Bews History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Cornwall in southwestern England provides the original birthplace of the surname Bews. Nickname surnames were rare among the Cornish, they did occasionally adopt names that reflected the physical characteristics or other attributes of the original bearer of the name. The name Bews is a nickname type of surname for a handsome or beautiful person having been derived from the Old French word beau, meaning beautiful. The name could also have been 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 Bews family
The surname Bews 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 Bews family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bews research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the year 1640 is included under the topic Early Bews History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bews 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 Bews family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bews Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bews migration to the United States +
Some of the first North American settlers with Bews name or one of its variants:
Bews Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- William Bews, who settled in Savannah, Georgia, in 1774
- John Bews, aged 32, who arrived in Savanne(h), Georgia in 1774 
- William Bews, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1775 
Bews migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Bews Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Mr. John Bews, (b. 1815), aged 33, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Subraon" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 12th April 1848 
- Mrs. Eliza Bews, (b. 1810), aged 38, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Subraon" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 12th April 1848 
- Mr. John Pinq Bews, (b. 1838), aged 10, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Subraon" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 12th April 1848 
- Miss Mary Bews, (b. 1841), aged 7, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Subraon" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 12th April 1848 
- Mr. William Bews, (b. 1843), aged 5, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Subraon" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 12th April 1848 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bews migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Bews Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. Samuel Bews, (b. 1844), aged 30, Scottish settler, from Orkney travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Oamaru" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 17th February 1875 
- Mrs. Betsy Bews, (b. 1854), aged 20, Scottish settler, from Orkney travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Oamaru" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 17th February 1875 
- Miss Henrietta Bews, (b. 1872), aged 2 years 6 months, Scottish settler, from Orkney travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Oamaru" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 17th February 1875 
Contemporary Notables of the name Bews (post 1700) +
- Mary Ellen Bews (1856-1945), Scottish-born, New Zealand school principal and educationalist
- David Bews (1850-1891), Scottish-born, Australian newspaper editor and politician, Minister of Education (1890-1891)
- Andrew Bews (b. 1964), former Australian rules footballer, Geelong Football Club captain (1990-1991)
- Jed Bews (b. 1993), Australian rules footballer for the Geelong Football Club
- Philip Bews (b. 1951), British sculptor
Related Stories +
The Bews 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: Major ab adversis
Motto Translation: Greater through adversity.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html