Bell Family Crest, Coat of Arms & Bell Name Origin

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Bell Family Crest

Bell Coat of Arms, Family Crest - Click here to view

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Origin of the Name Bell

The ancient history of the name Bell was found in the archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Bell include Belle, Bellison and Belson. This is a name of great antiquity taken from the French 'bel' meaning 'beautiful'. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in these countries. Examples of such are a William Bel, Vicar of Lamberton, England, who witnessed a charter to Coldingham Priory, in the year 1271. A Thomas Belle was recorded as a juror on an inquest at Dumfries, Scotland, in the year 1304. A Ralf le Bele, Cambridge, a Hugh le Bele, Oxford, and a Thomas le Bel, Suffolk, were all recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', in the year 1273.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
The Bell coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Bell descendants.
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