Recorded in various spellings including the English Blackmoor, Blakemore, Blackmore, and the apparently Scottish Blackmuir, this is a locational surname. It originates from any of the various places called Blackmore which are found throughout the British Isles with examples in the counties of Dorset, Essex, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. Wherever found and whatever the spelling, the derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century elements "bloec" meaning "black", plus "mor", meaning a morass or sometimes "mere", a lake or enclosed water. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving rolls and charters of the medieval period include: William de Blachomore in the tax rolls known as "Feet of Fines" for Norwich in the year 1381, and Joan Blackmore, who was christened on April 24th 1543, at East Hanningfield, Essex. Richard Doddridge Blackmore (1825 - 1900) wrote many famous novels including the famous Lorna Doone in 1869, and twelve others. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Blakemore, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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