The English surname Beal has two possible origins. The first is from the Norman-French 11th century nickname for a handsome man or an attractive woman. Introduced into England after the famous Conquest of the country in 1066, it derives from the French words bel or beal meaning fair or beautiful. The second possible origin which applies more in the North Country is locational, and from either of the two places called Beal in the counties of Northumberland and West Yorkshire. The former is first recorded as Behil, and means bee-hill, from the pre 7th Century “beo-hyll.” The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Bele. This was dated 1206, in the charters known as the Curia Rolls of the county of Essex, during the reign of King John.
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