Bidwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Bidwell date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in Bidwell, Hertfordshire. This place name derives from the Old English words "byde," meaning "tub," and "well," meaning a "spring," or "stream." As such, Bidwell is classed as a habitational name.

Early Origins of the Bidwell family

The surname Bidwell was first found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where Bidwell was said to be a picturesque hamlet lying to the north-west of Houghton village. [1]

There is an early record of a Stephen de Bedewellin in Essex in the Calendar of the Close Rolls, in 1229. [2]

Early History of the Bidwell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bidwell research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1323, 1388, 1420, 1561, 1632, 1589, 1595, 1632, 1561, 1562, 1632, 1537, 1508, 1520, 1532, 1571, 1571, 1642, 1627, 1641 and 1642 are included under the topic Early Bidwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bidwell Spelling Variations

Bidwell has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Bidwell have been found, including Bedwell, Bedwel, Bedewell, Bidwell, Bidewell and many more.

Early Notables of the Bidwell family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Bedwell (1561-1632), Vicar of Tottenham, Middlesex, an English priest and scholar, who specialized in mathematics and foreign languages and Thomas Bedwell, who held the position of "Storekeeper of the Ordnance" of England, 1589-1595. William Bedwell (d. 1632), was nephew of "Thomas Bedwell, and father of Arabic studies in England, was born in 1561 or 1562, for his tombstone in the chancel of Tottenham church makes him aged...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bidwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bidwell Ranking

In the United States, the name Bidwell is the 6,371st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Bidwell family to Ireland

Some of the Bidwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 162 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bidwell migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Bidwells to arrive on North American shores:

Bidwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hugh Bidwell, who arrived in South Carolina sometime between 1670 and 1679
Bidwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Bidwell, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1775
  • Thomas Bidwell, who arrived in Baltimore in 1789
Bidwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J Bidwell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • Thomas Bidwell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • Ella P. Bidwell, aged 30, who settled in America from London, in 1892
  • A. Bidwell, aged 45, who immigrated to America, in 1897
Bidwell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Bertha Candall Bidwell, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Ernest Bidwell, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from Old Calton, England, in 1911
  • Daniel Bidwell, aged 48, who landed in America, in 1914
  • Daniel D. Bidwell, aged 49, who immigrated to the United States, in 1915
  • Arthur G. Bidwell, aged 17, who landed in America, in 1918
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Bidwell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bidwell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Bidwell, English convict who was convicted in Ipswich, Suffolk, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. John Bidwell, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Blundell" on 13th March 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Miss Elizabeth Bidwell, English convict who was convicted in Exeter, Devon, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 22nd January 1846, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Henry Bidwell, aged 18, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "British Empire" [8]

New Zealand Bidwell 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:

Bidwell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • C R Bidwell, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Hope [9]
  • J Carne Bidwell, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840

Contemporary Notables of the name Bidwell (post 1700) +

  • Joshua John Bidwell (b. 1976), American football punter
  • Marshall Spring Bidwell (1799-1872), American-born, Canadian lawyer and politician in Upper Canada
  • Daniel D. Bidwell (b. 1866), American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from East Hartford, 1905-08; Defeated, 1916 [10]
  • C. H. S. Bidwell, American politician, Mayor of Sacramento, California, 1930-33 [10]
  • Barnabas Bidwell (1763-1833), American politician, Representative from Massachusetts 12th District, 1805-07; Resigned 1807; Massachusetts State Attorney General, 1807-10 [10]
  • Arthur Edwards Bidwell (1871-1924), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Glastonbury, 1907-08, 1911-14; Defeated, 1904; First Selectman of Glastonbury, Connecticut, 1920-21 [10]
  • Arline Bidwell, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee, 1977 [10]
  • Ansel E. Bidwell, American politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Glastonbury, 1912 [10]
  • Andrew S. Bidwell (b. 1855), American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from East Hartford, 1909-12 [10]
  • Alonzo F. Bidwell, American politician, Village President of Coldwater, Michigan, 1858-59 [10]
  • ... (Another 23 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Arthur Bidwell, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [11]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/captain-cook
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blundell
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th April 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/emma-eugenia
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRITISH EMPIRE 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850BritishEmpire.htm
  9. ^ Shadow of time settlers (Retrieved on 10th November 2010). Retrieved from http://shadowsoftime.co.nz/settlers.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 28) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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