Belsize History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Belsize is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Belsize family lived in Durham, where they were established by the early Middle Ages.
Early Origins of the Belsize family
The surname Belsize was first found in Durham where they held a family seat. Belasius, a Norman Lord, attended William Duke of Normandy at Hastings in 1066 when King Harold was defeated.
Belasius became General of William's forces against the remnant of the Saxon Army commanded by the Princes Edwin and Morcar in the famous siege of the Isle of Ely. Morton-Grange in Durham was home to a branch of the family.
"This place formerly belonged to the family of Belasyse, to whom Cardinal Wolsey, in 1525, granted a lease of the manor and grange, and of whom was Sir William Belasyse, Knt., of Morton, High Sheriff of the county under the see of Durham from 1628 until his death in 1641." 
In later years. some of the family held a family seat at Worlaby in Lincolnshire. "This place, which is included in the duchy of Lancaster, was the seat of the Belasis family, one of whom, John, second son of the first Viscount Fauconberg, was lord of the treasury under James II., and was in 1644 created a Baron, of Worlaby, or Worletby; a title that became extinct on the death of his grandson without issue." 
Early History of the Belsize family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belsize research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1577, 1614, 1627, 1648, 1653, 1661, 1673, 1678, 1689, 1691, 1692, 1700, 1701 and 1717 are included under the topic Early Belsize History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Belsize Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Belsize are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Belsize include Bellsize, Belsize, Belasyse, Bellasise, Belasize, Bellasize, Belasise, Belasis and many more.
Early Notables of the Belsize family
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Charles Belasyse; Thomas Belasyse, 1st Baron & Viscount Fauconberg, 2nd Baronet (1577-1653), an English politician; John Belasyse, 1st Baron Belasyse PC (1614-1689), an English nobleman, soldier and Member of Parliament, Lord-Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire (1661-1673), Governor of Tangier...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belsize Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Belsize family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Belsize, or a variant listed above: Ralph Belasis who landed in North America in 1760.
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: Bonne et belle assez
Motto Translation: Good and handsome enough (in allusion to the fleur-de-lis on their shield)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.