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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The ancient history of the Bedwell name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in Bidwell, Hertfordshire. This place name derives from the Old English words "byde," meaning "tub," and "well," meaning a "spring," or "stream." As such, Bedwell is classed as a habitational name.


The surname Bedwell was first found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where Bidwell was said to be a picturesque hamlet lying to the north-west of Houghton village. There is an early record of a Stephen de Bedewellin in Essex in the Calendar of the Close Rolls, in 1229.

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bedwell include Bedwell, Bedwel, Bedewell, Bidwell, Bidewell and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bedwell research. Another 225 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1323, 1388, 1420, 1561, 1589, 1595, and 1632 are included under the topic Early Bedwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bedwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Bedwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 311 words (22 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bedwell or a variant listed above:

Bedwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Bedwell, who came to Somers Islands in 1662
  • Elizabeth Bedwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1664
  • Elizabeth Bedwell, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Bedwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Bedwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Mary Bedwell, who came to Virginia in 1704
  • Henry Bedwell, who came to Pennsylvania in 1773

Bedwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • G. W. Bedwell, who was on record in Philadelphia in 1822

Bedwell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Henry Bedwell arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865

  • Frederick Bedwell (1796-1853), English Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, one of the party that took Napoleon I of France to his banishment on the island of Saint Helena
  • Simon Bedwell (b. 1963), English visual artist
  • Edward Parker Bedwell (1834-1919), English Staff Commander in the Royal Navy
  • Steve Bedwell, Australian comedian and comedy writer

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    Other References

    1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    2. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
    4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
    5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
    6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    11. ...

    The Bedwell Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Bedwell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 7 December 2014 at 00:40.

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