Paul C. Reed, “Two Somerby Frauds, Or ‘Placing the Flesh on the Wrong Bones,'” The American Genealogist 74. [LINK]
Source: Burton W. Spear, Search for the Passengers of the Mary and John 1630, Volume 13 (Toledo, Ohio: Burton W. Spear, 1990).
Unanswered Questions on the English Ancestries and Birthplaces of the “Mary and John” Families of 1630.
According to NER Jan. 1984, p. 4-16, he was the son of Nicholas ROSSITER (d. 1 Apr. 1608) & Eliza _____ (bu. 28 Apr. 1608), of Comb St. Nicholas, Somerset, but no wills have been found. His grandfather was Philip ROSSITER & (1) _____, of Combe St. Nicholas and his great-grandfather was Richard ROSSITER (1463-1529) & Elizabeth PERYE, dau. of William PERYE & _____, dau. of John FRYE. No wills found.
Parish records of Combe St. Nicholas before 1678 are lost & Edward Rossiter left no will.
There is a Dr. CAMPBELL, a genealogist in Combe St. Nicholas who is claimed to have a great deal of information on the ROSSITERs, FRYEs & TORREY family, all of that village. Ref: NER Jan. 1937, p. 145-151. (See Vol. 3, p. 43)
THREE GENERATIONS OF DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM BLAKE OF DORCHESTER, MASS.
William BLAKE – Bpt. 10 July 1594, Pitminster, Somerset. He died, 25 Oct. 1663, Dorchester, Mass. He married, Agnes BAND, 27 Sept. 1617, Pitminster, prob. widow of Richard BAND & dau. of Hugh THORN. He was granted land in Dorchester on 14 May 1636 and he became a freeman and a member of the church on 14 Mar. 1639. It is not known when he came to New England. (Vol. 12, p. 79)
Children of William BLAKE & Agnes (THORN) BAND (Vol. 12, p. 79)
1. John BLAKE – Bpt. 30 Aug. 1618, Pitminster. He died, 25 Jan. 1688/9, Boston. He married, Mary (SOUTHER) SHAW, 16 Aug. 1654. He was one of the executors of the will of Governor John WINTHROP in 1676. No issue.
2. Anne BLAKE- Bpt. 30 Aug. 1618 (twin?), Pitminster. She died, 12 July 1681, Boston. She married, (1) Jacob LEAGER of Boston, who died, 24 Feb. 1662/3 & (2) _____ HALLOWELL. Her tombstone is in the Boston Society.
Children of Anne BLAKE & Jacob LEAGER (Vol. 11, p. 79)
a. Bethia LEAGER- Bpt. 6 Oct. 1651, Dorchester, Mass. She m. Fearnot SHAW, blacksmith, s. of Joseph SHAW of Weymouth, Mass. She had two children: Jacob, b. 6 Nov. 1672. (2) John, b. 30 Mar. 1678, who m. Mercy SMITH.
b. Hannah LEAGER- B. 14 Nov. 1655, Boston. She d. 13 Oct. 1690. She m. (1) John WALKER, brick burner, a. 1676, s. of Thomas & Ann WALKER of Boston. The had one dau., Hannah WALKER, 25 Apr. 1677, who prob. never married. Hannah LEAGER m. (2) Thomas PHILIPS of Boston, perhaps s. of Nicholas PHILIPS, by whom she had one child, Hannah PHILIPS, 7 Sept. 1690.
3. William BLAKE Jr.- Bpt. 6 Sept. 1620, Pitminster. He died, 3 Sept. 1703, Milton, Mass. He married, (10 [sic] Anna _____, whose name does not appear until 1665 & (2) Hannah TOLMAN, 22 Nov. 1693, Milton, who d. 4 Aug. 1729, dau. of Thomas TOLMAN (M&J passenger) & widow Sarah LYON.
Children of William BLAKE Jr. & (1) Anna (Vol. 12 p. 8)
a. Samuel BLAKE- B. 14 May 1650, Dorchester. He d. 1719, Taunton. He m. Sarah MACEY, dau. of George and Susanna MACEY of Taunton. He had seven children: (1) Priscilla, who m. John SMITH, 1700, s. of Nathaniel SMITH. (2) Samual Jr., b.a. 1680, who may have m. Sarah PITTS. (3) Edward, b.a. 1689, m. Anna HANOVER. (4) Susanna. (5) Sarah, m. Joseph TOPLIFF. (6) Hannah. (7) Jerusha.
b. Anne BLAKE- Bpt. 7 Mar. 1651, Dorchester. d.y.
c. Anne BLAKE- B. 6 Mar. 1652/3, Dorchester. Died, 9 May 1722, Taunton. She m. Thomas GILBERT, 18 Dec. 1676, Boston, s. of John & Jane GILBERT of Taunton. Eight children: (1) Hannah, b. 28 Sept. 1677, m. William PHILLIPS. (2) Sarah, b. 11 Aug. 1679, m. John WILLIS. (3) Mary (twin), b. 11 Aug. 1679, m. Joseph WILLIAMS. (4) Thomas, b. 11 July 1681. d.y. (5) Nathaniel, b. 19 July 1683, m. Hannah BRADFORD. (6) Mehitable, b. 5 May 1686. (7) Susanna, b. 1687, m. William HODGES. (8) Experience, b. 1689, m. John TOWNSEND. (Ref: Gilberts of New England, pt. 1, p. 81)
d. Mary BLAKE- B. 20 Mar. 1654/5, Dorchester. She m. (1) Joseph LEONARD, 1679 & (2) _____ WILLIS. Seven children by first husband: (1) Mary, b. 2 Oct. 1680. (2) Experience, b. 18 Mar. 1682. (3) Joseph, b. 28 Jan. 1684. (4) Mehitable, b. 22 Aug. 1685. (5) Edward, b. 2 Nov. 1688. (6) William, b. 26 Mar. 1690. (7) Silence. (Ref: Savage 3:80)
e. William BLAKE- B. 22 Feb. 1656/7, Dorchester. Soldier in 1675 & 1690. Died before 1699.
f. Nathaniel BLAKE- B. 4 July 1659, Dorchester. Died, 5 Oct. 1720, Milton. He m. Martha MORY, dau. of Walter MORY. Seven children: (1) William, b. 21 July 1696, m. Hannah _____. (2) Nathaniel Jr., b. 26 Feb. 1697/7, m. Elizabeth EVANS. (3) Simon, b. 1 June 1700, m. Hannah BADCOCK. (4) James, b. 18 Sept. 1702, m. Abigail TUCKER. (5) Joseph, b. 27 July 1705. (6) David, b. 12 July 1707. (7) Jonathan, b. 12 July 1707.
g. Edward BLAKE- b. 13 Apr. 1662, Dorchester. He died, 1737. He m. Elizabeth MORY, 26 June 1696, sister of his brother’s (Nathaniel) wife. Six children: (1) Anna, b. 7 Apr. 1697, m. _____ STEARNS. (2) Edward Jr., b. 22 July 1697, m. Elizabeth FRENCH. (3) Aaron, b. 23 Feb. 1699/1700. (4) Mary, b. 13 Jan. 1701/2. (5) Elizabeth, b. 5 Apr. 1704, m. _____ BELCHER. (6) Moses, b. 6 Aug. 1706, m. Hannah HORTON.
h. Experience BLAKE- B. 17 June 1665, Dorchester. He <sic> m. Eleazer CARVER, s. of John & Millicent CARVER. Res: S. Bridgewater.
i. Agnes BLAKE- B. 29 Sept. 1667, Milton.
j. Susan BLAKE- B. 20 July 1670, Milton. D. 4 May 1676.
k. Mehitable BLAKE- B. 2 Apr. 1673, Milton. She m. William BRIGGS Jr., 16 June 1696, of Taunton.
4. James BLAKE- Bpt. 27 Apr. 1623, Pitminster. Died, 28 June 1700, Dorchester. He married (1) Elizabeth CLAPP, a. 1651, dau. of Dea. Edward CLAPP & Prudence CLAPP, who died, 16 Jan. 1693/4, age 61. He m. (2) Elizabeth SMITH, 17 Sept. 1695, dau. of Henry 7 <sic> Judith SMITH & widow of Peter HUNT.
He built a house in 1650 in Dorchester that still stands today […]
5. Edward BLAKE- His will: 31 Aug. 1692, inventory, 3 Nov. 1692. He m. Patience POPE, dau. of John & Jane POPE of Dorchester […]
BLAKE Family, A Genealogical History, William BLAKE of Dorchester, by Samuel BLAKE, 1857.
A Record Of The BLAKES Of Somerset, by Horatio G. SOMERBY.
Increase BLAKE Of Boston, His Ancestors & Descendants, With A Full Account of William BLAKE Of Dorchester, by Francis E. BLAKE, 1898.
THE ROSSITER, TORREY, FRY & COMBE FAMILIES OF COMBE ST. NICHOLAS, SOMERSET.
The village and parish of Combe St. Nicholas, Somerset provided a number of families who came to New England between 1630 and 1640. Edward ROSSITER came first, with his family on the “Mary & John” in 1630. He was one of the Assistants of the Massachusetts Bay Company and one of the most prominent passengers on that ship. He was followed in 1640 by the TORREYs and FRYs. A great deal of credit for this article, and particularly the photos and map, is due Miss Patricia PEARCE, of Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset, who visited Combe St. Nicholas and searched the records in the Somerset Record Office, Taunton.
Edward ROSSITER may have come with his wife _____ COMBE, daughter of John COMBE and brother of Joesph [sic] COMBE, but she may have died in England because there is no record of her in New England.
