Today in the 20th century this is often regarded as being an Irish and Ulster surname, which is partially true, the name has certainly been recorded in Ireland since the 16th century, but in reality it is of pre 7th century a.d.Olde English or Welsh locational origins. Recorded in the spellings of Blaynee, Blaney, Blayney, Blainy, and Blainey, the name probably originates from one of the three villages called Blainey in the Welsh Marches region of Monmouth and Brecon. The name means either the black hill or possibly the black woods, but this is not certain. In Ireland Sir Edward Blayney settled in County Monaghan in the year 1598, and for several centuries the name was quite popular in that region, giving their name to a village called Castleblayney. However most nameholders moved north, and today the name is most prominent in Counties Antrim and Down. In England and Wales the name seems to have been most prominent in Worcestershire, and particularly the village of Ombersley, where the name is well recorded in all its spellings. Examples of these recordings include Mary Blaney of Amberley, Worcester, on June 23rd 1706, and Thomas Blayney, at Pensax, on September 25th 1737. The first recording of the name may be that of Mauritius Blaney, of Ombersley, worcester, on January 22nd 1578, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 1558 - 1603.