Show ContentsBish History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Norman culture that was established in England after the Conquest of 1066 produced the name of Bish. It was given to a a person who habitually dresses in drab or murky colors. Checking further we found the name was derived from the Old English word bis, meaning dingy or murky.

Early Origins of the Bish family

The surname Bish was first found in Hertfordshire where they held a family seat from early times, soon after the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William in 1066 A.D. They were descended from Aluric Bysch, a Norman noble, who attended William at the Battle of Hastings.

Early History of the Bish family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bish research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1833, 1615, 1679 and 1712 are included under the topic Early Bish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bish 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 Bysh, Bish, Bishe, Byshe, Bisshe, Bysshe and others.

Early Notables of the Bish family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Stapleton Bish, founder of Exeter College in Oxford; and Sir Edward Bysshe FRS (c. 1615-1679), an English barrister, politician and Garter King of Arms. He was the eldest son of Edward Bysshe of Burstow, Surrey, a barrister of Lincoln's Inn. His ancestors were lords...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bish Ranking

In the United States, the name Bish is the 7,109th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]

United States Bish migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bish or a variant listed above:

Bish Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ursula Bish, who arrived in Maryland in 1641 [2]
  • Robert Bish, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [2]
  • John Bish who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682
  • John Bish, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 [2]
Bish Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Sebastian Bish, who landed in North Carolina in 1737 [2]
Bish Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Leonard, Sebastian and Theobald Bish, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1170 and 1851
Bish Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Jose Bish, aged 28, who arrived in America from Pto Sta Maria, Spain, in 1911
  • Alexander Bish, aged 26, who arrived in New York, in 1914
  • Edith Glasmin Bish, aged 22, who arrived in America from Kingston, Jamaica, in 1923
  • Inez Ruth Bish, aged 20, who arrived in America from Kingston, Jamaica, in 1923

Canada Bish migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bish Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Bish, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • W E Bish, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Bish migration to Australia +

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

Bish Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Bish, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for life, transported aboard the "Bardaster" on 7th September 1835, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bish (post 1700) +

  • Milan D. Bish (1929-2001), American diplomat, Ambassador of the United States to Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia, Antigua, and St. Vincent
  • Randy Bish, American editorial cartoonist, recipient of a Golden Quill Award (2002)
  • Diane Joyce Bish (b. 1941), American organist and composer

HMS Royal Oak
  • H. Bish, British Chief Petty Officer Mechanician with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [4]

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from
  4. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook