This picturesque and interesting name is of medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of the nickname surname "Blanchflower". The derivation is from the Old French words "blanche", white, with "flour", flower, thus white or fair flower, a suitable name for a woman. However, if applied to a man it was probably in the ironic sense i.e. "fair as a woman" or to one of effeminate appearance, or even to an extremely masculine man, in the sense that very large men are sometimes given the nickname "tiny". In the Parish Registers of Suffolk, one Jeffrey Branchflower is recorded in 1654 and in London the christening of John Branchflower took place on July 3rd 1751 at St. George-in-the-East, Stepney. Also in London the marriages took place between Rebecca Branchflower and William Dillow on January 7th 1772 and Mary Branchflower and James Winter on August 10th 1795, both at St. Leonards, Shoreditch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Cecilia Blaunchflur, which was dated 1228, in the Calender of Close Rolls, Hertfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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