This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Middle English "beverage", drink (Old French "bevrage", from "beivre", to drink). The term was used in particular of a drink bought by a purchaser to seal a bargain, and the surname may have been acquired as a nickname in this context. It has been suggested that the nickname may have been bestowed on a man who made a practice of getting free drinks by entering into bargains which he did not keep. The surname is more common in Scotland than it is in England, where it is also found as a locational name from the island of Beverege in the Severn. The island is referred to by Florence of Worcester as a retreat of the Danes during a revolt of the English. The derivation of the placename is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "be(o)fer", beaver, with "ig(e)", island; hence "beaver island". The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), and can also be found as Beveridge, Bavridge and Belfrage. Robert Beuerish is noted in the Feet of Fines of Huntingdonshire (1315). On February 21st 1630, William, son of William and Rose Berridge, was christened at St. Botolph Bishopsgate, London, and on March 30th 1630, Richard Berridge married Elizabeth Dowseland at the same place. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a green shield, in a point barry wavy of six silver and blue two gold beavers rampant, batant, the Crest being out of a ducal coronet a demi beaver proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wido Beverage, which was dated 1212, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Buckinghamshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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