William Blake and Sarah Karry

William Blake was born on 14 May 1810 and christened on 20 May 1810 in Barningham, Suffolk, England, the son of John Blake and Frances Jackson.1 John and Frances Blake had married on 16 October 1807 and had two, possibly three children, before Frances' death on 10 February 1814. John then married for a second time to Sarah Alderton on 26 April 1814, whereupon the couple had a further five or six children.2

According to Shirley Elrick, John and Frances had a third child Phoebe Blake, who would also emigrate to Tasmania, while according to the entry in the LDS Ancestral File, Phoebe was the daughter of John Blake and Sarah Alderton. What we do know with certainty is that John and Frances' son William Blake married Sarah Karry (recorded as Kerry) on 22 November 1834 in Barningham, Suffolk, England.3 Sarah was born about 1815 in Suffolk, England. William and Sarah had three children in England as follows:

  • Mary Ann Blake was christened 7 June 1835 in Barningham, Suffolk, England.4
  • William Blake was born about 1837 in Suffolk, England.5
  • Sarah Blake was born 14 April 1839, Thetford, Norfolk, England.6

William and Sarah Blake, along with their three children, emigrated to Van Diemen's Land as indentured servants of the Van Diemen's Land Company. The Company had been established in 1824 and granted a Royal Charter in 1825. A vast tract of land was purchased in the North West of Van Diemen's Land which, although remote, also brought the promise of cheap convict labour and rich soil. The land ultimately proved difficult to tame, was not as extensive as first thought, and little consideration had been given to the existing inhabitants of the region.

By 1834, there were around 400 people employed on the company’s estate, half of whom were convicts. When assigned convict labour was withdrawn in the early 1840s, the company sought ways to cut costs and began leasing land to tenant farmers. Farming activities were diversified to include horse breeding, grazing cattle and running deer on the property, but they did little to ease the financial situation. With shareholders making heavy losses, in 1841 the company removed Curr, replacing him with James Gibson, and began to sell off some of the land.7

James Gibson and the Blake family travelled to Van Diemen's Land together aboard the Emu, leaving London on 17 August 1841 and arriving at the Port of Stanley on 19 December 1841. The passenger list records William Blake (30), from Thetford, a sawyer, his wife Sarah (25), field worker, and their children Mary Ann (4), William (2 1/2), and Sarah (1). William's annual salary was £35, with the journey costing him £9 15 pence as an advance of that sum.8 After their arrival, the couple had a further four children over the next decade.

  • Phoebe Blake was born 19 March 1842 in the Horton district.9
  • Susannah Blake was born 20 July 1844 in the Horton district. Susannah was recorded as an un-named female at birth.10
  • Sophia Blake was born 28 June 1846 in the Horton district. Sophia was recorded as an un-named female at birth.11
  • Frances Blake was born 29 July 1848 in the Horton district. Frances was recorded as an un-named female at birth.12

William and Sarah's daughter Mary Ann Blake (15) married Edward Chapman (35) on 25 December 1848 in the Horton district.13 Edward was born about 1813, if we calculate his date of birth from the age stated at marriage. There are no children for Mary Ann and Edward in the Tasmanian records, suggesting that they may have emigrated to another state of Australia.

The year after their eldest daughter's wedding, William and Sarah second youngest daughter Sophia Blake (3) died on 26 August 1849 in the Horton district.14 Cause of death? The Blake family was not yet complete however, as William and Sarah would go on to have a further three children.

  • John Blake was born 1 March 1850 in the Horton district. John was recorded as an un-named male at birth.15
  • David Blake was born 15 June 1853 in the Horton district.16
  • Sophia Elizabeth Blake was born 25 February 1858 in the Horton district. Sophia was recorded as an un-named female at birth.17

Just three months after Sophia's birth, Phoebe Blake (16) married Wiseman Casebeagh Spinks (21) on 23 May 1858 in the Horton district.18 Wiseman was christened on 24 December 1837 in St Michael's Church, Great Cressingham, Norfolk, the son of John William Spinks and Sophia Francis.19 Phoebe and Wiseman had ten children that have been traced.

