Last name: Birmingham

This notable and long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the city thus called in Warwickshire. Recorded as "Bermingeham" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Brimineham" in the 1169 Pipe Rolls of that county, the city name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Beornmundingaham", "homestead (Olde English "ham") of the people of Beornmund", a male given name composed of the elements "beorn", young man, warrior, and "mund", protection. This important city is the seat of a university and the see of a bishop, and in 1911 its boundaries were greatly extended making it the second largest city in Great Britain. The great Anglo-Norman families of de Bermingham first came to Ireland following the Anglo-Norman Invasion of 1169 - 1170, and the name appears on Irish records from a very early date. In 1235, Piers de Bermingham took part with de Brugo in the Conquest of Connacht, and acquired extensive territory in the barony of Dunmore, County Galway, which came to be called Bermingham's country. John de Bermingham was the victor of the famous battle of Faugher (1318), where Edward Bruce was defeated, and the family became Barons of Athenry (County Galway) in the mid 14th Century. On September 7th 1579, Alice Birmingham and William Smitt were married in Bubbenhall, Warwickshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Bermingham of the Castle of Birmingham, Warwickshire, which was dated 1170, in "Records of Strongbow's Invasion of Ireland", during the reign of Rory O'Connor, the last native High King of Ireland, 1166 - 1175. 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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