Show ContentsBilington History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bilington is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name was taken on by someone who worked as a person who lived at one of several settlements named Billington in the counties of Bedfordshire, Lancashire, or Staffordshire.

Early spellings of the place name include: Billendon, Bedfordshire in 1196 and Billingduna, Lancashire in the same year. [1] It is generally thought the place name meant "hill with a sharp ridge," from the Old English word "billing" + "dun" or "hill of a man called Billa." [1]

Early Origins of the Bilington family

The surname Bilington was first found in Lancashire at Billington, a township and district chapelry, in the parish, union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Blackburn. [2]

The town has been listed various spellings over the years: Billindon (1203); Billinton (1208); Bilingdon (1241) and later as Belyngton or Bilyngton. This area "is supposed to have been the scene of a battle that occurred between Wada, a Saxon duke, one of the murderers of Ethelred, and Ardulph, King of Northumbria, in the year 798, when the former was defeated." [2]

While the surname was primarily found in Lancashire, we must look of Staffordshire to find the first record, specifically Robert de Billington who was listed there in the Assize Rolls of 1203. [3] William de Bilington was listed in the Lay Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1332 as was Adam de Billington. In nearby Yorkshire, Johannes de Billyngton was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [4]

Early History of the Bilington family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bilington research. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1575, 1663, 1595, 1737, 1580, 1630, 1768, 1774 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Bilington History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bilington Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bilington include Billington, Billingston, Billingdon and others.

Early Notables of the Bilington family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Billington (c.1580-1630), a signer of the Mayflower Compact; he was the first Englishman to be convicted of murder in the New World, and the first to be hanged for any crime in New England. Billington was also a signer of the Mayflower Compact. Mrs. Elizabeth Billington was the daughter of Carl Weichsel, a native of Freiberg in Saxony, and principal clarinet at the King's Theatre. Her mother was for several years a...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bilington Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Bilington family to Ireland

Some of the Bilington family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bilington family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: John Billington who sailed on the " Mayflower" and arrived in Plymouth in 1620; with his wife Helen and two sons, Francis and John, and daughter, Ellen..

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) on Facebook