Billings History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Billings is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Billings family once 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 Billings family

The surname Billings 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." [1]

At one time the, Hengar, a parcel of the manor of Penrose-Burden, which extends into the parish of St. Breward in the parish of St. Judy, Cornwall was the family seat of the Billinge family "whose heiress married John Trelawny, Esq. of Coldrimnick." [2]

Early History of the Billings family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billings research. Another 58 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1600, 1481, 1687, 1680, 1687, 1758, 1806, 1746 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Billings History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Billings Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Billings family name include Billings, Billins, Billinge, Billing, Biling and others.

Early Notables of the Billings family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Thomas Billing (d. 1481?), was an English Chief Justice, and is thought to have been a native of Northamptonshire, where two villages near Northampton bear his name, and to have afterwards lived in state at Ashwell...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Billings Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Billings migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Billings surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Billings Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo Billings, aged 21, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • Jon Billings, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [3]
  • John Billings, who arrived in Portsmouth, NH in 1640 [3]
  • Roger Billings, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1640 [3]
  • Nathaniel Billings, who arrived in New Hampshire in 1641 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Billings Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Billings, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1849 [3]
  • J P Billings, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • Mr. Billings, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1860 [3]
Billings Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Howard Billings, who landed in Arkansas in 1902 [3]

Australia Billings migration to Australia +

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

Billings Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Amelia Harrison Billings, aged 39, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Prince Regent" [4]
  • Jasper Billings, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Carnatic"
  • Mr. James Billings, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Belgravia" on 4th April 1866, arriving in Western Australia [5]

New Zealand Billings 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:

Billings Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Billings, (b. 1832), aged 28, British farm labourer travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1860 [6]
  • Miss Harriet Billings, (b. 1853), aged 16, British general servant travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Hydaspes" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th September 1869 [6]
  • Stephen Billings, aged 42, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Avalanche" in 1875
  • Sarah Billings, aged 36, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Avalanche" in 1875
  • George Billings, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Billings (post 1700) +

  • Franklin Swift Billings Jr. (b. 1922), retired US Federal Judge from Woodstock, Vermont, Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
  • John Shaw Billings (1838-1913), American physician and surgeon, who oversaw the establishment of the National Library of Medicine, first director of the New York Public Library
  • William Billings (1746-1800), American composer
  • Franklin S. Billings (1862-1935), American politician from Woodstock, Vermont, 60th Governor of Vermont (1925 to 1927)
  • Dwight Billings (1910-1997), American ecologist
  • Rhoda Bryan Billings (b. 1937), American lawyer and a former justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
  • Marland Pratt Billings (1902-1996), American structural geologist
  • Dick Billings (b. 1942), American Major League Baseball player
  • Frederick Billings (1823-1890), American lawyer, railroad executive, and philanthropist, an original partner in the Northern Pacific Rail Road, eponym of the town of Billings, Montana
  • Earl William Billings (b. 1945), American character actor
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Billings +

  • 719 "Nathaniel Billings and Certain of His Descendants" by Roger Billings, "The Ryon-Billings Colonial Ancestry: A Compilation of the Forebears of the Author and His Wife Priscilla Alden Billingson Ryon" by William E. Ryon Jr..

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "PRINCE REGENT" 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849PrinceRegent.htm
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/belgravia
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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