Belles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Belles 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. Belles is also known to have arisen from the English and Scots given name Bel, which derived from the Old French "beu" or "bel," meaning "handsome." "The chief habitation of the Bells has long been on the Scottish border. " 
Early Origins of the Belles family
The surname Belles was first found in Dumfriesshire, where they have been found since ancient times. The Clan is descended from Gilbert le fiz Bel, who had extensive territories in Annandale on the English/Scottish border. He was the first clan chief, when King Edward invaded the Scottish lowlands in 1290 AD. In this brief conquest, Bel forfeited the clan territories of the Bells and the clan moved to Middlebie in Dumfrieshire.
Later when Edward of England was defeated by the Scottish they returned to their Annandale territories in the Scottish West Marches and acquired some territories on the southern side of the border at Gilsland just south of Hadrian's Wall. "The Bells of Annandale are said to be descended from Gilbert le fiz Bel, who was deprived of his lands by Edward I. The name was common on the Border for centuries, and the 'Beilis' are included in the list of unruly clans in the West Marches, 1587." 
Important Dates for the Belles family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belles research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1069, 1587, 1603, 1896, 1263, 1271, 1562, 1607, 1590, 1618, 1577, 1590, 1678, 1626, 1629, 1629, 1636, 1640, 1650, 1668, 1640, 1648 and are included under the topic Early Belles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Belles Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Bell, Belle and others.
Early Notables of the Belles family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Master David Bell, canon of the church of Dunkeld in 1263; William Bel, vicar of Lamberton, who witnessed a charter to Coldingham Priory, 1271; Sir Edmond Bell Of Castle Acre and Beaupre Hall, Norfolk (1562-1607), Justice of the Peace, Norfolk; The Blessed Arthur Bell (1590-1618), also known as Francis Bell, who was a Franciscan...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Belles family to Ireland
Some of the Belles 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.
Belles migration to the United States
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Belles Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Richard Belles, who landed in Virginia in 1705 
Belles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Seraphin Belles, aged 29, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1836 
- E D Belles, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
Contemporary Notables of the name Belles (post 1700)
- Steve Belles (b. 1966), former American football quarterback who played with the Arizona Rattlers (1992)
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)