Later that same year Phoebe's brother William Blake (22) married his cousin Frances Blizzard (23) on 22 October 1858 in the Horton district.20 Frances was born about 1834/1835, the daughter of George Blizzard and Phoebe Blake.21 William and Frances had eight children that have been traced.

In the late 1850s William and Sarah's daughter Sarah Blake had two, possibly three children to a Henry Anderson. No marriage record has been found for the couple but two known children were born at Emu Bay, a third is proposed in some online records.22 Henry either died or the relationship failed as Sarah (Adult) is next recorded as being married to Thomas Edwards (Adult) on 15 February 1861 in the Horton district.23 Thomas was born around 1825 to 1827 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.24 Sarah and Thomas had eight children that have been traced.

Sarah's sister Susannah Blake (19) married her cousin David Blizzard (24) on 29 July 1864 in the Horton district.25 David was born about 1839/1840, the son of George Blizzard and Phoebe Blake.26 They had one child that has been traced before Susannah's early death at the reported age of 20 on 11 December 1864 in the Horton district.27 Cause of death? After Susannah's death David married again to Charlotte Poke on 9 May 1866 in the Horton district.28

Five days later William and Sarah Blake's daughter Frances Blake (17) married Thomas Marshall (22) on 14 May 1866 in the Horton district.29 Thomas was born on 19 December 1840 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, the son of Enoch Marshall and Sarah Wilcock.30 They had one child that has been traced.

Sophia Elizabeth Blake died 30 June 1869 in the Horton district.31 Cause of death?

Sarah Blake, nee Karry (55), died on 1 January 1870 in the Horton district.32 Cause of death?

John Blake (25) married Mary Ann Butler (21) on 3 August 1875 in Port Sorell, Tasmania.33 Mary was born about 1854. John and Mary Ann had ten children that have been traced.

Phoebe Spinks (33), nee Blake, died on 29 December 1875 in the Horton district.34 Cause of death?

David Blake (22) married Sarah Ann Riley (20) on 7 February 1876 in Port Sorell, Tasmania.35 Sarah was born on 3 June 1856 in Port Sorell, Tasmania, the daughter of William Riley and Emma Marshall.36

Sarah Blake, nee Riley, the wife of David Blake, died on 7 October 1878 in Port Sorell, Tasmania.37 Cause of death? Sarah was buried in Latrobe, Tasmania.

David Blake (Adult) married for the second time to Charlotte Mary Biggins (Adult) on 18 January 1881, Port Sorell, Tasmania.38

William Blake Snr. (79) died on 8 June 1889 in the Horton district.39 Cause of death?

William Blake Jnr. died on 29 August 1902 in Forest, Tasmania.40

Wiseman Spinks, the husband of Phoebe Blake, died on 9 October 1907 in Forest, Tasmania.41

The funeral of the late Mr Wiseman Spinks took place on Thursday last in the West Forest cemetery. Rev G. W. Ratten conducting the burial service.42

Thomas Edwards, the husband of Sarah Blake, died 1 February 1914 in Sisters Creek, Tasmania.43 The Edwards family had lived at Wynyard when their family was young, where Thomas ...was employed by the late Mr. Quiggin for several years, and then selected property at Sisters Creek.44 Just over two years after Thomas' death Sarah Edwards, nee Blake, died on 24 September 1916, also in Sisters Creek, Tasmania.45

EDWARDS. On Sunday, September 24, at her residence, Sisters Creek, Sarah, relict of the late Thos. Edwards, in her 79th year.46

John Blake died on 4 August 1926 in Sheffield, Tasmania.47

BLAKE. On August 4, at his late residence, Main street, Sheffield, John Blake, in his 78th year.

