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History of the Beckett Family
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© 1996-2003.
Daniel G. Beckett, Jr.
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The Becketts
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Geneology
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It is now reliable known, through historical research, that the Becketts are of Norman ancestry, coming into England with William the Conqueror at the time of the Norman Conquest in August, 1066 A.D.

The Normans of Normandy, a Duchy of northern France, were Northmen or Vikings originally from the Scandinavian peninsula of Europe who invaded and settled on the northern shores of France during the last half of the 9th century.

In 899 A.D., Charles the Simple, king of France, being unable to drive the invaders out, made a treaty with their leader permitting them to settle in what is now northern France and known to this day as the provence of Normandy.

One hundred sixty-seven years later, 1066 A.D., upon the death of the Anglo-Saxon king of England, Edward I,  William the Duke of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror, and a cousin of the deceased king, laid claim to the English throne. However, Harold, son of the Earl of Wessex, also a cousin of the deceased king and a native of England, laid claim to the throne and through the influence of his father and the consent of the other English Dukes and Nobles he was crowned king in the spring of 1066 A.D.

Upon this event, William the Duke of Normandy declared war against Harold. After some months of preparation the Norman army crossed the English Channel and met Harold and his army at Hastings on the north shores of the English Channel. A fierce battle ensued. The Normans won. Harold was killed in battle and four months later on Christmas day 1066 A.D., William, Duke of Normandy, was crowned King William I of England.

It is quite evident, from all historical sources, that Becketts were with the Conqueror and were of some rank both in the army and in the church as their coat of arms indicates them as soldiers, devout churchmen, crusaders and of the king's noblemen. However, the name Beckett does not actually appear in English history until 1165 A.D. At that time, Thomas Beckett, a Norman, was the Archbishop of Canterbury and of England, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, and Henry the II, grandson of William the Conqueror, reigned as king.

A dispute arose between the king and the Archbishop, the king accusing the Archbishop of trying to usurp some of the authority rightfully belonging to the king. The dispute became personal and bitter so much so that in 1170 A.D. four of the king's knights came upon the Archbishop in his own court yard and murdered him.

In the Second Crusade (1188-1192 A.D.), led by Richard the Lion Hearted of England, our ancestry took part as leaders in the army as indicated in our coat of arms.