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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English-Alt, English

Where did the English Bird family come from? What is the English Bird family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bird family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bird family history?

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture once found in Britain is the soil from which the many generations of the Bird family have grown. The name Bird was given to a member of the family who was a person who worked as a bird catcher or someone who had birdlike characteristics.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Bird family name include Bird, Byrd, Byrde and others.

First found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bird research. Another 179 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1543, 1623, 1608, 1663, 1558, 1540, 1623, 1652, 1704, 1669, 1674, 1744 and are included under the topic Early Bird History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 127 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bird Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bird family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Bird surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Bird Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Bird settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Rich Bird, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Richard Bird, who landed in Virginia in 1636
  • Jathnell Bird, who landed in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1641
  • Susan Bird who settled in Virginia in 1642


Bird Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Saml Bird, who landed in Virginia in 1749
  • Samuel Bird, who arrived in Maryland in 1777

Bird Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Bird, who landed in New York in 1824
  • John S Bird, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1827
  • M Bird, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • B Bird, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • John Bird, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851


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  • George Bird (1850-1940), American baseball player
  • Larry Bird (b. 1956), American basketball player, 12-time NBA All-Star
  • Robert Montgomery Bird (1805-1854), American author
  • Robert Byron Bird (b. 1924), American chemical engineer awarded the National Medal of Science in 1987
  • Brigadier-General Whittier S. Bird (1898-1977), American Chief of Staff, 37th Division (1941)
  • Miss Ellen Bird, aged 31, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 8
  • John Bird (b. 1936), English satirist, actor and comedian
  • Edward Bird (1772-1819), English genre painter
  • John Bird (1709-1776), English Mathematical instrument maker
  • Sir Cyril Bird CBE (1887-1965), British cartoonist, made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1946

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  • The American Descendants of Robert Bird by Katherine Moore Cushman.
  • Genealogical Sketch of the Bird Family, Having Its Origin in Hartford, Connecticut by Isaac Bird.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Cruce spes mea
Motto Translation: My hope is in the cross.

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  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  11. ...

The Bird Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bird Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 September 2014 at 21:53.

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