Blake of Essex, England and Norfolk, MA
William Blake b abt 1560, Over Stowey, Somerset, Engand, d 13 Jun 1642, Pitminster, Somerset, England. He md Anne abt 1586, Pitminster, Somerset, England. She was b abt 1565, d abt 14 Aug 1644, Pitminster, Somerset, England.
Children of William Blake and Anne were:
  • Grace Blake b bef 9 Feb 1588, Pitminster, Somerset, England.
  • Emme Blake b bef 3 Dec 1592, Pitminster, Somerset, England, d abt 28 Jun 1593.
  • William Blake b bef 10 Jul 1594.
  • John Blake b bef 15 Jun 1597, Pitminster, Somerset, England, d 1645; md Elizabeth.
  • Anne Blake b bef 16 Oct 1600, Pitminster, Somerset, England; md Thomas Bidgood 1628.
  • Richard Blake b bef 17 Apr 1608, Pitminster, Somerset, England.
William Blake [a] b bef 10 Jul 1594, Pitminster, Somerset, England, d 25 Oct 1663, Dorchester, Suffolk, MA. He md Agnes (widow Band) 27 Sep 1617, Pitminster, Somerset, England. She was b abt 1598, Somerset, England, d 22 Jul 1678, Dorchester, Suffolk, MA.
Children of William Blake and Agnes were:
  • John Blake bapt. Aug 1618, Pitminster, Somerset, England.
  • Ann Blake bapt. Aug 1618, Pitminster, Somerset, England, d prob Boston, Suffolk, MA; md Jacob Leager.
  • William Blake b bef 6 Sep 1620.
  • James Blake b bef 27 Apr 1624, Pitminster, Somerset, England, d 28 Jun 1700, Dorchester, Suffolk, MA; md Elizabeth Clapp.
  • Edward Blake b abt 1625, prob Somerset, England, d 1692, Milton, Norfolk, MA.
William Blake [b] b bef 6 Sep 1620, Pitminster, Somerset, England, d 25 Jan 1702/03, Milton, Norfolk, MA. The identity of his wife is not known.
Children of William Blake and Unknown were:
  • Samuel Blake b 14 May 1650, prob Milton, Norfolk, MA, d bef 1703.
  • Anna Blake b 6 Mar 1652/53, prob Milton, Norfolk, MA; md Unknown Gilbert.
  • Mary Blake b 20 Mar 1654/55, prob Milton, Norfolk, MA; md Unknown Willis.
  • William Blake b 22 Feb 1656/57, prob Milton, Norfolk, MA, d bef 1703.
  • Nathaniel Blake b 4 Jul 1659, prob Milton, Norfolk, MA, d bef 1703.
  • Edward Blake b 14 Apr 1662, prob Milton, Norfolk, MA, d bef 1703.
  • Experience Blake b 17 Jun 1665.
  • Mehitable Blake b abt 1668, prob Milton, Norfolk, MA; md Unknown Briggs.
Experience Blake b 17 Jun 1665, Milton, Norfolk, MA, d 16 Jan 1745/46, Bridgewater, Plymouth, MA. She md:
    [1] Samuel Sumner 15 Mar 1683/84, Milton, Norfolk, MA, son of Deac. Roger Sumner and Mary Josselyn.
    [2] Deac. Eleazer Carver 11 Jun 1695, Milton, Norfolk, MA, son of John Carver and Millicent Ford.

According to an article in the NEHGR, the common belief of origin for this surname derives from the ancient Welsh "ap Lake" (son of Lake), which in contracted form became Blake.

a. William Blake, of Pitminster in county Somerset, England, first appears in New England in 1636; exactly when he arrived is not positively known. All but possibly one of his children were born in Somerset, and they, and wife Agnes, accompanied William to America. He was made freeman of the Massachusetts colony on 14 March 1638/39, and settled in the Dorchester/Boston area of Suffolk, Massachusetts, where he served in various capacities, including Town Clerk, Constable, and Selectman. He was also a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston, which continues in existence today. It had been suggested that immigrant William Blake was the son of Giles Blake and Dorothy Twedy/Tweedy, but it is now believed, based on careful examination of the records, that William Blake was the son of William Blake of Over Stowey, Somerset, he the son of John Blake of the same location. Recently discovered information suggests that the maiden name of wife, Agnes, widow of Richard Band, may be Thorne. One Hugh Thorne of Pitminster, by his will dated January 28, 1616, mentions his daughter, Agnes. The will of Richard Band in March of 1616, mentions his wife Agnes. Agnes and William Blake were married 27 September 1617.

The will of William Blake, immigrant:

    The last will and testament of William Blake, (being of perfect memory & understanding ye good lord god bee blessed and praysed therefor) made ye third day of September in ye year, one thousand six hundred sixty & one, as followeth.

    Imprs. My will is yt my body bee decently buried in hope of A joyfull Resurrection at ye Last day; It. I give & bequeath unto ye town of Dorchester, twenty shillings to be bestowed for ye Repairing of ye Buringplace, so yt swine & other Vermine may not Anoy ye Graves of ye saints; pvided it be Repared wthin one yeare after my Decease. The Rest of My Land Goods & estate after My funerall Expenses & debts discharged; my will is And I doe give & bequeath Unto My five Children ye one halfe of My Lands Goods & estate to bee equally divided Amongst them by Equal p-portions; not that I disrespect My eldest son, for he hath ben and is soe dutifull a child unto mee as any of my children, but because he hath Least neede of it & he hath no charge: ye other halfe of my lands goods & estate I doe give & bequeath Unto my beloved wife & do make her sole executrex of this my last will & testament. And I doe Intreat my beloved breathren, Brother Edw: Clapp & Jno. Capen y they would bee pleased to bee ye ovrseers of this my Last will & testament, to see yt it bee fullfilled and prformed. finally my will is yt my wife doe not dispose of Any of her estate left her by this my last will & testament during ye time of her life without ye Advise and consent of my overseers & My four sones or ye Major part of them, yet nevryelesse in her Last will she may dispose of it Unto whome shee please; In Wittnesse whereof I have hereunto sett my hand & Seale In ye presence of
        WILLIAM BLAKE, wth a seale:

    John Capen
    Jno Minott.

b. William Blake, son of the immigrant, was born in 1620 in Pitminster, Somerset, England, and thus was barely one year of age when he came to New England with his father. He resided in Dorchester on land which became Milton in 1662. He was a selectman and Deputy to the General Court. By occupation he was a farmer. He lived to the age of 83 years, and married twice, his first wife, Anna being the mother of all of his children.

The will of William Blake, junior:

    The last Will & Testament of William Blake of Milton. I being now aged & weak of body, and know not the time of my disolution, which cannot be long, Yet through the mercy of God, of perfect memory & understanding, Do make this my last Will & Testament this twenty Second day of June 1703. After my just Debts and Funeral Expenses are paid, My Will is that my dear & loving Wife shall have Ten pounds good & lawfull money, to be paid unto her by my Executors, at the time mentioned in the agreement made at our marriage. Also Wife to have the use of the Chamber in the new End of my house, so long as she continue my Widow & dwell in the same & no longer, she shall not Lett or hire out the same, Also to have the wood that grows upon one acre of Land, between George Lyons and Deacon Sumner's, at the upper end of the Lott next the plaine. I give unto my Son Samuel Blake a piece of Land about One hundred acres, more or less, lying in Dorchester, near the house of Ebenr. Billings. I give unto my two Sons Nathaniel Blake & Edward Blake all Lands whatever in Milton or Dorchester (except the 100 acres above,) and all my moveables, within doors and without, also Nathaniel & Edward to be Executors, & they shall pay unto my Daughters, in good pay, to my Dau. Ann Gilbert Five & twenty pounds,--to Mary Willis, Twenty five pounds,--to Experience Carver, Fifteen pounds,--and to Mehettable Briggs, Twenty pounds,--Lieut Saml. Paul and John Blake to be overseers.

          WILLIAM BLAKE and a Seal.

    John Blake, Mary Sumner, Abigail Moree

GL: English Origins of New England Families, 1500s-1800s, Genealogical Publishing Co., Series 2, Vol. 1, article from NEHGR, The Blake Family in England, by Francis Blake, Esq., p 203-206, Blake Family, A Genealogical History of William Blake of Dorchester, and His Descendants, by Samuel Blake, 1857; ANC: The Great Migration Begins, by Robert Charles Anderson, ongoing research project under the auspices of NEHGS, profile of William Blake.

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