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


The history of the Blakney family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived at Blakeney, in the county of Norfolk, or a place of the same name in Gloucester.

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Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Blakeney, Blakeny, Blackney, Blakney, Blakny, Blaknie, Blakenie, Blaykney, Blayknie, Blaikney and many more.

First found in Norfolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Blakeney which was the "King's Land" at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book survey initiated by Duke William in 1086 after his conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Blakeney consisted of seven villages whose tenant-in-chief was Earl Hugh of Chester. Some of these villages were submerged by the sea by the Middle Ages. Conjecturally, the Blakeneys are descended from the first early Norman noble who held his lands from Earl Hugh. One reference states "Blakeney is a parish in Norfolk, in which county the family had great possessions. " [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Blakney research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1575, 1756 and 1976 are included under the topic Early Blakney History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Blakney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Blakney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Blakney name or one of its variants:

Blakney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Samuel Blakney, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823

Blakney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. David Blakney U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783

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  • Mr. John Henry  Blakney, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917


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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: Auxilium meum ab alto
Motto Translation: My help is from above.

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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Blakney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Blakney 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 13 October 2015 at 11:10.

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