Recorded as Blamire, Blamires, Blaymires and others, this is an English medieval surname but one arguably of pre 7th century Norse-Viking origins. It is either locational from a place called Blamires in the West Riding of Yorkshire or residential for a person who lived by a marshy area. In both cases the derivation is from the word "blar", meaning dark, and "myrr", a marsh. Residential surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname is ancient being first recorded in the 13th Century as shown below and at the very begining of the introduction of surnames into general use. Recordings from the surviving early Yorkshire church registers include the marriage of Alice Blaymires and Edward Pighells at Bradford, Yorkshire, on May 24th 1601; and the christening of Mary, the daughter of Daniell Blamires, on September 11th 1680, at Holy Trinity, Wibsey. A coat of arms associated with the surname has the blazon of a silver shield charged with a red lion rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Blamyre, Cumberland. This was dated 1250, in the Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 111rd of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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