Show ContentsBills History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bills is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name was taken on by someone who worked as a maker of polearms or halberds and billhooks as these were common weapons in early times. The name could also be a baptismal name derived from son of William, although this latter origin is less likely.

Early Origins of the Bills family

The surname Bills was first found in Somerset, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early records of the name mention Walter Nicholas Bile who was documented in the year 1185 in London and Robert atte Byle appears in 1327 in County Surrey. [1]

William Byle of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) [2] and Thomas Biles of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. [3]

Early History of the Bills family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bills research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1320, 1500, 1667, 1501, 1533, 1535, 1505, 1561, 1547, 1551, 1548, 1551, 1553, 1558, 1561, 1558, 1561, 1560, 1561 and are included under the topic Early Bills History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bills Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Bills include Bill, Bills, Billes and others.

Early Notables of the Bills family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Bill (d. 1501), Dean of Westminster, son of John Bill of Ashwell, Hertfordshire, and brother of Thomas Bill, M.D., of the same place, and of St. Bartholomew's, London, physician to Henry VIII. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bills Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bills Ranking

In the United States, the name Bills is the 3,032nd most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Bills family to Ireland

Some of the Bills family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bills migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Bills Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Bills, aged 32, who landed in New England in 1635 aboard the ship "Pied Cow" [5]
Bills Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Seraphin Bills, aged 29, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1836 [5]
  • John Bills, aged 19, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1842 [5]
  • Mrs. J L Bills, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]

New Zealand Bills 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:

Bills Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W Bills, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Duke of Roxburgh [6]
  • Frederick Bills, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Mary Ann Bills, aged 24, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • James Richard Bills, aged 6 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Mr. W. Bills, Australian settler travelling from Sydney, Australia aboard the ship "Bright Planet" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 11th June 1842 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bills (post 1700) +

  • Randall N. Bills, American game designer who has worked primarily on role-playing games
  • Kurt P. Bills (b. 1970), American teacher and politician, Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (2011-2013)
  • Michael A. Bills (b. 1958), American lieutenant general in the United States Army, Commanding General of the Eighth United States Army
  • Nicholas David Bills (b. 1992), Australian cricketer from Wahroonga, New South Wales

The Bills 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: Omne solum patria
Motto Translation: Every land is a man's country.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 5th November 2010). Retrieved from
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook