Billington History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Billington is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for 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 Billington family

The surname Billington 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 Billington family

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

Billington Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Billington are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Billington include Billington, Billingston, Billingdon and others.

Early Notables of the Billington family (pre 1700)

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Billington Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Billington Ranking

In the United States, the name Billington is the 6,564th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Billington family to Ireland

Some of the Billington 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.

United States Billington migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Billington or a variant listed above:

Billington Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Billington who sailed on the "Mayflower" and arrived in Plymouth in 1620 with his wife Eleanor and two sons, Francis and John, and daughter, Ellen
Billington Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Harry Edward Billington, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1874 [6]
Billington Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • James Billington, aged 26, originally from Liverpool, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Belgic" from Liverpool, England [7]

Australia Billington migration to Australia +

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

Billington Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Billington, English convict from Staffordshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. William Billington, English convict who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for 15 year, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 28th March 1848, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) from Bermuda [9]
  • Thomas Billington, English convict from Northampton, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [10]

New Zealand Billington 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:

Billington Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Sarah Billington, aged 22, a housekeeper, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waipa" in 1876

Contemporary Notables of the name Billington (post 1700) +

  • Edwin Billington (1882-1928), American winner of a sliver and three bronze Olympic medals for cycling at the 1904 Summer Games
  • James Hadley Billington (b. 1929), American Rhodes Scholar and the thirteenth Librarian of the United States Congress
  • Ray Allen Billington (1903-1981), American historian, Senior Research Associate at Occidental College (1963-1981)
  • Francelia Billington (1895-1924), American silent-screen actress
  • William Billington (1827-1884), English dialect writer, born at the Yew Trees, Samlesbury, near Blackburn
  • Thomas Billington (d. 1832), English musician from Exeter, a well-known harpsichord and singing master towards the close of the eighteenth century
  • Elizabeth Billington (1768-1818), "the greatest singer England has ever produced, was probably born about 1768 in Litchfield Street, Soho" [11]
  • Mr. De Clan George Billington M.B.E., Irish Managing Director for John Thompson and Sons Ltd, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 For services to Economic Development in Northern Ireland [12]
  • Michael Billington (1941-2005), British film and television actor
  • Craig Billington (b. 1966), Canadian professional (NHL) hockey goaltender
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Billington, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [13]
  • Mr. John Billington, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [13]
  • Mr. Alfred Billington, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [13]

  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)
  5. ^
  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. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch ( : 6 December 2014), Jas. Billington, 03 Mar 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Belgic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2020). Retrieved from
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from
  11. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 20 Jun. 2019
  12. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018,
  13. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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