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Monday, January 25, 2010


8 Apr 1995

This booklet has been long in the making - and I still have more to be done. However, I've decided to put together what I now have.

While I was looking at the Wisconsin Federal Census of 1860, Portage County, for my mother's Roe ancestors, I accidentally came across the Blakey family - a surprise since my Grandfather George supposedly was born in Hayward, Wis. The census (a copy is included here) shows Henry and Jemima, an older couple Edward and Margaret (Henry's parents), and James all born in England and Emily born in Wis.

By the 1870 Federal Census, they had moved to Jackson County, Minnesota - Emily had died and George had been born (in Wis.) Edward was listed alone, indicating his wife Margaret had died (I did find in the Mortality Schedule that she died in February of that year). Family tradition says that both Margaret and Emily were buried on the family farm.

By 1880, James had married and was listed with his wife; Henry and Jemima were listed with George and Will, their third son. Edward had remarried a Martha Haggard (a relative of James wife?) and had four children. I have found no trace of them anywhere.

An affidavit attached to a land record in 1904 states that in 1882 Edward left his family and returned to England, dying there in 1889. I have yet to verify that.

Besides the Census, I have included copies of obituaries (not every statement in obits. is accurate), and pictures, plus computer printouts of descendants. I would appreciate corrections, additions, suggestions, help in research, etc.
Verla A. Williams
4333 Pine Ridge Trail NE
Iowa City, IA 52240

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Map of Bradford, Yorkshire and Manchester, Lancashire, England

Prior to just very recently (Summer 2019), most of our searching for BLAKEY ancestors centered around Bradford in Yorkshire county, England since both of the obituaries of Henry and Jemima (Thorp) BLAKEY mentioned that they were born in Bradford. Below is a map of Bradford and also the neighboring county of Lancashire from where we discovered that Henry's ancestors came.

Map of Bradford, Yorkshire and Manchester, Lancashire, England. Image courtesy of DuckDuckGo.com.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ancestors of Henry BLAKEY

For many years we were unable to discover any of the Blakey ancestors prior to Edward Blakey, who came to America with his wife Margaret, son Henry (my maternal 2x great grandfather), and family. Without realizing it at the time, the key to unlocking this information was in the 1860 US Census where the family's surname was listed as "Blakow."

Searches in the Ancestry.com database provided census material in Yorkshire for 1841 and 1851. Along with other documents and records, we were slowly able to piece together the most probable ancestry of Henry Blakey back several generations more than previously had been known. Below is a chart tracing Henry's ancestry back six generations. The records use several variant spellings of "Blakow" including: Blackow, Blacoe, Blacow, and Blaikoe. For convenience, we have decided to adopt Blackow for all of Edward's paternal ancestors.

Henry BLAKEY pedigree chart. Image courtesy of Williams Family Pages.

Friday, January 22, 2010

BLACOW Surname Origins


Blacow is a locational surname from the Blacko area of Lancashire, which was in medieval times merely a scattering of farms with no hamlet or town. It is located in the north of the county a couple of miles north of Nelson, northwest of Colne, and east of Clitheroe. (See the red pin on the map below.)

Map of Blacko, Lancashire, England and surrounding areas. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Blacow: Blaec Howe: White Hill. (White used for pale or shining--there was no word for white in Anglo-Saxon, also the root of the word "bleach.")

Blakey: Blaec Hey: White Border/Boundary. Blacko Hill is a limestone outcrop, and shows evidence of extensive ancient quarrying--the source of the name "White Hill."

The Anglo-Saxon word for "black" was "blac" and has confused translators for centuries, with many names now being re-translated as "white." The Black Dyke, for example, should be called the "White Dyke" as a lot of it was made of limestone.

Note that the ancient Black Dyke (the northern boundary of the old Anglo-Saxon country of Mercia) ran up and over one side of what is now Blacko Hill. The most prominent family of the area was Blakey, of Blakey Hall. There are several more areas in Yorkshire that produced the same name for the same reason, so there are many more Blakeys from and in Yorkshire than Lancashire.

The oldest document I have for a Blacow in Goosnargh is from 1526, and was for a Christopher Blakho. There are many other records found dating into the 1600s where similar spellings show that the "h" in "howe" was still being pronounced.

