Of all the Anglo-Saxon
names to come from Britain, Billesley is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived in or near the parish of Billing,
which was located in the diocese of Liverpool. The name of that place is derived from the Old English word bil,
meaning sword or halberd, and later came to indicate a pruning hook used in harvesting fruit.
Early Origins of the Billesley family
The surname Billesley was first found in Lancashire
at Chapel-End Billinge, a township and chapelry, in the parish and union of Wigan, hundred
of West Derby. "Billinge anciently gave name to a family the chief line of which terminated about the reign of Edward I., in a female heir, who married into the Heyton family." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Billesley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billesley research.Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1600, 1687, 1680, 1687, 1758, 1806, 1746 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Billesley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Billesley Spelling Variations
The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations
in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Billesley has been spelled many different ways, including Billings, Billins, Billinge, Billing, Biling and others.
Early Notables of the Billesley family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Edward Byllynge (died 1687), British colonial administrator and Governor of West New Jersey from 1680 to 1687; Thomas Billings... Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Billesley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Billesley family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Billesleys to arrive in North America: Roger Billings who settled in Dorchester Massachusetts and was made a freeman of the town in 1643. He married Mary and had seven children from whom many of the present North American Billings are descended. Enoch Billings settled in Barbados in 1663.