Show ContentsBilbie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Bilbie traces it's origins as a habitational name from the village of Bilby, a hamlet in Nottinghamshire, now part of the civil parish of Barnby Moor. Today one must look to Australia for some of the more interesting facts about the surname Bilby. There, the name Bilby is an Australian species of nocturnal animal and the name is a native alternative to the Easter Bunny - the Easter Bilby. But Australia's origin is far different than the hamlet in Nottinghamshire. For there the name is borrowed from the Yuwaalaraay Aboriginal language of northern New South Wales, and means a "long-nosed rat."

Early Origins of the Bilbie family

The surname Bilbie was first found in Bilby, Nottinghamshire, a township, in the parish of Blyth. In the mid 1800s the hamlet had about 221 inhabitants and measured about 1,918 acres in size. [1]

Bielby is a village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and as of 2011, it had a population of 211. The village dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Belebi [2] in the union of Pocklington, land held by the King in Yorkshire and was derived from the Old Scandinavian personal name + by as in "farmstead or village of a man called Beli" [3]

And it is her in Yorkshire where we find the first records of the family. The Curia Regis Rolls of 1198 list Ralph de Bittebi. [4] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Robertus de Bilby; and Willelmus de Bilby as both holding lands there at that time. [5]

Early History of the Bilbie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bilbie research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1379, 1541, 1544, 1604, 1635 and 1730 are included under the topic Early Bilbie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bilbie Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bilbie include Bilby, Bilbie, Billby, Bylby, Bilsby, Bilbye and others.

Early Notables of the Bilbie family (pre 1700)

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

United States Bilbie migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bilbie or a variant listed above:

Bilbie Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Margaret Bilbie, who landed in Virginia in 1628 [6]

Australia Bilbie migration to Australia +

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

Bilbie Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Abraham Bilbie, (b. 1810), aged 28, British Convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for burglary, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 25th June 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]

New Zealand Bilbie 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:

Bilbie Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Bilbie, (b. 1852), aged 21, English warehouseman from Nottinghamshire travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Surat" going to Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand in 1873, the ship sunk at the Catlins River all the passengers were transported to Dunedin via various rescure vessels [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bilbie (post 1700) +

  • Mr. Joseph Bilbie, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1735 to 1736
  • Mr. John Bilbie, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1731 to 1732
  • Mr. William Bilbie Jr., British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1725 to 1726

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  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. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  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)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th March 2021). Retrieved from
  8. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from on Facebook