Bircheat History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Bircheat is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived near a birch-covered headland. The surname Bircheat is derived from the Old English words bierce, meaning birch, and heafod, meaning head. 
Early Origins of the Bircheat family
The surname Bircheat was first found in Cheshire, at Birkenhead, a rising sea-port, market-town, and township, in the union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall. Another branch of the family was found at Backford, a parish, in the union of Great Boughton, partly in the Higher division of the hundred of Wirrall, and partly in the Lower division of the hundred of Broxton.
"During a great part of the 13th and 14th centuries, the manor was held by the Masseys, of Timperley; about the year 1580 it was sold to Thomas Aldersey, by whom it was soon afterwards alienated to the Birkenheads, who resided at Backford Hall until the family became extinct in the male line in 1724." 
Early History of the Bircheat family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bircheat research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1400, 1560, 1590, 1571, 1572, 1553, 1614, 1608, 1614, 1617, 1696, 1616 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Bircheat History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bircheat 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 Bircheat family name include Birkenhead, Birkehead, Birkenheed, Birkenhedd, Birkead, Birkinhead and many more.
Early Notables of the Bircheat family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Martin Birkhead (died 1590), an English politician from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Member of the Parliament for Ripon in 1571 and 1572; George Birkhead or Birket, alias Hall, Lambton, and Salvin (c.1553-1614), an English Roman Catholic priest from County Durham who served as the archpriest of England from 1608 until his death in 1614; Henry Birkhead (1617?-1696), an English academic...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bircheat Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bircheat family
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 Bircheat surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Francis Birkenhedd who settled in Barbados in 1635; William Birkenhead settled in Virginia in 1653; Joseph Birkhead settled in Philadelphia in 1860; George Birkinhead settled in North Carolina in 1701.
- Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.