Billows History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Billows reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Billows family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Billows 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. 
Early Origins of the Billows family
The surname Billows 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." 
"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." 
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. 
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. 
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." 
Early History of the Billows family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billows research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1663, 1612, 1604, 1542 and 1596 are included under the topic Early Billows History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Billows Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. 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 Billows 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 Billows Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Billows family to Ireland
Some of the Billows 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.
Migration of the Billows family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Billows name or one of its variants: Jo Bellowes who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635; James Bellow arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1868; Jean Bellot settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1763.
Contemporary Notables of the name Billows (post 1700) +
Historic Events for the Billows family +
- James Billows (1892-1912), English trimmer, member of the engineering crew aboard the RMS Titanic who died in the sinking 
Related Stories +
The Billows 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.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html