Belfrage History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestry of the name Belfrage dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived on Beverege, an island in the Severn River, about 4 miles north of Worcester.
"Mr. Beveridge says the origin of the name is to be found in 'Beverege,' the name of an island in the Severn referred to by Florence of Worcester as a retreat of the Danes during a revolt of the English [in 1041]. The name, he correctly says, means 'Beaver island,' from Old English befer or beofer, and ig or ige, island."  Later known as Bevere Island, this island became a refuge once again during the Black Death.
Camden notes: "The existence of the beaver in Britain within historical memory seems proved by such names as Beverege, Beverley, perhaps but less likely Beverstone in Gloucestershire." He speaks of beavers in his time in the Teifi, but in Teifi only. Another source noted the name was derived from "Beferige, i. e. 'the Beaver's edge,' Several other local names in Befer, in that collection, show that the beaver was an inhabitant of this island in Saxon times." 
While the name Belfrage may have arisen in the southwest of England, it is generally associated with Yorkshire and Scotland.
Early Origins of the Belfrage family
The surname Belfrage was first found in Buckinghamshire where the first record of the family was Wido, William Beverage who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1212 and later in the Pipe Rolls of Surrey in 1230. Richard Bevereche was listed c. 1240 in Huntingdonshire. The Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1280 list William Bauerich.  This latter source notes the origin of the name as having derived from the Middle English word "beuerage," or the Old French word "bevrege, buverage" meaning "drink, liquor for consumption." By far, the lion's share of sources claim that the name originates from the aforementioned Beverege Island with this source and one other eluding to the more contemporary use of the word.
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the following: Hugh Beverach, Cambridgeshire; Ralph Beverache, Cambridgeshire; Agnes Beverach, Cambridgeshire; Halter Beverage, Lincolnshire; and Thomas Beverage, Yorkshire.  Some of the family moved north into Northumberland and into Scotland about the year 1200.
In Scotland it was a name very difficult for the Scottish tongue, pronunciation and spellings became numerous. Here they settled in St. Andrews in 1302 where Walter Beverage is named as juror on an inquest at St. Andrews. Years later, Henry Beveragh was witness in Paisley, 1504 and a decree against Alexander Bauerage is recorded in 1531. David Beverage was cup-bearer to James V in 1534. 
Early History of the Belfrage family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belfrage research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1923, 1637, 1708, 1704, 1708, 1636 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Belfrage History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Belfrage 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 Belfrage have been found, including Beveridge, Belfridge, Belfrage, Beverage, Beveradge, Bevidge, Bevige, Berridge and many more.
Early Notables of the Belfrage family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include William Beveridge (1637-1708), an English clergyman, Bishop of St Asaph (1704-1708.) He was the "son of the Rev. William Beveridge, B.D., was...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Belfrage Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Belfrage migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Belfrage Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- J. H. Belfrage, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Surat" in 1864
Contemporary Notables of the name Belfrage (post 1700) +
- Cedric Henning Belfrage (1904-1990), American (London born) socialist, author, journalist, translator and co-founder of the radical US-weekly newspaper, "the National Guardian"
- Erik Jean Christian Antoine Belfrage (1946-2020), Swedish diplomat, banking executive, and political consultant; he died from COVID-19
- Henry Belfrage (1774-1835), Scottish divine of the Secession church, son of the Rev. John Belfrage, minister of the first Associate congregation in Falkirk, Stirlingshire 
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 14 June. 2019