Evidently, Rev. John WHITE of Dorchester, Dorset, loaned Edward ROSSITER considerable money to prepare for his journey to New England. The total debt was 106 pounds, 9 shillings & 9 pence and it was partly paid by Edward’s son, Nicholas, before their departure. But when Edward died on 23 Oct. 1630, there was still 15 pounds, 25 shillings due Rev. WHITE. Among the charges was 47 pounds, 13 shillings & 4 pence, for the passage of 13 passengers (3 pounds, 13 shillings & 4 pence each).
Following is an attempt to identify these people. The five unknown passengers may have included, Edward’s wife (if she was still living), grandchildren and servants.
1. Edward ROSSITER
2. Son, Nicholas ROSSITER, who later returned.
3. Wife of Nicholas ROSSITER, who later returned.
4. Edward ROSSITER, son of Nicholas, who later returned.
5. Son, Bray ROSSITER.
6. Wife of Bray ROSSITER.
7. Daughter, Jane ROSSITER.
8. Son, Hugh ROSSITER, who later returned.
Plus five unidentified passengers.
George FRY, came with his brother-in-law, William TORREY. He was possibly the son of the George FRY who witnessed the will of Joseph COMBE of Combe St. Nicholas, 21 Mar. 1619/20. The FRYs were also related to the ROSSITER & COMBE families.
Although no member of the COMBE family of Combe St. Nicholas has been found that came to New England, they married into the above families.
THE WADFORD FARM & MILL OF PHILIP ROSSITER
Edward ROSSITER’s great-grandfather, Richard ROSSITER, was the first proved land owner in Combe St. Nicholas. When he died in 1529 he owned 4 messuages & 543 acres here. At that time his son Philip (Edward’s grandfather) inherited 4 messuages, 31 acres of meadow, 312 acres of pasture & 200 acres of woodland. In the 1583 Survey of the parish (SAS/SE86), “Philipus ROSSITER, gent. (farmer or husbandman) owned a dwelling and a new tucking mill. He paid 17 pounds a year to the Lord of the Manor (Wells Deanery). The other freemen of Combe were William BONNER, gent.- 15 pounds, William JEANES- 12 pounds, John BUETT- 2 pounds, John WALROD- 4 pounds, John DEWNELL- 20 pounds and _____ MALLETT- 12 pounds.
Wadeford House (16th) of Philip ROSSITER
Philip ROSSITER’s house was called Wadeford and the fulling mill (woolen mill), which has been carefully restored, still stand today in a hamlet about 3/4 miles SE of Combe St. Nicholas. This is one of seven mills within a few miles of each other on the River Isle, the others all being grist mills for corn.
Fulling Mill At Wadeford, Once Owned By Philip ROSSITER
Court Roll – 27 July 1608 – To the court came Thomasin CLARKE, William ROSSITER (brother or cousin of Edward?) and John CLARKE and surrendered a tenement called a “ten acre tenement” in the tithing of XII sect. granted again to John and Jane MARDEN. (The three named above were witnesses. Ref: ADD/277.)
1641, Nicholas ROSSITER, gent., of Combe (son of Edward, after Nicholas returned to England), holds for 3 lives, his property on lease – Anne, Jane & Mary ROSSITER, all daughters of Nicholas. Ref: ADD/302.
THE LOWER CLAYHANGER FARM OF THE FRY FAMILY
The FRY family held a lease in 1574 (and possibly earlier) on the Lower Clayhanger Farm, less than a mile NE of Wadeford, where Philip ROSSITER lived.
Entrance To Farmyard Of Lower Clayhanger House Of FRY Family
The Lower Clayhanger house, which is still standing today, is in the “Listed Buildings”, p. 1-2, ADD/281, dated, 1608. In the 1583 Survey of Combe St. Nicholas, rents were paid in Clayhanger tithing by: Robertus WARRYE- 13 pounds, John COGAN- 14 pounds, Symond KNIGHT- 2 pounds, Matthew GILLETT– 13 pounds, Thomas KNIGHT- 12 pounds and John GILLETT- 3 pounds.
NOTE: Savage says there was a Matthew GILLET who came on the Mary & John in 1634, first settled in Dorchester and then in Windsor in 1636. Banks says he came on the Mary & John in 1634 but settled in Salem. Stiles’ History of Windsor does not list him.
Today the house is a private residence, with Hamstone mullioned windows, a kitchen with a bread oven and a mullioned window in the rear wall. The roof was renewed in the early 19th century. The walls are two feet thick. The original date of the house cannot be placed because of work in 1940 destroyed much of the dating evidence.
Court Roll, 9 Oct. 1593 – To this court came John FRY and Agnes, his wife, and Isabella, wife of Richard SCREVEN. John FRY holds by right of his wife, Agnes, one tenement called a “ten acre tenement”, with the apprutenances in the tithing of Betham, to remain now of the said Isabella, by the names of Agnes COMBE and Isabella COMBE (daughters of John COMBE, deceased), John FRY and Agnes and Richard and Isabella SCREVEN, surrendered each and all into the hands of the Lord and all estates and interest in the said premises, with the intent that John FRY might be able to receive them again. Whereupon at this same court, the said John FRY, came and took from the Lord at the Steward’s hands, the said apputtenances, to have and to hold, for the lives of John FRY, Joseph COMBE and William COMBE, sons of the late John COMBE. Ref: ADD/257.
27 Sept. 1597– George FRY came to Court of Combe and leased land called “Wagges”, for the lives of George and his brother, John FRY of Ewell and John FRY, son of Lawrence of Stolfird. Ref: ADD/265.
15 Oct. 1608– To this Court came Dorothea (RICHARDS) FRY, wife of John FRY, the younger, gent., of Chehanger (Clayhanger), and took the reversion of one cottage, with curtilage, one acre of same, under Old Auster (A Celtic site for the farm, developed by the Saxons and always treated with great respect because of its great age as a site.), all held by John FRY, the younger, for the term of his life. To have and to hold for the lives of Dorothea, William FRY, son of William of Plymouth, Devon, yeoman, John RICHARDS, son of John of Churchstation, Devon. Ref: ADD/281.
HAM FARM, HOME OF THE COMBE FAMILY
In 1599 Thomas COMBE at Ham Farm held 20 acres. This about one and one half miles N of Combe St. Nicholas. This was by “old Austet”, and ancient Celtic site. This farm is now occupied by Mr. HUTCHINGS.
Mr. HUTCHINGS at Ham Farm with Shep & Sam
Source: Burton W. Spear, Search for the Passengers of the Mary and John 1630, Volume 12 (Toledo, Ohio: Burton W. Spear, 1989). [WorldCat]
BLAKE ENGLISH ANCESTRY FROM CHART IN WILTSHIRE
The following BLAKE ancestry was taken from a 4 ft. by 12 ft. chart, on file at the Wiltshire Record Office, in Trowbridge, Wilts., England. It lists many lines not noted below to about 1800. The line below supposedly traces to Humphrey BLAKE of Over Stowey, Somerset, ancestor of Elizabeth SAUNDERS, wife of Henry WOLCOTT. Following is the introductory inscription on the chart:
“The genealogy of the ancient and worthy family of BLAGUE, BLAAKE or BLAKE, of great antiquity in the county of Wilts, where they had large possessions in Quemberford, Calne and Ililcot with a fair manor house called PINHILLS, now the seat of the family, a younger branch, from where they transplanted themselves into Hampshire and settling at East Town, were owners of that and divers other manor from whence the BLAKEs of Middlesex, etc. are immediately descended faithfully collected out of the several visitation books of the said counties remaining in the College of Arms and deducted to the issue of Daniel BLAKE of London, Anno 1690”.
1. RICHARD BLAGUE of Blake (Not found). He married Ann, daughter of William (COLE?).
2. HENRY BLAGUE of Blake. Heir. He married Elizabeth, daughter & co-heir of Edward DURANT.
3. WILLIAM BLAGUE of Blake. Heir. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. William POWER.
4. HENRY BLAGUE of Blake. Heir. He married Margaret, daughter & heir of William BILLETT.
5. ROBERT BLAGUE, Esq. of Quemford (hamlet, one half mile S of Calne, Wilts, 18 miles E of Bath). He married Avice, daughter of John WALLOP, Esq. of Farley, Southampton.
6. JOHN BLAGUE, Gent. Second son. He married Margaret DYNCHAN, DINHAM of Dentham.
7. DAVID BLAGUE. Heir. He married Joane MALLETT. He had a son, John BLAGUE, Abbott of Cirenester, Gloucestershire.
8. WILLIAM BLAGUE of Lacock, Wilts (8 miles W of Calne). He married Margaret, daughter of William BROWNE of Wablyn.
a. Martin BLAGUE of Winchcomb, Gloucestershire. He married Catherine, daughter of George VAUGHN of Herfordshire.
b. John BLAGUE- See below.
9. JOHN BLAGUE. “From whom the BLAKEs of Somerset are descended of which family Major General Robert BLAKE the famous soldier and sea commander.” No arms listed. This line from generations 6 through 9 do not agree with the lines in SEARCH FOR THE PASSENGERS OF THE MARY & JOHN-1630, Volume 11, p. 62-66.
The following line from the Wiltshire chart connects to some William BLAKEs of Eastontown, Southampton, that fits the genealogy in the above mentioned, Volume 11:
6. ROBERT BLAKE of Calne, Wilts. He was the son of Robert BLAGUE & Avice WALLOP (See #5 above). He married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas INGLEFIELD of Inglefield, Berkshire & Margery, daughter of Richard DANVERS, Esq. of Cadworth, Northamptonshire.
