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BELL - Name Meaning & Origin

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BELL Surname Meaning & Origin:

The name may derive from the French "bel," meaning fair , beautiful, or handsome. Since the derivation is descriptive, common ancestry cannot be assumed for all those bearing the surname. The name was sometimes taken from the sign of an inn or shop. The sign of a bell was frequently used - "John at the Bell" became "John Bell." There is no particular country or province of origin, though the name was fairly prevalent in medieval Scotland and England.

Bell is the 67th most popular surname in the United States and the 36th most common surname in Scotland. Mitchell is also popular in England, coming in as the 58th most common surname.

Surname Origin:

Alternate Surname Spellings:

BELLE, BEALE, BEAL, BEALS, BEALES, BALE, BEEL, BIEHL, BALE, BEALL

Genealogy Resources for the Surname BELL:

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

Bell Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Bell surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Bell query.

FamilySearch - BELL Genealogy
Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Bell surname and its variations.

BELL Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Bell surname.

Cousin Connect - BELL Genealogy Queries
Read or post genealogy queries for the surname Bell, and sign up for free notification when new Bell queries are added.

DistantCousin.com - BELL Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Bell.

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References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.


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