Birkett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Birkett is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived in Cheshire, where they held a family seat near Birkenhead at the estuary of the River Birket. It is from the name of the river that their name is derived.

Early Origins of the Birkett family

The surname Birkett was first found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Early History of the Birkett family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birkett research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1666, 1746, 1650, 1703, 1700, 1838 and 1908 are included under the topic Early Birkett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Birkett 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 Birkett family name include Birket, Birkett, Bircket, Burkett, Birckett, Burket, Burkert and many more.

Early Notables of the Birkett family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Birkett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Birkett family to Ireland

Some of the Birkett family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Birkett migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, 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 Birkett surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Birkett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Birkett, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Jac Birkett, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [1]
  • Richard Birkett, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [1]
Birkett Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Birkett, who settled in New England in 1750
Birkett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Birkett, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [1]
  • John Birkett, who landed in New York in 1862 [1]

New Zealand Birkett migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Birkett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Benjamin Birkett (Burkett), (b. 1802), aged 38, English settler born in Kent travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [2]
  • Mrs. Martha Birkett (Burkett) née Hogg, (b. 1806), aged 35, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [2]
  • Mr. Jabez Birkett (Burkett), (b. 1829), aged 11, English settler born in Kent travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [2]
  • Mr. Edward Birkett (Burkett), (b. 1833), aged 6, English settler born in Kent travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [2]
  • Mr. George Birkett (Burkett), (b. 1839), aged 2, English settler born in Kent travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 25th January 1841 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Birkett (post 1700) +

  • Reg Birkett (1849-1898), English football player
  • Ralph Birkett (1913-2002), English professional footballer
  • Bob Birkett (b. 1879), English professional footballer
  • Arthur Birkett (1875-1941), English Olympic cricket player
  • Michael Birkett (b. 1929), British film director and producer
  • William Norman Birkett (1883-1962), 1st Baron Birkett, British Barrister and judge, alternate British Judge during the Nuremberg trials after World War II
  • Dea Birkett (b. 1958), British writer
  • Lieutenant-General Claude Birkett Ferenbaugh (1899-1975), American Deputy Commanding General 8th Army (1954-1955) [3]
  • Birkett Kealy "Kett" Turton (b. 1982), American-born, Canadian Leo Award nominated actor
  • Birkett D. Fry (1822-1891), Confederate general in the American Civil War

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Henry James Birkett (1891-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Carstairs, Alberta, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [4]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Donald Craig Birkett, British Boy 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [5]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Henry R Birkett, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [6]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, February 29) Claude Ferenbaugh. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Ferenbaugh/Claude_Birkett/USA.html
  4. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  5. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  6. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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