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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JONATHAN L. BLAKE. The record of the Blake family extends to 1286. The first of the name of whom there is any authentic account is Robert Blake. He was a landholder, and resided in Wiltshire, England. His son Robert resided in Caln, in Wiltshire. He married Annie Cole, and had a son Humphrey, among others, who inherited the family estates, in accordance with the English custom.

Humphrey Blake married Elizabeth Durant, and had a son, among others, who was named William. William Blake married Mrs. Powers, and had several children. One of them was Henry Blake, of Caln, who married Mrs. Billett. Among their children was Robert Blake, also of Caln, who married Alice Wallop. William Blake, of White Parish, in Wiltshire, died in 1471. He was the son of Robert and Alice, the estates descending regularly from father to son. William Blake, son of the preceding William, resided in Oldhall parish, Andover, until his death in 1547.

Humphrey Blake, named for his maternal grandfather Cole, married early in the sixteenth century and removed from Wiltshire into Somerset county. He became lord of the manor of Plainfield, where in the great hall are still to be seen the names of the Blake family cut in solid stone, as borne by their ancestors. The arms of the family were: A shield (white) bearing three sheaves (black), two above and one below a chevron. Humphrey and Agnes Blake had the following sons: John, the elder, who had two sons, John and Robert; Robert, Humphrey Blake, Jr. Humphrey Blake, Jr., had a son Robert Blake, the famous admiral of English history. He was born in 1599, and died on his ship in Plymouth Harbor in 1657.

Robert Blake, son of John the elder, was the father of William Blake, the first ancestor of the Blake family in America. He came from England in the ship “Mary and John” in 1630, and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. His wife Agnes came with him, and they had four sons, William, James, Edward and John, and a daughter Ann, all born in England. Edward, his third son, had a son Solomon. Solomon had a son Joseph. Joseph had a son John.

John Blake, born August 27, 1740, removed from Hingham, Massachusetts, to Pennsylvania, and married Catharine Stevens, April 14, 1770. He died November 6, 1829. His wife died March 19, 1829. The couple had four sons, as follows: Abraham, born February 23, 1775; John, born August 10, 1778; Henry, born August 6, 1780; Jacob, born September 20, 1784. John Blake (grandfather) married Jane Worrell, and had twelve children, as follows: Jonathan, Elizabeth, Charles, Jacob, George, Edward, Isaac, Jane, Alice, Eleanor, Robert S. and John. Jane, wife of John Blake, died October 28, 1836. John Blake survived his wife nearly thirteen years, dying June 20, 1849.

The first Robert Blake, of Wiltshire, England, and his brother Richard are said to have been Frenchmen, and were driven out of that country on account of religious persecution. The name is said originally to have been Cading, or Caden. After coming into England, they took the name of LeBlaque, or LeBlack, which ultimately became Blake.

William Blake, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, the American ancestor, left England on account of his religious views, he being a “Roundhead,” commonly known as a Puritan.

Jonathan L. Blake was born at Fox Chase, in Philadelphia county, October 31, 1850. He is the son of Robert Steel and Margaret (Snyder) Blake. Robert S. Blake was born at Fox Chase, February 12, 1820. He acquired his educational training in the schools of the neighborhood. He was reared on his father’s farm located at Fox Chase, adjoining the village. At the age of twenty-eight years he was deeded a portion of his father’s land, consisting of about sixty acres.

He cultivated this land for about eight years, after which he engaged in mercantile business in the village of Fox Chase, keeping a general store. After spending five years in this way he disposed of his business at Fox Chase and occupied the old Stone Post farm, at Hollingshead’s Corner. He remained there four years, after which he farmed the Megargee land at Chestnut Hill four years. From that he went to the Jay Cooke farm, at Washington Lane and Church Road, remaining there ten years. He then went to Ogontz and farmed the Fisher farm on the Old York Road, for John Cadwallader. He remained there three years, and then relinquished farming, engaging in the butchering business with his son, Jonathan L., remaining at this business until his death, which occurred March 8, 1885.

Mr. Blake married, February 27, 1848, Margaret Snyder, a daughter of Amos and Matilda Snyder. Their children:

1. Amos S., married S. Lillie Clayton, of Ashbourne, they having five children: Margaret S., Thomas C., Maria S., Reba D., Ramsey S.

2. Jonathan L., subject of this sketch.

3. William G., married Clara Leach, of Ogontz, they having five children: 1. Jennie E. of this family married Thomas J. Donnell, of Roxborough, Philadelphia county, and they had five children: Kathreen, born May 31, 1891; Ramsey, born July 13, 1894; Dorothy, born June 1, 1896, died September 21, 1896; Robert Blake, born March 6, 1898; Henry, born June 21, 1900. 2. Edna E. 3. Roberta S., deceased; 4. Elsie D. 5. Madeline L.

4. Ella M., married George Myers Patterson, and to them were born eleven children: George M., Charles, Nellie, Sarah M., Frank J., Jonathan E., Russell C., Florence, Margaret S., Walter B., and M. Ramsey.

Jonathan L. Blake was born at Fox Chase as already mentioned, and engaged in the butchering business, while the family resided as tenants on the Jay Cooke farm. In 1880 he purchased the land situated on Church Road, near Ogontz, on which he has erected a handsome residence and other buildings suitable for his business. He was elected supervisor of Cheltenham township. From the time of his first election he has served fourteen of the sixteen years in this capacity, and is now filling the position. Mr. Blake is a self-made man, beginning life in a humble way. By his thrift and perseverance he has made life a success. He has established a business as contractor for the construction of roads, grading and farming, giving employment to from twenty to fifty men on the average, according to the season. He also owns from thirty to sixty head of horses, with all the necessary machinery for carrying on his business. Mr. Blake married Hannah Clapp, daughter of Jonathan and Hannah (Niel) Clapp. They have four children, Robert S., born July 6, 1876; Sarah, deceased; Warner R., deceased; Byrd E.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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