Bewlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Bewlay family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Worcestershire. However, the surname of the Bewlay family evolved from the name of their former residence, Beaulieu, a place in Calvados, Normandy. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Bewlay family

The surname Bewlay was first found in Worcestershire, at Bewdley, a town and civil parish in the Wyre Forest District. The village dates back to about 1275 when it was listed as Beuleu and literally meant "beautiful place" having derived from the Old French beau + lieu. [3]

One of the first records of one of the surname's early variants was Simon de Bello Loco of Normandy who was listed there in 1180 and years later Alexander de Bello Loco paid a fine in Bedfordshire in 1255. [1]

Bewley Common is a small village in Wiltshire. Bewley Castle is in Bolton, Cumbria and is "said to have been built by Bishop Hugh who died in 1223. The castle was originally called 'Bellus Locus.' It features in the legend of the Robbers of Bewley by Reagill's poet Anthony Whitehead (A border reiver dressed as a woman, out to rob Bewley castle in the time of Sir Richard Musgrave, gets hot fat poured down his throat while he sleeps by the house keeper Margaret Dawe)."

Early rolls listed William de Beulu in Gloucestershire in 1273 and Philip de Beauleu in 1329. [4]

Early History of the Bewlay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bewlay research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1902, 1840, 1835 and 1986 are included under the topic Early Bewlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bewlay Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Bewlay were recorded, including Bewley, Bewlay, Bowley, Bowlay, Bewlie and others.

Early Notables of the Bewlay family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Bewlay family to Ireland

Some of the Bewlay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 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 Bewlay family

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Bewlay arrived in North America very early: Mary Bewley who settled in New England in 1752; Grace Bewlie settled in New England in 1635; Ambrose Bewly settled in Virginia in 1642.



The Bewlay 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: Cautus metuit foveam lupus
Motto Translation: The cautious wolf fears the snare.


  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. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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