Show ContentsBemis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Bemis family

The surname Bemis was first found in Normandy where the family was formerly Beaumis, Beaumeys, or Beametz and are from Beaumetz, near Abbeville. Today this is a commune in the Somme department in the Picardie (Picardy) region of northern France. When they arrived in Britain is not known but one can safely assume shortly after the Conquest as Richard de Belmiz, Viscount of Salop (Shropshire) witnessed a charter in 1087 of Salop Abbey. Richards be Beaumez witnessed a charter of Henry I., in 1124. Richard be Belmiz was Bishop of London in 1172. [1]

The stronghold of the family was in Durham at Beamish, a township, in the chapelry of Tanfield, parish of Chester-Le-Street, union of Lanchester, Middle division of Chester ward. The place name dates back to 1288 when it was first listed as Bewmys and literally meant "beautiful mansion." from the Old French words "beau" + "mes." [2] "It stands in the wooded vale of Team, which expands itself near the house of Beamish into a fine strath. The mansion, which contains some curious old portraits, is one of the best family residences in the county." [3] Beamish Hall was originally built as a present in 1268 for the wedding of Isabella de la Leigh and Guiscard de Charron.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Robert de Beaumeis, alias Beaumeis in Cambridgeshire; Roger de Beaumes in Shropshire; and Agnes be Beaumeys in Huntingdonshire. [4]

Again in Shropshire, we found Richard de Beames, de Belmes in the Pipe Rolls for 1191-1192. And later Robert de Beaumeis was found in the Feet of Fines for Huntingdonshire in 1208. [5]

Early History of the Bemis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bemis research. Another 62 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1950, 1797, 1872, 1797, 1816, 1823 and 1825 are included under the topic Early Bemis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bemis Spelling Variations

During the era when a person's name, tribe and posterity was one of his most important possessions, many different spellings were found in the archives examined. Bemis occurred in many references, and spelling variations of the name found included Beamish, Beemish, Beames and others.

Early Notables of the Bemis family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was North Ludlow Beamish (1797-1872), military writer and antiquary, the son of William Beamish, Esq., of Beaumont House, co. Cork, and was born on 31 Dec. 1797. In November 1816 he obtained a commission in the 4th royal Irish dragoon guards, in which corps he purchased a troop in 1823. In 1825 he published an English translation of a small cavalry manual written...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bemis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bemis Ranking

In the United States, the name Bemis is the 5,378th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Bemis family to Ireland

Some of the Bemis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bemis migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of illness and the elements, were buried at sea. In North America, early immigrants bearing the family name Bemis, or a spelling variation of the surname include:

Bemis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Bemis, who landed in New England in 1640 [7]
  • Mathew Bemis, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [7]
  • John Bemis, who landed in Virginia in 1665 [7]
Bemis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Bemis, who arrived in New York in 1836 [7]
  • C. E. Bemis, aged 55, who settled in America, in 1895
  • A.F. Bemis, aged 25, who settled in America, in 1896
Bemis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Caroline Bemis, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States from Armagh, in 1903
  • Earl W. Bemis, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1904
  • H. V. Bemis, aged 61, who settled in Chicago, in 1905
  • Anne S. Bemis, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Frank Bemis, who immigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Bemis migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bemis Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • David A. Bemis, aged 47, who settled in Toronto, Canada, in 1913

Contemporary Notables of the name Bemis (post 1700) +

  • Gregg Bemis (1929-2020), American sea explorer and diver (MS Estonia), owner of the RMS Lusitania wreck
  • Harold MedBerry Bemis (1884-1926), Rear Admiral in the United States Navy
  • Alec Hanley Bemis, American writer and music business professional
  • Samuel Flagg Bemis (1891-1973), American historian and biographer
  • Andru Bemis, American musician
  • Polly Bemis, famous Chinese American pioneer woman
  • Harry Parker Bemis (1874-1947), American Major League Baseball catcher
  • George Bemis (1816-1878), American lawyer and legal scholar
  • Max Bemis (b. 1984), the American lead singer and primary lyricist of the band Say Anything
  • F. Gregg Bemis Jr., American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New Mexico 3rd District, 1992, 1994
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Edwin W. Bemis, American Seaman First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [8]

  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. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook