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BALCH Family History

This name, with variant spellings Baulch, Belch, Belk, Boakes, has two distinct possible origins, the first being a metonymic occupational name for someone involved in the erection of roof-beams. The derivation in this case is from the Medieval English "balch" or "belch", itself coming from the pre 7th Century Old English "balca", a balk or beam. The word may also have been used metaphorically for a man of stout, heavy build. The second possibility is that the name originated as a nickname from the Medieval English "balche" or "belche", literally meaning "swelling", but used chiefly in the sense of "swelling pride" or arrogance.

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