Show ContentsBewley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bewley is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bewley family lived in Worcestershire. However, the surname of the Bewley family evolved from the name of their former residence, Beaulieu, a place in Calvados, Normandy. 1 2

Early Origins of the Bewley family

The surname Bewley 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 Bewley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bewley research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1813, 1834, 1835, 1840, 1858, 1870, 1902 and 1986 are included under the topic Early Bewley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bewley Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bewley include Bewley, Bewlay, Bowley, Bowlay, Bewlie and others.

Early Notables of the Bewley family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Kanzow Bowley, the son of a boot-maker at Charing Cross, was born May 13, 1813. He was bred to his father's business, and succeeded him in it. His first knowledge of music was acquired by association with the choristers of Westminster Abbey. Ardent and enthusiastic, he pursued his studies vigorously. Whilst still a youth he joined a small society called 'The Benevolent Society of Musical Amateurs,' of which he afterwards became conductor. In 1834 he was one of the committee who promoted and carried out...
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bewley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bewley Ranking

In the United States, the name Bewley is the 8,766th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 5

Ireland Migration of the Bewley family to Ireland

Some of the Bewley 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.

United States Bewley migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Bewleys to arrive on North American shores:

Bewley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Bewley who settled in New England in 1752
Bewley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • I Bewley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855 6
  • Axad Bewley, aged 4, who arrived in New York in 1864 6
  • Isabella Bewley, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1864 6
  • William Bewley, aged 34, who arrived in New York in 1864 6
  • Clare J Bewley, who arrived in New York in 1864 6

Contemporary Notables of the name Bewley (post 1700) +

  • Janet Bewley (1951-2011), American politician, Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (2011-)
  • Randall "Randy" Bewley (1955-2009), American guitarist for the Athens, Georgia band Pylon
  • Truman Fassett Bewley (b. 1941), American economist, Alfred Cowles Professor of Economics at Yale University
  • Lydia Rose Bewley (b. 1985), English actress, best known for her role as Jane in The Inbetweeners Movie
  • David G. Bewley (1920-2013), English professional footballer
  • Charles Martin M. "Charlie" Bewley (b. 1981), English actor
  • William Bewley (1726-1783), English surgeon, apothecary and writer
  • Dr. Dame Beulah Rosemary Bewley DBE, retired British public health physician, former President of the Medical Women's Federation on the General Medical Council
  • Sam Bewley (b. 1987), New Zealand racing cyclist
  • Lois Bewley (b. 1927), Canadian academic, who joined the School of Librarianship at the University of British Columbia in 1969
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Bewley 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)
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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) on Facebook