Blake, of Towerhill. The Blakes of Ballinafad and the Blakes of Towerhill (two miles from Moore Hall) were the two most successful junior branches of one of the "Twelve Tribes of Galway," the great merchant families of the city who from the fourteenth century traded with ports in Spain and France. The senior branch, that of Sir Valentine Blake of Menlough Castle, Galway, declined from its eminence in the sixteenth century, while the Towerhill and Ballinafad branches increased their wealth by intermarriage with other members of the "Tribes" (such as the Lynches and the Brownes), as well as between the different branches of the Blake tribe itself (as in the case of Mary Blake Moore's mother and father). The Blakes of Ballinafad were a Catholic family, but they conformed strategically to the Protestant Church of Ireland during key periods of the Penal Laws, and also entered into marriages with Protestant families. In these ways, they managed both to preserve and enlarge their estates through the period in the eighteenth century when there were severe obstacles in the way of Catholics owning land. By the mid-nineteenth century, Maurice Blake of Ballinafad was a wealthy man of large estates. He had ten children; Mary was the eldest of the five girls. For her marriage to George Henry Moore, Catholic neighbor of the Blakes of Towerhill, Maurice Blake of Ballinafad provided his daughter Mary with a dowry of £4,000. Other daughters married into other landed families in the West of Ireland: in 1854, Catherine married Arthur O'Connor of the Palace, Elphin, Roscommon; in 1858, Julia married G. E. Browne of Brownestown; in 1859, Victoria married Thomas ffrench. By his marriage to a Blake, George Henry Moore affiliated himself to a powerful network of tribes in the West of Ireland. His children would be related by marriage to the Brownes, Martyns, Lynches, ffrenches, O'Connors, and, of course, to the numerous branches of Blakes.