Blethen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
From the Celtic land of Wales came the name of Blethen. This name initially evolved from the Welsh personal name Blethyn.
Early Origins of the Blethen family
The surname Blethen was first found in Denbighshire (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych), a historic county in Northeast Wales created by the Laws in Wales Act 1536, where Meredith Ap Blethyn was Prince of North Wales in the 11th century. William the Conqueror seized Prince Meridith's castle at Oswestry in Shropshire after 1066 but he retained his Welsh estates.  
"At the Survey we see that King William was Lord of this manor (Mileham), but soon after Alan, son of Flaald, obtained it by the gilt of William the Conqueror; also the castle of Oswaldstrey in Shropshire, which belonged to Meredith ap Blethyn, a Welshman or Briton." 
Important Dates for the Blethen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blethen research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1366, 1391, 1524, 1579, 1601, 1627, 1669, 1590, 1579 and 1590 are included under the topic Early Blethen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blethen Spelling Variations
Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Blethen has seen various spelling variations: Blevin, Blevyn, Ap Blethyn, Ap Plethyn, Plethen, Blethin, Blethen, Blevins and many more.
Early Notables of the Blethen family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was William Blethyn, (d.1590), Bishop of Llandaff in 1579. He was born in Wales, and educated at Oxford, at either New Inn...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blethen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Blethen migration to the United States
The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Blethen:
Blethen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- G. Blethen, who arrived in San Francisco in 1851
Contemporary Notables of the name Blethen (post 1700)
- Alden J. Blethen (1845-1915), American editor in chief of the Seattle Daily Times
- Clarence Waldo Blethen (1893-1973), American Major League Baseball player
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Page, William (ed), A History of the County of Norfolk. London: Victoria County History, 1906. Print