Billet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Early Origins of the Billet family

The surname Billet was first found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Norman influence of English history prevailed after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. This Norman family name was first referenced in the 12th century when they held estates in that shire. They are believed to be descended from the French family Billet from Cote de Or.

Important Dates for the Billet family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billet research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1163, 1538, 1455, 1487, 1610, 1616, 1610, 1611, 1612, 1613, 1614, 1615 and 1612 are included under the topic Early Billet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Billet Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Billett, Billet, Bylett, Byllot, Byllott and others.

Early Notables of the Billet family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Bylot fl. 1610-1616), English navigator, first mentioned as a seaman of the Discovery, in the expedition to the North-West under Hudson in 1610-1611. "His being rated as master's mate, and the jealousy which this promotion excited, were among the causes of the mutiny of the ship's company and the death of the captain. No blame seems to have been attributed to Bylot; and in 1612-1613 he was again employed under Button, who completed the exploration of Hudson's Bay. It seems probable that in 1614 he was employed with Gibbons...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Billet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Billet migration to the United States

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Billet or a variant listed above:

Billet Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Katharine Billet, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [1]
  • Cath Billet, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [1]
Billet Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ernst Billet, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853 [1]
Billet Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Wilhelm Billet, who arrived in Arkansas in 1901 [1]

Billet migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Billet Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • François Billet was a cooper in Quebec in 1666
Billet Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Billet, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast, Ireland

Billet 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:

Billet Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Billet, American settler travelling from Honolulu aboard the ship "Wonga Wonga" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th September 1870 [2]
  • Mary Billet, aged 21, a housemaid, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
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