This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Birtles in the parish of Prestbury, in Cheshire. The placename was first recorded as "Birchelis" in the 1260 County Court, City Court and Eyre Rolls of Chester, and shares its meaning of "birch hill(s)" with the place called Birtle in Lancashire, recorded as "Birkel" in the Assize Court Rolls of 1246 of that county. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "birce", birch (tree), with "hyll", hill. Locational names were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Records of Wills at Chester (1545 - 1620) contain the will of one Edward Birtles, yeoman, of Birtle who died in 1595, and recordings of the name from Cheshire Church Registers include the marriage of John Birtles and Katheren Fallowes, at Prestbury, on March 30th 1609. A Coat of Arms granted to a Birtles family from Chester is described thus: Silver on a chevron between three crosses crosslet blue as many fleurs-de-lis of the field, the Crest being a lion rampant blue on the sinister side of a tree green. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Birtlis, which was dated 1324, in Earwaker's, "History of East Cheshire", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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