Bliss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Bliss family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. 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 Bliss family

The surname Bliss 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 Bliss family

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

Bliss Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Bliss were recorded, including Bliss, Bleys, Blois, Bloys, Bloiss and others.

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


United States Bliss migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Bliss arrived in North America very early:

Bliss Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Bliss, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1620
  • Owen Bliss, aged 30, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [4]
  • Thomas Bliss, who landed in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1635 [4]
  • George Bliss, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637 [4]
  • John Bliss, who arrived in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1658 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bliss Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Enoch Bliss, who arrived in New York in 1709 [4]
  • Enrich Bliss, who landed in New York in 1715 [4]
  • Ann Bliss, who arrived in Georgia in 1735 [4]
  • Anne Bliss, who settled in Georgia in 1735
  • Thomas Bliss of Green Court Gloucester, England, who settled in New Jersey in 1738
Bliss Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Bliss, who arrived in America in 1801 [4]
  • Mr D Bliss, aged 17, who arrived in America in 1821 [4]
  • William H Bliss, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [4]
  • Theodore C Bliss, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836 [4]
  • Master Bliss, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Bliss migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bliss Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Bliss, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mr. Daniel Bliss U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [5]
  • Hon. Daniel Bliss U.E. born in Concord, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Lincoln, New Brunswick c. 1783 he graduated from Harvard was a Court Judge [5]
  • Mr. John Murray Bliss U.E. born in Concord, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [5]
  • Mr. Jonathan Hon Bliss U.E. born in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Fredericton, New Brunswick c. 1783 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bliss Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Willliam Bliss, who landed in Canada in 1831

Australia Bliss migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bliss Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ann Maria Bliss, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1847 [6]
  • Elizabeth Bliss, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Poictiers" in 1848 [7]
  • Joseph Bliss, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Derwent" in 1849 [8]

New Zealand Bliss migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bliss Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Minnie Bliss, aged 16, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888

Contemporary Notables of the name Bliss (post 1700) +

  • Major-General Raymond Whitcomb Bliss (1888-1965), American Surgeon-General of the Army (1947-1951) [9]
  • Robert Bliss (b. 1921), American architect, educator and furniture designer, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota (1958-1963)
  • Kathleen Bliss, American lawyer with the U.S Attorneys Office in New Mexico and Nevada (1997-)
  • Gilbert Ames Bliss (1876-1951), American mathematician and educator, Professor at several universities
  • Tasker Howard Bliss, American Army officer and statesman, chief of staff and General of the U.S. army (1917-)
  • Aaron Thomas Bliss (1837-1906), American politician, U.S. Representative from and Governor of Michigan
  • George Bliss (1813-1868), American politician, member of the United States House of Representatives for Ohio
  • Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876), American evangelist
  • Albert Asahel Bliss (b. 1812), American politician, Member of Ohio State House of Representatives, 1839-43; Ohio Treasurer of State, 1847-52 [10]
  • Albert Bliss (1811-1876), American politician, Member of Rhode Island State House of Representatives; Member of Rhode Island State Senate [10]
  • ... (Another 54 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mrs. Emma Bliss, (née Junod), aged 45, English First Class Stewardess from London, England who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 15 [11]


The Bliss 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


Suggested Readings for the name Bliss +

  • 2219 "Genealogy of the Bliss Family in America" by Aaron Tyler Bliss, "Genealogy of the Bliss Family in America, From About the Year 1550 to 1880" by John Homer Bliss.

  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. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARINER 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Mariner.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) POICTIERS 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Poictiers.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DERWENT 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Derwent.htm
  9. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 6) Raymond Bliss. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Bliss/Raymond_Whitcomb/USA.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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