This interesting and long-established surname, either of Anglo-Norman or medieval German origin, derives from the Old French "bloc" (Dutch "blok"), related to the Old High German "bloh", block (a large solid form on which particular tasks, such as chopping and cutting may be done, or on which things are shaped or displayed). The name is therefore a metonymic occupational one for a craftsman who habitually used a block in the course of his work, for example, a shoemaker, wig-maker, hatter, or bookbinder. The surname is first recorded in England towards the end of the 12th Century (below), having been introduced by French settlers in the years following the Norman Conquest. In 1327, one Benedict Blok was noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk. Early examples of the name containing the agent suffix "-er" (one who does, or works with) include: Henry le Blocker (Yorkshire, 1212), and Deodatus le Blokkere (Norfolk, 1273). The German surname may be either occupational (as above), or a nickname for a large, thickset man. Rantz am Block zu Esslingen and Hinricus Blok zu Greifswald were recorded respectively in medieval German documents of 1354 and 1373. An early settler in the New World was Steeven Block, aged 18 yrs., who embarked from London on the ship "Transport", bound for Virginia in July 1635. The Block Coat of Arms depicts three silver roses on an azure chevron between two falcons in chief proper, belled gold, and a green mount in base, thereon the stump of an oak tree sprouting to the sinister, all on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Bloc, which was dated 1199, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199.
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