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Beckingham One-Name Study

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The Beckingham Pedigrees:-


Clyffe Pypard

Great Hidden







Other Pedigrees

Place Names

Wiltshire map c. 1773

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General Notes on the Beckingham Name

The Name itselfArms of Sir Stephen Beckingham of Tolleshunt

Beckenham, Beckengham, Beckinggame, Bechingame, Becchinghame, Beckynham and even Beckingringham have been noted among the spellings of the name Beckingham. The name has also been corrupted to Beckeram and finally Beckram in the Sunderland area (see the Monmouth Pedigree page). Apart from my own Pedigree on the Beckingham page of this web site, my One-Name Study has enabled the collation of a great deal of information on other Pedigrees of the family. 

There is however, a complication, in as much as a family of the name of BACON from Hagbourne in North Berkshire during the early 19th century  decided that they would call themselves BECKENHAM in census returns and other records although one of them did revert to his baptismal  name of WILLIAM BACON when he married EMMA DANDRIDGE on 14th January 1871, at the 1871 census he was still using the name BACON, but in 1881 and later, all the family were either BECKENHAM or BECKINGHAM.  It may be that they took this name from a MARTHA BECKINGHAM who married JAMES BACON in 1770.  This particular group have also caused confusion when a RICHARD BACON/BECKINGHAM decided to call himself  ALFRED BECKETT in the 1861 and 1891 censuses, and all of his children went by the name of BECKETT after 1891.

It may be also that the Salisbury pedigree will have to be revisited as one marriage was registered as BECKHAM and closer inspection of the Parish Records shows many events under that name.

I do know that at other times the name is corrupted to Buckingham and appears in the Great Hidden pedigree as such, and I am in contact with a fellow researcher who is looking to tie his own Buckinghams into the Beckinghams and this pedigree.

Name Origin

My thoughts on the origin of the name are shown on a separate page. 

Name Frequency and Distribution

The ONS 2002 data shows that there were 794 Beckinghams and 156 Beckenhams in England and Wales; Beckingham being the 7,957th most common name and Beckenham down in 24,999th position!

At the 1881 census there were 446 Beckinghams and 123 Beckenhams. The former were most prevelant in Hampshire and Wiltshire whereas Beckenhams are mainly found in Surrey and Middlesex. This seems to confirm my theory regarding the corruption of the Beckingham spelling when the families moved to Surrey.

Use as a Christian name

I am also endeavouring to find out just why the name Beckingham has been used as a given name, in most cases there has been a maternal grandparent from a Beckingham family, but there are several cases that still elude me, Henry Herbert Beckingham James born 1888 and William Beckingham Everett born 1854 being two that spring to mind. Both of these were the first born children and I have yet to trace any Beckingham name in any of their ancestors.


The Beckinghams have had numerous and varied occupations over the years, from the time honoured "ag labs" (agricultural labourers), carters, yeomen, ship owners, canal labourers, Titled men, railway workers and engine drivers, gardeners, publicans, farmers, soldiers, sailors, toll gate keeper, and even a Henry Beckingham who worked on the first Channel Tunnel!

Famous Beckinghams

Elias de Beckingham - see Other Pedigrees and The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

Charles Beckingham 1699 to 1731, poet and playwright. Again he appears in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004, although we do not know where his family fits into any current main pedigree.  His parents were Charles Beckingham and Ann Hale who married in London on 13th October 1698 and so far the line can be traced to a John Beckingham and Mary Carter marrying at Bayford, Hertfordshire in 1637. Charles' brother, William, went to Maryland as a bound apprentice in 1721 (see emigration page).

Stephen Beckingham 1697 to 1752. noted for having his marriage to Mary Cox on 9th June 1729 painted by Hogarth.  (see picture in Salisbury pedigree page).

Charles Fraser Beckingham 1914 -1998. Professor of Islamic Studies at University of London 1965 - 1981. He wrote many books -  included among his many publications;-   'The Hebrew Letter of Prester John',  'Between Islam and Christendom' &  'Prester John, The Mongols and the Ten Lost Tribes'.  Charles is from the London-Newcastle pedigree.

