Show ContentsBelden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Belden family

The surname Belden was first found in various places named Belton in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, Norfolk and Suffolk. [1] The place name literally means "farmstead in a glade or on a dry ground in a marsh," from the Old English "bel," + "tun." [2]

The Domesday Book of 1086 has early entries and spellings used at that time: Beltone, Lincolnshire and Beletuna, Norfolk. [3] Like the others, these place names evolved over the centuries to be named Belton. Attesting to the "marsh" origin above, we found this interesting entry: "At the hamlet of Sandtoft [in the parish of Belton, Lincolnshire], a church was built for the Dutch and French Protestants brought over by Cornelius Vermuyden, in the reign of Charles II., to assist in draining the marshes. In opposition to this undertaking, serious riots occurred: the church was materially injured, and soon fell into decay. The females of the hamlet who intermarried with the strangers retained their maiden names after marriage, not choosing to adopt those of their foreign husbands." [4]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. In Norfolk, we found Hamon de Belton, 1257; and John de Belton, rector of Ovington, Norfolk, 1366. [5] Henry de Belton, pistor was a Feeman of York, 17 Edward II (during the seventeenth year of King Edward II's reign.) And the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: John de Beletun, Suffolk; Gervase de Belton, Suffolk; and Nicholas de Belton, Suffolk. [6]

To the north in Scotland, the name had a similar origin, but originated in "Belton, in the parish of Dunbar, formerly itself an ancient parish. Henry de Beletun granted a charter of his lands of Kingissete (Kingside) to the monks of Melrose, 1231. John de Belton was one of the garrison of Edinburgh Castle in 1312." [7]

The "p" as in Pelton and the "b" as in Belton were interchangeable in Scotland and England.

Early History of the Belden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belden research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1231, 1312, 1775 and 1782 are included under the topic Early Belden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belden Spelling Variations

The name Belden, appeared in many references, and from time to time, the surname was spelt Belton, Beltone, Beleton, Beldan, Belden, Belston, Belting, Beldon and many more.

Early Notables of the Belden family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Belden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belden Ranking

In the United States, the name Belden is the 7,628th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Belden family to Ireland

Some of the Belden family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Belden migration to the United States +

The New World beckoned as many of the settlers in Ireland, known as the Scotch/Irish, became disenchanted. They sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. Some called them, less romantically, the "coffin ships." Amongst the early settlers who could be considered kinsmen of the Belden family, or who bore a variation of the surname Belden were

Belden Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Belden, who arrived in Connecticut in 1635 [9]
Belden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Carolina Belden, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1806 [9]
  • Wilford Belden, aged 50, who landed in New York in 1812 [9]
  • Mr. Belden, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1821 [9]
  • H Belden, aged 28, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1848 [9]
  • E Belden, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Belden (post 1700) +

  • James Robert "Bob" Belden (1956-2015), American Grammy Award winning saxophonist, arranger, composer, bandleader and producer
  • Ira Allison Belden (1874-1916), American outfielder in Major League Baseball
  • George Ogilvie Belden (1797-1833), U.S. Representative from New York
  • James Jerome Belden (1825-1904), U.S. Representative from New York
  • Josiah Belden (1815-1892), American pioneer and politician
  • Jack Belden (1910-1989), American war correspondent
  • Charles Josiah Belden (1887-1966), American photographer and rancher
  • James Robert Belden (b. 1956), American saxophonist, arranger, composer, bandleader and producer
  • Silas Belden Dutcher (1829-1909), American politician, New York State Superintendent of Public Works (1880-1883)
  • David Belden Lyman (1803-1884), early American missionary to Hawaii

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. 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)
  8. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  9. 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) on Facebook