This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a horn-blower, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'hornblawere', made up of the elements 'horn', a horn, and 'blawere', blower. In the Middle Ages workmen were called to work by the ringing of bells or by a horn. The name was also given to someone who played the musical instrument, which was made from the actual horn or an animal. The name development since 1255 (see below) includes the following: Adam Horneblawer (1301, Yorkshire), Roger Horneblower (1608, London) and Edmund Hornblow (1626, ibid.). The modern surname can be found as Hornblow, Hornblower, Horniblow and Orneblow. Among the sample recordings in London is the christening of Edmund, son of Richard and Alice Hornblow, on November 26th 1626 at St. James's, Clerkenwell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Hornblauere, which was dated 1255, in the Assize Rolls for Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216-1272. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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