top of page

The Blackmans (Blakemans)

The origins of the Blackman/Blakeman family trace to Staffordshire England, where they begin with John Blakeman, who was born around 1570. He first appeared in the Gnosall parish register in 1593 when his daughter was baptized. The parish records began in 1572 and as early as 1574 the records show the baptism of children of a John and Johane Blakeman, and other early Blakemans. The marriage of this John does not appear in parish records, but he apparently married around 1592 a woman named Thomasine. John and his wife appear in various baptismal records for the children. He died in 1626 as shown by Gnosnal parish records and was buried July 7th. Records show he was a "school master."

Three pioneers (believed to be brothers), all named Blackman, came to America from England. They included Reverend Adam Blackman, John Blackman and Reverend Benjamin Blackman.

Reverend Adam Blakeman was born in Gnosall, Staffordshire, England on 10 June 1596. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford on 28 May 1617. He was an English Church of England clergyman for some years in Great Bowden, Leicestershire, and in Derbyshire.

In 1639 he led the original settlers of Stratford, Connecticut. The first church or meetinghouse was erected at Mac’s Harbor where the first settlers landed. Adam was granted a four acre house lot across from the meeting house. He served as the first minister of the church until his death on 7 September 1665.

Adam had married Jane Wheeler before 1626, in Staffordshire, England. They were the parents of six known children: five sons and 1 daughter.

Stratford, like a number of other New England towns of the 1630s, was founded as a Utopian community by Puritans fleeing persecution in England. The town's minister was also its political leader, and ruled both his flock and his town as the unquestioned representative of God.

During the 17th century (and until well into the 19th century) consistent spelling of names was not enforced, due to lower literacy levels and the absence of the standardization required by government bureaucracies. By 1800 Blakeman's descendants most often used the Blackman spelling of the name, although in the 18th century some alternated between the two spellings three times in successive generations. Records of Christ Church, Oxford use the Blakeman spelling and the name Blakeman is still common in Coventry, England.


bottom of page