Blenkerd History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The surname Blenkerd is derived from a nickname in the Old French. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.
In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demi-gods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends that portrayed animals behaving as humans. The Old French nickname Blenkerd, meant person with a whitish, or white appearance having derived from the Old French word blanchart. Experts theorize that Blenkerd may have also been a nickname for someone with an exceptionally pure character, since white was the symbolic color of purity during the Middle Ages. Alternatively, the name could have been a nickname for a "white horse." 
Early Origins of the Blenkerd family
The surname Blenkerd was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from early times at Grimsbargh Hall. "Ponce Blanchard held twelve fees in Hants (Hampshire), granted by Richard I., and Gilbert and William Blanchard had estates in Lincolnshire."  Other very early references to the family include: Blanchard de Morba who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Devon in 1180; Robertus blancard, Rotbertus quippe blancard, who was listed in the Inquisitio Inquests for Suffolk in 1086; and Richard Blanchard who was listed in Pipe Rolls of Lancashire in 1177. The author continues: "The 1086 example is, however, certainly a nickname, probably identical to Robertus Blancardus." 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had the following early entries for the family: William Blaunchard in Wiltshire; Reginald Blanchard in Yorkshire; and Robert Blaunchard in Lincolnshire. A few years later the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire listed Nicholas Blaunchard in Lancashire in 1332. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Willelmus Blaunchard; and Elena Blaunchard. 
"The name of Blanchard or Blanshard, which also occurs in the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, has long been in the county of Lincoln. John Blauncherde of Lowthe gave £25 for the defence of his country at the time of the expected invasion of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Long before this, in the reign of Edward I., we find the name of Blaunchard in the county in the reign of Henry III. the name also occurred in Wiltshire, and, in fact, Blanchard or Blaunchard is also an old Wiltshire name, occurring in the hundred of Warminster in the 16th century." 
Early History of the Blenkerd family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blenkerd research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1651, 1587 and 1790 are included under the topic Early Blenkerd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blenkerd Spelling Variations
The Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, and therefore, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Blanchard, Blanchaud and others.
Early Notables of the Blenkerd family (pre 1700)
Notable of this family during the Middle Ages was William Isaac Blanchard (died 1790), an English stenographer. He was son of a French refugee, who became a...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blenkerd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Blenkerd family
Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Blenkerd family to immigrate North America: Agnes Blanchard who settled in Massachusetts in 1639; Anthony Blanchard settled in Virginia in 1670; Thomas Blanchard settled in New England in 1652; Charles Blanchard settled in Louisiana in 1756..
Related Stories +
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ 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)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.