This uncommon and intriguing name is of early medieval English origin, and has two possible interpretations. Firstly, it may be a variant form of the surname Blessed, Blest, which derives from the Middle English "(i)blescede, blissed", blessed, a derivative of the Olde English pre 7th Century verb "bletsian", to bless, to make sacred. The term was used during the early Middle Ages as a nickname, for someone thought to be particularly happy, fortunate individual, as in the recording of John le Blessed, in the 1327 Staffordshire Subsidy Rolls, and John le Blest, in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls of 1332. The word also appears to have been used as a female given name in the same period, examples being one "Blissot" (no surname) in the Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls of 1273, and Blissot atte Pole, in the 1327 Somersetshire Subsidy Rolls, and the modern surname, found as Blessed, Blest, Blessard, Blezard, Blissett, Blissard and Bliz(z)ard, may therefore derive from this source in some instances. Examples of the name from Lancashire Church Registers include: the marriage of Richard Blezard and Agnes Bonde on September 26th 1607, in Cockerham, and the christening of Thomas Blezard at Melling near Lancaster, on January 14th 1696. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family name depicts a black chevron and three blue crosses moline in chief on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia Iblessed, which was dated 1297, in the "Ministers' Accounts for the Earldom of Cornwall", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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