Show ContentsBlithe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The saga of the name Blithe begins with a Strathclyde-Briton family in the ancient Scottish/English Borderlands. It is a name for a happy or cheerful person having been derived from the Old English word blithe. [1] [2]

Alternatively, the name could have originated at Blyth in Northumberland or in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Both parishes derive their name from the Old English "blithe," meaning "the gentle or pleasant one." [3] The Yorkshire parish anciently in Nottinghamshire is the oldest dating back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was recorded as Blide. [4]

Another source notes "This place, anciently called Blia and Blida, was chiefly noted in former times for its religious and charitable establishments. In 1088, a priory was founded in honour of the Blessed Virgin, by Roger de Builly and his wife Muriel, for monks of the Benedictine order; which, though considered as an alien priory, being in some respects subordinate to the abbey of the Holy Trinity, near Rouen, in Normandy, was yet spared at the suppression of alien priories, and subsisted till the general dissolution, when its revenue was estimated at £126. 8. 2. An hospital for lepers, dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, was founded by Hugh de Cressy, lord of Hodsock, in the reign of John." [5]

Early Origins of the Blithe family

The surname Blithe was first found in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland. Blyth was an old barony in the lordship of Lauderdale some time ago.

The first on record was of William de Blyth of Chirnesyde in Berwickshire who represented the family and rendered homage to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland in 1296.

A few years later, the seal of Adam de Blyth was appended to an account of goods purchased at Perth in 1302. James Blyth was burgess of Dundy (Dundee) in 1485. [6]

Further south in England, Blythe, Lancashire has an interesting history. It was originally held by Geoffrey Travers, whose son Henry, was called "de Blythe." Henry de Blythe's descendants "John and Robert de Blythe occur among the names of subscribers to the stipend of a chaplain at Ormskirk in 1366 and the latter also in the Poll Tax Roll of 1381. John de Blythe attested Scarisbrick charters in 1399 and 1401, and was the father of Roger, who in 1397 was charged with breaking into the parsonage house at Crossens. From him descended Roger Blythe, whose daughter and heir Margaret by her marriage with John Blakelache (or Blackledge) conveyed the estate to this family. " [7]

Another source notes, William de Blithe was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Oxfordshire and Willelmus de Blythe was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [2]

Early History of the Blithe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blithe research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1485, 1493, 1499, 1503, 1530, 1542, 1563, 1567, 1603, 1605, 1646, 1654, 1691 and 1883 are included under the topic Early Blithe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Blithe Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Blithe has been spelled Blythe, Bllyt, Blytht, Blyithe, Blith, Blyth, Blitht and many more.

Early Notables of the Blithe family

Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Blyth, who represented Dundee in Parliament in 1567; Cuthbert Blyth, who was burgess of Edinburgh in 1563; Robert Blyth, who was retoured heir in land of Brounslope, Berwickshire, in 1646; Archibald Blyth, who appears as a baxter in Dysart in 1691; John Blyth (or John Blythe), Archdeacon of Richmond...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blithe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Blithe family to Ireland

Some of the Blithe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Blithe migration to the United States +

Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them:

Blithe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Blithe, aged 20, who landed in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Globe" [8]
  • James Blithe, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [8]
Blithe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Blithe, aged 25, who arrived in Ellis Island, New York aboard the ship "Martha Ward" in 1849 [9]
  • Jane Blithe, aged 20, who arrived in Ellis Island, New York aboard the ship "Emigrant" in 1850 [9]
  • Emily Blithe, aged 18, who arrived in Ellis Island, New York aboard the ship "City of Brooklyn" in 1871 [9]
  • Jas Blithe, aged 16, who arrived in Ellis Island, New York aboard the ship "City of New York" in 1871 [9]
  • Dennis Blithe, aged 24, who arrived in Ellis Island, New York aboard the ship "City of New York" in 1871 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Blithe migration to Australia +

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

Blithe Settlers in Australia in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Cedric James Blithe, who arrived in Fremantle, Australia aboard the ship "Dominion Monarch" in 1959 [10]
  • Mrs. Jacqueline Blithe, who arrived in Fremantle, Australia aboard the ship "Dominion Monarch" in 1959 [10]
  • Miss Leona Faye Blithe, who arrived in Fremantle, Australia aboard the ship "Dominion Monarch" in 1959 [10]
  • Michael Stanley Blithe, who arrived in Fremantle, Australia aboard the ship "Dominion Monarch" in 1959 [10]


  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  7. 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
  8. 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)
  9. Ellis Island Search retrieved 9th February 2023. Retrieved from https://heritage.statueofliberty.org/passenger-result
  10. National Archives of Australia Retrieved 9th February 2023. Retrieved from https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ListingReports/PassengerListing.aspx


Houseofnames.com on Facebook