This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin, from the Middle English given name Blenkin or Blenkyn. The personal name is a development of the Old English 'Blenca', and is also found in the placename 'Blenkinsopp', a place in Northumberland recorded as 'Blenkeneshop' in the 1256 Assize Rolls of the county, meaning 'Blenca's valley', from the Old English pre 7th Century 'Blenca' with 'hop', valley. The development of the modern surname, found as Blenkin(g), Blinkin(g), Blinken and Blankin(g), includes Rychard Blencon (1572, Yorkshire), Elizabeth Blinnkine (1573, London) and William Blenkan (1633, Yorkshire). The marriage of John Blanking and Elizabeth Knight was recorded at Meopham, in Kent on August 12th 1796. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Blenkynson, which was dated 1553, Register of the Freemen of the City of York, during the reign of Queen Mary, 'Bloody Mary', 1553 - 1558. 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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