I’ve now reconstructed the BLOOD families in Leicester. There are two old families – one in the north around Loughborough and Shepshed, and one around Leicester city itself. There is a fair chance that both are descended from Bloods of Rempstone Nottingham, and therefore possible cousins of the Massachusetts Bloods. Tracing these two families was not easy.
The first family is descended from Robert Bludd and Mary who had a family in Loughborough 1664-77. There are a number of missing birth records in Loughborough and I have had to impute parentage in several cases until better records can be found. The Shepshed family worked in the building trades, while the Loughborough branch were mostly farm labourers.
The Leicester family started when William Blood married Ann Greaves and then Susanna Weston in Roxley 1711 (Roxley is about 3 miles south of Loughborough and five miles north of Derby). Subsequent generations proceeded clockwise around the outskirts of Leicester, finishing to the south by 1850. Only one male line survived, through Edward Blood and Ann Tyers; the widow owned an inn in Leicester in the 1850s
It is rather surprising the large number of families in England, including these two, that never increased in numbers and kept running with only a single male producing male offspring for centuries, until expansion began from the 1850s. By comparison, Richard and Robert Blood of Massachusetts produced about 8000 Blood descendants over the same period. The difference seems to reside largely in the mortality rate, both of children and adults, so that many more offspring in the New World lived to have a full family. The need for farmers to have sons in a new country also played a role.
Later on, there is also some drifting of the original Derby clan across the border near Burton on Trent, from the 1840s, to Ashby de la Zouch and Appleby. Also, William Blood of Nottingham moved a few miles over the border to Nether Broughton Leicestershire around 1770, but the sons returned to Nottinghamshire before 1800.
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