Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Blake Family Trees Reconstruction and Cornwall

As I work my way through the census, I am realizing that my best process forward on producing trees is to do short sections but I need to decide if this is a practical method or if it will just confuse me. I am working in Legacy slowly inserting the census into my file for Cornwall, linking where I am able and at the same time extracting data from the OPC Cornwall site that fits in as well. I am thinking that I should also continue through the 33 wills that I have inserting that information as I am extracting census. The long and short of it all is that I will make a decision shortly on whether or not I do make trees available yet or just some short summaries that I have found interesting on some of the Blake lines in Cornwall reserving the full tree (and some are actually emerging perhaps to my surprise at the length) for a little in the future. Since I am committed to doing family reconstruction the last Saturday of the month (and week that follows) will continue to be slated for that and I will stay with Cornwall. I wanted to start with Cornwall as they have an active OPC site, they share a border with just one other county Devon although there could be people coming into Cornwall the general trend was to move away from there, I have the census from 1841 to 1911 available to me by subscription, the OPC site is excellent, Family Search has a lot of records for Cornwall, the wills are quite revealing thus far for Cornwall and there is a lot of information online for the wills that were probated in the Diocese that did not go to Canterbury for probate. All of these factors make Cornwall a good starting point for working on family reconstruction.

There are four entries in the Calendar of Patent Rolls for Blake in Cornwall :

1346    May    17    Westminster        Blake    Thomas    Cornwall        Edward III    7    115-116    6d

1371    Jul    10    Westminster        Blake    Adam     Lostwythiel, near Penryn, Cornwall        Edward III    16    170-172    35d

1371    Jul    10    Westminster        Blake    John    Lostwythiel, near Penryn, Cornwall        Edward III    16    170-172    35d

1406    Oct    26    Westminster        Blake    John    Senecote, Cornwall        Henry IV    3    251    34

This family has ancient roots in Cornwall and it would be interesting to see if I am able to connect back to these early Blake members. But I must not rush myself; methodically pulling out the data in a rigorous fashion.

As I am looking at the OPC site I am noting that a few people who are the OPCs are doing active Blake research. I wonder how many originating Blake families there are in Cornwall, Just one? or have some crossed into Cornwall from Comb Devon? On the other hand did the Cornwall Blake family cross into Devon?

As always it comes back to more people testing their yDNA to look at these early Blake lines. My own line in Hampshire traces back to the ancient times in the British Isles so my line has, at some point in the past and prior to the mid 1400s, taken on the surname Blake for whatever reason. Why was Blake since an interesting surname in this early time period? All of these thoughts drive my Blake study which is really in essence constantly reaching backwards through time to learn more about this ancient British Isles family.

We have been discussing the role of the Guild of One-Name Studies and in general on the forum the thought is that we should be doing Family Reconstruction where possible rather than just being name collectors. I am in agreement with that as well which is why I started on my Wills Project. 

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