Infamous Beckinghams

A William Beckingham was found guilty of housebreaking at Abingdon Assizes on 21st July 1792 and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to 10 years hard labour even before the Magistrates left the Assizes!

Thomas Beckingham, aged 30, transported to Australia for life on "The Atlas" in July 1816.  There is a Thomas Beckenham, aged 29,  sentenced to death (with another) at the Old Bailey for feloniously stealing on 10th May 1815 and I am sure that this is the same man, with his sentence commuted to transportation.  This Thomas is from the Great Hidden pedigree.

Richard Beckingham, aged 26, accused with his brother Thomas of "machine breaking" in Hampshire in 1830. Thomas was acquitted but Richard was transported to Australia for 7 years on "The Eliza" in February 1831. He was granted a free pardon in 1836 but where did he go then?  Richard was from the Great Hidden pedigree.

Richard Lyons Beckingham, aged 24, transported to Australia for 7 years on "The Asia" in August 1837 for stealing a carpet bag and clothes. He was granted his freedom on 15th June 1844 but again, where did he go to?

Others were charged with minor offences such as Zebulon Beckenham who was fined 5s and 9s costs in 1887 for cruelty to horses in Wallington, Surrey. Zebulon was a ploughman, originally a Beckingham from Great Bedwyn in Wiltshire.

Another William Beckingham was a definite bigamist in 1850 in Hampshire, but he seems to have got away with it as his original wife also remarried back at home in Berkshire.

Other Beckingham names

There was a horse foaled at Cleveland Bay in 1843 called "Bay Beckingham", which does not appear in any stud books, but was apparently sent to Denmark in 1847 to cover Jutland Mares.

There is also an  oil well called "Beckingham 36", the first horizontally drilled well by BP, completed in 1985.


I have set up separate pages for the main researched Pedigrees which can be accessed from the links on the left.  The Pedigrees are named for the main location that they originate in.  There are downloadable pdf and gedcom files on each one covering the first few generations (no living descendants), and should you think that you have a link to one of them, please contact me and I can share information.


Apart from those mentioned above who were "given free trips" to Australia, Beckinghams have emigrated to Canada, the United States, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and I am in contact with many of the present families.  There is a link to more information on emigration and immigration here.


Most of the Beckinghams have died "normal" deaths, old age, disease etc; but there is at least two known suicides, two murders, one by poisoning, and one Beckingham found "dead on the toilet"!

World War I

Many Beckinghams /Beckenhams, both from the UK and abroad, especially Canada, served in World War I and there are 17 known to have died between 1914 and 1919. I published a book in 2002 about these 17 casualities, researching them to find out which Beckingham pedigree they belong to, and where they were when they died. I have also listed most of the Beckinghams etc found on the Medal Roll Index and then researched the war service of some of these. The book costs £5.50 including post and packing in the UK, and £7.50 overseas, and is available from me as shown below.


So far I have collated all GRO references to Beckingham and Beckenham from 1837 to 2011; researched the censuses for England and Wales 1841 to 1911, although with new data being released on line, this is ongoing, e.g., 1939 Register; other censuses e.g. USA and Canada have been looked at; numerous parish registers; research into Wills is ongoing; WWI Medal record cards have been obtained; emigration/immigration records; and of course, other researchers whose assistance is greatly appreciated.

My Thanks

I am indebted to many other researchers of the name for their on going assistance with the Pedigrees and I have so far put a lot of people in touch with long lost or even unknown cousins.

A group of some 25 Beckingham researchers initially ran an unofficial e mail list several years ago, and did set up a web site with outline trees for most of the main Pedigrees on it, but I must stress that as it is no longer maintained, a lot of the data shown on this website is regretably now well out of date. Please contact me for any clarifications or updates.

There are many other "twigs and branches" as opposed to "trees" in my files and as I have indicated before, I am always ready to share information, all you have to do is e mail or write to me, Alex McGahey, at 2 Vane Road, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3WE, UK. 

If you wish to supply me with the names of your Beckingham/Beckenham parents and grandparents, then I hope that I will be able to place you into one of the Pedigrees that I have mentioned in these pages.

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