The ancestors of My grandmother, Mabel Ann Blanchard, lived mainly in the New Forest and Southampton areas of Hampshire, however her mother, Jane Wood came from Kingswood, Surrey, and her ancestry, which is extensive, covers many of the villages found on the Surrey/ Sussex border, and stretches back to the twelfth century.
The Blanchard family had a long connection with the sea, as ship builders and mariners. It is believed that they originated in France and recent research has shown this may well be true, it is also believed that they may have been Huguenots who fled persecution in France and the timing of their arrival in England certainly ties in with this. The family can be reliably traced back to Fordingbridge in Hampshire in the early part of the 18th century and the first occurance of the name Blanchard (which is sometimes spelled Blanchet or Blanched) is in 1686 when John Blanchard "an old Frenchman" was buried in Fordingbridge.
Associated families in Hampshire include, Wright, Stovell, Groves, Rossiter, Storme, Hobbs, Shepherd, Pooke and Biden and in in Surrey and Sussex, Wood, Page, Feldwick, Tickner, Knight, Inwood, King, Lucas, Lilly, Mitchell, Napper, Cowper alias Butcher, Pilfold, Dunhurst, Edser, Elliott, Jelly, Constable, Jeale, Willett, Wright, Bristow, Patching, Payne, Watson, Dungate, Browne, and Infield