Bellemee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Bellemee is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bellemee 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 Bellemee family
The surname Bellemee 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 Bellemee family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bellemee 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 Bellemee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bellemee Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Bellamy, Belamy, Bellamie, Belamie, Bellamey, Bellame, Bellasme, Bellamly and many more.
Early Notables of the Bellemee 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 Bellemee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bellemee family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bellemee or a variant listed above: 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.