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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Bliss family come from? What is the English Bliss family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bliss family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bliss family history?

The ancestors of the Bliss family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Leicestershire and Worcestershire. The family name, however, is not a reference to either of those locations, but to the area of the family's residence prior to the Norman Conquest, Blois, in the Loir-et-Cher region of France.


Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Bliss were recorded, including Bliss, Bleys, Blois, Bloys, Bloiss and others.

First found in Leicestershire and Worcestershire, where they had been granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bliss research. Another 247 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1119, 1647, 1721, 1698, 1702, 1704 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Bliss History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 43 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bliss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Bliss arrived in North America very early:

Bliss Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Bliss settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1620
  • Owen Bliss, aged 30, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Thomas Bliss, who landed in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1635
  • George Bliss, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637
  • John Bliss, who arrived in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1658

Bliss Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Enoch Bliss, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Enrich Bliss, who landed in New York in 1715
  • Ann Bliss, who arrived in Georgia in 1735
  • Anne Bliss settled in Georgia in 1735
  • Thomas Bliss of Green Court Gloucester, England, who settled in New Jersey in 1738

Bliss Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Bliss, who arrived in America in 1801
  • Mr D Bliss, aged 17, arrived in America in 1821
  • Wm H Bliss, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • Theodore C Bliss, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836
  • Master Bliss, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850


  • George Bliss (1813-1868), American politician, member of the United States House of Representatives for Ohio
  • Aaron Thomas Bliss (1837-1906), American politician, U.S. Representative from and Governor of Michigan
  • Tasker Howard Bliss, American Army officer and statesman, chief of staff and General of the U.S. army (1917-)
  • Gilbert Ames Bliss (1876-1951), American mathematician and educator, Professor at several universities
  • Kathleen Bliss, American lawyer with the U.S Attorneys Office in New Mexico and Nevada (1997-)
  • Robert Bliss (b. 1921), American architect, educator and furniture designer, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota (1958-1963)
  • Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876), American evangelist
  • Major-General Raymond Whitcomb Bliss (1888-1965), American Surgeon-General of the Army (1947-1951)
  • Sir Arthur Bliss (1891-1975), British composer
  • Mrs. Emma Bliss, (née Junod), aged 45, English First Class Stewardess from London, England who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 15



  • Genealogy of the Bliss Family in America by Aaron Tyler Bliss.
  • Genealogy of the Bliss Family in America, From About the Year 1550 to 1880 by John Homer Bliss.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus sola felicitas
Motto Translation: Virtue is the only happiness



  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Bliss Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bliss Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 October 2014 at 00:13.

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