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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bellew - An Irish Surname

Short of uncredited plagarism, I sometimes come across information that I just must "borrow" as written in context and provide credit to those who "own" the information.  Without the full context, I find that my research could be incomplete in many cases.  As a salute to, I thank you for the lending of information whether borrowed, "lifted", or as one of my former high school English teachers would say, volunteered the military way.

I must give credit to for the following.  Thank you and I have not made any money off my blog to date.



Though numerous in the seventeenth century to be listed in Petty's "census" of 1659 among the principal Irish (sic) names in the baronies of Dundalk and Ardee, Co. Louth, the name Bellew is now rare. It is still extant in Co. Louth, where it has been associated since the thirteenth century. There it has been occassionally changed to Bailey. The earliest references to it in Ireland render the name Beleawe, which is close to the original French Bel Eau. The family went to England from Normandy with William the Conqueror, and settled in Co. Louth and the adjoining part of Co. Meath soon after the Anglo-Norman invasion. Up to the middle of the sixteenth century they were less in evidence than the majority of the great Hiberno-Norman families, but from then on they are found , particularly the family of Bellewstown, as sheriffs, members of parliament and so forth. They were among the leading men on the Irish side in both the major wars of the next century: Sir John Bellew, was on the Supreme Council of the Confederate Catholics, and was specially exempted from pardon in 1652; three Bellew landowners were transplanted to Co. Galway under the Cromwellian regime; and four of the name served as officers in James 11's army, but for various reasons they managed to save a portion of their estates from the wholesale Wlliamite confiscations. Though they did not conform under the stress of the eighteenth century penal laws, they were in possession, when de Burgh published his Landowners of Ireland in 1878, of over 5,000 acres in Co. Louth while the Mountbellew (Co. Galway) family had some 23,000 acres. Capt Thomas Henry Grattan-Bellew, of Mountbeflew, who is a Knight of Malta, is uncle and heir presumptive of the late baronet, Sir Christopher Grattan-Bellew. Dr. Dominic Bellew was Bishop of Killala from 1791 to 1812, and Rev. Paul Bellew V.G. administered the diocese of Waterford, the bishop, Richard Piers, who held the see from 1701 to 1735, being an absentee.

Interesting information about the Bellew's.  They sound French and Norman in origin plus have a rather distinguished history of sorts in the County Louth area.  I seek Alice Bellew's history myself.  She is my 5th great grandmother on my Flanagan line.  She married Richard Flanagan of Termonfechin before 1766 in that same location.  Yes, Termonfechin is in County Louth.  I indicate Alice's birthdate as 1738 and she died on October 29, 1803, on the Flanagan Family Farm.  I have information that her parents were Thomas and Elizabeth Bellew.  I do not have Elizabeth's maiden name.  So is Alice of the line mentioned above.  I suppose that it is very possible.  I think that there is more to come on this line.  Erin Go Bragh!

1 comment:

  1. My great grandfather Patrick Bellew came from Co. Louth. Married Katherine Cooney. They imigrated and lived in Massachusetts. Their son, John R Bellew was born in Mass in 1856 and died in Sacramento, CA 1942. I don't have a record of any siblings of John R who were born in Mass and don't know of any of John R's family members in Ireland or the USA. John had children born in Hawaii where he married Louisa Duarte.