7. ROGER BLAAKE, Esq. of Caivne (Calne?), Wilts. He died, 1556, age 57 (b. 1499). He married Mary BAYNARD, daughter of Philip BAYNARD, Esq. of Lackham, Wilts. Roger and his sister, married a brother and sister.
a. Thomas BLAAKE, Esq. of Tynnells, Wilts. He married Edith, daughter of Thomas IVY, Esq. of Westkein (sp?), Wilts.
b. Sibil BLAAKE. She married Henry BULL of Wilts.
c. John BLAAKE. He married Jane CLARKE of Shaw (sp?), Wilts.
d. Joane BLAAKE. She married Anthony GODDARD of Hartham, Wilts.
e. William BLAAKE- See below.
f. Mary BLAAKE. She married edward LANGRIDGE of Langride, Southampton.
g. Robert BLAAKE of borough of Carone (sp?). He married Alice, daughter of Robert SMYTH of Lackock, Wilts.
8. WILLIAM BLAKE of Eastontown als Essington, Southampton. Fourth son. Deceased, 1582. He married Avice, daughter of Sir Gervace RIPLEY, knight of Ripley, Southampton. Their figures appeared in a stained glass window in the church of Enham (sp?), Southampton, in the parish of Eastontown in 1622, seat of the branch of the family in Scituate (not found).
Figures of William BLAKE, and his wife, Avice RIPLEY, in stained glass window, in Eastontown parish church in 1622.
9. WILLIAM BLAKE. Second son.
a. William BLAKE. See below.
b. Peter BLAKE. Second son.
c. Nicholas BLAKE. Third son.
10. WILLIAM BLAKE of Eastontown (estate of Eastontown, Southampton?). He married Anne, daughter of Thomas TUFT (sp?) of Chilbolton, Southampton. (Chilbolton now appears to be in county, Hants, 3 miles south of Andover.). No issue listed.
The last three William BLAKEs, numbers 8, 9 & 10, appear to connect to the BLAKE Genealogy printed in the SEARCH FOR THE PASSENGERS OF THE MARY & JOHN-1630, Volume 11, p. 62-63. The following is copied from this source:
VII. WILLIAM BLAKE – He lived in White parish, Wilts and died in 1471. After his death his widow and two sons moved to Hampshire and settled in Andover, on the estate called, “Eastontown”, formerly part of the estate of her husband’s mother, Avice WALLOP.
1. William BLAKE- See below.
2. Robert BLAKE- He lived in West Enham, Andover. He married, _____ SNELL.
VIII. WILLIAM BLAKE – He lived in Andover, White Parish, in Old Hall in Eastontown. he also had lands in Knights Enham (occupied by his brother in 1504). He married Mary, daughter of Humphrey COLES of Somerset. His will probated, 20 June 1547.
1. Nicholas BLAKE- Of Old Hall. His will, 1547, names wife, Margaret and children, William, Edmund, Alice and Elizabeth.
2. Humphrey BLAKE- No doubt named after his grandfather. See below.
3. Alice BLAKE- She married, _____ CABULL.
IX. HUMPHREY BLAKE – In Somerset in early 1500’s and settled in Over Stowey.
X. JOHN BLAKE, THE ELDER – Born, 1521. Buried, 10 Dec. 1576, Over Stowey. He married Joan or Jane _____.
XI. ANNE BLAKE – Born about 1549, Over Stowey. She married Thomas SAUNDERS. They lived in Lydeard St. Lawrence, Somerset and were the parents of Elizabeth SAUNDERS, wife of Henry WOLCOTT.
BLAKE ANCESTRY FROM CHART IN UNITARIAN CHAPEL, CREWKERNE, SOMERSET, 1989
The following ancestry of the BLAKE family of Somerset, England was copied from a chart on exhibition in the Unitarian Chapel, crewkerne, Somerset, in June 1989. It was prepared by Mrs. Eleanor DIXON, a BLAKE descendant, from Bridgewater, Somerset.
This ancestry contradicts the BLAKE ancestry in Volume 12, p. 62, which states the BLAKE line to Elizabeth SAUNDERS, wife of Henry WOLCOTT, comes through William BLAKE (d. 1471), son of Robert BLAKE & Avice WALLOP. The ancestry below claims the correct line is through John BLAKE (d. 1504), son of Robert BLAKE & Avice WALLOP and brother of William BLAKE (d. 1471).
JOHN BLAKE of Nether Wallop, Hants. Born, 1430. Died, 1504. He married, Margery _____. His brother, Robert BLAKE of Calne, Wilts., was his heir and overseer of his will.
1. Humphrey BLAKE of Over Stowey, Somerset. Buried, 28 Dec. 1588. Will, 19 Nov. 1558, proved, 11 May 1559, Taunton. He married, Anne _____. He bought Tuxwell, near Spaxton, Somerset in 1556.
1.1 John BLAKE, the elder of Plainsfield (manor). Born, 1521. Buried, 10 Dec. 1576. Will proved, 25 Jan. 1577. He married, Joan _____.
1.1.1 Humphrey BLAKE, the elder of Over Stowey. Buried, 1619 (in Over Stowey church). Will, 1618. Clothier. He married, (1) Agnes JAMES, 1578 & (2) Ann _____.
18.104.22.168 Humphrey BLAKE, gent., of Plainsfield. Bpt. 13 Nov. 1580. He married, Elizabeth GILES of Wellington.
22.214.171.124 John BLAKE of Over Stowey. Bpt. 25 Apr. 1583.
126.96.36.199 Richard BLAKE. Bpt. 7 Sept. 1585.
188.8.131.52 Jone BLAKE. Bpt. 23 Sept. 1587.
184.108.40.206 Robert BLAKE. Bpt. 8 June 1589.
220.127.116.11 Arthur BLAKE. Bpt. 27 June 1592. Died, 25 June 1592.
1.1.2 William BLAKE. Buried, 1642. He married, Ann _____. He bought Cattridge, 1586.
1.1.3 Richard BLAKE of Stogumber, Somerset. Born, 1562/3. He married, (1) _____ & (2) Grace NAPCOTT, 29 May 1589, Over Stowey.
1.1.4 Robert BLAKE. Born, 1566. Died, 1626. He married, Eleanor BROWNE of Taunton.
1.1.5 Alice BLAKE. Born, 1569. She married James RICHARDS. From this couple descended emigrants, William BLAKE, Thomas RICHARDS and the TORREY brothers. (See volume 11, p. 109-110.)
1.1.6 Ann BLAKE. She married Thomas SAUNDERS (They were the parents of Elizabeth SAUNDERS, wife of Henry WOLCOTT).
1.1.7 Isobel BLAKE. She married Thomas SELLECK. (They lived in Gaulden Manor.)
1.1.8 Mary BLAKE- Born, 1558. Died 1560.
1.2 John BLAKE, the younger of Plainsfield (manor). Buried, 21 Aug. 1572. He married Christian JUGG, 18 Aug. 1558.
1.2.1 Mary BLAKE. Born, 1558. Died, 1600.
1.2.2 Elizabeth BLAKE. Born, 1561.
1.2.3 John BLAKE. Died, 1563.
1.2.4 Anne BLAKE. Born, 1567.
1.2.5 Richard BLAKE. Born, 1570.
1.3 Agnes BLAKE. She married, _____ MANNING.
1.4 Eleanor BLAKE. She married, _____ LANGHAM.
1.5 Alice BLAKE. She married, George SLOCOMBE.
1.6 Thomas BLAKE. His will, 1580. He married Isobel _____ of Wedmore.
1.7 Robert BLAKE of Bridgewater. He died, Oct. 1592. Will proved, 1592. He married, Margaret SYMONDS of Taunton. She buried, 1600.
1.7.1 Humphrey BLAKE of Bridgewater. Born, 1573. Died, 1625. His will, 1625. He married Sarah WMS. (WILLIAMS) of Pawlett, Somerset.
18.104.22.168 Humphrey BLAKE of St. Giles, Cripplesgate, London. Born, 1600. Died, 1679. Will, 1679, at Somerset Record Office.
22.214.171.124 Admiral Robert BLAKE. Born, 1598. Died, 1657. Unmarried. His will, 1653.
WILLIAM BLAKE OF DORCHESTER, MASS.
William BLAKE (1594-1663) of Dorchester, Mass. shares his BLAKE ancestry with Elizabeth SAUNDERS (1584-1655), wife of Henry WOLCOTT of Windsor, Conn. They were grandchildren of John BLAKE (1521-1576) of Over Stowey, Somerset. See Volume 11, p. 64-66. The parents of Elizabeth SAUNDERS were Thomas SAUNDERS (d. 1609) of Lydread St. Lawrence, Somerset and Anne BLAKE (b.a. 1549) of Over Stowey. The parents of William BLAKE were William BLAKE (d. 1642) of Pitminster, Somerset and Ann. Anne BLAKE and William BLAKE (the elder) were brother and sister, so Elizabeth SAUNDERS and William BLAKE (the emigrants) were first cousins.
William BLAKE was born in Pitminster and he was related to another emigrant from that village, Thomas RICHARDS. Thomas RICHARDS, was no doubt, a grandson of James RICHARDS, who died in Pitminster in 1608, and Alice BLAKE, daughter of John BLAKE of Over Stowey and sister of Anne BLAKE (mother of Elizabeth SAUNDERS.
It has been claimed that William BLAKE of Dorchester, brought his family on the “Mary & John” in 1630, but no prooof has been found. There is no early record of him in Dorchester and he being a prominent person, age 36, it would have been unlikely for him not to be mentioned if he had come in 1630. There is supposedly a Cleveland Genealogy that claims he sold a house in Aisholt, Somerset (3 miles south of Over Stowey), in January 1630 and went to America, but no proof is given. He was granted land in Dorchester, Mass. on 14 May 1636 and he became a freeman and a member of the church on 14 March 1639.
William BLAKE was baptised, 10 July 1594 in Pitminster, Somerset and he died, 25 Oct. 1663, Dorchester, Mass. He married Agnes BAND, 27 Sept. 1617, Pitminster. She was probably baptised, 12 June 1594, Pitminster, daughter of Hugh THORN and the widow of Richard BAND, whose will was written in 1616 and probated, 8 Jan. 1621. Agnes died, 22 July 1678, Dorchester, Mass. William BLAKE remained in Pitminster until 1624 but his whereabouts between 1624 and 1636 are not known. He possibly moved to Aisholt, Somerset.
