This interesting name is predominantly northern English, and the epicentre is the Manchester area. It would seem that the name is habitational from some place called "Birchen-hough", an Olde English compound which translates as "the hill (hough) covered with birch trees". However, as this is a description that may have applied to much of medieval England, it is more probable that "Birchenhough" is a developed form of something or somewhere else. Research would seem to prove that Birchenhough or Birchenough are in fact forms of Birchenall or Birchenhall, themselves developments of Birchall or Bircall. The latter is an ancient name of Cheshire origins, which derives from a place called Birch Hall, in Gawsworth, Cheshire, circa 1400. The name recordings include the following examples: Mary Birchinhalgh, christened at Holy Trinity, Salford, on July 10th 1763; Peter Birchenhof, also of Salford, christened on February 10th 1733; and Mary Birchenough, who married Abraham Ogden at Manchester Cathedral on May 17th 1777 in the reign of George 111 (1760 - 1820). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Byrchenhaughe, which was dated September 15th October,1599, a christening witness at Alstonfield, Staffordshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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