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The Beveridge Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: PERSEVERANDO (that which must persevere)

Let me share the fascinating history of your family name, Beveridge, which is primarily associated with Fife in Scotland. There are two possible origins for the name, and both hold intriguing stories. One possibility is that it relates to the word “beverage,” suggesting that it was given to someone who supplied or had an affinity for drinks. The alternative, and perhaps more likely, explanation is that it refers to a place. In 1140, there was a small island in the River Severn near Worcester called Beveridge, meaning the “Island of the Beavers.” Beavers were once common throughout Britain until around 1600 when they became extinct. Therefore, it is likely that the surname originated from a knight or lesser landowner who owned either the Beveridge island or a long-forgotten place with the same name in Scotland. The coat of arms of the head of the old Beveridge family depicts two beavers standing on the sea. While this coat of arms humorously plays on the family name through heraldic punning, it also harkens back to this early origin.

The earliest recorded mention of a Beveridge in Scotland dates back to 1302 when a Walter Beverage served as a juror in an inquest in St Andrews. Similarly, a Henry Beveragh acted as a witness in a court hearing in Paisley in 1504. From these modest and obscure beginnings, your family gradually gained prominence and prosperity in the sixteenth century. In 1534, David Beverage held the esteemed position of cup bearer to King James V. In a remarkable instance of “normative determinism,” his ancestors hailing from Beveridge were now involved in serving beverages. This role was crucial and influential within the royal household, entailing the responsibility of serving drinks at the royal table and testing their quality and safety, including detecting any potential poison. The family continued to hold a prominent position and eventually acquired the Brucefield estate in Fife.

Moving forward, we find that in 1729, James Beverage worked as a dyer in Edinburgh. James Beveridge served as the collector of offshore dues in the Port of Leith, and in 1821, his son Samuel Beveridge established a legal practice that continues to serve the Port of Leith to this day. In 1985, this law firm petitioned the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, for a grant of arms in its own right, and it was granted a version of the coat of arms depicting the two beavers standing on the sea. This symbolic connection to the original family of its founder further links the law firm with the rich heritage and legacy of the Beveridge name.

As you explore the annals of your family’s past, you uncover a narrative marked by resilience, social standing, and notable contributions. The Beveridge name embodies a connection to a place rooted in history and the customs associated with it. Your ancestors’ dedication and positions of influence serve as a testament to their accomplishments and the lasting impact they had on Scottish society. Embracing your family history allows you to honor and cherish the remarkable legacy of the Beveridge name.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: PERSEVERANDO (that which must persevere)

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