Person:William Blake (17)

William Blake
  1. William Blake1594 - 1663
m. 27 Sep 1617
  1. Annie BLAKE1618 - 1681
  2. John BLAKE1618 - 1689
  3. William Blake1620 - 1703
  4. James Blake1624 - 1700
  5. Edward Blakeest 1630 - 1692
Facts and Events
Name William Blake
Gender Male
Christening[1][4] 10 Jul 1594 Pitminster, Somerset, England
Marriage 27 Sep 1617 Pitminster, Somerset, Englandto Agnes Thorne
Death[1] 25 Oct 1663 Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts
Other[3][4][5]  Refuted parents?: Giles Blake and Dorothy Tweedy (1) 


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.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Stott, Clifford L. "Humphrey Blake (1494?-1558) and his Descendants in New England and South Carolina: Blake, Richards, Selleck, Torrey, and Wolcott", in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), Vol. 193:278, 286, (Oct. 2009).

    Son of William, grandson of John, bp at Pitminster 10 Jul 1594; d. Dorchester 25 Oct 1663. No reference to theory that he is son of Giles (found at NEHGR 89:285, based on a manuscript donated to the Cheshire County Historical Society). William emigrated in the Hopewell in 1635, where his name as recorded as "William Black." The author notes that Robert Charles Anderson provided the passenger list in the course of the Great Migration Project, but no profile of William Black or Blake appears in the published 1634-1635 or 1620-1633 volumes.

  2.   Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England: Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of Farmer's Register. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1860-1862), 1:193.

    WILLIAM, Dorchester, wh. came 1630, in the Mary and John, was eldest s. of Giles of Little Baddow, Co. Essex, had brot. with him William, b. 1620; James, 1623; John; and Edward, bef. ment. and perhaps Ann, wh. m. Jacob Legare; in 1636 went to Springfield with Pynchon, yet contin. hardly more than a yr. He was a very useful citizen,freem. 14 Mar. 1639, ar. co. 1646, selectman, town clk. etc. and d. 25 Oct. 1663, aged 69. His wid. Agnes, prob. mo. of all his ch. d. 22 July 1678. To her his will, made 3 Sept. 1661, pro. 28 Jan. 1664, refers, and to five ch. of wh. four were s. but none are nam.

  3. Paul C. Reed, "Two Somerby Frauds, Or 'Placing the Flesh on the Wrong Bones,'" The American Genealogist, 74[1999]: 18 [1].

    Reed's primary purpose is to debunk the pedigree of William Blake provided in A Record of the BLAKEs of Somersetshire, Especially in the Line of William BLAKE, of Dorchester, Mass., the Emigrant to New England: with One Branch of His Descendants, from the Notes of the Late Horatio G. SOMERBY (Boston, 1881). Somerby had written that William was bp at Over Stowey 5 June 1594, son of Robert (1566-1626), son of John (1521-1576; m. Jane), son of Humphrey.

    He confirms that James Blake's Annals of Dorchester states under 1663: "This Year Died Mr. William
    BLAKE, who had been Clerk of the Writs for the County of Suffolk, & Recorder for the Town near 8 years.He
    was also Clerk of the Training-band.He Died the 25th of the 8th mo. 1663, in the 69th Year of his age." Somerby then made up a will of Eleanor Blake, sister of William, son of Robert, b. 1594 Over Stowey, referencing land of her brother William in New England. Whitmore (the editor of Somerby's work) had noted that this identification trumped the "unwarranted assumption" that William was the son of Giles Blake of Little Baddow.

    Francis E. Blake in 1891 showed that William son of Robert was buried at Over Stowey in 1617. Francis found that another William Blake, cousin of the son of Robert, was baptized at Pitminster on 10 July 1594. This William m. Agnes Band/Bond, widow, in 1617, and the records of his children there match those known of the immigrant.

  4. 4.0 4.1 England. Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. (FamilySearch,

    William Blake, chr 10 Jul 1594, son of William Blake, Pitminster, Somerset. (Film No. 1526710)

  5. Blake, Francis E. Increase Blake of Boston, his Ancestors and Descendants: with a full account of William Blake of Dorchester and his five children. (Boston, Mass.: David Clapp & Son, 1898).

    Tracing the origin of the identification of William Blake's parents. Blake as known to have been baptized in Pitminster because he was married there and had his first four children then. His record was later found under the name "Black", with father William. Stating also, "The alleged descent from Giles Blake of Little Baddow, Essex, which was first printed in 1857 and has unfortunately been repeated many times since, is entitled to no credence whatsoever."

Hopewell (May 1635)
There were at least three voyages of ships named Hopewell in 1635. The first in April 1635 under William Buddick; the second, this voyage in May from Weymouth under John Driver; and the third in September under Thomas Babb.
Sailed: 8 May 1635 from Weymouth, England under Master John Driver
Arrived: Summer 1635 at Massachusetts Bay Colony

18 families (Full List)
William Blake and family - Thomas Bushrod - John Crowe - Edward Clapp and family - Thomas Dimmock and family - John Durant - John Gachill and family - John Gilbert - Matthew Hearn - William Lane and family - William Malton - Edmund Marshall and family - Hugh Norman - Thomas Richards and family - John Rockwell and family - Daniel Stolack - John Strong and family

Resources: Primary Sources:
Other information: Annotated passenger list