Bell Family History

14-Day Free Trial


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

Similar surnames: Ball, Beal, Fell, Pell, Bill, Hell, Sell, Ell, Belt, Boll

Ready to discover your family story?

Simply start with a family member and we'll do the searching for you.

Bell Family Origin

Where is the Bell family from?

Bell Family Occupations

What did your Bell ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the CA named Bell. 32% of Bell men worked as a Farmer and 11% of Bell women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Bell were Carpenter and Teacher

View Census data for Bell | Data not to scale

Top Male Occupations in 1921

  • Farmer
  • Labourer
  • Laborer
  • Carpenter

Top Female Occupations in 1921

  • Stenographer
  • Housekeeper
  • Income
  • Teacher

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

Bell Historical Records

What Bell family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 2 million census records available for the last name Bell. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Bell census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Bell

Passenger List

There are 291,000 immigration records available for the last name Bell. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Bell immigration records

Draft Card

There are 334,000 military records available for the last name Bell. For the veterans among your Bell ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Bell military records

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

Bell Life Expectancy

What is the average Bell lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, 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.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Bell

Famous Bell Family Ancestors

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in your family tree

Famous ancestors img
Look up another name