PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England


[Image: Excerpt from the Domesday Book]
[Image: Durham Liber Vitae, folio 38r (extract)]


Author: CPL
Editorial Status: unknown

Discussion of the name

The name Beollán was Irish in origin (von Feilitzen 1937: 193; O’Brien 2006), and was presumably brought to Cheshire by the Norse and Norse-Irish migrants from Dublin who settled on Wirral in the early tenth century. Its naturalization locally, albeit as a very rare name, is suggested by its presence in 1066 at some distance from Wirral.

The name is otherwise recorded in England only as that of a moneyer who struck coins at York in the period 975–85 (PASE: Beolan 1–2) and in a minor name in the north Lancashire parish of Garstang (PN Lancs. 252).

The spelling in DB represents either an Anglo-Norman substitution of –m for –n or a simple miscopying.

The Phillimore and Alecto editions both render the name in its normalized OIr form as Beollán.


O’Brien 2006: Mari Elspeth nic Bryan (Kathleen M. O’Brien), Index of Names in Irish Annals (Version 2.3, updated 9 Oct. 2006)

PN Lancs.: Eilert Ekwall, The Place-Names of Lancashire (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1922) 

von Feilitzen 1937: Olof von Feilitzen, The Pre-Conquest Personal Names of Domesday Book, Nomina Germanica 3 (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1937)

Forms of the name

Spellings in Domesday Book: Belam

Forms in modern scholarship:

von Feilitzen head forms: Beollán

Phillimore edition: Beollan

Alecto edition: Beollan

Distribution map of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

Holder 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Holder 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Holder 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Cheshire 14,11 Sutton Belam Beollan 'of Sutton' - Hugh, earl Bigot de Loges 0.44 0.10 0.08 - Map
Total               0.44 0.10 0.08  

People of this name

Return to PASE Domesday homepage