Billow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Billow came to England with the ancestors of the Billow family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Billow family lived in Cheshire where they were first established at Moreton on the Wirral Peninsula. Originally, the name was a variation of the Old French belleau or bella aqua, which means good water or clear water and likely is derived from the name of any number of locations so named in Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Billow family

The surname Billow was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Moreton in the Wirral Peninsula. The name of the Norman noble who was granted lands at Moreton was interchangeably Bellet or Bellot of Callouville in Normandy, but emerged in the 12th century as Bellow or Bellows. The family held a family seat at Moreton at the time of the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D. Moreton is now a seaside resort. East Rudham, Norfolk was "anciently the property of the family of Belet." [2]

"The Bellets were early seated in Norfolk, and became subsequently located in Cheshire by the marriage of John Bellet, Esq., temp. Henry VI., with Katherine, sister and heir of Ralph Moreton, of Great Moreton, in the Palatinate." [3]

Michael Belet (fl. 1182), was an English judge, Sheriff of Worcestershire 1176-1181 and again in 1184, of Wiltshire 1180-1182, of Leicestershire and Warwickshire in conjunction with Ralph Glanvill 1185-1187, and alone 1189-1200. [4]

Michael Belet (fl. 1238), another English judge, was the second son of the aforementioned Michael Belet; he is commonly styled Magister Michael Belet on account of his profession of civilian and canonist. [4]

Wroxton in Oxfordshire was also and ancient family seat. "This place was distinguished for an extensive monastery, founded for a prior and brethren of the Augustine order, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, about the year 1230, by Michael Belet, who endowed it with the lordships of Wroxton and Balscot." [2]

Early History of the Billow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billow research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1663, 1612, 1604, 1542 and 1596 are included under the topic Early Billow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Billow Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Bellowe, Bellow, Bellows, Bellot, Bellet, Bellett, Bellowes, Beloe, Belloe, Bellough, Belloes, Beloes, Belloughs, Ballot, Ballott, Ballow, Ballowe, Ballows, Ballowes and many more.

Early Notables of the Billow family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Bellows of Moreton. Stephen Bellott, a Huguenot, sued his father-in-law Christopher Mountjoy in what became known in British law as Bellott v. Mountjoy which was heard at the Court of Requests in Westminster on 11 May 1612. While the case is of little significance, interestingly William Shakespeare was called before the court and admitted that he had played...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Billow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Billow family to Ireland

Some of the Billow 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.


West Indies Billow migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [5]
Billow Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • John Billow, who landed in Barbados in 1717 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Billow (post 1700) +

  • Andrew Billow Jr., American politician, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1987-1992)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. James Billow (d. 1912), aged 20, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [7]


The Billow Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vita et pectore puro
Motto Translation: With pure life and heart.


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  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. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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