This is a Northern English and Scottish locational name deriving from a place thus called in the East Riding of Yorkshire or from the lands of Blackwood in Lanarkshire and in Dumfriesshire - so called from the Olde English pre 7th century 'blaec' meaning 'black', plus 'wude', a wood. The surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 14th century. The first recorded Scottish namebearer being Robert Blakwode 'discharged from prison in London as unjustly arrested' 1384. One Andrew Blackwud was bailie of Perth in 1532 and an Adam Blackwood was one of the Privy Council of Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1567). On February 16th, 1623 Susan Blackwood is recorded as a resident in Virginia, she being one of the earliest recorded name bearers to settle there. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Blacwode which was dated 1327 The Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire. during the reign of King Edward III 'The Father of the Navy' 1327-77 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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