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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Bledsoe family come from? When did the Bledsoe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bledsoe family history?

The Bledsoe surname is a habitational name, originally taken on from a place named Bledisloe in Gloucestershire, derived from the Old English personal name "Bli-," and the Old English word "hlaw," meaning "a hill."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Bledsoe, Bletshoe, Bledshoe, Bletso, Bledshow, Bletshow, Bledso, Bletsor and many more.

First found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Bletsoe, Osbert de Breuil from Hugh de Beauchamp, a Norman Baron, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bledsoe research. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the year 1362 is included under the topic Early Bledsoe History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bledsoe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Louis V. Bledsoe, aged 31, who emigrated to America, in 1908
  • L. V. Bledsoe, aged 37, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Mary G. Bledsoe, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Jean Alene Bledsoe, aged 8, who settled in America, in 1912
  • William H. Bledsoe, aged 35, who emigrated to the United States, in 1913


  • Brigadier-General William Pinckney Bledsoe (1892-1972), American Chief of Staff, 25th Division, Hawaii (1945)
  • Tempestt Bledsoe (b. 1973), American actress, best known for her role on The Cosby Show
  • Samuel T. Bledsoe (1868-1939), American railroad executive, sixteenth president of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
  • Jules Bledsoe (1898-1943), African American singer, best known for his recording of Old Man River in Showboat
  • Jesse Bledsoe (1776-1836), American Senator from Kentucky, Secretary of State
  • Eric Bledsoe (b. 1990), American NBA basketball player
  • Drew McQueen Bledsoe (b. 1972), American former NFL football quarterback
  • Benjamin Frederick "Ben" Bledsoe (b. 1982), American pop singer
  • Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Bledsoe (1921-1995), American mathematician, computer scientist, and educator, who was a pioneer of artificial intelligence, as well as a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


  • The Bledsoe Family by John T. Bledsoe.
  • The Bledsoe's History by Pat Mercer Stephens.


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 6 August 2015 at 11:57.

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