Bortrim History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Bortrim reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Bortrim family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Bortrim is based on the Germanic personal name Bertram, which is composed of the elements berht, meaning "bright" or "famous," and hrabn, meaning "raven." 
Early Origins of the Bortrim family
The surname Bortrim was first found in Northumberland where "William de Bertram, the son or grandson of the Norman soldier, founded the Augustinian Priory of Brinkburn. His descendants - the Bertrams of Mitford castle, were potent feudal lords, distinguished in the Scottish wars and baronial contests. The last male heir, Roger Bertram, second Baron Bertram, died 1311."  Bertrannus was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. 
The History of Northumberland lists Richard Bertam as holding lands there in 1168 and Berteram le Barbur was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of Shropshire in 1273. 
Another source gives more details about the early influence of the family, specifically in the parish of Mitford. "This manor, in the time of the Saxons, belonged to the family of Mitford, and at the Conquest was part of the possessions of John, lord of Mitford, whose only daughter, Sybil, was married by the Conqueror to Sir Richard Bertram, son of the lord of Dignam, in Normandy.
The family of Bertram became very numerous, and acquired large estates in this part of the kingdom, which they retained till the reign of John, when, taking part with the barons against that monarch, their castle here, and also the town, were burnt, and the lands laid waste, by the Flemish allies of the king; the barony, becoming forfeited to the crown, was bestowed upon Philip de Hulcoates. The possessions were subsequently restored by Henry III. to the Bertrams; but after the death of Roger de Bertram in 1242, his son and successor being taken prisoner among the insurgents at Northampton, the castle and estates were seized by the king, and never regained. The castle was taken and dismantled by Alexander, King of Scotland, in 1318." 
Nunriding a township, in the parish of Mitford, was anciently called Baldwineswood and was home to Roger Bertram who during the reign of Henry II, gave the lands to the Benedictine convent of Hallystone. 
Another branch of the family was found at Earsdon in Northumberland. "Sir John Bertram, Knt., who died in 1449, possessed of 16 messuages, 14 cottages, 8 acres of meadow, 494 of arable land, 400 of wood, and 300 of moor, in 'Eresdon.'" 
Early History of the Bortrim family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bortrim research. Another 216 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1168, 1296 and 1482 are included under the topic Early Bortrim History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bortrim Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Bortrim has been recorded under many different variations, including Bertram, Bartram, Battram, Berttram, Beartram, Beertram, Bertrim, Bertrem, Berttrim, Berttrem, Barttrem, Bartrim, Bertrame, Bartramn, Bartramm, Bertramm, Bortram, Bortrem and many more.
Early Notables of the Bortrim family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bortrim Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bortrim family
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Bortrims were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: John Bertram, who settled in Virginia in 1650; Peter Bertram, who landed in America in 1709; Thomas Bertram, who settled in Texas in 1836. Another Thomas settled in Georgia in 1821.
Related Stories +
The Bortrim Motto +
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 Translation: I advance.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.