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Blackett/ Blacklock / Blaylock


Blackett, Blacklock, and Blaylock are all said to be variations of the same name meaning “black head” or “black haired”.  Documentation for this sept has been difficult to pin down.  Variations include Blayloc, Blalock, Blellock, Bleloch, Blellloch.

Blackett was accepted by CDSNA as a sept sometime between 1996 and 1999.

Blacklock was accepted by CDSNA as a sept in September 1978.

Blalock, Blaylock, and variants were accepted by CDSNA as a sept in October 1987.

In Patronymica Britannica:  

BLACKETT. Dan. blakket, rrreyish. Ferguson. But the B.'s of Northumh. trace to Richard de Black-heved, or Blackhead, forester of Stanhope, 1300; and the name in consequently local.

And in Guppy’s Homes of Family Names in Great Britain:

Blackett is a name that was represented in the county as far back as the reign of Edward III., when Richard de Black-heved or Blackhead was forester of Stanhope, near Darlington (L.). The name is also to be found amongst the existing Northumberland gentry.

In The Scottish Nation [3, 683], William Anderson makes the following statement about the “Bells of Blacket-house.  [Interestingly, according to Scotland Places, Blacket-house is alternatively known in Scotland as Blacket Tower and Blackwood Tower.]

The principal families of the name of Bell were located in Annandale from at least the beginning of the l0th century; for, above the outer door of the Tower of Blacket-house are the initials W. B., with the date 1404—and in 1426 there appears in the " Regis Diplomata" (Lib. ii. c 77 and 84), a charter of the estate of Kirkconnell, in the parish of Kirkpatrick Fleming, and separated from Blacket- house, parish of Middlebie, by the river Kirtle, granted by Archibald Earl of Douglas, in favour of William Bell.

 And Scotland - Crossing the Borders in Quest of the Bell Clan states,

Today, Blacket House is recognized as the Bell family seat because it was the home of the clan's last recognized chief, William (Redcloak) Bell. Near the village of Eaglesfield, the tower is all that remains of the original L-shaped Blacket House.

According to the Clan Bell International website:

 "......This old West Marche Clan, one of the eight great riding families of the Scottish Border since the early 1100s, were retainers of the Great House of Douglas and also allied with the best border families through blood and friendship. Their land holdings were extensive, and to survive, they engaged in the "rieving" of the period and participated in many battles against the English."

Is it possible that Blackett and its variants are an alternative designation or description (black-haired) for members of the Bell family serving under Douglas lords?  More research into this possible connection would be worthwhile.



Anderson, William. The Scottish Nation, Or, the Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, &

Biographical History of the People of Scotland [3,683]. Wakefield: Microform Academic, 2001. Print.


Clan Bell International. http://www.clanbell.org


Guppy, H B. Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co, 1968. Print.


Lower, Mark A. Patronymica Britannica. a Dictionary of the Family Names of the United Kingdom:

Endeavoured by Mark Antony Lower. London: John Russell Smith, 36, Soho Square. Lewes, 1989. Print.


Scotland - Crossing the Borders in Quest of the Bell Clan.  http://ezinearticles.com/?Scotland---Crossing-the-Borders-in-Quest-of-the-Bell-Clan&id=4473744


Scotland Places. http://www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/search_item/index.php?service=RCAHMS&id=67157