This unusual surname is probably of aristocratic French origins, although the name spelling has been changed to an English form. Research strongly suggests that the original name holders came over at or shortly after the Norman Invasion of 1066, and were from the town of Blois. Certainly for three centuries the surname as Blois, Bloy or Bloys appears in the heraldic records but from approximately the 15th century, the spelling seems to have split to include Blows or Blowes. This is quite usual as the language change in the early medieval period from French, which was used for speech, to what became known as "Middle English" created havoc in spelling. However it is also possible that the surname, at least in some cases, descends from the Anglo-Saxon "blawan" which would denote a horn playing musician or possibly the town crier, and in this respect William Le Blowerre appears in the Surrey Rolls for 1191. The heraldic registers however give other recordings which include a gentleman in the Arden Rolls of Henry 111, (1216-1272) who appears as" The Castellan of Bloys," whilst Sir Runard de Bloy appears in the Nativity Roll of King Edward 1 circa 1290. In 1462 Thomas Blois of Norton, Suffolk is recorded in the Shirley Roll of Edward 1V. The first genuine recording as Blow(e)s would seem to be the ecclesiastical gentlemen, (below) who comes from much the same area as Thomas Blois. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Blowes (also recorded as John Bloys), which was dated 1497, The Rector of Shelton, County Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry V11, known as "Henry Tudor," 1485 - 1510. 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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