Being a locational surname, the Blacows in Lancashire are not necessarily related.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Naming Pattern for Children in the UK


This was such an integral part of life from medieval times until the late 1800s that it is never talked about except by us genealogists. It was how our ancestors showed honour to their parents, and if a child named after the parents died, the next one was given that name again. This custom was undoubtedly held in place by community pressure as any deviation would cause comment and speculation.

Once people moved to urban centres the naming pattern usually breaks down within a generation, as it also does after emigration to far away colonies. By the late 1800’s the naming pattern was used occasionally by traditionalist families, and then mostly in the country side - the north of England and Scotland were the strongest holdouts for change of the naming pattern.

Naming Pattern: 
  • 1st son named after his father’s father 
  • 2nd son named after his mother’s father 
  • 3rd son named after his father 
  • Any further sons were named after their parents’ brothers
  • 1st daughter named after her mother’s mother 
  • 2nd daughter named after her father’s mother 
  • 3rd daughter after her mother 
  • Any further daughters were named after their parents’ sisters 
Important exceptions:

1. First son named after his mother’s father:
  • could be a suspected (or known) illegitimate child (check baptism record against marriage date)
  • the father already has a son named after his father from previous unknown marriage or an illegitimate son
  • there is a really bad break between the son’s father and his grandfather 
2. First daughter named after her father’s mother is quite common as young married couples often lived with his parents. In this case the second daughter would get her mother’s mother’s name.

3. If you see a name that has a middle name, it is usually the surname of a person the child is named for, for example Isaac Warbrick Bamber – Isaac Warbrick was the name of the man he was named for. Individual middle names didn’t come into fashion until the very late 1800s.

Thus the naming pattern of their children can be used as a good guide to a couple’s parents’ names. It is most important that you have as complete a list of confirmed children as possible, and if you see names being repeated in a list of children, then you know that they are almost certainly the couple’s parents’ names.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Joseph BLACKOW (c. 1743-1809)

Joseph BLACKOW was born about 1743 presumably in the township of Cabus, in Garstang parish, Lancashire, England. Unfortunately we do not have a baptismal record as of yet, but his burial records state that he was 66 years old in 1809 which would put his birth at around 1743. His father was Richard BLACKOW of Cabus. The name of his mother is still unknown.

On 23 Sep 1765 Joseph married Alice Park of Roseacre in Kirkham, Lancashire according to the parish register. Banns of marriage are a "public legal notice made in a church proclaiming an intention of impending marriage with the object that persons aware of any impediment to the marriage may make their objection known." (Britannica.com)

Marriage record. Joseph BLACKO and Alice Park (23 Sep 1765). Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Of note is that the ceremony was witnessed by his brother, Henry BLAKOE, and a William Park, an unknown, but probable relative of the bride.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Richard BLACKOW (c. 1766-1855)

Richard BLACKOW was born about 1766 in Garstang, Lancashire, England (1851 ENG Census), the son of Joseph and Alice/Ellin (Park) BLACKOW. Unfortunately we haven't discovered a baptismal record for Richard as of yet. His mother died either in childbirth or shortly thereafter.

A year later we find him listed as 1 year old "Richd BLACOE" in the 1767 Returns of Papists (Worrall, 1980, V. 1, 107) living with his uncle and aunt, John and Mary (BLACKOW) Baines in Barnacre with Bonds, in Garstang parish, Lancashire.

On 6 Jan 1790 he signed and sealed a bond indicating his intention to marry Margaret "Peggy" Charnley. Margaret was the daughter of John (1736-1814) and Ann (Pye) Charnley (1736-1812).

Bond. Richard BLACKOE and John Swanbrick (6 Jan 1790). Images courtesy of Ancestry.com.

The next day they married in the parish church in Cockerham, Lancashire as we can see by the parish register.

Marriage record. Richard BLACKOE and Margret Charnley (7 Jan 1790). Image courtesy of Ancestry.com

Richard and "Peggy" had a large family of four boys and three girls: Joseph (1790- ); John (1792-1859); William (1797- ); Alice (1799-1803); Thomas (1801- ); Ann "Nancy" (1802-1837); our Edward (1804-1886/9); and Alice (1807- ). As mentioned above, it was also customary that if a child died, the next child of that sex would be named after his or her deceased sibling. This is why we see two girls named Alice.

