Byrnays History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Byrnays arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Byrnays family lived in Norfolk, where they were established since the early Middle Ages. The family's name, however, derives from their former place of residence, the town of Bernai, in the department of Eure, Normandy. The popularity of this given name among Normans in the centuries immediately following the Norman Conquest of 1066 was greatly increased by virtue of its having been borne by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (c.1090-1153) founder and abbott of a monastery at Clairvaux.
Early Origins of the Byrnays family
The surname Byrnays was first found in Norfolk, where they claim descent from Berney, in the hundred of North Greenhow. The local has been lost through the years, but the family held a family seat at Park Hall in the parish of Reedham. "The baronet's family are asserted to have been at Berney, near Walsingham, co, Norfolk at the time of the Norman Conquest a great improbability, although their very early settlement there cannot be questioned."  What we have confirmed is the family seat was "acquired by the marriage of Sir Thomas de Berney with Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir William de Reedham in the reign of Edward III. " 
Early History of the Byrnays family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Byrnays research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1622, 1668, 1622, 1693, 1706, 1688 and 1710 are included under the topic Early Byrnays History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Byrnays Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Berney, Berny, Bernay, Bernays, Bernys, Burney and others.
Early Notables of the Byrnays family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Byrnays Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Byrnays family to Ireland
Some of the Byrnays family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Byrnays family
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Byrnays or a variant listed above: Clough Berny who settled in Virginia in 1635; William Burney, and his wife settled with their three sons, his mother and father William, in Louisiana in 1797.
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The Byrnays 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: Nil temere, neque timore
Motto Translation: Nothing rashly.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.