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

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

Burton is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Burton family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Burton family lived in Yorkshire, where they held lands at Burton Agnes, Burton Constable and Burton Pidsea.

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Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Burton have been found, including Burton, Birton, Byrton, Burtone and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they were descended conjecturally from Drogo de Beuvriere a kinsman of William the Conqueror who held lands at Burton Agnes, Burton Constable and a manor house or castle at Burton Pidsea.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burton research. Another 361 words(26 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1350, 1300, 1354, 1600, 1853, 1661, 1656, 1659, 1632, 1681, 1575, 1645, 1622, 1609, 1682, 1668, 1714, 1748, 1953 and are included under the topic Early Burton History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 155 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Burton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 145 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Burton were among those contributors:

Burton Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • George Burton, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • Richard Burton who settled in Virginia in 1624
  • Richard Burton, who landed in Virginia in 1624
  • Boniface Burton, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1632
  • Jo Burton, aged 17, arrived in Barbados in 1635


Burton Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Peter Burton, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Henry Burton, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Samuel Burton, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Charles Burton, who arrived in America in 1722
  • Thos Burton, who arrived in South Carolina in 1735


Burton Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James Burton, who landed in Maryland in 1807
  • John Burton, who landed in America in 1811
  • Joseph Burton, aged 55, landed in New York in 1812
  • Joseph Burton settled in Portland Maine in 1820
  • Thomas Burton, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1821


Burton Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Henry Charles Burton, who landed in Alabama in 1922

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  • Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. (b. 1957), American actor, director, producer and author better known as LeVar Burton
  • Harold Hitz Burton (1888-1964), American lawyer, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1945-58)
  • James Burton (b. 1939), American guitarist and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 2001
  • Tim Burton (b. 1958), American animator, filmmaker, director
  • Raymond S. "Ray" Burton (1939-2013), American politician, New Hampshire Executive Council District 1 (1977-1979)
  • George Aubrey Burton Jr., (1926-2014), American Certified Public Accountant, Finance Commissioner of Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana (1971-1978)
  • Harry Burton (1879-1940), English Egyptologist and archaeological photographer
  • Decimus Burton (1800-1881), English architect
  • Elaine Burton (b. 1904), English politician, Baroness Burton of Coventry
  • Mr. Edward John Burton (d. 1912), aged 32, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking

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  • Family of John M. Burton and Sarah Whitmore Burton by Broadus McAfee.
  • Our Courageous Ancestors: Facts and Fables, 1600-1974 by Marie Erwin Detty.
  • Notes on the Richard and John Burton Families, New York and Massachusetts, 1850-1973 by John Bradley Arthaud.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Lux vitae
Motto Translation: The Light is my guide.

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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  11. ...

The Burton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Burton 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 24 July 2014 at 21:13.

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