This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and is an example of that large group of English and Continental surnames that have gradually developed from the habitual use of nicknames or bynames. In this instance, the name 'Bird' and its variant forms 'Burd' and 'Byrd', derives from the Middle English 'bird, brid', nesting, young bird, a development of the Old English pre 7th Century 'bridd'. The nickname would have been given to a young person, perhaps as a term of affection.In some cases, the name may derive from a metonymic occupational surname for a bird catcher, and may possibly also be derived from the Middle English word 'burde', maiden, girl, applied as a mocking nickname. The second element "kin" is a diminutive suffix. Ernald Brid is registered in the Yorkshire Pipe Rolls (1193), but it doesn't appear with the diminutive suffix until the late 16th Century, (see below). On October 18th 1635, Ann, daughter of Richard and Margery Burdikin was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney and William, son of John Burdikin, was christened on December 20th 1653, at Bradfield, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Burdycane, Yorkshire, which was dated 1595, "Descriptive Catalogue of Charters", during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "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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