This is an English locational surname. Recorded as Beckingham and Beckenham it originates either from the village of Beckingham in Lincolnshire first recorded in 1182, or from the town of Beckenham in Kent. This is a place anciently recorded as far back as the year 862 a.d, at almost the very begining of all written English records, when it appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles as "Biohhhahema mearc", before teo centuries later the more understandable recording of "Bacheham" in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The meaning for both places is Beohha's homestead, with Beohha being a form of beort, meaning bright or famous. This was an early popular personal name, still used in Scandanavia. The surname its self is much later than the place names. Locational surnames were names given either to the local lord of the manor and his descendants, or more usually to people after they left their original home to settle somewhere else. In so doing, they took or were given as their surname, the name of their former home. As to when the first recording occured we are uncertain, although a coat of arms was granted to a family called Beckenham in Ireland in 1607. In 1554 a Thomas Beckingham was recorded at the church of St Mary Bothaw, in the city of London, and William Beckenham was a christening witness at St Andrews Holborn, in 1661.
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