This German surname, recorded in several spellings, is now well known in England from a television series, but in fact is not a common surname at all. It is apparently post- medieval in origin, residential, and most early recordings are to be found in the province of Westfalen. The name literally describes a person who lived "by a stream" or who came from a village so named. Locatiional and topographical surnames were usually amongst the first to be created, it being the easiest foirm of identification to call a person by the name of some natural feature in the landscape, close to where they lived. Not surprisingly the surnames Beck and Bach, both mean the same, were early examples. In England the surname Bithebrook or Bywater have the same construction and meaning, although as with the German surnames the original prefix has often been lost. Examples of the Beiderbeck recordings in the varied spellings and taken from authentic surviving German registers include Johanne Beiderbeck, at Brockhagen, Westfalen, on December 16th 1832, and Christian Bedierbecker, at Benninghausen, Westfalen, on January 13th 1833. The first recording from the church registers is that of Ilsche Beiderbeke, at Hartum, province of Westfalen, Germany, on July 11th 1675.
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