This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an example of the sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics , such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and occupation. The derivation of the name is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "blonden-", "blanden-feax", a compound of "blandan", to mix, blend, with "feax", hair, and the nickname would have been given to someone with grizzled hair. The surname can also be found as Blandon and Blunden. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Elizabeth Blanden and Charles Robroe on December 8th 1621, at St. Katherine in the Tower, London; the christening of Susanna, daughter of William Blanden, on September 26th 1648, at Cranley, Sussex; and the christening of George, son of Robert and Margaret Blanden, on August 2nd 1652, at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a silver shield with a black lion passant, the Crest being a gold demi griffin gorged with an ermine fesse. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Blandon, which was dated April 9th 1566, witness at a christening at North Cadbury, Devon, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.