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Origins Available: English, Irish


There art two possible origins of the Irish surname Blake. 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."

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The surname Blake 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.

Names during the Middle Ages were often recorded under several different spelling variations during the life of their bearers. Literacy was rare at that time and so how a person's name was recorded was decided by the individual scribe. Variations of the name Blake include Blake, Caddell, Caddle and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blake research. Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1611, 1797, and 1849 are included under the topic Early Blake History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 24 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Many destitute Irish families in the 18th and 19th centuries decided to leave their homeland, which had in many ways been scarred by English colonial rule. One of the most frequent destinations for these families was North America where it was possible for an Irish family to own their own parcel of land. Many of the early settlers did find land awaiting them in British North America, or even later in America, but for the majority of immigrants that arrived as a result of the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the ownership of land was often a long way off. These Irish people were initially put to work on such industrial projects as the building of bridges, canals, and railroads, or they worked at manufacturing positions within factories. Whenever they arrived, the Irish made enormous contributions to the infant nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the earliest immigrants to bearer the name of Blake were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists:

Blake Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Walter Blake, who arrived in Virginia in 1624
  • 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
  • John Blake, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1642
  • Giles Blake, who arrived in Maryland in 1650
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Blake Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Charles Blake, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Robert Blake, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Cha Blake, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Jane Blake, who arrived in New England in 1740
  • John Garrett Blake was a JP of Trinity in 1753
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Blake Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Bryan Blake, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1801
  • John Blake settled in Middletown, Connecticut
  • Ellen Blake, aged 35, landed in America in 1822
  • Daniel Blake, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1827
  • Matthew Blake, who landed in Maine in 1829
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Blake Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • William Blake, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • William Blake, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Blake, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Iona Blake, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Blake Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Philip Blake, from Wexford, Ireland was married in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1804
  • Thomas Blake, a planter of Herring Neck, Newfoundland in 1820
  • Theophilus Blake, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • John Blake, aged 28, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • Ellen Blake, aged 22, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Providence" from Cork, Ireland
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Blake Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Blake, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • John Blake, British convict from Jamaica, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Jeremiah Blake arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • Mary Blake arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
  • John Blake arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1839
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Blake Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Richard Blake landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Richard Blake, aged 25, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Elizabeth Matilda Blake, aged 22, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Richard Blake, aged 2, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • George Blake, aged 38, a grocer, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
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  • Robert Orris Blake (1921-2015), American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Mali from 1970 to 1973
  • SGT Esther McGowin Blake (1897-1979), The first lady of the Air force
  • Michael Lennox Blake (1945-2015), American Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winning author, best known for the film adaptation of his novel Dances with Wolves
  • Arthur Blake (1872-1944), American one time silver Olympic medalist for athletics during the 1896 games
  • Marty Blake (1927-2013), American basketball executive, GM of Atlanta Hawks (19541970), NBA Director of Scouting (19762011)
  • William Burdine Blake Sr. (1852-1938), American music composer and newspaper publisher
  • Lieutenant General Gordon Aylesworth Blake (1910-1997), American Air Force Officer who served from 1962-1965 as director of the National Security Agency
  • Francis Blake (1850-1913), American inventor of a telephone transmitter
  • Eugene Carson Blake (1906-1985), American Clergyman, general secretary of the World Council of Churches
  • Lillie Devereaux Blake (1835-1913), American author and reformer, known for her efforts in the women's suffrage and economic rights movements
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Blake Historic Events



HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. John Shaldis Blake (1921-1941), Australian Acting Leading Stoker from Malvern, South Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Harold G Blake (b. 1909), English Leading Stoker serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Leslie John Blake, British Marine, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. William L Blake, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Percival Albert Blake, aged 22, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 15
  • Mr. Seaton Blake (d. 1912), aged 26, English Mess Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Thomas Henry Blake (d. 1912), aged 36, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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  • The Blake-Ambrose Family History by Irma Ruth M. Anderson.
  • The Blaikes of Bibb County, Alabama,1819-1988 by Chester Rankin Johnson Jr.
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    2. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
    3. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
    4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
    5. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
    6. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
    7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
    8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    11. ...

    The Blake Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Blake Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 15 July 2016 at 18:07.

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