Belesham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Belesham first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the parish of Belchamp in the county of Essex having derived from the Old English elements bel, which means fair, and champ, which means field. [1]

Early Origins of the Belesham family

The surname Belesham was first found in Essex, where Belchamp-Otton "derives the adjunct to its name from an ancient possessor called Otton, or Otho, who held it in the reign of Henry II., and whose descendant, Otho Fitz-William, was sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire for several successive years. " [2]

Belchamp St. Paul's and Belchamp-Walter are also parishes in Essex. In Saxon times, they were collectively known as Bylcham c. 940. They was also two listing for the parishes in the Domesday Book of 1086: Belcham and Belcamp. [3]

Early History of the Belesham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belesham research. Another 297 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1500, 1661, 1750, 1508, 1537, 1537 and 1583 are included under the topic Early Belesham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Belesham Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Belesham has appeared include Belsham, Bellsham, Belshem, Belchamp, Bellchamp, Belesham and many more.

Early Notables of the Belesham family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Belchiam (1508-1537), a Franciscan friar of the convent at Greenwich, who was imprisoned, with others of his brethren, for refusing to take the oath of the royal supremacy, and declaring the king (Henry VIII) to be a heretic. "He died in Newgate of starvation on 3 Aug. 1537. A copy of his...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belesham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Belesham family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Belesham arrived in North America very early: John Belchem, who came to Barbados in 1679; John Belcham, who came to Barbados in 1679; Jame Bellsham, who arrived in Ontario in 1871; and P. S. Belcham, who settled in St. John, N.B. in 1907..



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)


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