This uncommon surname, chiefly recorded in the West Midland counties of Shropshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a metonymic occupational name for a glazier or glass blower, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "glaes", glass (akin to "glaed", shining, referring originally to the bright shine of the material). The earliest recorded examples of the surname contain the agent suffix "-er", and include: Thomas le Glasyer (Cornwall, 1297), and Robert le Glasiere (Essex, 1327). In its original sense "a man who had to do with", the "-er" designates persons according to their profession or occupation. One Walterus Glassenwryght, and a Robertus de Spalding, glasenwryght, appear in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire, their occupations being the making of glass. The metonymic occupational name is variously spelt: Glase, Glass, Glace, Glaze and Glaize in English Church Registers. On March 24th 1689, William, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Glaze, was christened at Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire. The surname Glass is also recorded from the 16th Century in Scotland, half the lands of Langilculcreich being granted to one Alexander Glass in 1506. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Gaelic "glas", grey, green, blue. A Coat of Arms held by the family depicts on a silver shield, a fleur-de-lis between three mullets within a red bordure, the Crest being a mermaid with mirror and comb proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ricardus Glase, which was dated October 11th 1540, marriage to Margeriam Higgons, at Pontesbury, Shropshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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