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Bell Last Name Meaning

1. 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). 2. 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. 3. Scottish: Americanized form of Gaelic Mac Giolla Mhaoil ‘son of the servant of the devotee’ (see Mullen 1). 4. Jewish (Ashkenazic): Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames. 5. Norwegian: habitational name from a farmstead in western Norway named Bell, the origin of which is unexplained. 6. 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. 7. Americanized spelling of German Böhl or Böll.

From: The Oxford Names Companion, Oxford University Press

Bell Family Facts

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Preserve Your Bell Family History

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    1. Create a Family Tree

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    Create Your Bell Family History Book

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