There art two possible origins of the Irish surname O'Blak. 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 O'Blak family
The surname O'Blak 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 O'Blak family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Blak research.Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1611, 1797, and 1849 are included under the topic Early O'Blak History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Blak Spelling Variations
The spelling of names in Ireland
during the Middle Ages was rarely consistent. This inconsistency was due to the scribes and church officials' attempts to record orally defined names in writing. The common practice of recording names as they sounded resulted in spelling variations
such as Blake, Caddell, Caddle and others.
Early Notables of the O'Blak family (pre 1700)
Another 24 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Blak Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Blak family to the New World and Oceana
The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish migrating out of their homeland in a great measure due to the oppressive imperial policies of the English government and landowners. Many of these Irish families
sailed to North America aboard overcrowded passenger ships. By far, the largest influx of Irish immigrants to North America occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. These particular immigrants were instrumental in creation of the United States and Canada as major industrial nations because the many essential elements such as the roadways, canals, bridges, and railways required an enormous quantity of cheap labor, which these poor immigrants provided. Later generations of Irish in these countries also went on to make valuable contributions in such fields as the arts, commerce, politics, and education. Extensive research into immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name O'Blak: William Blake who came from Essex
, sailed on the "Mary and John" in 1630 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts; George Blake settled in Gloucester in 1640.