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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The name Bellhouse reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bellhouse family lived in Cheshire where they were first established at Moreton on the Wirral Peninsula. Originally, the name was a variation of the Old French belleau or bella aqua, which means good water or clear water and likely is derived from the name of any number of locations so named in Normandy.

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The surname Bellhouse was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Moreton in the Wirral Peninsula. The name of the Norman noble who was granted lands at Moreton was interchangeably Bellet or Bellot of Callouville in Normandy, but emerged in the 12th century as Bellow or Bellows. The family held a family seat at Moreton at the time of the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D. Moreton is now a seaside resort. East Rudham, Norfolk was "anciently the property of the family of Belet." [1] Wroxton in Oxfordshire was also and ancient family seat. "This place was distinguished for an extensive monastery, founded for a prior and brethren of the Augustine order, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, about the year 1230, by Michael Belet, who endowed it with the lordships of Wroxton and Balscot." [1]

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Bellhouse family name include Bellowe, Bellow, Bellows, Bellot, Bellet, Bellett, Bellowes, Beloe, Belloe, Bellough, Belloes, Beloes, Belloughs, Ballot, Ballott, Ballow, Ballowe, Ballows, Ballowes and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bellhouse research. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 166 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Bellhouse History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Bellhouse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bellhouse family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 33 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Bellhouse family to immigrate North America: Jo Bellowes who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635; James Bellow arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1868; Jean Bellot settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1763.

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vita et pectore puro
Motto Translation: With pure life and heart.

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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Bellhouse Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bellhouse Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 March 2016 at 10:03.

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