This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Bladon near Woodstock in Oxfordshire. The place was recorded in the Saxon Chartulary of 872 as "Bibladene", that is "by Bladon", village on the Bladon. This was the ancient name of the river on which Bladon now stands; it is of obscure etymology, but thought to be of ancient British origin. The modern river name is the "Evenlode". The place is later recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Blade", and as "Bladen" in the Oxfordshire Charter Rolls of 1231.During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname first appears in records in the late 13th Century (see below) in Oxfordshire, and Agnes and Hugh de Bladene were mentioned in the Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls of 1273. A Coat of Arms was granted in 1715 to one Colonel Bladen, who was secretary to the Duke of Grafton, Lord Justice of Ireland, which depicts three silver chevronels on a red shield. The Motto "Spe et labore" translates as "By hope and exertion". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Bladone, 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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