This ancient Northern name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational surname deriving chiefly from the place so called in Lancashire, although there are other minor places, particularly in Scotland, which have given rise to some instances of the surname. Blackburn in Lancashire is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Blacheburne", and as "Blakeburn" in the 1187 Pipe Rolls of the county. This placename, and all of the others, share the same meaning and derivation, which is "the dark-coloured stream", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "blaec", black, with "burna", stream; this latter element is characteristically northern.In Lancashire, the stream from which the town was named is now called the Blackwater. One Willelmus de Blakeburne, a charter witness in Lindores in 1243, was the first of the name to be recorded in Scotland, while William de Blakburne was Abbot of Cambuskenneth in 1394. The will of one Edward Blackburne, of Leyland, Lancashire, was recorded in Chester in 1593. The marriage was recorded in Lancashire of Henry Blackburn and Cisley Syddall on May 15th 1575, in Manchester. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Blakeburn, which was dated 1206, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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