Blencowe Families' Association Newsletter Vol. 21 No. 3 November 2006


By Helen Blincoe Simpson

The Blincoe Families Association grew from a desire of Helen Blincoe Simpson and her brother, Edward Irvine Blincoe to find some of their cousins. Over the years they had searched telephone books in their travels around the country (U.S.A.) for “Blincoes” and had quite a list.

In October of 1985, 203 introductory letters to these contacts explaining what we were doing and asking for information on their families. About forty replied and were interested enough to tell others and the newsletter was born! A letter went to 306 Blincoes and kin and we decided to charge a $3.00 fee for postage to indicate interest and prevent returned letters from those who were uninterested. Contacts started sending information on their family history.

Brother Tom Spalding of Louisville, KY had researched the Blencowe Coats of Arms. Don Blincoe, Jacksonville, FL explained “The Meaning of Our Surname, Blencowe” and reported his research on the first immigrant to the U.S., James Blincoe.

James appears first in 1671 records of Westmoreland, County, VA, and next in 1677 in Northumberland, County, VA.

These two men were cornerstones of the association in ensuing years.

January of 1987, my husband, Bob and I gathered 24 of our west coast Blincoe correspondents for a get together yard party at our home. Some we had not met. They encouraged us to continue sending the newsletters.

Our first National ingathering was held in October of 1987 at Manassas, VA, a historical area in American history. It was decided we should meet biannually. Julian Blincoe, Arlington, VA presented a master map of known Blincoe locations in the U.S. We were organized by now and thought we should have a Business meeting to make some decisions and elect officers at our next reunion.

By 1988, we were going global. Jill Dudbridge, a researcher of many talents in London, England sent several articles on English Blencowe History and Pam Blincoe of Hamilton, New Zealand suggested a future reunion be held in New Zealand.

During the next several years, Bob and Helen continued planning and organizing the reunions and publishing quarterly newsletters with much input help from members, of course.

It was time to gather west of the Mississippi. So 1989 saw us in Millbrae, California with help from Robert M. Blincoe of Burlingame.

We had grown to 140 members from 8 countries by 1989. Benn Blincoe, Sacramento, CA, set up a website and encouraged members to contribute news and articles. We continued receiving articles from members and published births, marriages and deaths, etc. Gradually, the reunions were extended to include historical tours of the surrounding areas

Ruth Mussett, Canyon Lake, CA tells of Blencowes in England.

Benjamin Blincoe, Louisville, KY assisted Bob and Helen with organizing a reunion in Louisville in 1991. Dr. John (Jack) Blencowe, Oxford, England was the keynote speaker, “Our English Roots, Past and Present”.

Jack has contributed material for the newsletter and also edited and published an impressive book, “The History of the Blencowe Families, The Descendants of the Blencowe Families of Cumbria and Northamptonshire, England”. Members contributed articles. It has sold nearly 1,000 copies.


Officers elected were:

Motions carried:

  1. Accept the Organizational Structure as presented by Pres. John Thomas Blincoe.
  2. Accept the shield and crest for the Coat of Arms as presented by Bro. Tom Spalding.
  3. The official name will be “Blencowe Families Association”.
  4. The Goal will read, “Provide for Perpetuation of the Family Association”.
  5. The U. S. was divided into six sections with a Vice- President for each section to keep contact with members. This was never implemented due to a lack of participation.

In 1993, Jill Dudbridge sent “A Blencowe in World War I.”

Jack chaired a reunion in Oxford, England which included a bus tour of Northern England, including the town of Blencowe and Blencowe Hall.

1994 was a busy year for the BFA. We welcomed Australia when Maurine Work wrote an article on the “Blencowes of South Australia”. Her ancestor, John Blencowe migrated to Australia by way of Tasmania. She has written a book on this line.

Canada joins with an article from Estella Blenko Williams of Pitt Meadow, Canada telling of her grandfather, John Pheasant Blenko migrating in 1905 from Bethany Green, England to Saskatchewan, Canada.

Tanya Blencowe, daughter of Steve Blencowe, who migrated to Australia from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Eng. in 1973, was spokesperson for getting the 2000 Olympics for Australia.

Edward M. Blincoe, Rockdale, England has a history and excerpts from a book “The Receipt Book of Ann Blencowe 1694”. This has been republished and BFA has it for sale.

Benn Blincoe of Benton, California tallied results of his searches at Salt Lake City. Ben has since become the web master and is doing a great job.

In 1995, the Association gathered in Estes Park, CO where they enjoyed an extension with a bus tour of Colorado.


President John T. Blincoe had resigned in 1993, thus it was decided that Helen Simpson would remain as Editor and Bob Simpson was elected Treasurer, since he had been doing it anyway. The rest of the offices were deleted for lack of participation.

Walter Blenko of Pittsburg, PA chaired the 1991 reunion in Oglebay Park, Wheeling, WV. Highlights were a visit to Blenko Glass Co. in Milton, WV and a bus tour of historical PA.

We were pleased to welcome Velda Blencowe from The Republic of Panama.

Following the 1999 San Diego, CA reunion, some members joined on a cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico.

Andrew Blenko of Pittsburg, PA chaired the 2001 Williamsburg, VA. Reunion followed by a bus tour of the Outer Banks of VA, seeing old lighthouses and other historical places.

Frieda Christie of Vancouver, Canada chaired the 2003 tour of Vancouver and Victoria

Allen Blincoe, Dayton, OH chaired the 2005 reunion which included bus tours of the Dayton Area.

In 2001 Helen and Bob decided to give up the newsletter after 15 years. Jack Blencowe took over the editing. Walter Blenko took on the bookkeeping for the U.S. and Allen Blincoe does the U.S. mailing. The Blencowe Families' Association is still alive and well.

Thanks to the many members who have contributed with articles and information to the newsletter over the years. We would not have been able to continue without your interest.

Helen and Bob Simpson
September 2006

I take this opportunity to thank Helen & Bob for the enormous contribution they have made to the perpetuation of our family history.


old line

Blencowe Families' Association   Vol. 21 No. 3 November 2006
Home Page Newsletter Archive Table of Contents
updated: 1 January 2007