Last name: Blankenship

There are two possible sources of this interesting name of Medieval English origin, which are both locational, the first being that it is a variant of "Blenkinsopp" from a place so called in northumberland, with obscure etymology, although it is thought that there may have been a Middle English given name "Blenkyn", perhaps from the Old English "Blenca". However it may also derive from a place in Cumbria called "Blencarn", first recorded in the Feet of Fines of 1210 as "Blenecarn". Blencarn is a British (pre Roman) name meaning "hill with a Cairn", from the Welsh "Blaen", top and "Carn", a Cairn. Amongst the recordings are Thomas Blenkinsop christened at the Church of St. John, Deansgate, Manchester on June 16th 1700, and the rare variant Blenkinship. One Thomas Blenkinship marrying Isabella Ostel at Manchester Cathedral on December 6th 1873. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Blenkinson (Freeman of the City), which was dated 1553, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Mary Queen of Scots", 1553 - 1558. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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