Bleak History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
There art two possible origins of the Irish surname Bleak. 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 Bleak family
The surname Bleak 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 Bleak family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bleak research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1611, 1797, and 1849 are included under the topic Early Bleak History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bleak Spelling Variations
Scribes and church officials, lacking today's standardized spelling rules, recorded names by how they were pronounced. This imprecise guide often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Bleak are preserved in documents of the family history. The various spellings of the name that were found include Blake, Caddell, Caddle and others.
Early Notables of the Bleak family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bleak Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bleak migration to the United States +
Ireland saw an enormous decrease in its population in the 19th century due to immigration and death. This pattern of immigration began slowly in the late 18th century and gradually grew throughout the early portion of the 19th century. However, a dramatic increase in the country's immigration numbers occurred when the Great Potato Famine struck in the 1840s. The early immigrants to North America were primarily destined to be farmers tending to their own plot of land, those that came later initially settled within pre-established urban centers. These urban immigrants provided the cheap labor that the fast developing United States and soon to be Canada required. Regardless of their new lifestyle in North America, the Irish immigrants to the United States and Canada made invaluable contributions to their newly adopted societies. An investigation of immigrant and passenger lists revealed many Bleaks:
Bleak Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Matthew Bleak, aged 29, who landed in Delaware in 1813 
- Edward Bleak, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1850 
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)