Friday, July 01, 2005

Roman Roads and the Early English Blackard Family

After the English Civil War ended (c1650) the Blackard family appears to have vanished from their 16th century home in Lincolnshire, England. The Blackards also appear in Somerset in distant Cornwall. After 1650 the Blackards seem to have also moved into Yorkshire and London temporarily. Additionally, some Blackards are recorded in Lancashire including Elizabeth Blackard who was transported from Liverpool,Lancashire in 1688 to Maryland and a Thomas Blackard b.1600 in Lincolnshire who filed his will in Lancashire.

The reason and means for the migration to Lancashire is still a mystery. However, the movement of the Blackard family to Yorkshire, London and Somerset can be explained. At first these places appear remote from Linolnshire except that all 3 locations are near major seaports. However, these 3 seemingly distant places were connected by the two major Roman superhighways of England and both pass through the town of Lincoln.

"The Romans eventually conquered Britain in AD 43, during the reign of Claudius. Forty thousand men landed in Kent and quickly began to make their presence felt by taking Colchester, a major tribal capital. Of the four legions who arrived on our shores, IX Hispana travelled north and came to the place we know today as Lincoln.

Historic Lincoln at this time lay within the area of the Iron Age tribe called Corieltauvi and traces of an Iron Age settlement have been found on the east bank of the Brayford Pool. The Romans, understanding the military advantage of the site, built a fortress on top of the hill, a strategic position over looking the River
Witham and the major trackways around Lincoln. The Legion IX Hispana occupied Lincoln from about AD 54 -71 but some time after AD 71, the IX Legion left for York and was replaced by Legion II Adiutrix, who remained in Lincoln until AD 78.

During the military occupation it was important for the Romans to keep order and control. To do this effectively, forts were established enabling troops quick access to the troublesome areas. Unfortunately only few have remains that can be seen. The best examples are at Horncastle and Caistor. Both towns are late 4th Century walled towns (possibly military), directly linked with a pre-Roman route recognised today as the B1225.

As things were beginning to settle down the military use of the fortress became less important. The site in Lincoln was given the honour of becoming a Colonia, one of only four in Britain: Colchester, Gloucester, York and Lincoln. The Colonia was a settlement for veteran soldiers and due to this Lincoln grew."

"There were recognisable tracks in pre-Roman Lincolnshire but the Romans brought with them an advanced method of road construction. Major Roman roads are quite easy to identify, as they are very straight. The best example in Lincolnshire is Ermine Street, now the modern A15, particularly the northbound section heading towards Scunthorpe, which originally continued into Winteringham, where a ferry would be available across the River Humber.

Ermine Street was the main road north from London, linking the settlement at Lincoln with York. Travelling north from Lincoln the road is built in an agger style, a Latin term indicating built up foundations, which in this case reflects the road's elevation. Ditches were dug at the side of the road and the soil was used to elevate the road. Certain sections have been excavated to show construction methods.

The Fosse Way (A46) was another important road connecting Lincoln
to Leicester and on towards Bath and Exeter. " Source

You can see this on the following maps that the Ermine Street ran
N-S through Lincoln, Lincolnshire from Hadrians wall through York,
Lincoln and on to London.

After 1650 the locations of the Blackard in Yorkshire were near Ermine Street leading to York and London from Lincoln: map1

The "Fosse Way" ran from Lincoln to Bath in Somerset County. The Romans were very fond of the hot mineral springs found in Bath. Bath is near Farmsboro and Cheddar where Blackards were recorded as early as 1640. Roman road also made Grimsby accessible to Lincoln: map2

Therefore, with the sole exception of Lancashire, all the places where we find the Blackards in England were once connected by these major Roman highways and were not as distant and isolated as the modern map would imply. These roads are still in use and are now called the A15 and A46 in England.

The Blackard family may have originated in Lincoln, near the genetically-related Judkins family and then moved to Grimsby by Roman a road before 1560 where we first find them. John Blackard, of Grimsby, filed his will in Lincoln in 1650 which indicates that there was a family connection to Lincoln where the historic figure
Blecca lived in 627 who is said to have founded Grimsby on the site of an old Roman camp.

They may have also spread from Lincoln to Somerset by the "Fosse Way" before 1540. The Blackards may have also migrated from Lincoln to London and Yorkshire in the early 1700s following the Ermine Street north and south.

The reason and means for the migration to Lancashire is still a singular mystery. My researcher Lincolnshire says that it is geographically difficult to reach from Lincolnshire. Some of the closing battles of the English Civil War were in Lancashire and Scotland so possibly that has some meaning if part of the family
followed the path of the war.

5 Comments:

Blogger Ari2525 said...

Word History Thanks for sharing. word history!!

9:55 PM  
Blogger Faye said...

Andy, have you ever come upon the name of Kattereen (no last name) associated with George Hargase from Saintmary Magadelene, Ney England, 1595. In have just started researching again after several years. Job Blackard married Jean Hargis, whose father was Shadrack Hargis, whose father was Abraham Hargis/Hargus, whose father was Thomas Lea Hargase, whose father was George Hargase, whose father might have been George Hargase. I am a beginner with this. You and I emailed a few years ago.

Faye Anderson, granddaughter of Thomas Fletcher Blackard of Mebane, NC.
fanderson111@comcast.net

1:45 PM  
Blogger Faye said...

Andy, have you ever come upon the name of Kattereen (no last name) associated with George Hargase from Saintmary Magadelene, Ney England, 1595. In have just started researching again after several years. Job Blackard married Jean Hargis, whose father was Shadrack Hargis, whose father was Abraham Hargis/Hargus, whose father was Thomas Lea Hargase, whose father was George Hargase, whose father might have been George Hargase. I am a beginner with this. You and I emailed a few years ago.

Faye Anderson, granddaughter of Thomas Fletcher Blackard of Mebane, NC.
fanderson111@comcast.net

1:46 PM  
Blogger james blackard said...

Thank goodness for your research! I was floundering around trying to find out more about my husband's family and where in England they came from, but you gave me so much more information. I still don't know where where William Blackard, 1630, England lived, but at least I now have some idea. Thank you sos much. Mary Phipps Blackard, wife of James L. Blackard

10:01 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hicks said...

Andy – I am Lucile Blackard Hicks’ son Doug. I think U were friends of my cousin Bobby Jean Blackard.
Do U have any information on William Blackard who had a son Thomas Washington born 11/24/1828. Both his birth (1750) & death were in Person County, NC (Flat River township). However I can’t find any death dates or parents. I couldn’t find him in the 1850 Census, so did he died before age 60? William & Mary Sarah Farmer (1798 to 1835) had 5 boys & 5 girls. Thomas Washington Blackard was their 6th child. The 2 ladies, who wrote about him in the 1981 Person County book on page 161, said he was a decedent from Ireland. My email is DPLHicks398@gmail.com if U want me to send U a pdf of page 161 & a word file on my notes. Thanks, Doug

2:32 AM  

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