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

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.


The surname Byrd was first found in Cheshire at Broxton, a village and civil parish where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

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.


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 and 1744 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 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 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 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 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

Byrd Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Chas. Byrd, aged 61, who emigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1910


  • Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd (1888-1957), American aviator, polar explorer, eponym of the Bryd Station, Antarctica, recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • Jerry Barksdale Byrd Sr. (1935-2016), American sportswriter, known for his work with the Shreveport Journal
  • Harry Flood Byrd Jr. (1914-2013), American politician, United States Senator from Virginia (1965-1983)
  • Marie Byrd, wife of Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, eponym of Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica
  • Leo Byrd (b. 1937), NCAA All-American basketball player
  • Gerald Lester "Jerry" Byrd (1920-2005), American Lap steel guitarist
  • David Edward Byrd (b. 1941), American graphic artist, designer, illustrator and painter
  • Charlie Lee Byrd (1925-1999), American guitarist
  • George Edward "Butch" Byrd (b. 1941), professional American football defensive back, five-time American Football League All-Star
  • Brigadier-General Daniel Brian Byrd (1888-1975), American Adjutant-General of Arkansas (1937-1941)



  • 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.


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  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. 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.
  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 7 May 2016 at 13:40.

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