Blakes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
There art two possible origins of the Irish surname Blakes. The first is that it originated from the Gaelic "O Blathmhaic," which translates as "descendant of Blathmhac," a personal name for the Gaelic "blath" meaning "flower", "blossom", "fame", "prosperity." The second was that the name could have been derived from the Old English word "blaec" meaning "dark" or "swarthy."
Early Origins of the Blakes family
The surname Blakes was first found in Connacht (Irish: Connachta, (land of the) descendants of Conn), where the Blake family were one of the Tribes of Galway, descending from Richard Caddell (le Blac), sheriff of Connacht in 1303, who came to Ireland with Prince John in 1185, and used both the surnames Caddell and Blake. The name Caddell is Welsh, and means "warlike." It was not replaced completely by Blake until the 17th century, and for three hundred years, people with these surnames were referred to in municipal records by both names. Richard Caddle was sheriff of Connaught in 1306 A.D. and was a tenant of Falway under Richard de Burgo (Burke), the Red Earl of Ulster.
Early History of the Blakes family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blakes research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1611, 1797, and 1849 are included under the topic Early Blakes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blakes Spelling Variations
The search for the origins of the name Blakes family name revealed numerous spelling variations. These variants can be somewhat accounted for when it is realized that before widespread literacy people only recognized their name by pronunciation; it was up to scribes to decide how it was to be formally recorded. Variations found include Blake, Caddell, Caddle and others.
Early Notables of the Blakes family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Blakes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Blakes family
Thousands of Irish left in their homeland in the 18th and 19th centuries to escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, and in the search of a plot of land to call their own. These immigrants arrived at the eastern shores of North America, early on settling and breaking the land, and, later, building the bridges, canals, and railroads essential to the emerging nations of United States and Canada. Many others would toil for low wages in the dangerous factories of the day. Although there had been a steady migration of Irish to North America over these years, the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Blakes or a variant listed above: William Blake who came from Essex, England, sailed on the "Mary and John" in 1630 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts; George Blake settled in Gloucester in 1640.
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