Show ContentsBawle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Anglo-Saxon name Bawle come from its first bearer, who was a person who was bald deriving its origin from the Old English word Bealla, which meant bald. The surname may also refer to someone who had a rotund or stocky stature. [1]

While many researchers share this same "nickname" origin of the name, Henry Brougham Guppy in 1890, wrote "The idea that these names originated from bald - headed ancestors is, I think, absurd. Camden, in his remarks on surnames, written some 300 years ago, informs us that Baul and Bald were then nicknames or nursenames for Baldwin, and it was evidently from this source that Mr. Lower borrowed the suggestion that Ball was a nickname of Baldwin." [2]

Early Origins of the Bawle family

The surname Bawle was first found in the "west side of England, being at present most numerous in Lancashire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Gloucestershire. This surname must be distinguished in its distribution from Balls, which is restricted to the opposite or east side of England, in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. It is remarkable that after the lapse of six centuries Balls remains doggedly in the same part of England, whilst Ball and Baldwin seem to have extended their areas westward. In Norfolk three centuries ago Balls was sometimes spelt Balles or Ballis. " [2]

The earliest record of the family was found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 which reflected the scattered occurrences of the family and early spellings recorded: Custance Balde, Cambridgeshire; Richard Bald, Oxfordshire; John Balle, Norfolk; and Albred Balle, Huntingdonshire. [1]

Kirby's Quest had several entries: John Balde, Somerset, 1 Edward III (recorded during the first year's reign of Edward III.) John atte Balle, Somerset, 1 Edward III; and Henry atte Balle, Somerset, 1 Edward III. [3]

John Ball (d. 1381), was an early English priest, who provoked the insurrection of Wat Tyler. As a result of his actions, he was "brought before the king at St. Albans, where he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered as a traitor. The sentence seems to have been promptly carried out, and the king himself witnessed its execution at St. Albans on 15 July. " [4]

Early History of the Bawle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bawle research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1381, 1530, 1553, 1585, 1590, 1623, 1626, 1631, 1637, 1640, 1659, 1664, 1665, 1675, 1680, 1681, 1690, 1745, 1887, 1890 and 1992 are included under the topic Early Bawle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bawle Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Bawle has been spelled many different ways, including Ball, Balle, Balls, Balders and others.

Early Notables of the Bawle family

Notables of the family at this time include John Ball (1585-1640), English Puritan divine, born at Cassington, Oxfordshire, in October 1585. Thomas Ball (1590-1659), was an English divine, born at Aberbury in Shropshire. "His parents were of 'good and honest repute,' having neither 'superfluity nor want.' " [4] William Ball or Balle (c. 1631-1690), was an early an English astronomer, one of the founding Fellows of the Royal Society. He was the eldest of seventeen children born to Sir Peter Ball, knight, recorder of Exeter and attorney-general to the queen in the reigns of Charles...
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bawle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bawle family to Ireland

Some of the Bawle family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 181 words (13 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 Bawle family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Bawles to arrive in North America: George Ball who settled in St. Christopher in 1635; Goodwife Ball settled in Virginia in 1623; Allen Ball settled in New Haven Conn. in 1630; Eliza Ball settled in Virginia in 1651.

The Bawle 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: Fulcrum dignitatis virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue is the support of dignity

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook