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Bel Family History

Bel Name Meaning

English and French: nickname for a handsome man (perhaps also ironically for an ugly one), from Old French beu, bel ‘fair’, ‘lovely’ (Late Latin bellus). Hungarian (Bél): from the old secular Hungarian name Bél, or alternatively from bél ‘internal part’, probably an occupational name for a servant who worked in the household. Czech (Bel) from Czech bílý ‘white’.

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

Similar surnames: Bell, Beal, Belo, Biel, Beck, Best, Bey, Bee, Belt, Belin

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Bel family from?

You can see how Bel families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Bel family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1841 and 1920. The most Bel families were found in the USA in 1920. In 1880 there were 11 Bel families living in Louisiana. This was about 34% of all the recorded Bel's in the USA. Louisiana had the highest population of Bel families in 1880.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Bel surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Bel ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Secretary were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Bel. 14% of Bel men worked as a Farmer and 17% of Bel women worked as a Secretary. Some less common occupations for Americans named Bel were Mechanic and Helper Fireman.

View Census data for Bel | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1940

  • Farmer
  • Laborer
  • Clerk
  • Mechanic

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Secretary
  • New Worker
  • Shoeworker
  • Helper Fireman
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Bel family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 12,000 census records available for the last name Bel. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Bel census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Bel

Passenger Lists

There are 2,000 immigration records available for the last name Bel. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Bel immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 16,000 military records available for the last name Bel. For the veterans among your Bel ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Bel military records

You've only scratched the surface of Bel family history.

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What is the average Bel lifespan?

Between 1955 and 2003, in the United States, Bel life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1955, and highest in 2002. The average life expectancy for Bel in 1955 was 35, and 85 in 2003.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Bel

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