Location: Middlesex, Colony of Virginia
A number of contemporary men named John Blake were residing in the County of Middlesex in British Colonial Virginia, one being the son of John (#1) & Jone Blake, no less than two descending from their sons, and one reportedly coming from England at a later date. This page is an effort to sort them, correctly connect them, and a personal effort to determine "which John Blake?" was father of Betty Blake who married to James Stiff.
John Blake's (#2) will was dated 25 Apr 1744, proved 7 Aug 1744. Sons, George Blake and John Blake (#3). Exors: Wife Joanna Blake and son George Blake [names no daughters]. Wit: Paul Philpots, James Dunlevy and Edward Smith.
James Gibson, guardian of Lucy Blake, orphan of John Blake (#2). 7 Aug 1759
John Blake (#3) b.1729, son to the above John Blake (#2) & wife Joanna in Middlesex, appears to have been the father of Betty (Blake) Stiff
John Son of John & Johanna Blake born October ye 5, baptized October ye 19 1729.
- National Soc. of the Colonial Dames of Am. in the St. of VA, "The Parish Register of Christ Church, Middlesex County, Va. from 1653-1812. Richmond: Wm. Ellis Jones, Steam Book and Job Printer, 1897), p. 127.
The following will is not the will of John born 1729 because he names a daughter old enough to be married. He is the (#4) identified J. B. and his named son John is the fifth! This John Blake first married to Anne Johnson in Feb 1724/5. She died in Dec 1729 and he again married to Elizabeth___?
- Children from 1st marriage: Elizabeth b. 5 Nov 1725 & Jacob b. 28 Feb 1727/8.
- Children from 2nd marriage: Sarah b. 7 Sept 1736 & John b. 21 Feb 1737/8.
John Blake, Sr. (#4) d. 7 Nov 1752 p. 2 Jan 1753. Daughter, Elizabeth Kelshaw?; Son, Jacob Blake; Daughter, Sarah Blake; Son, John Blake. (#5) Exors: Wife (not named) and son Jacob Blake. Wit: Joseph Stares and William Healey.
Bond of Elizabeth Blake, executrix of John Blake, Sr. 2 Jan 1753.
Elizabeth Blake, widow of John Blake, Sr.(#4) 12 Jan 1755/ 4 Feb 1755. Daughter Sarah Blake. Exors: Thomas Laughlin, Sr. and daughter. Wit: William Healy and Elizabeth Phillpotts.
John Murray, guardian to John Blake (#5), orphan of John Blake (#4). 4 Feb 1755
Robert Daniel, guardian to Sarah Blake, orphan of John Blake (#4). 4 Feb 1755
(Wills D. p.332) Sale of the Estate of John Blake (#4), decd., to : Sarah Blake, John Anderson, William Hiptinstall, John Neal; Jacob Blake, Joseph McCormack, John Wiat, John Wortham, James Hiptinstall, William Bristow, Samuel Bristow, Edward Bristow, John Dunlevy, John Murray, George Anderson, John Deaton, Richard Daniel, William Humprhies, Thomas Laughlin, William Healy. 2 Sep 1755
(Wills D. p333) Sale of the Estate of Elizabeth Blake, decd,, same as above plus.... John Deaton, Hannah Blake, William Guttery, John Pluckrose, George Blake, John Howard and Nicholas Jacobs. 2 Sep 1755
Sarah Blake to John Jackson, 7 Oct 1756, father of bride John Blake (#4), late of this county (Middlesex) Wit: Robert Daniel. 
Perhaps it was this John Blake (#6) who came later from England and married to the elder John Blake's (#2) daughter Lucy (b. 1739)
A John Blake Jr. appears to have died in 1774 near the time of his brother William Blake (wife Rachel?), but his d.o.d has not been verified. These Blake brothers also had a brother named Benjamin, named in the will of the brother Wm. Blake dated 12 July 1774. This John's estate appears to have been concerned with the education of a young man named George Blake (unknown relation).
William Blake.... 12 Jul 1774/ 24 Oct 1774.... Wife (not named) all of my estate. Brother Benjamin Blake. Friend George West. Exor: Wife. Wit: John Hibble, Richard Hopkins and John Blake, Jr. (Probated by George West and Rachel Blake.) (Middlesex Wills Book F, p.34).
Appraisal of Estate of John Blake, Jr. with Thomas Kemp, Jr. as administrator. (Mentions schooling of George Blake.) 14 Oct 1774 (Middlesex Wills Book F, p.37). THIS John Blake, Jr. appears to have been the one who married MARY (Unknown) Jones, widow of Wm. Jones who died abt 1747. Mary died by 10 Dec 1753 when Wm. Jones' estate was divided. His siblings, Dorothy (Jones), wife of James Davis; Richard Jones, dec'd, (son Gideon) filed in chancery against this John Blake in 1767.
Betty (Blake) Stiff's father John Blake was named as a SIL in the 1776 Middlesex County will of William Hackney. John Blakes' widow was surely Alice Hackney. She was named in a 1793 chancery suit brought by William Hackney's son & executor, William Hackney against the children of Priscilla (Hackney) Segar-Taylor. (The elder Hackney's youngest son Benjamin appears to have married to an unidentified Mary Stiff in 1782.) This Chancery case is additionally followed up by the widow of Wm. Hackney (Jr.) the administrator of his father, Sarah (likely Isaac Jones' daughter), suing the heirs of the estate of the senior Hackney.
Betty (Blake) Stiff's father John Blake died 1784 per his will. He did not name Alice Hackney but she was named as John Blake's widow in the admin & in the above chancery suit filed by widow Sarah Hackney.
John Blake, Sr. date 17 Jun 1784, p. 27 Sep 1784. Daughter Betty Stiff. Grandson John Blake Stiff. Wife (not named). Son Robert Norman Blake; Son Samuel Blake land bought of Maj. John Robinson; Daughter Sarah; Daughter Alice; Son William. My five children viz, Robert Norman Blake, Samuel Blake, Sarah Blake, Alice Blake and William Blake. Exors: Wife and sons Robert Norman Blake and Samuel Blake. Wit: James Ross, Thomas Baker, Jr. and Warner Blake.
- Middlesex County Virginia Wills, Inventories & Accounts, 1673-1812 by William Lindsay Hopkins. Copyright 1989. Iberian Publishing Co., Athens, GA.