Beechem History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Beechem is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Beechem family lived in Bedfordshire, Buckingham, and Hertfordshire. The geographical roots of the name, however, were established prior to the family's presence in Britain, and stem from the Old French Beauchamps, which refers to towns of that name in Manche and Somme.
Early Origins of the Beechem family
The surname Beechem was first found in Bedfordshire, Buckingham, and Hertford, where the name was "introduced into England at the Norman Conquest by Hugo de Beauchamp, or de Bello Campo, to whom William [the Conqueror] gave 43 lordships, chiefly in the county of Bedford. " 
Linslade in Buckinghamshire has a long-time association with the family. "This place in the reign of Henry III. belonged to William de Beauchamp [(d. 1260)], to whom, in 1251, that monarch granted the privilege of a market on Thursday, and a fair on Lady-day to continue for eight days." 
Roothing-Beauchamp, a parish, in the union and hundred of Ongar, S. division of the county of Essex " takes the affix to its name from William Beauchamp, proprietor of the manor in 1262." 
Another branch was found at early times in the parish of Shrawley in Worcestershire. "This place belonged to Ralph de Todeni, who was standardbearer to William at the battle of Hastings, and whose family held the lands till the time of Edward II., when they passed to the family of Guy Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick." 
Also in Worcestershire, a branch of the family was found at Bengeworth. "The manor [of Bengeworth] anciently belonged to the Beauchamp family, whose baronial castle, situated near the bridge, was in the twelfth century destroyed by William d'Anville, abbot of Evesham, in retaliation for depredations committed by the owner on his monastery." 
Walter de Beauchamp (d. 1236), was an English judge, son and heir of William de Beauchamp, Lord of Elmley, Worcester, and hereditary castellan of Worcester and sheriff of the county. 
Robert de Beauchamp (d. 1252), was an early English judge, a minor at the death of his father, Robert de Beauchamp, Lord of Hatch, Somerset, in 1211-1212. "Adhering to John, he was appointed constable of Oxford and sheriff of the county towards the close of 1215, and received grants of land for his services to the king. " 
Guy de Beauchamp , Earl of Warwick (d. 1315), was Lord Ordainer and succeeded his father, William, Earl of Warwick, the grandson of Walter de Beauchamp.
Richard de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (1382-1439), was "a brave and chivalrous warrior in an age of chivalry, of an ancient family, whose ancestry was traced to the legendary Guy of Warwick, the son of Thomas, Earl of Warwick." 
Early History of the Beechem family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Beechem research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1369, 1338, 1401, 1343, 1411, 1392, 1445, 1592 and 1655 are included under the topic Early Beechem History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Beechem Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Beechem are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Beechem include Beauchamp, Beauchamps, Beacham, Beecham and others.
Early Notables of the Beechem family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was the Earls of Warwick, such as Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick (d. 1369), who was an English nobleman and a military commander during the Hundred Years' War; Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, (1338-1401), English medieval nobleman, and one of the primary opponents of Richard II, son of Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Beechem Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Beechem family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Beechem, or a variant listed above: Edward Beauchamp, a Huguenot and Freeman, who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1643; James Beacham, who arrived in Barbados in 1685; John Beacham, who settled in New England in 1698.
Contemporary Notables of the name Beechem (post 1700) +
- Mabel Beechem (b. 1912), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1956 (alternate), 1960 
Related Stories +
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html