This unusual and rare surname recorded in the spellings of Birkmyr, Birkmyre, and Byrmyr, is Scottish and locational. It originates from a place known as 'The lands of Birkmyre' in the country of Dumfriesshire. The place name is of Danish-V iking pre 7th century origins, and describes a swampy place surrounded by birch trees. The surname is much later and being a locational name is also a 'from' name. That is to say that it was a surname given to people when they left their original homestead. The easiest form of identification in those easrly times, was to call a 'stranger' by the name of the place from whence they came. In this case the surname is first recorded in the 15th century when Michael de Byrkmyr, given as being a presbyter, or elder, was recorded in 1432 in the register of the diocese of Glasgow, whilst in 1452, John de Byrkmyr was a charter witness in Dernlie. Other recordings taken from authentic rolls and charters of the late medieval period include: Andrew Bykmyr of Angus in 1517, whilst William Birkmyre was given as being both a burgess and freeman of the city of Glasgow in 1612.
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