This interesting and curious surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either Birdsall, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, or Buerdsall, a place in the parish of Rochdale in Lancashire. The former, recorded as "Briteshale, Brideshala" in the Domesday Book of 1086, derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century byname "Bridd", Bird, and "-halh", a nook, recess; the latter placename in Lancashire, originally spelt "Berdeshull" in the 1292 Records of Pleas, is composed of the same Olde English personal name "Bridd", and the second element "-hyll", a hill. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name, with subsequently many different forms, for example Beardshall and Beardsell. Early examples of the surname from Yorkshire Church Registers include: the christening of Agneta, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Beardshall, on February 7th 1574, at Silkstone, and the christening of Ann, daughter of Richard Beardsall, on April 22nd 1607, at Wath Upon Dearne. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Birdsall, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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