BLAKE.-The funeral of the late John Blake will leave his late residence, Main street, Sheffield, at 2.30 to-morrow (Friday), for the Sheffield Cemetery.48

David Blizzard, the husband of Susannah Blake, died on 10 July 1933 in Burnie, Tasmania.

BLIZZARD. On July 10, at the home of Chas. Swain, Mooreville Road, David Blizzard, aged 92 years.

BLIZZARD. The funeral of the late David Blizzard will leave the home of Chas. Swain, Mooreville Road, at 2 p.m. TO-MORROW (Wednesday, July 12) for the Wivenhoe cemetery. Friends please accept this intimation.49

David's funeral was reported in the Advocate on 12 July 1933.

Late Mr. David Blizzard.

The funeral of the late Mr. David Blizzard, of Mooreville Road, who died on Sunday, took place yesterday afternoon, the remains being interred in the Wivenhoe cemetery in the presence of a large and representative gathering. The burial service was conducted by Rev. W. A. Hales. The chief mourners were Messrs. Chas. Swain (son-in-law), Thomas, Richard and Edward Swain (grandsons), R. Freeburgh (son-in-law), Walter Edwards (son-in-law), C. Eastwood and Donald Redman (grandsons), W. Poke, W. Rockliff, D. Poke, and J. Lucas (nephews), and Clara and Ethel (granddaughters). The pall-bearers were Messrs. Richard Hilder, J. Townsend, J. Lucas, E. T. Chalk, W. Rockliff, and D. Poke. A large number of floral tributes were received.50

In September 1935 Frances Marshall, nee Blake, and her husband Thomas were reported in the Advocate as having passed their seventieth wedding anniversary.

Mr. and Mrs. T. Marshall, Beaconsfield.

Mrs. Thomas Marshall, who, with Mr. Marshall, resides with her daughter, Mrs. F. Goninon, Beaconsfield, recently celebrated her 87th birthday. Mrs. Marshall is the fourth daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Blake, of Stanley. Her husband will celebrate his 95th birthday in December. This interesting old couple were married over 70 years ago, the actual date being May 14, 1865. They claim to have completed probably the longest term of married life together on record in Tasmania. Mr. Marshall, with his parents, a sister and two brothers, came from Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, 81 years ago, in the sailing vessel Kerrington. The voyage occupied seventeen weeks and three days. They were transhipped at Launceston into a small vessel, and were landed at Ballahoo Creek, near Latrobe, where Thomas Marshall's father had been engaged to work for the Mersey Coal Co. The family settled at Tarleton, close to Latrobe. In his youth Mr. Marshall worked at the Westbury brick works. For 35 years he was in the service of the railways, and was an employee for four years of the Public Works Department, residing at Latrobe, Devonport and Zeehan. Thirteen years were spent at Launceston before making their permanent home with a daughter and son-in-law, Mrs. and Mr. F. Goninon, at Beaconsfield. Both Mr. and Mrs. Marshall are in excellent health, and although Mr. Marshall is blind, he is able to walk about, and has a remarkably keen memory. They have only one daughter. There are twelve grand-children and 30 great-grandchildren.51

Frances Marshall, nee Blake, died on 24 March 1937 in Beaconsfield, Tasmania.


The death of Mrs. Frances Marshall occurred at Beaconsfield on Wednesday evening at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. E. F. Goninon. She was 88 years of age, and was the sixth child of the late William and Sarah Blake, one of the early pioneers of Stanley. There was only one child, Sarah (Mrs. E. F. Goninon), Beaconsfield. Born at Stanley on July 29, 1848, Mrs. Marshall lived all her life in Tasmania. She is survived by her husband (Mr. Thomas Marshall) and daughter, seven grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren. For many years she was well known in the Latrobe district as a midwife. She was very fond of canaries, gardening, and crochet work, in which she took a keen interest until illness overtook her recently. Of a very charitable nature, she was always ready to help those in need. Mrs. Marshall and her husband celebrated the 71st year of married life last May, and they were the first couple to celebrate the radium anniversary of married life in Australia. The funeral took place on Friday afternoon at the Beaconsfield Cemetery. The chief mourners were her husband and daughter and son-in-law (Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Goninon); Frank (Hobart) and Jack (Beaconsfleld), grandsons; Lucy (Mrs. J. Chettle, Devonport), Frances (Mrs. J. Young, Launceston), Sarah (Mrs. F. Aram, Launceston), granddaughters; Edward and William Goninon (Hobart), great-grandsons: Willis and Evelyn Young (Launceston), great-granddaughters. The pall bearers were Messrs. J. Townsend, senior (Ridgley), W. Riley (Sheffield) B. Hills (Launceston), E. Blake (Roland). The carriers were Messrs. F. Aram, J. Young, J. Maxwell, and F. Goninon, junior. Mr. Medson (Methodist Minister) conducted the services at the house and graveside. There were many floral tributes. Many persons travelled from distant parts of Tas- mania to pay their last respects.52

Frances's husband died just a couple of weeks later on 4 April 1937, also in Beaconsfield.


The death of Mr. Thomas Marshall, of Beaconsfileld, last Sunday, at the age of 97 years, following by only a few days that of his wife, Mrs. Frances Marshall, two years his junior, who died on March 24 and was buried on Good Friday, marked the passing of two pioneer settlers. Their combined ages totaled 182 years. The aged couple, who were most devoted to each other, recently celebrated their radium wedding, and for the past few months resided with their daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Goninon, at Beaconsfield.

Born at Rastrick, Yorkshire, on December 19, 1810, Mr. Marshall was a boy of 14 years when, with his parents and two brothers and a sister, he left London in the sailing ship Merrington direct for George Town, the voyage taking over 17 weeks. They were transhipped at George Town to the steamer Titena, and went on to the Mersey. They were subsequently taken on flat-bottomed boats to Ballyho Creek, about two miles from Latrobe, where .Mr. Marshall's father had an engagement at coal mines which were being opened there. After spending some time at Ballyho and other parts of the coast, young Mr. Marshall went to Victoria. He spent a year or two at the diggings, and returned to Tasmania, settling at Duck River (now Smithton), where he remained for 14 years. It was whilst there that he married Miss Frances Blake, a nativeof Stanley, whose parents were among the first settlers in this district.

Mr. Marshall subsequently entered the railway, where he remained until his retirement. During his time at the railway he served under every Commissioner of Railways except the present one. At the age of 78. when he was cycling, he met with an accident which subsequently resulted in blindness. Mrs. Emma Riley, Mr. Marshall's only sister, will be remembered by old settlers on the coast as Nurse Riley. Alone at her home on one occasion, Dalton and Kelly, two notorious bushrangers, put in an appearance. She was forced to provide them with a meal, and before they left they ran sacked he house. They then bound her to a tree, and left, threatening her with death if she gave an alarm within an hour. The late Mr. and Mrs. Marshall had only one child, Mrs. Goninon. and there are seven grandchildren and 26 great grandchldren. The funeral of the late Mr. Marshall is to take place at Beaconsfield at 3 this afternoon.53

The fate of David Blake is unknown. A David James Blake died on 28 August 1902 in Forest, Tasmania, but it is unknown if this is the same person.54

The fate of Mary Ann Chapman, nee Blake, and her husband Edward Chapman, is unknown. An Edward Chapman died on 21 October 1890 in Montagu at the age of 82, making his birth year about 1808, but it has not been confirmed that this is the same man that married Mary Ann Blake.55 A Mary A. Chapman died in 1907 in Taree, New South Wales, the daughter of William and Sarah, but is believed this person was Mary Ann Chapman, nee Ladd, the daughter of William Ladd and Sarah Trotter.56