The surname O'BLIGHE was derived from 'descendant of Blythe', a personal name probably derived from the Old Norse 'bligja' meaning to gaze'. The name was found as Bliht and Blight in the 13th century. 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.Early records of the name mention William de Blioa, 1177, County Essex. Gilbert de Blie of Nottinghamshire who was documented in the year 1200. Robert Blythe in County Norfolk was recorded in the year of 1221. John Blythe was recorded in the County of Essex in 1296. Edward Bligh of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
William Bligh (1754-1817) English vice-admiral, who as the lieutenant, commanded the Bounty and when the crew mutinered on the 28th April 1798, he and eighteen companions, set adrift in an open boat and succeeded in reaching Timor in the East Indies, nearly 4,000 miles away. The mutineers returned to Tahiti whence some of them went on to Pitcairn Island, founding a settlement there which was not discovered until 1808. This was eventually adopted by the British Government as a colony. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The associated coat of arms t te name is recorded Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. (Earl of Darnley).
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