The surname of BLISSET was a nickname 'one of a blythe disposition'. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The name was also a Norman habitation name from the village of Blay in Calvados, recorded in the year 1077 in the form BLEIS and of unknown origin. The village of Stoke Bliss in Worcestershire was named after a Norman family de Blez, recorded several times in the country in the 13th century. The word appears also to have been in use as a female given name, and in some cases the surname may have derived from this. The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. Early records of the name mention John Blisset, County Buckinghamshire, 1273. John Blisse of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll tax of 1379. Baptised. Ann Blisse, St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1596.
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