Belows History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Belows was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Belows family lived in Yorkshire. The name, however, refers to the region of Belleau or Bella Aqua in France, both of which translate as good water or clear water. 
The name also stretched north into Scotland where "Gilbert de Beleawe witnessed gift of the 'eschalingas i Lambremore' to the church of Kelso by William de Vyerpunt c. 1160. 
Early Origins of the Belows family
The surname Belows was first found in Yorkshire, where the name is "probably of Norman origin, meaning bel-eau, in Latin, Bella-aqua, the fair water; the designation of some locality. John be Bellew was a Baron of Parliament temp. Edward I." 
The family claim that the founder of the Bellews was a marshal in the army of the Conqueror. Some of the eighteen knights who were in direct succession settled in Ireland at Bellewstown, in the county of Meath and in Louth in the 13th century. 
Another source claims the name "is an old, though now a rare, Devonshire name."  This source also notes that the family had been lords of the manor of Stockleigh-English for more than 150 years.
Early History of the Belows family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belows research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1720, 1805, 1585, 1585, 1575, 1585, 1848, 1798 and 1866 are included under the topic Early Belows History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Belows Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Bellew, Belew, Below, Bella and others.
Early Notables of the Belows family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Bellew ( fl. 1585), English legal reporter, "published in 1585 an abridgment of the reports of Statham Fitzherbert and Brooke, described by...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belows Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Belows family to Ireland
Some of the Belows family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Belows family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Belows or a variant listed above: Patrick Bellew who settled in Philadelphia, Pa. followed by Charles, James, John, Michael and Patrick all between 1844 and 1860; J.H. Bellew settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1852.
Related Stories +
The Belows 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: Tout d'en haut
Motto Translation: All from above.
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.