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BIRD Family History

Recorded as Bird, Byrd, Byrde and Bride, this famous surname is English. It derives from the pre 7th century word "bridde" meaning a bird, and as a surname was originally given as a nickname to one thought to bear a fancied resemblance to a bird. This may have been from bright dress, or bright eyed and active, or perhaps to some one with a beautiful singing voice. The surname was first recorded towards the end of the 12th century (see below), and other early recordings include: Ralph le Brid, a witness in the Fines Court of Essex in the year 1231, and Richard Bird, a witness in the Assize Court of Cambridgeshire in 1260.

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