Bleaknay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Bleaknay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bleaknay family lived at Blakeney, in the county of Norfolk, or a place of the same name in Gloucester.
Early Origins of the Bleaknay family
The surname Bleaknay was first found in Norfolk at Blakeney, a small sea-port, post-town, and parish, in the union of Walsingham, hundred of Holt. "This place was called Snitterley in the time of Henry III., who granted it a market: it assumed its present name in the reign of Edward III." 
Blakeney consisted of seven villages whose tenant-in-chief was Earl Hugh of Chester. Some of these villages were submerged by the sea by the Middle Ages. Conjecturally, the Blakeneys are descended from the first early Norman noble who held his lands from Earl Hugh. One reference states "Blakeney is a parish in Norfolk, in which county the family had great possessions. " 
The first record of the family was found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where Adam de Blakeneye from London was listed. Later and further to the north, Johannes Blaunkeney was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. 
Nicholas de Blakney was listed in Norfolk in 1392 and later Elizabeth Blakney was listed there in 1515. 
Early History of the Bleaknay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bleaknay research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1575, 1756, 1976, 1672, 1761, 1690, 1702, 1679, 1733, 1709, 1729 and 1721 are included under the topic Early Bleaknay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bleaknay Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Blakeney, Blakeny, Blackney, Blakney, Blakny, Blaknie, Blakenie, Blaykney, Blayknie, Blaikney and many more.
Early Notables of the Bleaknay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bleaknay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bleaknay family to Ireland
Some of the Bleaknay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 178 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bleaknay family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Bleaknay or a variant listed above: John Blackney who settled in Maryland in 1776; William Blakeney landed in North America in 1772.
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: Auxilium meum ab alto
Motto Translation: My help is from above.
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print