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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Burgess family come from? What is the Irish Burgess family crest and coat of arms? When did the Burgess family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Burgess family history?

The origins of the name Burgess are in the Old French/Middle English word "burgeis," which denoted a freeman of a fortified town. Generally, the name made its way to England with the Normans, and then across to Ireland, but it in some cases it may have crossed directly from England to Ireland. In Irish Gaelic, the name has been written "Brugha."


Spelling variations of this family name include: Burgess, Burys and others.

First found in County Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where one named Burgess was a witness to the Charter of Rosbercon in New Ross. In 1420, another Burgess was recorded as an assessor for County Kildare. In Dublin, records include many references to the name Burgess.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burgess research. Another 49 words(4 lines of text) covering the years 168 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Burgess History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 105 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burgess Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Burgess Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Joane Burgess, who landed in Maryland in 1638
  • Alexander Burgess, who arrived in New England in 1651-1652
  • Joseph Burgess, who landed in Virginia in 1652
  • Robert Burgess, who landed in Virginia in 1652

Burgess Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Richard Burgess, who landed in Virginia in 1700
  • Tho Burgess, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Eliz Burgess, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Edward Burgess, who arrived in Virginia in 1712
  • Thos Burgess, who arrived in Virginia in 1714

Burgess Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Robt Burgess, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Samuel Burgess, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • George Burgess, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1847
  • Ann and George Burgess, who arrived in Boston in 1847
  • Alexander Burgess jumped ship, the "Royal George," and settled at Witless Bay in 1847

Burgess Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • W Burgess, who landed in Arkansas in 1905


  • Lieutenant General Ronald L Burgess Jr. (b. 1952), American Army officer, Deputy Director of National Intelligence from 2005 to 2007
  • Neil Burgess (1846-1910), American vaudeville comedian
  • Thornton Burgess (1874-1965), American conservationist and children's author
  • Michael C. Burgess (b. 1950), American physician and politician
  • Charles William St John Burgess (1874-1922), known as Cathal Brugha, a leader in the Irish War of Independence and the Minister of Defense in the first Irish Parliament
  • Thomas Burgess (1756-1837), English author, philosopher, Bishop of Saint David's and Bishop of Salisbury
  • Michael John Clement Burgess OBE (b. 1946), British coroner of The Queen's Household
  • Anthony Burgess (1917-1993), British novelist, critic and composer
  • Claude Burgess CMG, OBE, MA (1910-1988), British Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong from 1958-1963
  • Guy Francis De Moncy Burgess (1911-1963), British-born intelligence officer and double agent who worked for the Soviet Union



  • The Burgess Family by Harol Donal Burgess.
  • Burgess, Mullins, Browning, Brown and Allied Families by James A. Burgess.

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  1. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  4. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  5. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  6. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  11. ...

The Burgess Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Burgess Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 January 2013 at 11:56.

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