Last name: Burchell

This name is a late medieval locational transposition. It derives from the original spelling of the Olde Lancashire village name 'Biekel' (1246) and the later (1347) 'Birkehill', but from the 17th Century known and spelt as 'Birtle'. The meaning of the name is 'Birch - Hill' from the Olde English 'Birc - halh' of the pre 7th Century period. In the original name recordings the village spelling is given in both its old and new spelling, although 'Birtles' is purely a local dialectual pronunciation which eventually became the norm! The name developments include Agnes Burchall (1635) Alice Burchell (1688) Aprah Birchall (1701) and Ann Birchill (1732). William Burchell (1782 - 1863) was a famous Vitorian explorer and Botanist, The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Birchall de Birtles, which was dated circa 1400, in the Gawsworth District of East Cheshire Rolls, during the reign of King Henry IV, known as Henry Bolingbroke, 1399 - 1413. 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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