Show ContentsBallew History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ballew reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Ballew family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ballew family lived in Cheshire where they were first established at Moreton on the Wirral Peninsula. Originally, the name was a variation of the Old French belleau or bella aqua, which means good water or clear water and likely is derived from the name of any number of locations so named in Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Ballew family

The surname Ballew was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Moreton in the Wirral Peninsula. The name of the Norman noble who was granted lands at Moreton was interchangeably Bellet or Bellot of Callouville in Normandy, but emerged in the 12th century as Bellow or Bellows. The family held a family seat at Moreton at the time of the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D. Moreton is now a seaside resort. East Rudham, Norfolk was "anciently the property of the family of Belet." [2]

"The Bellets were early seated in Norfolk, and became subsequently located in Cheshire by the marriage of John Bellet, Esq., temp. Henry VI., with Katherine, sister and heir of Ralph Moreton, of Great Moreton, in the Palatinate." [3]

Michael Belet (fl. 1182), was an English judge, Sheriff of Worcestershire 1176-1181 and again in 1184, of Wiltshire 1180-1182, of Leicestershire and Warwickshire in conjunction with Ralph Glanvill 1185-1187, and alone 1189-1200. [4]

Michael Belet (fl. 1238), another English judge, was the second son of the aforementioned Michael Belet; he is commonly styled Magister Michael Belet on account of his profession of civilian and canonist. [4]

Wroxton in Oxfordshire was also and ancient family seat. "This place was distinguished for an extensive monastery, founded for a prior and brethren of the Augustine order, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, about the year 1230, by Michael Belet, who endowed it with the lordships of Wroxton and Balscot." [2]

Early History of the Ballew family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ballew research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1663, 1612, 1604, 1542 and 1596 are included under the topic Early Ballew History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ballew Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Ballew include Bellowe, Bellow, Bellows, Bellot, Bellet, Bellett, Bellowes, Beloe, Belloe, Bellough, Belloes, Beloes, Belloughs, Ballot, Ballott, Ballow, Ballowe, Ballows, Ballowes and many more.

Early Notables of the Ballew family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Bellows of Moreton. Stephen Bellott, a Huguenot, sued his father-in-law Christopher Mountjoy in what became known in British law as Bellott v. Mountjoy which was heard at the Court of Requests in Westminster on 11 May 1612. While the case is of little significance, interestingly William Shakespeare was called before the court and admitted that he had played...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ballew Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ballew Ranking

In the United States, the name Ballew is the 5,039th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Ballew family to Ireland

Some of the Ballew family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ballew migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Ballews to arrive on North American shores:

Ballew Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Milton Julius Ballew, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
Ballew Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • W. F. Ballew, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Marion Ballew, aged 4, who landed in America from Carrickmacross, Ireland, in 1913
  • Claude C. Ballew, aged 21, who settled in America, in 1916
  • Richard Ballew, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1920
  • Percy Ballew, aged 26, who settled in America, in 1922
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ballew (post 1700) +

  • Robert Ballew (b. 1943), American professional football player
  • Sandy Ballew (b. 1964), American professional baseball player
  • Smith Ballew (1902-1984), American actor, sophisticated singer, orchestra leader, and a Western singing star
  • Christopher "Chris" Ballew (b. 1965), American member of an alternative rock group
  • Mary Ballew, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 2004 [6]
  • J. H. Ballew, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1944, 1948 (alternate) [6]
  • George F. Ballew, American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Livingston County, 1929-32 [6]
  • Earl Ballew, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1952 (alternate), 1956 (alternate), 1960 [6]

The Ballew Motto +

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: Vita et pectore puro
Motto Translation: With pure life and heart.

Suggested Readings for the name Ballew +

  • William Ballew; His Ancestors and Descendants by Violet Ann Ballew Walton.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook