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

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Bell Family Origin

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Bell Family Occupations

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Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Bell ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

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  • Farmer

    36%
  • Laborer

    10%
  • Keeping House

    6%
  • Farm Laborer

    4%

In 1880, Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Bell. The most common Bell occupation in the USA was Farmer. 36% of Bell's were Farmers. A less common occupation for the Bell family was Farm Laborer.

Source: Census data for Bell | Data not to scale

Bell Historical Records

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Bell Life Expectancy

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United States

Between 1940 and 2004, Bell life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2002. The average life expectancy for Bell in 1940 was 48, and 73 in 2004.

Source: Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Bell

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