An English, Irish and Scottish surname, the family name of Bell is from the Old French term of ‘bel,’ meant fair, beautiful or attractive. The name was common in medieval Scotland and England. It was found as a symbol on a sign for a shop or inn. The shopkeeper would be referred to a ‘Bell.’
Other spellings for Bell include Beall, Bale, Biehl, Belle, Beale, Beel, Beal, Bale, Beals, and Beales. The German spelling is Boehle, Bohl and Boll.
The upper northern region of England has most of the Bell families. There are some also in the London area. In Scotland the Bell surname is in Lanarkshire county.
Within the United States the Bell surname is mostly in Georgia, Alabama, Texas, California, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania.
Famous: Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone), Charles Bell (19th century baseball player), Don bell (radio announcer), Glen Bell (founder of Taco Bell), John Joy Bell (Scottish writer), Mike Bell (professional wrestler), Sam Bell (professional footballer from England) and William Nathaniel Bell (19th century pioneer to Seattle, Washington).