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 Birkbey claims as its ancient homestead.
Early Origins of the Birkbey family
The surname Birkbey 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 Birkbey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birkbey research.Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Birkbey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Birkbey Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. When the Normans
became the ruling people of England
in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Birkby, Berkby, Beckby, Bickby, Birkbie, Birkbee, Bickbie, Burkby, Burkbie, Birkbye, Birchby, Berchby and many more.
Early Notables of the Birkbey family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Birkbey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birkbey family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England
. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Birkbey or a variant listed above were: 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..