This distinguished surname is of Old French origin, and is a locational name from Beaumais-sur-Dive in Calvados, Normandy, or Beaumetz in Somme and Pas-de-Calais. These places are so called from the Old French "beu", fair, lovely, and "mes", dwelling, cognate with the Old Provencal "mas", farm, settlement. Introduced into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066, the surname first appears on record in the mid 12th Century (see below). Further early recordings include: Richard de Beames (Shropshire, 1191); Robert de Beaumeis (Huntingdonshire, 1208); and Roger de Beaumes (Shropshire, 1273). The parish of Beamish near Gateshead in Durham, recorded as "Bellus Mansus" in the 1251 Close Rolls of that county, and as "Bewmys" in 1288, translates as "beautiful mansion", and was named from Beaumetz in France; it is possible that a few bearers take their name from this northern English place. The Beamish family have been in Ireland since Elizabethan times when the first of the name came from England to County Kerry; De Burgh's Landowners records twelve of the name with extensive properties in County Cork in 1878, and Major North Ludlow Beamish (1793 - 1872), author on military subjects, whose works include translations of Count von Bismarck's military writings, was born and died in County Cork. The family Coat of Arms is a silver shield with a lion rampant between three trefoils slipped gules. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Beaumis, which was dated 1154, in "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.