the Blake Wills (with a few others intertwined on occasion) and I am proceeding alphabetically through the counties. Currently I am working on Essex and they can be seen on my blog: . I have been working on the early Hampshire Wills (1500s) and will continue doing that as I acquire them. There have been a number of linking wills which have permitted me to collect several generations of detail on particular lines.

Founding Blake lines

The overall plan is to see if I can push back in each distinctive area of the British Isles the Blake family that is located there in the 1500s.

Thus far I have been successful with the Blake family at Andover with the will of Robert Blake (in Latin) which mentions his sons Richard and Thomas. Within the will he mentions a William Blake, an Andrew Blake and a Robert Blake. This testator is perhaps the Robert Blake said to have been married to Maude Snell. Although this is listed in some of the Blake genealogies produced over the last 100 years the actual record comes from the work of Horatio Gates Somerby and thus is suspect.
Certainly the time frame is correct as noted in the Blake genealogies; Robert died likely in 1521. That Robert is said to have had a brother William and in the will of Robert there is a William mentioned but no relationship stated. I am postulating that he might be the William Blake married to Avis Ripley from the Blake Pedigree Chart held at the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office. There is no further information on Robert in the records of Horatio Gates Somerby.

This has pushed the Blake line at Andover back from Nicholas (son of Jone Blake, widow, who left her will in 1527 and now her husband who left his will in 1522) to his likely father Richard and his likely father Robert. This line then is at Andover back into the mid 1400s using the Blake surname which is starting to come close to the Calendar of Patent Rolls Records discussed in my blog where there were 13 entries in Hampshire for Blake ( ). In 1452 there is a George Blake mentioned, in 1421 a John Blake, in 1415 a John Blake, in 1402 an Andrew Blake, in 1394 a John Blake, in 1352 a Henry le Blake, a Walter le Blake and an Alice le Blake, in 1343 a Robert Blake and in 1323 a Simon le Blake. Enter under Berkshire but Andover is listed as the place there is a John le Blake in 1340 and a Roger le Blake also 1340.

What exactly is this telling me and how significant is it? Primarily it is telling me that there was a Blake line at Andover very close in time to the testators of the Blake wills in the early 1500s. The continuity thus expressed is significant as I wonder why my line, known to be an ancient line in the British Isles, chose to have the surname Blake. At what point did they choose the surname in the past? I still need to read the Manor Records for Andover to see what I can learn.


One of the reasons for holding back on the newsletter (it is four days late), was the release of the Big Y test results by FT DNA. I have been watching as they roll out to see if they will have any impact on the Blake results. Thus far I do not see anything that catches my attention but the time is early and the work really just beginning.

If anyone has an item they wish to place in this newsletter please let me know.

Elizabeth Kipp née Blake (

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