Beckworth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Beckworth surname lived at Beckwith in the Yorkshire parish of Pannal, and it is from this location that the name Beckworth is derived. The distinguished name Beckworth is derived from the Old English word bece, which means beech, and the Old Norse word vior, which means wood. Thus the surname Beckworth 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 Beckworth family

The surname Beckworth 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] The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Willelmus Bekwyt; Willelmus de Bekwyth; and Johannes de Bekwyth. [3] Later records show Richard Bekwyth in 1415 and Adam Bekwith who was a Freeman of York in 1423. [4]

"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." [5]

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." [6]

Early History of the Beckworth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beckworth 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 Beckworth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Beckworth 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 Beckworth 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 Beckworth include: Beckwith, Beckworth, Beckworthe and others.

Early Notables of the Beckworth 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...
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Beckworth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Beckworth migration to the United States +

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 Beckworth or a variant listed above:

Beckworth Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Beckworth, who settled in Maryland in 1633
  • Thomas Beckworth, who arrived in Maryland in 1633 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Beckworth (post 1700) +

  • Raymond Beckworth, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Georgia 1st District, 1994 [8]
  • Lindley Garrison Beckworth Sr. (1913-1984), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Texas State House of Representatives, 1937-38; U.S. Representative from Texas 3rd District, 1939-53, 1957-67 [8]
  • John T. Beckworth, American politician, Mayor of Mineral Wells, Texas, 1954 [8]
  • Fred N. Beckworth, American politician, Mayor of Dover, New Hampshire, 1917 [8]


The Beckworth 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. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ Hotten, John Camden (ed), The original lists of persons of quality; emigrants; religious exiles; political rebels; serving men sold for a term of years; apprentices; children stolen; maidens pressed; and others who went from Great Britain to the American plantations 1600-1700.New York: J. W. Bouton, 1874, Digital
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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