Recorded as Blayney and Blaney, this is a surname of Welsh origins, but one which is also well recorded in Ireland. It is topographical and describes a person who lived in an upland or remote region. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Celtic and Welsh word "blaen" of which the plural is "blaenau", meaning point, tip or sometimes end, and used in a tranferred sense to describe a mountain top. The Welsh family of Blaynes claim descent from one Brockwel Ysgythrog who flourished around the year 550 a.d., although it is thought that the Welsh line died out in 1795 with Arthur Blayney of Gregynog, Montgomeryshire. The name Blaney is now fairly numerous in the province of Ulster in Ireland, and especially in County Monaghan. The first of these being Sir Edward Blayney who went to Ireland in 1598 where he was knighted in 1603, later becoming Lord Monaghan. The Blayneys also gave their name to the town of Castleblayney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Leuan Blaenau or Evan Blayney. which was dated 1406 in the list of burgesses of the town of Welshpool". This was during the reign of King Henry IV, also known as Henry Bolingbroke 1399 - 1413. 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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