Show ContentsBellea History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bellea surname arose independently from several different sources. In some instances, it comes from the Old English word "belle" meaning "bell," and was most likely an occupational name for a bell ringer. It may have also been a name for someone who lived near a bell. Bellea is also known to have arisen from the English and Scottish given name Bel, which derived from the Old French "beu" or "bel," meaning "handsome." [1]

"From Le Bel, a surname which frequently occurs in Normandy." [2]

Early Origins of the Bellea family

The surname Bellea was first found in Dumfriesshire. "John Bell appears as a notary in St. Andrews, 1248. A family of the name appears to have been hereditarily connected with the church of Dunkeld. Master David Bell was a canon there, 1263, and William Bell appears as dean, 1329-42. William Bel, vicar of Lamberton, witnessed a charter to Coldingham Priory, 1271." [3]

At one time, the Clan Bell was well known on the Scottish West March of the Scottish and English borders. But in 1587, the Parliament of Scotland passed a statute: "For the quieting and keping in obiedince of the disorderit subjectis inhabitantis of the borders hielands and Ilis." This statute disolved the Clan status. [4]

Early references to the name in England include Ailuuardus filius Bell listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 in Suffolk; Hugo Bel who was in Winton, Hampshire in 1148; Serlo Belle listed in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1190; as well as Roger del Bel, who was in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk of 1209. [5]

Robert le Bell was Mayor of Bristol in 1239. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had many entries for the name typically with the Old French spelling: Nicholas filius Bele in Bedfordshire; Ralph le Bele in Cambridgeshire; and Hugh le Bel, in Oxfordshire; Thomas le Bel in Suffolk. [6]

Early History of the Bellea family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bellea research. Another 268 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1069, 1340, 1350, 1463, 1528, 1562, 1577, 1587, 1590, 1603, 1607, 1618, 1640, 1647, 1648, 1668, 1711, 1890 and 1896 are included under the topic Early Bellea History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bellea Spelling Variations

During the era when a person's name, tribe and posterity was one of his most important possessions, many different spellings were found in the archives examined. Bellea occurred in many references, and spelling variations of the name found included Bell, Belle and others.

Early Notables of the Bellea family

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was The Blessed Arthur Bell (1590-1618), also known as Francis Bell, who was a Franciscan and English martyr; Sir Robert Bell (d. 1577) of Beaupre Hall, Norfolk, Speaker of the House of Commons; William Bell (died ca. 1668)...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bellea Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bellea family to Ireland

Some of the Bellea family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bellea family

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of illness and the elements, were buried at sea. In North America, early immigrants bearing the family name Bellea, or a spelling variation of the surname include: George Bell, who came to Virginia in 1638; James Bell, who settled in Barbados in 1635; John Bell who settled in Virginia in 1638; Alexander Bell who settled in Virginia in 1654.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. 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)
  4. Fraser, George MacDonald, The Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers HarperCollins Publishers, 1972: Print. (ISBN13: 9780002727464)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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) on Facebook