Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
The registered variants of the name are Beckingham, Beckenham, Beckengham, Beckinham, Backingham and Bickingham. However, I have also seen Beckinggame, Bechingame, Becchinghame, Beckynham and even Beckingringham among other spellings of the name.
I also know that at times the name has been corrupted to Buckingham and appears in more than one pedigree as such.
The surname of Beckingham was originally a locational name from Beckingham, a small village in Lincolnshire. There is also a village of this name in Nottinghamshire.
Another version of the name origin again relates to BEOCCA but linked with the old English word HAM meaning field or stream thereby Beocca living by the stream or 'Beckingham'.
Finally, my own thoughts on the shortened spelling of Beckenham - there was a Zebulon Beckingham born in Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire who moved to Croydon in Surrey, close to the town of Beckenham in Kent. My thought is that the locals in and around Croydon were so used to the local spelling and therefore all future references to the surname Beckingham were so corrupted.
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.
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