Blake History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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."

Early Origins of the Blake family

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.

Early History of the Blake family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blake research. Another 97 words (7 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.

Blake Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Blake family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Blake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blake World Ranking

In the United States, the name Blake is the 403rd most popular surname with an estimated 69,636 people with that name. [1] However, in Canada, the name Blake is ranked the 680th most popular surname with an estimated 7,661 people with that name. [2] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Blake is the 290th popular surname with an estimated 155 people with that name. [3] Australia ranks Blake as 244th with 14,101 people. [4] New Zealand ranks Blake as 305th with 1,995 people. [5] The United Kingdom ranks Blake as 275th with 22,056 people. [6]


United States Blake migration to the United States +

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 [7]
  • William Blake who came from Essex, England, sailed on the "Mary and John" in 1630 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts
  • George Blake, who settled in Gloucester in 1640
  • John Blake, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1642 [7]
  • Giles Blake, who arrived in Maryland in 1650 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Blake Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Blake, who landed in Virginia in 1702 [7]
  • Robert Blake, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [7]
  • Cha Blake, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [7]
  • Jane Blake, who arrived in New England in 1740 [7]
  • John Garrett Blake was a JP of Trinity in 1753
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Blake Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Blake, who settled in Middletown, Connecticut
  • Ellen Blake, aged 35, who landed in America in 1822 [7]
  • Daniel Blake, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1827 [7]
  • Matthew Blake, who landed in Maine in 1829 [7]
  • Arthur Middleton Blake, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1835 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Blake Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Philip Blake, (b. 1881), aged 24, Cornish machinist, travelling aboard the ship "Saint Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Connecticut, USA [8]

Canada Blake migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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 [9]
  • Thomas Blake, a planter of Herring Neck, Newfoundland in 1820 [9]
  • Theophilus Blake, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • John Blake, aged 28, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland
  • Ellen Blake, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Providence" from Cork, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Blake migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Blake Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Blake, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, the settlement was listed as abandoned and most of the convicts transported to Tasmania on the "Queen" in 1804 [10]
  • Miss Ann Blake, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Experiment" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. Stephen Blake, (Steven), Irish convict who was convicted in County Tipperary, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Boyd" on 10th March 1809, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Miss Eleanor Blake, (b. 1788), aged 24, English servant who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Emu" in October 1812, the ship was captured and the passengers put ashore, the convicts were then transported aboard the "Broxburnebury" in January 1812 arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1850 [13]
  • Mr. Samuel Blake (b. 1787), aged 44, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 4th August 1817, sentenced for 14 years for stealing woollen, transported aboard the ship "Globe" in September 1818 to Australia [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Blake migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Blake Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Blake, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Richard Blake, aged 25, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Elizabeth Matilda Blake, aged 22, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Richard Blake, aged 2, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • George Blake, aged 38, a grocer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Blake migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [15]
Blake Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Blake, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife and servants
  • Henry Blake, who landed in Barbados in 1682 [7]
Blake Settlers in West Indies in the 19th Century
  • Bryan Blake, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1801 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Blake (post 1700) +

  • James Hubert "Eubie" Blake (1887-1983), American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Stewart Prestley Blake (1914-2021), American restaurateur. He was a co-founder of the Friendly Ice Cream Corporation, "Friendly's"
  • John Patrick Blake (1961-2020), American head football coach at the University of Oklahoma from 1996 to 1998
  • Robert Orris Blake (1921-2015), American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Mali from 1970 to 1973
  • 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 (1954–1970), NBA Director of Scouting (1976–2011)
  • 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
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Harold G Blake (b. 1909), English Leading Stoker serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [17]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Leslie John Blake, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [18]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William L Blake, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [19]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Maurice Blake, British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [20]
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 [21]
  • Mr. Seaton Blake (d. 1912), aged 26, English Mess Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [21]
  • 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 [21]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. James Monroe Blake, American Fireman Second Class from Missouri, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [22]


Suggested Readings for the name Blake +

  • The Blake-Ambrose Family History by Irma Ruth M. Anderson.
  • The Blaikes of Bibb County, Alabama,1819-1988 by Chester Rankin Johnson Jr.

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  3. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  4. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  6. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  9. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel-and-experiment
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 27th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Boyd
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Emu
  14. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  15. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  16. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  17. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  18. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  19. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  20. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  21. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  22. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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