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

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

From the Celtic land of Wales came the name of Bliven. This name initially evolved from the Welsh personal name Blethyn.

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Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Bliven has occasionally been spelled Blevin, Blevyn, Ap Blethyn, Ap Plethyn, Plethen, Blethin, Blethen, Blevins and many more.

First found in the region around Denbighshire (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych), a historic county, created in 1536 at the Act of Union with England, and located in Northeast Wales, where Meredith Ap Blethyn was Prince of North Wales in the 11th century. William the Conqueror seized Prince Meridith's castle at Oswestry in Shropshire after 1066 but he retained his Welsh estates.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bliven research. Another 261 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1366, 1391, 1524, 1579, 1601, 1627, and 1669 are included under the topic Early Bliven History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Bliven Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Bliven G. Blethen, who arrived in San Francisco in 1851.

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  • Floyd Bliven Jr., surgeon and professor of orthopedic surgery


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  2. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Bliven Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bliven 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 27 October 2010 at 13:20.

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