Show ContentsBeckerstume History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Beckerstume family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in one of several places named Bickerton. Bickerton is the name of various townships including the parish of Malpas in Cheshire [1] in the parish of Rothburg in Northumberland, [1] and in the parish of Bilton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. [2]

The toponym Bickerton is derived from the Old English beocere, which means bee-keeper, and tun, which originally denoted a fence or enclosure. [3] However this came to mean enclosure round a house, homestead, village or town at an early date. Thus the name can be understood to mean village of the bee-keeper.

Early Origins of the Beckerstume family

The surname Beckerstume was first found in Yorkshire where Adam de Bikerton was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1191. Almost a century later, William de Bykerton was similarly listed in Yorkshire in 1287. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only entry for the family, that of Thomas de Bigerton, Yorkshire, while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included Johannes de Bykerton; and Willelmus de Bikerton. [2]

The source Wills at Chester included the following: Edmund Bickerton, of Sound, Cheshire, 1617; and Humphrey Bickerton, of Wrenbury, 1594. [2]

Some of the Northumberland branch of the family moved north in Scotland, but "there is another Bickerton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. About the year 1200 Richard of Bickirtoune had a grant of lands in Dunypace, and in 1263 Sir Richard of Bigirthon witnessed an agreement anent pasturage of the moor of Kellin. Master Eustace of Bikerton was presented to the church of Duglas, Lanarkshire, in 1292, and in 1296, as Eustace de Bykretone, rector of the church of Hutremokedi (Auchtermuchty), he rendered homage. John de Bigerton held the castle of Luffenoc' in 1296, and a payment to Elisabet de Bikertoun by the custumars of Inverkeithing is recorded in 1331." [5]

Early History of the Beckerstume family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beckerstume research. Another 273 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1296, 1429, 1451, 1401, 1429, 1451, 1456, 1479, 1641, 1574, 1530, 1464, 1456, 1590, 1526, 1647, 1688, 1525, 1602, 1601, 1533, 1530, 1456, 1549, 1777, 1643, 1693, 1727, 1792, 1739, 1741, 1778, 1758, 1759, 1832, 1771, 1774 and 1777 are included under the topic Early Beckerstume History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Beckerstume Spelling Variations

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 Beckerstume include Bickerton, Bickertown, Beckertoun, Bikerton, Bikarton and many more.

Early Notables of the Beckerstume family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Jane Howard, Duchess of Norfolk (née Bickerton) (1643-1693), the second wife of Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk. She was daughter of Robert Bickerton, Gentleman of the Wine Cellar to King Charles II. Sir Richard Bickerton (1727-1792), Vice-Admiral, son of a Captain in the 4th dragoon guards, entered the Navy in 1739, on the outbreak of the war with Spain. In the following year he was appointed to the Suffolk, of 70 guns, with Captain Davers, and sailed in her to the West Indies, to form part of the expedition against Cartagena in the spring of...
Another 144 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Beckerstume Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Beckerstume family

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 Beckerstume were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Joan Bickerton who settled in Barbados in 1675; George Bickerton settled in Pennsylvania in 1772; John in Philadelphia in 1773; Thomas settled in New England in 1753..



  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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