The name Byrt, or its variant Byrte, Burte or Birt, first appears in Wickhamford parish records in 1536; the last occurrence is in 1641. In Badsey there is just a reference to the name in 1667. In the Churchwardens’ Accounts of Badsey with Aldington, 1525-1571, an entry for 1531 says, “Received Byrt’s bequest, 12d.” Reverend W H Price, who transcribed the accounts at the end of the 19th century, commented: “A John Byrt of Hampton, by his will dated 28th January 1529, left bequests to several churches in the Rural Deanery of Evesham, but not to Badsey. This possibly may have been a member of the family of Byrd, of Bretforton.”
Precise details of the family relationships are difficult to ascertain as there were several people with the same name, particularly John.
However, several member of the Byrt family left wills: John Burte in 1613, Alice Burte in 1615, William Birte in 1626 and two widows, Elizabeth Burte in 1620 and Mary Burte in 1622. All were buried at Wickhamford and most included an inventory with the will, so indicates a family of some substance. A perusal of their wills may provide clues as to family relationships.
In the London Apprenticeship Abstracts, 1442–1850, William Burt, son of John Burt of Wickhamford, husbandman, was apprenticed to Gilbert Cowley of the Blacksmith Livery Company in London in 1613. William was the son of John and Jane.
In the manorial court records, William Birt is listed as paying homage from 1631. In 1632 it was noted that William Birt exchanged land with Edward Blissard. In 1638 William was fined for letting his house go out of repair. By 1839, William Birt had to forfeit his estate because he was a year and a half behind with the rent and left the house unrepaired. William Birt died in 1640. His widow, Joyce, by custom of the manor, was given widow’s estate to all of the lands and tenements of her late husband. Joyce died a short time after her husband in 1641. She was the last person by the name of Birt or Byrt to be buried at Wickhamford.
Over two decades later, a George Byrt, fuller, was buried at Badsey in 1667.
- Position in League Table: 2 (Wickhamford top ten 1500s)
- Name variants: Byrt, Byrte, Burt, Birt
- Name origin: Thought to be of Anglo-Saxon origin, representing the rare survival of the Olde English pre 7th century personal name "Beorht, Byrht", from "beorht", bright, famous.
- Total number of Wickhamford baptism records: 28
- Total number of Wickhamford marriage records: 6
- Total number of Wickhamford burial records: 25
- Total number of Badsey burial records: 1