Blacbirn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The history of the Blacbirn family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in the town of Blackburn in the county of Lancashire. This place-name is derived from the Old English word burn, meaning stream, and referred to a stream in a dark area, or where the water was muddy. 
Early Origins of the Blacbirn family
The surname Blacbirn was first found in Lancashire at Blackburn, a parish, and the head of a union, in the Lower division of the hundred of Blackburn. "This place takes its name from a small rivulet near the town, which, from the turbid state of the water, was anciently called Blakeburn, or "the yellow bourne." A castle is said to have been built here, probably by the Romans, which, after their departure from the island, was occupied successively by the Britons and the Saxons; but there are no vestiges of it, nor can even its site be distinctly ascertained. Blackburn was formerly the capital of a district called Blackburnshire." 
The earliest record of the family was Henry de Blackeburn who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1206. 
Early records of one branch of the family were found in Garston, Lancashire. "Robert de Blackburn held Garston for nearly forty years, dying about the year 1354; his wife Ellen is mentioned in 1332. He acquired various portions of land from the minor owners. Robert de Blackburn was succeeded by his eldest son John, who even before his father's death seems to have taken an active part in managing the estate. (fn. 35) He was lord of the manor for about fifty years, dying on 8 January, 1404-5, and during this long period seems to have been constantly acquiring fresh portions of land." 
The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Willelmus de Blakburn; Cristoforus de Blakeburn; and Johannes de Blakburn. A few years later, John de Blakeburne was listed in the Preston Guild Rolls of 1397. 
Further to the north in Scotland, the name was derived from "one or other of several small places so named. Willelmus de Blakeburne was witness in 1243 to the ratification of the gift of the church of Lescelyn to Lundors. Robert de Blakeburne of Berwickshire rendered homage in 1296 [to King Edward I of England]. William de Blakburne appears as Abbot of Cambuskenneth, 1394. 
Early History of the Blacbirn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blacbirn research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1202, 1243, 1296, 1501, 1658, 1743, 1652, 1652, 1669, 1683, 1741, 1700, 1705, 1690 and 1786 are included under the topic Early Blacbirn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blacbirn Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Blacbirn include Blackburn, Blackbyrn, Blackbirn, Blackburne, Blackborn, Blagburn, Blackbyrne and many more.
Early Notables of the Blacbirn family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Lancelot Blackburne (sometimes Blackburn or Blackbourne), (1658-1743), an English clergyman, who became Archbishop of York, and some believe to have been a pirate. He was the son of Richard Blackburne of London, whom the archbishop claimed to have been connected with the Blackburnes of Marricke Abbey.
"Archbishop Blackburne was gay and witty. His enemies repeated the story that he acted as chaplain on board one of the ships engaged in buccaneering, and that he shared the booty, the joke running that one of the buccaneers on his arrival in England asked what had become of...
Another 100 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blacbirn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Blacbirn family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Blacbirn or a variant listed above: Daniel Blackburn who settled in Virginia in the year 1640; James Blackburn settled in Virginia in 1624; Stewart Blackborn arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1857.
Related Stories +
- ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)