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

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

The ancestors of the name Bidwell date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in Bidwell, Hertfordshire. This place name derives from the Old English words "byde," meaning "tub," and "well," meaning a "spring," or "stream." As such, Bidwell is classed as a habitational name.

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Bidwell has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. 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 Bidwell 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 Bidwell 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 Bidwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bidwell 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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In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Bidwells to arrive on North American shores:

Bidwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Hugh Bidwell, who arrived in South Carolina sometime between 1670 and 1679

Bidwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Bidwell, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1775
  • Thomas Bidwell, who arrived in Baltimore in 1789

Bidwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • J Bidwell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Thomas Bidwell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Ella P. Bidwell, aged 30, who settled in America from London, in 1892
  • A. Bidwell, aged 45, who emigrated to America, in 1897

Bidwell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Bertha Candall Bidwell, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Ernest Bidwell, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States from Old Calton, England, in 1911
  • Daniel Bidwell, aged 48, who landed in America, in 1914
  • Daniel D. Bidwell, aged 49, who emigrated to the United States, in 1915
  • Arthur G. Bidwell, aged 17, who landed in America, in 1918


Bidwell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Henry Bidwell, aged 18, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "British Empire"

Bidwell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • C R Bidwell landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Hope
  • J Carne Bidwell landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840

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  • John Bidwell (1819-1900), American U.S. army Major and politician, U.S. Representative from California (1865-67)
  • Marshall Spring Bidwell (1799-1872), American-born, Canadian lawyer and politician in Upper Canada
  • Joshua John Bidwell (b. 1976), American football punter
  • Shelford Bidwell (1848-1909), English physicist and inventor, best known for his work with "telephotography," a precursor to the fax machine
  • The Rt Rev Edward John Bidwell (1917-1926), English Bishop of Ontario
  • Jake Brian Bidwell (b. 1993), English footballer
  • Sydney James Bidwell (1917-1997), British railway worker and Labor politician
  • Belinda Bidwell (1936-2007), first female Speaker of the National Assembly of The Gambia
  • Jared Bidwell (b. 1987), Australian silver medalist rower at the 2009 Rowing World Championships
  • Mr. Arthur Bidwell, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking


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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Bidwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bidwell 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 1 April 2015 at 17:33.

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