Skip to content Skip to footer

The Belshes Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: FULGET VIRTUS INTAMINATA (virtue shines unstained)

Let me share with you the intriguing history of your family name, Belshes. The exact meaning and origins of the name are somewhat obscure, and it has become quite rare in Scotland today. Variations of the name include Belasis, Belases, Belshes, Belshaes, and Belsches. While there may be some association with the English name Belcher, which could derive from the Old French term for “Good Company,” renowned Scottish surname expert George Black suggests that the Belches name may have belonged to a Norman Knight from Bellasis, near Coulommieres in Seine-et-Marne, France. Additionally, there were lands with a similar name in Northumberland, which could have given rise to different branches of the surname. However, the most likely and distinct origin of the Scottish surname is traced back to a knight who adopted the name of the barony of Belshes, which is part of the lordship of Jedburgh in Roxburghshire, situated in the Borders region.

It is worth noting that in 1296, an influential local landowner by the name of Richard de Belchis held sufficient status to possess a seal, which he appended to the Ragman Roll. This roll was a document created by King Edward I of England in an attempt to assert his control over all Scottish landowners after his successful invasion and deposition of King John. However, a few years later, English dominance was challenged by William Wallace and ultimately defeated by Robert the Bruce. Considering that the Belches continued to maintain their status in the revived Scotland, it is plausible to assume that they swiftly abandoned Edward’s cause as soon as the opportunity arose.

According to the heraldic authority Alexander Nisbet in the eighteenth century, the prominent branch of the family was known as the Belches of that Ilk, indicating that they retained their ancestral lands near Jedburgh for a considerable period following 1296. From this branch emerged a significant cadet family known as the Belches of Tofts, located in the Eastern Borders area of Berwickshire. In 1631, we find an individual named Alexander Belches of Tofts recorded as a burgess of Glasgow. Sir Alexander Belsches, representing this line of Tofts, was knighted by Charles I in the mid-seventeenth century and later elevated to the title of Lord Tofts. The most successful branch, however, stemmed from the Tofts line and became known as the Belches of Invermay. The house bearing that name still exists, as does their mausoleum situated in the ruins of the former chapel of Muckersie, in the Parish of Forteviot in Perthshire. Regrettably, the direct line of the family across these various branches died out in the eighteenth century, with the last direct Belches of Invermay passing away in 1777.

These captivating stories from your family’s past unveil a legacy of nobility, resilience, and the pursuit of opportunity. The Belshes family name carries with it the echoes of medieval knights and landowners who played their part in the tumultuous events of Scottish history. Although the direct lineage may have faded over time, the spirit and heritage of the Belshes family continue to endure, connecting you to a rich tapestry of Scottish history and the remarkable individuals who shaped it.

SHARE WITH OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

Family Crest Motto: FULGET VIRTUS INTAMINATA (virtue shines unstained)

$99.00

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Copyright Notice: This artwork is protected by copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or usage of this artwork without explicit permission from ScottishFamilyCrest.com is strictly prohibited.