This long-established name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of the places called Blackborough, in Devonshire near Cullompton, and in Norfolk near King's Lynn. Blackborough in Devonshire is recorded in the Domesday book of 1086 as "Blacaberga, Blacheberge", and in the 1194 Pipe Rolls of the county as "Blakeberga"; the place in Norfolk is "Blakeberge" in a document of circa 1150 published in "The Crawford Collection of Early Charters", and "Blakeberg" in the Norfolk Curia Rolls of 1205. Both placenames share the same meaning and derivation, which is "the black hill", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "blaec", black, dark-coloured, and "beorg", hill, hillock, mountain. Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere; regional dialectal influences and varying standards of literacy frequently gave rise to different forms of the original name, which in this instance range from Blackboro, Blackborough and Blackbrough, to Blagbrough, Blakeborough and Blakebrough. One Simon de Blakeberwe was recorded in the Suffolk Hundred Rolls of 1275, and in Yorkshire, where the name Blakebrough is chiefly found, the marriage of Roger Blakebrough and Ann Redcliffe was recorded on July 20th 1597, in Gisburn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Blakeberg', which was dated 1201, in the "Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire", 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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