Balamay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Balamay is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Balamay family lived in Shropshire. The name could also be derived as a nickname meaning my good friend Literally, the name is derived from the Norman-French word belamy, "fair friend," which was used much in the depreciatory way in which we now employ "good fellow." 
Alternatively the name could have originated in Bellesme, a town of France.  So as proof of this latter origin, we note Ralf Belami in the Norman Exchequer Rolls of 1189. 
Early Origins of the Balamay family
The surname Balamay was first found in Shropshire, where Robert de Belesme was given Shropshire Castle to hold for King William. Fifty years later he rebelled against Duke William's successor, and successfully defended Shropshire Castle against King Stephen.
Also known as Robert of Belleme, the Earl of Shrewsbury, sometimes called Talvas, was the eldest son of Roger, Lord of Montgomery in Normandy, of Arundel and Chichester. "He was knighted by the Conqueror before the walls of Fresnay in 1073. In the revolt of Robert, the king's eldest son, in 1077, he and many other young Norman nobles upheld his cause against the king. As long as the Conqueror lived he and other Norman lords were compelled to receive garrisons from into their castles. This disabled them from disturbing the peace of the duchy. Robert in 1087 was on his way to visit the king, and had gone as far as Brionne when he heard of the Conqueror's death. He at once turned back, and turned the ducal garrisons out of his castles. " 
"Bellamy is a name that has long been established in Nottinghamshire. It occurred in the adjacent county of Cambridge in the reign of Edward I. , and is at present to be found in Huntingdonshire. " 
A well known name is early years, Chaucer noted in his famous Canterbury Tales 'Belamy, fayre frynde' (Belamy, fair friend.)
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two early listings of the family with different spellings: Hugh Belami, Cambridgeshire; and Roger Belamy, Oxfordshire. 
Kirby's Quest listed "John Belamy, Somerset, 1 Edward III" (during the first year's reign of King Edward III. 
"Other scattered notices of the name are forthcoming. In the Hundred Rolls of Edward I. we find Gilbert and Roger Belamy in Oxfordshire, Matilda Belamy in Dorsetshire, and Hugh and John Belami in Kent. John and Peter Belami were of Edenbridge, in the latter county, in 1317: and the family reappears in Dorset during the last century, when Edward Bellamy of Rampisham, a wealthy wool-stapler, bought Beuvill in Corscombe, and owned Evershot, Cheddington." 
Early History of the Balamay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Balamay research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1603, 1634, 1698, 1689, 1717, 1717, 1717, 1720, 1687, 1687 and 1788 are included under the topic Early Balamay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Balamay Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Bellamy, Belamy, Bellamie, Belamie, Bellamey, Bellame, Bellasme, Bellamly and many more.
Early Notables of the Balamay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Samuel "Black Sam" Bellamy (c.1689-1717), sometimes known as the "Prince of Pirates," an English pirate from Devon who operated in the early 18th century. He and his crew captured at least 53 ships under his command making him the wealthiest pirate in recorded history and all this before his death at age 28. According to Forbes, he was the highest earning pirate who had a wealth of over 120 million in today's dollars. He and his crew aboard the Whydah, got caught in a storm on the back side of Cape Cod, taking...
Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Balamay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Balamay family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Balamay or a variant listed above were: Matthew Bellamy, Schoolmaster, who settled in New Haven in 1638; Edward Bellamy settled in Barbados in 1685. In Newfoundland, Henry Bellamy settled in St. John's in 1819.
Related Stories +
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.