SDB Popularity Ranking: 3819

Last name: Berwick

SDB Popularity ranking: 3819

Recorded in various spellings including Berwick, Berwic, Beric, Berick, Barrick, Barwick and others, this is an Anglo and sometimes Scottish, surname. It is locational and can be from any of a variety of places such as Berwick on Tweed, on the Scottish border, partly in England and partly in Scotland, and fought over for many centuries, Berwick villages in the counties of Kent and Shropshire, Berrick in Oxfordshire, Barwick in Norfolk and the West Riding of Yorkshire, and others. These places are first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 in such spellings as Berewic, Berewiche, Bereuuica and Bereuuith. All derive from the pre 7th Century word "bere" meaning barley, with the suffix of "wic," meaning an outlying settlement, and hence a probable meaning of "a granary away from the main village". Early examples of the surname recording include Edward Barwyk, in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York in 1463, whilst on December 9th 1651, Mary Berwick, was christened at St. Margaret's church, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Laurence de Berewyke. This was dated 1272, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England. He was known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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