Bechworthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Bechworthay is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived at Beckwith in the Yorkshire parish of Pannal, and it is from this location that the name Bechworthay is derived. The distinguished name Bechworthay is derived from the Old English word bece, which means beech, and the Old Norse word vior, which means wood. Thus the surname Bechworthay indicates the proximity of the town to a grove of beech trees.  The name of Beckwith is said to have been changed from Malbie in the 12th century. 
Early Origins of the Bechworthay family
The surname Bechworthay 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. "  The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Willelmus Bekwyt; Willelmus de Bekwyth; and Johannes de Bekwyth.  Later records show Richard Bekwyth in 1415 and Adam Bekwith who was a Freeman of York in 1423. 
"Amongst the old West Riding [of Yorkshire] names, now less frequently represented, is that of Beckwith, which was originally derived from a hamlet in that division of the county. The Beckwiths were a very numerous race, the main stock being settled at a very early period at Clint in Ripley, where it flourished until the close of the 16th century; the Beckwiths of Aldborough during the 17th and 18th centuries, who belonged to the Clint stock, received a baronetcy." 
This hamlet in the parish of Pannall, near Harrogate saw an exodus like many places in England in the 17th century. Many settled in Boston including "Robert Beckwith, went out in 1635 in the Transport, bound for Virginia." 
Early History of the Bechworthay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bechworthay research. Another 58 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1759, 1794, 1808, 1788, 1828, 1780, 1809, 1788, 1819, 1809 and 1819 are included under the topic Early Bechworthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bechworthay Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Bechworthay family name include Beckwith, Beckworth, Beckworthe and others.
Early Notables of the Bechworthay family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include John Christmas Beckwith, born Dec. 25, 1759, who studied music under Dr. Philip Hayes and Dr. William Hayes. He was appointed organist of St. Peter Mancroft's, Norwich, on Jan. 16, 1794 and succeeded Garland as organist of the cathedral in 1808. He never wrote or gave his Christian name officially otherwise than 'John,' and it is believed that the name 'Christmas' was merely a playful addition made by his friends by reason...
Migration of the Bechworthay family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Bechworthay surname or a spelling variation of the name include : 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 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