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The Bledshoe surname is a habitational name, originally taken on from a place named Bledisloe in Gloucestershire, derived from the Old English personal name "Bli-ð," and the Old English word "hlaw," meaning "a hill."
The surname Bledshoe was 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,  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.
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Bledsoe, Bletshoe, Bledshoe, Bletso, Bledshow, Bletshow, Bledso, Bletsor and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bledshoe research. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the year 1362 is included under the topic Early Bledshoe History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Bledshoe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Bledshoe or a variant listed above: William Bletsoe, who came to Virginia in 1639; Roger Bletsoe, who settled in Maryland in 1641; and John Morgan Bletsoe, who settled in New York in 1820.
The Bledshoe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bledshoe 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 11 October 2011 at 10:21.