Blest History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Blest is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Blest family lived in Leicestershire and Worcestershire. The family name, however, is not a reference to either of those locations, but to the area of the family's residence prior to the Norman Conquest, Blois, in the Loir-et-Cher region of France. [1]

Another source claims that the "name seems to be connected with the Anglo-Saxon verb blissian, laetificare, to make glad or joyous." [2]

Early Origins of the Blest family

The surname Blest was first found in Leicestershire and Worcestershire. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two early entries for the family: John Blisse, Buckinghamshire; and John Blisse, Kent. [3]

Important Dates for the Blest family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blest research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1119, 1530, 1525, 1647, 1721, 1698, 1702, 1704 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Blest History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blest Spelling Variations

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 Bliss, Bleys, Blois, Bloys, Bloiss and others.

Early Notables of the Blest family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Bylsse (d. 1530), early English physician, born in the diocese of Bath and Wells. "He came to London, and practised in 1525, becoming a member of the College of Physicians. Being an astronomer as well as a physician, he left certain...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blest Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blest migration to the United States

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 Blest or a variant listed above:

Blest Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Caroline Blest, aged 20, originally from Shropshire, arrived in New York in 1892 aboard the ship "Teutonic" from Liverpool, England [4]
  • Thomas Blest, aged 30, originally from Manchester, arrived in New York in 1892 aboard the ship "Teutonic" from Liverpool, England [5]
Blest Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Thomas Blest, aged 22, originally from Chorley, arrived in New York in 1905 aboard the ship "Cedric" from Liverpool, England [6]
  • Clara Blest, aged 50, arrived in New York in 1914 aboard the ship "Carpathia" from Naples, Italy [7]
  • Myles Blest, aged 26, originally from Drumkeerin, Ireland, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [8]
  • Annie Blest, aged 22, arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Blest (post 1700)

  • Alberto Blest Gana (1830-1920), Chilean novelist and diplomat, son of William Cunningham Blest
  • William Cunningham Blest (1800-1884), Irish physician, the President of the first Medical Society of Chile, father of the novelist Alberto Blest Gana; born in Sligo, Ireland, he emigrated to Valparaíso, Chile in 1823, his brother Andrew Blest had already established the first brewery in Chile
  • Clotario Leopoldo Blest Riffo (1899-1990), Chilean social activist and labor union leader

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6RV-MNG : 6 December 2014), Caroline Blest, 03 Aug 1892; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Teutonic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6RJ-LNY : 6 December 2014), Thos. Blest, 03 Aug 1892; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Teutonic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JFWJ-ZPT : 6 December 2014), Thomas Blest, 09 Sep 1905; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Cedric, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  7. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJ7R-SMN : 6 December 2014), Clara Blest, 02 Sep 1914; citing departure port Naples, arrival port New York, ship name Carpathia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6ZY-6YD : 6 December 2014), Myles Blest, 18 Jun 1920; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J62B-F61 : 6 December 2014), Annie Blest, 19 Sep 1921; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
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