Bellamay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Today's generation of the Bellamay family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bellamay family lived in Shropshire. The name could also be derived as a nickname meaning my good friend Literally, the name is derived from the Norman-French word belamy, "fair friend," which was used much in the depreciatory way in which we now employ "good fellow." 
Alternatively the name could have originated in Bellesme, a town of France.  So as proof of this latter origin, we note Ralf Belami in the Norman Exchequer Rolls of 1189. 
Early Origins of the Bellamay family
The surname Bellamay was first found in Shropshire, where Robert de Belesme was given Shropshire Castle to hold for King William. Fifty years later he rebelled against Duke William's successor, and successfully defended Shropshire Castle against King Stephen.
Also known as Robert of Belleme, the Earl of Shrewsbury, sometimes called Talvas, was the eldest son of Roger, Lord of Montgomery in Normandy, of Arundel and Chichester. "He was knighted by the Conqueror before the walls of Fresnay in 1073. In the revolt of Robert, the king's eldest son, in 1077, he and many other young Norman nobles upheld his cause against the king. As long as the Conqueror lived he and other Norman lords were compelled to receive garrisons from into their castles. This disabled them from disturbing the peace of the duchy. Robert in 1087 was on his way to visit the king, and had gone as far as Brionne when he heard of the Conqueror's death. He at once turned back, and turned the ducal garrisons out of his castles. " 
"Bellamy is a name that has long been established in Nottinghamshire. It occurred in the adjacent county of Cambridge in the reign of Edward I. , and is at present to be found in Huntingdonshire. " 
A well known name is early years, Chaucer noted in his famous Canterbury Tales 'Belamy, fayre frynde' (Belamy, fair friend.)
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two early listings of the family with different spellings: Hugh Belami, Cambridgeshire; and Roger Belamy, Oxfordshire. 
Kirby's Quest listed "John Belamy, Somerset, 1 Edward III" (during the first year's reign of King Edward III. 
"Other scattered notices of the name are forthcoming. In the Hundred Rolls of Edward I. we find Gilbert and Roger Belamy in Oxfordshire, Matilda Belamy in Dorsetshire, and Hugh and John Belami in Kent. John and Peter Belami were of Edenbridge, in the latter county, in 1317: and the family reappears in Dorset during the last century, when Edward Bellamy of Rampisham, a wealthy wool-stapler, bought Beuvill in Corscombe, and owned Evershot, Cheddington." 
Early History of the Bellamay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bellamay research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1603, 1634, 1698, 1689, 1717, 1717, 1717, 1720, 1687, 1687 and 1788 are included under the topic Early Bellamay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bellamay Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bellamay include Bellamy, Belamy, Bellamie, Belamie, Bellamey, Bellame, Bellasme, Bellamly and many more.
Early Notables of the Bellamay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Samuel "Black Sam" Bellamy (c.1689-1717), sometimes known as the "Prince of Pirates," an English pirate from Devon who operated in the early 18th century. He and his crew captured at least 53 ships under his command making him the wealthiest pirate in recorded history and all this before his death at age 28. According to Forbes, he was the highest earning pirate who had a wealth of over 120 million in today's dollars. He and his crew aboard the Whydah, got caught in a storm on the back side of Cape Cod, taking...
Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bellamay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bellamay family
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Bellamays to arrive on North American shores: Matthew Bellamy, Schoolmaster, who settled in New Haven in 1638; Edward Bellamy settled in Barbados in 1685. In Newfoundland, Henry Bellamy settled in St. John's in 1819.
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- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ 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.