Blackard Family History Blog

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Branch of Blacker family 11/12 match with Blackard yDNA

This is the second close match that we've found. I will add more details in the future.

The only other match that has been found is Blackard-Judkins yDNA Match

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Origin of the Blackard Family in Lincolnshire, England

The name Blackard is recorded first in 1562 in parish records around the town Grimsby in the Lindsey district of northeast Lincolnshire where the Humber River meets the North Sea.

Research on the Blackards of Lincolnshire/Yorkshire, England

The following comes from the earliest surviving parish records and is the oldest documented birth of a Blackard in Lincolnshire:

3 Mar 1562
Elyzabethe Blakerd
Christening: 3 Mar 1562 Stallingborough, Lincolnshire, England

Stallingborough is near Grimsby where 10 more Blackard births are recorded during the years 1593-1606. These records have been confirmed by BritFinders using the original parish records of the Lincolnshire Archives. These children were born to three Blackards: Thomas, William and Edward. These three Blackard men were possibly brothers and also brothers of Elizabeth Blackard b.1562. This possibly indicates that their father was only Blackard living in the Grimsby area in 1562. The region had suffered repeated kill offs over the centuries. Grimsby was said by some to have been founded in the 6th century AD by a man called Blecca of the Roman town of Lincoln, so that may where our family originated and possibly is connected to this man.

The town, Gainsborough, is about 35 miles from Grimsby on the Nottinghamshire border and where the first battle of the English Civil War was fought in 1642. Another birth was recorded there in 1603 which seems far enough from the cluster of simultaneous Grimsby births to indicate a second Blackard family in Lincolnshire around 1600.

04 DEC 1603
Child: Ann Blackerd
Father: Andrew Blackerd
Christening: All Saints Church, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England

The birth of a John Blackard was also recorded in Timsbury, Somerset in about 1560, however, that record has not yet been confirmed. But his location there makes sense, as the Romans built the Fosse Way in order to travel to the hot springs near Timsbury in Bath, Somerset from Lincoln. The Willoughby family of Lincolnshire also had ties to that area.

Two more generations are recorded in Grimsby parish records up to 1632. Then after 1650, at the end of the English Civil War, the Blackard family disappears from Lincolnshire forever. One of the brothers, Thomas Blackard b.1606, later filed his will in Lancashire. But others probably came to the Americas. This time also corresponded to a period of commercial decline in Gimsby.

Our ancestor, immigrant John Blackard, was transported to Virginia in 1649. Other Blackards are recorded in Barbados and Maryland in the 17th century.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

3 English Families with False Scottish Origin Stories

I have found a very interesting coincidence among 3 different families that lived in eastern midlands in England in 1500-1600 and immigrated to similar locations in Virginia in the 17th century. All 3 English families have family legends that their families originated in Scotland instead of where they were actually found in the public records of the eastern midlands of England in 1500-1600! This range marks the start of the oldest surviving records.

A-Family Name
B-Residence in 1500-1600
C-Immigration Location
D-Origin as per Family Legend

B-Lincolnshire, Eng
C-1649 Prince George, Va
D-Glasgow or Highlands, Scotland

C-c1640-1650 Surry, Va
D-Glasgow, Scotland

B-Rutland, Eng
C-c1670 Essex, Va
D-Highlands, Scotland

This is a strange coincidence that I have no explanation for, but maybe this may hold a clue for something in our history that we haven't found yet. For example, perhaps the connection to Scotland has to do with the battle of Preston in the English Civil War in Lancashire which involved many Scots. Blackards and Ownbys both first appear in Lancashire after the war which is not easily accessible from their home counties. The part of England where the Blackards, Ownbys and Judkins lived before the war were avid Royalists and allies of the Scot Royalists loyal to King Charles. Charles was beheaded in 1649 which is when John Blackard was transported to Virginia. Perhaps some of the English Royalists actually joined the Scottish army in this battle.

One coat of arms firm claims that the Judkins actually originated in Suffolk, England in far ancient times. This is where the celtic Coritani tribe of Rutland, Leiceister & Lincolnshire originated so this would preclude a Scottish origin prior to 1500 if the Judkins/Blackard J2 DNA type is linked to the Coritani rather than Romans.

Immigrant Samuel Judkins was located in Surry County, Virginia in the late 1600s adjacent to todays Prince George County where immigrant John Blackard lived. Family legends that he came from Glasgow, Scotland have been proven to be false. Also a Thomas Judkins was listed in Granville/Bute NC records near Charles Blackard I.

The Ownby family was located in Rutland as early as 1156. In the 1750s/60s the grandson of the immigrant Ownby, Thomas Ownby, was recorded near our ancestor Charles Blackard I in the tax records of Granville and Bute Counties of North Carolina.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Romans/Coritani and the Blackards/Judkins in England

It is very interesting that the geographic range of the genetically-similar Blackard and Judkins families in the 1500s in eastern England corresponds exactly with the range of an ancient Celtic tribe called the Coritani as shown in the following map. There are no written records to indicate where the two families were before 1500 so we can only assume this was their original territory. Celtic Tribes of Britain:The Coritani

The above webpage indicates that the Romans and Coritani tribe coexisted in this midlands area peacefully between 44 BCE and 410 CE. In fact they had a close relationship with the Romans, who they welcomed as protectors, and this may have lead to the survival of their family lines, whereas some other celtic tribes opposed with the Romans and were defeated. Romans' brutal crackdown on Celts

Based on this geographical evidence, I think we should consider the Romans and Coritani as the two most-probable ancestors of the Blackard family. However, because of our distinctive y-DNA type, this would require the Coritani to be genetically distinct from any other Celtic-speaking tribes in ancient Britain who have living descendents. But that is not outside the realm of possibility as some celtic tribe were thought to have come from the Black Sea area.

