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WILLIAM BLAKE, OF DORCHESTER,
AND HIS DESCENDANTS,
COMPRISING ALL THE DESCENDANTS OF
SAMUEL AND PATIENCE (WHITE) BLAKE.
A N APPENDIX,
CONTAINING WILLS, &c. OF MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY,
AND OTHER INTERESTING MATTER.
BY SAMUEL BLAKE,
MEMBER OF THE DORCHESTER ANTIQUARIAN AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
“One generation passeth away and another generation cometh : but
the earth abideth forever."
PRINTED BY DAVID CLAPP.
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
1857 Get 28
Homy viecher Béate.
of the tree shal
TO THE READER :
To gratify an inclination which I have long had, and which has increased as age advances, I have undertaken the task of looking up the history of my ancestors, and putting it together, for my own pleasure, and more especially for the benefit of posterity. Although it may be very imperfect, yet it will serve as a connecting link with the past, and assist some more persevering hand in collecting a history of the good men and true who have gone before
There are many obstacles to be encountered in collecting materials for a genealogy. A person thus engaged is soon brought in contact with the doubting, who will inquire, What possible good will all this be to any one ? Then the timid, who are fearful that a neighbor may acquire by it some knowledge of their family, their connexions, or their associations. And then the indifferent, who would willingly answer the questions proposed, if they could only get about it, but consider them of so little importance as not to be worth their while to undertake it. And then, to balance the scale, a friend may be met with, who enters into the project with his whole heart, and thinks he can do the greatest honor to his ancestors, by leaving a record of them to posterity.
To those who have responded to my inquiries and helped me forward in this work, and especially to those who have
given me pecuniary aid in publishing it, I return my hearty thanks, trusting that they will all feel that they have done something for which their posterity will be grateful. And with those who have turned away with indifference, I shall not quarrel, but leave them to settle the matter with their own consciences, and as their own feelings dictate.
It is very difficult to get at facts of long standing. There is a great discrepancy in dates. If in a printed oration a wrong word creeps in through mistake, the intelligent reader will readily correct it; but in a genealogy, if the wrong figure occurs, it leads the reader astray, it is an error without a remedy, and, rather than have it such, it would be better that it were a blank. I have endeavored as far as possible, in this small work; to get the dates, and that with accuracy; but I find that family records, town records, and grave-stone inscriptions, in many cases disagree. I have, as much as possible, taken my dates from the original family records, believing they would not be so likely to err as the copies. After giving all the information I could gather of our ancestors in England, I begin with William Blake, who was the pioneer of the family in this then new world. He, with his wife and children, were early here. I have followed the line down in direct succession to Samuel Blake, who died in Dorchester, May 1, 1754, and who with his wife, Patience (White), left five children who lived to marry and have families, and I flattered myself that I should get an account of every one of their descendants. I think I have found nearly all, but I lack more dates than I had anticipated.
The orthography of christian names, and in a few instances of surnames also, will be found to vary. I have followed the record from which I copied, conceding to all persons their undoubted right to call their children by what name they please, and spell that name as they fancy. I have adopted the plan of the “ Book of the Lockes,” by J. G. Locke, Esq., which is the most perfect genealogy
that I have ever had the pleasure of perusing, and with him I say that the daughters and their descendants are as important, in the history of a family, as the sons. The numbering of the families and their children, will be explained hereafter.
The etymology of the name, Blake, was furnished me by John H. BLAKE, Esq., of Roxbury, and is as follows:
“The ancient and respectable family of BLAKE, is of British extraction, and traditionally descended from APLAKE, whose name appears as one of the Knights of King Arthur's round table. Succeeding generations, however, seem to have paid little attention to the orthography of the name, so variously do we find it written. In the first instance, by dropping the initial letter it was rendered P-LAKE, and then, by compression, PLAKE, one entire word, both of which, alike, produce a sound and utterance uncouth and unharmonious. It was corrupted into BLAGUE, to the confusion of all etymological explanation, had it so continued, but chance or design applied a remedy by substituting BLAAKE, and ultimately BLAKE, which latter reading took place many centuries back, and has continued invariably the same from that period to the present day."
The Appendix contains much that is interesting to antiquaries, being abstracts of Wills, Inventories and other matter, in which some members of the Blake fainily were the principal actors. Through the whole work, it has been my object to bring in much collateral matter in relation to persons, places and events. I have constantly kept in view the utility of placing landmarks along the line, from generation to generation, to guide those who would know something of their ancestry. In future years, it is to be hoped that there will be many inclined to follow back their pedigree to William Blake, who left Dorchester, in Dorset,