The surname of BEACH was a locational name meaning the dweller 'at the beach', from residence nearby. The name was originally derived from the Old English word BECHE. Habitation names are derived from names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named places, which include rivers, houses with signs on them, regions, or whole counties. The original bearer of the name who stayed in his area might be known by the name of his farm, or the locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of that county or the region from which he originated. Early records of the name mention BECHE (without surname) who was documented in the year 1185 in County Essex, and Thomas atte Beche of the County of Somerset was recorded in the year 1273. Eufemia de la Beche of the County of Norfolk in 1327 and Thomas atte Beche of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III. (1327-1377). William de la Beche of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name include Rebecca Beech who was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1623 and Thomas Beech and Rebecca Horne were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1718. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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