This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and can be either topographical or locational from a place so called in the West Riding of Yorkshire, both sources having the same derivation and meaning, i.e. "the cattle sheds". The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "byrum", itself from "byre", a barn or byre. The surname, when topographical, can mean a "dweller at the cattle byres". However, in some cases the surname may be derived from an occupational name for one who worked at a cattle byre (a cowman).
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