On 14 May 1636, William BLAKE, with William PYNCHON and six others signed articles to form a plantation at Agawam (Springfield) on the Connecticut River. He remained in Dorchester and died there in 1663. He and his wife were probably buried in the Old North Burying Ground on Upham’s Corner, in Dorchester, but their tombstones have not been found.
Children of William BLAKE & Agnes THORNE (BLAKE-1898-2)
1. John BLAKE- Bpt. 30 Aug. 1618, Pitminster, Somerset. Died, 25 Jan. 1688/9, Boston. He m. Mary SOUTHER, 16 Aug. 1654, Boston, dau. of Nathaniel & Alice SOUTHER & widow of Joseph SHAW of Weymouth, who d. 13 Dec. 1653, 12 days after his marriage. Mary d. 7 Jan. 1693/4, Boston. John was a Boston merchant and a man of high social standing. He was one of the executors of the will of Gov. John WINTHROP in 1676. He evidently died without issue (Savage).
2. Anne BLAKE- Bpt. 30 Aug. 1618 (Prob. a twin), Pitminster. Died, 12 July 1681, Boston. She m. (1) Jacob LEAGER of Boston (as his second wife). He d. 24 Feb. 1662/3, Boston. He was a tailor. She supposedly m. (2) _____ HALLOWELL, but was widowed again. She was buried at the Third Church of Boston and her tombstone is now in the Bostonian Society. She had two children: (1) Bethia LEAGER (b. 1651) who m. Fearnot SHAW, a blacksmith, and they had 3 children & (2) Hannah LEAGER (b. 1655) who m. John WALKER, a “brick burner”. One dau. who prob. did not marry.
3. William BLAKE- Bpt. 6 Sept. 1620, Pitminster. He d. 3 Sept. 1703, Milton, Mass. He m. (1) Anna _____ & (2) Hannah TOLMAN, 22 Nov. 1693, Milton, dau. of Thomas TOLMAN (Mary & John passenger) and Sarah & widow of George LYON. (See TOLMAN, volume 9, page 27). Hannah d. 4 Aug. 1729. He had 8
children by his first wife: (1) Samuel BLAKE (b. 1650) who m. Sarah MACEY and they had 7 children, (2) Anne BLAKE (Bpt. 1651). d.y., (3) Anne BLAKE, (b. 1652) who m. Thomas GILBERT and they had 6 children, (4) Mary BLAKE (b. 1654) who m. (1) Joseph LEONARD by who she had 6 chilren. She m. (2) _____ WILLIS, (5) William BLAKE (1656), soldier who may not have married, (6) Nathaniel BLAKE (b. 1659). He m. Martha MORY and had 7 children, (7) Edward BLAKE (b. 1662). He m. Elizabeth MORY and had 6 children, (8) Experience BLAKE (b. 1665. She m. Eleazer CARVER, (9) Agnes BLAKE (b. 1667), (10) Susan BLAKE (b. 1670) & (11) Mehitable BLAKE who m. William BRIGGS.
4. James BLAKE- Bpt. 27 Apr. 1624, Pitminster. He d. 28 June 1700, Dorchester. He m. (1) Elizabeth CLAPP (b.a. 1651) dau. of Dea. Edward CLAP & Prudence CLAP. She d. 16 Jan. 1693/4, age 61. He m. (2) Elizabeth SMITH, 17 Sept. 1695, dau. of Henry & Judith SMITH and widow of Peter HUNT. He built a very substantial houe off Cottage Street in Dorchester about 1650 which remained in the BLAKE family until 1825.
HOUSE OF JAMES BLAKE IN DORCHESTER
In 1895, due to street widening, the Dorchester Historical Society moved this house to Richardson where it is now being maintained by the society. James BLAKE had 6 children by his first wife: (1) James BLAKE (b. 1652). He m. (1) Hannah MACEY & (2) Ruth BACHELLOR, (2) John BLAKE (b. 1656). He m. Hannah _____ and had 7 children, (3) Elizabeth BLAKE (b. 1658). She m. Jeremiah FULLER and had one son, (4) Jonathan BLAKE (b. 1660), d.y., (5) Sarah BLAKE (b. 1665), d.y., (6) Joseph BLAKE (b. 1667). He m. Mehitable BIRD. Eleven children.
NER Jan. 1891, p. 35-38.
NER Vol. 89, p. 285-187.
Lineal Ancestors of Rhoda (AXTELL) CORY, 1937, Vol. II Pt. 1, p. 121.
BLAKE Family, by Samuel BLAKE, 1857.
BLAKEs of Somersetshire, from notes of Horatio G. SOMERBY, 1881.
Increase BLAKE of Boston, by Francis E. BLAKE, 1898.
OVER STOWEY, HOME OF THE BLAKE FAMILY OF SOMERSET
Over Stowey Somerset was the home of the BLAKE family in the 16th and 17th centuries. Here are buried the ancestors of Elizabeth SAUNDERS, wife of Henry WOLCOTT: her maternal grandfather, John BLAKE, the elder (d. 1578), and her great-grandfather, Humphrey BLAKE (d. 1558). It is believed John BLAKE was buried in the church but his stone was removed and it may be the illegible memorial in the bell room. There is a large stone in the aisle of the church for Humphrey BLAKE (d. 1619), brother of Anne BLAKE, mother of Elizabeth SAUNDERS.
Humphrey BLAKE purchased large estates in this area and he became lord of Plainsfield Manor and was patron of the churches of Over Stowey & Aisholt. The Plainfield Manor was owned, in large part, by the BLAKE family for over 200 years. This manor house, one mile south of Over Stowey is now in Spaxton, and its name has been changed to the Courthouse Farm House. It is occupied by Mr. & Mrs. Ron DALLEY & Mrs. Beatrice May PITTY. Up to 1921 there was a fireplace in this house that bore the BLAKE coat-of-arms but it was removed that year and taken to Yeovil, Somerset.
OVER STOWEY CHURCH – 1989
TOMBE OF HUMPHREY BLAKE – DIED 1619
FORMER PLAINSFIELD MANOR HOUSE, MRS. PITTY (l.) & MRS. DALLEY (r.) 1989
CALNE, WILTSHIRE, HOME OF THE BLAKE FAMILY
The BLAKE family, from whom Anne BLAKE, mother of Elizabeth SAUNDERS, wife of Henry WOLCOTT descended, lived in Calne, Wiltshire for centuries. They left the area in the 18th century. The ancestral home of the BLAKE family was the manor house of Pinhills. The BLAKEs acquired the manor of Pinhills in the 14th century. They were not ennobled with exalted titles but they could boast of noble lineage, for their alliance with the families of FIENNES and DANVERS, they were descended from the worthy founder of New College, Oxford and Winchester College. The BLAKE family became the most prominent in the borough and they sent members to Parliament as early as 1381. By the begining of the 16th century the faily had spread into several distinct branches, but all living in the neighborhood of Pinhills.
The 12th century church of St. Mary The Virgin, in Calne, was built on the site of a previous Saxon church. On 21 April 1628, the Norman tower collapsed and it was replaced by the present, magnificent 120 ft. tower.
The great-great-great grandparents of Anne BLAKE (b.a. 1549) were Robert BLAKE of Calne and Quenberford and his wife, Avice WALLOP (d. 1474) of Southampton, Hampshire. Both are buried in the Calne church. There used to be a stained glass window of the chancel, in which he appeared, with a surcoat charged with his Armorial bearings. His wife appeared in a long robe with a scarf embroidered with arms of her family. This window was destroyed when the steeple crashed to the ground in 1639.
In the British Museum (Harl. M.S. No. 1443, fol. 258) there is a drawing of two kneeling figures copied by John WITHIE, in the year 1616, from the chancel windows of Calne church. The male is represented in a tabard, with arms of BLAKE, singly. On the mantle worn by the female is Gules a bend argent with a cresent for difference. A sketch of this window is included in this volume under the chapter titled, “BLAKE English Ancestry From Chart in Wiltshire.”
In the Civil War in the 1640’s the BLAKEs sided with the Parliamentary forces, against the Crown. At the time, Henry BLAKE, and his wife, Abigail STRINGER, occupied the Pinhills manor house. In 1643, he decided to fortify the house and he garrisoned it with musketeers. He was aided by Colonel MASSEY, Governor of Gloucester, who surrounded it with a moat. Then he constructed an additional outer ring of water, traces of which are still visible today.
Present Pinhills Manor House, Built About 1650
When the Royalists in nearby Devizes learned of these fortifications under construction, they sent a raiding party that surrounded the house. Believing their situation was futile, the defenders surrendered. A few weeks later the Royalists demolished the house and drained the moat.
The present house which stands at Pinhills, just beyond the moat, was built from the ruins of the old manor house. It was supposedly built by Ambrose BLAKE, son of Henry, and he was there the year after the Civil War. The last BLAKE of Pinhills left the ancestral home and died, 10 July 1731, in Bristol. His daughter, Frances, erected an impressive memorial to her father in the Gaunt or Mayor’s Chapel at Bristol. He is called, “Henricus BLAAKE de Pinnells”, and his name appears with the arms of the family.
Source: Edith Bartlett Sumner, Ancestry of Edward Wales Blake and Clarissa Matilda Glidden with Ninety Allied Families (Los Angeles: published by the author, 1948). [WorldCat]
ARMS of the Wiltshire BLAKEs:
Argent, a chevron between three garbs sable.
CREST: On a chapeau gules, turned up ermine, a martlett, argent.
This coat of arms was borne by Admiral Robert BLAKE on his ships, as his personal arms.
