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Origins Available: Borderlands, English, French


The surname Bell was first used as a surname by the people of ancient French region of Gascogne. It was a name for a person distinguished by great physical beauty. Interestingly, the name Bell was originally derived from the Old French words la belle, which means beautiful.

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The surname Bell was first found in Gascony (French: Gascogne), an area of southwest France bordering Spain, that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution, where they held a family seat in the honor of the seigneurie of De Labels, a village in the Basses-Pyrénées in the arrondisement of de Mauléon.

French surnames were subject to numerous alterations in spelling because of the various cultural groups that inhabited specific regions. Eventually, each region possessed its own local dialect of the French language. The early development of the French language, however, was also influenced by other languages. For example, Old French was infused with Germanic words and sounds when barbarian tribes invaded and settled in France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Middle French also borrowed heavily from the Italian language during the Renaissance. As a result of these linguistic and cultural influences, the name Bell is distinguished by a number of regional variations. The many spelling variations of the name include Lebel, LeBel, LaBelle, Belle, Bell, Labelle, Label, LaBell, LaBel, LeBelle, LeBaile, LaBaile, Lebaile and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bell research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1650, 1573, 1674, 1734 and 1703 are included under the topic Early Bell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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In 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebe c. Migration was slow. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Bell has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Bell were

Bell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • James Bell, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • John Bell who settled in Virginia in 1638
  • George Bell, who came to Virginia in 1638
  • Christian Bell, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • Alexander Bell who settled in Virginia in 1654
  • ...

Bell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Anne Bell, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Chr Bell, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Christopher Bell, who arrived in Virginia in 1716
  • Aaron Bell, who arrived in New England in 1719
  • Simon Bell, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1734
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Bell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Agnus Bell, who came to Philadelphia in 1802
  • Abraham Bell, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Anna Bell, aged 5, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1838
  • D Bell, aged 24, landed in Key West, Fla in 1838
  • Catharine J Bell, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847
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Bell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Ann Bell, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Elizabeth Bell, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1765
  • Robert Bell, who was a laborer in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1779
  • Mr. Derick Bell U.E. who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Lincoln County, Ontario c. 1783 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Duncan Bell U.E. who settled in Fredericksburgh, Cataraqui township, [Greater Napanee], Ontario c. 1783 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • ...

Bell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Bell, who landed in Canada in 1819
  • Agnes Bell, aged 55, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Pacific" from Liverpool, England
  • John Bell, aged 20, a tailor, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the schooner "Sarah" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Thomas Bell, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Bartley" in 1833
  • James Bell, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1834
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Bell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Bell, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Thomas Bell, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • William Bell, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Bell, a carpenter, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • George Bell, a weaver, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
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Bell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Bell landed in Island of Mana, New Zealand in 1832 aboard the ship Minerva
  • George Bell landed in Dundee, New Zealand in 1832
  • F Dillon Bell landed in Wellington & Nelson, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Ursula
  • H Gordon Bell landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Lady Lilford
  • James Bell landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
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  • John Oscar Bell (1912-2000), American Democrat politician, Foreign Service officer; U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala, 1961-65
  • Wilson Bell (1897-1947), American Democrat politician, Missouri State Treasurer, 1941-45; Secretary of State of Missouri, 1945-47
  • Alphonzo Bell (1875-1945), American sliver and bronze Olympic medalist for tennis at the 1904 games
  • Wallace Robert "Wally" Bell (1965-2013), American Major League Baseball umpire
  • Brigadier-General Marcus Brenneman Bell (1893-1981), American Commanding Officer 10th Mountain Division (1951)
  • Clarence C. Vam Bell (b. 1910), American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from New York County 3rd District, 1942, 1944, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957
  • Roy Bell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Montana, 1952
  • Russell R. Bell, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State Auditor, 1948
  • Sam C. Bell, American politician, Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, 1917-21
  • Sam H. Bell, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1964
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Bell Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Robert William Bell, British Deck Boy from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Dan Bell, American Third Class Passenger from Detroit, Michigan, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914

Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. John Francis  Bell (1854-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Master Stanley  Bell (1912-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mrs. Jessie  Bell (1880-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Master Gerald Francis  Bell (1914-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mrs. Geraldine  Bell (1890-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
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HMS Hood

  • Mr. William Bell (b. 1917), Scottish Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve from Edinburgh, Scotland, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Cyril Kemp Bell (b. 1923), English Ordinary Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from Bardney, Lincolnshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Thomas William Bell (b. 1915), "Bill" English Able Bodied Seaman from England, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Leonard Hammersley Bell, British Captain, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Charles Bell, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Walter Bell, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. James Bell, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)

  • Jean Mary Bell (1944-1988), English Passenger from Berkshire, England, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Joseph Bell (d. 1912), aged 50, English Chief Engineer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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  • Ancestral Lines and Descendants of Frances Emily (Botsfor, Morse and Jean) (Botsford) Bell by Doreen Potter Hanna.
  • Backward Glimpse by Iris Bell.
  • Sir Robert Bell and His Early Virginia Colony Descendants. by James Elton Bell and Frances Jean Bell. Wheatmark, January 2007.
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Citations



  1. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Other References

  1. Conrad, Glenn R. The First Families of Louisiana. Baton Rouge LA: Claitor's Publishing, 1970. Print.
  2. de la Porte, A. Tresor Heraldique. Paris: F. Casterman, 1864. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Doyle, William. The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0192852213).
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Guérard, Albert Léon. France: a Modern History. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Bell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bell 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 3 September 2015 at 05:04.

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