Birrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Today's generation of the Birrey family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Birrey family lived in the county of Devon, where the family settled after arriving in England with William the Conqueror at the time of the Norman Conquest of England. The name is derived from the phrase at the Bury which has evolved to the more modern term borough.
Early Origins of the Birrey family
The surname Birrey was first found in Devon, in the parish of Berry-Pomeroy and before that Berry or Berri was the appellation of one of the old provinces of France.   Another source notes "scattered disconnectedly over England. It is most numerous in Lancashire, and afterwards in the counties of Northampton, Warwick, and Devon. Probably it is usually derived from places, Berry being the name of a Devonshire parish, whilst Bury is the name of towns and localities in Lancashire, Suffolk, etc." 
Early History of the Birrey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birrey research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1450, 1781, 1873, 1635, 1690, 1675, 1691, 1636 and are included under the topic Early Birrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Birrey Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Birrey include Berry, Bery, Berey, De Berry and others.
Early Notables of the Birrey family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Berry, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1450; Sir Thomas Berry of Buckland; Alexander Berry (1781-1873), Scottish surgeon, merchant, and explorer after whom the Australian town is named; Sir John Berry (1635-1690), English naval officer of the Royal Navy, and was in 1675 the captain of the annual convoy to Newfoundland; and Major-General James Berry (d. 1691), English Parliamentary officer who fought in the English Civil War.
On the more infamous side, it is claimed that Charlotte de Berry (born 1636) was an English female...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Birrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birrey family to Ireland
Some of the Birrey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birrey family
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Birreys to arrive on North American shores: Edward Berry who settled in Virginia in 1654; as did Elizabeth 1636; Henry 1650; John 1626; Lydia 1648; Mathew 1650; Richard 1654; and others settled in Maryland, Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina New England, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and New York.
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Nihil sine labore
Motto Translation: Nothing without labour.
- Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.