In 1798 Mr. Rd. BLACOE appears as the Proprietor in a record Ancestry.com refers to as the UK, Land Tax Redemption. The residence is listed as Cleveley, Lancashire, which is near Garstang, and is also where his first daughter Alice's burial record indicates he lived in 1803.

We don't have any additional records for several decades until 1841 when Margaret died. She was buried on 16 May at St. Helen's Church in Churchtown near Garstang.

Detail of Burial record. Margaret BLACOW (16 May 1841). Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

1841 England Census: Richard BLACO

On 6 Jun 1841, about a month after Richard's wife Margaret passed away, the 1841 Census for England was taken. Richard was 75 and living alone on Scotland Road in Garstang, Lancashire. His occupation is listed as Agricultural Laborer.

Detail of 1841 England Census. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Richard Blaco / 75 / Ag Lab / y

Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 495; Book: 10; Civil Parish: Garstang; County: Lancashire; Enumeration District: 1; Folio: 5; Page: 4; Line: 22; GSU roll: 306886.

Source Information:
Ancestry.com. 1841 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

1851 England Census: William, Richard, and Joseph BLACKOW

In 1851 we find Richard BLACKOW, age 84, living in Manchester on 12 Boond Street with his sons, William and Joseph, and his grandson, George Holden. George, 20, was the son of William and Joseph's sister, Ann "Nancy," and her husband John Holden. They had passed away in 1837 and 1839 respectively.

1851 England Census. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

208 / 12 Boond St. / William Blackow / Head / Unmarr / 50 / Master Carter / Lancashire, Chorley
  Richard " / Father / Widr / 84 / Retired Carter / " Garstang
  Joseph " / Brother / U / 60 / Servant Man / " Cleavly [sic]
  George Holden / Nephew / U / 20 / Servant Man / Westmorland, Kendal
  Harriet Bradley / Servant / U / 54 / House Servant / Lancashire, Manchester

Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 2226; Folio: 451; Page: 56.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1851 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

Ancestry.com has a burial record for a Richard BLACKOE who died in 1855 at the age of 89 and was buried on 8 Sep at St. Mary's in Walsall, Staffordshire. It seems likely he had moved there with his grandson, George Holden, sometime shortly after the 1851 Census. In 1861, George is living in Bloxwich, a village a couple of miles north of Walsall, and in 1871, in Walsall on 40 Orlando Street.

A certified copy of the death certificate indicates that Richard died on 3 Sep 1855 on Orlando St. The fact that the informant is Ann Holden who also lived on Orlando Street and was present at the death provides support for our theory, although her relationship to George Holden is not known at this time.

Certified Copy of an Entry of Death. Richard BLACKOE (3 Sep 1855). Image courtesy of Mark D. Williams.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Edward BLAKOE (1804-1886/9) Baptism and Marriage

The 1860 and 1870 US Censuses suggest a date of ca. 1804/5 for the birth of Henry BLAKEY's father, Edward. The 1860 Census also lists the family surname as "BLAKOW." As it so happens, Ancestry.com has a record for the baptism of an Edward BLAKOE (son of Ricd. and Peggy BLAKOE) on 20 Aug 1804 at the St. Mary and St. James Church (Roman Catholic) in Scorton, Lancashire, England.

St. Mary and St. James Church, Scorton, Lancashire, England (Dedicated 1861). Image courtesy of Ministry of Information Blog

How did we get from Bradford in Yorkshire county over to neighboring Lancashire county? For the answer to that we'll need to wait until we take a look at the 1841 and 1851 UK Censuses.

First though, let's recognize that currently we don't have any additional intervening records until Edward gets married. We've known for some time from the US Censuses that he married a woman named Margaret who was born ca. 1800/1 and died in Feb 1870. A search on Ancestry.com provides only two probable candidates for Edward's wife: (1) Margaret Sutton, who married an Edward BLACKOW on 26 Apr 1834 at St. Mary's, Lancaster, in Lancashire; and (2) Margaret Kellam, who married an Edward BLACOW on 11 Jun 1829 at St. Mary, St. Denys and St. George, in Manchester, Lancashire. Their marriage records are provided below.

