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

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

The ancient history of the Bedwell name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in Bidwell, Hertfordshire. This place name derives from the Old English words "byde," meaning "tub," and "well," meaning a "spring," or "stream." As such, Bedwell is classed as a habitational name.

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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bedwell include Bedwell, Bedwel, Bedewell, Bidwell, Bidewell and many more.

First found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where Bidwell was said to be a picturesque hamlet lying to the north-west of Houghton village. There is an early record of a Stephen de Bedewellin in Essex in the Calendar of the Close Rolls, in 1229.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bedwell research. Another 225 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1323, 1388, 1420, 1561, 1589, 1595, and 1632 are included under the topic Early Bedwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 67 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bedwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bedwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 311 words(22 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bedwell or a variant listed above:

Bedwell Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Bedwell, who came to Somers Islands in 1662
  • Elizabeth Bedwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1664
  • Elizabeth Bedwell, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Bedwell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Bedwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Mary Bedwell, who came to Virginia in 1704
  • Henry Bedwell, who came to Pennsylvania in 1773

Bedwell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • G. W. Bedwell, who was on record in Philadelphia in 1822

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  • Frederick Bedwell (1796-1853), English Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, one of the party that took Napoleon I of France to his banishment on the island of Saint Helena
  • Simon Bedwell (b. 1963), English visual artist
  • Edward Parker Bedwell (1834-1919), English Staff Commander in the Royal Navy
  • Steve Bedwell, Australian comedian and comedy writer


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  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Bedwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bedwell 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 28 July 2013 at 14:12.

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