This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an example of the sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and occupation. The derivation of the name is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bletsian", to make sacred, Middle English "blescede, blissed", blessed, and would have been given as a nickname to a fortunate individual. The surname is first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below) and can also be found as Blest and Blessed. John le Blessed is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire (1327). In some instances the surname may also be of medieval English origin, deriving from the female given name "Blissot". Blissot atte Pole is listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset (1327). On August 7th 1685, Hanah, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Blissitt, was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, and George, son of George and Eleaner Blissitt, was christened on May 21st 1754 at Allhallows, London Wall. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a paly of six gold and blue, on a red chief a silver fesse dancettee, the Crest being an eagle displayed proper. 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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