This unusual surname appears to be continential but is in fact of combined ancient Celtic and Old Norse origin, and a locational name from a place west of Penrith in Cumberland called Blencow. Recorded as "Blenco" in the 1232 Pipe Rolls of that county, and as "Blenkhaw" in the "Inquisitiones post mortem", dated 1254, the first element of the placename is believed to be the Old Welsh "blaen", top, with the Old Norse "haugr", hill. This Welsh element is found in two other Cumberland placenames: Blencarn (cairn-top) and Blencogo (cuckoo-hill).Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal influences subsequently gave rise to several variations on the original spelling, which, in the modern idiom, is found as Blencoe, Blenko, Blinco(e), Blincko, Blincow, Blancowe, Blankau and Blanko. On January 6th 1690, John Blencoe and Elizabeth Wilkins were married at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London. Whilst on January 8th 1775, Moses Blinco married Esther Buckland at St. Olaves Church, Southwark, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is an azure shield with a silver bend charged with three chaplets of red roses, quartering red, a canton argent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Blencow, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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