Surname Belcher - Meaning and Origin
all surnames with 'B'
Belcher: What does the surname Belcher mean?
Belcher is an English occupational surname from the Middle English term "bel(e)chere" which means a bell maker or bell founder. It is derived from Old French 'bele' meaning 'bell' and 'chere' from 'cheir' or 'cheire' which means 'maker' or 'founder'. The 'ch' in 'cheire' is pronounced as 'k' in Old French, hence, it's pronunciation in English became 'Belcher' instead of 'Belshay'. It has been in use since the medieval period. The need for bells in churches, abbeys, and monasteries would have required specialist makers, and this would have contributed to the surname's origin. The oldest public record of the surname dates back to 1198 in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire where one Roger Belchere is registered. It's also important to note that surnames in early times were applied to people for their occupational or residential traits.
Belcher: Where does the name Belcher come from?
The surname Belcher originates from England. It is derived from the Old French term "beu chere" which translates to "beautiful face" or "good cheer". In the medieval times, it was typically used as a nickname for someone who was attractive or had a cheerful demeanor. Over time, it evolved into a hereditary surname.
As for its distribution today, the surname Belcher is most common in the United States followed by England and Australia. In the US, it is predominantly found in the eastern and southeastern regions, particularly in the states of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Massachusetts. In England, it is mainly in the Warwickshire and Berkshire counties. Notably, the surname is rare in English-speaking countries outside these regions, presumably due to the pejorative connotations that the term "belcher" carries in common parlance.
Variations of the surname Belcher
The surname Belcher is believed to have originated from the Old French term "bel chere" which means 'beautiful and dear'. Variants of the name could include homophonic variants such as Belsher, Belshore, or Belsure. Also, it might be found with prefixes or suffixes added like Belcheres or Belcheri.
In addition, British history often experienced changes in spellings due to a number of influences like translation errors, phonetic spellings, or a shift in dialect. Hence, it's common to find multiple spellings for the same name. For the surname Belcher, alternate spellings could include Belsher, Belchere, Belshire, Bellcher, and Belcere.
However, it's essential to note that although surnames might share similarities, it does not necessarily indicate that they have the same origin. The surname could also originate from occupational names referring to a belcher, an individual involved in belching - an early form of metal extraction.
As for related surnames, it's a bit complicated because of the potential different origins of the name. Furthermore, it's also plausible that individuals with the Belcher surname could be related distantly through marriage to families bearing other surnames. It's recommended to conduct genealogical research for more specific connections.
Famous people with the name Belcher
- Bob Belcher: Fictional character from the animated series "Bob's Burgers".
- Jovan Belcher: Former professional American football player who played for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL.
- Karen Belcher: American opera singer, principal soloist at the Metropolitan Opera.
- Louise Belcher: Fictional character, the youngest member of the Belcher family in animated series "Bob's Burgers".
- Lloyd Belcher: Professional cricket player for Oxfordshire.
- Edward Belcher: British naval officer and explorer.
- Arthur Belcher: British politician, Member of Parliament from 1918 to 1922.
- Andy Belcher: New Zealand rugby league footballer.
- Alan Belcher: Retired American mixed martial artist.
- Jonathan Belcher: Colonial governor of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey in the 18th century.
- Tim Belcher: Former Major League Baseball pitcher.
- Richard Belcher: American journalist and news anchor.
- Charlie Belcher: American television personality.
- Charles Belcher: Silent film actor in the early 20th century.
- Henry Belcher: British architect in the late 19th to early 20th century.
- Andrew Belcher: Canadian politician and merchant, one of the first in the Halifax region.
- Page Belcher: U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma.
- Ralph Belcher: English soldier during the Hundred Years' War.