"I'm another descendant of the Landrake Blakes,so thanks for all your work on them. I've not read all previous posts but just wonder why you think the Blakes were immigrants around 1300.That is when people started using surnames,apart from the 'de placename' type.. I suspect that the name may be the same as Black, as spelling was very variable and vowel shifts are common. Even in the 19th cent. one of the Landrake families was entered in a census as 'Blake'.
I have skirted around the surname Black through all my time doing this one name study on the Blake family. I think it is partly because I think that Blake is a distinctive and ancient surname that is attached to particular family groupings. I always felt that it had several founders and the England's Immigrant Database showed that to be true with around 30 distinct individuals coming from the Continent and other places in the British Isles (notably Ireland) to England between 1330 and 1550. According to books on surnames (and I will list a few below) there weren't any surnames in Britain prior to the Norman Invasion. There were by names and aliases but no hereditary surnames. This was brought to Britain by the Normans.
Why do I think that Black and Blake are different? I have found, on rare occasions, in the parish registers the surname Blake spelled Blacke - these occasions are rare and I tend to discard them as being a spelling error on the part of the priest. Hence I have never collected the surname Black as I work my way through the registers and other documents. But the comment gave me pause to consider that I should occasionally check out these new sources of information to see what they have on Black as a surname.
Looking at the England's Immigrants Database (http://www.englandsimmigrants.com/ ) I found 21 entries for the surname "Black(e)".
I eliminated seven of them because they referred to the Black Book of Winchester which also listed the particular individual and this book was edited by W.H.B. Bird of Winchester in 1925. Another eight were eliminated because they referred to Black Torrington hundred in Devon. That left me with two locating in Devon, one each in Essex, Northumberland and Middlesex and the last individual was said to be English (married to an Englishwoman). The individual in Essex lived at Black Notley and so was eliminated. The individual in Northumberland lived at Black Hedley so also eliminated. Thus eliminating 17 of the 21 entries.
Jacobus Black was from India and a servant to Thomas Gale living at Dartmouth, Devon
John Blacke was returning from the Holy Roman Empire but had lived in England for 25 years and is linked by a researcher (William Page) to a John Blagge/Black a grocer in London. No location given in this record. This is rather interesting because I do have a Blake line in London that is quite ancient to that City so will keep this gentleman in mind.
John Goldsmyth living at Exeter, Devon and originally from Flanders had the alias Black John Goldsmyth. In the account he is also named as John Blake. This entry too is quite interesting and I need to check to see if it came up with the entries in the Blake search.
John Black servant to Richard Savage of Monken Hadley, Edmonton, Middlesex hundred (no place of origin given).
So an interesting foray into these records and I thank the correspondent for querying Blake and Black as possibly being surnames in common. Because the name Blake appears to be distinct from an early time in English records I do think that it was an established surname belonging to the grouping "Characteristic Surname." Would this prove that they were the same since the surname is said to mean two different characteristics on the one hand referring to a very pale person and on the other a person who was swarthy. But I suspect as a surname Black was not a very common one but rather given to place names especially when you note that 17 of the 21 entries referred to place names in this sample.
In the Cornwall Records I have not found the spelling Black for Blake other than the occasional time and generally it is Blacke not Black.
Aside from the hugeness of the project if I thought about doing Black with Blake, I just do not think that the two surnames have a common ancestry. If I thought it I probably wouldn't have taken the project on as it would just be too huge and would have stayed just with my Blake line in Hampshire! But I will bear in mind the need to actually look at the records to see in those early years if there were Black entries.
Looking at Black on the Public Profiler software (developed by researchers at University College, London, UK:
Havant Blak Laurence 1301-2
Wargrave Blak, la Alice 1301-2 (daughter of Richard le Blak)
Wargrave Blak, le Richard 1301-2
Merdon Blak, le Thomas 1301-2
Waltham St Lawrence Blak Hamo 1301-2
Waltham St Lawrence Blak Walter 1301-2 (son of Hamo Blak)
Staplegrove Blake, le William 1301-2
A Dictionary of English Surnames, Revised Edition. P.H. Reaney, Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-19-860092-5
Families of County Galway, Volume VI of the Book of Irish Families, great and small. Michael C. O'Laughlin, Irish Genealogical Foundation, 2002. ISBN 0-940134-00-4
The Surnames of Wales for family historians and others. John and Sheila Rowlands. Genealogical Publishing Company Inc, 1996. ISBN 0-8063-1516-4
The Surnames of Ireland. Edward MacLysaght, Irish Academic Press, 1999. ISBN 0-7165-2366-3
Penquin Dictionary of British Surnames. John Titford, Penquin Books, 2009. ISBN 978-0-141-02320-5
The Surnames Handbook: A guide to family name research in the 21st Century. Debbie Kennett, The History Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7524-6862-4
Surnames, DNA, and Family History. George Redmonds, Turi King and David Hey. Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-19-958264-8