Burkbey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
There are no fewer than three locations in England named Birkby. In Cumbria, Birkby is in the parish of Crosscanonby (or Cross Canonby) and the remaining two locations are found in North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. It is from this area of England that the surname Burkbey claims as its ancient homestead.
Early Origins of the Burkbey family
The surname Burkbey was first found in West Yorkshire or North Yorkshire at Birkby, townships and parishes. The North Yorkshire location is presumably the oldest at it dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was first listed as Bretebi.  Both place names mean "farmstead or village of the Britons."  One of the first records of the name was William de Bretteby, who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1219. Years later, William Birtby was listed again in Yorkshire in 1462.  Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Birkby near Huddersfield held by the King's steward, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Important Dates for the Burkbey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burkbey research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Burkbey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Burkbey Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Birkby, Berkby, Beckby, Bickby, Birkbie, Birkbee, Bickbie, Burkby, Burkbie, Birkbye, Birchby, Berchby and many more.
Early Notables of the Burkbey family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Burkbey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Burkbey family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Burkbey name or one of its variants: Samuell Birkby, who settled in Maryland in 1657; Catherine Birkby, who arrived in Maryland in 1654; and John Birkby, who was on record in New York in 1831..
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)