One coat of arms firm claims that the Judkins actually originated in Suffolk, Eng. This is interesting because the Coritani are thought to have been a spin-off group of the Iceni tribe of Suffolk.Celtic Tribes of Britain:The Iceni

The surnames Blackard and Judkins have nothing to do with either group because surnames did not develop in England until many centuries later.

There is a possible explanation for the low survival rate in the UK of the unique J2 y-DNA haplogroup to which the Blackards and Judkins belong. There were numerous large-scale population killoffs in this specific part of England at several different times in history, including: 1) the Roman invasion 2) the Saxon invasion 2) wars between Mercia and Northumbria which bordered the midland 3) the Viking invasions 4)numerous plague epidemics 5)resistance to the Normans 6)the 100 years war, and 7)the English Civil War.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Families with Possible Parallel Histories to Blackard

All of these families originate in the eastern midlands of England and are found later in proximity to the Blackard family in colonial America. Many pass through southside Virginia, and some through Barbados, in the 17th century. Many appear in either Edgecombe or Granville Bute, NC in the early 18th century. Four families have the J2 y-DNA haplogroup which is fairly rare in the UK (1-3% in scattered areas).

J2 y-DNA haplotype; 11/12 match to Judkins
Lincolnshire Eng 1562-1650
Barbados 1655-1723
Lancashire Eng 1688
Prince George, Va 1649-1748?
Edgecombe NC 1748
Granville/Bute, NC
(false Scottish origin story)
family left Lincolnshire after English Civil War

J2 y-DNA haplotype; 11/12 match to Blackard
Rutland, Northampshire, Wiltshire, Lincolnshire Eng 1504-present
Lincolnshire in 1600s
Surry, Va c1650-present
Barbados 1683
Edgecombe NC 1740
Granville/Bute, NC
(false Scottish origin story)
said to originate in Suffolk where celtic Coritani tribe originated
surname from crusades era=children baptized in water from the Jordon

Lincolnshire Eng 11th century-1650 (Francis Willoughby)
Barbados 1650-18th century
Bertie NC (adj Edgecombe)
Namesake of Willoughby Blackard, Willoughby Ownby
Francis Willoughby namesake of Francis Blackard & Francis Judkins of Barbados?
Danish surname=from farm of Willows

Rutland, Eng 1156-present
Lancashire Eng 1670
Granville/Bute, NC
(false Scottish origin story)
Danish surname

J2 y-DNA haplotype
Rutland Eng
Lincolnshire in 1600s
Granville, NC 1749
Danish surname

J2 y-DNA haplotype
Laceby, Lincolnshire Eng
Sussex(Surry) Va
Edgecombe NC

BALL (only 1 line)
J2 y-DNA haplotype
Northampshire, Wiltshire, Eng
Immigrated to Virginia

Lincolnshire Eng
John Trousdale left Lincolnshire after English Civil War
family legend connects Blackard family

J2 y-DNA haplotype
Yorkshire, Eng (1620 William Mangham)
Surry, Va
Granville/Bute, NC
Early Granville Mangum deed mentions Charles Blackard
Mangum in Orange Co NC

Yorkshire, Eng
Granville, NC
Bondsman of Charles Blackard II

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Blackard and Judkins Family Parallels

After discovering the the Blackard and Judkins family are the most-similar to each other in the currently-available on-line y-DNA databases, I searched and found other similarities in our histories:
  1. 11/12 y-DNA match and no other matches in current databases
  2. Families appear in adjacent counties in England in 1500-1650
  3. Both families have Scottish origin legends desparate with their history in the English eastern midlands.
  4. These particular counties were once occupied by the Romans and a certain Celtic tribe
  5. These counties were avid Royalists in the Engish Civil War (1642-1649)
  6. Samuel Judkins and Charles Blackard appear in adjacent counties in Virginia c1650.
  7. Many ex-Royalist soldiers lived in this region
  8. Judkins involved in Bacon's Rebellion (1677) and Blackards may have been too
  9. Francis Judkins and Francis Blackard in St. Michaels Parish, Barbados c1680
  10. Some Bacons rebels had been exiled to Barbados from Virginia
  11. Blacker [sic] and Judkins appear in Edgecombe, NC in 1740s
  12. Thomas Judkins and Charles Blackard appear in Granville/Bute NC in 1750s/1760s
  13. Charles Blackard lived among descendents of Bacon's rebels on Fishing Creek

Friday, July 01, 2005

Judkins Family is First Found with Similar yDNA to Blackard

Two Blackards participated in the Blanchard family DNA project. While the two Blackard men were identical 12/12 marker matches, it was clear that we are not related to either 3 lines of the American Blanchard family. Previously, some family legends had suggested that we were. Furthermore, we belong to a Mediterranean DNA haplogroup called J2 that is not common in the UK.

The two Blackard lines were those of Willoughby Blackard (1758-1838) and William Blackard (d.1821) who are thought to have been brothers and also sons of Charles Blackard I of old Granville/Bute County, NC. These two family lines have been separated since around 1805 when William left NC for Tennessee and Willoughby left in 1810 for Virginia.

After searching for over 2 years we have found one English family, Judkins, that shows an 11/12 STR y-DNA match with the Blackard family. Furthermore that 1 mismatch is only a 1-step mutation implying a very close connection to the Judkins family. No other match that close exists in any of the current global on-line yDNA data bases including many thousands of surnames.

Earlier research in England indicated that the Blackard family was found around Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England in the 1500s. Records indicate that the Judkins family were living in Rutland and Northampton counties, adjacent to Lincolnshire at that time. This indicates that our families may have a common origin and some common history.

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.