Bechwith History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Bechwith date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Bechwith family lived at Beckwith in the Yorkshire parish of Pannal, and it is from this location that the name Bechwith is derived. The distinguished name Bechwith is derived from the Old English word bece, which means beech, and the Old Norse word vior, which means wood. Thus the surname Bechwith indicates the proximity of the town to a grove of beech trees. [1] The name of Beckwith is said to have been changed from Malbie in the 12th century. [2]

Early Origins of the Bechwith family

The surname Bechwith was first found in Yorkshire, where "most of the armigerous families of the name spring from, and Beckwith, a hamlet in the parish of Pannal, in that county, is probably the cradle of the race. " [2]

Early History of the Bechwith family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bechwith research. Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bechwith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bechwith Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Bechwith are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bechwith include: Beckwith, Beckworth, Beckworthe and others.

Early Notables of the Bechwith family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bechwith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bechwith family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Bechwith or a variant listed above: Sir Marmaduke Beckwith of Aldborough who settled in Richmond County, Virginia in 1748; but he had been preceded by Matthew Beckwith who settled in Connecticut in 1635.



The Bechwith Motto +

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: Jouir en bien
Motto Translation: To enjoy innocent


  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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