This interesting surname is of English locational origin from Blatchford in Sourton, Devonshire. The placename derives from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Blaecca" plus "ford" a ford, shallow place in a river. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 16th Century, (see below). Other early recordings of the surname from the Devonshire church registers include; Christian, daughter of Edward Blatchford, who was christened on September 15th 1584, at Paignton; on October 30th 1584, the marriage of John Blatchford to Honour Preist took place at Holsworthy; Wilmot, son of Edward Blatchford was christened on February 18th 1587, at Paignton; and the marriage of Islett Blatchforde to Peter Priston took place in 1590, at Spreyton. A coat of arms granted to the Blatchford family consists of a blue shield with two gold wavy bars and in a gold chief, three blue arrowheads. On the crest there is a black swans head and neck between two silver wings. A chief in heraldy is said to signify Dominion and Authority and has often been granted as an augmentation reward for successful command in war. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edward Blatchford, witness at christening, which was dated December 9th 1571, at Dartington, Devonshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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