Berkbey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
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 Berkbey claims as its ancient homestead.
Early Origins of the Berkbey family
The surname Berkbey 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 Berkbey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berkbey research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Berkbey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Berkbey Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Birkby, Berkby, Beckby, Bickby, Birkbie, Birkbee, Bickbie, Burkby, Burkbie, Birkbye, Birchby, Berchby and many more.
Early Notables of the Berkbey family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Berkbey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Berkbey family
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Berkbey 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..
Related Stories +
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)