Belle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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." "The chief habitation of the Bells has long been on the Scottish border. " [1]

Early Origins of the Belle family

The surname Belle was first found in Dumfriesshire, where they have been found since ancient times. The Clan is descended from Gilbert le fiz Bel, who had extensive territories in Annandale on the English/Scottish border. He was the first clan chief, when King Edward invaded the Scottish lowlands in 1290 AD. In this brief conquest, Bel forfeited the clan territories of the Bells and the clan moved to Middlebie in Dumfrieshire.

Later when Edward of England was defeated by the Scottish they returned to their Annandale territories in the Scottish West Marches and acquired some territories on the southern side of the border at Gilsland just south of Hadrian's Wall. "The Bells of Annandale are said to be descended from Gilbert le fiz Bel, who was deprived of his lands by Edward I. The name was common on the Border for centuries, and the 'Beilis' are included in the list of unruly clans in the West Marches, 1587." [2]

Important Dates for the Belle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belle research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1069, 1587, 1603, 1896, 1263, 1271, 1562, 1607, 1590, 1618, 1577, 1590, 1678, 1626, 1629, 1629, 1636, 1640, 1650, 1668, 1640, 1648 and are included under the topic Early Belle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belle Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Bell, Belle and others.

Early Notables of the Belle family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Master David Bell, canon of the church of Dunkeld in 1263; William Bel, vicar of Lamberton, who witnessed a charter to Coldingham Priory, 1271; Sir Edmond Bell Of Castle Acre and Beaupre Hall, Norfolk (1562-1607), Justice of the Peace, Norfolk; The Blessed Arthur Bell (1590-1618), also known as Francis Bell, who was a Franciscan...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Belle family to Ireland

Some of the Belle family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belle migration to the United States

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Belle Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Belle, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [3]
Belle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jean Pierre Belle, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [3]
Belle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Belle, aged 21, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1848 [3]

Belle migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Belle Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Belle U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 [4]

Belle migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Belle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William S. Belle, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Belle (post 1700)

  • Sylvia Belle Chase (1938-2019), American correspondent for ABC's 20/20 from its inception until 1985
  • Maggie Belle Hodges, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Louisiana, 1956, 1960 (member, Committee on Rules and Order of Business) [5]
  • Donna Belle Urquhart (b. 1986), Australian gold medalist squash player at the 2010 World Team Championships
  • La Belle Otero (1868-1965), Spanish-born dancer, actress and courtesan
  • Jessie Belle Rittenhouse (1869-1948), American literary critic, compiler of anthologies, and poet
  • Donna Belle Mullenger (1921-1986), birth name of Donna Reed, American Academy Award and Golden Globe winning film and television actress
  • Elsie Belle McDaniel, American Democrat politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from Missouri, 1940 [6]
  • Willie Belle Boone, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1996 [7]
  • Erma Belle Blado, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1960 [8]
  • Mary Belle Stallings, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1956, 1964 [9]

Citations

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, May 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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