Bekworthe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Bekworthe has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived at Beckwith in the Yorkshire parish of Pannal, and it is from this location that the name Bekworthe is derived. The distinguished name Bekworthe is derived from the Old English word bece, which means beech, and the Old Norse word vior, which means wood. Thus the surname Bekworthe 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 Bekworthe family

The surname Bekworthe 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 Bekworthe family

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

Bekworthe Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Bekworthe have been found, including Beckwith, Beckworth, Beckworthe and others.

Early Notables of the Bekworthe 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 Bekworthe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bekworthe family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Bekworthe, 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 Bekworthe 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


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