Birkead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Birkead surname lived near a birch-covered headland. The surname Birkead is derived from the Old English words bierce, meaning birch, and heafod, meaning head. [1]

Early Origins of the Birkead family

The surname Birkead 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." [2]

Important Dates for the Birkead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birkead 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 Birkead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Birkead Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Birkead are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Birkead include: Birkenhead, Birkehead, Birkenheed, Birkenhedd, Birkead, Birkinhead and many more.

Early Notables of the Birkead 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 Birkead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Birkead family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Birkead or a variant listed above: 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.

Citations

  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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