Early Origins of the Billstone family
The surname Billstone was first found in Hampshire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant
of the lands who was recorded in the Domesday Book
census of 1086.
Early History of the Billstone family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Billstone research.Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1544, 164), 1613, 1547 and 1616 are included under the topic Early Billstone History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Billstone Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Bilson, Billson, Bilsonn and others.
Early Notables of the Billstone family (pre 1700)
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Billstone Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Billstone family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Billstone or a variant listed above were:
Billstone Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Thomas Billstone, aged 22, who emigrated to America from Plymouth, England, in 1923