Show ContentsBedwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Bedwell name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in Bidwell, Hertfordshire. This place name derives from the Old English words "byde," meaning "tub," and "well," meaning a "spring," or "stream." As such, Bedwell is classed as a habitational name.

Early Origins of the Bedwell family

The surname Bedwell was first found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where Bidwell was said to be a picturesque hamlet lying to the north-west of Houghton village. [1]

There is an early record of a Stephen de Bedewellin in Essex in the Calendar of the Close Rolls, in 1229. [2]

Early History of the Bedwell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bedwell research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1323, 1388, 1420, 1561, 1632, 1589, 1595, 1632, 1561, 1562, 1632, 1537, 1508, 1520, 1532, 1571, 1571, 1642, 1627, 1641 and 1642 are included under the topic Early Bedwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bedwell Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bedwell include Bedwell, Bedwel, Bedewell, Bidwell, Bidewell and many more.

Early Notables of the Bedwell family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Bedwell (1561-1632), Vicar of Tottenham, Middlesex, an English priest and scholar, who specialized in mathematics and foreign languages and Thomas Bedwell, who held the position of "Storekeeper of the Ordnance" of England, 1589-1595. William Bedwell (d. 1632), was nephew of "Thomas Bedwell, and father of Arabic studies in England, was born in 1561 or 1562, for his tombstone in the chancel of Tottenham church makes him aged...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bedwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bedwell Ranking

In the United States, the name Bedwell is the 7,434th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Bedwell family to Ireland

Some of the Bedwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 162 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bedwell migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bedwell or a variant listed above:

Bedwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Bedwell, who settled in Somers Islands in 1662
  • Elizabeth Bedwell, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [4]
Bedwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Bedwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [4]
  • Henry Bedwell, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1773
Bedwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • G. W. Bedwell, who was on record in Philadelphia in 1822

Australia Bedwell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bedwell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Bedwell 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:

Bedwell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Henry Bedwell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Bedwell (post 1700) +

  • Charles R. Bedwell (b. 1914), American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1956
  • Charles Haddon Bedwell (1884-1948), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Indiana State Senate, 1934-41; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Indiana 7th District, 1940; Judge, Indiana Appellate Court, 1941-43
  • Frederick Bedwell (1796-1853), English Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, one of the party that took Napoleon I of France to his banishment on the island of Saint Helena
  • Simon Bedwell (b. 1963), English visual artist
  • Edward Parker Bedwell (1834-1919), English Staff Commander in the Royal Navy
  • Steve Bedwell, Australian comedian and comedy writer
  • Samuel Bedwell Olden Jr., American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Guayaquil, 1943 [6]

HMS Royal Oak
  • Hector William Joseph Bedwell (1906-1939), British Plumber 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [7]

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th May 2022).
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from
  7. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook