Berchbay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
There are no fewer than three locations in England named Birkby. In Cumbria, Birkby is in the parish of Crosscanonby (or Cross Canonby) and the remaining two locations are found in North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. It is from this area of England that the surname Berchbay claims as its ancient homestead.
Early Origins of the Berchbay family
The surname Berchbay was first found in West Yorkshire or North Yorkshire at Birkby, townships and parishes. The North Yorkshire location is presumably the oldest at it dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was first listed as Bretebi.  Both place names mean "farmstead or village of the Britons."  One of the first records of the name was William de Bretteby, who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1219. Years later, William Birtby was listed again in Yorkshire in 1462.  Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Birkby near Huddersfield held by the King's steward, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Early History of the Berchbay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berchbay research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Berchbay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Berchbay Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Berchbay has been recorded under many different variations, including Birkby, Berkby, Beckby, Bickby, Birkbie, Birkbee, Bickbie, Burkby, Burkbie, Birkbye, Birchby, Berchby and many more.
Early Notables of the Berchbay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Berchbay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Berchbay family
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Berchbays were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Samuell Birkby, who settled in Maryland in 1657; Catherine Birkby, who arrived in Maryland in 1654; and John Birkby, who was on record in New York in 1831..