This interesting surname has two possible origins. Firstly it could be a diminutive of the surname Black, itself having many possible origins, as a nickname given by the invading Angles and Saxons to the native Celts and Britons who were darker haired and skinned that themselves, as a shortened form of Black-smith and from the old English pre 7th Century "blac" meaning pale or fair. It may also have come from the Middle English "blak" meaning black and the Old English "ege" eye; hence "black-eye", and would have originated as a nickname for a person with beautiful dark eyes or one who was reputed to have the power of casting the evil eye on someone.The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Roger Blackheye is registered in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk (1327). On January 12th 1608, Margaret Blackie married Robert Bryson, at Inveresk, Midlothian, and Grissell Blackey married William Adame, on August 20th 1611, at South Leith, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Blackeye, which was dated 1275, The Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1309. 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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