SDB Popularity Ranking: 38192

Last name: Blowfield

SDB Popularity ranking: 38192

This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse origin, and is a locational name from Blofield in Norfolk, which was recorded as "Blafelda, Blawefelle and Blauuefelda" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Blafeld" in the Pipe Rolls of 1156. The placename itself is composed of the elements "blaw", an Olde English pre 7th Century word meaning blue and the second element "feld", an Olde English word for "open country, land free from trees". The initial element "blaw", cognate with the Old Norse "blar", blue, is only found in the sense "pigment", hence in this particular context, it probably means "woad", the name of a plant chiefly used for making dyes. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Adam de Blofield was vicar of Tunstall, according to the "History of Norfolk" in 1377, while William Blofield was recorded in Norwich by the same source in 1489. Beatrixe Blowfelde married John Patchyngham on May 12th 1560 at St. Dionis Backchurch, London, while Anne Blofeld married Thomas Sole on May 27th 1686 at St. James, Dukes Place, London. A Coat of Arms was granted to a "Blofeld" family which depicts a red chevron between three blue trefoils on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Blofield, rector of Wilton, which was dated 1349, "History of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 111, "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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