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 Berkbay claims as its ancient homestead.
Early Origins of the Berkbay family
The surname Berkbay 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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
Both place names mean "farmstead or village of the Britons." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
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. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
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 Berkbay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berkbay research.Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Berkbay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Berkbay Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Birkby, Berkby, Beckby, Bickby, Birkbie, Birkbee, Bickbie, Burkby, Burkbie, Birkbye, Birchby, Berchby and many more.
Early Notables of the Berkbay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Berkbay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Berkbay family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Berkbay or a variant listed above: 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..