Last name: Bell

This interesting surname, with variant spellings Bel and Belle, has a number of possible derivations. Firstly, it may be a metonymic occupational name for a bellringer or bellfounder, or a topographical name for someone living "at the bell"; this indicates either residence by an actual bell or "at the sign of the Bell", deriving from the Middle English, Olde English pre 7th Century "belle" meaning bell. Secondly, it may have derived from the medieval given name "Bel". As a man's name this is from the Old French "beu, bel" meaning "handsome", which was also used as a nickname. As a female name it represents a short form of Isobel, a form of Elizabeth. Finally, it may be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "MacGiolla Mhaoil", "son of the servant of the devotee". The surname dates back to the mid 12th Century (see below). Early recordings include one Robert de la Belle (1222) London. Church recordings show the christening of Mary Bell, an infant, on August 13th 1541, at St. Peter's, Cornhill, London, and the marriage of Margarett Bell to Wylliam Traford on September 13th September 1551, at St. Mary's, Westminster, also in London. One Charles Bell, aged 23 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Henry Clay", bound for New York, on April 15th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Seaman Belle, which was dated 1181 - 1187, in "Early London Personal Names", by E. Ekwall, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Phyllis Ford

I was born Margaret Bell on May 5, 1964. I was born in Queens, NY at Booth Memorial. I am looking for any information on family members. you can contact me at:

Sandra Morrow (Bell)
My ancestors came from St.Mungo or Hoddam, Scotland. My GGG Grandfather John was born 1805/06 and he married Margaret Carlyle in 1830. If any one may be related to this family, please contact me through if you are on that web site at all.

Christine Jacques
I have a full family tree of the Bell family ....starting from George Bell born 1751 married to Ann Watson 1771 in Alnwick sourced from the parish register at St Michael's Alnwick, Northumberland... This goes through all history records detailing the Bell family descendants arrival to Wellington New Zealand aboard the "Adelaide" in March 1840...This Family Tree also lists all descendants to present day...It is a fascinating read..

Tony Bell

Do you have the original Scottish bells on there by any chance ? if so it'd be interesting to see as my father (john bell) is one of these

pam eustice

Hi, My 2 x ggmother was Anna Maria Bell, b 1836, County Cork. She immigrated as a domestic servant to South Australia in 1855 on the ship 'Australia'. She married twice in SA On her 1st marriage certificate she gives her father as Patrick BELL On her 2nd marriage certificate she gives her father as George BELL. She married a Frederick PARKER and then Peter HANDRICKAN. This is as far back as I can go on my maternal tree. Any suggestions would be greatly received, Kindest Regards, Pam Eustice South Australia

Robert Bell
I have just traced my BELL lineage through David Bell and Bethea Martin , New Kent County, VA. They were born in 1673 and 1678 respectively. I would love to find out more. Does anyone out there have any info on their parentage. I've traced my back from the two above to me.

Robert Bell
I have recently traced my ancestry back to David and Bethia. I am in the process of trying to secure an interlibrary loan of the book "Tidewater Virginia Families" and "Southside, A Lawyer's Tale". Perhaps there will be more information in the books.

My maiden name was Bell. My great grandfather was called David Bell and originally came from Ayrshire in Scotland.

wendy Bell
I am trying to find my dads side of the family who where from Burnley Lancashire his name was Grahame Bell and his parent where called Rita and Colin Bell

Chris Bell
There were I think three other people at my high school with the last name Bell. I never actually ran into them, but granted my school had about 400 people in my class alone. From what I've heard from my family, we're Scots Irish. Something to do with originating in Scotland and later spreading to Ireland.

William Bell
lots of John, William, and Robert in my line. also, an Alllison, my great grandfather. family lore is that they came fron N. Ireland.

Chris J Bell
I've also notice that the names Sara, Margaret, and James have ran through my family tree a lot aswell.

