Balew History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Balew is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Balew family lived in Yorkshire. The name, however, refers to the region of Belleau or Bella Aqua in France, both of which translate as good water or clear water. 
The name also stretched north into Scotland where "Gilbert de Beleawe witnessed gift of the 'eschalingas i Lambremore' to the church of Kelso by William de Vyerpunt c. 1160. 
Early Origins of the Balew family
The surname Balew was first found in Yorkshire, where the name is "probably of Norman origin, meaning bel-eau, in Latin, Bella-aqua, the fair water; the designation of some locality. John be Bellew was a Baron of Parliament temp. Edward I." 
The family claim that the founder of the Bellews was a marshal in the army of the Conqueror. Some of the eighteen knights who were in direct succession settled in Ireland at Bellewstown, in the county of Meath and in Louth in the 13th century. 
Another source claims the name "is an old, though now a rare, Devonshire name."  This source also notes that the family had been lords of the manor of Stockleigh-English for more than 150 years.
Early History of the Balew family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Balew research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1720, 1805, 1585, 1585, 1575, 1585, 1848, 1798 and 1866 are included under the topic Early Balew History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Balew Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Balew has been recorded under many different variations, including Bellew, Belew, Below, Bella and others.
Early Notables of the Balew family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Bellew (fl. 1585), English legal reporter, "published in 1585 an abridgment of the reports of Statham Fitzherbert and Brooke, described by...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Balew Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Balew family to Ireland
Some of the Balew family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Balew family
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Balews were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Patrick Bellew who settled in Philadelphia, Pa. followed by Charles, James, John, Michael and Patrick all between 1844 and 1860; J.H. Bellew settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1852.
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Tout d'en haut
Motto Translation: All from above.
- Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- 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)
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.