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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.

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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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billings 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 Billings History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 Billings Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Jon Billings, who landed in Virginia in 1636
  • John Billings, who arrived in Portsmouth, NH in 1640
  • Roger Billings, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1640
  • Nathaniel Billings, who arrived in New Hampshire in 1641
  • ...

Billings Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Billings, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1849
  • J P Billings, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Mr. Billings, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1860

Billings Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Howard Billings, who landed in Arkansas in 1902

Billings Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Amelia Harrison Billings, aged 39, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Prince Regent"
  • Jasper Billings, aged 30, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Carnatic"

Billings Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Stephen Billings, aged 42, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Avalanche" in 1875
  • Sarah Billings, aged 36, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Avalanche" in 1875
  • George Billings, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875
  • Benjamin Billings, aged 35, a farm labourer, arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
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  • 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
  • Josh Billings (1818-1885), American humorist writer
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  • 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..
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Citations



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  11. ...

The Billings Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Billings Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 March 2016 at 10:12.

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