Show ContentsBlis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Blis family name to the British Isles. They 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 Blis family

The surname Blis 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]

Early History of the Blis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blis 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 Blis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blis Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Bliss, Bleys, Blois, Bloys, Bloiss and others.

Early Notables of the Blis 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 Blis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Blis family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Blis or a variant listed above: Thomas Bliss of Green Court Gloucester, England, who settled in New Jersey in 1738; William Bliss settled in Jamaica in 1684; Thomas Bliss settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1620.

The Blis Motto +

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: Virtus sola felicitas
Motto Translation: Virtue is the only happiness

  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. Lower, 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) on Facebook