Bellows History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Bellows family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Bellows family

The surname Bellows 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." [2]

Michael Belet ( fl. 1182), was an English judge, Sheriff of Worcestershire 1176-1181 and again in 1184, of Wiltshire 1180-1182, of Leicestershire and Warwickshire in conjunction with Ralph Glanvill 1185-1187, and alone 1189-1200. [3]

Michael Belet (fl. 1238), another English judge, was the second son of the aforementioned Michael Belet; he is commonly styled Magister Michael Belet on account of his profession of civilian and canonist. [3]

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." [2]

Early History of the Bellows family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bellows research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1663, 1612, 1604, 1542 and 1596 are included under the topic Early Bellows History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bellows Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Bellowe, Bellow, Bellows, Bellot, Bellet, Bellett, Bellowes, Beloe, Belloe, Bellough, Belloes, Beloes, Belloughs, Ballot, Ballott, Ballow, Ballowe, Ballows, Ballowes and many more.

Early Notables of the Bellows family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Bellows of Moreton. Stephen Bellott, a Huguenot, sued his father-in-law Christopher Mountjoy in what became known in British law as Bellott v. Mountjoy which was heard at the Court of Requests in Westminster on 11 May 1612. While the case is of little significance, interestingly William Shakespeare was called before the court and admitted that he had played...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bellows Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bellows family to Ireland

Some of the Bellows 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 and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bellows migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Bellows name or one of its variants:

Bellows Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Bellows, who arrived in New England in 1655 [4]
Bellows Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • S B Bellows, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Canada Bellows migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bellows Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jane Bellows, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
Bellows Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Bellows, who settled in Trinity, Newfoundland in 1818 [5]
  • Robert Bellows, who settled in Greenspond, Newfoundland in 1829 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bellows (post 1700) +

  • James Bellows, American editor of the Washington Star
  • George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925), American painter and lithographer
  • Henry Whitney Bellows, American clergyman
  • Josiah Bellows, American politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 10th District, 1813-14
  • John Bellows (b. 1785), American politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate, 1785-88, 1792-94, 1794-95 ( Cheshire County 1785-88, 1792-94, 11th District 1794-95)
  • Ira Bellows, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Monroe County, 1832
  • Henry Adams Bellows, American politician, Justice of New Hampshire State Supreme Court, 1859-69; Chief Justice of New Hampshire State Supreme Court, 1869-73
  • Harold Cagwin Bellows (1895-1966), American Democrat politician, Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; Gas and oil dealer; Poultry farmer; Bay County Treasurer; Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Bay County 2nd District, 1933-36;
  • Edward Clark Bellows (1856-1929), American Republican politician, Member of Washington State Legislature; U.S. Consul General in Yokohama, 1900-05; California Corporation Commissioner, 1918-22
  • C. W. Bellows, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1856
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


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


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0


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