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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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 United States in the 17th Century


  • John Belle, who arrived in Virginia in 1650

Belle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Jean Pierre Belle, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754

Belle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


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

Belle Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Thomas Belle U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783

Belle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William S. Belle, aged 20, a farm labourer, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875

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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. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. 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.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. 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 February 2015 at 13:15.

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