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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Beach surname, of Norman ancestry, was a name given to a person who lived near a stream, or a person who lived near a prominent beech tree, or area wooded with beech trees. The two different landmarks were referred to by the same Old English root, beche.

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The surname Beach was first found in Hertfordshire where Gosfrid le Beche was sometimes known as Geoffrey de Bec, one of the principal holders and tenant-in-chief of land in that shire as recorded by the Domesday Book in the year 1086. He was from Beche in Normandy and accompanied William the Conqueror into England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Amongst other villages he also owned Aldenham, Cokenach, Eastwick, Hailey, Lilley, Langley and many others in Hertfordshire.

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Beach, Beche, Beck, Becke, Beache, Bech, Beech and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beach research. Another 267 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Beach History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Beach Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Beach or a variant listed above:

Beach Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Beach, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Richard Beach who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1637
  • Stephen Beach settled in Virginia in 1639
  • Stephen Beach, who arrived in Virginia in 1639
  • Mrs. Elias Beach, who landed in Maryland in 1640


Beach Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Antho Beach, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Wm Beach, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Wilhelm Beach, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1749

Beach Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Reuben C Beach, who arrived in New York in 1832
  • W E, Beach Jr., who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • W L Beach, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • W R Beach, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • G W Beach, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


Beach Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Sgt. John Beach U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Mr. Samuel Beach U.E who settled in Ernestown, Lennox & Addington, Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. Stephan Beach U.E who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783Suspended

Beach Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Beach, who landed in Canada in 1828
  • Abraham Beach, who arrived in Canada in 1834

Beach Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Beach, aged 17, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Lord Hungerford"

Beach Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Beach arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Owen Glendowner" in 1864
  • Catherine Beach arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Owen Glendowner" in 1864
  • John Beach, aged 36, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874
  • Mary A. Beach, aged 30, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874
  • Harriet Beach, aged 6, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874


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  • Brigadier-General Maurice Milton Beach (1903-1987), American Commanding General of the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing (1942-1945)
  • Brigadier-General George Corwin Beach Jr. (1888-1948), American Commandant Brooke Medical Center Fort Sam Houston (1942-1946)
  • William D Beach (1856-1932), United States Army Brigadier General
  • Rex Beach (1877-1949), American novelist and playwright
  • Alfred Ely Beach (1826-1896), American editor and inventor who built a pneumatic subway under Broadway in New York City in 1870
  • Amy Marcey Cheney Beach (1867-1944), American pianist and composer
  • Moses Yale Beach (1800-1868), American publisher, who established the New York Sun
  • William Vincent Beach (1903-1995), English Navy Surgeon Rear-Admiral
  • Michael Edward Hicks Beach (1837-1916), 1st Earl St Aldwyn, English statesman


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  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Beach Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Beach 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 21 April 2016 at 14:44.

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