The internet, bless it, is (as former senator Ted Stevens might agree) quite an effective series of tubes. Today it provides me the background on my glorious name, including our—umm—family coat of arms. I was unaware that Ashkenazim that escaped eastern Europe (in this case Lithuania) in the first part of the twentieth century had coats of arms, but, y’know, learn something new every day. Turns out the Bellmans are of Pictish descent, which will come as a surprise to an English friend I oftern accuse of Pictishness and Jutishness. (Which is odd, because he doesn’t look Jutish.) “Their name is thought to have originally been occupational for a ringer of bells or a town crier.” Well! Vocal and instrumental accomplishment and expertise! Unbeknownst to every other member of my family, then, it’s a tradition from way back.
Of the early immigrants to the colonies is listed a Christian Bellman, in 1932. My suspicion is that he was not a relative. But for the “noteworthy people of the name Bellman,” they list Richard Bellman, the famous mathematician (American Jewish), the composer Carl Michael Bellman (Swedish), and (weirdly) me. Lest I consider myself too “noteworthy,” though (Debbie frequently carries a hatpin for use on my ego, so no worries), I also learn about the existence of Bellman jokes among Swedish schoolchildren. It seems best to refrain from sharing my new knowledge of these jokes with my parents.
Noteworthily Yrs, I remain…