This is a very rare surname, so rare that only one recording appears in the current London Telephone Directory. It is of early German origins, being recorded there in the mid-medieval period, (see below) and rather later in Britain. It is apparently occupational, and derives from the Old German word 'blei', meaning lead, a 'Bleimeister' being one in charge of a lead works. The early spellings as 'Bleiman(n) and Bleyman(n)' would indicate a foreman or supervisor, the person directly answerable to the Bleimeister. The origin of the surname in England has almost certainly nothing to do with the manufacture of lead, as its first recording date is several centuries after the formation of surnames. It owes its arrival and subsequent recordings to 'The Reformation' of the Christian church particularly in Germany and France, and the influx into Britain of Huguenot refugees, fleeing the persecution of protestants by Roman catholic zealots such as the Jesuits. Early examples of the surname recording in the English church registers include Peter Blyman, a witness at St Peters Eastcheap, London, on October 4th 1592, John Blemaine, christened at Holy Trinity in the Minories, London, on January 4th 1662, and Rebecca Blemmins, christened at St James Clerkenwell, on June 14th 1741. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicolas Bleyman, which was dated 1422, the charters of Hainwalde, Zittau, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Sigismund, of the German Empire, 1410 - 1437. 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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