Belfrege History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The present generation of the Belfrege 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 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 Belfrege may have arisen in the southwest of England, it is generally associated with Yorkshire and Scotland.
Early Origins of the Belfrege family
The surname Belfrege 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 Belfrege family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Belfrege 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 Belfrege History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Belfrege 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 Belfrege include Beveridge, Belfridge, Belfrage, Beverage, Beveradge, Bevidge, Bevige, Berridge and many more.
Early Notables of the Belfrege 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 Belfrege Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Belfrege 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 Belfrege were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: John Beveridge who settled in New England in 1685; Mary Beveridge settled in Maryland in 1774; Robert Beveridge arrived in New York in 1823; William Bevidge landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1864..
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)