Bithell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Welsh name Bithell is a patronymic surname created from the Welsh personal name Ithel. The surname Bithell features the distinctive Welsh patronymic prefix "ab" or "ap," which mean "son of." The original form of the name was ab-Ithell, but the prefix has been assimilated into the surname over the course of time. [1]

Early Origins of the Bithell family

The surname Bithell was first found in Herefordshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

However, some of the family were found at Watton in the East Riding of Yorkshire at early times. "A great part of the soil belongs to Richard Bethell, Esq., whose family were long seated at Walton Abbey, a brick mansion in the Tudor style, with octagonal turrets, stone dressings and buttresses, and fine gardens attached; it is now, by permission of Mr. Bethell, the residence of the incumbent." [2]

Early History of the Bithell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bithell research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1820, 1622, 1606, 1668, 1660, 1615, 1679, 1654, 1679, 1617, 1697, 1617, 1637, 1649 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Bithell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bithell Spelling Variations

The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. It was up to the priest or the scribe taking the official records to determine how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Bithell have included Bethel, Bethell, Bithel, Bithell, Bythell, Bythel and others.

Early Notables of the Bithell family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Sir Walter Bethell (died 1622); Henry Bethall (c 1606-1668), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660; and Hugh Bethell (1615-1679), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1654 and 1679. Slingsby Bethel (1617-1697), was an English politician from Alne, North Yorkshire. He "was the third son of Sir Walter Bethel of Alne, Yorkshire, who married Mary, the second daughter of Sir Henry Slingsby of Scriven...
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bithell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bithell family

North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Bithell: James Bethell who settled in Virginia in 1635; William Bethell, who settled in Virginia in 1653; Hugh Bethel, who arrived in Virginia in 1690; Thomas Bethel, his wife Rebecca, and their daughter Rebecca who all came to Virginia in 1714.


Contemporary Notables of the name Bithell (post 1700) +

  • Brian Bithell (b. 1956), English former football defender who played from 1976 to 1978
  • Stuart Bithell (b. 1986), British silver medalist sailor at the 2012 Summer Olympics


The Bithell 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: Ap Ithel
Motto Translation: Son of Ithel


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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