This unusual surname is an example of the medieval habit of creating surnames from nicknames. In this instance the name "Blance" derives from the Old French word "blanc", meaning "white", itself from the Old High German "blanc" bright, shining and beautiful. As a nickname it would have been given to someone who had white or fair hair, or perhaps a markedly pale complexion. The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below). One, John Blaunche is noted in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire (1273) and Henry Blanche appears in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire (1273). In the modern idiom, the surname has many variant spellings ranging from Blanc, Blance, Blanck and Blank to Blanks. On February 4th 1550, Mary Blance married Thomas Franck at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, London, and Temperance Blance married Giles Rolls on July 22nd 1619 in London. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is per fess black and ermine, a pale countercharged and three gold demi lions rampant, the Crest being a green dragon's head couped, collared and chained silver holding in the mouth a firebrand of the last flamed proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nigellus Blanke, which was dated 1196, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Leicestershire", during the reign of King Richard 1st, "Richard the Lionheart", 1189-1199. 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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