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

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

The name Byrd is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Byrd was a name used for a person who worked as a bird catcher or someone who had birdlike characteristics.


Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Byrd 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Byrd 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 Byrd History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Byrd 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.


Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Byrd were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Byrd Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Christopher Byrd, who arrived in Virginia in 1651
  • William Byrd, who arrived in Virginia in 1653
  • John Byrd, who landed in Virginia in 1677

Byrd Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Wm Byrd, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Richard Byrd, who landed in Virginia in 1724

Byrd Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Mr. Byrd, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • Bridget Byrd, aged 30, who emigrated to the United States, in 1892
  • George H. Byrd, aged 65, who settled in America from Florence, Italy, in 1893

Byrd Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Abram Riddill Byrd, who landed in America, in 1911
  • Anna Byrd, aged 23, who emigrated to America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1914
  • Francis D. Byrd, who emigrated to the United States, in 1918
  • Ella Byrd, aged 57, who settled in Baltimore, Md, in 1920
  • James Byrd, aged 17, who landed in America from Killargue, Ireland, in 1921


  • Robert Byrd (1917-2010), senior United States Senator from West Virginia
  • Harry Flood Byrd (1887-1966), American politician, U.S. Senator from Virginia (1933-65)
  • Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd (1888-1957), American aviator, polar explorer, eponym of the Bryd Station, Antarctica, recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • Chris Cornelius Byrd (b. 1970), American former WBO and IBF heavyweight champion boxer
  • Brigadier-General Daniel Brian Byrd (1888-1975), American Adjutant-General of Arkansas (1937-1941)
  • George Edward "Butch" Byrd (b. 1941), professional American football defensive back, five-time American Football League All-Star
  • Charlie Lee Byrd (1925-1999), American guitarist
  • David Edward Byrd (b. 1941), American graphic artist, designer, illustrator and painter
  • Gerald Lester "Jerry" Byrd (1920-2005), American Lap steel guitarist
  • Leo Byrd (b. 1937), NCAA All-American basketball player



  • A Byrd Family History by Robert Earl Byrd.
  • The Bird-Byrd Family by Al Byrd.

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.



  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. 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.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Byrd Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Byrd 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 22 September 2014 at 11:42.

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