Horsbirk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The origins of the Horsbirk name Horsbirk are rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. The surname comes from when they lived in the settlement of Horsburgh in Innerleithen, in the county of Peebles, Scotland. As such, the Horsbirk surname belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Horsbirk family
The surname Horsbirk was first found in Peeblesshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and the first on record was Symon de Horsbroc, who witnessed a charter during the reign of Alexander II of Scotland (1214-49). It is thought that they came originally from the north bank of the Tweed in Northumberland, where an Anglo-Saxon known by Horse or Orse is said to have built a "burg."
"The first of the race is believed to have been an Anglo-Saxon, designated Horse, or Orse, who, settling on lands on the north bank of the Tweed, there reared the castle or burg which communicated the present surname to his descendants." 
"William de Horsebroch, 'clericus decani et capellani Ecclesie de Glasguensis,' is in record in 1283. William de Horsbroch, likely the same person, was a notary public in 1287. Simon de Horsbrok, who entered the foreign service of Edward I of England in 1297, had his lands restored to him in that year. He is mentioned again in the years 1302 and 1304 as holding his lands of the same king." 
Early History of the Horsbirk family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Horsbirk research. Another 207 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1306, 1330, 1329, 1404, 1440, 1479, 1550, 1640, 1686, 1620, 1597 and 1479 are included under the topic Early Horsbirk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Horsbirk 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 Horsbirk family name include Horsburgh, Horsbrough, Horseburgh, Horsbrook and many more.
Early Notables of the Horsbirk family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Horsbirk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Horsbirk family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, 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 Horsbirk surname or a spelling variation of the name include: John Horsburgh, who arrived in Jamaica in 1725; a John Horsbrough, who was on record in Philadelphia in 1796; William Horsburgh, who settled in Carolina in 1761.
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The Horsbirk 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: Aegre de tramite recto
Motto Translation: Having safely passed through a rough path.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)