The BLAKE family of Wiltshire, England, took its name from Blakeland, a parish in that county. Francis E. BLAKE in “Increase BLAKE and his Descendants” says: “For several year the writer has had a very pleasant correspondence with Edward J. BLAKE, Esq, of Crewkerne, Somerset, [a descendant of John BLAKE, a brother of our William BLAKE of Pitminster] who in his endeavors to trace his own ancestry has made extensive and apparently exhaustive research…. He believes with many others that there is sufficient substantial evidence to indicate that they were from Over-Stowey, not many miles distant from Pitminster.”
The first recorded mention of the family is in 1286:
ROBERTI DE BLAKELAND was assessed on the Wiltshire Roll of Subsidies granted in 1286 to King EDWARD I. His son or grandson:
ROBERTII DE BLAKELAND had a residence in Calne, Wiltshire. He was assessed on the Wiltshire Subsidy Rolls in
1347 for a large amount to meet the requirements of EDWARD III. By his wife Anne, daughter of William COLE, he had:
HENRYIII BLAKE, who dropped the “de” from his name, and the termination “land.” He married a daughter of Mr. Edward DURANT. They had a son:
WILLIAMIV BLAKE, who married Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of Mr. Thomas POWER. Their son:
HENRYV BLAKE, of Calne, married Margaret, daughter of “Mr” BILETT. (The title Mr. denoted gentry.) Son:
ROBERTVI BLAKE, of Calne and Quemberford, married Avice, daughter and heiress of John WALLOP, Esq. of Southampton, Hampshire, and acquired by her large estates in that county. (“Esquire” indicated the next higher rank to “Mr.”) Avice died on 10-29-1474, and she and Robert are buried inside the church at Calne, where in stained glass windows he is represented as habited in armor, with a surcoat charged with his armorial bearings. Avice appears in a long robe with a scarf embroidered with the arms of her family: Gules, on a chevron argent, two crescents. Chil.:
- 1 Gilbertvii. D. unm.
- 2 Alexander, D. unm.
- 3 John, 1434-1504. Inherited the est. Bur. in church at Nether Wallop. Will of 2-24-1504 proved 4-24-1504.
- 4 Robert. Succeeded John to Wiltshire estates. D.1515. M. Margaret, dau. of Sir Thomas ENGLEFIELD.
- 5 William. See below.
- 6 Alice.
- 7 Joan.
WILLIAMVII BLAKE lived in White Parish, Wiltshire, and died in 1471. After his death the widow and two sons removed to Hampshire and settled in Andover on the estate called Eastontown, formerly part of the estate of her husband’s mother Avice WALLOP.
- 1 Williamviii, eldest son and heir. See below.
- 2 Robert, of West Enham in Andover. M. _______ SNELL.
WILLIAMVIII BLAKE lived in Andover, White Parish, in Old Hall in Eastontown. He also had lands and tenements in Knights Enham (occupied by his brother Robert in 1504). He married Mary, a daughter of Humphrey COLES of Somerset. His will was probated on 6-20-1547. Children:
- 1 Nicholasix, of Old Hall. Will, 1547, names wife Margaret; sons William, Edmund; daus. Alice, Elizabeth.
- 2 Humphrey. See below.
- 3 Alice. M. _______ CABULL.
HUMPHREYix BLAKE lived in Somersetshire in the early part of the sixteenth century. He purchased large estates in Over-Stowey, Somerset, where he became Lord of the Manor of Plainfield, and patron of the churches at Over-Stowey and Aisholt. Plainfield Manor was owned in a large part by the BLAKE family for over two hundred years. “Pleasantly situated on the east side of Quantock Hills, it consists of four hamlets in Marsh Hills: Adiscombe, Ely Green, and Plainfield. The manor house at Plainfield, a mile from the church, has the BLAKE arms over the fireplace in the great hall.” In 1910 it was occupied by a farmer tenant of the Earl of Egmont. In 1555 Humphrey BLAKE added the adjoining manor of Tuxwell, which he bought of George SYDENHAM. He was buried in Over-Stowey on 12-28-1558. His will, made on 11-19-1558, was probated on 5-11-1559. Among the bequests were twelve pence for each priest attending his funeral, and a sum for repairs to the church. Agnes BLAKE, his widow, was buried on 6-24-1585.
From the fact that there were two sons named John, it is thought that Humphrey may have had two wives.
Children of Humphrey [and Agnes?], order not known:
- 1 Johnx, “the elder,” 1521. See below.
- 2 Robert. Of the Manor of Tuxwell. D.1592. M. Margaret SYMONDS (Her will proved 1600.) Children:
- 1 Williamxi, of Tuxwell in 1600.
- 2 Anstice. M. Robert BOCKINGE.
- 3 Humphrey. Twice mayor of Bridgewater, Eng. D.1625. M. Sarah2 (Humphrey1) WILLIAMS. Had 10 or 12 chil., among whom were: (S.C.Hist.& Gen.Mag.,39:103; 40:42)
- 1 Robertxii, 1599. D.1657, unmar. M.P. for Bridgewater, 1640-5. Famous admiral. Bore coat of arms of Wiltshire BLAKEs on his ships as personal arms.
- 2 Benjamin, 1614. D.c1689. Went to W.I. with Adm. Sir William PENN. Commanded ship at Santa Cruz in 1657. Received large grants of land in South Carolina. Clerk of the Crown and Peace for South Carolina in 1687, etc. Probably the only son:
- 1 Josephxiii, b. Eng. D., S.C., 1700. Deputy Landgrave and twice Gov. of S.C. “A man of property; devoted much of his fortune to the cause of immigration, and brought over to Charlestown, S.C., 1660, a company of men who ranked with the best in the land.” (Burke: Prominent Fams.of U.S.A., pp. 79-81.) M.1698, Elizabeth2 (Daniel1) AXTELL.
- 1 Rebeccaxiv, 1699. D.,1719. M., 1717, George2 (Gov. Thomas1) SMITH.
- 2 Joseph, 1700. D.,1751. M.,1720, Sarah2 (Daniel1) LINDREY; 5 chil.
- 1 Josephxiii, b. Eng. D., S.C., 1700. Deputy Landgrave and twice Gov. of S.C. “A man of property; devoted much of his fortune to the cause of immigration, and brought over to Charlestown, S.C., 1660, a company of men who ranked with the best in the land.” (Burke: Prominent Fams.of U.S.A., pp. 79-81.) M.1698, Elizabeth2 (Daniel1) AXTELL.
- 3 Thomas. Inher. Tuxwell Manor. M.1569, Agnes CASTLEMAN.
- 4 John, “the younger.” M.1558, Christian JUGG.
- 5 Agnes. M. _______ MANNING.
- 6 Eleanor. M. _______ LANGHAM.
- 7 Alice. M. George SLOCOMBE. Had dau. Joane.
JOHNX BLAKE “the elder” was born in 1521 and died in 1576. The name of his wife was Jane, who died in 1595.
He succeeded to the manor of Plainfield and to other estates. He received by will the patronage of the church at Aisholt, County Somerset. In his will of 11-26-1576 he bequeathed to his son Richard the advowson of the Over-Stowey church. John was buried on 12-10-1576, and Jane, his widow, was buried on 6-17-1595, both in the chancel of the church at Over-Stowey.
Children of John and (presumably) Jane:
- 1 Humphreyxi. M.1578, Agnes JAMES.
- 2 William. See below.
- 3 Alice. M.1569, James RICHARDS.
- 4 Anne. M.1573, Thomas SAUNDERS.
- 5 Elizabeth. M. 1571, Robert SELLICK, son of Vicar SELLICK of Over-Stowey.
- 6 Richard, bap. 1-1-1563. (M.1589, Grace NAPCOTT?) Son was Vicar of Over-Stowey in 1611. Bur. in chancel.
- 7 Robert, bap. 5-12-1566. No further record found.
WILLIAMXI BLAKE received by his father’s will, Plainfield in Over-Stowey, Bishops Lydiard, and Padnoller in Spaxton Parish. No subsequent trace of him is found on the Over-Stowey parish registers. The Taunton, Somersetshire, manor rolls show that a William BLAKE bought lands in Pitminster, Somerset, in 1586, which would correspond, perhaps, with his marriage. The Pitminster parish registers begin in 1544 and are very well preserved, yet there is not a single BLAKE entry until 1588, when Grace BLAKE was baptized. The logical inference is that there were no BLAKEs in Pitminster before 1588, and that this William BLAKE who appears in Pitminster for the first time in that year is the same man whose name disappeared from the Overton-Stowey registers.
A William BLAKE was buried in Pitminster, 6-13-1642. A widow Anne BLAKE was buried there on 8-14-1644.
Children, as written in Pitminster parish registers:
- 1 Robertxii BLAKE (perhaps a son). M., Pitminster, 1617, Sara WICHAM.
- 2 Grace, d. of Willm BLAKE, bapt. 9 day of February 1588.
- 3 Eme, d. of William BLAKE, bapt. 3rd of December 1592.
- 4 William BLACK, son of William BLAKE, Bap. Xth Day of July, 1594. This is the immigrant WILLIAM1 BLAKE.
- 5 John BLACK, son of William BLACKE, was Bap. the XIXth day of June, 1597. (D.1645. Grandfather of famous Rev. Malachi BLAKE who was in Monmouth’s Rebellion.)
- 6 Añe BLAAK, daughter of William BLAAK was baptized the sixteenth day of October 1600. (She m.1628, Thomas BIDGOOD.)
- 7 Richard BLAAK, son of William BLAAK, was baptized seventeenth day of Aprill, 1603.
The account in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1857, Vol.11:181, giving the parents of Mr. William BLAKE of Dorchester, Mass., as Giles and Dorothy [TWEEDY] BLAKE, of Little Baddow, Essex, England, was corrected in Vol. 45:35, but has unfortunately been accepted by many compilers of this line of BLAKEs.
