Early Origins of the Bellabey family
The surname Bellabey was first found in Bellerby where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. Many of these nobles were from Brittany
, under the leadership of Count Alan and his brother, and were Barons who had joined the Duke of Normandy
in the crossing to Hastings. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between the Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant
of the lands of Bellerby, part of the vast estates granted to Count Alan By Duke William of Normandy
. The lands were recorded in the Domesday Book
census of 1086.
Early History of the Bellabey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bellabey research.Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 142 and 1421 are included under the topic Early Bellabey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bellabey Spelling Variations
Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton
surnames have many spelling variations
. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England
after the Norman Conquest
, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Bellerby, Bellaby, Bellerbie and others.
Early Notables of the Bellabey family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bellabey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bellabey family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Bellabey, or a variant listed above: Alfred Bellerby, aged 29, who arrived at Ellis Island
, in 1893; Emma L Bellerby, aged 4, who arrived at Ellis Island, in 1893; Gertrude Bellerby, aged 8, who arrived at Ellis Island
from Hull, in 1907.