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

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

The ancestors of the bearers of the name Billups were the ancient Britons that inhabited in the hills and Moors of Wales. This surname was derived from the personal name Philip. This name, which was usually Latinized as Philippus, was originally derived from the Greek name Philippos. This Greek name was composed of the words "philein," which means "to love," and "hippos," which means "horse." The personal name Philip owed its popularity to the medieval romances about Alexander the Great, whose father was Philip of Macedon.

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Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Billups has occasionally been spelled Phillips, Philips, Phillip, Philip, Pilip, Pillips, Fillip, Filip, Filips, Phillipes, Philipes, Phillup, Philups, Fillups, Filups, Pilups, Pillups, Fulop and many more.

First found in Kent, where legend has it that the family (but not the surname) is descended from Maximus, the Briton, Roman Emperor from 383 until his death in 388, and the King of Britain, when he married the daughter of Octavius, King of the Britons. Later the family was forced back into Wales by the invading Saxons, where they traditionally claim descent from Tudwal (c.AD 528-564) "of the wounded knee," a descendant of Rhodri Mawr, first King of Wales.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billups research. Another 319 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1279, 1586, 1638, 1604, 1629, 1613, 1680, 1640, 1640, 1644, 1674, 1749, 1676, 1709, 1701, 1594, 1674, 1653, 1662, 1630, 1696, 1631, 1706, 1638, 1699, 1640, 1720, 1724, 1721 and are included under the topic Early Billups History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 329 words(24 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Billups Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Billups family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 131 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Billups: Elinor and Henry Phillips who settled in Virginia in 1623; George Phillips, who came to Salem, MA in 1630; John, Edward, William, Andrew, Bodman, Charles, David, Griffith, James and Jo Phillips, who all arrived with their families in Virginia between 1635 and 1667.

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  • Chauncey Ray Billups (b. 1976), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Lewis Billups (1963-1994), American NFL football cornerback
  • Tom Billups (b. 1964), American rugby union rugby player


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ducit amor patriae
Motto Translation: Patriotism leads me.

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  1. Evans, Gwynfor. Wales: A History: 2000 Years of Welsh History. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-120-2).
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Billups Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Billups 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 8 November 2013 at 13:12.

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