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

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

Belnap is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in Belknapp, in the county of Warwickshire.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Belnap family name include Belknap, Bellknap, Belknape, Belknappe, Bellknappe and many more.

First found in Warwickshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belnap research. Another 111 words(8 lines of text) covering the years 1375, 1404, 1471 and 1521 are included under the topic Early Belnap History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 45 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belnap Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Belnap surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Thomas Belknap who settled in Lynn Massachusetts in 1620; Abraham Belknap, the scion of the family from Warwickshire, also settled in Lynn in 1637. They became one of America's distinguished families..

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  • Nuel D. Belnap Jr. (b. 1930), American logician and philosopher
  • Arias Guy Belnap (1893-1974), American politician from Utah, leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • David Foster Belnap (1922-2009), American award-winning journalist, foreign correspondent
  • Gilbert Belnap (1821-1899), Canadian-born, American Mormon pioneer, LDS Church leader, and an early colonizer of Ogden, Utah


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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Belnap Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Belnap 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 27 January 2013 at 12:05.

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