Origins of the Surname – Bly

First it is important to recognize that there are a large number of families which use the surname of Bly. Our family has only used this name since the early 20th century. The family immigrated under the name Andersen from Norway in the late 19th century.

The story carried down over the years tells of two homesteads about ten miles apart. Back then groceries, supplies and other goods would be delivered to the farms. Unfortunately both farms were under the name Anderson and this resulted in confusion. It is said that Andrew first took the name of Bly to avoid this issue.  In fact the original homestead claim is the first time where Andrew’s name is shown as Andrew Anderson Bly in 1902. Christ later adopted this surname as well.

It is said that they chose the name Bly because of a creek where they liked to fish. Interestingly Bly in Norwegian is their word for “lead” like the metal. While they surely would have known this, no part of the story mentions this. However we have found that in Douglas County where the family lived for a short time after arriving in Minnesota, there was in fact a Bly Creek which to this day is a very popular fishing location.

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