Birkehead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Birkehead name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided near a birch-covered headland. The surname Birkehead is derived from the Old English words bierce, meaning birch, and heafod, meaning head. [1]

Early Origins of the Birkehead family

The surname Birkehead 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 Birkehead family

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

Birkehead Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Birkehead include Birkenhead, Birkehead, Birkenheed, Birkenhedd, Birkead, Birkinhead and many more.

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

Birkehead migration to the United States

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Birkehead or a variant listed above:

Birkehead Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Birkehead, who settled in Barbados in 1680

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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