Friday, January 27, 2017

Blake families of America

For the most part I do not attempt to separate out Blake families in America. It isn't that I do not think it could be done but so many books have been published and the desire to be descendant of the Blake families in Massachusetts so strong that I tend to avoid the discussions.

Finding the will of Charles Blake in Maryland was really very very interesting. He was apparently, according to some published family lore, educated in Paris at a Roman Catholic Institution. His descendants appear to still be in Maryland in 1790 and it would be easy to continue pulling them from the census records.

Why, in the late 1600s would someone choose to be educated in Paris? The Restoration of the Monarchy has eliminated the Puritan influence of the Cromwell era but restored the Church of England as the religion of the land. In neither realm would a Roman Catholic adherent have felt comfortable.

I did toy with the idea that this Charles who left his will in 1732 might be from the Wiltshire Blake family (namely the South Newton area) but I did find this family still quite intact in the Wiltshire area in the latter part of the 1600s when Charles was already in London. There was a Blake family in London in this time period and they created the Blake Pedigree Chart held by the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office as well as by the actual creator of the Pedigree the College of Arms.

I do have an electronic copy of that chart and there was a Charles son of Thomas Blake of Finkley and Finkley was near Andover, Hampshire and he did live in London according to the chart. This chart was initially prepared in 1690 when Charles Blake, the testator of the 1732 will, was known to be living in London. Unfortunately this line was not traced down any further. This family was not wealthy but they were likely comfortable.

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