Show ContentsBellingham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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]

Early Origins of the Bellingham family

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.

Richard Billingham or Bullingham (fl. 1350), was a schoolman, "whose name appears on the rolls of Merton College, Oxford, between 1344 and 1350, is mentioned by Wood (Antiquities of Oxford, i. 447 seqq.) as having been concerned in a riot arising about an election to the chancellorship of the University in 1349. " [3]

Billingham Manor (or Billingham House) is a manor house in Chillerton, on the Isle of Wight that dates back to 1631.

Early History of the Bellingham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bellingham research. Another 162 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1597, 1592, 1672, 1625, 1633, 1634, 1641, 1549, 1545, 1605, 1512, 1576, 1560, 1571, 1571, 1576, 1528, 1530, 1512, 1598, 1506, 1549, 1511, 1548, 1950 and 1958 are included under the topic Early Bellingham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bellingham Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Bellingham family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Bellingham (1592?-1672), an English colonial magistrate, lawyer, and several-time Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. "He was educated for the law, and from 1625 to 8 Nov. 1633 was recorder of Boston, Lincolnshire. In 1634 he emigrated, along with his wife, to Massachusetts, and in the following year he was elected deputy governor of the colony. By a majority of six votes over John Winthrop he was, in 1641, elected governor. " [3] Sir Edward Bellingham d. 1549), was Lord Deputy of Ireland and the oldest son of Edward Bellingham, Esq., of Erlingham...
Another 119 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bellingham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bellingham family to Ireland

Some of the Bellingham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 111 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bellingham migration to the United States +

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 [4]
  • William Bellingham, who arrived in Rowley, Massachusetts in 1640 [4]
  • Samuel Bellingham, who landed in New England in 1642 [4]
Bellingham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Bellingham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]

Australia Bellingham migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

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, Australia [5]
  • Joseph Bellingham, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Eliza" [6]
  • H. Bellingham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Louisa Baillie" in 1849 [7]

New Zealand Bellingham migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bellingham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • M Bellingham, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1838
  • Mr. J. Bellingham, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Balmoral" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 28th February 1861 [8]
  • Mr. C. B. (c. R.) Bellingham, (b. 1861), aged 29, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Tainui" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand in December 1890 [9]
  • Mrs. Bellingham, (b. 1864), aged 26, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Tainui" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand in December 1890 [9]
  • Mr. R. Bellingham, (b. 1890), aged Infant, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Tainui" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand in December 1890 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bellingham (post 1700) +

  • Norman Bellingham (b. 1946), American Olympic canoeist
  • John C. Bellingham, American politician, Electrical worker; Delegate to Socialist National Convention from New York, 1920; Candidate for New York State Assembly from Schenectady County 1st District, 1920. Scottish ancestry
  • Sir Alan Bellingham (1800-1889), 3rd Baronet., Irish peer from Castlebellingham, County Louth
  • Alastair John Bellingham CBE FRCP (1938-2017), British haematologist, President of the Royal College of Pathologists (1993-1996)
  • 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
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Bellingham Motto +

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.

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. 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)
  5. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1834 with 230 passengers. Retrieved from
  6. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELIZA 1849. Retrieved from
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The LOUISA BAILLIE 1849. Retrieved from
  8. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  9. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from on Facebook