first came across the Blunderfield surname in 1984, soon after starting to
research our family's history. It quickly became clear that there were not many
Blunderfields about and that any I found must fit into the tree somewhere! So,
over the years, I have recorded every reference that I came across; slowly
growing this branch of the family tree. The biggest breakthrough came when I
found the genealogies produced by Arthur Campling in the 1930's and the
Visitations of Norfolk in the 16th century.
The earliest variation I have of the name is in the 11th century, used by Richard de Blunvill from the settlement of Blonville, some 3 km inland from the Normandy coast near the mouth of the Seine. It is likely that the family were originally Norse settlers or Vikings who, as a group, acquired the land west of the Seine (now known as Normandy) by the 911 treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between the Viking leader Rollo (Hrolf, later Robert) and Charles III (The Simple) of France. The treaty conditions traded the land of Normandy (the land of the Norsemen) for an agreement not to sack the French capital of Paris.
Since that time, the name de Blonville or de Blunvill is seen in many forms including de Blomeville, de Blomevyle, Blondeville, Blomvyle, Le Blomvile, and around the 17th century in it's anglicised spelling Blomfield, Bloomfield, Blomfylde and of course Blunderfield. These variants reflect the peculiarities of official record-keeping by church wardens, not all of whom were fully literate, or who were obliged to transcribe names as they sounded. Also at play was a variety of local French and English dialects and the transition of Saxon England's unofficial language into formalised Norman French under William the Conqueror's sweeping administrative reforms.
According to the plaque displayed at Notre-Dame de Dives, in Dives sur Mer, Normandy, a Richard de Bondeville was numbered among Duke William's 345 Companions in Arms who sailed from there in 1066 for the Battle of Hastings. Bondeville, however, is a different place to Blonville, so there may be no connection. Afterwards, many of William's companions and supporters took advantage of the post-conquest resettlement opportunities (free land and manors) and took up substantial landholdings. In 1086, Richard de Blunvill held lands in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
of One Name Studies
Having gathered such a large amount of information about this family (with the help of other researchers around the world). I decided in 2010 to register the name with the
Guild of One Name Studies.
Cheryl Bender in California, who provided most of the information about the three sons of Henry Page Blunderfield, that emigrated to Canada around 1890.
Angela and John Sheppard Fidler in Surrey provided much detail about the descendants of William Riches Blunderfield.
Rosie Flower provided much additional detail regarding the descendants of Henry Page Blunderfield.
Elvie Herd in Norfolk, a one time Blunderfield stronghold, has been extremely helpful in locating Wills, MI's, Parish Register entries and local newspaper articles.
Robert Ona in Norway provided me with details of the descendants from one of Henry Page Blunderfield's daughters, Mary Jane.
Martha Wattier in Idaho provided
me with details of an American branch of the family that descended from William
George Farrow Blunderfield
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