Marriage record. Edward BLACKOW and Margaret Sutton (26 Apr 1834). Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Marriage record. Edward BLACOW and Margarett Kellem (11 Jun 1829). Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Marriage record (Bishop's transcript). Eduard BLACOW and Margarett Kellem (11 Jun 1829). Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

It is interesting to note that on the BLACOW/Kellem documents, Edward's occupation is listed as a Wool Comber. Keep this in mind as it will come up again in future records. It is also worthy of note that one of the witnesses is Thomas BLACKOW/BLACOW and Edward had an older brother named Thomas.

We will soon see in the 1841 and 1851 UK Censuses that Edward and Margaret had three children: Henry (b. 15 Apr 1829), Eliza (b. 18 Oct 1832), and James (b. 10 Nov 1834). It would have been more unusual for Edward to have married Margaret Sutton in 1834 about five years after Henry's birth and one and a half years after Eliza's birth, than to have married Margaret Kellam about two months after Henry's birth.

Further evidence supporting Margaret Kellam as Edward's wife is found in Eliza's and James' baptismal records. Though unfortunately Eliza's lists her mother as Margaret BLACKOW, it also lists a Martha Kellam as her godmother.

Baptismal record. Eliza BLACKOW (23 Dec 1832). Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

James' baptismal record is a little more direct. Even though Ancestry.com's editor transcribed the mother of James BLAKER as Margaret Helleson, when I first examined the record her maiden name jumped out to me as Margaret Kellum. Every other capital "H" on the page has a strong horizontal cross stroke that extends beyond the vertical strokes. Hers does not.

Baptismal record. James BLAKER [sic] (7 Dec 1834). Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1841 England Census: Edward BLACKOW Family

In 1841, Edward BLACKOW and his family were living in District 6 of Northowram township (approximately five miles SW of Bradford), in the borough of Halifax in Yorkshire county. The map below shows the location of Gordon Street in Northowram.

Detail of Northowram, Halifax, Yorkshire, England. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Detail of 1841 UK Census. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Edward Blackow / 35 / Wool C / no
Margret Do / 35 / no
Henery Do / 10 / y
James Do / 6 / y

Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 1303; Book: 2; Civil Parish: Halifax; County: Yorkshire; Enumeration District: 6; Folio: 47; Page: 13; Lines: 7-10; GSU roll: 464263.

Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1841 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010.

The "Do" is an abbreviation for "ditto." It is also interesting to note their ages. In 1841, Edward was 37 and Margaret was 39. The census lists them both as 35. But according to Ancestry.com, the ages of "people over 15 years old were usually rounded down to the nearest 5 years."

As mentioned in a previous post, Edward was a wool comber, which is corroborated here. Also notable is that both Edward and Margaret were not born in Yorkshire.

Finally we see that their daughter, Eliza, is not with her family. However, we do find her a few pages later listed with the James and Sarrah Taylor family. Their connection to the BLACKOWs is not known at this time. According to Ancestry.com:
The 1841 Census for England was taken on the night of 6 June 1841. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 6 June 1841 for all individuals who had spent the night in the house. People who were traveling or living abroad were enumerated at the location where they spent the night on census night.

Detail of 1841 UK Census. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 1303; Book: 2; Civil Parish: Halifax; County: Yorkshire; Enumeration District: 6; Folio: 49; Page: 17; Line: 14; GSU roll: 464263.

Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1841 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2010.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1851 England Census: Edward BLACKOW Family

In 1851 Edward BLACKOW and his family were still living in Northowram, Halifax, Yorkshire, but in Charles Town. This time Edward and Margaret's ages are what we would expect, and in addition to Edward working as a wool comber, so are sons Henry and James. Here we also see that both Edward and Margaret were born in Lancashire county.

Detail of 1851 England Census. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

Detail of 1851 England Census. Image courtesy of Ancestry.com.

108 / do / Edwd Blackow / Head / Mar. / 47 / Woolcomber / Lancashire
108 / Charles Town / Margret Blackow / Wife / Mar. / 49 / Lancashire
do / Hy do / Son / U / 20 / Woolcomber / Yorkshire
do / Eliza do / Dau / U / 18 / Weaver / do
do / James do / Son / U / 16 / Woolcomber / do

Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 2302; Folio: 49; Pages: 28-29; GSU roll: 87511-87512.

Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1851 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.