This unusual and interesting surname is of Old French origin, and is an example of that 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, or to habits of dress and occupation. Blount derives from the Anglo-Norman French "blunt" meaning "blond", itself coming from the Old French "blund" or "blond" from the Latin "blondus". This surname has the distinction of being first recorded in the Domesday Book (see below). Other early examples include: Hamelin Blund, (Somerset, 1201), and Melodia le Blount, (Huntingdonshire 1273). In the modern idiom the name is also spelt Blunt and Blund. Among the several notable namebearers listed in the "Dictionary of National Biography" are Walter Blount, first baron Montjoy or Mountjoy (died 1474), who was governor of Calais and high treasurer of England, also his grandson, William Blount (died 1534), who studied in Paris circa 1496, under Erasmus, whom he brought to England in 1498. A Coat of Arms granted to the Blount family in 1326 is a barry nebulee of six gold and black. An armed foot in the sun proper is on the Crest, and the Motto "Luxtua, via mea" translates as "Thy light is may life". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rodbertus Blundus, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, during the reign of King William 1, William the Conqueror, 1066 - 1087. 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.