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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Borderlands, English, French, Italian

Where did the English Belle family come from? What is the English Belle family crest and coat of arms? When did the Belle family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Belle family history?

The Belle surname arose independently from several different sources. In some instances, it comes from the Old English word "belle" meaning "bell," and was most likely an occupational name for a bell ringer. It may have also been a name for someone who lived near a bell. Belle is also known to have arisen from the English and Scots given name Bel, which derived from the Old French "beu" or "bel," meaning "handsome."

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During the era when a person's name, tribe and posterity was one of his most important possessions, many different spellings were found in the archives examined. Belle occurred in many references, and spelling variations of the name found included Bell, Belle and others.

First found in Dumfriesshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066. Early references to the name in England include Ailuuardus filius Bell listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 in Suffolk; Ricardus filius Bell in 1279 in the Rotuli Hundredorum in Huntingdonshire; Hugo Bel who was in Winton, Hampshire in 1148; Serlo Belle listed in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1190; as well as Roger del Bel, who was in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk of 1209.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belle research. Another 243 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1069, 1587, 1603, 1896, 1590, 1618, 1577, 1668, 1640, 1648, 1562, 1607, 1647, 1711 and are included under the topic Early Belle History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 165 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Belle family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of illness and the elements, were buried at sea. In North America, early immigrants bearing the family name Belle, or a spelling variation of the surname include:

Belle Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Belle, who arrived in Virginia in 1650

Belle Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Jean Pierre Belle, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754

Belle Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Peter Belle, aged 21, arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1848

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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Belle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Belle Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 September 2013 at 08:27.

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