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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • German and Dutch : from Middle High German bloch, Middle Dutch blok ‘block of wood’, ‘stocks’. The surname probably originated as a nickname for a large, lumpish man, or perhaps as a nickname for a persistent lawbreaker who found himself often in the stocks.
  • English : possibly a metonymic occupational name for someone who blocks, as in shoemaking and bookbinding, from Middle English blok ‘block’.
  • Jewish (Ashkenazic) : Americanized spelling of Bloch (see Vlach).
  • Adriaen Coertsz Block was a Dutch-born merchant-explorer who traded along the CT coast and Long Island shortly after Hudson’s voyage to the region in 1609. Block Island, between the north fork of Long Island and RI, which he used as a base of operations, is named after him.

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