WILLIAM1 BLAKE, the immigrant to America, was the son of William and Anne BLAKE of Pitminster, County Somerset, England, born according to one writer on 6-5-1594. He was baptized in Pitminster, 7-10-1594. The Pitminster register states: “William BLAKE was married to Agnis BAND, widow, the XXIJth day of September, 1617.” She may have been a daughter of Hugh THORNE, and the widow of Richard BAND of Batherford. William BLAKE died 10-25-1663, and his widow, Agnes, died 7-22-1678, both in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
The years between 1624 and 1636 are unaccounted for. During that time his son Edward was born, but where is not at present known. Search of the records of the church at Aisholt, in which his grandfather John BLAKE had an interest, might reveal much. It might also be pointed out that his second cousin, the famous Admiral Robert BLAKE, was a contemporary of his – perhaps William sailed with him before deciding on New England as his future home.
It has been asserted that the BLAKE family came with the Winthrop Fleet, in the Mary and John, but they are not on the passenger list. The Cleveland Genealogy, without giving the authority, says William sold a house at Aisholt in January 1630, and then sailed for New England. At any rate, William BLAKE had the first allotment of land granted in Dorchester, Mass., on 5-14-1636. He joined Dorchester First Church before 3-14-1639, the date on which he was accepted a Freeman of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Only proprietors and church members could become Freemen, with the privilege of the franchise, and eligible to hold office.
Specimens of his writing and fac simile of his will may be found in “Increase BLAKE, His Ancestors and Descendants,” which says this about him: “There is no record in Pitminster, or evidence of his residence between the year 1624, when his son James was baptized, and 1636, when he was found in America. There is no foundation whatever for the assertion that he came in 1630 in the Mary and John… Considering the prominent position which he subsequently occupied in Dorchester, it does not seem plausible that he could have joined any settlement in this country without so making his worth known to his associates that his name would appear upon its records. In the absence of the positive evidence it is reasonable to suppose that he came to New England in the fall of 1635 or the early months of 1636, and remained at Dorchester or Roxbury, making the acquaintance of Mr. PYNCHON in May 1636, when they … drew up and
signed the articles of association at Agawam, now Springfield, Mass., which agreement is still preserved…. There can be no doubt that he was a man of integrity, and above the average intelligence of his neighbors. He served the town in various capacities: Constable, 1641; on the committee to build the new meeting house, 1645; Selectman 1645 to 1647, also 1651; and he was one of five men who were given authority to make assignments of lots and manage affairs of the settlement in general.”
The Springfield agreement stipulated: “William BLAKE shall have sixteen polls in bredth for his home lott, and all the marsh in breadth abuttinge at the end of it to the next high land, and three acrs more in some other place.”
In Dorchester he served as Clerk of the Militia, and in 1646 was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts — unless this was his son William, of Milton, Mass., who was then twenty-six. In 1656 he was chosen Dorchester’s first Recorder, for which he received twenty shillings per year, and was rate free.
His will was dated 9-3-1661, one of the bequests being: “Unto the Towne of Dorchester twenty shillings to be bestowed for repairing of the buring place, soe swine and other vermine may not añoy the graues of the saints, provided it be repaired within one yeare after my decease.” (In 1664 a committee of Selectmen was appointed “to gett the burying place well and sufficiently to be fenced in, and to demand of John BLAKE twenty shillings given by his father in his last will … to that end and vse.”) Half his estate was to go to his beloved wife; the other half to be divided equally among his five children — “not that I disrespect my eldest sonne, as he hath ben and is soe dutiful a child vnto me as any of my children, but because he hath least need of it, and he hath no charge.” (See John-2.)
His great-grandson James-4 BLAKE wrote in his Annals of Dorchester: “This year died Mr. William BLAKE who had been clerk of the Writs for the County of Suffolk and Recorder for the Town in 1656, and continued in office about eight years. He was also Clerk of the Training Band. He died the 25th of the 8th mo.:
1663, in his 69th year…”
Soon after his death his widow, Agnes BLAKE, removed to Boston, probably to live with her son John, or perhaps with her only daughter Anne, already the widow of Jacob LEAGER. The Dorchester church record of 2-6-1670 states: “Sister Agnes BLAKE (the wife of William BLAKE, deceased), she having removed her dwelling to Boston, was dismissed to Joyne to the theird Church in Boston.”
Quotation from Symonds’ “History of South Boston” : “This family of BLAKEs in all their generations have been distinguished for their piety, for their great accuracy in matters of fact. Many of them have held important offices of honor and trust in the community, and no records of past events are more reliable than those kept by them. The Annals of Dorchester, written by James BLAKE, are historical documents of the first importance, and no surveys and plans are more complete and accurate than his.”
Children of William and Agnes, as given in the Pitminster parish registers:
- 1 John2. “1618: John BLAKE, sonne of William BLAKE, and Ane BLAKE daughter of William BLAKE was baptised xxxth of August.” D.,Boston, 1-25-1689. He left his houses and lands in Boston to John3 (James2) BLAKE. Joined Anc. & Hon. Artillery Co., Boston, 1642. Exec. of Gov. John WINTHROP’s will, 1676. M., Boston, 1654, “age 36,” Mary2 (Nathaniel1) SOUTHER, widow of Jospeh2 (Abraham1) SHAW; 1 dau., Hannah, 1757-1759. TORREY-BLAKE Gen. says: “Probably m. dau. of Edward BRECK of Dorchester, c1640; she d.1645, leaving chil.”
- 2 Anne. Bap., 1618, w. John, above. D.1681, “ae 63.” Her tombstone now in possession of the Bostonian Society, having been taken from the Granary Burying Ground. M. 1st, bef.1651 (as 3d wife), Jacob LEAGER of Boston (1603-1663). M.2nd, [William?] HALLOWELL.
- 1 Bethiah LEAGER, 1651. B. in William BLAKE Sr.’s house in Dorchester. M. Fearnot SHAW; 3 chil.
- 2 Hannah LEAGER, 1655. M.1st, John WALKER. M.2nd, Thomas PHILLIPS; 1 dau.
- 3 William, “sonne of William BLAKE was baptised 6th of September 1620.” D., Milton, Mass., 1703. Kept an inn in Milton, Mass. (Joined Anc. & Hon. Artillery Co., 1646?) M.c1649, Anne —— (alive 1680); 11 chil. See Americana, Vol. 31, for descendants. M.2nd,1693, Hannah2 (Thomas1) TOLMAN (1640-1729), (the widow of George LYON); no chil. Overseer, James’ will, 1700.
- 4 James, “sonne of William BLAKE was baptised 27th April 1624.”
- 5 Edward, c1625. Prob. youngest, but baptism not found. John2 BLAKE called him brother in will, 1689. D.Milton, Mass., 1692. M.,c1653, Patience2 (John1) POPE, (d.1690); 6 chil. See Bangor, Me., Hist. Magazine, Vol. 2:1-18, and N.E. Register, Vol. 89:284, for descendants.
JAMES2 BLAKE was baptized in Pitminster, County Somerset, England, 4-27-1624. He married in Dorchester, Mass., “about the first of January, 1652,” Elizabeth, daughter of Edward CLAPP of Dorchester. She was born in Dorchester, in 1634, and died there on 1-16-1695, “in her 61st year.” (See CLAPP.) James married again, on 9-17-1695, Mrs Elizabeth HUNT of Rehoboth, Mass. Mrs. HUNT was the daughter of Henry SMITH from Norfolk County, England, and had married Peter HUNT in 1646. James died on 6-28-1700 in Dorchester. James came to America with his parents about 1636, but the first record found is his marriage in 1652. The next year he was made Freeman. He is said to have built the first house in Dorchester Neck, in 1650, which was of such a substantial character that in 1669 the town voted to build for its minister “such a house as James BLAKE’s house, namely 38 foote in length and 20 foote wide and 16 foote between its joists….”
Source: Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing
Company, 1987). [WorldCat]
For each of the 37,000 couples herein covered, the husband’s full name (roughly alphabetical, with variant spellings grouped under the most common) is followed sometimes by a superscript to indicate generation (usually first or second), then by birth and death years, if known, in parenthese. “(1654-)” indicates a birth in 1654 and an unknown death year; “(-1700)” indicates an unknown birth year and a death in 1700. “Ca” for “circa” means “about” and “ae 35 in 1674” indicates aged 35 in 1674, a fact recorded probably in a court deposition. After an ampersand, “&”, the wife’s full name is given, with any known birth or death years likewise in parenthesis. “1/wf” or “2/wf” indicates first or second wife, any surname in parenthesis is a maiden name (in general, if there are two surnames, one or both in parenthesis, the first is a maiden surname, the second that of a first husband; if there are three surnames, however the parentheses are placed, the last two are those of previous husbands in chronological order), a blank line (within or outside parenthesis) indicates that the wife’s maiden name is unknown, a surname in brackets is one not derived from a marriage record, “w Daniel” indicates “widow of Daniel,” whose last name is given earlier, and “m/2” or “m/3”, followed by a man’s full name and often a year, indicates a second or third marriage. After the data on husband and wife is a semi-colon, then a date. If the date is exact — 25 Nov. 1674 — it is a marriage (or marriage intention) date; if it is a year only, preceded “b”, it is the birth date of a first child, not the birthdate of either partner, and the marriage can be assumed to have taken place a year or more earlier. Often these “first child” birthdates are approximate. Following this date is a list of residences, from marriage through usually the death of the husband, in chronological order. Question marks alongside any data indicate doubt, of course; “+” after a date means “following”, “-” means “Before”, and stray kinships that might provide clues to origins are sometimes noted as well. Since marriages of men with the same name are also roughly chronological, and each marriage is listed separately, data on a man’s second marriage (including residence only after it) often does not immediately follow the listing for his first.
