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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Bellingham family come from? What is the Scottish Bellingham family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bellingham family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bellingham family history?

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]


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.

First found in Bellingham, Northumberland, where Alan of Bellingham was Lord of the manor at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. Record 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bellingham research. Another 324 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1592, 1597, and 1672 are included under the topic Early Bellingham History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 32 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bellingham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Bellingham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 30 words(2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


  • Norman Bellingham (b. 1946), American Olympic canoeist
  • Sir Alan Henry Bellingham (1846-1921), 4th Baronet Bellingham, Irish politician and army officer
  • 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)
  • Edward Bellingham (d. 1549), Lord Deputy of Ireland
  • Sir Edward Bellingham (1879-1956), 5th Baronet, an Irish politician
  • Henry Bellingham (b. 1955), English politician
  • Sir Henry Bellingham (1846-1921), 4th Baronet, a British barrister-at-law
  • Kate Bellingham, British engineer
  • Lynda Bellingham (b. 1948), Canadian born English actress
  • Rebecca Bellingham, New Zealand badminton player


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)

Other References

  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  8. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  9. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  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 8 January 2015 at 12:49.

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