An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2013
Origins Available: Irish, Scottish
Where did the Scottish Birnie family come from? What is the Scottish Birnie family crest and coat of arms? When did the Birnie family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Birnie family history?The story of the Birnie family is rich with Scottish history. It begins in the ancient kingdom of Dalriada where Birnie evolved as a name for some who lived in Brennath in Moray, where the name became Birnie. There is also a Birnie in the shire of Elgin. The village of Birnie was originally called Brenuth, from brae-nut, which means "hazel trees". Natives of Birnie, using a local dialect, also called the village Burn-nigh, which means near the burn river. This local name, particularly in medieval times, is prefixed by "de", which means "from." During the Middle Ages, the Birney family became a part of the landed gentry and they wielded considerable prestige and influence in the region of the Scottish borderlands.
Historical recordings of the name Birnie include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. Birnie, Birney, Birny, Birnye, Byrnye, Byrny, Berney, Birne, Byrne, McBirny, McBirnie, McBurny, McBurnie and many more.
First found in Elginshire, where Birnie Kirk, a Church of Scotland church built c. 1140 is still found today. It was the first cathedral of the Bishop of Moray. The church is one of the oldest in Scotland to have been in continuous use through the centuries. Birnie Loch is a man-made loch located in North East Fife from a flooded gravel pit. Birnie Island is a small, uninhabited coral island, 20 hectares in area, part of the Phoenix Island group in central Pacific ocean named after the London firm Alexander Birnie & Co in 1823.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birnie research. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1261 and 1500 are included under the topic Early Birnie History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Birnie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Birnie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 119 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Birnies to arrive on North American shores:
Birnie Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
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: Sapere aude incipe
Motto Translation: Dare to be wise, begin at once
The Birnie Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Birnie 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 24 April 2013 at 12:27.
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