ALLERTON, Isaac2 [(1630-1702 Virginia)] & 2/wf Elizabeth [WILLOUGHBY]/COLCLOUGH; 1663
AMBROSS, William & Elizabeth MATTOCK; 6 Jan 1697; Boston
BANKS, John & Mehitable MATTOX m/2 Thomas WEBBER; 29 Aug 1694; Boston
BISHOP, Nathaniel (-1687) & Alice ? (not Alice MATTOCKS)(-1674+) b 1634; Boston
BISHOP, Nathaniel & Alice [MATTOCKS?], m/2 John LEWIS 1659, m/3 Abraham HOWE by 1680, m/4 John HARRIS aft 1683; b 1634 (no)
BLAKE, William (1594-1663) & Agnes (?THORNE) BAND/BOND? (-1678), wid; Pitminster, Eng, 27 Sep, 23 Sep 1617; Dorchester
BROWN, Samuel & Mary MATTOCKE, m/2 Thomas BISHOP?; 9 Jul 1661; Boston
CANFIELD, Samuel (1645-1690) & Sarah [WILLOUGHBY] (living 1677), left widow Elizabeth; ca 1668; Norwalk, CT
CANFIELD, Samuel & Elizabeth [MERWIN?/WILLOUGHBY?] (see above); ? ; Norwalk, CT
FAIRBANKS, Richard & Elizabeth (DAULTON); Boston, Eng, b 1636, b 1633, 17 Sep 1618; Boston, ?dau Lydia m/1 Edward BATES, m/2 William FLETCHER
GILBERT, John (-1657) & 3/wf 2/wf Winifred (ROSSITER) COMBE (-1663+); in Eng b 1619; Dorchester/Taunton
GILBERT, Thomas (-1676, 1677) & Jane (COMBE) ROSSITER (-1691), Taunton, ?w Hugh?; 23 Mar 1639, 1639/40 (no); Taunton
GILBERT, Thomas2 (?1620-1662) & Catherine (CHAPIN) BLISS (1626-1712), w Nathaniel, m/3 Samuel MARSHFIELD 1664; 31 Jun 1655, 30 Jun 1655, ?31 Jul; Springfield
GILBERT, Thomas (1643-1725, ae 82y), ?Boston & Anna BLAKEY/BLACKE of Milton (1653-1722); 18 Dec 1676; Taunton
HAMMOND, Lawrence (-1699) & 3/wf Margaret WILLOUGHBY (-1683), w Francis; 8 Feb 1674/5; Charlestown
HART, Nicholas (-1645±) & Jane/Joan [ROSSITER] (1616, ?1615-1685±, 1691); b 1635?; Taunton/Warwick, RI/Portsmouth, RI/ Plymouth
LEONARD, Isaac (ca 1650-ca 1717) & Deliverance ? ; b 1680; Bridgewater
LEONARD, Solomon (?1610-1686) & Mary (CHANDLER) (-bef 1 May 1671); b 1640, b 1643?; Duxbury/Bridgewater
LEONARD, Solomon2 & Mary ? ; b 1680; Bridgewater
LEWIS, John & Alice [MATTOCKS? no?] BISHOP, m/2 Abraham HOWE bef 1680, m/3 John HARRIS (1683+); 22 Nov 1659; Boston
LYNDE, Nathaniel (1659-1729) & 1/wf Susanna WILLOUGHBY (1664-1710); b 1683; Charlestown/ Saybrook, CT
MARCH, George & Mary FOULSOM/FOLSOM, m/2 Joseph HERRICK; 12 Jun 1672; Newbury
MARCH, Hugh1 (-1693) & 1/wf Judith ? (-1675); b 1646; Newbury
MARCH, Hugh1 (-1693) & 2/wf Dorcas (BOWMAN) BLACKLEACH (-1683), w Benjamin; 29 May 1676; Newbury/Watertown
MARCH, Hugh (1656-) & Sarah MOODY (1663-); 29 Mar 1683; Newbury
MARCH, Hugh1 (-1693) & 3/wf Sarah (CUTTING)(BROWN) HEALY (-1699), w James, w William; 3 Dec 1685; Newbury
MARCH, Hugh (1673-1695) & Sarah [COKER], m/2 Archaleus ADAMS 1698; b 1694; Newbury
MARCH, James (-1721) & Mary [WALKER] (1699-), dau Shubael, m/2 John EMERY; b 1690; Newbury
MARCH, John1 (-1666) & 1/wf Rebecca ? ; b 1638; Charlestown
MARCH, John (-1666) & Anna [?BICKNER]; b 1666; Charlestown
MARCH, John & Jemima TRUE; 1 Oct 1679; Newbury
MARCH, John & Mary ANGIER; 11 Dec 1700; Newbury/Reading
MARCH, Nicholas & Martha ? , m/2 William DADEY? 1670; b 1657; Charlestown
MARCH, Stephen & Anna WILBORN; 26 Jan 1691/2; Taunton
MARCH/MARSH, Theophilus (-1694) & Elizabeth HUNT; 10 Jan 1664/5, 3 Feb 1664/5, 3 Feb 1664; Cambridge/Charlestown
MARCH, ? & ? FIELD; b 1701?; Flushing, LI
MATTOCK, David (-1654) & Sarah ? , m/2 Thomas RAWLINS 1656; Braintree/Roxbury
MADOCKS, Edmund & Rebecca MUNINGS/MUNNINGS; 14 Jan 1651/2; Boston
MADDOCK, Henry & Mary WELLINGTON (1640-), m/2 John COOLIDGE 1679; 21 May 1662; Watertown
MATTOCK/MADDOCK, Henry & Rachel ? ; b. 1673; Saco, ME/Boston
MATTOX, Henry & Diana SOUTHER; 3 Mar 1698; Boston
MATTOCKS, James (-1667) & Mary [SPOORE?]; b 1637; Boston
MADDOCKS, John (-1703) & Ruth CHURCH, m/2 Joseph CHILD, m/3 Thomas INGERSOLL 1720; 23 Jun 1689; Watertown
MATTOCK, John (1669-) & Elizabeth ? ; b. 1701?; Boston
MATTOCKE, Richard & Grace TOD (1650-); 2 Mar 1668/9; New Haven
MATTOCKE, Samuel & Constance FAIRBANKS; 30 Mar 1653; Boston
MATTOCKS, Samuel (1659-) & Anna/Ann?/Anne MARCH; 12 Apr 1688; Charlestown/Boston
MERIAM, George1 (ca 1603-1675) & Susan/Susanna RAVEN (-1675+); Tunbridge, Eng, 16 Oct 1627; Concord
PHILLIPS, William (-1705, ae 35?) & Hannah (GILBERT) (1677-1705); b 1699, b 1697?; Taunton
PRATT, Ebenezer & Martha ? ; ca 1700; Weymouth
PRATT, Ephriam (1675±1748) & Phebe ? (-1736); b 1698, (ca 1695?); Weymouth
PRATT, Joseph (1639-1720) & Sarah JUDKINS (1645-1726); 7 May 1662; Weymouth
PRATT, Joseph (1665-1765) & Sarah (BENSON) (-bef 1721); b 1693, ca 1690?; Weymouth
PRATT, John (-1647?) & Mary? (WHITMAN?) dau John, m/2 William TURNER bef 1671; b 1630; Dorchester
PRATT, John (ca 1622-1716) & Elizabeth WHITMAN (-1716, ae 82); 22 Nov 1656, 9? Oct, 27 Nov, no ch; Weymouth
PRATT, John (1668-) & Mercy (NEWCOMB) (1665-1721); b 1690; Weymouth
PRATT, John (1663-1744) & 1/wf Mary (NEWCOMB?); b 1686; Weymouth
PRATT, Matthew (1628-) & Sarah HUNT (1640-1729); 1 Aug 1661; Weymouth
PRATT, Matthew & Susanna PORTER/Mary ? (1665-1761); b 1691; Weymouth/Abington
PRATT, Matthew (-1673?) & Elizabeth [BATES?] in Eng b 1628, b 1622, 1619?; Weymouth/Rehoboth
PRATT, Phineas/Phinehas? (1590/93-1680, ae 90?, ae 81 in 1674) & Mary (PRIEST) GOBERTSON/CUTHBERTSON (-1682+, 1689?); ca 1627/33; Plymouth/Charlestown
PRATT, Samuel (1670-1728) & Patience (CHARLES) (1675-1735); b 1695; Weymouth/Taunton
PRATT, Samuel (-1679) & Hannah RODGERS/ROGERS (-1721, ae 77), m/2 Thomas BAILEY b 1687; 19 Sep 1660, 19 Jul; Weymouth
PRATT, Samuel (1670-1745±) & (Hannah?)(MILLER); b 1697; Middleborough
PRATT, Thomas (ca 1626-1676) & 1/wf Mary ? ; b 1653, b 1659; Weymouth
PRATT, Thomas & Deborah LOVELL (1664/5-1727); ca 1690; Weymouth
PRATT, Thomas & Lydia (?BROWN), m/2 Josiah CHAPIN 1676; ca 1665, b 1676; Weymouth
PRATT, Thomas (-1676) & Lydia (BROWN?) (1658?-) of Ipswich, m/2 Josiah CHAPIN 1676; ca 1665; Weymouth
PRATT, Thomas (1646-) & ? (had Mary 19 Apr 1680, Thomas 9 Dec 1682, Hannah 19 Jul 1685); b 1680; Concord (see Thomas & Alice)
PRATT, Thomas (1646-1720) & Alice ? ; b 1669; Charlestown/Chelsea
PRATT, William & Hannah ? ; ca 1700; Weymouth
PRATT, William (1674-) & Hannah HOUGH; 8? Oct 1700; Saybrook, CT
PRATT, William (1659-1713) & Elizabeth (BAKER)/(SWIFT?) (1656-); 26 Oct 1680; Dorchester
PRATT, William (ca 1620-) & Experience (KING); b 1692; Weymouth/Dorchester
RAWLINS, Thomas1 (-1660) & 3/wf Sarah MADOCKS/MATTOCKS (-1660+) w David; 2 May 1656; Boston
ROSSITER, Hugh & (?Jane) ? (1614-1691), m/2 Thomas GILBERT 1639; Dorchester
ROSSITER, Edward (?1585-1630) & ? ; b 1615; Dorchester
WILLOUGHBY, Francis (?1613-1671) & 1/wf Mary ? (-1640); in Eng, b 1639, b 1635; Charlestown
WILLOUGHBY, Francis (?1613-1671) & 2/wf Sarah [TAYLOR] (-1654); 1640?, in Eng; Charlestown
WILLOUGHBY, Francis (?1613-1671) & 3/wf Margaret (LOCKE) TAYLOR, w Daniel, m Lawrence HAMMOND 1675; ca 1658-9, in Eng; Charlestown
WILLOUGHBY, Jonathan (ca 1635-) & Griszel GOLDESBOROUGH; in Eng, – Dec 1661, lic 3 Dec 1661; Charlestown/Wethersfield, CT
WILLOUGHBY, Nehemiah (1644-1702) & Abigail BARTHOLOMEW (1650-1702); 2 Jan 1671/2, 2 Jan 1671; Charlestown/Salem
WILLOUGHBY, William (1588-1651, in Eng) & Elizabeth ? (-1662, Charlestown); in Eng, b 1613; Charlestown
WILLOUGHBY, William & Abigail ? ; Greenland, NH
Source: Francis E. Blake, “The Blake Family in England,” New England Historical and Genealogical
In a “Genealogical History of William Blake of Dorchester,” published in 1857, appears the statement that the emigrant to New England was the son of Giles Blake of Little Baddow, Essex, and the record of several generations of the family is given. The substance of this record is trustworthy as being a copy from “Morant’s History of Essex,” but the statement that the Dorchester settler was of this family was unwarranted by any evidence. Subsequently the late H.G. Somerby, Esq., by request of Stanton Blake, Esq., made extended researches in England to determine the origin of the American family. He finally located it at Over Stowey, Somerset, and the results of his investigations were published in 1881, by W.H. Whitmore, Esq., in “A Record of the Blakes of Somersetshire.”
