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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Blake family come from? What is the Irish Blake family crest and coat of arms? When did the Blake family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Blake family history?

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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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.

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.


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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.

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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.

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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:

  • John Blake settled in Middletown, Connecticut

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


Blake Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles Blake, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • Robt 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


Blake Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Bryan Blake, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1801
  • 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
  • Bennett Blake, who arrived in Texas in 1835


Blake Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Willm Blake, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Wm 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 town, was married in St. John's in 1804
  • Thomas Blake was a planter of Herring Neck, Newfoundland in 1820
  • Theophilus Blake, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • John Blake, aged 28, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork
  • Ellen Blake, aged 22, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Providence" from Cork


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


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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  • Lillie Devereaux Blake (1835-1913), American author and reformer, known for her efforts in the women's suffrage and economic rights movements
  • Eugene Carson Blake (1906-1985), American Clergyman, general secretary of the World Council of Churches
  • Francis Blake (1850-1913), American inventor of a telephone transmitter
  • Lieutenant General Gordon Aylesworth Blake (1910-1997), American Air Force Officer who served from 1962-1965 as director of the National Security Agency
  • 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
  • Amanda Blake (1929-1989), American actress best known for the role of the red-haired "Miss Kitty" on the longest-running television drama, CBS's Gunsmoke series (1955-1975)
  • William Burdine Blake Sr. (1852-1938), American music composer and newspaper publisher
  • Marty Blake (1927-2013), American basketball executive, GM of Atlanta Hawks (19541970), NBA Director of Scouting (19762011)
  • Arthur Blake (1872-1944), American one time silver Olympic medalist for athletics during the 1896 games
  • 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

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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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  1. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  2. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  5. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  6. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  7. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. 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 4 May 2015 at 14:35.

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