Berkshire History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Berkshire is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in Berkshire, Wiltshire, and Yorkshire. The name was originally rendered in the Old English form Berrocsire, which was originally derived from the town so named, and later evolved into its more modern form. It is of ancient Celtic derivation, coming from the elements berro, meaning hilly, and scir, meaning district.
Early Origins of the Berkshire family
The surname Berkshire was first found in Wiltshire, where the name may have developed to identify a person from Berkshire County.
Early History of the Berkshire family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Berkshire research. Another 37 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1249, 1317, and 1525 are included under the topic Early Berkshire History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Berkshire Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Berkshire family name include Berkshire, Burkshire, Birkshire, Berkshir and others.
Early Notables of the Berkshire family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Berkshire Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Berkshire migration to the United States +
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Berkshire surname or a spelling variation of the name include:
Berkshire Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Martha Berkshire, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from South Shields England, in 1909
- William Berkshire, aged 6, who landed in America from South Shields England, in 1909
- Clarence Berkshire, aged 22, who settled in America from Chicago, Ill., in 1912
- Alfred Berkshire, aged 48, who immigrated to the United States, in 1921
Berkshire migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Berkshire Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- George Berkshire, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 
- Martha Berkshire, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 
- Martha Ann Berkshire, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 
Contemporary Notables of the name Berkshire (post 1700) +
- Ralph Lazier Berkshire (1816-1902), American Republican politician, Judge of West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, 1863-66, 1868-72; Member of West Virginia State Senate 10th District, 1875-77 
- John G. Berkshire, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 1868 
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