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Bell Family History

Bell Name Meaning
Scottish and northern English: from Middle English belle ‘bell’, in various applications; most probably a metonymic occupational name for a bell ringer or bell maker, or a topographic name for someone living ‘at the bell’ (as attested by 14th-century forms such as John atte Belle). This indicates either residence by an actual bell (e.g. a town’s bell in a bell tower, centrally placed to summon meetings, sound the alarm, etc.) or ‘at the sign of the bell’, i.e. a house or inn sign (although surnames derived from house and inn signs are rare in Scots and English).Scottish and northern English: from the medieval personal name Bel. As a man’s name this is from Old French beu, bel ‘handsome’, which was also used as a nickname. As a female name it represents a short form of Isobel, a form of Elizabeth.Scottish: Americanized form of Gaelic Mac Giolla Mhaoil ‘son of the servant of the devotee’ (see Mullen 1).Jewish (Ashkenazic): Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.Norwegian: habitational name from a farmstead in western Norway named Bell, the origin of which is unexplained.Scandinavian: of English or German origin; in German as a habitational name for someone from Bell in Rhineland, Germany, or possibly from Belle in Westphalia.Americanized spelling of German Böhl or Böll (see Boehle, Boll).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

9,564,653 Historical Documents and Family Trees with Bell on Ancestry.com
2,723,902 Birth, Marriage, and Deaths
297,341 Military Records
260,645 Immigration Records
2,045,116 Census and Voter Lists
4,237,649 Member Family Trees

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Name Distribution of Bell Families

  • Number of Bell families
     1,345 - 2,688
     449 - 1,344
     1 - 448
     
    from the 1920 US Federal Census Data
  • Number of Bell families
     3,865 - 7,728
     1,289 - 3,864
     1 - 1,288
     
    from the 1891 England and Wales Census Data
  • Number of Bell families
     1,809 - 3,615
     604 - 1,808
     1 - 603
     
    from the 1891 Scotland Census Data

Bell census records

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Bell Family Origin

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Bell Immigration Information

from the New York Passenger Lists

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Average Life Expectancy for Bell

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Bell Family Occupations

from 1880 Federal Census Data

Bell census records

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Bell Civil War Service Records

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