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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the Scottish Blythe family come from? What is the Scottish Blythe family crest and coat of arms? When did the Blythe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Blythe family history?

The history of the name Blythe begins in the Scottish/English Borderlands with a family of Strathclyde-Briton ancestry. It is a name for a happy or cheerful person. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English word blithe, which described a person exhibiting the aforementioned characteristics.


The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Blythe has appeared as Blythe, Bllyt, Blytht, Blyithe, Blith, Blyth, Blitht and many more.

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. [1] Further south in England, William de Blithe was listed in the the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Oxfordshire and Willelmus de Blythe was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blythe research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1567, 1567, 1563, 1646, 1691, 1485, 1493, 1493, 1499, 1530, 1503, 1530, 1542, 1605, 1654 and 1883 are included under the topic Early Blythe History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 211 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Blythe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Blythe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Blythe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Keziah Blythe, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Margaret Blythe, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817
  • Anne, George, John, Margaret, Samuel Blythe all settled in Charleston Massachusetts in 1820
  • James Blythe, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1829
  • Champain Blythe, who arrived in Texas in 1835

Blythe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Louisa Blythe, aged 16, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Eliza"
  • Louisa Blythe arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eliza" in 1849
  • John Blythe, aged 28, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Oregon"

Blythe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Blythe landed in Wanganui, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway
  • William Blythe a farmer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Romulus" in 1862
  • D. Blythe arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1868
  • W. R. Blythe arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Countess of Kintore" in 1870


  • William J. Blythe Jr., American politician, Member of Texas State House of Representatives, 1971-83
  • William J. Blythe, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for New York State Assembly from Kings County 3rd District, 1920, 1922
  • Ralph A. Blythe, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Alabama, 1992, 2008
  • Philip T. Blythe, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Naperville, Illinois, 1951
  • Marietta Blythe, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Clinton, Indiana, 1889-93
  • Joseph Lee Blythe (1890-1949), American Democrat politician, Member of North Carolina State Senate 20th District, 1939-47; Member of Democratic National Committee from North Carolina, 1947
  • Jean Blythe, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1952
  • James R. Blythe, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Allegheny County 13th District, 1926
  • J. W. Blythe, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1904
  • James E. Blythe, American politician, Delegate to Indiana State Constitutional Convention, 1850-51



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  1. ^ 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)
  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)

Other References

  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. 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).
  3. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  6. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  11. ...

The Blythe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Blythe Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 December 2015 at 08:31.

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