Last name: Beeching
This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century element "bece", Middle English "beche", which has a dual meaning of "stream", or "beech tree"; plus the suffix "-ing", which when attached to a topographical feature, as in this case, means "dweller at". Hence the name is of topographical origin, given to a dweller by the stream or to someone who lived by a prominent beech tree. There is a place called Beeching Stoke, in Wiltshire, which is composed of the Olde English "biccena", of bitches, and "stoc", place, which implies that the place was used for breeding hunting hounds. Hence the surname may be a shortened form of this placename, as Church Registers of Wiltshire show the name to be widespread there. Early examples include the christening of Abraham, son of Thomas Bichinge at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, on December 21st 1578; and the christening of Marie Beechin on July 23rd 1598, at Wyle in Wiltshire. James Beeching (1788 - 1858) invented the "self-righting" lifeboat at Great Yarmouth in 1851. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Beeching, which was dated May 18th 1569, marriage to Jone Hawkins, at St. Giles', Reading, in Berkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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