Chris J Bell
Randomly decided to google the origins of my last name. It always seemed like an odd surname to me, so yeah. I see that the 1st name John(y) seems to run in it a lot. Which my father and brother have. I've been wondering if this surname name belongs to a single family tree only, or if multiple family trees started it too. It'd be pretty cool if it is haha.

Just discovered my great-grandmother was a Bell, born in 1893, but I can't seem to find any info on her parents. The belief is that they emigrated from Ireland and I want to see if this is true.

I'm katie bell <3

katie's Mummy
Think there's a few Katie Bells, my daughter is onex

Katie Bell
There seems to be a few Katie Bells, from what I've found, the Bells originate in Ireland :)

Cathy Be
I'm a Bell and believe my name is from Scottish origin

Tony bell

well your not wrong there, born Tony bell, father John bell (Scottish) the scot line of bells is very old and quite powerful

Christine Ashley
My Great great grandfather was a Bell. My mom tracked it down to Scotland.

Mike Jansen
My grandma's maiden name (moms mom) was Bell. She had a nervous break down when my mom was little.. so we never were able to get much information about the family. The little i have been able to find out is that our branch came to America in 1845 or 46... not been able to trace back to Ireland or Scotland though. My Grandma lived in Flint michigan.

I was a Bell. Our family has been traced back to James and Sarah Bell Approx 1692 to Longtown in Scotland. Our line emigrated to Aust in the 1800's.

john bell
hi my name is john bell i came from carlisle in 1964 with my parents my great great grandfather was from longtown i now live in sydney aus i have also the same family james and sarah we were reivers in the early 1600s

Bell is a beautiful surname. My grandfather says that it has come from a Scottish heritage, this may explain why I have aurbun-red hair with my odd asian traits of gold skin and brown eyes but most unusually I have no frekkels. I have found that many Bell traits are; hardworking, stuborn! dry humoured and have often become talented craftsmen because they think outside and beyond the square that everyone eles seems to live in! If your a Bell, you should be proud :)

My great grandfather was a Bell. My father died before I started my reserch so I have no family to ask just where his family came luck on ancestry so any input would be greatly appreciated. Samuel Bell.

My great aunt was Scottish, (Scottie dog aunt bell as we used to call her) since then we hav people from Ireland, Australia, and other random stuff there. Me and my family are trying To discover what our colours are, for kilts etc, as we would love to know. Also, campbell is very Scottish, but I don't know of any more Scottish bells out there.

George James
Bell belongs to the McMillan clan tartan

Vikings? I read that the chief of clan Douglas was accompanied by a number of Bell's when he returned from France, and that they remained loyal to him through a number of difficulties. Information I got at a clan booth during our local highland games. I'd be interested to know your sources so I could add them to my research. I'm working on our family tree - which seems to branch out all over the place.

Andrew Bell
Bell's are Vikings who settled in Scotland. Many left Scotland and went to Ulster Plantation in Ireland for hopes of a better life, then to America. I encourage all Bell's to attend your next local Scottish Highland Games Festival and learn about our Clan.

pam eustice

My 2 x ggmother Anna Maria Bell was born 1836, County Cork, Ireland. I don't seem to be able to find many Bell's in Cork. I was wondering where you found out about the Bells being of Viking origin? Kindest Regards, Pam Eustice, South Australia

pam eusice

Hi, I was wondering if you could help me with info re your statement BELLs were Vikings. I have just had my MTDNA done with Family Tree and I am in Haplogroup I4a which is an ancient haplogroup. I am trying to trace back my BELL family. My 2 x ggmother was Anna Maria BELL b 1836, County Cork. Kindest Regards, Pam Eustice South Australia


my great great great grandads came from scotland

My paternal grandmother's maiden name was Bell and she married my grandfather whose last name was also Bell. Her people were from Scotland and his from Ireland.

John-Patrick Bell
V,ery common in N Ireland gaelic origins and border scottish John-Patrick