Friday, October 9, 2015

Blake yDNA study at FT DNA

A new member of the team looking after the Blake yDNA study. Patti Blake Goff has family lore that her Blake line (father was a Blake) descends from the Blake family at Galway. She joins the team to look at the Blake family in Ireland gradually working her way into that post. In the meantime enquiries on the Irish Blake family should continue to come to me and I continue to be the main person working on the assigning of Blake members to groups. There is one new member that I need to assign and will get to that process.

Where am I at with my Blake one name study? I have had a really busy summer and gradually getting back into genealogy once again. I have a few new projects which will take up a little of my time at the moment. They are long term projects and of great interest to me personally. They will tend to predominate in five years time when I step away from my Blake one name study.

I want to get back into the Cornwall Blake line. I have had one email from an individual descendant of this line questioning my thought that Blake in Cornwall was an emigrant in the early 1500s. Certainly my grandfather when he spoke of his Blake line believed that they had been in the Andover area for ever and I think that most people think that way. I think they may well have been in that general area for the last eight thousand years and one day proof might arise to substantiate that thought. But the testing by BritainsDNA certainly points to a very ancient line for this haplogroup. The I2a study at FT DNA does the same placing this group in the British Isles well before 4000 years before the present. How to handle such emails? Should one abandon a project because it goes against the thinking of an individual writing to you? I really do not know the answer to that question. I am an outsider looking in; I live in a country which was populated probably twelve thousand years ago or more by emigrants from Asia who also feel the same way that their people have been here for ever. What is forever anyway? Is it more than four generations because by four generations back a lot of people have forgotten where their families live unless a consistent effort was made to pass that information down. I was lucky that way in that my parents constantly mentioned where their families had lived in England (my father came to Canada as a child) and my mother is my only Canadian line with myself, my mother, her father and his mother being my only ancestors born in Canada and to date I only have known ancestors born in various counties of England.

So who does genealogy serve? It should serve everyone as it is the story of our ancestral lines all of which eventually converge way back in time. There was a time when the first Homo species arose on the earth probably spontaneously and successively as each one fought to survive in the environment into which it entered. We now know that many did not survive and that eventually only Homo Sapiens (our species) survived to multiply and occupy this planet. Genealogy serves that group of people because we are all one big family and eventually we will lay down our weapons and live together as God intended. Not one of us is superior to the other; our DNA tells us that.

Off my soapbox and I will return to Cornwall Blake once again extracting all the Blake entries from the census beginning in 1841 and moving forward this time. I tried the reverse and it was meaningful but this time I have the parish records for the earlier Blake lines there so should be able to do some linkages and discover where various family members ended up as the census moves towards 1911. The 1939 Register is soon to be released to help bridge that gap and the 1921 census not so far away now. I hope to have a picture of the Cornwall Blake family available to look at by the end of the year. To the best of my knowledge no one has tested their yDNA with a proven line back to the Blake families in Cornwall; certainly the present day descendants could be from those early Blake lines in both Cornwall and Devon and perhaps further afield.

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