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


The forefathers of the Bellingham family were Viking settlers who came to Scotland in the Middle Ages. Many places were named by these Norsemen, and the Bellingham surname was taken on from one of these place names, when someone lived in the manor of Bellingham in Northumberland, where the family held this estate since the early Middle Ages. By trade, the family was traditionally foresters, and principally cared for the forest of Tynedale, "for tyme beyond memory". The name literally means "homestead of the dwellers at the bell-shaped hill" and is derived from the Old English words Bell+ ing + ham. [1]

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The surname Bellingham was first found in Bellingham, Northumberland, where Alan of Bellingham was Lord of the manor shortly after the Norman Conquest in 1066. [2] Early records show that there were perpetual feuds between Alan de Bellingham and the Charltons of Hasleyside. It seems that the Charletons were the victor as while they have a mansion near the town, the Bellinghams have pretty much disappeared from the county. Henry Bellingham of Bellingham was made Knight Banneret by King Henry VI after the battle of Wakefield.

Sound and intuition were the main things that scribes in the Middle Ages relied on when spelling and translating names. Since those factors varied, so did the spelling of the names. Spelling variations of the name Bellingham include Bellingham, Bellinghame, Belingham, Belinghame, Billingham and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bellingham research. Another 323 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1597, 1592 and 1672 are included under the topic Early Bellingham History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bellingham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bellingham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In North America, the monarchy was thousands of miles away and Scots were free to settle on their own land and practice their own beliefs. The American War of Independence provided an opportunity for these settlers to pay back the English monarchy and forge a new nation. Recently, this heritage has survived through North American highland games and Clan societies. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Bellingham or a variant listed above:

Bellingham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard and William Bellingham who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630
  • Richard Bellingham, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635
  • William Bellingham, who arrived in Rowley, Massachusetts in 1640
  • Samuel Bellingham, who landed in New England in 1642

Bellingham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Bellingham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Robert Bellingham arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850

Bellingham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Henry Bellingham, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Joseph Bellingham, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Eliza"
  • H. Bellingham arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Louisa Baillie" in 1849

Bellingham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • M Bellingham landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1838

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  • Norman Bellingham (b. 1946), American Olympic canoeist
  • Sir Roger Charles Noel Bellingham (1884-1915), English Captain in the service of the Royal Field Artillery, who held the office of Aide-de-Camp to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland (1912-1914)
  • Sir Alan Henry Bellingham (1846-1921), 4th Baronet Bellingham, Irish politician and army officer
  • Kate Bellingham, British engineer
  • Rebecca Bellingham, New Zealand badminton player
  • Lynda Bellingham (b. 1948), Canadian born English actress
  • Sir Henry Bellingham (1846-1921), 4th Baronet, a British barrister-at-law
  • Henry Bellingham (b. 1955), English politician
  • Sir Edward Bellingham (1879-1956), 5th Baronet, an Irish politician
  • Edward Bellingham (d. 1549), Lord Deputy of Ireland


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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: Ainsi il est
Motto Translation: Thus it is.

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  7. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  8. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  11. ...

The Bellingham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bellingham 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 17 March 2016 at 10:16.

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