Bewes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bewes is generally thought to be a patronymic name created from the given name Hugh. Using the Welsh prefix ap or ab, the surname was Ab Hugh, which became Bugh, then Bew. Alternately, some instances of the name in Britain may have come with the Normans, perhaps deriving from the place name Bayeux in Calvados; and, it appears that the Scottish, or Northern English instances of the name may have Scandinavian roots.

Early Origins of the Bewes family

The surname Bewes was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from early times. Early recorded instances of the name include Robert le Beu, who was listed in the Assize Rolls of County Somerset in 1200. Bew Castle, a ruined 12th century castle near the village of Bewcastle, Cumbria, adds credence to the suggestion that there may have been a Scandinavian source for this name in the North.

Early History of the Bewes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bewes research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the year 1640 is included under the topic Early Bewes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bewes Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and 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 of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Bewes, Bew, Bewe, Bews, Bewis and others.

Early Notables of the Bewes family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bewes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bewes migration to the United States +

Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bewes or a variant listed above:

Bewes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Bewes, who settled in Virginia in 1654

Contemporary Notables of the name Bewes (post 1700) +

  • Rodney Bewes (1938-2017), British television comedic actor, known for his work on the BBC television sitcom The Likely Lads (1964–1966) and its sequel Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (1973–1974)
  • Rev. Richard Bewes, British minister, broadcaster and writer on Facebook
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