Blakeman matriculated (entered college) at Christ Church, Oxford, May 28, 1617. He was a preacher for some years in Great Bowden, Leicestershire, and Derbyshire, and in 1638 came to Connecticut. In 1639 he led the original settlers of Stratford, Connecticut, and served as the first minister of the church until his death, 7 September 1665.
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 UK. (Office for National Statistics, UK Census 2001)
- Sibley, John Langdon. Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Charles William Sever (1881), Vol. II, p. 140.
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