- This interesting and unusual name has two possible origins, the first of which is a diminutive form of one of the earliest 'nickname' surnames, 'Black', given to someone with very dark hair or a swarthy complexion. In some cases the original nickname may have been earned for other reasons; a 'Wilfricus Niger' (Wulfric the Black) recorded in 1080, received his nickname after blackening his face with charcoal in order to go among his enemies at night undetected. The derivation of this source is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'blaec, blac', Middle English 'blak(e)', black. Interestingly, 'Blackett' may also be a diminutive form of the surname 'Black' when it derives from the Old English 'blac', pale, fair, the opposite meaning to the above. Finally, 'Blackett' can be a topographical name for someone who lived by a dark headland, from the Middle English 'blak(e)', black, and 'hered', head, (see below). Robert Blackett married Margarett Dags on January 16th 1658 in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Blakeheuede, which was dated 1301, The Yorkshire Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272-1307. 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.