The evidences upon which Mr. Somerby based his conclusions were, first, the record of a baptism in 1594, at Over Stowey, of a William Blake (son of Robert and grandson of John), the date corresponding to the age of the emigrant at death; and second, the fact that a sister of this William, in her will of date 1647, mentioned a “brother in New England,” no name however being given. While this evidence was not all that could be desired, it was generally accepted as correct, and the pedigree has been copied in several other genealogical publications.
In 1881, Rev. Charles M. Blake, U.S.A., while visiting in England, was shown by William Blake, Esq., of South Petherton, a genealogical chart of the “Blakes of Somersetshire,” prepared by William Arthur Jones, Esq., A.M.
An examination of this chart led Mr. Blake to visit Pitminster, four miles from Taunton, where he found upon the parish registers sufficient evidence to convince him that this was the early home of his ancestor William Blake, but he was unable at that time to give the matter further attention.
Recently, investigations have been made by the writer, through correspondence with the vicar of the parish, and with Edward J. Blake, Esq., of Crewkerne. The latter himself examined the registers of Pitminster, and Over Stowey, and he has had a careful examination made of wills and other original sources of information, for the purpose of determining his own line of descent and verifying the chart referred to. The result of these researches, so far as relates to the American family, has been very courteously copied for the writer and forms the basis of this article.
Mr. Somerby’s record of the baptism of a William at Over Stowey, June 5, 1594, was found to be correct, but unfortunately he overlooked this subsequent entry:
“1617, William Blake the sonne of Robert Blake was buried the —- of April.”
As this record effectually disposes of this William, we are forced to look elsewhere for the emigrant.
On page 14 of Mr. Somerby’s notes the statement is made that William the son of John9 and brother of Robert above named died at Bishops Lydiard, leaving a widow Joan, but no children.
A close examination of the records discloses the following facts. By the will of John,9 his son William received lands at Bishops Lydiard, at Plainfield in Over Stowey, and at Padnoller in the parish of Spaxton. Now in the will of William of Bishops Lydiard, referred to by Mr. Somerby, date 13th June, 1618, and proved in September following by Joan his widow, he is described as a yeoman, and bequeaths three acres at Hillfarence which he bought, and his land at Risun, with sundry small gifts to friends. He mentions “Philipp Sully, my boye,” but no children.
It will be noticed that this William held an entirely different social position from the Blakes of Over Stowey, and in the disposition of his property made no mention of the lands which John Blake9 gave to his son William.
Furthermore, we have an abstract of a will of a William Blake of Riston, proved at Taunton, May, 1572, in which is a bequest to “my sonne Willyam.” Riston is near Taunton, and not more than seven or eight miles from Bishops Lydiard and is undoubtedly the same place described as Risun in the will of 1618.
From these facts it is quite reasonable to think that the William who died in 1618 at Bishops Lydiard without children was the son of William of Riston, but certainly not the son of John9 of Over Stowey.
The records of Over Stowey furnish no evidence whatever in regard to John’s son, but the Taunton Manor Rolls show that a William Blake bought property at Pitminster, in 1586. The parish registers of Pitminster, which begin in the year 1544, are in a very good state of preservation, but there is not a single Blake entry (with the exception of a Mary Blake, daughter of Richard, who was buried in 1574) until the year 1588, when Grace a daughter of William was baptized. It is supposed that this William was the son of John,9 that he went to Pitminster to reside about the time of the purchase of the estate there in 1586, and there had the children named below. This theory was adopted by Mr. Jones in preparing his chart, and also by Mr. Blake whose investigations have been made independently of all previous labor in this direction, and it is hoped that this may soon be verified by record evidence.
The following records relating to this branch of the family appear upon the parish registers at Pitminster:
- 1588. Grace Blake, daughter of Willm Blake was baptized the 9th day of February.
- 1592. Eme Blake, daughter of William Blake was baptized the third day of December.
- 1594. William Blake, son of William Blake was baptized the 10th day of July.
- 1597. John Blake son of William Blake was baptized the fifteenth day of June.
- 1600. Añe Blaak, daughter of William Blaak was baptized the sixteenth day of October.
- 1603. Richard Blaak, son of William Blaak was baptized the seventeenth day of Aprill.
- 1617. William Blake was married to Agnis Bond widow the 27th day of September.
- 1618. John Blake, sonne of William Blake, and Ann Blake daughter of William Blake were baptised the ____ day ____ of August.
- 1620. William Blake sonne of William Blake was baptised the 6th of September.
- 1624. James Blake sonne of William Blake was baptised 27th April.
With this record from Pitminster before us, there cannot be a shadow of doubt that we have here the family of William of Dorchester. We know that he had a wife Agnes, and children John, Ann, William and James, and to make the case still stronger, the age of the father at death, and also of three of the children, Ann, William and James, corresponds with the date of the baptism at Pitminster.
No record has been found of the baptism of Edward, another son of William and Agnes, but it is supposed that he was born in England, as there is no evidence of the father being in this country previous to the year 1636, the statement that he came in the “Mary and John” in 1630 being without foundation.
Following the notes of Mr. Somerby, with the substitution of William10 for Robert,10 the line of descent will stand as follows: Robert,1 Henry,2 William,3 Henry,4 Robert,5 William,6 William,7 Humphrey8 (great-grandfather of the Admiral), John,9 William,10 William11 of Dorchester.
Or to state the matter more simply, the emigrant is now traced as being the grandson of John Blake of Over Stowey, through his son William, instead of being so deduced through his son Robert. But all the pedigree anterior to the grandfather John is not affected by this correction.
Source: William B. Trask, “Abstracts from the Earliest Wills on Record in the County of Suffolk, Mass.,”
New England Historical and Genealogical Register 12:153.
WILLIAM BLAKE.–The last will* and testament of William Blake (being of perfect memory and vnderstanding, the good lord God be blessed and praised therefore,) made the third day of September, in the yeare one thousand six hundered sixtie and one, as followeth.
Imprmise: my will is, yt my body be desently buried in hope of a joyful resurection at the last day. It. I giue and bequeath vnto the towne of Dorchester, twenty shillings, to be bestowed for the repairing of the buring place, soe yt swine and other vermine may not añoy the graues of the saints: prvided it be repaired within one yeare after my decease. The rest of my land, goods, and estate, after my funerall exspenses and debts discharged, my will is, and I doe giue and bequeth vnto my fiue children the one halfe of my lands, goods, and estate, to be equally devided amongst them, by equall portions; not that I disrespect my eldest soñe, for he hath ben and is, soe dutifull a child vnto me as any of my Children, but, because he hath least need of it, and he hath noe Charge. The other halfe of my lands, goods and estate I doe giue and bequeth unto my beloued wife, and doe make her sole executrix of this my last will and testament: And I doe intreat my beloued brethren, brother Edwarde Clapp, and John Capen, yt they would be pleased to be the ouerseers of this my last will and testament, to see yt it be fulfilled and prformed. Finally, my will is, yt my wife doe not dispose of any of her estate, left her by this my last Will and testament during the time of her life, without the advise and Consent of my ouerseers and my foure soñes, or the maior parte of them: yet neverthelesse, in her last will, she may dispose of it vnto whom shee please. In witnes hereof I haue herevnto sett my hand and seale : In the prsence of John Capen.
who deposed 28 Jan. 1663.
Inventory taken 6th Novr 1663 by William Sumner, James Humfrey. Amt. £224. 12.
Mrs Agnes Blake deposed 29th Jan. 1663, to this estate of her late husband.
*This is an entire copy of the will of William Blake, from the original, on file. T.