Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wills for the Black family at the National Archives (UK)

A search on the National Archives of the UK site yields 235 wills for members of the Black family with three from the 1500-1599 time period, 10 from the 1600-1699 time period, 97 from the 1700-1799 time period and 125 from 1800-1899.

Blake wills on the other hand held at Kew  include 2 for the time period 1400-1499, 25 for the time period 1500-1599, 143 for the time period 1600-1699, 267 for the time period 1700-1799 and 309 for the time period 1800-1899 or a total of 746 wills.

Most of these wills I will actually be looking at as I collected them when we were in London at Kew five years ago. But I may just take this opportunity to insert information into this blog about each will and whether I should transcribe them for the Blake study. 

The three from 1500-1599 would be interesting and they include (there is a Blake family at Speen and a Blake family at Lydiard Bishop's in this time frame):

Will of Henry Black, Mariner of Brightlingsea, Essex 20 May 1566 PROB 11/48/468

-will transcribe

Will of William Black, Yeoman of Speen, Berkshire 9 Oct 1557 PROB 11/39/420

- this appears to be the same will as William Blake of Speen Berkshire which I transcribed but it was dated 1552 and had a probate, this one has a probate dated 1557. I shall transcribe it as well.

Will of John Black or Blacke of Lydiard Bishop's, Somerset 28 Jan 1577 PROB 11/59/10

-will transcribe

The ten from 1600-1699 include (I will transcribe all of these over time):

Will of John Black of Ottringham Marsh, Yorkshire 30 Sep 1653 PROB 11/226/752

Will of William Black of Cleric, Wraysbury 9 Jul 1667 PROB 11/324/377

Will of Merrald Black, Widow of Saint Botolph without Aldgate, Middlesex 11 May 1687 PROB 11/387/206

Will of Anne Black, Maiden of Upchurch, Kent 30 May 1679 PROB 11/359/706

Will of Christopher Black, Mariner of Saint Paul Shadwell, Middlesex 22 Sep 1691 PROB 11/405/413

Will of John Black, Barber and now Doctor's Mate of His Majesty's Ship Norwich of London 7 May 1674 PROB 11/345/25

Will of John Black, Tailor of Saint Mary Le Strand, Middlesex 30 Apr 1652 PROB 11/221/530

Will of Barbara Black, Widow of Saint Martin in the Fields, Middlesex 19 Sep 1649 PROB 11/209/279

Will of David Black or Blacke 15 Oct 1634 PROB 11/166/322

Will of Thomas Black or Blacke of Coychurch, Glamorganshire 4 Feb 1605 PROB 11/105/93

A search on the Discovery Catalogue yielded an enormous number of Black references 8,026 with 185 from the time period 1000-1099 but most are for places names however there is a reference to Beorhtric Black in the Little Domesday Book at Hanchet Hall, Little Wratting, Suffolk and several other place names in Suffolk.  Another reference to Aelfric Black at Lilley, Hertfordshire in the Great Domesday Book and other places in Hertfordshire. An Alwine Black at Brixton, Broadwood Kelly, Devon also in the Great Domesday Book and other places in Devon. A William Black at Whitstone Devon in the Great Domesday Book. A Robert Black at Wye, Kent in the Great Domesday Book. Finding these early reference to Black as a surname is rather interesting and they precede the presence of Blake in England as far as I can tell.

Since I have found the surname Black prior to the emergence of Blake in England I feel that I can now set aside any thoughts on having to do Black with Blake. Where the names become interchanged (i.e. Blacke for Blake) it is simply a spelling error on the part of the writer.

No comments: