History of the Blake Family

The Blake family is of ancient English origin.  It was mentioned on the Wiltshire rolls of subsidies granted by Edward I, A.D. 1286, and Robert de Blakeland was assessed to that King's requirement.  The family owned large tracts of land in Blakeland.  (..more information) (family tree)

The  William Blake family were some of the first settlers in Dorchester, MA, arriving on the English ship "Hopewell".  The HOPEWELL sailed from Weymouth, 8 May 1635.  Captain Master John Driver.

Official Passenger List. (Ref: Port Book E.190/876/1 Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, London)

Increase Blake of Boston (Polly Blake Harris's great grandfather) [ Large Adobe PDF file.  Many of the first pages are blank.]

The History Corner: James Blake 3rd (1688-1751) The Poetic Surveyor of Dorchester, Part 1
by Silvio A. Bedini, Professional Surveyor Magazine.

Blake House, Boston's oldest house was originally occupied by James Blake, born in Pitminster, England, in 1624.  James Blake emigrated with his parent to Dorchester (South Boston) in the 1630's.  The James Blake house is a two-story, central chimney, gable-roof dwelling of timber-frame construction.  It is on a rectangular plan, three bays wide and one bay deep and measures 38 by 20 feet.  Built in about 1648, the house is one of a relatively small number of its type - the post-Medieval, timber-frame house - surviving anywhere in New England.  It is the earliest of only two known West-of-England-derived houses to survive in Massachusetts.

Betty and Flo's Trip to Blake House, Dorchester, Massachusetts, June 5, 2008. with pictures.

The Boston Globe has a nice story about the restoration of the James Blake House.

More Blake House information here and here.  If you would like to contribute money to fund the Blake House renovation, please contact the Dorchester Historical Society or send me an email for details. 

Blakes that were prisoners of War during the American Revolution:
Increase Blake
Charles Blake
James Blake
Samuel Blake
Valentine Blake

American Prisoners of the Revolution, Danske Dandridge, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1911, 1967
The Wallabout Prison Ships: 1776-1783, Eugene L. Armbruster, New York: 1920.

Citation: http://www.usmm.org